Preface: The parents in my church ward have varying takes on education. I'd say roughly 40% choose to send their children to public schools. The remaining 60% are split pretty evenly between charter schools and home schooling.
Alright. Now let's discuss why I'm discussing this.
As we all know, I'm doing this 'surviving summer' thing. Lots of activities, crafts, and outings with my kids. Lots of education and teaching and, most of all, having fun.
I'm feelin' good. I'm feelin' like I'm finally getting this mom thing. And I'm feelin' like I'm doing a good job.
But I can't tell you how many people tell me (in one breath), "You're such a good mom - you should home school - why don't you already?"
LOTS of people.
I guess I just don't like the implication that all good moms home school - and that all home schoolers are good moms. To me, they're mutually exclusive.
I know lots of home schooling moms that are amazing - absolutely wonderful mothers. Role models, and all that the word implies. They do a fantastic job home schooling their children, and their kids are the better for it. And yet I know lots of home schooling moms that are - ahem - awful. And their kids suffer.
But that goes the same for public/charter school moms too - some are great, some not so much.
(So really - women are just women no matter where their kids learn their ABCs.)
I think the whole childhood education decision is very personal - there isn't one right answer for everyone. Every child (and mother) is different, and should be treated accordingly.
Basically, I don't like being judged. Like I can't be a good mom unless I home school. Like only moms that home school are good.
I believe very strongly that mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. (This doesn't exclude dads - but moms are essentially The Buck.)
Elder Perry put it this way in last General Conference:
Teaching in the home is becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread and he is attacking, attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society, even the family. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility. While other institutions, such as church and school, can assist parents to “train up a child in the way he [or she] should go” (Proverbs 22:6), ultimately this responsibility rests with parents. According to the great plan of happiness, it is parents who are entrusted with the care and development of our Heavenly Father’s children. Our families are an integral part of His work and glory—“to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). On God’s eternal stage, it is usually intended that parents act as the central cast members in their children’s lives.
I know that the most important things my children should learn are things like
being open and non-judgmental
thirst for knowledge
and the like -
and I fully intend to be the one teaching them these characteristics. (Or, at least, the most important one teaching them - but it's a team effort!) I won't leave my children's character up for grabs at a public school.
But I fully believe that I can teach my children these things while they attend public school. Having my kids attend public school doesn't exempt me from teaching my children. Nor does it prevent me from teaching them.
I can be a good mom and not home school.
(Pssst. No bashing home school in the comments. That wasn't the point, please.)