The term “home education” refers to the practice of homeschooling by parents or guardians. Families decide to homeschool their children for a variety of reasons. There are many things to consider when deciding to homeschool, so in this article, we will take a look at the benefits of homeschooling vs. public schooling.
Homeschooling holds numerous benefits for both the homeschool students being taught and their families. A significant advantage of this type of education is the capacity to tailor the academic experience to the individual characteristics and style of learning of each child.
The Benefits of Homeschooling vs. Public Schooling
Deciding between homeschooling and public schooling for a child’s education can be intimidating for parents. This article will look at both the advantages and disadvantages of each option and list some important aspects that families must consider when making their decision.
Ultimately, the selection of homeschooling or public schooling should depend on the requirements and preferences of every family.
Benefits of Homeschooling
- Homeschooling provides the flexibility to create a personalized education, something that is not always possible in public schools. Parents are able to choose resources and materials that work best for their child and adjust their approach when needed to guarantee effective learning
- Homeschooling offers parents more flexibility in setting a daily routine and covers different topics at an adjustable speed, which can be preferable for families with a hectic lifestyle or for homeschool students who require additional learning time
- Homeschooling gives parents the advantage of being actively involved in their children’s education. Whereas public schools don’t offer as many opportunities for direct interaction between teachers and parents or regular updates on student progress, homeschooling allows parental input and helps with the learning process
- Social skills: Despite potential worries, homeschooling does not limit socialization opportunities for children. In fact, homeschooled students may have the capability to be exposed to people of differing ages and backgrounds and, additionally, take part in extracurricular activities and community gatherings, which can offer more social experiences
- Safety is an important factor for many families when it comes to education. Homeschooling gives parents increased control over their child’s surroundings, allowing them to create a secure and supportive learning environment
According to Forbes, the percentage of parents who favor homeschooling has gone up significantly. The recent pandemic gave parents a taste of what homeschooling was like, and a surprising number of them wish to continue homeschooling their children.
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67% of the homeschooled students successfully graduate from college.
Benefits of Public Schooling
Public schooling has several advantages:
- Cost Comparison: Public schooling is typically free, but homeschooling can be pricey due to the cost of curriculum and other materials
- A structured learning environment: Public schools offer a preset timetable and way of learning, which some children may find helpful
- Socialization: Public schools offer kids the chance to connect and interact with other children, which is key in terms of their social and emotional development
- Public schools may offer resources and specialized programs, such as music classes, art programs, sports teams, and AP courses, which may not be topics covered while homeschooling
- Certified instructors: All public school teachers are required to have gone through specialized education and are licensed to teach
- Easier lifestyle: Sending children to public school gives parents more time and flexibility since some parents feel they don’t have the extra time for homeschooling if both parents can work
For some very up-to-date homeschool research facts as of September 15, 2022, visit the National Home Education Institute.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of both homeschooling and public schooling, let’s now go over the potential disadvantages of both to really help put the overall decision in a better perspective.
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Regardless of the educational level of their parents, homeschooled students score between 80% and 90%.
Disadvantages of Homeschooling
Some of the potential disadvantages of homeschooling include:
- Time commitment: Homeschooling necessitates parents devoting a substantial amount of time, assuming the role of the teacher, and altering curricula to fulfill their child’s educational goals
- Socialization: Homeschooling children may not get to experience the same level of socialization and peer interaction as kids who attend conventional schools
- Resource scarcity: Homeschooling parents may find it hard to provide a thorough education when they lack the resources and materials that traditional schools have access to
- One potential consequence of homeschooling is feelings of isolation for both the student and the parent, since there won’t be regular chances for socializing outside of the house
- Homeschooled children may lack the availability of extracurricular activities, which can cause them to miss out on sports, music, and other enrichment programs
- Cost: Homeschooling may be costly with the need to buy curricula and supplies, hire tutors, or payments for extracurricular activities
- Lack of structure: Homeschooling may not have the same structure and routine as regular school, which can be difficult for some kids
- For successful homeschooling, parents need to have a certain level of understanding and diligence
- Limited access to higher-level courses: Homeschooled children may miss out on the more advanced courses or specialized programs offered at traditional schools
- Legal considerations: Homeschooling rules and regulations differ across states and parents may need to fulfill certain obligations or comply with specific directives in order to homeschool their kids legally
During the COVID-19 pandemic, homeschooling was on the rise by a staggering number. Parents basically had no choice as the schools were closed, and parents had the responsibility of ensuring the continued education of their children.
The United States Census Bureau indicates the global COVID-19 pandemic has sparked new interest in homeschooling, and the appeal of alternative school arrangements has suddenly exploded.
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When educated at home rather than in public schools, boys do 44% better on reading examinations.
Disadvantages of Public Schooling
Here are some of the downsides of public schooling:
- Big class sizes: Public schools typically have bigger classes, which can prevent teachers from providing individualized attention to every pupil
- Unsatisfactory curriculum range: Public schools are obligated to teach a predetermined syllabus, which may not be suited to a student’s specific preferences or approach to learning
- Standardized tests: Public schools usually depend a lot on standardized tests for student evaluation, placing the burden of excellent performance on public school students and not necessarily reflecting their legitimate capabilities and interests
- Inflexibility: Public schools follow a predetermined schedule and curriculum, which may not provide the option to vary the speed or topics
- Access to resources can be limited: Public schools may not offer the same technology or extracurricular programs as private schools
- In public schools, parents have limited control over their children’s learning environment as they lack a say in the curriculum or teaching methods
- Risk of being exposed to negative impacts: Public schools can be a breeding ground for negative influences, such as peer pressure, bullying, and drug use
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The typical cost of homeschooling is between $350-$750 per year for the parent(s).
Considerations for Parents
Homeschooling can have many benefits, but it may not be the best option for all families. Parents need to take various factors into account when deciding if they should homeschool their children, such as:
- Before beginning homeschooling, parents should evaluate thoroughly if they have the necessary time, energy, and resources to devote to it, as it requires a great deal of commitment
- For parents who decide to give their children a homeschooled education, it’s necessary that they possess some level of schooling and knowledge of instruction techniques in order to offer their children the proper education
- Socialization needs: Parents should think about whether their children will have enough opportunities for socialization when homeschooling and if they’re comfortable with the kind of socialization that homeschooling offers. As previously noted, it will be different from what children in public schools experience
- Finances: Homeschooling can be costlier compared to public schooling, as parents might have to acquire materials and resources and may miss out on free or discounted school lunches and other benefits
Parents need to evaluate their children’s future objectives and whether homeschooling will give them what they need in order to reach their goals.
For instance, if their child plans to go to college, parents may want to consider whether homeschooling will lay the essential groundwork for college admissions.
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The federal government saves $24 billion in taxpayer money thanks to homeschooling.
Below are some commonly asked questions:
Evaluating the pros and cons of homeschooling my child is something I am thinking about. What should I take into consideration?
If you are deliberating whether or not to homeschool your child, here are some elements to think about:
- Evaluate what motivates you to homeschool, as it will help you decide if it is the best option for you and your kid
- When homeschooling your child, assess their individual needs and determine if it’s the right fit. You should consider their learning style, socialization requirements, and whether special accommodations are necessary
- Homeschooling demands a lot of time and energy, so it’s essential to assess if you have the necessary abilities, materials, and assistance to provide an excellent education for your child
- It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the homeschooling laws in your state, as they vary from state to state
- When homeschooling, it’s important to create a support network to help you succeed. This can include other homeschoolers, homeschool groups, or virtual resources
What are the steps to begin homeschooling?
If you want to begin homeschooling your child, here are some steps to take:
- It is critical to be aware of the homeschooling laws in your state. Each state has a different set of regulations that must be followed
- When homeschooling, it’s essential to think about your and your child’s needs, as well as your goals and values, before deciding on an approach like unschooling, classical education, or Montessori
- Crafting an effective homeschooling schedule involves taking into account factors like your little one’s age, learning style, and your own availability
- Put together a learning plan. Craft a schedule for teaching, keeping your kid’s interests and capabilities in mind
- Look for assistance and aid: If you’re beginning to homeschool, there are plenty of options to support you, from homeschooling support groups and online forums to educational materials. Utilizing these resources is a great way to get help and guidance as you embark on your homeschooling path
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Deciding between homeschooling and public schooling is a critical decision that comes with its own advantages and concerns. Homeschooling allows parents to personalize their child’s education based on their individual needs and learning habits, in addition to allowing for greater parental involvement.
Though the process demands large amounts of effort from parents and won’t provide the same socializing opportunities as public school does, in the end, whether a family homeschools or sends their child to public school will depend on what the family hopes to achieve.
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About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those considering their educational options. Trina is a seasoned writer, content creator, and website owner with a passion for unbiased research, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.