Every parent wishes to give his child the best education as it opens more opportunities and is a guarantee of careless and happy life. That is why there is a tendency when public schools lose their popularity and many parents decide that homeschool is better for their kids.

Of course, it is possible to send your beloved daughter or son to the private school, but prices are rather biting there and not always private means premium. Let’s analyze what differs homeschooling from traditional secondary schools and whether it is a good alternative to them.

Defining homeschool and traditional schools

A traditional public school is an educational institution where lessons are organized into a schedule and taught by teachers according to the definite program. Traditional schools are financed by authority on the basis of taxes paid by parents.

Private schools function like public ones but the main difference between them is an emphasis on some subjects and a necessity for parents to pay money.

Homeschool is an alternative to customary schools as children are controlled by parents and learn all the material themselves at home, volunteer organizations or via the Internet, have a flexible schedule and no homework. All the responsibility for a homeschooler lies on parents so it’s their task to develop lesson plans, control studying and check results. Today homeschool has acquired some new features with the appearance of virtual online schools both public and private.

Children can find all the necessary materials, curriculum plans in the public schools absolutely free of charge as they are prepared by a state-authorized organization, while private schools still require payment for tuition.

Pros and cons of homeschool

Why do so many parents today prefer homeschool for their kids to traditional ones? It is estimated that over 2 million American kids today are taught at home and every year this number grows. That happens because of the benefits homeschool offers to its learners:

  1. Children have a flexible schedule and are not restricted to the place and time where and when they must study.
  2. It allows developing child’s gifts by dedicating more time to enrichment activities.
  3. Such learners obtain real-world experience as they communicate with people working in different fields, of different age, and with different backgrounds. They can be involved in clubs, volunteer organizations, religious communities or try their entrepreneurial skills.
  4. Studying takes place at learner’s own pace and there is no exhausting homework.
  5. On average, homeschool students show 30 points better results than their traditional school peers.
  6. Homeschool kids appear to be more mature in comparison to the school children of the same age.
  7. A Higher level of discipline and self-organization. Total freedom allows managing time better.
  8. Better family relationships are guaranteed because children spend more time with their family members, communicate and discuss any problems with them. Consequently, relatives become closer to kids and understand them better.

These benefits make many parents sacrifice their free time and help their kids get a better education. At the same time, there are some apparent drawbacks of homeschool as well including:

  1. Lack of socializing with peers.
  2. Critical thinking is developed not so well.
  3. Additional money on materials is required.
  4. Being misunderstood by other members of society.
  5. Such kids have fewer friends.

Benefits and drawbacks of traditional schools

Traditional schooling has been experienced by a much bigger number of population. Everyone who has been attending school for years can single out why it should be both loved and hated. Each coin always has two sides and schools have their benefits and drawbacks too.
Why do we like attending customary schools and what exactly does it bring about to its pupils?

  1. Traditional timetable guarantees that a child will get acquainted with all school subjects beginning with their basics.
  2. The school program is organized in such a way that students get all the necessary skills to be able to live in the modern world analyzing the behavior of heroes and avoiding their own pitfalls.
  3. Children learn to cope with difficulties faced at school themselves, without the assistance of their parents and that prepares them for an adult life.
  4. Teachers offer a variety of learning methods and approaches that will meet requirements of every child. Moreover, they have a decent person to take an example of.
  5. Public schools are affordable to all kids and parents.

Unfortunately, modern schools are not perfect. Researchers and educators are in constant search of how to make schooling better but still there some negative sides of studying at it.

  1. Customary routine does not always allow taking up activities a child would like to.
  2. No motivation to develop.
  3. All the students are placed in the equal positions so more gifted and talented kids have to wait for those who follow behind.
  4. Children are passive listeners and their participation is minimal.
  5. Parents are not usually involved in educational process.
  6. Students make efforts to receive better grades rather than obtain new important knowledge or skills.

traditional schools

Cost of studying

Of course, the most expensive place for a student to study is a private school. In average, you should be ready to pay $30-40 thousand annually as well as be a participant of fundraisers or buy some materials.
Public schools are usually free of charge but parents should spend money on the uniform, some additional materials, teacher gifts, school events and donate to the PTA.
Homeschooling does not have an average price for tuition as everything depends on the way how to study and what materials to use. The last condition comprises the most of the homeschool cost as you can study without spending a single dollar using free online resources or library books. However, it will be enough to spend about $500 per year to buy the necessary supplies, but if you wish to see all the historical sights with your own eyes this budget is nothing.

Reasons for families to prefer homeschooling

Apart from the benefits of homeschool education mentioned above, there are also many other reasons that force or encourage parents to teach their kids at home. According to the poll conducted by Jennifer Courtney in 70 homeschool families, there are several reasons for them to make this choice:

  1. Religious views. Families that wish to incorporate religion and the Bible into their children’s education would prefer to let their kids study at home rather than be a member of a cruel teenage group.
  2. Safety. Many children are injured on the school territory, let alone situations when there are more severe cases. All children are different and even spontaneous jokes may result in some health issues, so keeping kids at home parents believe that they are in safety.
  3. Better academic achievements
  4. It is a proven fact confirmed by several studies that homeschool children show better academic results. Moreover, they even show better socialization results than ordinary students.
  5. Travelling. There are families that can not live in one place for a long time. They travel together with their children and see all the masterpieces in origin, work in foreign missions, are employed in camps or take care of orphans. Homeschooling is much more comfortable for them.
  6. Individual learning plans. Every student learns at his own pace and tailored learning plans allow learning not only necessary but also interesting material and that is great for motivation.
  7. No grades. Assessment can be made in a variety of ways and many parents do not consider grades the best ones. The absence of necessity to study for the sake of grades is a step in the side of mastery.

Conclusion

Homeschool gains popularity and what was regarded strange several years ago now it is a customary thing. More and more families prevent their children from being bullied at school and leave them home to achieve better results. Whether homeschool is worse or better than traditional educational institutions, one should decide personally for himself but it is obvious that modern people look for new ways of acquiring knowledge as schools can not keep up with the rapid development of our society.

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Homeschool vs. Traditional Public/Private School

Also published on Medium.

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