Homeschool Vs. Public School And The Winner is…
So, what is better homeschool or public school? Well the answer depends on you and your child. As a former public school teacher I had the privilege of educating many bright and talented students that went on to great colleges to chase their goals. However, I know so many homeschooling families that do an amazing job at education and often give their children experiences that public schools can’t. Only you the individual can answer the question is homeschooling or public school the best for your child. Let’s take a quick look at the pros/cons of each.
Public School Pros
In today’s age it’s very popular to point out all the negatives of public education. Of course many public schools have big problems however many, many public schools do a wonderful job at educating young people.
Advantages of public schools:
- All (most) educational costs are covered
- Many experienced and skilled teachers
- Various clubs and organizations for students to participate
- Accreditation is accepted everywhere
- Access to many AP courses
- Access to educational specialists for special needs
Public School Cons
Public schools are far from “equal” and for each great school there are unfortunately many, many failing or average public schools. Let’s take a look at reasons you may want to steer clear of a public school education.
Risks of public schools:
- Many teachers are “burned out” or just not good at teaching are still in classrooms
- Environment can be unsafe
- Culture of school may be offensive to political or religious beliefs
- Lack of flexibility in curriculum
- Lack of flexibility in scheduling
- Parents are often misinformed on “actual” progress of child’s learning; feedback can be ineffective
- Pacing can be an issue if your child is in a grade level that is “below” their current potential
Homeschooling can offer students an amazing experience. As the founder of www.TabletClass.com I have the privilege of providing math curriculum to thousands of homeschoolers across the US and internationally. I’m always impressed with homeschoolers as they take on a huge commitment to create an outstanding educational experience for their children. Indeed homeschooling can unleash your child’s potential and provide a rich and wonderful education that is different than a traditional school experience.
Advantages of homeschooling:
- Total control over curriculum
- Flexibility in scheduling
- Ability to give student a wide variety of work/learn experiences
- Parents can directly monitor learning to make adjustments quickly
- Parents can switch to homeschooling to quickly respond to a social or learning problem that developed in school where the child needs to be removed for their well being
- Families can select environments that are safe and align to their religious or cultural values
- Parents have control over pacing; a child can move up a lot quicker than most public school tracks
- Lots of support groups and opportunities for homeschoolers to socialize
As great as homeschooling “can be” there are risks that parents should understand. The most important question any parent has to ask themselves is “can I fully” commit to homeschooling? Homeschooling is hard and requires 100% dedication to get great results- it’s far more challenging than having your child in a traditional school. Those parents that have the time and resources to homeschool can make a huge positive impact on the development of their children. However if a parent is not “ready” to take on homeschooling they should think twice before taking their child out of school.
Challenges and risks of homeschooling:
- Parents will have to be fully involved to manage all aspects of their child’s education to include grades, state requirements, curriculum selection, etc.
- Can be very expensive
- Much more difficult to have full time access to an experienced teacher for advance subjects like high school math and science
- Child can actually fall behind with respect to where they would be in a public school if the homeschooling curriculum used is not intense enough
- Child socialization can be more challenging in certain areas and locations
The goal of my article was to make parents aware. Some parents that homeschool have a stereo typical negative view of public education – that is understandable. However as a former public school teacher I have seen many, many children thrive in “some” public schools. Likewise many non-homeschoolers look down on homeschooling and think it’s an “extreme” choice for families. I can tell you that so many homeschooling families are doing awesome! Also homeschooling is growing fast like 15% a year. Right now there are over 2,000,000 homeschoolers in the US and each year more and more families make the switch to homeschooling. Bottom line for you as a parent is do what is right for your child if you have the ability. We don’t live in a perfect world and many parents would love to homeschool but their circumstances are just too demanding to take on the challenge. However here is the most important point of my article, “Parent Involvement = A Child’s Success”! Don’t like your public school? Get more involved! Never feel like there is nothing you can’t do, “if there is a will there is a way”. Education is not easy but it’s so important to the future of our nation and I wish all parents homeschoolers/non-homeschoolers all the best in their efforts.