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Homeschool vs. Public School: Critical Factors to Consider

Market: Education

 

homeschool vs public school two kids doing assignments at a home desk

For many reasons, people are considering homeschooling or virtual learning over in-person education. In recent months due to the pandemic, the talks of reopening schools have been a ping pong debate of how and when to do it safely. With so many differing opinions of the correct way to do it, parents are looking at other options. There were about 2.5 million homeschooled children in 2019, which is roughly 3-4% of school-aged children. This number is also on the rise in recent years. Trying to figure out which route is best for you? Here are some factors to consider while choosing homeschool vs. public school for your child.

Home School

Pros:

  • Catered learning plan

Children learn in different ways. Sometimes if a student is part of a large class in school and they don’t understand a particular subject, they can miss valuable lessons. By homeschooling instead of public school, kids can go at their own pace in a learning style that is suitable for them. In many cases, they can even accelerate their learning faster than their public school counterparts.

  • More real-life experiences/hand’s on learning.

Since they are not in an institution all day, homeschool students typically get more opportunities to take field trips depending on their budget. By spending time in the field, kids can learn outside the textbook and even get a headstart into the working world.

  • Staying home!

Since the Coronavirus is here to stay for the immediate future, staying home with our children has its apparent benefits. If kids don’t go to a place with hundreds to potentially thousands of others, they are far less likely to contract COVID-19 or other infectious diseases. For the parents who are especially concerned with this aspect, homeschooling may be the way to go.

Cons:

  • Cost

Homeschooling parents spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand a year. This number doesn’t even include the potential revenue lost from the parent staying home. While this amount to homeschool split up over 12 months doesn’t seem like much, it’s more than the public school price of ‘free.’ Not to mention, most parents still pay taxes for their district’s public school on top of that and very rarely get tax breaks.

  • Socialization

Kids need socialization. While homeschooling can help prevent bullying, it can also prevent students from fundamental social and emotional learning from their peers. For this reason, a homeschool parent needs to be extraordinarily disciplined in scheduling social outings. While this technique is not impossible, it can be a challenge for most parents.

  • Lost motivation due to same school/play area

When adults work from home, experts recommend using a separate workspace from their living spaces. By creating a different area, it not only helps people compartmentalize the physical space but also their mental space regarding work. The same concept works for kids. If children do classwork at the same place where they play, it can be harder to stay motivated to complete the work. If parents do choose the homeschooling route, it’s essential to create a private home workspace.

Public School

Pros

  • Structure and routine

Kids thrive on structure. It can help them focus and learn to organize their time as they become adults. Public schooling helps kids create a routine due to its built-in schedule as well as teach them how to arrive at a location on time. Also, since most adults working full time have a set 8-hour schedule during the day, kids can start early and practice as they grow up. Homeschool can also have structured activities; however, it is much harder to accomplish.

  • Independence

While homeschool students can benefit from spending plenty of time with their parents, it is equally important to learn from peers. Public schooling also helps students learn to become more independent from their parents. Not only does this help the kids, but it also allows parents to be just parents, not a teacher/parent combo.

  • Socialization

Schools are a built-in social arena where kids get lots of interaction with others their age. Without taking continuous field trips like their homeschooled counterparts, public school kids have plenty of time to bond and learn from others. Social skills are crucial once kids get to the workforce.

Cons

  • Germs spreading/non-pandemic friendly

In current times where germs spreading is a blanketed fear amongst many in the world, schools are one of the worst places to be. Any large group of people can quickly spread viruses, but it’s even more common in kids. This fact applies to other times outside the pandemic as well. In general, if you want to limit your kids’ exposure to any illness, keep them out of public schools or other institutions.

  • Unutilized time/learning

Since some classes can have up to 40 kids in it, the teacher sometimes has to choose between student comprehension and proper time management. If more time is spent on an individual, others in the class will have unutilized time. Plus, there are plenty of times within the school day where kids are not working or learning but they still have to be on site. This factor is not an efficient use of time.

  • Risk of Bullying

Unfortunately, kids don’t always understand how to interact with people who are different from them. Before kids learn what is right and wrong, they can tend to bully others who have different beliefs. If your family’s beliefs go against the norm, your kids can have a hard time fitting in or be easily swayed into a different set of ideas. If this is an essential value to you and your family, homeschooling may be a better option.

There are plenty of pros and cons of both homeschools vs. public schools. Take your time and consider your options thoroughly before choosing which is right for your family.

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