We went ahead and registered her at our local public school, knowing full well we were pursuing the homeschooling route as well. I spent the next couple months getting tips and advice from friends and neighbors who were already homeschooling or planning to homeschool. I read homeschooling websites and blogs. I researched all kinds of curriculum. I even registered her for the K12 online homeschool program during our decision process.
I also did some research on the public side as well. I learned more about our government's new Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) and how that affects our children in the public school system - now and in years to come. (Did you know teachers are no longer teaching cursive in third grade or the calendar and money units in first grade? And classic literature versus informational text requirements are now 30/70 for high school seniors? Crazy!)
After many late-night conversations and fervent prayers, Scot and I finally decided the public school route was the way to go for Brooklyn this year. One thing that helped us make that decision was reading this book:
It is a great "must-read" for all Christian families - no matter what school your child attends.
Throughout their book, the authors state:
"How does God protect and nurture boys and girls in the public-school environment? What is His strategy for overcoming the difficulties they face? The main answer is this: parents. God equips us - just ordinary moms and dads - to equip and fortify our kids. We set them up to face adulthood with strength and conviction. Starting in the very first classroom, our home, we teach them to be the influencers rather than the influenced.
We consider ourselves to be our children's number-one educators, and we will never give up that responsibility or privilege - even though they spend 30 hours a week in somebody else's classroom. We instruct our kids every day. We look for the teachable moments that intersect with what they are experiencing outside our home. We draw frames around their encounters and activities, showing how they fit within God's greater perspective.
God longs for adults to live up to their calling, a large part of which is nurturing the next generation and preparing them to face the world with character and purpose. Public school can be an early training ground - a place where our children have an opportunity to develop that character and find their purpose."
According to the book, the most important things to teach your public-school child (or any child, for that matter):
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. Mark 12:30
2. Obey your parents unconditionally (which also correlates to teachers and other authority figures.)
Exactly what we are striving to teach in our home each day.
So, yes we're "going public!" Knowing we'll still be the main educators in our children's lives...as we train them to fear God and seek Him in everything that they do. Loving others well and influencing the world as they go.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6