Public school vs Private school vs Home school

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What do you think is the best type of schooling?

Public education
84
40%
Secular private education
47
23%
Religious private education
8
4%
Home schooling
19
9%
Platypus
50
24%
 
Total votes: 208

sje46
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby sje46 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:14 am UTC

Yep. If it teaches them values, it would be Christian values. Lots of christian values, I think, are good, but not all of them. Like how many christians think that homosexuality is a sin.
It should be the family's job to teach values. And they should teach them without religion. Otherwise they are indoctrinating them. No parents should teach "there is a God" but instead "There might be a God, and I believe in him. It's your decision, though".
I grew up in absence of religion, and I am a virgin, have never stolen, cussed at anyone (even though swearing isn't actually immoral), commited a significant crime or done drugs. I am growing increasingly tolerant of all races and genders and orientations and ethnicities, etc. I'm far from perfect, of course. But I'm pretty moral and hate hurting people. And I have met many Christians who simply do not act christian.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby zug » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:15 am UTC

Wombat wrote:
Internetmeme wrote:...I would recommend a religous private school to give them some values early...

Are you saying that only religion can give people values? I, for one, was brought up in a nonreligious household, and did not learn of the concept of a religion until I was about 8. However, I am still a functional member of society and I have values and morals and whatnot.

I think that public schools are the way to go if your children have been raised correctly. Public schools teach them that they are not always going to get their way or be the "cool kid" or whatever, and that there are some real idiots and asses out there. If they are schooled in a friendly environment, they will not be adequately prepared for the hostile real world.

Public school is an artificial environment, and not reflective of adult life at all. And depending on who a child is, they may very well be under one of several impressions by the time they graduate:

1) Stepping on other people's emotions is a great way for me to be popular and well-liked.
2) Learning is stupid, and so are grades.
3) I will always be bullied no matter where I go or how nice I try to be.
4) No matter how hard I study, I can never succeed at anything.
5) etc

Also, I don't believe that a child who isn't able to handle public school was poorly raised.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby sje46 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:35 am UTC

I don't know what public school you went to, but not all are like that. I doubt most are.
1. to be popular and well-liked amongst the minority who like to put others down. Not all popular people are dicks. Some are, some aren't. Some geeks are dicks too.
2. I have never met anybody who thought learning is stupid. The people who fail out just don't place as much importance on their education than anyone else; it's not worth the effort for them. Or, sometimes, they have learning disabilities. Plenty of the A level kids in my school were popular. . .the most popular kids in my school.
3. Depends. Some dicks will always bully certain kids no matter what the circumstances. These are bullies, and I'm sure private schools have them too. Some kids bully other kids if the other kid is asking for it, in some way. Is a RL noob. Is asking for it. Says things that encourages the bullies. And of course it isn't right that the bullies would harrass them; of course not. But it makes it more likely to happen adn justified in their minds if the unpopular kid is making up lies like Napolean Dynamite.
Keep in mind: I had a speech impediment and no friends all during high school. I had acne on my face, an odd (and kinda creepy) sense of humor, adn I walked around school with my bag at my elbows while wearing three button-down shirts. I was a very odd kid, and I had very few instances I would call bullying. It happened almost never.
4. What.
Yeah, I know a few people in Ivy league colleges from my public high school. Almost everyone who graduated went off to college, of some sort. And I am sure that most of them will be successful, assuming our economy won't completely die on us.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby zug » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:13 am UTC

sje46 wrote:I don't know what public school you went to, but not all are like that. I doubt most are.
1. to be popular and well-liked amongst the minority who like to put others down. Not all popular people are dicks. Some are, some aren't. Some geeks are dicks too.
2. I have never met anybody who thought learning is stupid. The people who fail out just don't place as much importance on their education than anyone else; it's not worth the effort for them. Or, sometimes, they have learning disabilities. Plenty of the A level kids in my school were popular. . .the most popular kids in my school.
3. Depends. Some dicks will always bully certain kids no matter what the circumstances. These are bullies, and I'm sure private schools have them too. Some kids bully other kids if the other kid is asking for it, in some way. Is a RL noob. Is asking for it. Says things that encourages the bullies. And of course it isn't right that the bullies would harrass them; of course not. But it makes it more likely to happen adn justified in their minds if the unpopular kid is making up lies like Napolean Dynamite.
Keep in mind: I had a speech impediment and no friends all during high school. I had acne on my face, an odd (and kinda creepy) sense of humor, adn I walked around school with my bag at my elbows while wearing three button-down shirts. I was a very odd kid, and I had very few instances I would call bullying. It happened almost never.
4. What.
Yeah, I know a few people in Ivy league colleges from my public high school. Almost everyone who graduated went off to college, of some sort. And I am sure that most of them will be successful, assuming our economy won't completely die on us.

Have we not established in the past that your schooling was pretty atypical? I went to a boring, plain, regular, standard, hick, white, barely adequate midwestern school. We had some AP classes that were pretty good, but the non AP teachers were pretty mediocre (=normal, these days). My SAT score (1390, before they started this writing section crap) beat out everyone in my year and I was valedictorian of my class, and I'm not nearly as smart as most of the people in the physics program at my state university.

I saw ALL of those things I bulleted above, ALL the time. Sure, there are some positive things about public school. But I can't think of anything a public school does better than a private school, except maybe sports. And I don't think sports are a necessary component of education. I think community sports are good for a kid's development, and I intend to put my kid in some form of sports while growing up. But nothing that goes through a public school.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby harpyblues » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:41 am UTC

Right. Let's get one thing straight: not all private schools, secular or otherwise, are necessarily going to be a lot better than public schools. Also, all schools have some bullying. That's how people are built, and when you're a kid, you tend to be far more tactless about establishing a pecking order and who's the boss. I've experienced that kind of thing in a religious private school (now there's a school I'd burn down in a heartbeat if it was legal), a charter school, as well as a public highschool. All had shitty points. And (presumably) every form of education has some good points.

First off, I went to a Catholic private school for about six years. Awful school, the teachers had all likely been cloned from '60s school marms that would gleefully have hit the kids if they could get away with it (and some of them probably had). The kids were nasty and bullying was pretty rampant. I got bullied by people, and I bullied people (I'm not proud of that, and all in all that was a pretty bad part of my life right there). It wasn't a good environment, made all the more so by how much of a hypocrite some of them were in terms of religion. The sex ed was essentially going on about stereotypes, while relegating actual sex to 'married people only'. Classes were impossible entirely. In the end, I got out of it and found out a few years later that about half of those kids that were in my year back in the religious school were now atheists (like me) or agnostics in our public highschool. I wasn't the only one who found out that some private schooling, in fact, can be godawful bad.

After that, I went to this environmental charter school for the last two years of junior high (another of those best in the state schools in terms of tests, though not always in actual practice). It was okay. I learned more there and definitely found out stuff that had ended up getting repressed back in the religious school. However, there were constant budget issues, as well as school board fighting. And a suspected pedophile teacher. Did I mention that? No? Well, we had twoish. There were kids, like back at the religious school, that didn't really focus on their education as much and there were those that really liked learning. Those happen in almost any schooling area.

And, after all that, I'm now in a public highschool. There's some teacher abuse of power, like in both school and kids are still not really caring as much about an education and some really want to learn. But, well, you get that all over. For the most part, I like it and I'm in a few AP/honors classes so it's tolerable for now. Frankly, I like it better than either of the so called 'better for your child' private to semi private schools I went to before.

People are people all around, and you'll get shitty environments in just about any school system you look into. I live in the Midwest too, and well, you kind of have to suck it up. Zug, I got all of your bulleted notes in every school I went to. Seriously. Some public schools might suck, but damn, then again a lot of private schools are bad too. If I went into it more, I could easily grub up a lot more on how bad the Catholic school and the charter school were, as well as my public highschool.

To sum up tl/dr rant, I voted platypus.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Monika » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:39 am UTC

zug wrote:I have read that quite a few people in xkcd would send their children to public school, even if private school were affordable and just as available to them. My question is, what type of school would you send your children to (or did send them to, if you already have children)? Which type of school did you go to? And if you could change the type of education you received, where would you have preferred to go?

I went to public schools only and would do it again.

I will probably send my kids to public schools even though I could afford the not-so-expensive private ones. However, if my kids have needs that the public schools in this state do not cater to I might consider private ones. E.g. as far as I know so far there don't seem to be public schools for gifted kids here nor do the general public schools facilitate them in the normal classes. On the other hand kids who do not lack intelligence, but have some difficulties, e.g. dyslexia, seem to end up easily in the lowest types of schools, so if I think that the fourth grade certificate for my kid is incorrect, I would consider sending him or her to a private school for two years to see if we can up the grades to get into a higher type for seventh grade.

I wish I could have received a secular private education for rly smrt kdz since I was pretty smart and got bullied before I got to high school (where my band section leader was a beefy senior and could beat up the people who did so, the threat of which was enough to stop it :)), but I went to public school since my family was poor and nothing else was ever an option.

How about public education for gifted kids? If it were available. It luckily was in the state I went to until the end of 10th grade. Unfortunately not in the one I was in 11th-13th grade.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Monika » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:02 am UTC

mochafairy wrote:having so many medical conditions...where do I start?
In may schools, diabetic children are not allowed to check their blood glucose levels in the classroom. Having a child walk to the nurses' office to check is the stupidest idea ever. If a diabetic child has a low glucose level, they often aren't allowed to eat in the classroom to correct. If they have a high glucose level, they often aren't allowed to take insulin to bring it down. They are them blamed and ridiculed for "acting out" when their blood glucose levels aren't within the normal range. diabetic children also are often prevented from using the restroom or drinking water because they are so obviously just doing drugs. When a diabetic has high glucose levels, drinking water helps lessen the levels by having them just pee it out, which means that not allowing the child to drink water or use the restroom is medically endangering the child.
For example, when I have a low sugar level, I become insanely giddy, until the point where I'm yelled at for being giddy, and then I shut down and stop responding. I have been yelled at countless times because, for starters, I couldn't eat to correct, and then giggling uncontrollably, and then not responding when i'm being yelled at for giggling. the whole issue could have been avoided if they would've just let me eat my disgusting glucose tabs. When I have a high sugar, I am incredibly irritable, to the point where I generally avoid people because I have come close to beating people with chairs. Since my pump makes noise when i take insulin for a high glucose level, i often get yelled at for having a cell phone, no matter how many times I have explained the situation to the professor/teacher. Everyone freaks out if I whip out a syringe and give myself a shot in the middle of class or an exam, so that's out of the option.
Professors and teachers and even the nurses at schools are incredibly ignorant of how to handle the situations involving the complications that arise with having this disease. I have been told I will fail a class if my insulin pump sounds an alarm in the middle of an exam, no excuses. Of course I could take this up with the dean and fight it, but by the time it finally gets through, it will have been a couple of semesters and I could've just sucked it up and retaken the class by then.

What the hell?! You should sue each of these schools [if you feel up to the trouble of going through court]. I am sure they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Worst case scenario they could kill a diabetic kid with these rules. Even the strange schools here that don't let kids go to the bathroom during class (which I consider a crime against humanity by itself) exempt diabetic students from this rule. German schools don't have nurses, so diabetics always test their blood sugar and give themselves insulin injections, and a teacher who prevents them from this would get into serious legal troubles. I never had a diabetic kid in my class in 1-13 school, so I don't know whether they'd do the injections in the classroom or step out. But in college this was definitely not a problem, I saw people do that. And how dare the professor fail you for an insulin pump alarm? These people should be hit over the head repeatedly, until some sense has come back to their brain.

Another condition is sinusoidal tachycardia. At random times, my pulse jumps from normal to 200 (and in one case, ~300). We haven't found a trigger to it. This makes classes, especially things like PE, incredibly problematic. "What do you mean you can't run the mile right now?" uh...pulse is slightly over 3 beats/second...meaning pulse is over 180. blood pressure has dropped, I can't even stand, we haven't even started, and you expect me to run a mile?

I have long maintained that PE teachers are sadists.

Of course, I also whine about my chronic migraines and other, much more common medical issues. It makes no sense to send a child who is incredibly light and sound sensitive to the nurse (if your school is lucky enough to have one!) to take their migraine medication.

I didn't get that part, why does it not make sense to send a child that is sensitive to light and sound to the nurse?

There's also the stigmas that the administration, teachers, and professors create when you ask to be put on a 504 plan when you need it. "Well, obviously this person isn't any good because we have to make exceptions for them to preform like a normal person!" You are labeled as weak to get the things you need in an academic environment to survive.

What does a 504 plan detail? Arrangements for test-taking for people with medical issues or disabilities? Or for learning in general?

Although, I also find it abhorrent what children have to go through to take a simple aspirin, though, not all school systems are over reacting...students being selfish idiots have ruined it for everyone.

It's so stupid. The kids that take drugs in school will just do it in hiding one way or the other. In my US high school a kid smoked grass in class! The teacher smelled it and searched around, but everybody claimed it came in though the window from the outside.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby mochafairy » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:01 pm UTC

response to questions. spoiler'd for being kinda off topic.
Spoiler:
Monika wrote:
mochafairy wrote:rant

What the hell?! You should sue each of these schools [if you feel up to the trouble of going through court]. I am sure they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Worst case scenario they could kill a diabetic kid with these rules. Even the strange schools here that don't let kids go to the bathroom during class (which I consider a crime against humanity by itself) exempt diabetic students from this rule. German schools don't have nurses, so diabetics always test their blood sugar and give themselves insulin injections, and a teacher who prevents them from this would get into serious legal troubles. I never had a diabetic kid in my class in 1-13 school, so I don't know whether they'd do the injections in the classroom or step out. But in college this was definitely not a problem, I saw people do that. And how dare the professor fail you for an insulin pump alarm? These people should be hit over the head repeatedly, until some sense has come back to their brain.


Because I'm not sue happy, I've already yelled at them, I don't have any money to sue, and it's school/district/city/county/state policy. Like in Pennsylvania where many diabetics die while in police custody because it's state policy to take away their medication, but that's a completely different matter.

Monika wrote:
mochafairy wrote:migraine rant

I didn't get that part, why does it not make sense to send a child that is sensitive to light and sound to the nurse?


When I have a migraine, the last thing I want to do is move. Being light sensitive meant I was walking most of the time with my eyes shut (not on the stairs, thought), and my schools halls were are horrible for acoustics, meaning everything echoes. It just made the migraine worse sending me to a nurse who gave me advil (which doesn't do anything for my migraines).

Monika wrote:
mochafairy wrote:504 rant

What does a 504 plan detail? Arrangements for test-taking for people with medical issues or disabilities? Or for learning in general?

504 plans, at least my understanding of them, allow you to miss more class without, in theory, being penalized, make it so teachers and professors have to offer you alternative testing conditions if you need them, offering note takers, and other things like that. It's supposed to make the life of the student easier, but I've found it just ticks everyone else off and they tend to make you life more miserable.

Monika wrote:
mochafairy wrote:Although, I also find it abhorrent what children have to go through to take a simple aspirin, though, not all school systems are over reacting...students being selfish idiots have ruined it for everyone.

It's so stupid. The kids that take drugs in school will just do it in hiding one way or the other. In my US high school a kid smoked grass in class! The teacher smelled it and searched around, but everybody claimed it came in though the window from the outside.


Like I said, stupid people ruining it for those of us who actually have issues.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Brooklynxman » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:49 pm UTC

Having been to public school in NYC, PRIVATE PRIVATE PRIVATE
We figure out what all this means, then do something large and violent

The thing about changing the world...once you do it the world's all different.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Internetmeme » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:28 pm UTC

Brooklynxman wrote:Having been to public school in NYC, PRIVATE PRIVATE PRIVATE


I really think it depends where you live. If you live in a bad neighborhood then a public school might not be the best.
If you live in a good neighborhood, then why not go ahead and save money and send a kid to public school?
It also depends if the school actually cares and is being proactive to help its students, not just maintain the status quo of barely passing grades.
Spoiler:

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby KestrelLowing » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:37 pm UTC

Background: I'm from metro-Detroit and went to public school K-12. I was in a pull-out TAG (for students with an IQ in the top 6% of the population) program one day a week 1st and 2nd grade then in a magnet program (students with IQ's in the top 3% of the population) which was full time in a separate classroom for 3rd-5th grade. After that, there were no real programs for top students.

I'm glad I went to public school, but I wish that it had more programs for the advanced students. In elementary, I was pretty much bored all the time, even in the magnet program because they were not allowed to teach us material we would be learning in later grades as there was no magnet program in middle school. (I know, ridiculously stupid.) My 8th grade English teacher actually was mad at me because we had read The Giver in 4th grade, and we weren't supposed to.

It took a lot of prodding to be allowed to be advanced in math in middle school (I rode on the coat-tails of another student who was half Japanese and who went to school on Saturdays who was finally advanced. I don't know if her mom was just really insistent or if the stereotype of Asians being good at math helped.) Finally we were allowed to advance a grade, and we were bussed to the high school for geometry in 8th grade.

Nothing else was advanced in middle school. In high school, there were finally honors and AP classes, and that helped, but I was still bored.

Sorry for a long rant to just basically say that public school would be the best if more adjustments for honors students were allowed, just like the adjustments for below average students.

In a public school, you can have a more typical school experience, and I believe that is important. Sports and arts are important, and often a private school will only have one that they focus on.

Still, if the public school where I live has no provisions for advanced students, I will definitely look elsewhere if I have a child that is capable of handling more than the traditional curriculum provides.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby sikyon » Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:29 pm UTC

The high school I went to was public and great (I'm in canada).

We had a "Challenge Program" which was basically an advanced class. There were 2 high schools in the town that had the program and you enetered in grade 8, after a screening test. It was basically honors for honors. It was still too slow for my liking.

In any event, it provided a great environmentwhere the peeps in your class were all interseted in learning and not jerking around the whole time. My best friends, though, were all from the rest of the population.

In retrospect it could definatly have been faster in terms of material (would have given me a better work ethic) but just weeding out the uninterested people is so useful. If private schools can do that, I'd be cool with sending my kids there. But really, I'd send them anywhere they have to take a test to get into. The environment is just so much better.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Heady » Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:13 am UTC

At the moment, I'm closing out 8 great years at a public K-8 school in Massachusetts. All but one of the teachers I've had have been amazing, always helpful, always willing to provide you with a challenge, and always teaching great material. I've almost never had any problems with what they teach, and when I did, all I had to do was ask for help. And even though it's the town special education magnet school, the smart kids outnumber the "specials" and the gangsters 3:1. And this is all while also being the English as a Second Language magnet for Hebrew speakers as well, who take some time adjusting to English most times. My grade has consistently scored top 5 on the Statewide tests, and values brains just as much as "brawn". I love it there. The High School is supposed to be even better.
I realize, however, that this is a very rare occasion, for a public school to be so good, and I'm truly thankful that I went to it. If/when I have kids, I'd send them there, if it's still as great as it is now.
My $0.02

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Monika » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:13 pm UTC

Hi Heady, which school was that? I am wondering because I went to school in Springfield, Mass., in a "normal" high school / program, but I noticed they had several K-8 magnet schools for children gifted one way or another ... one was art, not sure about the other topics. And one of the high schools was in the process of introducing an IB program when I was there 10 years ago.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Windmill » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:37 pm UTC

I went to public school all the way to graduation and I loved it. I wasn't "popular" or whatever, I was in the band and had braces and acne, but I had some amazing friends and learned to stick up for myself. Half the fun was the ridiculous situations the school was always in (we always had bomb threats, students fighting, streaking, causing a ruckus) and I wouldn't trade that experience for the world. My friends were all working class and just regular people.

My cousins go to some private school where their classmates are the kids of famous musicians and professional football players. They get to be on the football, track, and baseball teams, play in the band, and get voted Homecoming King.

You tell me who's been living in reality.


I'll send my kids to public school. I'm not really worried about them learning stuff in grade school, I learned far more by picking up a few books. Unless of course I win the lottery and then I'll send them to some elite private school where they learn Chinese by age 10. :D

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Monika » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:44 pm UTC

Chinese kids don't learn [to write] Chinese by age 10, so don't get your hopes up 8)
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Heady » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:21 pm UTC

Monika wrote:Hi Heady, which school was that? I am wondering because I went to school in Springfield, Mass., in a "normal" high school / program, but I noticed they had several K-8 magnet schools for children gifted one way or another ... one was art, not sure about the other topics. And one of the high schools was in the process of introducing an IB program when I was there 10 years ago.

My school is in Brookline, MA. Not too close.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby TommyTumnus » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:04 am UTC

I've had great experiences with public schooling, but given where I've lived, it's a rather special case. When I lived in Boise, Idaho, I went to a magnet school that was created from a huge donation from Micron. Between 7th and 8th grade, I went into high school with three years of science credit under my belt. Besides those two years, all the schooling I can remember has been in Richland, Washington, and the school district is flooded with funds--we have more local control over schools in Washington, and Richland is home to a national lab and the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. That gives us an incredibly large percentage of engineers and scientists, who generally become parents who make their children's education a top priority. Hence the funds.

All the schools here take care of their advanced students. Hell, one of the high schools even offers Calc 3.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Windmill » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:08 am UTC

Monika wrote:Chinese kids don't learn [to write] Chinese by age 10, so don't get your hopes up 8)

What a disappointment! I suppose I'll settle for Spanish or German, sooo cliché.... :D

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby modularblues » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:44 am UTC

Monika wrote:Chinese kids don't learn [to write] Chinese by age 10, so don't get your hopes up 8)

Although I learned to write Chinese when I was 6... Anyway, K-12 I was in public schools all the way. The district tax was something ridiculous so the schools were actually relatively good.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Andromeda321 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:59 am UTC

I voted for the platypus because seriously, anyone who thinks that the type of schooling is more important than the family/kid/area involved is just playing into a stereotype.

I myself went to public school for K-5th grade, then a secular private all-girls school after that (mainly for the academics, the public school district was considered one of the best in the area but my mom didn't like the middle school). The way I explain it is I didn't like high school, but to be fair I probably would have disliked high school even more somewhere else as I was just not the type to like it much. :wink:

Plus honestly, the single sex vs coed situation was such a bigger influence in my education than public vs private anyway, some good (no worries on appearances each day) and some bad (all girls= no one else seriously interested in physics to talk to). That probably deserves its own thread though.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Monika » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:15 am UTC

Andromeda321 wrote:I voted for the platypus because seriously, anyone who thinks that the type of schooling is more important than the family/kid/area involved is just playing into a stereotype.

I'd say who thinks that the school is unimportant and the family, kid and area is what mostly matters is playing into a stereotype.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Andromeda321 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:40 pm UTC

I never said it was unimportant, as obviously anyone is influenced by what they find around them particularly in their formative years. However, anyone who says something like "public schools all the way" without considering the differences mentioned even in this thread (NYC system vs rural Midwest vs Australian vs affluent suburbs etc etc) seems a little odd to me.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Monika » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:36 pm UTC

That certainly.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:02 am UTC

If I have a choice, I will send them to a secular private school. If I had my way, people would be banned from preaching religion in schools, and from creating "faith schools". I would probably agonise about using my money to give my kids an unfair advantage, but in the end I'd probably do it. Private schools usually have the aim of building up the pupil's confidence, even to the extent of producing legions of arrogant twattish clones, but that's far better than the way comprehensive schools systematically destroy people's self esteem. It would probably get annoying being regarded as an oik by somebody I was bankrolling, but what the hell.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Monika » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:35 am UTC

It would get annoying to be regarded as an ill-mannered, ignorant socially inferior by someone whom you finance? Who is that person who would regard you so - your kid? The school's teachers / owner? (I looked up oik and bankroll on Encarta.)

What's wrong with faith schools? I mean besides the fact that they teach completely idiotic stuff about imaginary creatures to children who cannot defend themselves against it, but how is this different from religious parents sending their children to a public or secular private school and have their children being taught idiotic stuff about imaginary beings at home / at church / in Sunday school / in church afterschool activities?

Can you give some examples about state-run schools systematically destroying pupils' self esteem? Usually the complaint I hear (albeit from USians, not Brits, typically) is that supposedly the state-run schools do nothing but build up the self esteem of the kids in lieu of actually teaching them something, that state-run schools supposedly dumb down the curriculum / the kids as to make everybody able to pass or whatever, while the private schools are thought to be the ones that teach hard material to their students and actually fail those who are not up to the course work.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:19 pm UTC

...Which builds up their confidence, as opposed to throwing them in with a huge number of kids, ignoring bullying and expecting them to memorise easy material. Examples? I'd like these people to remain nameless, because I don't have their consent, but:
Take one of my mates from school. He was treated as being incurably thick by all the teachers bar one or two who saw he had potential. Like anybody at our school not born locally with generations of dead buried within 50 miles, and not necessarily 100% caucasian, he had a really hard time. He left school at 16. Shortly afterwards, he joined the army and proved a very capable soldier, but quite honestly he's more than intelligent enough to have become an officer. The army gave him a confidence in his own abilities, however, that he would never have got from our school.
Or somebody else I know. He was bullied all through school, by the teachers at least as much as the pupils, mainly because he is intelligent, has strange hobbies, and wears glasses. He gained several lucrative scholarships, studied abroad, and is now an accountant in the city.
There are too many examples to tell you about all of them, anyway. They might have succeeded on their own terms, but this was in spite of, not because of, the 'education' their school provided, and most have lasting psychological scars from being kicked around for so long. One of them not described above has required extensive counselling and psychiatric care . She's now fine and living a relatively normal life, but she tells me that she sometimes has 'flashbacks' and still requires medication to deal with her anxiety. So you'll forgive me if I don't think state schools build up people's confidence that well. I'm not even convinced that these people's experiences are all that unusual. If the OFSTED report is anything to go by, the school in question was if anything better than most. It may, of course, not be anything to go by; I distinctly remember people getting 'spoken to' by the head of lower school for mentioning their unmarked/lost homework in the presence of an inspector.


I was talking about the kid, yes. With few exceptions, all the public schoolboys (in the UK, 'public school' means a private scchool) I've met have been enormously arrogant sollipsists who mistake politeness for good manners. Public schoolboys are taught from infancy that they are born to rule, whereas pupils at state schools are taught that nothing they do ultimately matters unless they can somehow ascend into a higher social class by elaborate tokenism. I don't really like the idea of any child of mine turning into one of those people, but if it's a choice between him/her getting into a good university and landing a good job, or leaving school and going straight on the dole, I know which one I'd choose.

What's wrong with faith schools? I mean besides the fact that they teach completely idiotic stuff about imaginary creatures to children who cannot defend themselves against it, but how is this different from religious parents sending their children to a public or secular private school and have their children being taught idiotic stuff about imaginary beings at home / at church / in Sunday school / in church afterschool activities?

I just happen to think that the purpose of a school is to fight ignorance and spread knowledge and reason, not reinforce whatever idiocy happens to be floating around. The teacher's voice is interpreted by most children as the voice of authority, so they associate authority with religion. I don't think that's a good thing.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Monika » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:46 pm UTC

Regarding bullying in school and teachers not doing anything against it: As far as I have heard this happens quite a lot at private schools, too.

Regarding the social class thing: Seems to be a very British thing. Would you agree? "Class in the UK" was even one of the topics of English in 12th grade ... though all we did really was read Pygmalion.

Regarding faith schools: Parents and priests are authorities, too, so it's no help one way or the other.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:00 pm UTC

Yeah, but I think schools have a duty to do something to combat stupidity, or at lest not make it worse. It would make me angry if I sent my kid to school and found somebody had been ramming religion down their throat. It also annoys me that some parents have the right to send their child to a relatively cloistered, better funded school just because they have an imaginary friend.

This sort of class thing is probably more of a british thing, but I've never been the the US so I'm not really qualified to comment. To be fair though, it's now less about class and more about money. Eton in particular has been described as having a commendably classless atmosphere. It's their approach toward the rest of the world that leaves something to be desired.

As regards the bullying thing, yes bullying does happen and gets ignored a lot in private education s well. In fact, the more old-fashioned the school, the more likely this is to be the case. But a lot of private schools have, as one of their stated aims, a mission to give their pupils the confidence to handle the world. State schools, on the other hand, tend to lack this sort of ethos. Having said that, the quality of the actual education can be lower in a minor private school than in a good comprehensive. This is a social problem with wider implications than just education. The unspoken but near-universal view seems to be that the only value the working class can have is if they aspire to be middle or upper class. I think this is ridiculous.

But no, I'd send my child to a private school if I was able to afford it. I'd agonise over it, but blood is thicker than water etc.

I'm not enormously keen on school full stop though, really. Sending kids to an environment with a high kid:adult ratio is just asking for problems IMO. It's like the thing that happens when the older male elephants are culled and the young males become aggressive and attack humans. I doubt I'd have the time to home school a child, though.

Yep. If it teaches them values, it would be Christian values. Lots of christian values, I think, are good, but not all of them. Like how many christians think that homosexuality is a sin.

Shouldn't morality be based on something better than a fear of punishment, which is at the root of christian 'values'?
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby KestrelLowing » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:23 pm UTC

Dave_Wise wrote:Yeah, but I think schools have a duty to do something to combat stupidity, or at lest not make it worse. It would make me angry if I sent my kid to school and found somebody had been ramming religion down their throat. It also annoys me that some parents have the right to send their child to a relatively cloistered, better funded school just because they have an imaginary friend.


I don't mean to jump down your throat, but just because you believe something different than others with regard to religion does not mean that people who follow religion are stupid. I am on the fence right now with Christianity, but I do not believe that people who believe in God are stupid, Einstein being the most famous example of that.

I do have issues when religion conflicts with science, and do believe that people who look at scientific evidence of evolution but still reject it are stupid. Still, not all religious people reject science.

That being said, I probably would not send my child to a religious school, mainly because I want them to be as much in the 'real world' as possible.

There are many issues with public education, the biggest issue being the differences from one public school to another. I think that physiological issues and issues of self-esteem are the same everywhere. Kids are cruel, and will always be. The only difference I've seen from public to private schools is a sense of entitlement. (Note: this is anecdotal evidence, so not completely accurate) Private school students seem to think it is their right to receive higher education (and perhaps it should be, but that's another thread) while most public school students see it as something they must work for.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Kurushimi » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:48 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:I don't mean to jump down your throat, but just because you believe something different than others with regard to religion does not mean that people who follow religion are stupid. I am on the fence right now with Christianity, but I do not believe that people who believe in God are stupid, Einstein being the most famous example of that.


I have to point out Einstein's belief in God was entirely different from the one of Christianity. It is much sparser in the characteristics attributed, and far less ridiculous.

I myself went to a secular private school throughout highschool (currently in Senior Year). I didn't experience a problem with bullying. I don't think there is much of a bullying problem. Though there are people who hate each other trying to make each other's life miserable. And I can say many of the students there are very smart, more people than I felt when I went to public school. But that's just me.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Sosekopp » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

I went to a public elementary school, a public middle school and now I'm going to a public high school.
My elementary school was all right. My teachers often let me go to the library or play the piano when my class was learning something I already knew.
Middle school was worse. Because of the "equality principle" that was prevalent in my teacher's minds (and in the Norwegian school system in general), I lost most of my motivation for learning in 8th grade and didn't get it back before I read Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything two years later.
High school is great so far, though, but I suspect that might not be the case in schools who don't have a Music, Dance and Drama department. :P

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby charolastra » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:55 pm UTC

I went to one of the best public high schools in the state of Georgia. I'm a BIG fan of the public school system (which in my area was heads and shoulders above the religious private schools). Summers and breaks were supplemented by my parents' version of supported "self schooling" where we HAD to pick topics we would self study, but my parents would go to great lengths to supplement what we did on our own. For instance, we went to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons when I was 11 because my brother and I were self studying geology. Another year we went to New Mexico and Arizona because I was particularly interested in Native Americans. Other times we'd just go to a local farm because my brother really wanted to know what came first- the chicken or the egg.

When I have kids, the prevailing factor will be foreign language education. I'm a firm believer in public school, but if I can afford to send my child to a bilingual immersion school then I will do it. My high school was frankly bizarre in the level of foreign language education I was able to get and it's one of the things I am most thankful for in my life. It was a trade off- I had to give up higher level maths and orchestra in order to focus on languages. Bilingual education would eliminate the need for that sort of trade off.

And of course, learning in school should only be a small part of the greater picture of learning so I hope to continue what my parents started with me with structured self-schooling time during breaks.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby pizzazz » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:37 pm UTC

I put secular private school for pure learning environment, but religious private could certainly be better if you feel very strongly about your religion or can't afford secular private schools (at least around here, religious schools are partially funded by the local religious community, and thus are cheaper).

There some good public schools here in the US, but the public school system is in general dominated by mediocre and terrible schools. I don't really know anything about home schooling.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby torgos » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

zug wrote:I did a search and couldn't find a topic that covered this.

I have read that quite a few people in xkcd would send their children to public school, even if private school were affordable and just as available to them. My question is, what type of school would you send your children to (or did send them to, if you already have children)? Which type of school did you go to? And if you could change the type of education you received, where would you have preferred to go?


I went to a Catholic school for 1-8; ' gifted program' at a public high school. After eight years of Catholic school, I was quite ready to get away from all the rules and religion classes. I don't think I would change my education, though; other than the religion class, I doubt there's much difference between a decent catholic school and a decent secular private school. I most certainly wouldn't change the high school; my peers were challenging and 'fun' to be around, and the classes were generally high quality.

Ultimately, I'm going to evaluate my child's educational options on a case by case basis; there's high variance in the quality of private and public schools, even if there's probably more in the latter. I would certainly be willing to send them through my education, even though I'm no longer Catholic.

While the six months or so I was homeschooled were productive, homeschooling is out of the question; my career will not afford me sufficient time to do so, and I doubt I'll be marrying anyone who would be willing to give up their own career to do so.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby trtguy » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:24 am UTC

I've went to public schools my whole life. I'm going into gr.11. I went to a smaller elementary, and there was no enrichment whatsoever. I was stuck in a class with the same kids that would light desks on fire, or take a leak in the gym closet. I would've enjoyed being challenged in school. although, if there was enrichment, I would know more, and thusly be more bored out of my skull in highschool. I'm taking 5 different AP classes, and an "e-learning" course next year. I hope that I feel challenged by it.

In regards to bullying, I honestly haven't seen much of it at all. I was a bit of an outcast when I was younger, but who can blame the other kids for treating someone who was different, differently? In highschool even, I don't see much bullying. And there are quite a few odd characters at my school, who would be the target of any movie-esque "jock". I can't say I've witnessed violence or anything of the sort. I'm not saying it doesn't happen here, but I think the atmosphere is alot better in Canada's school system than in others.

I also live in a city small enough, that there isn't any "non-secular private" schools. this means that the rich and the poor are all in the same boat, and get at least a small understanding of what it's like to be in a different position class-wise. whether it's a catholic school or a public one.

It's funny, It seems that everyone I know is an Atheist. and if they are a Christian, they aren't full-fledged, by that I mean they have their own beliefs about god, and don't necessarily believe what the bible says, or what their minister tells them. This rings true for catholic schools also. I've heard stories of religion classes that consist mainly of logical people debating with their teacher, minister, w/e for an hour. I think I wouldn't mind that all too much. :D

The hypothetical fruit of my loins, would most definitely attend a public school.

oh p.s. I wonder if there's anyone else out there who found themselves not challenged by their education, who decided to challenge themselves in other ways (i.e. sports, music). I feel I'm much better at academics than music or sports, but it's not like I'm going to start teaching myself stuff, only to be bored when I'm forced to take a class on it to get into the university program I want.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby wannabe » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:22 pm UTC

The uniforms.

As a parent, the uniforms are key for so many reasons:

No arguments(or even discussions at all) in the morning about what to wear. If you have ever started your day by arguing with a 7 year old about "today's outfit" you would understand the value in this.

No worries about "keeping up with the Jones' fashion wise. Which also means judgements by other kids about style/wealth/taste based on your attire are off the table.

No requests to wear inappropriate clothes to school because "all the other kids are wearing them." A drive by the local public school bus line can be shocking.

Laundry management.

Hand-me-downs.

In addition to the fact that my kids private school is a Blue Ribbon school and we love to many things to list, the uniforms alone make it worth it. I know when I was a kid I hated the idea of a uniform...stuffy, uncomfortable, nerdy, stifling my individualism, etc. But as a parent, they are great. And the reality is none of that stuff has been an issue.
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby Yakk » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:38 pm UTC

Note that "catholic school" from the Canadians on the board is a different beast than most religious schools. In many provinces, there are twinned boards -- Catholic and non (which where basically Catholic and Protestant back in the day), both funded by property taxes (or provincial funding), both required to take any student who wants to attend (ie, no religious test for student eligibility). There are religion classes in Catholic school that are mandatory, but they can't fail you for failing to be Catholic in them.

Basically, it is a pair of parallel public boards, each with basically full coverage. In some areas, the Catholic board is bigger, in others it is smaller (sometimes much smaller).

As an interesting side effect to that old constitutional compromise, you get competition between the two boards for quality (as students can always transfer from one to the other).

(The degree to which Catholic schools are secular has been increasing over the last few decades, as part of a deal to get more funding than was constitutionally mandated.)
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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby ndkid » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:12 am UTC

I was home schooled from k-8 and a semester of 9th, I spent the second semester of 9th at a religious private school, and i've spent 10-11 and I'm beginning 12 at a public school.
My family moved around the US alot, so it just cut out the hassle of yet another thing to get used to in the area. Even though I was in some "Home schooling groups" I felt that it kinda socially starved me, there just wasn't enough variance in the people there for me to find someone who I could really hang out with. What home schooling did do for me was it made me very proficient at math, history, and english. I excelled at those until 7th/8th where I just got lazy and decided not to do anything. The main problem I have with home schooling, despite the fact that I really didn't have a drive to excel in the latter parts of it, was that there wasn't much science, I mean, I learned the theory and all, but with home schooling you don't have the ability to labs like in most public schools. The other problem I have is music, unless your parents are willing to spend money on private lessons, or know an instrument themselves, you don't even have an option for music, I'm lucky that my high school band director needed a tuba player and took the time to teach me. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't know anything about how awesome music is, I mean, I just love it!
But anyway, back on topic, the semester at a private religious school was ok, they were more religious than some schools mentioned, but this was mainly due to it being composed of people who shared the same beliefs, I went there because of a parental decision, some of the teachers were incredibly nice, others were down right horrible. I got bored really quickly, even though my grades while homeschooling were C's, and I was getting straight A's, It wasn't challenging, I suddenly had the urge to work, but there wasn't any to do. It was about the time that I started reading ahead in the science textbook that I knew that I needed something more challenging.
I moved to another state before 10th grade started, there's only one high school in the district, and the are is interesting, since we're a small college town surround by VERY rural land.
The public school is pretty good, I like it. It has a big enough student population (about 1000) to have variety in the people that you meet. True, there are some horribly teachers, but there are also some incredibly amazing ones (I hope to find another teacher who can make a class composed of nothing but notes on US history fun again). The classes here are challenging enough, you have College Prep, which are incredibly easy, and are mainly filled with the hicks and people who just don't care. Then you have the Honors classes, which can be challenging or incredibly easy, depending on how good the teacher is. While I've only taken one AP class at the school, the seem to be very challenging, unless you get a teacher who makes it exactly the same as an honors class, which has happened a couple of times. We also have the opportunity to take classes at the local community college or the state university nearby, but you have to have your own transportation to and from the college, and depending on what you want to take at the high school (such as band), there's no way to schedule your classes correctly.
Overall, I'd have to say public schools, depending on where you are. I know some people who've done homeschooling because the schools in their area were just down right horrible, and have gone on to have very successful academic careers.
Tl;Dr: I like public schools, but to each his own.

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Re: Public school vs Private school vs Home school

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:43 am UTC

I went to public school. The private schools in our area were for children of really religious parents or those uppity kids whose parents thought they were too good for some of the best schools in the state. I nearly went to the Catholic school, but my parents didn't have as much money at the time, but they liked the public school's principal much better. I thought she was scary, but with hindsight and all that, I now see that she actually know who to run the place. If my parents knew they'd have four children, Catholic school would've been off the table, but being the oldest and all…
I think I only knew one person who was home schooled and I met him in 10th grade bio. He had the stereotypical home school traits: brilliant and really awkward.
My sister and I are now in private universities (both with some type of scholarship). My brother (and sister) goes (went) to the alternative HS for our district. If I'd have known how much they liked it in 8th grade, I'd've gone there, but I didn't know better then and missed my opportunity to apply and use my time there to full effect.

trtguy wrote:I've went to public schools my whole life. I'm going into gr.11. I went to a smaller elementary, and there was no enrichment whatsoever. I was stuck in a class with the same kids that would light desks on fire, or take a leak in the gym closet. I would've enjoyed being challenged in school. although, if there was enrichment, I would know more, and thusly be more bored out of my skull in highschool. I'm taking 5 different AP classes, and an "e-learning" course next year. I hope that I feel challenged by it.

Did you grow up in Wo-Town? Our elementary enrichment was a joke, not due to its program, but due to how it was structured and non integrated at all with the normal classroom. In 7th grade a couple friends melted a plastic beaker into a Bunsen burner, and science was then banned from middle school (I don't count anything without a lab/research as science). In gym, I knew a couple people who'd piss on the floor when they tried to make us do something other than mat ball.
wannabe wrote:The uniforms.

As a parent, the uniforms are key for so many reasons:

No arguments(or even discussions at all) in the morning about what to wear. If you have ever started your day by arguing with a 7 year old about "today's outfit" you would understand the value in this.

My folks let me wear whatever, so long as it was weather appropriate. By the time my little sister was in elementary school, they didn't care any more and figure she can deal with being cold or hot or wet or whatever if they told her that's what'd happen since she didn't pick sensible clothing for the day.

No worries about "keeping up with the Jones' fashion wise. Which also means judgements by other kids about style/wealth/taste based on your attire are off the table.

You do realize the kids'll find ways to subtly alter their uniforms for "fashion" or compare the small details that can be changed, right?

No requests to wear inappropriate clothes to school because "all the other kids are wearing them." A drive by the local public school bus line can be shocking.

Laundry management.

Hand-me-downs.

In addition to the fact that my kids private school is a Blue Ribbon school and we love to many things to list, the uniforms alone make it worth it. I know when I was a kid I hated the idea of a uniform...stuffy, uncomfortable, nerdy, stifling my individualism, etc. But as a parent, they are great. And the reality is none of that stuff has been an issue.

Luckily, I was the oldest! Seriously, for my family, used clothing didn't happen, but my parents saved a fortune by passing on our stuffed animals and legos.
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