Comparison of School Options

In this series on education choices for our children, I wanted to give the notes that I collected (mostly from around 5 years ago, as Hannah was nearing school age) from families who were years ahead of us.  Nothing fancy, just the pros and cons that were given to us.  What I like most is that these insights were given to us by families who had each been involved with multiple education options, so they could give a complete and honest assessment. 
image courtesy of arroclint via

Home School
  • Advantages
  • Simple and good at an early age, with focus on reading
  • Can lay and develop a spiritual foundation
  • Maturity issue:  you can make sure that they are stable in their identity before being around a lot of kids, so they won’t get lost
  • Flexibility with time and vacations
  • Great student:teacher ratio, so you can focus on and customize education to specific academic needs
  • Great emotional benefits; kids’ love tanks are full because of so much time together
  • Children’s primary identity is to family, ahead of peer identity

  • Disadvantages
  • Be mindful of how you use time; it is harmful to be either too regimented (no one will enjoy it) or too laid back (easy to get off track)
  • Need to remember that you still have a life to live, with other roles and responsibilities.  It gets easy to isolate and draw back into the family; need to keep moving towards other relationships.
  • Can be challenging to teach multiple kids and ages
  • Homeschooling with younger children can be hard; challenge to keep toddlers busy
  • Setting stands; it’s easy as a “loving parent” to give kids a bye or overlook things.  In school, if you don’t do the work, you get an “F” – it’s not personal)
  • At some point, you need to teach them to be in and to deal with the world

Private School
  • Advantages
  • Can find a school with the same foundational beliefs
  • Smallness and openness; parents can usually come in an out any time
  • Often have great academic standards

  • Disadvantages
  • Parents can get complacent, relying too much on the school, especially for spiritual development
  • Cost
  • Can be easy to withdraw from engaging the culture

Public School
  • Advantages
  • Can have an advantage for academics because have many more opportunities, especially at higher grades
  • It is good for kids to be around non-Christians before going off to college
  • Great opportunity to teach kids to be in and to deal with the world

  • Disadvantages
  • Can be very trying because of a rough environment
  • Hard to go from a small (home) to a big (school) environment
  • Children pick up some of their identity from peers
  • School is usually not able to focus as well on individual needs

1 comment :

  1. This is a really fantastic pro/con list! Thanks for sharing!