As children, many of us learned to wake up in time to go to school with breakfast already in our stomachs. Our parents attempt to pack us a healthy lunch, or if they are busy, lunch money is given to our greedy little hands. After a long seven hours, we finally arrive at home again, our backpacks full of homework that needs to be finished by the next day. However, not all of us have had days like this.
There are so many options for a good education in today’s society. Public school, private school, online classes, you name it. Based on statistics, however, homeschooling has been becoming more popular and in demand. Education News have stated that, “Since 1999, the number of children who are being homeschooled has increased by 75%. Although currently the percentage of homeschooled children is only 4% of all school children nationwide, the number of primary school kids whose parents choose to forgo traditional education is growing seven times faster than the number of kids enrolling in K-12 every year.” There is not a definite reason for this growth, but people speculate that parents do not trust the education system, so they would rather put their children through homeschooling, hoping that they will receive a better education. However, have they done their research and examined the pros and cons of homeschooling?
In public school, there is a set amount of days in which students are “required” to attend school. For each of those days, teachers are required to create lesson plans for their classes. When you sit down and think about it, 180 days (the set amount of days that was required in my school district) is actually not a lot of time to teach an entire textbook. With homeschooling, students are able to work at their own pace and yet have an efficient and high-quality education. One day, a student can be in a happy mood and want to learn more than usual. Another day, he or she could have had a bad day so the workload could be lessened by a fraction. Being homeschooled can also allow for students to “skip” grades logically. A friend of mine was in several of my seventh grade classes, but the following year, he decided to try out homeschooling and ended up finishing two years worth of curriculum within a year. In public school, students who are recommended to skip a grade will skip a whole year of necessary material. With homeschooling, my friend was able to go over all material that was needed.
The reason why tutoring tends to be useful is because it involves the tutor and the student being one-on-one. When it is one-on-one, the attention is only on the one student, so the teacher is able to observe and note the weaknesses and strengths of that student. Also, each lecture will be made for that student alone, so a lecture can be made with that student in mind. This is very important, since each student learns differently. According to Study Mode, approximately 65% of the population is perceived as visual learners. However, what about the other 35% of the population? Homeschooling lets a teacher teach in a way where a certain student is able to learn efficiently.
Typically, when a person says that he or she is homeschooled, one may automatically assume that that person does not have as many friends as a typical student. According to TP college writer Lauren Collier, “Being homeschooled [during elementary school] limited my opportunity to meet and connect with kids my own age in the school setting.” However, when a student is homeschooled and they are taking high school courses, depending on the state, they can attend extracurriculars at the nearby public high school as well. TP college writer Olivia Cunningham stated, “In Pennsylvania, students are allowed to participate in co-curricular activities at the public school, so my siblings and I have been involved in activities through the public school, with other homeschoolers, such as co-op or chess clubs, with social groups such as Scouting and 4H, and with service organizations such as the local food pantry and church groups. So we never lacked a social life!”
Several of the students that I interviewed stated that their parents were the ones who taught them at home. Luckily, all of their parents were former certified teachers. However, not everyone is lucky enough to have a legitimate teacher living with them. Parents tend to find programs and/or teachers and sign up their children by the reviews they see online. However, each program has pros and cons, and they are very different as well. Some parents also tend to stop working and end up teaching their own children. Although this may seem like a money-saver idea, if a teacher does not teach well, it will negatively impact the child’s learning.
When I asked my interviewees if they preferred being homeschooled or attending school, there was a tie. As Collier also stated, “Overall, I preferred being in public school just because of the amazing friends I made and the experiences like school dances, field trips, choir competitions, and other things that are difficult to replicate in the homeschool environment. It’s hard to make friends and try new things when you’re stuck inside with books all day!” Another student stated that she liked being homeschooled because of the personal attention she was able to receive, and that led to a better understanding of certain subjects.
Homeschooling is a great alternative when it comes to education. If you are contemplating on choosing between homeschooling or not, hopefully this article will help in deciding.