I have been thinking about what questions one should consider when looking at what education fits your family best, whether it be public schools, private schools, or home education. These are some of the questions I have had come to mind.
- What do you want your child to get out of education? Is it to finish all the boxes required for college entrance? Is it to learn how to learn independently? Is it to set them up for life and a life of learning? Is it to keep them immersed in a particular world view or to keep them out of a particular world view? What is the goal of your child’s education?
- What is your family’s lifestyle like? Home education is a lifestyle. There is no denying that since the children are a part of daily life, appointments, volunteering, chores, everything. Can your family lifestyle adjust to that?
- What is your vacation style? If you are one who likes to take off on a moments notice or spend two weeks in another state, can the education format you are considering work with that? Will they work with that?
- What is the work schedule of you and/or your spouse? How will the children’s schedule in any given education style impact their time with a parent? How high is that in your priority list?
- How flexible are you? How flexible do you want to be? Some education styles are firm and set; some education styles are the definition of flexibility.
- What do you value about your child’s personality right now? In the future? How will each of the education styles you are considering help or hinder that growth?
- How important is independence and out-of-the-box thinking to you? How important is it for there to be a single right answer to something? How important is it for there to be many ways and options to answer a question?
- What do you consider important in the child’s personal growth? Will your educational style encourage and support that growth? Will you have to change your ideals to fit into the style of education you are considering? Is that okay with you?
- Why are you considering each of the educational styles you are looking at? What is appealing about each one and what do you not like about each one?
- What concerns you about the world? How is this dealt with in the educational setting you are considering?
- How important is freedom to you? Freedom to act, think, choose, change, move about, schedule, time, etc. Does the educational style you are considering support those freedoms? To what extent?
- How do you feel about knowing, or not knowing, what your child is studying? Will it be easy to communicate with the person teaching them and choosing their curriculum?
- What does the word socialization mean to you?
- What kind of time are you willing to dedicate to your child’s education? How much of it needs to be “time on task” and how much is discretionary time?
- What is your child’s learning style? Are they an auditory learner? A visual learner? A kinestetic learner? A combination or maybe even something else? Can this be supported in the educational style you are considering?
Are you noticing the question that keeps coming up?
“Can this be supported in the educational style you are considering?” Or “Will the education style you are considering support and encourage (or hinder) _________________________?”
This is a big part of the thinking through process when you are seeking to find the right balance of priorities and values for your child’s education. And it is tough. There is not an answer that is better or worse for most of these questions. There is an answer that is best for you or one that is better suited than others. But there is a lot to consider. These are not all the questions you can ask to decide where your child’s education should happen. These are just some things that I think are important to consider.
Do you have any questions you would add to the mix? Leave them in the comments section, please, for others to consider on their journey.
Lori, At Home.