Making the choice to homeschool over publicly educating your child is a big decision. In 2018, the debate on whether homeschooling is a better option often has become a very passionate debate and all ultimately depends on your personal situation. In this article, Homeschool vs Public School, we try to address many of the differences to help give you a better understanding of the two educational systems.
There are numerous Pros and Cons of Homeschooling just as there are to the public education system. Homeschooling has proven to be a successful alternative to the public system; however, it is not for everyone.
Before moving forward, parents need to evaluate their personal situation. Is there a family member willing to commit the time necessary for this type of education? If so, can the family handle the potential loss of income which may be necessary if a parent chooses to remain home? With a good learning environment, the rewards can be amazing.
Homeschool vs Public School
Family Time & Flexibility:
- Homeschooling allows for a flexible schedule and much more family time. The flexible schedule is one of the huge benefits of this type of education. Class time is also lessened as there is no wasted time. The additional time each day, along with a flexible schedule, gives the student and parent freedom. The increased family time with little “me time” can be considered a positive or a negative. In a homeschool family, one parent has to be home to teach and thus will be spending a large part of each day with their children. This can be difficult for some people. A good aspect of this is that you will have a great influence on the development of their moral and belief systems. Since you will be experiencing so many of your child’s daily life experiences, the family bond and respect that develops is strong and lifelong. The question is often, though, Where Do I Begin?
- Public schooling allows for the children to go to school each day with a set schedule. This could be a positive because it allows more freedom for the parents to work or take care of the home. However, some may find it a negative due to outside influences and not be as active in their child’s everyday lives.
Socialization, Peer Pressure & Safety:
- Children who stay at home for their education are not placed in situations where they may be stabbed or shot while learning. In addition, they have a lot more control over who their children hang out with or pick as friends. Their friends are chosen and typically they have similar belief systems. There is limited to no bullying, teasing, drugs or pressure to fit in. The negative is that it is a little more difficult to make friends as the parent has to make an effort to schedule group activities with other students. This can be done through educational events, Co-Op classes, and fun outings. But the controversy continues…
- Education through the public school system allows the child to be exposed to a lot of different children from various ethnicities and backgrounds. This provides the opportunity to make friends and to learn how to deal with different attitudes and personalities. One negative aspect is that many children are exposed to negative and bad things at home and this can carry over into school. Some bring guns, knives, and drugs to school and use them. Most friends made at school are chosen due to the location and not because they have a lot in common or the same beliefs. Children can also be exposed to attitudes and subjects deemed inappropriate. Bullying, teasing, alcohol, sex, and peer pressure are common in public schools and are hard to control. See also this post with more homeschool education pros and cons.
- Children who are educated at home get a lot of one on one teaching and get to choose the courses they want to study and the teaching style. They have as much time as needed to learn a subject and can study it in depth, which leads to actually learning, not just memorizing facts. Numerous studies have shown that homeschooled children score anywhere from 34-39% higher than the national average on standardized testing and above average on college entrance exams. The negative aspect is that the parent is fully responsible for their child’s education from the selection of courses, teaching style, hours of study, Co-Op classes and much more. Standardized and government required testing may be more difficult to take. Universities and colleges may have stricter admission policies for those students of a homeschool background.
- The public education system offers predetermined courses, taught in a high student to teacher ratio, with hardly anyone on one teaching available. Classes are taught in a group seating by certified teachers. This can be either a negative or a positive depending on the teacher. If the child is interested in the subject matter or if they have a teacher that inspires them they have a good chance of excelling. Due to the class sizes, it allows for group discussions. Tests are administered which can cause stress, however, they allow one to see if they are on track with their learning. If you want more information about homeschooling, contact the Home School Foundation.
Extracurricular Activities and Sports:
- Most homeschool students are a member of a support group or groups. These are clubs that have meetings, social events, educational activities, parties, and some celebrate graduation. Co-Op classes offer the student the opportunity to take many courses that require a special skill level such as art, music, voice, and photography. The negative is that the Co-Op courses are not free and have to be researched to determine availability and location. Some states allow students, who are schooled at home, to join public school teams.
Each state has different rules and regulations. Your state and school district would need to be contacted to determine the exact rules for 2018. In most communities, there are numerous sports leagues that start as early as 4 years old and extend into the adult years. Some of these leagues are quite competitive. If a child wants to play sports and be part of a team there are opportunities. It may be more difficult to get recognized by college scouts, however, if you are good you can contact them, send videos of you playing and quite possibly try out for the team. Just because you decided to homeschool vs public school does not mean you cannot play sports in college or advance to a professional level.
- There are many extracurricular activities and clubs in schools that are easily accessible. These are typically easy to enter and are available to like-minded individuals. They are not always free. Once children get into middle school, typically there are team sports available. Some teams will require tryouts and not everyone makes the team. Some who make the team may not be able to play due to higher skill level players. School sports teams can be good as they help to teach discipline and how to be part of a team. When researching homeschool vs public school, overall it is much easier to get involved in sports and the teams are typically more competitive in public schools.