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Homeschool or Public School? Which is better?

Are you thinking of homeschooling your child? Are you thinking of changing the way your child is learning? Are you interested in homeschooling or at least intrigued? If your answer is yes to any of these questions then this article is worth a good read. Homeschooling has become a big topic in the education industry, especially in this age when a pandemic is sweeping the streets. In general, homeschooling has received a lot of attention so, in this article, we will look at the advantages and the disadvantages of both sides.

Now, it is important to ask the ‘why’ question. Why in the first place would you want to homeschool your child? This is crucial as the benefits of homeschooling will vary according to your preferences. There are still advantages to homeschooling that will be general across all parents and students but there will also be some that won’t be much of an issue to you. Vice versa, there would also be some that would be more important. Many factors that might apply to you depends on your age, your demographic and where you geographically are on Earth. Others also include certain practices and philosophies that make generalising advantages and disadvantages near to impossible.

It is because of this generalisation that produced a test that was conducted back in 2010. This test was backed up by the Home School Legal Defense Association and the aim of it was to clearly state the differences between students that were homeschooled and students that gained their education through public school. This test was also used by many to find out if there are certain areas or subjects that homeschooled children would exceed in and vice versa. The way they would conduct their research and formulate their data would be through a test that 2000 students would be tested on. This test would include an array of subjects including Mathematics, sciences, language skills, reading skills and humanities subjects. This would explore, as stated before, whether homeschooled children are better at certain aspects of the test. The results that came out from this test were intriguing and provided extremely useful information to researchers. The result was that homeschooled children scored higher and were operating at a higher level compared to the traditional way of public schooled children. These results did not uncover the whole truth though as there were many questions left unanswered. We still do not understand why this is happening and the science behind it.

After discussing the motivation styles of homeschooling, we need to look at the physical part of it. The physical aspect of this would mainly include medical assessments. Medical assessments like vision and hearing screening and immunisation rarely happen to homeschool children. Some parents and students would agree that this is positive while on the other hand, some will not. Academic success does not only mean pen and paper but also includes sports. For some sports eligibility, certain physicals need to be passed by the student to be able to be qualified to take part in. This rule does not necessarily apply to homeschooled children. This leads me to my second point which would be the medical aspect of it which would also involve beliefs. If you believe that immunisation poses negative consequences, homeschooling would seem like the gateway to avoiding it. On the other hand, if you do want your child to be immunized, public schooling would look promising as some schools provide free immunization. This is a great example of why generalisation of advantages and disadvantages is close to impossible.

There is still one more aspect that we need to cover which is about a misunderstanding of socialism. This misconception is about the socialization of children that are homeschooled. Socialization is considered by many parents because they would not want their child to be an introvert and not know how to mix with people well. This single point is also responsible for many wrong decisions that parents make when thinking of homeschooling their child. This topic is very hard to gain information from tests as there are countless ways that a child could be homeschooled. This would introduce many factors in the experiment that would jeopardize the accuracy of the results.

The truth is that most children that are homeschooled do not face this isolation problem. This is mainly because homeschoolers do socialise with other children in the form of churches, events, and clubs that they participate in. Results have also shown that some children homeschooled are more socially mature than children that receive their education from public schooling. As highlighted before, these tests do not accurately show results but if we do use it, we can see that the reason this is so would be a bad influence. Bad influence in public schools is quite common that might introduce bad social behaviour into children. The takeaway of this is that there is no difference between homeschooled and public schooled children in terms of socialism.

To uncover the ‘why’ question, we need to first look at the psychological side of it. This would mainly include the motivation styles of the child, the parents and anyone else that contributed to the child’s education. We need to draw a line between homeschooling and public schooling in terms of practices. Public schooling would be considered as formal education while homeschooling would be informal education. The difference between formal and informal schooling would be that informal education includes firm sit down instructions while the other does not. This means that education at home is much more relaxed and learning does not have to end when the school bell rings.

This does not suggest that a child at home can play games while studying but instead suggest learning can continue outside of class. For example, lessons outside informal class can continue while making dinner or going to run some errands. This point sheds light to the first advantage of homeschooling. The advantage is that homeschooling does not matter where or when it takes place. This does not exist when we use the public school format as learning is limited to a certain timing of the day.

These are the points that would contribute to the argument on whether public school or homeschool is better. Based on the information that we have gained through tests, we can see that homeschooling is better on paper. This means that scientifically, the advantages that homeschooled children receive outweighs the disadvantages. In the end, this mainly comes down to your preferences as mentioned in the medical aspect of this.

There are other points though that will side with public schooling which is why deep consideration is advised. It is possible to make a bad decision at this stage of deciding so choose wisely.

References and Citations: Moreau_Kathi_MP.pdf Homeschooling-1.9.pdf

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