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Homeschooling Vs Public Schooling Essay

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To homeschool your child or children or send them to public school? That is a question that perplexes numerous parents nowadays. Homeschooling is an allowable option for parents in every state. “Homeschooling provides an alternative form of education that allows parents to bypass the public school system by teaching their children at home”(The learning economy 74). Homeschooling has many pros and cons but so does public school. The decision of course is up to the parents but in my opinion, public school is a wiser choice. Not all will agree with me, but I think several will based on the research that I provide below.

So why do some parents opt to homeschool their children instead of sending them to public school? “Today, most parents choose to educate their children at home because they believe that their children’s moral and spiritual needs will not be met in campus-based schools”(the civic perils 57). I do not agree with the moral needs not being met but I do agree with the statement that spiritual needs will not be met in public schools because due to most public schools being state funded, religion cannot be expressed.

Homeschooling does have several advantages with one being that it helps families build stronger relationships with each other because they are together more often. The disadvantage would be that having to play the role of both parent and teacher all day, every day could be challenging and difficult sometimes. It is okay to have some time apart and that is where public school comes into play. Public school not only gives you and your child or children a break from each other, but it helps teach them independence.

Another advantage of homeschooling is parents can choose what set of courses they want to teach their child or children. The downside is that it takes a lot of time to put together a curriculum and that means at least one parent must not work to be able to teach what they have planned. In our society today, having only one income and being able to survive is almost impossible. If you are a single parent, homeschooling is not even an option because you would not be able to afford to do it. Unless you are one of the few who are fortunate and can survive on one income or none, then public school would be the pick for most of us.

The other obstacle for being able to pick what you teach your children if you homeschool is the cost of textbooks and materials. You probably could get away with a small budget per year for textbooks and materials but in public schools, most are state funded which means textbooks and materials are purchased by the schools so no out of pocket expense for the parents. Many public schools also offer free or reduced breakfast and lunch as well as services like special education programs.

Homeschooling parents like the idea of being able to teach what they think their children should learn but most are not fully knowledgeable nor do they need to be certified in all the different subjects that children need to be taught. “Regulations of homeschooling varies widely from state to state”(in defense of neoliberal 105). A homeschooling parent tends to be less unbiased and more prejudice when teaching their own children. So, in the long run, children will be lacking the proper education that they need if not properly taught.

Whereas in public schools, teachers must have certain certifications to be able to educate children. For teacher certification “each state has its own set of rules and requirements but most require: a bachelor degree from a regionally accredited school, a passing score on a state teacher exam, completion of an [ATTP or] approved teacher training program”(elearners). Numerous trainings are offered to help keep teachers up to date too on teaching curriculums and strategies which are paid for by many public schools.

Homeschooling allows children to work at their own speed which is helpful to children that are fast learners or slow learners but there is a lack of structure because homeschooling courses generally do not follow public school curriculums. Public schools offer a guaranteed agenda that provide children with a routine structure to learn and stick to it. Plus, many public schools offer programs for the “gifted” as well as during or after school tutoring.

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The homeschooling option does provide greater safety for children compared to public schools especially with the amount of school shootings that have happened in the last several years. Homeschooling your children also helps in the prevention of peer pressure that they would normally be subjected to in public schools like drugs, hazardous conduct, alcohol, early sexual activity, and possibly stealing. Perhaps, if a parent discussed these issues with their children who went to public schools then maybe peer pressure would not be so prevalent, and many children would be able to steer clear of it.

Homeschooling enables more one on one time with children which helps parents be able to discuss more controversial topics versus public schools where there are larger class sizes that limit in depth discussions pertaining to certain topics. More and more public schools though are taking class size into consideration especially for the younger grades like kindergarten through third and are limiting their class sizes. Public schools have learned that those ages are formidable years for children and more one on one works better for them.

With homeschooling there are no set hours, so it does allow for more play time or recess for children which exercise is an important role in a child’s health and well-being. Recess time is limited at public schools because a school day has set hours so there is only so much allotted time for recess. Although, public schools do offer extracurricular activities after school such as sports like football, basketball, volleyball, and track. A few public schools will even transport children home after practices and games.

Diversity and social opportunities help shape the future for children and public schools offer a greater diversity during school hours by children being around other children that are not like them that come from different backgrounds and cultures versus homeschooled children who are mainly just around family when learning. There are more social opportunities at public schools for children to make friends because so many of them attend at the same time. But with homeschooling, it is harder for children to build relationships with their peers because they are not usually immersed with other homeschooled children. Although, with homeschooling schedules being flexible, parents can aid in providing these things for children by engaging them in 4-H, Scouts, religious events, or even partaking in community events. That is not to say that children that go to public schools cannot take part in the same activities.

There are a few similarities between homeschooling and going to public school such as both can take trips or vacations during the school year. In public schools, taking time off is more limited for children then homeschooled children but it is still able to be done. The variety of curriculum choices can be engaged in by both children in public schools and homeschool that are stimulating to the children. Such as home economics, astronomy, and photography just to name a few.

Homeschooling eliminated the factor of homework and more and more public schools are following suit by eliminating after school homework. Children seem to retain and learn more during class time without having to add homework in the mix. Plus, it frees up more time for both homeschool and public-school children to be able to pursue other learning activities to help shape them for adulthood and get them ready for life. Homeschool and public school seems to provide opportunities for children at any stage of development.

The biggest concern for both homeschooled and public schooled children is bullying. Children will encounter it whether they attend public school or are homeschooled and there is no way around it. For homeschooled children, they are generally stereotyped as being different, having no social skills and not being able to fit in with other children their own age. For public schooled children, they are also bullied for appearances, being different, and or also not being able to fit in with their peers. Bullying is a huge concern for parents whether they send their children to public school or choose to homeschool their children and currently, it is an unavoidable issue.

We as parents are obligated to provide our children with the best learning opportunities that are most beneficial in guiding them into becoming autonomous. They both offer advantages for children, but the concern is “parents who homeschool their children exercise complete authority over their education; such absolute control limits the child’s exposure to different ways of life. We therefore have reason to worry about the homeschooled child developing the capacity to become a free, self- determining agent” (journal of philosophy 507). In comparing the pros and cons of public school versus homeschool, my conclusion is that public school is still the proper choice for children of all ages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Similarities Between Homeschool And Public School

  • both can take trips or vacations during the school year
  • in public schools, taking time off is more limited for children, but it is still able to be done
  • the variety of curriculum choices (home economics, astronomy, and photography just to name a few).

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