Guide: Is homeschooling better than public school?

I’ve always been curious about the benefits of homeschooling vs. public schools, but I never really knew where to start my research. That is, until now. A friend of mine recently told me she was considering homeschooling her children and asked for some input on the subject matter.  I thought it would be a great opportunity to finally gather answers about this topic!

Is homeschooling better than public school, or are public schools are getting traditional? And what are some perks to homeschooling a child that most parents are gravitating toward it?

Homeschooling has become increasingly popular in recent years as parents are becoming more invested in their child’s education and want them to have access to a curriculum that is tailored specifically for them. As someone who went through public school myself, I am intrigued by what could potentially be better than what I experienced growing up – so let’s see what the pros and cons of homeschooling vs. traditional education are!

Why Homeschool?

The top reasons for homeschooling include; parents want a more personalized curriculum in order to meet their child’s unique needs, interests, and abilities. It’s no secret that even with the best teachers there is just simply not enough individual attention given in public schools, especially when classes get larger. But with homeschooling, learning styles and interests can be more specifically targeted while allowing the child to learn at their own pace.

why homeschool

Homeschool families also have a lot more freedom in what they choose to teach their children. For example, if a child is particularly interested in a certain subject but the public school curriculum has already moved on, then homeschooling is an opportunity to learn that specific topic further if they so desire.

Many parents also report a huge difference between homeschooled children and those attending public schools when it comes to focus and work ethic. Homeschoolers have more time every day to dedicate to their studies and therefore have fewer distractions. A child’s social life isn’t an issue because they can spend time with friends during recess or after school hours.

So, Is homeschooling better than public school? Definitely yes! that’s why more and more people are gravitating towards and adopting this system.

Why Public Schools?

The first thing I think of when someone mentions public schools is the wonderful world of diversity. Every child has an opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds, cultures, and subcultures.  This exposure helps to promote understanding and empathy during formative years. Public school students are also more likely to learn about current events (e.g. recent political issues, environmental dilemmas, etc.) and these lessons can help to promote critical thinking skills.

why public school

Public schools also provide a good foundation for adult socialization (e.g. attending college, interacting with colleagues). As mentioned before, most teachers do not have the time or resources to give individual attention to students in public schools.  However, in some circumstances, students can be sent to receive support in small groups or even one-on-one if their needs require it. As this is not often the case, I would say that public school does not provide as much individualized instruction compared with homeschooling.

Comparison between homeschool and public school

Now as we have discussed some key points of homeschool vs. public school; It would be great if we do a bit comparison of homeschool vs. public school and how do they stack up generally?

In terms of flexibility;

Homeschooling is usually very flexible. Most homeschoolers have a set curriculum, but also allow themselves the flexibility to follow their child’s interests and adjust accordingly.  The public school generally does not provide this kind of flexibility. Every student follows the same curriculum in most public schools nationwide.

Next, many parents are just interested in having more time with their children.  This is why homeschooling can be a great choice – especially for those who have more than one child. In public school, students are with their peers from the moment they wake up until they go to bed. Not as much time is spent at home as with homeschooling!

In terms of social skills,

If we talk about social skills, public schools definitely offer more opportunities to learn social skills such as teamwork and how to work under deadlines. Especially with the diversity of people in public schools, students have many chances to practice interacting with different kinds of people which can help them later on in life.

With homeschooling, parents often put a lot of effort into making sure their children get proper social interaction with people outside of the home. This can be done by participating in community activities, joining clubs, playing sports, etc. Some homeschoolers also choose to participate in public school extracurricular programs (e.g. drama club, band) for this reason!

In terms of academic performance,

Let’s have a look at academics now! Homeschooling parents are able to adjust the curriculum to their child’s pace.  They can easily go over lessons that were too difficult, or they can spend more time on topics where their child is struggling. This way, they are always working ahead of the game and never have to worry about falling behind.

Is homeschooling better than public school

On the other hand, public schools tend to offer an “average” curriculum that all students must follow.  The large class sizes also mean that teachers do not have as much time to provide individual attention to each student. However, many public schools teach Advanced Placement (AP) courses and/or college-level classes which can be very helpful for students who are interested in higher education.

In addition, public school teachers tend to be more experienced at teaching large classes. They may not have as much time to give each student individual attention, but they know how to manage a class of 30+ people effectively!

In terms of cost,

It seems like public schools are cheap as they are free! But that’s not the case…

One big advantage to homeschooling is the lower cost. Homeschoolers may not have to pay for extracurricular activities, transportation to/from school, or even uniforms if they choose not to.  However, it is important for homeschooling parents to remember that books and curricula are still a necessity, so they must be funded in some way.

Public schools are free to attend, but they do come with an associated cost. 

If we estimate, we see that homeschooling parents only spend on average $600/year per child on curriculums and books compared to public school students who spend $1000+ per year. (note: this is a general estimation)

In terms of the environment,

Homeschoolers definitely have more control over their child’s environment. They can choose to expose their children to new experiences and teach them about different cultures and ways of life. However, this is not always an option if one parent works full-time and cannot homeschool full time. In public school, students are exposed to many different communities every day!

To sum up both the Homeschool vs Public School debate,

Homeschoolers and public school students have their own sets of pros and cons! It is important to consider these factors before making the decision to homeschool or enroll your child in public school.

📌 Also Check: How do homeschooled students get into college?

Is homeschooling better than public school? Keep the following things in mind.

Homeschooling is definitely not for everyone, but I think it’s great for students who are highly motivated and independent learners!

  • Your home may not be a safe environment for your child if you don’t know the proper way of teaching and guiding them. & You might want to hire a teacher or tutor as some families cannot teach all grades.
  • If you’re not well prepared in homeschooling, then there can be very unpredictable results in their learning. You will need to be well-prepared for homeschooling and have a plan of what you will teach your child every day. There’s no quitting halfway through the year if you don’t like it!
  • Your child might miss out on social interactions with friends during the day. Be sure to have play dates, sports activities, etc., so they don’t feel too isolated.
  • Slow down! It’s okay to go slowly and think through concepts rather than racing ahead out of boredom or frustration. Take your time learning together!
  • Slow down!! Studies have shown that children who are homeschooled develop social skills at a slower pace. This can make it difficult for them to keep up with their public school peers in certain activities. Be sure to have plenty of playdates and sports practices, especially during the summer months!
  • Depending on your state law, you might not be able to get your child accepted into college right away when they finish high school. So, research your state laws on homeschooling. These may vary from state to state.
  • Our local school district for testing requirements, etc. These may vary from county to county or even from year to year!

It takes a lot of effort and determination from the parents. Homeschooling is not an easy task and it requires commitment, patience, and time for your child to get the best out of it. But if you are committed enough to it, then it is definitely something to consider.

Do homeschooled kids do better than public school kids?

A study found that homeschooled children receive “significantly higher standardized test scores” than other students, particularly in the areas of reading and language.

But! there is no one answer to this question as it largely depends on the child’s individual abilities and the quality of the homeschooling program. However, many people believe that homeschooled kids often perform better academically than those who attend public schools. This is likely due to the fact that homeschooling allows for a more customized and personalized learning experience, which can be especially beneficial for students who struggle in a traditional school setting.

Additionally, homeschooled children typically have more opportunities to socialize and engage in extracurricular activities, which can help them develop important life skills. So, while the quality of a homeschooling program is a major determinant of a child’s academic success, there are many great things that homeschooling has to offer.