Friday, August 12, 2011

I Went to Public School

Pin It Now! I started a series about public school. You can read my first post here.
I recently talked to some of the people in the young adults group we host at our house.

What I suspected was true: People are heavily influenced by their upbringing. Even when it comes to schooling. Shocking, I know. At least I didn't spend 4 million in a tax-payer funded study to figure that one out, right?

I asked the young adults (ages 18-26) how they were schooled and if they had kids how they planned to school them. Most of them think they will put their kids in the same kind of school they went to.

One of my reasons for putting my kids in public school? I went to public school through college and I liked it.
(Disclaimer: I also went to a Catholic high school my sophomore year, and an independent-study type high school my junior year and part of my freshman year. I had on-set schooling with a studio teacher when I was doing The New Lassie part of 8th, 9th and 10th grade. In short, I changed high schools five times because of my delinquent behavior. Or maybe it was just because of my acting career, I can't remember.)

My kindergarten friend who I went to school with all the way through UCLA. And now he and his wife are some of our best friends.

Junior High graduation dance where ruffles were all the rage.

Schooling on the set of The New Lassie. Scott Grimes came in and gave me music lessons in lieu of my chorus class. You can see Linda, my studio teacher, on the right.

My sophomore year of high school I went to Bellarmine Jefferson in Burbank. These were some of my friends and these were my purple jeans. You can't really see them, but I had pink shoes.

I loved UCLA. And blue suede cropped boots.

Was public school perfect? No.

Could I have gotten a better academic education elsewhere? Perhaps.

Could I have learned more about Jesus at a private Christian school or in homeschool in a Christian home? In some ways, yes. But in many ways, I think I learned more about Jesus and how to follow Him by going through the public school system. I'll have to explain that in another post because I know at least three of you just passed out at that statement.

Did I have great teachers every year? Definitely no.

Did my teachers seem to care about my moral, spiritual, academic development? Sometimes.

However, I look back fondly at my imperfect public schooling experience. I liked school. I liked learning -- sometimes. I loved my friends of all faiths and the interaction we had at school. I remember organizing my group of girlfriends in second grade and choreographing dance routines for them at recess. I remember discussions of us all getting Pink Ladies jackets. I remember hanging on those monkey bars. I remembering chasing around Blake Roberts on the playground in kindergarten. I remember my kindergarten teacher having us all sing together "Good afternoon, good afternoon, good afternoon!" I remember field day. I remember the TobDanWen ball wall club. I could go on . . . and I will save that for future posts.

But for know, just know that I know that you know that we all know . . . our school choices are highly influenced by our own schooling experiences for good or for bad.

How about you?
What kind of school did you attend and how was your experience?
What kind of school do your kids go to or where are you planning on sending them . . . or not sending them?
Do you like hot chocolate? Because I love it.

Pin It Now!


Jennifer said...

I am so with you on this one and so glad that there are other real moms out there on blogs that send their kids to public schools. Sometimes it seems in the blogging world everyone is homeschooling and since I work (and for the public school system at that) it is a little hard for me to homeschool! I have many arguments for public schools which you mentioned already and can't wait to hear more from you.

My Fam-i-Lee said...

There's a lot that's right about the public school system, and there's a lot that's wrong. It comes down to knowing your own children and making the best choices you can for them. My son has learning disabilities among other disabilities. In other words, every day is a struggle for that little boy. Sometimes public schools, sometimes charter schools have let him slip through the cracks. As a parent it's my job to make sure that doesn't continue, even if it eventually means homeschooling. However, around here, there are some big problems with homeschooling. I have tutored kids before because their mom only taught them moon phases, reading, and religious subjects for 8 years.

Christine said...

I was public schooled, worked in public schools, and now send my kids to public school. I think that public schools get a bad rap because most people go to them, so there are more people to complain. And the complainers are always loudest. My high school had a 5 period day (due to severe budget cuts), we had 35 kids in my 2nd grade classroom, we didn't learn to read until 1st grade (back in the dark ages of the 80s). Yet somehow I managed to graduate, get into a good college, and get a Master's Degree. Why? Because my parents pushed me, and college wasn't a choice, it was mandatory. Until parents are willing to accept the responsibility THEY have in rounding out their children's education, and not expecting the school system to do everything for them, then there will always be something wrong. If I want my kids to learn about Jesus, that is MY job, whether my kids go to home school, public school, or private school. If I want my kids to learn to read, it is their teacher's responsibility to introduce the concept, and me to reinforce it.

Epic comment, and I hope it makes some sense!

hannah singer said...

well, i just want to do what god wants me to do. i wish that was written on a billboard somewhere, clear instructions:)

in my mind, i want to homeschool elijah for the first few years. so i can be with him:) that said, i am also not sure that is best for either of us. we shall see!

i think public schools can be great! it just depends on the school i guess. i mean, you turned out fine!

and i love hot cocoa.
and your blog.
and you.

my prayer:
psalm 25:4
Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.

Tina Hollenbeck said...

I hated my public elementary school and loved my public junior high & high school. I was a public school teacher in the years before my children were born...and I was very good at what I did, was thankful God used me to point some students to Jesus, and enjoyed it. AND I'll never as far as I can tell EVER send my children to public school - or out to private school for that matter. Yes, we home-educate, as you know. I could write a critique of public schools because I have many legitimate reasons to keep my kids clear of that environment. However, the bottom line is that God won't let me do anything but homeschool - and I am good with that. I know it sounds weird, but anytime I even consider other options (not that I want to send my kids away but it comes up if people ask if we'll homeschool "all the way through"), it does not sit right in my spirt. The only thing that is "right" with me is home learning...and I've gotta go with that conviction because I have no doubt it's from God.

Denise said...

first, i just want to reiterate that i had NO intentions of home schooling. that was God's plan, not mine.

does my upbringing influence why i home school? absolutely.

school was a safe-haven from home for me as a child. my social experiences in public school were very good.

academically i did horribly in public school.
showing up regularly to school midday on the afternoon kindergarten bus when in second grade because my parent was too stoned to get me out the door earlier, didn't help me succeed academically. i missed a lot of fundamentals, and never caught up.

my teachers always passed me because i was a good kid, not because i had succeeded academically (i'm not hate'n the teachers. i think this was God's plan; so i'd have the friends he ordained for me to bring me into relationship with Him)

so that's my story (a bit anyway).

i can see why God has me home schooling~
my kids are getting an education that is tailored to their individual learning styles.

one of my children struggles to grasp concepts. she would fall behind and likely hate school. however, home schooling has given her the opportunity to fail, try again, and succeed. she is a confident student, rather than a defeated one.

i'm learning alongside my kids what i failed to learn in school.

finally, God has His reasons for wanting them home. some i see, most i don't. i see Him redeeming my story through the love of my children. and i trust that home is where He currently wants to shape and mold them for His glory.

we like like public school kids.
we do not wear skirts, scrunchies, or socks with pumps.
we have a tv (shhhh, don't tell anyone).

Mauimandy@The Grains of Paradise said...

I think it might depend on where you are?? We grew up in a fabulous place and I agree that we went to some really great public schools so it's hard for me to compare? I loved it ( as much as one could like school I guess ) and wouldn't have wanted it any other way...

However, my partner only went to private schools ( in Argentina and then in the US ) and feels a bit different than I do....and since we are trying to have childern it has come up for debate more than a few times.

BUT, We live on Maui and the public school system does not have the best rep. I can honestly say that this is one of the reasons I've held off this long from having childern. Crazy I know, but private schools out here are very $$$.

We'll see what happens I guess....and see what we can afford when the time comes. I truly believe that everything starts at home. My awesome neighbor has 3 brillant boys all in excellent colleges on the mainland right now. All 3 went to our local public highschool. Very grounded kids too so I know it's possible! Even with the distraction of paradise:)

Oh! And I love hot chocolate but I just ate half a jar of Nutella so I'm probably good for like 6 mos?

sandi said...

yes, i like hot chocolate!

now to answer your questions ~ i went to public school, my husband to christian school. i completely understand the part about knowing God better in a public school setting. my first two years of college were public and i transfered into a christian college for my jr/sr. years. people asked if i "got saved" and decided i needed a change. yep, took offense to that question. in a christian environment (most, not all) student are there for the education with a christian worldview perspective. "good" people are easy to find. on a secular college campus i had to actively locate campus crusade and other such christian groups for fellowship. people with values that were different from mine were easy to find, but i had to seek out believers. it was hard but the friendships were more rewarding. i think that is what you mean by your comment.

but, our children attend a christian school. we have a 2nd and 3rd grader and a 3 year old at home with me. we are not suburban dwellers, we live in an urban area and knew when we made the choice to live here the public schools were not an option. our children have friends that look like them and friends that don't. the student/teacher ratio is much lower than the public schools and the administrators are amazing. each teacher knows the names of all the students (the lower school portion is k-5th) and takes an interest in them. they complement and agree with the values we are teaching in the home. students graduate and go to harvard, the naval academy, christian and secular colleges. maybe if we had competitive public schools it might be different, but for now that is the choice we have made.

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

This is a very good post! My husband and I both went to public school but we home schooled both of our children.Our daughter all the way through and our son up until 9th grade and then he wanted to go to public school. He was tested and put in all honors classes because he was so far ahead academically.I really think it is what works best for each family but you have brought up some really great points.

Kim said...

I went to public school through high school, and unfortunately was teased a lot in elementary school. By 6th grade I learned that: 1. I wasn't pretty. 2. pretty girls get more attention from teachers. 3. boys liked boobs and called me "flatty". I had red hair, big glasses, white skin and sweaty palms. Oh, and I used big words. Oh, and did I mention I had a patch on one eye for awhile? I didn't have a chance. I believe this experience and formation at such a young age played a big part in me feeling ugly and unlovable until I was about 26 - when I finally found healing through prayer as I was pursuing ministry. My family was awesome, my parents loved me and encouraged me. But at the age when kids care what their peers think, mine thought I was a nerd.

I never intended to homeschool, and if there was a "norm" for homeschool moms, it is certainly not me. However, I feel like God is asking me to do it, so here I go. I would be lying to say my own experience didn't play a part, because it does, so does the fact that I know more than a few 12 year olds who are being bullied at their schools - but my main reason for doing it is because I feel God is asking me to.

I can only hope that people who send their kids to public school don't judge me, and don't feel like I am judging them. I am a real mom deciding to homeschool my kids for my own reasons, and I love it when other moms treat me like everyone else instead of getting all weird about it.

TDM Wendy said...

So my next post will be reasons why I wouldn't send my kids to public school or why I would pull them out.
I hope you all know (especially if you read my first post) that I am not against homeschool or private school. It just isn't what we think is best for our family at this time. You gotta do what is best for your particular child and listen to where God is calling you to be. Thanks for sharing everyone! I love to hear about all the different backgrounds and philosophies.
All for now.

Pam said...

It is definitely a personal decision. My husband is military and I can see our kids being home schooled, public schooled OR Christian schooled. It depends on where we are at the time and how strong our children are. Some kids are "built tough" and I think that the Lord is pleased to have them be a light in public schools!

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~robin said...

My kids are all in public school. It is the same school that I grew up in!
I considered homeschooling, and love the idea of it...but just felt that it wasn't right for us.
Public school isn't perfect, but I try to get involved as much as I can...I have a lot of opportunities as a parent to spy on my kids....I mean volunteer in the classroom.

Angie said...

I come from a long line of public school kids. My mom went to public school, my grandma went to public school... I betcha my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandma went to the one-room public school house.

And my kids go to public school. It's a charter school, but it's still a public school.

I'm not cut out for homeschooling (I have a fraction of the patience it requires, I'm sure), but we also feel strongly that we are called to NOT homeschool and to be out in our community via the classroom. There's a lot more to it... maybe I'll blog about it someday.

And I love hot chocolate. L-O-V-E.

Jaimie said...

Loved this post. Wrote about this myself - thank you for the comment too!! :)