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PUBLIC SCHOOL OR HOME SCHOOL??  

PUBLIC SCHOOL OR HOME SCHOOL??  That is the question of the week!!

I have 2 granddaughters that I pulled from the public school system last year, They were headed into 4th and 6th grade.  I am going to be bold faced honest here, I was scared to death to home-school them!! Yet, I was just as scared to leave them in the public school system.  So I did a TON of research and decided to pull them. I wasn’t confident enough to feel as though I could do a good job with them by doing what is referred to as “traditional home-school”, so I enrolled them in a program that is Nationwide, called K12.   They still followed all the educational teaching as if they were in public school, but they were taught at home, via a computer.  The wonderful thing about K12, is that they will supply basically everything you need.  They send a computer, printer, books, rulers, microscope, art supplies, music supplies, etc for FREE!!   

Each day they  had a class for all the  major subject: Math, English Language , Science and Social Studies (history). In addition to that, they had additional time that was allotted each week for Art and Music.  Every morning they were up , had breakfast and signed onto a virtual classroom with a live teacher and they participated in a classroom with other kids.  I have to admit, 99% of the time we were doing “school” in their pajamas.  This program is a wonderful tool for those that don’t want their children in public schools , for whatever reason, and yet don’t feel as though traditional home-school is within their realm of possibilities.  Each state has what is called Virtual school and for my state that was Tennessee Virtual Academy (TNVA)

The girls still were required to do 6.5 hours a day of either live classes or live classes combined with assignments that were assigned through their teachers.  The majority of that work was done on the computer for my oldest granddaughter, the one in 6th grade. We did some assignments that were offline, yet we still had to “turn in the work” via her classroom sign in.  The 4th grader did a lot online as well, yet she had more offline work that I helped her with individually. We did things such as spelling , studying sentence structure, vocabulary, etc. Once she had completed her off line work, she would have to go online and take a test based on what we had studied.   The wonderful thing is you don’t have to have a large area for this type of schooling, I literally used my kitchen table.  We hung a whiteboard in the diking room area that kept our daily schedules and little words of encouragement or wisdom for the day.  

Both the girls still had weekly tests they had to take, they received a grade for that work in addition to any classroom assignments for the week.   At the end of the year, we also did the state mandated TCAP testing. That was the only testing that we had to go to a designated site and they were tested in a live one on one testing site.  Of course, they received a quarterly report card with their grades each semester, just as they would in public schools. Several times during the year TNVA scheduled what they called “outings” where we were able to gather with other kids and teachers from TNVA and we had a fun day.   In addition to that, my girls were enrolled in a local YMCA program for home-school kids on Friday afternoons, where they were able to get together with kids their ages and had some organized play,they went swimming and basically just had some time away from “school” on Fridays. We also had PE daily at home, basically consisted of jumping and doing tricks on trampoline or riding bikes outside

As they year came to an end, they both had told me they wanted to go back to public school for the following school year.  Their mom and I had a lot of debates about that, yet we decided in the end that we would give it a try. We had originally pulled them due to several reasons, one of the main reasons though was we didn’t feel as though their individual educational needs were being met.  In addition to that , we were concerned about some of the friend choices being made. So here we are , on Fall Break, nine weeks into their school year.

The question we are facing now is should we continue with public school or go to the next step, which is traditional home-school.  For a variety of reasons, I won’t go back to the K12 system. The main reason though, is the freedom that homeschooling will give us as opposed to public school online, aka K12/TNVA.   We were so locked into a schedule with TNVA, and that works great for some parents, yet for me I want the freedom to be able to teach them in order to LEARN, not just teach them to TEST.   Sadly, I think that is what our public school system has become.

My youngest granddaughter that we had pulled from school last year, so far is doing great.  Her grades are showing A’s and B’s. However, if you look at the actual work she is doing, they haven’t taught her very much that is new this year as opposed to what she was learning last  year. I understand that they do review for the first few weeks, but her ENTIRE 9 weeks has been review with very few new things taught. My older granddaughter who is in 7th grade is FAILING.   She is getting D’s and F’s. THAT is concerning to say the least!! We have tried communicating with her teachers and the end result is she is still failing. Now, I know a lot of that is on her and she just isn’t applying herself.   I know that there has been some bullying and adjustments, but how long do we wait to see if she pulls her grades up? That is the question that we are debating right now!!

When do you make the final choice to pull your child from public school?   I know in my heart, that she will do better being taught at home. She will have the individual attention needed to make sure that she is doing the work and actually applying it.   After having had both girls home last year, I learned a lot and I feel that I could successfully teach her at home, through a traditional home-school curriculum. To be honest, I basically already have it picked out what I would use this year.   As with any parent that home-schools for the first time, of course I am a little nervous and want to be certain that I give her the best education possible!

We are still in the decision making stages of Public School or Home-school question.  There is so much more that goes into why I feel that home school is a better option for them at this point, but I will leave that to be talked about another day! I will update again once we have made a final choice and of course let you know how that is going!!   So until the saga continues…..

I would love to hear from ANY and ALL of my readers that fall in the following categories!!   Please respond in my comments section…as I am always looking for great feedback!!
  • Currently home-school?
  • Success and failures at homeschooling?
  • Home-schooled in the past?
  • Public School at home? (K12 or another Virtual Academy)
  • Any other feedback on homeschooling vs public school!

One Response so far.

  1. Kelly says:

    As a parent with a child in a k12 public school program I understand your need for more flexibility! This our 6th year of doing public school at home after a short stint in both brick and mortar and traditional homeschooling. K12 provides the accountability I was lacking doing traditional homeschooling but much less flexibility due to having to follow state standards and as you said “teaching the test”. There are advantages to each type of schooling so I feel you have to weigh the pros and cons of each to make the best decision for your children. For me and mine we are happy with the education she is receiving through k12 and plan to continue! Great blog! Thanks for sharing!


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