We have started a series on public school. If you are just tuning in, this is the second post in this series. Check out the first post, Public School – Not the Enemy to see how this all started.
Now, Let’s Dig In!
There are three main steps that I feel every family needs to think about and do before making this major life changing decision.
PRAY! I can not say that enough. This is a big decision that need not be taken lightly. For some public school is the right fit, for others not so much. Only you and God know your child best.
Realize that no matter how you feel, believe or anything, this decision needs to be based on what is best for your child. To do that you will need to talk to your husband/wife (if you have one). Talk to your child. Then listen. Hear them out. This is a family decision, so everyone’s point of view is important. You may be thinking that you are the parent and what you say goes. You would be right, however, is that what is best for your child? They are the ones that are going to have to be at the school, or not all day. That is their work, and it is important. Just like you have a say to some extent on where you work, so should they.
Think about the emotional and mental transition. Before even thinking about starting the physical transition to public school, first you need to think about the emotional and mental transition. Your role in your child’s education is going to change, and after homeschooling this could take some time to wrap your head around. For your kids, this will be much easier. For you however, it will be much more difficult. You will no longer be called teacher; someone else will be filling that role. Because of that, you will no longer know everything that is going on in his/her lessons, or even what order they are going to be taught in. For a teacher, that is a hard thing to accept. You can tell yourself that your kids can fill you in when they get home, but the reality of that is a joke. Your kids will come home and the conversation will go something like this…
“Hey, welcome home! How was your day?” as you close the door and sit down waiting intently for his/her answer.
“Fine.” he/she replies.
“Fine? What does that mean? How was science?”
“It was fine. Science was fine.”
“Seriously? Let me ask it this way. What did you learn about in science today?”
“Stuff. I’m hungry, can I have a snack?”
Yeah really that is how it will go. So do not expect to get any answers from your kids. Some days will be better than others but most days that is how your conversations will go. Be ready for this. Set your mind on being a parent only, and not knowing all the details of their schooling. Please do not get discouraged at this point. Later on in this series we will be talking about ways to get around this challenge, so don’t let this be the reason you do not even consider the public school. I only mention it, because it was one of the hardest things for me to wrap my head around. If I had heard from someone else early on that this is how it would be, maybe our transition would have been smoother.
Once you have made the decision to start public school, it is time to plan. Not unlike getting a new kindergartener off to school for the first time, making the transition into public school for any age homeschooler is a big deal. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you make the plunge. What “ducks” do you need to get in order? Good question! We will dive into that topic next time.
In the mean time, check out the first post in this series, Public School – Not the Enemy, if you missed it and start some conversation about this very much debated topic.