What are the benefits and shortcomings of public school?

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The main benefit of a public-school education is teachers have qualifying degrees and certification they obtain to enable them to teach children. They have been properly vetted and gone through internship to prepare themselves to become teachers. How does this match up with home school? Children are taught by their parents in most cases. They may be good parents but do they have the necessary skills to teach various school subjects? Given my naivety about home school, is there any training and certification parents go through to qualify them to teach their children?

I don’t think the curriculum in public school is any more of an advantage than home school. It is my understanding that children who are home schooled have to take tests to make sure their learning is consistent with standards set for public school.

Public school also exposes children to the bigger world. A child going to public school becomes aware of a larger community that may not share the same values his or her family has. I guess this is bad and good. It is good in the sense that it prevents children from becoming narrow minded and judgmental of those who don’t share one’s own belief. It can encourage students to learn to love those whom they don’t share the same values with, without having to compromise one’s beliefs. On another note, students seem to accept other students where they are at. I don’t think they have the same hangs up as their parents might have. However, the very strength of public school can also be its weakness.

There seems to be change in the values of the public-school system itself. Public schools are increasingly adopting the values of a humanistic culture. They have taken an active role in such issues as sex education, affirming homosexual lifestyle, and particularly supporting students “coming out” as transgender. Maybe there are good reasons for this. But I have had conversations with several Orthodox parents who have had children coming out as transgender which they don’t support. Yet the school system intervenes on the child’s behalf to support their choice while undermining parental authority. Are Christians becoming an increasing minority in the public-school system? As I said a couple of weeks ago, more parents seem to be home schooling because they seek to strengthen the formation of the Orthodox faith in their children which in their mind the public-school system is undermining.

The other problem with public schools is the constant demands placed on children to participate in various activities turning parents into tax cab drivers several days a week. This is a bit more complicated. It is not fair to cast public schools as the villain here. Children love these activities and many parents think is good for their child’s psychological and social development. However, the constant existence of these activities takes children out of the life of the church. My question is, when is too much too much?

I would like to hear from others on this topic. I am not writing as an expert but only to share some thoughts. I would like to hear from people who can share more information on training and certifying parents to be home schoolers. Since I will be traveling to Jerusalem for nine days, you won’t be getting a note from me next week. Please pray for me in my travels. Christ is risen!

The blessing of the Lord be upon you.

The unworthy +Paul

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