Homeschooling vs Public Schools
The war that pits homeschool vs public school has raged for years, and is one of perception that homeschooling parents must always face. One side is worried about socialization and quality of education, while the other side wants more control over the education process.There are a wide variety of issues when choosing a side in the homeschool vs public school battle.
The number one argument against homeschooling is the lack of socialization as compared to public schools. This is the percrption that kids have more opportunity to funciton around other kids in a public school. It is true that public schools have an advantage here. However, with the advent of the internet and homeschool co-ops, the gap is narrowing quickly. Internet groups can schedule field trips and play dates and co-ops can give the child a traditional classroom experience (with a smaller teacher to student ratio) for a few hours a week. Homeschooling also opens doors for the child to interact with other age groups which is not always possible in a public school setting.
Public Schools, even in these economic times, have a big edge financially over homeschoolers. Homeschoolers typically have to get by on one income while the other one teaches. In a public school, both parents have the opportunity to work if they choose and increase the household income. Public schools also to not charge parents for their kid's curriculum. a homeschool family must pay for all educational materials out of pocket. Public schools can also offer needy families free breakfast and lunch programs, where this option is not available to homeschooling families.
A public school family has to race against the clock every morning to get everyone read for school and work, then the child has to go to the same place every day and stick to the same schedule. Homeschoolers can teach in their pajamas at noon or get up early and go to the zoo or grocery store for a lesson. This allows the homeschooler to focus on teaching during the child's most attentive hours. This also gives homeschoolers the chance to experience unusual teaching moments like small-group field trips and impromptu learning experiences.
Children need an environment that is consistently uplifting, supportive and steady in order to maximize their learning potential. Public schools, especially in current economic times, are subject to teacher layoffs, school shut downs and other changes. This means that the child may have to deal with an unexpected change in teachers or moving to a new school with unfamiliar classmates. That will create distractions and make it more difficult for the child to learn what they are going to school for.This is an issue that the homeschooler never has to be concerned with.
This debate pitting homeschool vs public school will probably never end but with changes in the system, technology and educational theories, the arguments will always change.
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