Marla Smart

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April 10, 2014
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Where to start in choosing education for your children | Moms

Schooling is such an intense topic for parents. And it starts early.

When is the right time to begin school?

Do you wait until they are kindergarten-age, or do you begin with preschool?

Can you do preschool from home, or should you choose a school?

And those are only some of the questions that might be asked before the kids are even school age.

When we started looking into school for our kids, we prayed long and hard.

Our three options were homeschooling, public school and private school.

As Tresta so eloquently said in her post, there are questions to ask yourself before beginning something as important as homeschooling.

I’m pretty sure I could not have answered those questions in a way to decide it was the option for us.

I was not ready to start down that path.

Our intention has always been to do what our children need when they need it.

That may mean the school situation switches up through the years. And it has.

We chose public school first and it worked for us then.

All three of our kids went to public school through at least fourth grade; then we were able to switch them to private school.

Private school has been a great experience.

Sure, there were adjustments we all made, but it was worth it to our family.

And when our son needed more one-on-one attention, we even homeschooled for a while to give him exactly what he needed. More adjustments, but again, it was the right thing for that time.

I thought I might share a few tips I have learned throughout the years about schooling.

1. Whatever type of schooling you choose, be involved!

It goes without saying that if you are homeschooling, you will be involved in every step of the process.

Make sure to be involved in a classroom school setting as well. Go through folders and check work. Enforce the Reading Logs faithfully!

Ask questions if you don’t understand. Teachers really don’t mind that.

Volunteering in the classroom is a great way to be involved.

You can see what is going on and help the teacher out as well. My husband even took a turn at this in kindergarten with our youngest. He still has fond memories and funny stories from that year.

2. Speak up for your child.

I hesitantly say this because there is a good way and a bad way to do this.

The bad way is to view parents and school as “Us and Them.” You are not on separate teams!

You are all working together for the welfare of your child.

When there is a problem, if you can approach a teacher in that frame of mind, it will be solved in a way that is satisfactory to all involved.

We had a couple of issues during those early years when we dealt with things the school was teaching or doing that we were not comfortable with.

We were able to stand up for our family’s beliefs and come to an agreeable arrangement.

3. If it’s not working, don’t be afraid to change it.

Just because you start down one path, does not mean you can’t alter course.

Doing what is best for your family may not look the same forever. And that’s OK.

4. Research is key!

Try to observe all types of school settings to help you make your decision.

Most schools will set up a tour or classroom observation time if you ask.

And you probably know a homeschooling family who would gladly give you the lowdown on what is involved.

Ask those questions.

Yes, choosing the best school fit for your family can be daunting, but it’s worth the effort you can give it. Don’t give up!

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The News-Review Updated Apr 17, 2014 09:27AM Published Apr 18, 2014 09:25AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.