The Best of Both Worlds?

Everybody homeschools for a different reason. For some, it’s having a religious based curriculum where God is the center of all learning. For others, it’s the freedom from so-called ‘standards of education’ and arbitrary timelines for learning. There are as many reasons to homeschool as there are families. It’s important to know your goals so that you can make decisions that will help you achieve them, and most of our goals reflect our reasons for home education.

I have never regretted pulling my kids out of public school, and the older they get, the more thankful I am for this blessing. While I want to protect them from unhealthy influences, I never wanted to raise my kids in a little homeschool bubble. I want them to be in the world, just not of the world.

For the last two years, we have been taking advantage of a provision in our state’s homeschool law that allows us to attend public school for whatever classes and programs we want to participate in. Both of my children have been able to join the school band – an experience I just can’t recreate in our home. My kids also have done art, Lego, computer, and PE classes at our local elementary school. To me, this is a little bit like having my cake and eating it too. The kids get to see their neighborhood friends, do projects and performances they can’t do at home, and since they are there for a focused activity, the objectionable influences are nil.

This arrangement is certainly not for everyone, but if you are looking for ways to involve your children in large group activities, it might work for your family. We are blessed to have extremely good public schools where I live, so it makes the situation really great for us – but I know that’s not the case everywhere.

If you’re interested in having your kids take a class or two at the local public school, I suggest first looking at your state’s homeschool law to see if it’s allowed (I mean hey – we pay for the schools – we should be able to use them!) If you are legal, then I would contact the school’s guidance counselor to get them registered. Keep in mind that most guidance counselors are not used to homeschoolers trying to attend for 1 class, and you might have to be persistent. I find I sometimes have to ‘educate’ school administration on what my rights are. 🙂

Just remember that if your kids do attend, all the rules and regulations of the school apply to them while they are there. That means dress code, attendance, and grades will matter. My daughter gets a report card that is part of her permanent record for middle school band. Be sure they are committed to stick with it before you go through the headache of getting them registered.

Do any of you have your kids go to public school for certain classes or programs?