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Homeschool VS. Public School

Updated on December 14, 2016

Falling Behind

The United States public education system has fallen behind other countries such as Japan, Finland, South Korea, and Hong Kong, and because of this more and more parents are deciding to homeschool their children. From 1999 to 2007 the number of students homeschooled increased an estimated 74 percent, and since then the number has continued to grow. The government has recently made our education a higher priority, and our education system is in the process of being rebuilt. This may play a factor in parents sending their children back to public schools in the future. In the debate of homeschooling versus public education, there are many factors parents should consider, both positive and negative.

Homeschooling Advantages

When a child is homeschooled the student to teacher ratio is much more favorable for the student. Every student is different and they may each have a different learning style. A child that is homeschooled has the advantage of having their specialized needs met whenever it is needed. Homeschooling gives the parent or teacher the opportunity to zero in on the students specific needs and learning style. The environment in a homeschool setting is a teachers dream. The parent or teacher has complete control over the student’s environment and can easily eliminate any distractions. Having control of the students environment also means that the parent or teacher does not have to follow a specific curriculum but has the ability to teach the curriculum of their choosing. There is also the freedom to choose and set the schedule. Another big advantage of homeschooling is that the student can learn at his or her own pace.

Homeschooling Problems

A problem that some parents might run into is the lack of knowledge on some subjects. Students may suffer in some areas because the teacher/parent may not be as educated in certain areas which can in turn hurt the student’s ability to learn in that area. There is also the chance that parents base their curriculum around personal beliefs which can prevent a student from receiving a well rounded education in areas that their parents do not believe in or approve of. When children go to school there are many factors that play a role in how they develop into adults. Education is not the only focus when it comes to homeschooling. Socialization is an important factor that everyone needs. This can be a little harder to attain in a homeschool environment. Parents are put in the position to make sure that their children are getting out in to the community and socializing. Being involved in community programs or just getting out and playing with the neighborhood kids is important when it comes to developing social skills, because they do not get that interaction in their homeschool setting.

How are your children schooled?

Do you homeschool your child or send them to a public or private school?

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Public School Advantages

The teachers that are hired to work in our public school system must have college degrees and mandatory state certifications. Having teachers who are educated and certified provides students with a good education from a reliable source. When a student is sent to a public school they are being provided with a wealth of knowledge and resources. There are resources that students have access to in a public school that you just can not provide for them at home, either because it is not available to the public or because it is just too expensive. Students really benefit from public school resources in areas such as science, math, and any special needs that students might have. These resources can be expensive if parents had to pay for them on their own, so it is a nice bonus provided by the public school system. Going to a public school puts students in an environment that can be very diverse. This opens students up to different cultures. Socialization is very important when it comes to a student’s development. The public schools system provides a forum where students can socialize with other students. In doing this, the students are learning to communicate with others. Students that attend public schools have an advantage when it comes to learning the important socialization skills needed in today’s world.

Public School Problems

One of the down sides to the public education system also has to do with socialization. Bullying has always been around, but we seem to hear a lot more about it in recent years. The affects of bullying can be devastating. It is not the only cause of children committing suicide but it can and has played a big factor. As for the bully, if he or she does not receive some sort of help or counseling, it can lead to serious academic, social, emotional, and even legal problems. Even though there is bullying in the public school system, the environment that the public school system provides also teaches students about tolerance. With such a diverse population students are learning about other cultures which will teach them to be more accepting and more tolerant towards others.

Pros and Cons

Homeschool Pros
Homeschool Cons
Public Schooling Pros
Public Schooling Cons
Undevided attention paid to the needs of a child
lack of extensive social interactions
Immense scope to develop social skills
Limited scope for paying individual attention
Environment
Parent/teacher bias
Resources
Bullying
Open curriculum
Parent/teacher lack of knowledge
Certified teachers
Peer pressure

What To Consider

One factor that plays a role in a parent’s decision to either homeschool their child or send them to a public school is knowing what is best for their child. Some children would benefit more from being homeschooled as opposed to going to a public school. Another factor that parents take into account is demographics. Some people live in such remote areas that it just makes more sense to homeschool their children if they are able to. School districts also play a role in the decision making process. In some school districts the students are forced to attend certain schools based on where they live. If a child is in a school district where the school that they are forced to go to is not performing well, the parent might decide it is in the best interest of their child to be homeschooled. Every school in the United States is part of the government program “The Race to the Top”. This program is designed to encourage schools to rebuild their curriculum to meet the standards of the Common Core by providing grants and other incentives for schools to succeed. If a school is under performing in this program a parent might feel that it is best for their child to be homeschooled, but if the school is performing well then the parent might feel that their child will receive a more positive public education experience.

Weigh Your Options

Analyze your child or children. Do they have special needs, whether physically, intellectually, socially or emotionally? Analyze your own situation. Can you provide the needed environment your child needs for learning? When deciding whether to homeschool their child or send them to a public school, these are a few important factors for a parent to consider before making their decision. Once you have answered these questions you have to study the pros and cons of both homeschooling and public education and ultimately decide what is best for your child. We all want to set our children on the right path and give them all the tools and education they need to succeed in this world, that is why it is so crucial to weigh all your options before deciding one way or the other.

To homeschool or not to homeschool, that is the question.

If you had the option, would you homeschool your child?

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References

Education bug: Public school vs. home school. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.educationbug.org/a/public-school-vs-home-school.html

Bullying . (2011, March). Retrieved from http://http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/bullying

National center for educational statistics . (n.d.). Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=91

Best education in the world: finland, south korea top country rankings, u.s. rated average. (2012, November 27). Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/best-education-in-the- wor_n_2199795.html

Neal , L. (1994, September). Home school versus public education. Retrieved from http://www.midtod.com/bestof/homescho.phtml

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