“Jenny and Jenny were two best friends. Yes, they had the same names. That is what triggered their friendship to start with. However, by nature they were very different. This is what made them best friends. Jenny Almeida was homeschooled, whereas Jenny Kramer went to a public school.
Even though they came from similar family backgrounds and the same neighborhood, they were very different. Jenny Almeida was very quiet and prim. Jenny Kramer, on the other hand, was a tad boisterous and was into the punk look. They both were good at studies, Jenny Almeida liked history and mathematics, Jenny Kramer, on the other hand, was a sports and theater fanatic.”
Many would say that these differences are normal. No two girls are the same. The reason this case was cited here was because of the difference in the schooling medium – homeschool and public school. That is what inspired the difference in the two girls.
(+) Homeschooling gives the child more educational freedom. The kid studies and learns what he/she wants to.
(+) Physical freedom is another pro for homeschooling. Life does not revolve around car pools, school timings and exams.
(+) For the child, homeschooling provides emotional freedom. The child does not need to deliver to the evil effects of peer pressure, competition and bullies. They can study in peace.
(+) Closer family relationships are made possible with homeschooling. The child will enjoy spending time at home with the family, than outside. Adolescent fears for the parents are also reduced considerably.
(+) A certain degree of stability can be guaranteed when the child is homeschooling, be it illness, emergencies or any requirements. There is a guarantee that disturbance will be the least.
(+) The kid will not be fatigued out at the end of the day and will be more at rest, with regards to lifestyle. Pressure and stress will also be quite less.
(+) Personal attention while homeschooling allows a kid to do in lesser time what children in school take longer to do. As such, homeschooling makes the children relatively more efficient at studies.
(+) In case of challenging situations at home, such as birth of a newborn, a death in the family, homeschooling helps. With already enough stress to cope with, in the family, homeschooling brings about stability, in the otherwise mixed-up phase.
(+) Homeschooling also allows families to instill their religious beliefs in the daily life of their children.
The cons in homeschooling are not that tough to figure either. Let’s see the reasons why homeschooling is bad.
(-) Homeschooling can take up a lot of time of the parent, leading to an acute time restraint for the parents. Picture a kitchen table filled with books and no cooked food. The kitchen virtually turns into a study room in this case!
(-) Homeschooling requires one parent to be at home full-time. This could lead to a financial restraint on the family. The income would reduce, while the expenditure would, almost, remain the same.
(-) If a child spends most of his/her time at home, he/she would not be able to participate in team sports. He/she might not be welcomed in public school teams. Hence, parents have to make arrangements (make their own sports team), so that their children can participate in games.
(-) Another minus point would be, children studying at home, may not belong to a friends’ circle, because of which they would feel lonely and isolated.
(-) You have to accept that homeschooling is an oddity. As such, in a neighborhood where most children go to a public school, one home scholar may find it hard to make friends and might find it very easy getting teased.
(-) Parents cannot deny that they have to be around their kids 24×7. If parents are not prepared for this, then homeschooling is not an option for them. However, some parents do feel that spending more time with kids helps in familial growth and bonding.
(-) Another concern would the amount of noise or disturbance at home. The constant ringing of the doorbell or cell phone may hamper the concentration of the child who is trying to study.
(+) Transportation is provided. As such, worrying about car pooling or dropping and picking up kids is not required.
(+) Public schools provide the kids with an opportunity to partake in creative activities like theater and bands. All-round development is easier in public schools.
(+) There are several after-school programs that are available at public schools. The children can opt for those and choose what they wish to do.
(+) There is a certain level of proficiency in the educators at public schools. Most states require the teachers to be trained and certified. As such, the educators have to live up to a standard.
(+) Public schools are funded. As such, children studying in public schools have more opportunities and resources available to them.
(+) A child studying in a public school is exposed to the different types of people in the world. As such, it can be said that public school prepares an individual who can face the world with confidence.
(+) Public schools have kids coming from a gamut of backgrounds, because of which, children get an opportunity to interact with others who have a viewpoint of their own.
(+) There is more than one teacher available to teach various subjects apart from the class teacher. For instance, students have different teachers appointed for foreign languages, arts, music, etc., which keeps up the children’s interest.
The cons in public schools can be seen as well. Let’s see the education problems and solutions there.
(-) Peer pressure and bullying are regular affairs at public schools. Non-conformism and innovative thinking are not easily acceptable.
(-) There is no individual attention given to the students. As such, certain gifted but quiet students tend to get lost in the crowd.
(-) There are too many varieties of students studying at public schools. As such, the parents don’t have much control over the kids their children get along with.
(-) Children tend to get rude in the attempt of “taking care of themselves”. There is more exposure to social evils. These factors often get a little difficult for parents to handle or avoid.
(-) The teaching in public schools, is done at the mid-learner’s level, so advanced learners might get bored.
(-) What about children who are introverts by nature? They would feel left out in the crowd because their nature does not allow them to mingle with others.
(-) Some children get influenced by others’ (wrong) behavior, and tend to follow them, forgetting about the teachings given by parents. They tend to rebel, if scolded or stopped for doing something.
(-) Students dealing with anger management problems or other such issues, will not get help from school authorities. In fact, it’ll worsen matters and they may take some wrong steps.
(-) Some children become independent-minded and do not feel the need to consult their parents before taking any decision.
Now that both sides of each medium of schooling have been looked into, let’s take the next step. I am not even going to try getting into any of the statistics here. My arguments in this case are neutral and based on practicalities of life. Homeschooling versus public schooling is an argument that has gone on for so long, simply because, there is no definite answer there. For certain families and certain children, homeschooling can be the best option; while for some factors, public schools can be the better choice. Keep in mind your wants for the child as well as the requirements of the child, on the basis of society and propriety. Either way, the ultimate goal should be optimum learning for the child. If that is maintained, then the mode of schooling is immaterial.
That is how Jenny Almeida and Jenny Kramer are good friends, in spite of coming from different types of schooling. They were both comfortable with where and what they are. That is the sign that the career education foundation is being prepared well. As parents, you have homework to do, before choosing the medium of school for your kids. Figure out what’s going to shape the future of your child; take the interest of your child into consideration as well, because, you don’t want to be repenting later, for wasting your child’s precious school years. In the end, all I would say is – choose well.