Homeschooling vs public school real truths like pros and cons homeschool vs public school, which is better homeschooling or traditional schooling and a public school vs homeschool compare and contrast to help you make the best choice for your child. We include tips for making the important decision about your child’s education as a home educator and figuring out the best way to school kids for your family. Let’s take a look at home school myths vs facts in relation to traditional school for your children’s education and also statistics for homeschooling vs public schooling…
HOMESCHOOLING VS PUBLIC SCHOOL: HELPING YOU DECIDE
You’ve no doubt encountered the debate on homeschooling and public schooling. Homeschooling vs traditional schooling (like public schools and private schools) is always a hot educational topic because everyone wants a definitive answer on is homeschool better than public school (or is homeschool better than private school). However, don’t fall into trending educational information traps. The truth is, you will need to do some research and decide if having homeschooled children is the best for your family… and we can help you decide the best option with these homeschooling resources and education resources!
Is homeschooling more beneficial than public school?
Homeschool, sometimes called non-traditional learning, can be more beneficial for children with involved homeschooling parents who work to create the best educational opportunities for their kids. Trusted educational organizations like the NHERI reporting achievement outcomes in homeschooling and public school reveal that homeschoolers can score up to 30% better on standardized test scores, sometimes work at an elevated grade level, and also often have better real world life skills than their public school student counterparts.
Is homeschool worse than public school?
Homeschool can be a better education system for children than public school. But, home school parents must commit to providing the best educational experience for their homeschooled students in order to provide a better educational opportunity. If parents are not committed to homeschooling, then homeschool can be worse than public school. You don’t need to have the same qualifications as a public school teacher, but you do need to be committed to finding the resources your homeschoolers need.
The Homeschool vs Public School Debate
Have you been trying to decide between homeschool verses public school? Or, maybe you’re wondering about the public school vs home school pros and cons?
In this post, we’ll cover common education questions like:
- Do children benefit more from homeschooling or public school?
- Is homeschooling easier than public school?
- Is it good to be homeschooled?
- Can you homeschool and go to public school?
- Why is homeschooling bad?
- Is homeschool effective for all students?
And many more!
These are valid questions when starting a homeschooling journey (or evening thinking of switching from public school to homeschool) and trying to decipher the homeschool vs public school facts and why is homeschool better.
Maybe you’re at a crossroads and you’re trying to decide should your kid go to school (even charter schools or private schooling) or be homeschooled?
Let’s take a look and give you a better public school vs. homeschooling perspective to help you better research facts and make a more informed decision on education.
We’ll start with some basic questions first because you may be wondering: why public school is better than homeschool?
Is homeschooling more effective than public school?
Is public school better than homeschool and will they be better off in public school? Choosing homeschooling vs public school is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Determining why homeschool is better and if it is more effective for your family will depend on several factors, including the educational goals of your family, commitment to schooling, expected homeschool outcomes, and why you are considering the switch from public education.
How is homeschooling different to regular school?
With home schooling, parents take full control of their child’s education, which may include choosing and following a homeschool curriculum and lesson plans, and planning a homeschool schedule. It is more flexible than traditional school (the public school educational system) in that you can tailor the education to meet your child’s specific needs, including moving ahead or slowing down on topics and school subjects that need more work.
Now, let’s take a closer look at some data on homeschooling vs public school and homeschooling scores vs. public school (since many people are interested in school comparisons)…
Homeschool Statistics vs Public School Statistics
Let’s take a closer look at some homeschooling vs public school statistics:
- There are an estimated 3.7 million homeschooled students in the United States (K-12 school-aged children), according to 2021 homeschooling statistics. (Home schooling statistics change over years and the number of homeschoolers is thought to be much higher, but not every state has accurate homeschooling statistics due to different reporting requirements.)
- The majority of homeschooling parents revealed that their reason for homeschooling included concerns about current school environment, such as safety, drugs, or peer pressure.
- Homeschool students can excel academically and often have better academic performance than public schoolers and are reported to score “15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests.”
- Homeschool students have been reported to score above average on SAT, ACT, and college admission exams.
- A significant amount of homeschool students showed better social, emotional, and psychological development than those students in conventional schools like public school.
- Boys in public school are “2.5 times as likely as girls in public schools to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”
- What percentage of homeschooled students go to college? Some statistics report that 2.5 million homeschool students were enrolled in college at some level in 2019 and often have a higher college graduation rate (66.7%) in comparison to traditional schooled students (20.4% for overall students).
- Homeschool success rate: Studies have reported that adults who were homeschooled “perform statistically significantly better than those who attended institutional schools.”
Many people use these why public school is better than homeschooling statistics and homeschooling vs public school test scores to help them make educational decisions. However, I caution you against just using educational statistics. Instead, take into consideration a wide variety of factors in your homeschool decision making process. (See more below on facts about homeschooling vs. public school!)
Can you homeschool and public school at the same time?
Yes… and no. Homeschooling and schooling at home are two different things. However, you can virtually school at home online (remote learning or virtual school with a virtual learning portal) through a local public school. This means that a student attends public school through local school districts, but they just complete the lessons from home.
FOR MORE INFO ON THIS TOPIC (homeschooling vs online schooling and is homeschooling better than school at home):
Is public school better than online school?
Sometimes, public school is the same as online school because it is run through the public school system or at the same standards as a public school education. However, in-person public school and online school (remote school) both have their fair share of pros and cons that differ from straight homeschooling with homeschool parents outside of a public school setting.
Public schooling at home may be a good option for your family, but be sure that you understand that you are following the same stringent guidelines than if your child attends a brick and mortar location.
It’s a good idea to thoroughly research local school at home options before signing up and also consider public schools vs homeschooling before moving forward.
How do I transfer from public to online school?
How you transfer from public school to online school will depend on if your online school is affiliated with your current public school system, or if you are transferring to a different online school or an independent online school (not affiliated with any public school system). After you determine that, check your state governments education laws and also ask your local school system how to transfer, starting with the superintendent’s office in your local school district.
Can you start online school at any time?
YES! In most programs, you can transfer your child into online school at any time. If you are dealing with a virtual school affiliated with your public school system, you will need to check specifically with them. However, most online schools (especially those that are independent and used by homeschool families) can be started at any time, even mid-year or at the end of the year for school-age children.
Cost of Homeschooling vs Public School
The cost of homeschooling versus public school also varies greatly. Homeschooling curriculum can be costly if you try several and there is also the cost of outside-the-home classes and activities. You also have extracurricular activities and outside classes for kids who attend public school. In general, some find home school more expensive at around $1,000 and up for each student per year.
ALSO CHECK OUT:
Are kids who are homeschooled smarter?
You may be wondering are homeschooled students smarter than public school students? Kids who are homeschooled are at all different levels, just like in a traditional public or private schools. Some homeschooled kids may be smarter than their peers in traditional school, while others may be on the same level or behind their school aged peers. The great thing about homeschooling is that parents can speed up or slow down to provide homeschool children a tailored and comprehensive education and bridge any educational gaps.
Homeschool vs. Public School: The Honest Pros and Cons From a Homeschooling Mom and Former Teacher at College
The homeschool vs public school debate is an ongoing discussion (and I imagine the debate on homeschooling vs public schooling always will be present).
There are public school advantages the same way that there are benefits of homeschooling.
And, just like anything else, there are disadvantages of public schooling as well as cons of homeschooling.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of homeschool vs public school and help you answer: homeschooling vs. public school which is more beneficial and is homeschooling good?
Homeschooling vs Public Schooling Advantages and Disadvantages
Let’s match up homeschooling vs traditional schooling, starting with reasons why homeschooling is better…
Pros of Homeschooling:
- More flexible schedules makes it easier to work around different family dynamics.
- Relaxed learning styles allows home school families to work around their lifestyle and homeschooled kids to work at their own pace.
- Can build variety into a daily schedule for challenging students and combating boredom for kids.
- Ability to create your own schedule for schooling that works for your entire family.
- Tailored learning and personalized lesson plan for each student allows for development of a lifelong love of learning.
- Better control over learning topics and curriculum allows parents to tailor learning.
- Ability to facilitate a love of learning in that homeschoolers can get involved in what they want to learn and how.
- Provides a safe space for a child’s emotional development at their own pace.
- Family bonding is significantly increase because of time spent together and activities.
- Ability to travel at any time for learning on the road and road schooling and exposing kids to different cultures.
- Allows for deeper learning of topics.
- Helps create healthy social relationships for kids because you can set boundaries easier.
- Ability to provide individual attention to each student in home-based education can significantly enhance learning, grades, and outcomes. (Something homeschoolers value!)
- Real life experience is often sought out by college admissions for new college students (if your child is seeking higher education).
What are the negatives of homeschooling?
- Challenging to work and school.
- Determining how your child learns best takes time and commitment.
- Dealing with society’s perception and judgment of homeschooling.
- Getting easily distracted can take you off course.
- Finding a homeschool curriculum can be confusing and overwhelming.
- Balancing different learning levels if you have multiple kids takes time and practice.
- Finding your homeschool support network can be tricky, depending on where you live.
- May have limited access to resources to meet special needs or extraordinary needs.
- Student social interaction is left solely to you to create opportunities for homeschool socialization.
- Hard to understand that you don’t need to switch from mom to professional teacher and that you need to strive be an educational facilitator and leader instead.
- Parents have to determine how they will measure academic achievement.
- If have a negative experience last year, it’s harder to stay motivated to move forward for the current year.
- Can be expensive, starting from a few hundred dollars for each student per year to $1,000 and up when you factor in homeschool curriculum, school supplies, and additional activities.
- Responsible home education and accountability is overwhelming for many parents, especially when you first start homeschooling.
Now, let’s take a look at public schooling pros and cons, including benefits of public schools over homeschooling:
Pros of Public School:
- Easier for parents to work if kids go to school.
- School is the “norm” so there’s little judgment/questioning from society about the choice.
- Curriculum is predefined, so there is no extensive research on what to teach kids and what they need to complete for school work.
- Wider range of activities available at one location makes it convenient to get involved in after school activities.
- Might be easier for parents to find their support network since they are at school events.
- Ability to play sports is easier.
- Cost might be lower, which might be better if an income level consideration is important.
- Public high school credit assignments and transcriptions are created for your student during public school formal education and helpful for college admissions.
- Built-in student community.
Cons of Public School:
- “Teach to Test” where most learning is for standardized testing is a huge downfall of the current public education system.
- School day is predetermined and schedule is not flexible, making it hard if parents have a non-traditional work schedule.
- Predetermined scope and sequence is inflexible and doesn’t allow kids to develop a love of learning.
- A large portion of your child’s day is influenced by others and public school peers peer pressure.
- Hours of homework each night is overwhelming and leaves little time for family time / down time.
- Traveling outside of a school break is hard.
- Special needs classroom may be overwhelmed and cannot best meet the needs of your child.
- Kids don’t interact with other kids of different ages (spend time mostly with their age group).
- Regular negative peer influences and bullying and current questions with lack of safety in school system are huge concerns for parents.
As you can see, it’s hard to answer is homeschooling better than traditional schooling because there are so many different factors that go into it and deciding is homeschooling better school.
See a complete list of homeschooling pros and cons that may help you further understand how homeschooling differs from public schooling and help with the public school vs homeschool debate. Take time to take time to consider the positive and negative aspects of homeschooling!
Is Public School or Homeschool Better?
5 Questions NO ONE TALKS ABOUT When Deciding If Homeschooling vs Public School Is Better
So, is homeschool or public school better for your family?
And, what are the reasons parents choose to homeschool?
Here are five important questions you need to ask when determining your child’s education, the best learning environment, and making the right choice for your family:
Homeschooling vs Public School Question #1: Why are you considering homeschooling?
Do you feel like you’re being “called” to homeschool?
Are you scared of today’s public school climate like safety and bullying?
Or, are you feeling pressured to homeschool because you have some friends telling you that’s what you should be doing?
Give some serious thought to the reasons you’re considering homeschooling (like, make a pros and cons list of the reasons so you can see them!).
Also, this is the time to talk to your kids and spouse or partner about homeschooling, too.
You definitely don’t want to spring it on everyone and have to fight that battle along with getting started homeschooling.
This needs to be a family decision!
Homeschooling vs Public School Question #2: What are the public schools like in your area?
Are your public schools… scary?
Is school bullying a big concern?
And, is your decision fear based due to the increase in school shootings and making your consider homeschooling?
Or, do you have award-winning public schools that everyone raves about in your area?
Will your child receive a much better education than you could provide them at home by going to your local public school?
Reasons for homeschooling vary between families, so these are important points to consider.
Talk to some friends.
Meet with teachers.
Join the public school’s Facebook page for your area and read the reviews and follow the issues people are posting about.
Then, ask questions from the homeschool group and get input on your concerns.
In some cases, the answer will be blatantly obvious on whether you should homeschool or choose public school.
For others, the homeschooling vs public school pros and cons may be equal, so you’ll have a tough decision to make.
Homeschooling vs Public School Question #3: How involved do you want to be in your child’s learning?
Homeschooling is a full-time job all on its own, so you need to ask yourself how involved do you want to be in your child’s learning?
It’s an important question because if helping with learning, coming up with field trips, and creating social opportunities doesn’t sound sound appealing to you, then you need to give some long, hard consideration to homeschooling.
Don’t get me wrong!
It’s not that you shouldn’t homeschool if you don’t like those things (trust me, we all go through that), but you might need to readjust your thinking, expectations, and schedule.
(And, that’s OK! It will take a little while to get comfortable with homeschooling and find your groove.)
Also, you have to remember that children who go to public school spend very little (quality) time each week day with their parents and siblings . . . until the weekends.
It boils down to this:
How committed are you to providing your child the best education they can receive?
Homeschooling vs Public School Question #4: How will you facilitate extracurricular interests?
What if I told you that a vast majority of our homeschooling was spent outside of the home?
Between outside-the-home classes (for us, music, drama, skating, swim, Spanish, cooking, and others) and field trips or homeschool meet-ups, we spend a lot of time outside the home.
(I mean, A LOT.)
(Honestly, probably too much.)
One of the things that you should ask is how will you fill in the “extracurricular” gaps that your child could get at public school.
How will you find homeschool activities and homeschool programs to get your child involved and interacting with other kids?
If your kid would run track at public school, what will you do to make sure that he has that same (or similar) opportunity at home?
Or, maybe your kids are in drama club?
How will you encourage their “theater bug” from home?
In other words, the homeschool vs public schools socialization argument is really a non-issue.
But, you will need to do the research and schedule homeschool activities that interest your child and… stay on top of them!
Homeschooling vs Public School Question #5: Does your child have special needs?
If your child has special learning or physical needs or other needs (maybe your child is advanced), where is the best place for him/her?
Does the public school system provide resources that you would have to replace if you start homeschooling?
Or, would your child’s needs be better served with a one-on-one learning environment at home?
It’s a tough decision, but you need to list the pros and cons of homeschooling and public school in order to figure out what is best for your child, especially if there are special considerations for your kid.
PUBLIC SCHOOL AT HOME
Homeschooling Programs and Online School
One more thing I want to cover is homeschooling programs and online school.
We touched on this briefly earlier, but it is important to understand the differences in homeschooling versus schooling at home when looking at homeschool vs public school.
Many people use online school homeschooling programs when homeschooling.
These are valid online homeschool programs and curricula that are often provided by private companies for homeschoolers and other educators.
However, there are also many online school programs that are affiliated with public schools.
If you search online for “free online school” or “online school,” you will see things come up like:
Tuition-Free Online School
Tuition-Free Online & Virtual Public School Programs
- K12 Online
AND MANY OTHERS of very similar names.
These are public school programs and not homeschool programs.
(Meaning, it is just public school that is done from home instead of going to a traditional brick-and-mortar school everyday.)
While these online public school programs are valid choices for some families, you need to be aware that it is not “homeschooling” in the true sense of the word.
In homeschooling, you have complete control over your child’s education.
With these online school programs affiliated with public schools, they have the same oversight as public schools (same curriculum, same standardized testing, same state requirements, etc.).
So, these online online school programs are really just public school, but done from home.
There are online homeschool programs that have nothing to do with public schools and are available for homeschoolers.
These are very important distinctions to understand when researching your homeschool vs public school options.
If you want true homeschooling, where you have total control over your child’s education (because that is a huge advantage of homeschooling), be sure that you are not choosing an online school program where you have to answer to the local public school system.
So… homeschool or public school which is better?
That’s a lot to think about, right?
We hope that it helped with your homeschool vs public school research.
Just remember: It takes a great deal of time and commitment to homeschool.
You should spend some time considering the questions presented here and the benefits of homeschooling versus the homeschooling cons before making a decision.
Books On Homeschooling vs Public Schooling
You may find the following homeschool resources and education books helpful in further exploring your search for a better option for you kids’ learning.
- How Children Learn
- Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World
- Dumbing Us Down – 25th Anniversary Edition: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
- Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling
- The Underground History of American Education
Homeschooling can be a great option for your family, but you do need to fully understand the home school advantages and the home school disadvantages. Be sure to weigh the benefits of public school and cons of public school before making any decisions using the online resources we’ve provided.