Ever since my oldest, Kelsey Anna was about 3 I have debated in my mind and heart the issue of education. I started out homeschooling her in preschool, but by the time we were half-way through her 1st grade year I was completely overwhelmed about life. At that point I had Kelsey, just turned 7, Charissa- 4 1/2, Nicholas- just turning 3, and Joseph 1- 1/2. Boy was it crazy. And as you've read in previous posts I'm not the most organized person in the world. So we went to public school half-way through 1st grade. We've been there ever since and now Kelsey is in 3rd grade and Charissa is in 1st. Everyday I question whether or not this is really the best thing for them. I see them struggle with things and I know it's normal, but society does not support in any way, shape or form the way we as Orthodox Christians are to learn to handle life. Charissa especially, is always so worried (and has been for far too long in her short little life) about what people think, about making sure things "look" right. (I'm wondering if this isn't a side-effect of the amblyopia and her bad vision---if you haven't heard James wrote about it here.)
I just read an article from the Orthodox Christian Information Center titled "Young Children in the Orthodox Church". My husband has always told me that this website is quite conservative and that I need to be careful what I read, but it is an Orthodox site and has really great articles to read. This is a very conservative article to a certain degree but I think it has some great advice to consider. One small part of it has grabbed my attention and has really made me ponder education even more. I have a tendency to believe that what it says is so true. But it is hard for me to really see it as my children are only beginning their public school adventure. Please tell me what you think....not about YOUR education that took place 20+ years ago, there has been way too many changes in our society for this to be of equal comparison, but if you have children in public school NOW and they are late elementary and older. What have you seen? Do you agree, disagree, indifferent? If you homeschool...why? And how? I really could use some input! I know people read my blog sometimes...I know you are out there. What do you think? Pass this on to others to answer....I'd love it!
Quote from Presbyter Julianna Cownie:
To be honest, the atmosphere which prevails in the average public school is not exactly conducive to promoting civilized behavior, much less Christian conduct. The greater part of what the Orthodox parent tries to convey to the child at home will be quickly unlearned at school because of the child's desire to fit in with the herd. Hypocrisy and shame will often have the child leading a double life if the parents are not extremely vigilant and careful.
You can email me personally as well if you'd like.
Thank you so much for you input!