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Schooling Options
By Focus On The Family
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Question

Can you help us decide on a strategy for giving our child the best possible education? Our daughter is ready to start school, and we want her to get her moving in the right direction. What kind of options and alternatives are available to us?

Answer

You need to find the option that works best for your child and your entire family. No one can tell you exactly how you should proceed – we know of no formula for making the right choice, and we do not believe that any one option will provide the optimal environment for every child. For all we know, your daughter may thrive in the public-school system. On the other hand, it’s possible that she’ll do her best learning in a private school setting or a home-school program. For some children the best plan involves a mix-and-match approach, including varying amounts of time in different educational settings. For these reasons, we recommend that you carefully investigate and evaluate all three types of schooling: public, private Christian and home-schooling.

In each case there are positive and negative considerations to be weighed. For instance, although home education has a great deal in its favour, including security, stability and flexibility, we recognise that the load of responsibility is usually placed on the mother. This may not be the best choice for every family. In private Christian schools, the environment may be more warm and nurturing than in the public school, but an institution of this type may not be close at hand, and the cost may be too high for many families to consider. Similarly, independent schools are not available in every community, and when they are, their particular curricular emphases are not always suited to everyone’s educational tastes or needs. Finally, although many public schools have maintained excellent standards, they vary considerably in the quality of education and environment they provide. For these reasons, your decision should be dependent upon several considerations including the abilities and temperament of your child, the quality of the schools in your area, the stability of your home and your financial situation.

© 2010 Focus on the Family. Adapted from The Complete Guide to Baby and Child Care, an official book of the Physicians Resource Counsel of Focus on the Family, published by Tyndale House Publishers. Copyright © 1997, 2007, Focus on the Family.

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