I am not a homeschooling mom. I am a Christian woman who sends her three children to public school. Seven hours per day. Five days per week. Eight months per year. And I am confident in my choice.
But I haven't always been.
I am one of a small number of moms in my circle of close friends who has chosen public school for my kids. And being in the minority can breed insecurity. When we get together and they talk curriculum, scheduling, and co-op groups, I have nothing to add to the conversation. That can be a lonely place.
What if I'm doing this wrong? The thought nags me as I listen to them discuss the best way to teach world history. Maybe I should pull them out of school, I think as they talk of the freedom to adjust education around family life. What if I'm dooming my kids to a skewed worldview? What if one of them decides the world has more to offer than Jesus does? What if . . . ? What if . . . ? What if . . . ?
Led to public school
For a couple years, I successfully suppressed these thoughts. But after my best friend told me she was ditching my team to join the ranks of the homeschool mommies, I cried. It was a blow. Our almost parallel lives were diverging, and I started seriously wondering if she was right and I was wrong.
My friend's decision caused me to think long and hard about the choices my husband and I made and why we made them. Yet even after worrying and wondering and thinking and praying about whether we were doing the right thing for our kids, I still had no desire—nor did I feel any sort of nudge from the Holy Spirit—to teach my kids at home.
God made it very plain to me that my job is not to compare my family to my friends' families, but to follow in the direction he is leading me. That direction is public school.
When I let go of my insecurities and trusted that our kids were exactly where God wanted them to be, he began revealing some pretty cool benefits that come with having kids in public school. (Some of those benefits are items I originally had on my disadvantage list when I initially weighed the options!)
Benefits of public school
Perspective. The first is that my kids are learning from a secular perspective. I am sometimes at odds with what is taught, but that difference paves the way for great, in-depth conversations. It requires diligence from home to help our children understand life from a biblical perspective, but having knowledge of truth and knowledge of what the secular world believes is giving them a broad perspective of how the world works and how we can be in this world and not be of it.