We’re breaking down homeschooling vs public school real truths, including the dated opportunities for social interaction argument, how teaching a child isn’t that different from parenting a child, and a complete look at public school vs homeschool pros and cons and information for the homeschooling vs public schooling debate.
Have you been trying to decide between homeschooling vs public school?
Or, maybe you’re wondering about the public school vs homeschool pros and cons?
And, you might be wondering, “Do children benefit more from homeschooling or public school?”
Or how about, “Is homeschooling easier than public school?”
And don’t forget, can you homeschool and go to public school?
(And maybe people are even asking you questions like, “Why is homeschooling bad?”)
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.
So maybe you’re at a crossroads and you’re trying to decide should your kid go to school 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.
Let’s get started with some basic questions first!
Is homeschooling more effective than public school?
Choosing homeschooling vs public school is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Determining if it is more effective for your family will depend on several factors, including the educational goals of your family, commitment to schooling, and why you are considering the switch.
Are kids who are homeschooled smarter?
Kids who are homeschooled are at all different levels, just like in a traditional public or private school. Some homeschooled kids may be smarter than their peers in traditional school, while others may be on the same level or behind their school peers. The great thing about homeschooling is that parents can speed up or slow down to provide homeschool children a tailored and comprehensive education.
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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) through a local public school. This means that a student attends public school, but they just complete the lessons from home.
FOR MORE INFO ON THIS TOPIC:
Cost of Homeschooling vs Public School
The cost of homeschooling vs 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 and outside classes for kids who attend public school.
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Homeschool vs Public School Pros and Cons
The homeschool vs public school debate is an ongoing discussion (and I imagine it always will be).
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…
See a complete list of homeschooling pros and cons that may help you further understand how homeschooling differs from public schooling.
Homeschooling vs Public Schooling Compare and Contrast
Pros of Homeschooling:
- More flexible schedules.
- Relaxed learning styles.
- Tailored learning for each student.
- Better control over learning topics and curriculum.
- Ability to facilitate a love of learning.
- Family bonding.
- Ability to travel at any time.
Cons of Homeschooling:
- Challenging to work and school.
- Determining how your child learns best.
- Dealing with society’s perception and judgment of homeschooling.
- Getting easily distracted.
- Finding a homeschool curriculum.
- Balancing different learning levels if you have multiple kids.
- Finding your support network and homeschooling tribe.
Now, let’s take a look at public schooling pros and cons, including benefits of public schools over homeschooling:
Pros of Public School:
- Easier to work and homeschool.
- School is the “norm” so there’s little judgment/questioning from society about the choice.
- Curriculum is predefined.
- Wider range of activities available at one location.
- Might be easier for parents to find their “tribe” since they are at school events.
- Ability to play sports is easier.
- Cost might be lower.
Cons of Public School:
- “Teach to Test” where most learning is for standardized testing.
- Schedule is not flexible.
- A large portion of your child’s day is influenced by others.
- Hours of homework each night.
- Travel is hard.
- 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.
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, why do parents decide to homeschool their child?
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!
CHECK OUT THIS HOMESCHOOLING BLOG POST NEXT:
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 school 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 (like 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.
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.
HOWEVER . . .
. . . 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.
I hope we’ve helped you understand a little more about homeschooling vs public school and given you some things to consider in your journey.