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Education: What Homeschooling can do for Public Schooling

Updated on May 28, 2015

In an ever growing society of technological advancement, innovation, and creativity, education is primarily the most significant factor for these contributions and growth of knowledge. Although public schooling has been a natural, traditional way of educating students, homeschooling also provides beneficial ways of promoting student learning. By identifying the characteristics that make homeschooling appealing to students, perhaps public schooling could utilize these differences to increase student performance.

Students in homeschooling learn in a one to one or small classroom setting. In an environment with a limited amount of students, parents are able to provide their attention and focus their help on them individually. This enables parents to explain concepts thoroughly which allows students to In comparison, public schools often have classes with 20-30 students with a single teacher which makes it difficult to provide help to all these students. In multiple interviews with homeschooled students, such as Zane Robinson, Siena Huber, and Trenton Waller, they each exclaimed that homeschooling is beneficial as they can maintain their own pace of learning. Thus, the pace of learning in homeschooling provides parents, who teach a smaller number of children, with necessary time to review with students who have difficulties. In doing so, students develop a better understanding of what they are being taught as they received additional time and assistance to reevaluate learned material. In comparison to homeschooling, teachers within public schools lack the time to help students individually due to the greater difference in student to teacher ratio which prevents teachers from paying attention to individual results but rather the classroom as a whole. This affects student grades as well as learning experience as students are unable to inquire for help within the classroom. Furthermore, teachers are expected to maintain a time schedule where topics are taught for a certain period of time before introducing the next topic. Considering this, schools could establish smaller classrooms where teachers will be able to aid students efficiently and effectively, which will then increase student achievement. Students will receive an optimal amount of help and time they need from teachers as they can dedicate their attention to fewer students. By reconsidering the schedules, efforts to accommodate to the pace of learning can improve the learning capacity of students. This is significant as students who are identified as slower or faster paced learners can be transferred to classes that meet their needs.

Homeschooling and public schooling contribute different physical and mental pressure upon their students. Variation between the academic success of students who are homeschooled and public schooled can provide insights on their academic success. Students who attend public school often do not receive an adequate amount of sleep compared to homeschooled students. A study revealed that, “... 44.5 percent of students who attend traditional schools don't get enough sleep, which can result in lower grades, impaired driving, and behavioral problems” (Barnhart 1). The amount of sleep adolescents should receive on a daily basis should be around eight to ten hours, yet a majority of public school students fail to attain an adequate amount of sleep. The lack of sleep can contribute to issues in cognition and prevent students from actively learning in their classes. This includes problems such as slower reaction times, inability to retain information, and a higher possibility of engaging in dangerous activities (Mercola 1). In comparison, homeschoolers often receive longer hours of sleep as they are not assigned on a specific waking schedule in comparison to public school students whose schools usually begin early in the morning. A student's ability to perform successfully in school is affected by the amount of sleep they receive where public school students may attain lowest test scores than homeschooled students as a result of insufficient rest. This leads to factors such as decreased attention, fatigue, and loss of concentration that negatively influence academic achievement. In regards to homeschooled students, College Board reports that they scored, “....71 points higher than the national average…earned higher ACT scores, scored higher grade point averages and graduated at higher rates within four years than non-home-schooled students” (Martin 1). Therefore, sleep may be one of the factors attributed to the higher test scores received by homeschooled students. Acknowledging the disparity in scores, public schools should ideally reevaluate the reasons why students do not attain enough sleep, which includes time spending on homework assignments and projects. Students typically at the high school level often stay up late to finish work from their classes.

The amount of stress procured between homeschooled students and public school students differentiates. Homeschoolers do not follow a specific schedule to learn material which enables them to learn comfortably, while public schooled students are strained to meet certain time limits in learning classroom objectives. It is evident that public schooled students possess higher levels of stress due to homework and time restraints. Thus, it is necessary for public schools to overview the amount and type of assignments given to students and whether the work is relevant to the classroom objective and beneficial to the student in their learning. The physical and emotional health and happiness of students affects their ability to function properly. Sleep deprivation and stress are likely to hinder students from participating and involving themselves within their classrooms.

Learning is the relatively permanent change in behavior as a function of experience which is sought through education ― the basis in which children develop emotionally, intellectually, and mentally. Although homeschooling and public schooling introduce different methods of teaching, it is essential to utilize the distinctions between the two in order to create a more prosperous and successful system of instruction. Thus, the contrast between homeschooling and public schooling must be employed for the success of students and future generations, and it is essential for students, parents, and teachers alike to advocate for changes within the education system.

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