Homeschool versus Public School

Which is better for your child – homeschool or public school?  In this article, we are going to try to take a very objective look at this question.  Keep in mind that there isn’t one solution for all families.  Let’s get started.

In homeschooling, you are free to teach your child what you feel they need to learn, in a way that best matches their learning style, when you feel it is most appropriate.  In public schools, your child must be taught according to a plan that tries to be effective for the majority of students – but what if your child isn’t one of those students that respond well to that plan?

In homeschooling, you have the freedom to allow your child to pursue their talents and special interests.  If they love to write, you can find ways to tie that in with their other subjects, helping them not only build their writing skills but helping them to be more motivated in subject areas they don’t care for.  With the rules and standards that apply to public school, your child doesn’t have that same degree of freedom to pursue what they love and enjoy.

Most homeschool teachers do not have a background in education, while full-time public school teachers have to have credentials and licenses to teach in the public school system.  They often have extra education in the subject they teach, such as high school math or science.

If your child has learning disabilities, you have the freedom to keep trying different approaches until you find one that works for your child.  In addition, your child will face no stigma and no labeling, which is pretty much unavoidable in a public school setting.  Public schools do the best they can to meet the needs of children with learning disabilities, and have improved greatly in the past 30 years, but they still cannot provide that personalized attention that a homeschooled child can receive.

Depending on how your approach homeschooling and family activities, your child may have very little socialization with others or they may socialize with a variety of different people.  In public school, your child will socialize primarily with their peer group and authority figures.  Some view this as a good thing, while others do not.

Depending on what state you homeschool in, there may be little to no oversight of your child’s education – however, there are states that are very strict.  In the public school system, there are standardized tests that are given to evaluate your child’s performance.

There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument over homeschool versus public school.  There is not just one answer for all families, which is why it’s such a great thing that we live in a country that gives parents the freedom to choose.   If you are thinking about homeschooling your child, then do some research about the pros and cons and choose what you think is best for your family.  You’ll be glad you took the time to make an intelligent decision.

Mimi Rothschild is a veteran homeschooling mother of 8, writer of a series of books called Cyberspace for Kids, and passionate advocate for children and education that is truly worthy of them. In 2001, Mimi and her late husband founded Learning By Grace, a leading provider of online Christian homeschooling Academies.

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