When I was growing up, I went to the same parochial grade school for eight years. Afterward, I transferred to our local public high school for four years and then earned my bachelor's degree in four years at a Catholic liberal arts college. Though my education included a blend of public and private schools, it followed a somewhat steady, predictable course. My husband's education, on the other hand, was a bit more piecemeal. He ended up going to seven different public elementary, middle, and high schools before finally completing his senior year at a private high school.
For both of us, each school represented a unique experience—some more memorable and meaningful than others. When it came time to choose the right school for our sons, we started at a Catholic elementary school, transferred into public schools, and finally landed in a private Christian school through eighth grade.
Things took a new tack when we moved onto a boat for a year and homeschooled (or should I say "boatschooled") all four of our boys, ages 3 to 13. Neither my husband nor I had ever taught before, so that year represented a rich learning experience for all of us. When it came time for us to settle down and move back into a house after our year at sea, we sent our kids to the local public schools in our new town.
I share our educational journey not to prescribe a course of action for you—instead it highlights the myriad choices we have for getting educated. Even within one family, children may present specific needs that require a unique solution. For instance, one of our sons suffers from severe ADHD. Traditional classroom learning was nearly impossible for him. We finally identified a high school that specializes in experiential learning. Our son benefited greatly from this hands-on approach. For a child who learns best when he can touch, feel, and experience a concept, having that option was a lifesaver.1