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Pros and Cons of Home Schooling Compared to Attending Public Schools
Education is an integral part of everybody’s life since it gives us the opportunity to become somebody, to find our call in life and to be happy with the perfect job. The point is that in the world of advanced technologies, constant progress and always changing values, the attitude to education also varies. Parents are confused with the opportunities that are provided in the modern society, and they try to choose the best way of their children’s studying what will result in future perspectives. There are two ways school-aged children can study nowadays, namely at home or school and both variants have their advantages and disadvantages.
The first point to make is to state that the choice of studying approach should suit the student’s personal psychological and physical abilities, must take into consideration the environment and individual skills. In general, the decision must be somewhat weighted relying on the financial possibilities and the aims parents set for their children. In many cases, the local schools do not give the solid background, and at the same time, the public institutions are too expensive. The home-schooling may seem to be unproductive, not professional but individual-centered and economical. All in all, the issue is somewhat contradictory, and if it were possible to predict the results of any choice, it would ease the decision.
First of all, many families today consider the studying at school to be unsuccessful and the pure waste of time. It has to be said that in a variety of situations, the choice of studying approach lies in the parents’ beliefs, principles, nationality, and financial condition. One of the biggest pros of homeschooling is the ability to create an individual learning plan. To be more precise, the parents know that their children’s achievement would be higher studying at home than at school with other students, that is why they settle the personal goals and the ways for reaching them. Moreover, homeschooling is the opportunity to study directly what the child wants, to choose the subjects in which the student will benefit. The parents know their children better what helps them to analyze the possible variants, to concentrate more on what is interesting and what may produce positive outcomes (West). Another advantage is the ability to have one’s schedule of studying what allows to combinate the learning process with the extracurricular activities. The child may choose the most comfortable time for studying, and the duration is also variable regarding the conditions of the emotional state and health. What should be mentioned is that the homeschooling is the most suitable option for children with special needs. Such education allows them to be equal to other children in their learning possibilities, but at the same time, they manage to follow their plan according to the physical and psychological skills.
Still, having the pros, homeschooling is not completely beneficial due to some reasons. Mainly, teaching children at home, parents lack the professional books, necessary for having the same level as those students at the school. Furthermore, they do not have access to hobbies like sport, music or theatre. Another thing to say is that homeschooling makes children deprived of direct communication with the peers. In such a way their development is not full, they are not socialized (West). What is more, being in the circle of other children, they feel the competition, they are more motivated to study, to reach the desired results and to think that they are the individuals, they are unique and special. On the other hand, homeschooling concentrates on the one child what in some cases turns them into the egotistical personalities, or those not able to withstand their point of view.
The completely another situation is with studying at school. It also provides the challenges and at the same time gives opportunities for successful studying. Notably, school is a place where children spend most of their time that makes it a significant part of their development as the personalities. It is an institution that has the structure and struggles to find the approach to every student. It is somewhat difficult for the mother or father to make a child study but the school requires the proper attitude and behavior. Notably, children at home are not concentrated, they feel the home atmosphere, the easiness which distracts them from studying.
Moreover, when the child is at school, she or he becomes more responsible, more independent, especially what concerns the formation of the personal views and opinions in life(Hill). They understand that they have to do something to be singled out from the crowd, to be noticed and appraised. As a result, they are motivated, with the fire in their eyes to work, to become better and be acknowledged.
To study at school means to be part of a big team, to learn how to communicate with the different people and keep face in front of the difficulties(Basham). Children learn how to find the way out of the uncomfortable situations when, for instance, they are not ready for the lessons, they use their personal experience and skills. Homeschooling does not contribute to the formation of the firm character because there are no any life hurdles, no opportunities to show off and to fail. It has to be said that studying at school gives the chance to have a life school when you see the achievement of others and try not to lag behind, what helps you to work more if there are any gaps and mistakes.
The important thing about schools is that they possess the academic sources, the approaches proved to be productive in learning. Teachers are the professionals; they know how to create the proper atmosphere in class, how to teach in a way it is not the sound theory, but a collaboration of the students, the game and the possibility to apply the acquired knowledge. In other words, school contributes to the practice of the material, it faces the children with life experience and allows them to use their skills. At home, the students are in a closed environment, and there is no chance to practice, nobody would evaluate it. Many would say that public schools are rather expensive today, but still, the homeschooling turns out to be even more money-wasting. In general, the successful studying lies in the vast amount of supplies, which comprises books, equipment and even money for different educational trips(Martin-Chang). At school, the family would spend money once or twice a week, while at home the parents will spend money all the time, namely to create the learning atmosphere, to buy the handbooks and to provide the child with at least some practical experience.
To say more, homeschooling is about the cushion, when your parents allow you to consider yourself at the top what ends in the inability to leave the independent life in the future. The child is allowed to act in a way he or she wants, without taking the responsibility because the parents execute all of it. In such a way, the child does not ready for the real life, does not want to fight for their future and set the goals. Namely, they are not ambitious. Furthermore, if to compare homeschooling and studying at school, the last option is much more productive in achieving high performance. To be specific, at home children may look into their notes, or to find the answers on the Internet what is impossible at the school where they are all left only with their knowledge. In such a way, they realize that there is no any choice but to get out of the mess what develops their memory, imagination and creative thinking. Home does not allow the fair assessment, where the child can evaluate his or her result in comparison with others and see the weak and strong sides(Martin-Chang). But at the same time, the individual studying contributes to the personal attitude to the child, mainly the teacher emphasizes entirely on the one person, his or her errors and thus works fully for the particular result.
On the whole, everything depends on the person, their goals, and the principles they follow in achieving them. Exists a thought that homeschooling opens the door for many variants of learning, namely via the Internet or with the qualified teacher in high demand. The parents are those responsible for the final result; they have to take into consideration the child’s abilities, their desire, and predisposition to staying at home all the time(Barwegen).
Some active children cannot live without the outside communication, who need the others’ attention and praise to move forward and to succeed. Otherwise, they become withdrawn, they do not have the opportunity to apply their talents, what leads to future incompetence, ignorance, and loss of skills.
To sum up, homeschooling and studying at school have both advantages and disadvantages, and it is critical to choose the most efficient variant for the child. The families should find the approach in which the child can come in full force studying at home, or not lose their individuality being among other students. In particular, nobody may state about the utterly successful approach, but everything depends on the environment, the personal abilities and the parents’ level of involvement in the child’s learning. Home gives the atmosphere of comfort and easiness, where the child realizes its ability to rule the process, to choose the time for studying and to even control the evaluation process. The homeschooling is the individual approach, the opportunity to explore the direction with which the child wants to connect their life. To the contrary, studying at school is about live communication, the readiness to face the difficulties, the socialization and professional approach. It is the choice of everybody, but the main thing is still, lies in the ability to think critically and objectively not to choose the wrong way for the child and to make his or her lose something vital for the development and identity.
Barwegen, Laura. “Academic Achievement of Homeschool and Public School Students and Student Perception of Parent Involvement.” School Community Journal, vol. 14, no. 1, 2004, pp. 39-58.
Basham, Patrick, et al. Home Schooling: from the Extreme to the Mainstream. Fraser Inst., 2007, www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/Homeschooling2007.
Hill, Paul. “Home Schooling and the Future of Public Education.” Peabody Journal of Education, vol. 75, no. 1, 2000, pp. 20-31. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1207/s15327930pje751&2_3.
Martin-Chang, Sandra et al. “The Impact of Schooling on Academic Achievement: Evidence from Homeschooled and Traditionally Schooled Students.” Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, vol. 43, no. 3, 2011, pp. 195-202. American Psychological Association (APA), doi:10.1037/a0022697.
West, Robin L. “The Harms of Homeschooling.” Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly, vol. 10, no. 3, 2009, pp. 7-12.