Girlfriend to Girlfriend, Homeschool vs. Traditional School, Part 2

Part 1 of this series is located here.
 
 
Maybe you’ve had “the” questions as well? 
 
Where should my child go? 
Is a traditional school schedule or homeschooling better for my child?
Can I homeschool?
 
If you’re weighing the pros of homeschooling versus traditional schooling, this post is for you.
 
I’ve been there with you, wandering through the forest of thoughts. Recently we revisited the forest as we considered a move back to a traditional schedule from our eight years of homeschooling.
 
We want to do what’s right for them, for their future. 
Which way do we turn?
 
The pros line up like champions: freedom, friends, time, individuality. The cons follow closely behind. Confusion swirls.
 
But when I remember it eternally…
 
When I focus on schooling from an eternal perspective, I am suddenly okay. I am putting trust in the One who knows the way, the path that includes, yes, schooling.
 
And when you put schooling in an eternal focus, you’ll be okay too.
 
Obedience 
Honor
Glorifying God. 
 
That is where we go, whether it’s homeschooling or traditional schooling. We go where He leads.
 
My family and I closed and eight-year chapter on homeschooling last year and are now in the halls and desks of a traditional school. Keep in mind, our new hallways and desks contain Christian curriculum wrapped up in a traditional schedule. It’s a Christian school. Public schools or other varieties of private schools may have a different list of pros.
 
Today we’ll venture into the pros of traditional schooling. Care to walk the hall with me?
 
 
                                 
 
Gifted Teachers…there are some spectacular teachers at our kids’ school and their abilities have taken the pressure off me. Although there is something extremely special about a mom being teacher and it opens the door for those “golden nugget” moments, I don’t ever want to forget that there are many loving, gifted teachers out there that are really good at what they do. It’s made our adjustment to traditional school smoother. I’m fortunate to have several of these teachers in my family and friend circles. Like a football team winning the Super Bowl, they hit their sweet spot while teaching kids.
 
More Individual and Friend Time…this could go either way. You might see it as a pro or as a con. Honestly, our family was coming to a fork in the road. We needed time apart from each other, and not simply by sitting in different rooms at the house.
 
Lack of parenting skills? 
Multiple moves? 
An area for humbling ourselves to the Lord?
 
Maybe. Maybe it was one or all of these. Or simply a new chapter authored by the Lord. Regardless, it became painfully obvious that we needed to “get away.” 
 
My daughter loves that she now has time to herself to “explore the world.” Not necessarily time alone, but time “out there” where she can make individual decisions on her own and be her own person in a traditional school setting. It was a good move.

 

She also has more time with friends. Mind you, she had more overall free time for friends while homeschooling, and she did have several wonderful homeschooling friends, but we weren’t running back and forth with them often. Her friend time is now held in smaller chunks. During lunch, the glimpse of moments between classes, and during after school activities, that’s where her friend time situates. Those little time snippets afford her the spark she needs.

The Lord knew what we needed, but doesn’t He always? Our kids are back to being bonded and at peace with each other, or as much peace as teenager hormones allow!

 
Mom Time…was the one thing I longed for and mourned the loss of at the beginning of our eight-year homeschooling career. There are ways to find “Mom time”, many of my friends did, but gathering them was a mystery to me. I wanted to check my heart over and over…and over again to ensure our move to a traditional schedule was a God move, not a Kristi push. 
 
I now have more time with the Lord, as well as writing (and hopefully speaking) and an occasional lunch with my husband or friends.  It’s nice. And I’m nicer. It’s a God thing. And I’m nicer. It’s right. Oh, and did I mention I’m nicer?

 

Having our children attend a traditional school means the plates are no longer falling and our time together is much more enjoyable. (Gasp! But it’s true in our situation.) No longer overwhelmed, I breath easier and feel peace again. (Mind you, this isn’t every situation, but it was ours.)

I loved homeschooling. It was a challenge. It was a joy and what I deemed a “stripping of me”. You know, the selfishness. It’s something I’d do again in a heartbeat if the Lord called. After all, I’ve seen stellar examples of homeschooling benefits. I have friends that are grand champion moms when it comes to homeschooling. Really. They rock. Their kids rock. They succeed in homeschooling and in life. They are the choice steak of the homeschooling and mommy world, topped with butter’s friend, a big ‘ole pat of love. 

I’m not sure we were in their arena, although we hit our stride from time to time. Regardless, everyone goes through rough patches, even stellar homeschooling moms. But, the reality is that for us the plates were falling. Something needed to change.

Thank God for new chapters.

 

Activitiesthe ease of finding those activities, attending them, and the wide offering afforded is what led me to list activities on the traditional schooling list. There are typically more and they are easier to find. (This is changing in the homeschooling community, though.)
What do you do with a 15 year old, 6’0″, 250 lb. man-child? Well, you put him in football because he really wants to play. Due to his size, it was rarely an option for our son while homeschooling, and was quite a disappointment to him, I might add. However, it was an instant fix when we switched to a traditional school setting. 

 

Tackle football, due to its intensity and injury potential, might be an odd one, but it was reality for us. It was tough to find outlets near, so we’re thankful for the option traditional schooling afforded him.


So there you have it… a few schooling pros jotted down for you. The full list bouncing around in my brain is more extensive, like homeschooling’s abundance of library trips and reading loads of books. Then there’s the wide grins, smiles, and giggles I receive each time the kids bounce into the van after a day at school. They are both pros, but my all-time favorite pro? 

 
 
Regardless of whether it’s traditional schooling or homeschooling…

 

 
 we go where the Lord leads…
because everything has its time…
and cheer others as they do the same. 
To God be the glory, my friend.
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2 Comments

  1. I love the closing, Kristi, and you’re honesty and vulnerability. I am thankful this new season has given you more time to draw close to God, write, and “be nicer” : )