One of the toughest decisions that you're going to face as a parent is that you're going to have to decide where to send your kids to school. For some parents the choice is easy because the options are limited by funds and availability of a parent's time. Those kids just have to go to the local public school, no doubt about it. However, most parents at least consider alternative options like private school and homeschooling. And even parents looking at public schools often have options such as charter schools and magnet schools. It's a tough call because there are pros and cons to each option.
Here's a closer look at what the benefits and drawbacks are of different types of schooling for children:
Public School Pros and Cons
The public school is the most obvious first choice for many families but it's also one that can cause them a lot of concerns.
Commonly cited benefits of the public school choice include:
- Convenience. Proximity to home, availability of school bus transportation and other facts about public school make this an easy one on a daily basis.
- Cost. It's free so you don't have to think about pay for your kid's education.
- It's the norm. Kids will basically fit in with society after going through standard schooling.
- Diversity. Kids will get to meet all kinds of different people and will learn tolerance (eventually) for everyone.
Commonly cited drawbacks of the public school choice include:
- Low quality of education. Many people feel that public schools gear education to the lowest common denominator in the school which means that smart kids lose out.
- Peer problems. Kids may argue with peers or pick up bad habits in public schools where diversity is common.
- Design of education. The public school has a curriculum that doesn't really allow for individuality or input from the parent. Your kid will learn what the school says he will learn.
Private School Pros and Cons
The private school choice diminishes some of the problems associated with the traditional public school but will bring up its own issues.
Commonly cited benefits of the private school choice include:
- Higher quality of education. These classes are generally geared towards college-bound kids.
- Future opportunities. Private schools look good on resumes and open doors. Kids from private school tend to stick together into adulthood and may help each other out with careers in the future.
- Close community. This close community extends to parents and teachers and creates a situation in which there are a lot of people looking out for your kid.
- Less diversity. Some parents prefer that their kids "stick to their own" so to speak.
Commonly cited drawbacks of the public school choice include:
- Cost. It's not going to be free to go here and you'll have to invest money in different activities throughout the year.
- Time-intensive. Parents are typically expected to be involved in volunteer efforts with the school which can take time.
- Limited experiences. The lack of diversity that is often encountered in public schools is a drawback when kids have to deal with a more diverse world.
Homeschooling Pros and Cons
Many parents find that they can avoid all of the problems of public and private school with homeschooling but it isn't perfect either.
Commonly cited benefits of homeschooling include:
- Control over what your child learns. You design the curriculum and it can be focused on the specific educational needs and level of your child.
- Keeps the family closer. You do more together and this means that you've got a bond that isn't as easy to achieve when your child is away at school all day.
- Freedom and flexibility. You can set a school schedule that suits your family, travel together when it's best for all of you and otherwise enjoy more flexibility in life together,
Commonly cited drawbacks of homeschooling include:
- Very time-intensive. You'll need to be your child's full-time teacher in addition to being a parent.
- Difficult. It's not easy to teach a kid everything that he or she needs to know.
- Isolation. The child and the rest of the family may feel isolated from a larger social group.
- Limits opportunities. Homeschooled kids can go to college but it's not as easy as when you've got standard transcripts from a more traditional school.
- Problems separating school and home. In terms of both time and discipline in the home, boundaries get blurred.
Alternative School Options
Some parents find that they can explore other options that don't quite fit any of these molds. Some of these options include:
- Charter schools. These are small non-profit schools where kids get the same basic education that they would at a public school and there's no cost to attend. However, the classes are smaller so there can be more parent involvement and more individual attention for the student.
- Magnet schools. These are public schools that specialize in a particular area of study. There are magnet schools for technology, science, math, fine arts and even specialty schools like aviation studies. These are good for people who need a basic education but who are interested in niche areas; these classes often have a higher quality of education.
- Private tutor. People who like the idea of homeschooling but don't have the time to do it themselves may find that they would like to pay someone to tutor the child in the home setting.
- Mixture of options. Some kids do best when they are able to combine different options to complete their education. For example, a high school student may attend traditional classes for half the day but then go to a magnet program or homeschool classes in the afternoon.
Thoughts on Choosing a Type of School
In order to choose the right type of school, you need to realistically weigh all of the options open to you. Consider the cost of schooling, the time involvement required by parents, the social pros and cons for your child and the needs of your whole family. Most importantly, be aware that you may make the wrong choice. Instead of fretting about it, be open to paying attention to the cues you receive from your kids over time and be willing to try other options if the first one you try isn't working right.
- Public vs. private: Which is right for your child? - ParentCenter
- Private vs. Public Schools: What's the Difference? - Ohio ...
- Public vs. Private Education « Parent’s Eye View
- Public Schools vs. Home School
- Public School Vs Homeschool Socialization - Associated Content
- Teen Scene Magazine - Reality: Homeschool vs. Public School
- Public School vs Home School - Education Bug
- What Should Be The Right School For A Child?
- Learning Differences, Your Child and School
ROhit on May 06, 2016:
Sufficient information regarding private & Home schools
McKenna Meyers on December 13, 2015:
As the federal government becomes increasingly involved in education, there's less difference between public and private. I learned that the hard way when teaching at a small private preschool. Because I had a student with Down's Syndrome in my class, the public school bureaucrats descended with their clipboards, paperwork, and tons of interference. They knew absolutely NOTHING about child development, developmentally appropriate practices, hands-on learning, child-centered classrooms. Their ignorance about best practices for young children was frightening. That's why I definitely recommend homeschooling for young children (preschool and kindergarten at the very least)!
frenchcatholic on January 12, 2013:
i find it funny there are so many homeschoolers here commenting. they seem pretty obnoxious with their choice. anyways i go to private school.
zara on December 20, 2012:
NorthCountryMom on May 24, 2012:
Appreciate the dialogue. I am a great supporter of public education. We need excellent public education in the US to be a strong, diverse, democratic nation. However it is myopic to limit other educational choices. Our children are entering a socially and technologically complex world. We need to support the backbone of public education while encouraging a vast array of educational opportunities and structures inside and outside the public system. This is necessary in part to accommodate families earning a living in diverse manners, traveling, telecommuting etc. Everthing said about the positive aspects of homeschooling are true and more. It is very successful. It is not a threat to school systems or the culture. The best schools have always had extraordinary parental involvement. I went to public school and than came home and was taught by my parents anything I missed the first time - but I was expected to excel whether the teacher or other students were excellent or mediocre. Parental expectation and involvement was and is essential.
I homeschool one of my children one year at a time. It is right for today. We will stop when it is clear that another alternative is more appropriate. There are an astonishing number of resources for parents of any calling to improve the education of their children. As a Homeschool parent I still do everything in my power to improve the educational opportunities available in my community for every child including volunteering and contributing anything that supportsm local public and private schools. It is critical we all support local schools, educational diversity and opportunity including homeschooling in all it's many formats. Every child and family needs to be able to access every resource that furthers their child's education and development. This is not a debate, it's a necessity for us as a culture to equip our children for
Keshav Rajarshi on April 14, 2012:
I find homeskooling better.........................
Austin on April 12, 2012:
I just want to say that I am a good example for homeschooling. I was homeschooled for seven years by my mom. Now I am a student at a college and I am only 15. I think being homeschooled has given me a lot of advantages and has perpared me more for life better then public or private school would have.
kisstheski on March 28, 2012:
I would like to homescool my son. He is currently in an advanced 3rd grade class at a public school. I have wanted to homeschool him or send him to a private school ever since he was of school age. At first, my husband was reluctant, but now he has decided that it would probably be best. If there are any parents out there that homeschool, would you mind sharing with me how to get started. Thank you. Amy
Amara on March 16, 2012:
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Portal Wheen on March 10, 2012:
Thank your for this read. I know it's old, but it still helps. My daughter is only 1, but it is never too early to start thinking about her future, especially when you just graduated from less than perfect public school 4 years ago. In 2009, I graduated from a school that I abhorred because of the lack of student-teacher communication, overly focused on special or the supposed "rich AND smart" students, lack of school's funds to make proper updates to the decrepit school, lack of activities to support a variety of student's interest (which caused boredom), over focused on discipline, etc. I hated it with every fiber of my being but made the best of it. I am now about to graduate from a community college, and my husband who graduated 1 year later than me is starting while also working full time. We are a mixed couple (Black woman/white man) so obviously our daughter is mixed and we already have a bit of a time being treated as a normal family due to our young ages, and our races. We don't want our daughter to be subjected to the ridiculousness of public schools and public ridicule. At the same time, we worry about putting her in stuck up private schools, or home schooling (as I won't have very much time to teach being a Paralegal, and neither will my husband while he works and tries to complete an Engineering degree). So what do we do?
We aren't particularly religious (don't come with the hammer on my head, everyone is subject to their beliefs) so we don't really want to send her to a christian academy, but we also don't want her to be taught like an atheist or something. We want her school, as far as religion, to allow HER to decide what she wishes. To foster the tools necessarily, along with ourselves, to help her decide what she wants to do religiously by the time she is an adult.
The school that I went to, public school, recently had an instructor suspended and arrested for molesting children. Enough said there. My little sister is still in school there, so...HOW CAN YOU TRUST YOUR CHILDREN AT A SCHOOL WHERE THE ADULTS ARE ACTING THIS WAY?
I obviously still have quite a bit of time before I have to decide where my baby girl will go, but I have always been concerned even when I was in High School, for the future of my children's education. After evaluating my own education, I was unimpressed with what I achieved. I could have done so much better, but I did the best I could with what I had. My parents were unable to be involved in my education, and rarely came to extracurricular events. Because of that, I want to do the exact opposite for my daughter. She deserves better than what I got, and so I hope I make the wisest decision. Thank you all for the helpful comments that I read before I replied, and to the author of the hub as well, thanks.
Seto kaiba on February 26, 2012:
i want to go to school but im homeschooled im 13 and i want to go back to school cus i dont get to meet people my age
and i really want to learn but i cant convince my parents
homeschool mom on February 24, 2012:
To quote and answer you on your misconceptions of homeschooling:
Commonly cited drawbacks of homeschooling include:
•Very time-intensive. You'll need to be your child's full-time teacher in addition to being a parent.
This is the ONLY thing you have right. I don't see it as a drawback because homeschool parents typically LIKE being around their kids and being the one's that teach them and get those teachable moments away from philosophies and influences that they deem inappropriate for their children be it from a public OR private school.
•Difficult. It's not easy to teach a kid everything that he or she needs to know.
Is this not a drawback in schools? Seriously.. you think that teachers in classrooms with 30 kids or better know everything and teach everything to those kids?? No. They don't. Trust me, there are MANY more gaps and problems in those places than there are at home.
•Isolation. The child and the rest of the family may feel isolated from a larger social group.
Homeschoolers are NOT isolated. In fact, my kids have done weekly field trips all year this year, twice a week or more as part of our curriculum. They have MORE opportunities to interact with others of all ages and interests. Homeschoolers get MORE learning opportunities and exposures to field trips and learning because we aren't tied down to 30 kids in a classroom where 3/4 of the day is spent managing behavior. There aren't funding cutbacks removing things like field trips or extra learning options for our kids. This statement that homeschoolers are isolated is WRONG WRONG WRONG. My children both have a growing circle of friends and a variety of interests because of the time we have to learn and do things in homeschooling.
•Limits opportunities. Homeschooled kids can go to college but it's not as easy as when you've got standard transcripts from a more traditional school.
Again, MYTH. The majority of college and universities are clamouring for homeschooled students because they are well rounded and more capable of handling college level work than others coming from school backgrounds. Everyone, home educated or the best private school grad ALL have to take the same entrance exams to get in regardless... and FYI homeschoolers perform much higher on those than the others will and do in most cases.
•Problems separating school and home. In terms of both time and discipline in the home, boundaries get blurred.
The boundaries are not blurred. Your discipline should be consistent regardless if it's school time or not. My kids and other homeschoolers we know have never had a problem with this. Parents that have problems with this aren't setting appropriate guidelines or boundaries to begin with. If rules and expectations are so blurred between school and home then why limit it to just homeschoolers? Private and public educated kids would have the same issues wouldn't they? Total false and totally a bunch of stupidity on this one.
Next time you want to post homeschooling myths as facts you better do some better research for actual FACTS and not misconceptions. Find something you actually have personal experience in rather than spouting a bunch of excrement as fact.
dustin on February 10, 2012:
my name is dustin and im 17 i think homeschooling is the best thing you can do for you'er child im not telling you what to do but just think about it. the parents that let their child go to school sick spread to every person in the classroom but you'er kids are at home safely older kids have drugs and other things. yeah theres not a lot of things to do when schools over but me im always busy i had nothing to do one day and we hade an old chan saw sitting around so i took the hole thein apart and put it back together and it runns like never befor. so i've got in to small motors generators chan saws weed eaters and i got good at it now everyone wants me to fix all their small motors. i guess what im trying to say is im 17 and im doing just fine i've been homeschooled all my life i've never had drugs befor i've never been around them my life has been alot helther. you know what you'er kids are eating and doing an learning. just do the right things for you'er kids and homeschool them its all worth it in the end.
nia on January 30, 2012:
geetha on January 07, 2012:
thank u this article is very nice
Anonymous on November 30, 2011:
I don't get all that stuff about home-schoolers not getting enough socialization. I think they probably get more socialization than public schooled children.
Talking to my public schooled friends, I discovered that they usually make friends with the people in their class, so they only socialize with people their own age, and as they get older, they're still with the same people. So, they socialize with the same class for most of their time in school.
I, on the other hand, being home schooled, have the ability to socialize with not only children my age, but younger children, and with people much older than myself. I have eight year old friends, and eighty year old friends, and everything in between. I have friends from public, charter, private, and home schools. I have the chance to learn from a huge diversity of people, and I can get to understand things from their point of view.
My point is, homeschooling families have no lack of socialization, and perhaps public schooled people do.
Olivia Vermeesch on November 19, 2011:
I think if you are a qualified teacher who wants to homeschool their kids then they should, but consider the child's opinion as well. It is also a matter of time and money. Many parents cannot afford private education, or to stay home and teach their kids. I think this is something we need to consider. There is a massive divide between rich and poor and it disgusts me.
jessicatools from Atlanta, GA on November 17, 2011:
Most of my friends are teachers in the local public school system. Some of them have actually considered homeschooling their own children and taking in other children from their friends. It's not an option for everyone, but I respect their choice to do their own thing.
Chris Shaw on October 06, 2011:
The socialization problem when students are home schooled can be easily solved. There are activities such as 4-H or dance lessons, gymnastics or even martial arts. We chose different things for our children as they progressed through their studies and they are now well adjusted and responsible adults living very professional lives. They also did not find it difficult to enter college, two of them are now Doctors. The newest studies out on our education system show home schoolers ranking higher in all studies on their SAT's. This shows a very real problem in the public school system! http:/homeschoolvspublicschool.com
anonymous on October 06, 2011:
I am currently in 10th grade and homeschooling and I will testify that I have NO friends and that it sucks and I hate my life.
Me on August 25, 2011:
I just wanted to offer that if you feel the inspiration to homeschool your child yet fear the lack in your own personal education makes you ill fit to oversee their education, there are many homeschool-correspondence programs out there that are registered with the state, have regular parent-teacher consults, and offer online student support as well. Though my mother was a teacher herself, she felt the need for objective help and well rounded opportunities for all of my siblings and myself. I loved my homeschool experience but I think it was because my parents loved education and wanted to personally insure our exposure to and appreciation for beauty. I think if their main drive was based on fear, I would have very much disliked being home-schooled. However, I have seen many families unable to successfully homeschool their children because their focus seemed to be more on control than on learning. If you fear the world and are suspicious of humanity, of course you won't socialize your children properly. I've see that. I also think that a God who makes as many different things in nature, can't possibly have created minds to be educated in only one methodology, namely homeschooling vs. schooling. Perhaps it's less about who's qualified, socialized, diversified, etc. and more about the child. Who is your child? Who is the child in the classroom? I think when we begin with a love for learning, a respect for the child, and reach out for help to those more talented or educated than ourselves, we will find that a well rounded, loving child will emerge and become a productive, tolerant, likable human being. But, let's all try to be more tolerant of each other in this comment postings. I'm saddened by the level of hostility on both "sides" of this discussion. If we cared more about our children and less about our own backgrounds (and our defensiveness about that background) we might perhaps come to a more objective position with regards to our own opinions on the matter.
TKLMommy from Maui, Hawaii on August 24, 2011:
Great article! This is a question I am sure resides in many parents minds today. Especially with all the happenings going on in our school system these days, it's terrible! I wanted to home school my kids but my husband feels that they need the socialization skills that going to school provides. I just want to protect my kids!
KeLeMi on August 22, 2011:
I believe in evolution but respect the right of others to believe otherwise. each parent should decide what their child is taught. One curriculum fits all is wrong.
Rainy1005 on July 22, 2011:
May I add in my two cents worth?
One big, big drawback to homeschooling is the potential lack of diversity in the TEACHER - dad or mom. Two children in our family were homeschooled as were their cousins (from the other side of their family). The two mothers (sisters) did their thing with their children.
in public/private/alternative schools where the teachers are different every year or two, students may have a teacher who is very strong in (say) math and not so strong in (say) english but the following teacher may be strong in english but not so strong in another area. It tends to balance out over time.
in homeschooling, the teacher does not change and the teacher weaknesses follow the child.
My nephew is 21 and barely can multiply. His mother had the same problem and could not teach him any methods to overcome his weaknesses because she had not overcome those same weaknesses.
Their cousins - one is a college graduate, the second is barely able to read. The mother doted on the one and ignored the second.
This is NOT to say don't homeschool, it IS to say if you are going to do that be aware of YOUR weaknesses and compensate for them.
Stephanie on July 11, 2011:
I"m a homeschooling, highschool kid. I grew up in the public school system, but in the SEVENTH grade all my friends from school were doing drugs, learning nothing, and still passing. All of our parents though we were angels accept my father. I never noticed how awful the public school system was until my father put me into rehab and homeschooled me!! My father sat me down with some homeschool placement tests. I was in the 9th grade at the time with a 6th grade reading level and didn't even have my multiplication memorized, but the "so-well-educated" teachers at the public schools passed me with a C average every year. Colleges might think my father is less educated than other teachers, but my SAT and ACT scores are still higher than other students!
So, If they are better teachers than my father, why was I so stupid until my father thought me? Why do they use the same teachers guide that my father does? Why aren't they smart enough to teach without a book telling them what to say?
On the topic of socialization. When I was in public school all I did was smoke and snort with my friends. Now I'm in a church youth group of over 60 teens and we have so many different events. We go to Guatemala every summer. Every Tuesday the girls have movie nights. Once a month we have elevate live which is like a big (positive) party and every Sunday night and Wednesday night we have small groups. Before I started going there I went to a cheer and gymnastics studio. I never joined a co-op but that can be an option too.
Every homeschooling con can be avoided these days.
Obscure_Treasures from USA on July 11, 2011:
This is a very important and informative hub.Thanks.
kathryn kauffmann on June 02, 2011:
they have all their advantages and disadvantages - the good and bad. everything has right? what is important here is you feel right about your choice whether to send your kid on a traditional school or to have him homeschooling. just weigh the pros and cons and think over if it is worth the risk.
Emily on May 25, 2011:
True, homeschooling requires alot of time, but since it is your children you are talking about, I for one believe it is worth it. You will never get a second chance to put them through school once they are finished, so lets make sure they get the best from the start!!
Donald on May 10, 2011:
This is a very helpful article. I plan on having kids in the near future, and now I'm one step closer to knowing what's going to be right for my kids.
school consultant on May 05, 2011:
For me, it really depends on the child where he/she is comfortable. He/she might learn more at home or in school.
http://outdoorlifereviews.com/grills/weber-genesis-e320/ on April 22, 2011:
social skills is the most important part of school - you can't get that at home
Jen on March 08, 2011:
I agree with all the home-school parents and students! Everyone talks about how home school kids are less socialized than kids. Personally I would rather my children get their socialization from well educated adults than from their peers. Our oldest child went all the way through the public school system. I feel so bad. She got a poor education and her thoughts about herself and about other people came from what she learned from the halls at her high school. That's socialization? She played in the band and went nowhere with it while her home schooled peers were playing in the local symphony orchestra! My other two children are loving, gifted, and intelligent. Their talents will take them so much farther! My art and music program didn't get cut because of state funding! They are not asked to fit into some kind of mold. They are free to excel!!! I, too, have dealt with all three (public, private, & homeschooling). Personally, I think Brie is right "the facts don't lie". Plus don't you guys read the paper or watch the news? Homeschooled kids ARE getting scholorships for sports and the arts!! In the last year the number of home school kids getting scholarships has risen dramatically!
vettergt from Delaware on March 07, 2011:
I imagine that one of the reasons why kids who are homeschooled do better (Scripps National Spelling Bee is full of homeschooled kids) is the small class sizes and I would assume focused, disciplined kids. It also is important to note that the parent has a vested interest in helping the student succeed. As long as the parent is competent and knows their limitations and therefore gets help when they are in over their head, then homeschooling should produce better results than any public or private school. The one thing the home school may not be able to provide is the socialization (although that is minimized with homeschool groups) and the myriad of choices with subject matter experts in each of them a public school can provide. Finally, I am not sure if students who are homeschooled have the opportunity to get scholarships (sports or academic) to the same extent their peers in schools do. If this does not matter, I think home schooling can be a great choice.
Michele on February 11, 2011:
It says, when homeschooling brings the family closer. Well, that's not true. Being homeschooled can cause burnouts between family members and also, being homeschooled can affect one's relationship with a family member(s).
Brie on February 10, 2011:
I wanted to thank the people who are against homeschooling and who proclaimed they were from the public school and/or the private school. I recently decided to homeschool my children, and the comments from you have further validated my decision. Notice that the comments from the people who are FOR homeschooling are much more thoughtful, informational and insightful, whereas the comments from the "others" are mean, hateful and just plain rude (for whatever reason)? It's as if they have a bone to pick with the homeschoolers! THE FACTS DON'T LIE. Homeschooled kids do significantly better than public and private school children in all aspects (IF you homeschool the right way). It's as simple as that. You can comment all you want, but the proof is there! I don't care what you say, it's much more difficult to homeschool your own child than it is to go to work and teach a bunch of kids that you could care less about and then go home at the end of the day, not concerned about their long-term future. All you have to do is get them past your grade and your class and you have "succeeded" as a teacher. A homeschooling parent takes it all on, and there is no "punching the clock" and going home. It's a full time job and commitment that we take on, in addition to being everything else in the home. Don't you dare sneeze at the role of a parent who decides to homeschool. Who do you think you are to criticize us? It's almost like you all are...dare I say....JEALOUS. Grow up. Don't like it? Tough.
MathuM on February 03, 2011:
I'm 20 years old, was home schooled my entire life, now attending college online. people ask me about not having a social life and bully me about it but i have learned to let it go. people tell me i am very out going and i can honestly say i can start a conversation with anyone at any given time. i didn't even have outside social interaction like sports or music classes. i think the point i can ad to this argument is everyone is different and we all have different smarts.some adults are morons and couldn't teach there kids if there their life depended on it. others are to self centered and rather work to gain a higher financial ranking then making their kids happy. tons of kids get bullied and verbally abused at school, maybe we should stop acting like that ourselves and do what's best for are own kids. stop hating people, it makes you look immature and childish, and i look at it as socially deprived when you act like a child, so who is messed up now?
seethetruth on January 18, 2011:
i think that only time u should put a kid in a private school or homeschooling is if the kid is in dangerous with the rest of the students in public schooling other than that u should let ur kid learn how she or he wants to because if they dont want to homeschool and u do it u can break apart ur relationship with the kid
Mr. Smith from Indiana on December 07, 2010:
I still see a lot of the same reasons that people have had for disliking the homeschool option. I heard them all, from family, and mostly from people I worked with 22 years ago, when my wife and I started the first of our three daughters in the homeschool life.
Some people said it to me, nicely. Some said it behind my back in not so nice a way. But the basic problems that people had with it then, were: "You want to make little non-social Christian robots of your children", to which I say- between girl-scouts, athletics, dance classes and yes, even those youth groups at our church, our daughters led very active and social lives. And up until a year ago, our house has been the common hangout and flop for many many college students, many of whom were friends as young children.
I'll be putting on the tuxedo for the third time in February 2011 when I'll walk the third of my daughters down the aisle. There are three happy young men because my three daughters are who they are.
The other basic argument we fought was: "we weren't qualified to teach our own children". To which I refer you to the "Home School Legal Defense Association" which most of our country's founding fathers would doubtless have supported were it around in their day. Look back beyond 50 years ago when high quality education was the standard. Look at the 19th century authors, scientists and industrialists who were homeschooled or taught by someone who was. Then look at my oldest daughter working on her Phd and teaching college English. Then look at my second daughter with a degree in theater, and the third in marketing. Three very different personalities homeschooling in the same house. It was hard. Very hard. We lived and still live on only my income, payed for a homeschool program, outside activities and taxes that supported the public schools my kids weren't attending. We still live in the same little house we started this family in. But the kids live near us and still come home to visit. Now grandkids are coming with them.
To those homeschool haters still out there I say: "Get over It."
Donna Oliver from Midwest, U.S.A. on December 07, 2010:
Great hub, written well regarding Pro's and Con's! Schooling is a huge decision, especially when the child has special needs. We came up with a plan, along with the School District and my childs Doctor. He ordered, "Homebound Schooling" during the 12 grade. This is not Home Schooling, but rather the School District paid for a tutor to come to our home three times a week. This arrangement was creative, and worked well. The teacher worked from the Individual Education Plan, and my child enjoyed the one on one. We found other community integration activities to fill in the socialization. Great article, well done!
munirahmadmughal from Lahore, Pakistan. on November 20, 2010:
"Schooling: Home School vs. Public School s. Private School".
This is a very informative hub giving maximum pros and cons of all the three categories of schools. The author deserves highest appreciation.
To visualize the difficulties of the people and to high light them and suggest solutions therof is a great service of humanity. With all the merits or demirits all the three categories of schools are doing their best to provide education to the young generation. This is the world of competition and only those excel who prove their worth to the greater number of society.Education must be imparted in such a manner that it may prove useful in practical life and bring dignity to mankind. After parents it is the teachers who are character builders of a nation. The more attention is paid towards the welfare of the teachers the more better output they give. People as a nation realize their difficulties and improve their lot. This needs sacrifice but is not without longstanding award in the shape of better education to their children.
May God Almighty, the Beneficent, the Merciful, bless all
B on November 15, 2010:
Online education is becoming more popular year after year. There are so many benefits to an online classroom. Many teachers/students are quickly realizing that Forest Trail Academy is an excellent outlet to education!
MattW on November 09, 2010:
There are a slew of drawbacks when it comes to attending public schools, as many people on here have already commented on. Online education is a great avenue for countless reasons. It allows the student to communicate more frequently with teachers, as oppose to hoping that a teacher will answer your question before the bell rings or get a test back to you within a two week span. Forest Trail Academy is an online school (for k-12) that genuinely cares about their students excelling. Teachers at Forest Trail Academy are required to grade homework/tests within a timely fashion. If anybody is looking for an elite online school, I strongly recommend FTA.
wondering on November 04, 2010:
Life is a journey, and everybody can't be at the same place at the same time - and might never get to the same place as somebody else at all. we have different backgrounds and experiences.
Our children has the experience of all three kinds of schooling and are involved in what is best for them in their journey. they are so unique: what worked for my daughter doesn't always work for my son and the other way around... and they change as they grow
scholarshipsformo from California on October 13, 2010:
I believe in public education because you get to be exposed to a lot more instead of heading out to into college blind.
paulstephenuk from London, UK on September 22, 2010:
Public school never did me any harm... or did it. Great hub with some good pros and cons to help people decide.
Aais on September 01, 2010:
I was homeschooled my first year but then decided to attend a charter school the next because I thought my schooling was insufficient in some areas (math/science)and college level in others (english). Plus, I wanted to know more kids. So I attended a charter. Even there I had problems. Nobody cared about learning or college for that matter and the teachers hated their job and had low expectations for the kids. So, the following two years of highschool, I attended a community college. There, I was able to pursue whatever I wanted as long as I still attained all my highschool requisites. By the time I graduated from highschool, I had almost two years of college under my belt.
If I had to do it over again, I would send my kids to private school and possibly dual enroll at a local college.
Darla on August 26, 2010:
I am a home schooling mom of 14 years plus. While quickly reading through some of the comments listed here one thing is sure; I still hear the same comments from years ago. To all of you commenter's who have never home schooled, or, been a part of a home school community; shame on you for commenting negatively without any experience in the subject matter! Educate yourself and quit putting down the home school arena. No one gives more attention and direction and opportunity to a child than a home school mom/dad. Quit limiting what we say in brief. Your uneducated in the field of home schooling and it's very obivious by your comments. If done right, (to the best ability) a home school person exceeds in all areas of life: time management, personal development, independence, socialization, academics, vocation, college education, extra curricular activities, maturity, morals and ethics, responsibility, and more.
No, there is not a perfect home school - or any other school. No, there isn't a perfect student schooled from home - or from any other school. No, there isn't a perfect parent, home, education, etc. anywhere.
So please, already, realize that we have choices and thank God for this; you go to school where you want to or send your kids, and we made our choice to work very hard and home school. We wish you the best and for once, just wish us the best and maybe just maybe, educate yourself in home schooling, and realize we are successful too!
PassinItAlong on August 24, 2010:
Private school could give the best for me but that is because i can afford to give my children this type of education.
But personally, charter and magnet schools offers the greatest deals.
Broc-cool-i on August 19, 2010:
This is a very informative hub:) There seems to be a sort of stereotype homeschooler, and I want to make it clear that not all kids learning at home are the same. Many kids that I have read about are very religious (not necessarily a bad thing-not trying to offend) and are very controlled by their parents in what they learn, and why. I don't agree with parents selecting only the subjects they believe in. My personal homeschool experience was very open, and I feel like I was given my own choices on what to believe. I did go to public school for a few years, which was better for social experience than actually learning academically. So, in my opinion, one should choose their child's schooling based on what they want for their kids and what works best for the family. There are good things about every option!
#30 on July 31, 2010:
As a homeschooler myself, me and my parents have been considering going to public school. One problem though is how they basically act like God doesn't exist. Everybody has their opinions, and having a strong Christian family who teach me right from wrong doesn't mean they teach me what to think or how to. I choose how I live, but my parents guide me. And that's nothing they've "forced" upon me. I've always been advanced in learning. And even though my friends are smart, most of the time they worry about the other things at school other than grades. But hey there are both really smart homeschoolers and public schoolers. But I do think it is wrong for people to say things when they don't even know anything about homeschooling. But whatever. It's okay. Oh and I used to get picked on because I didn't go to public school but I've realized you have to be social and you can't just hide at home. Get out do stuff. I play sports on a highly competitive level but sometimes I just hangout with some friends. I hope y'all have a good day! (: God bless.
Joyful Pamela from Pennsylvania, USA on July 13, 2010:
Excellent article! This will be our 12th year homeschooling. Although we feel it is the best thing for our children, I realize it may not be the best decision for everyone. Thank you for your clear cut pros and cons list. I'm sure it has helped many people consider their options.
bluestreak on July 06, 2010:
After reading these comments, I'm left with a sense that the main argument for home schooling is an individualized, specific education. One poster even said that their son would not have to be pigeon-holed into learning at an unfavorable pace or in a manner that did not work for him. As a parent, I would never want my children to be home schooeld for this exact argument. In life, things aren't always going to work out doing it your way or at your own pace. When you are working in the real world, you are going to be in situations where you just have to overcome adversity to get something done. Maybe your boss wants you to go about something in a specific way or you are on a certain timeline. As a parent, I would rather have a child that knew how to adapt to any learning pace or style (something achieved through having different classes with different teachers) so they could effectively function in the real world. I WOULD want my child to, in a few circumstances, be forced to learn something in a way that is not best for them because that is the most accurate representation of the real world. A world where one must be diverse and learn to deal with a variety of obstacles to succeed.
Read-Phonics from Jacksonville, Florida on July 03, 2010:
I know of a teacher who home schooled her 7 children because they moved to a wilderness area. all seven of her children received scholarships to Yale University.
sporn from Australia on June 22, 2010:
I don't think home schooling is healthy for anyone. Developing social skills and learning to interact with children the same age is more important than pretty much anything you'll learn at school.
Silver Poet from the computer of a midwestern American writer on June 05, 2010:
Good hub that looks at the issues honestly. Homeschoolers can feel less isolated if they add in extracurricular activities such as gymnastics, sports, and field trips.
Lance Spencer on May 17, 2010:
Homeschooling is not a good option for college bound children or creating open minded well rounded children.
I was Homeschooled my entire life. I never went to a public school or prvate school establishment. I am 25 now and I am still working on getting my undergraduate degree in business marketing.
My Homeschool days have left me with a sense of loss and misfortune. Although I do not believe this choice to be the wrong choice for certain families, I just think that most adults and families are not structured in such a way to create a well rounded education and social life for their children.
I was raised Christian Baptist and lived in a very strict home. My parents are smart loving people but they were not ready nor willing to create an educational and social environment that benefited me the most. In homechooling parents have the benefit of monopolising everything that their children learn. To some, this might be a good thing but I will attempt to convince you otherwise due to my experience.
My years in grade school were fun and I had a lot of friends. I was one of the cool kids in the homeschool community mainly due to my parents involvement in leaderships rolls. I spent most of my days looking forward to getting to see my friends while watching tv and playing outside with my brother. We loved life to a certain point while the wool was pulled over our eyes. We graduated from highschool and then both went to community college. both me and my brother had a very hard time in classes and making new friends. We were not use to getting up at a certain time nor able to keep up with the school work load. We are both very smart but the topics we were learning about were different than anything we had learned in the past. Most of my educations was focused on writing, christian phylosophy, christian history etc. We were horrified and still are about the prospect of taking tests due to never being exposed to such scrutiny of our knowledge of a specific subject.
I quickly became very depressed and start failing school. Because I had been duped my entire life, I turned from christianity and everything my parents taught me because it was all based on christianity. We were both taken by the idea of science and now we are both Agnostics.
I think I am an open minded individual who puts science before non proven belief systems. I of course believe this to be a great trait of mine but christians be ware of the potential risks you put upon your child if you want he or she to believe a certain thing. My parents were convinced that if they tought me to think outside of the box then I would end with a strong belief in the bible, but the bible has many flaws so thus I rejected all of it, even though it has a lot of great life lessons to teach. Most of my homeschool friends and colleages have not been successful in life and are unable to complete their lifes due to unknown reasons.
Let this just be a lesson to anyone wanting to homeschool their children, that if you put your child in a certain situation and control every aspect of their lives, they will either reject your teachings or never be able to move past what they are lacking in their lives.
I'm not sure why most of my friends have not been successful in their lives but I can only blame it on homeschooling, it the one thing we all had in common.
Read-Phonics from Jacksonville, Florida on April 07, 2010:
Home School is not right for everyone. Each situation is unique, and each parent knows their situation better than anyone else. But here are some statistics:
Standardized test results for 16,000 home educated children, grades K-12, were analyzed in 1994 by researcher Dr. Brian Ray. He found the nationwide grand mean in reading for homeschoolers was at the 79th percentile; for language and math, the 73rd percentile. This ranking means home-educated students performed better than approximately 77% of the sample population on whom the test was normed. Nearly 80% of homeschooled children achieved individual scores above the national average and 54.7% of the 16,000 homeschoolers achieved individual scores in the top quarter of the population, more than double the number of conventional school students who score in the top quarter. 1
Current estimates place the number of home-educated students in the United States at 2 million and growing. Homeschooling is now a legal option for parents in all 50 states. Every year a significant portion of these students seek higher education. Individualized training with its multiple and varied alternative approaches cannot be measured accurately by traditional transcripts. Some parents feel that grades are unnecessary and class rank is irrelevant. So how should admissions officers deal with these unusual cases?
The source is HSLDA
Will Say Plenty from America: Home Of The Free on April 05, 2010:
It's easy to say there are more sad stories in the public school system than homeschooling . . . especially HERE where no one can truly prove anything.
Plus--HELLO--there are more kids in public school than in homeschooling so the number of sad stories would HAVE to be higher--duh!
Read-Phonics from Jacksonville, Florida on April 05, 2010:
When my daughter first started homeschooling, I was very skeptical, but kept my mouth shut...after all she was the Mom. I discovered there is so much support out there through workshops, Conventions, legal resources, lobbyists, curriculum, co-ops, field trips, graduation ceremonies ext.
If one is in the State of Florida children can receive free college until age 18. Many homeschoolers are able to take advantage of this. For more information one can learn more at the Florida Parent Educators Association http://www.fpea.com/
Gurinder Kohli from Minneapolis, MN on April 04, 2010:
This is a tough one. It is very hard for us to understood how one can achieve home schooling.
Read-Phonics from Jacksonville, Florida on April 04, 2010:
I am a tutor for public and home schools. The interesting thing is that teachers are now the largest influx into the homes school market. Here are the reasons they have given me concerning their reasons:
Thinking About Homeschooling? Teachers Are
One might be surprised to know that the biggest influx to the home school arena today are professional teachers. The reasons they give are very interesting.
* In the 60s teachers had more say so about what happened in their class rooms. However the government is more in control these days. It is important to know that the Vietnam War taught us that the war cannot be won from the White House. Likewise the teacher, who is in the trenches (metaphorically speaking) knows what her kids need. Unlike the bureaucracy, She sees them as human beings, and not as statistics. Heck the school lunches were even much better in the 60s.
* Teachers rightfully complain they must now teach their children to pass the government mandated tests requiring them to sacrifice teaching the basics.
* Class sizes have become so large that kids are taught to act like robots rather than individuals. Teachers find themselves having to teach as if a one size fits all...they are less able to individualize their curriculum.
* Recess and play time are being decreased. Many teachers complain this is creating stress, and forcing little ones to fit into unhealthy and unnatural molds.
Teachers are getting a bum wrap when they are blamed for the increasing decline in the U.S. public school system, and few people are listening to "those in the trenches". It is more likely that government bureaucracy is to blame. Is it any wonder that so many teachers are choosing to home school their own families?
Most home school students out perform public school children on college entrance exams. Obviously most parents are doing something right whether they have teaching credentials or not.
Are there some sad stories about children that are not receiving an adequate education in the home school venue? The answer is yes, but there are more such stories found in the public school system. Government intervention is not a solution. Parent awareness and involvement ("those in the trenches") is the solution. That is the case whether one has children in the home school or public school systems.
This is not said to put an impossible burden or even blame on parents. I say this to empower parents. The solution to today's education is noticeably coming from you, the people.
Lyns on March 29, 2010:
Schooling is one thing in your country of origin but dealing with this in a foreign country is a real problem. Initially private school appears to be the favourite but this is because you cannot know the full reputation of local state schools before you live there. Homeschooling is also a problem as getting hold of relevant material can be difficult. Socialising is really important for kids - I believe that unless you are a qualified or experienced individual, teaching your own children can be a nightmare! I am a teacher and I wouldn´t do it! It takes a very special person....
Will Say Plenty from America: Home Of The Free on March 27, 2010:
I believe the main issue is about qualifications. Educated people are more qualified to teach and there is no way to get around that. A teacher homeschooling kids is one thing. A high school dropout homeschooling kids is quite a different matter.
Parentofone on March 26, 2010:
I would like to comment here if I may. I am in my mid 30's and have one 7 yr old son. I grew up with both of my parents public school educators. My mom won teacher of the year in Texas a few times and in our city, several times. The only reason I mention that is because of the impact that public school education had in our family.
When I married and had our son my husband wanted me to homeschool. I wasn't so sure. However, as he grew and I learned how he learned it became a joy to teach him. We are in the military moving around A LOT and I thought that the only stability to give our son was his schooling. With his dad being gone most of the time I started homeschooling. We have been involved in many things. Socially he is more outgoing than a lot of children that we know that go to public school here. He does have friends from all sorts of walks due to our neighborhood and church, some are homeschooled, most are not. He LOVES to be homeschooled. It offers our family flexibility that we wouldn't normally have. I have loved watching him learn and having the spontaneous conversations with him throughout the day that I otherwise would miss out on.
I do have a comment about the Evolution vs. Creation debate. For us Christians there is nothing but evolution being taught in the schools. Actually, there's no tolerance for Creation in schools today. So, to me that is VERY one-sided. Personally, my husband and I, want to teach our son BOTH sides so that he will know the beliefs that are out there. He strongly believes in Creation, but how can he talk about it with someone who believes in Evolution, unless he is also aware of Evolution. I am not a proponent of sheltering our children from this harsh world as much as teaching them about it in a way they understand.
As much as we have enjoyed homeschooling, this next year we will be making a change. Our church has a Christian School that has classrooms of only 12 students and uses a lot of the same curriculum that I was using here at home. With him being an only child I want him to be able to learn with other kids right now. Socially he is just fine, he has tons of friends that he plays with, just not really any to do projects with in a learning environment. If I had more children that wouldn't be the case, but he's an only child. The area that I live in has A LOT of stuff for middle school and high school in the form of different groups for homeschoolers, but not so much for young elementary. I will be able to be very involved at the school next year and that helps me a lot. This is a choice that is right for our family, at this time, but it may not always be what's right for us.
As far as him testing, he is currently in 1st grade and had to test for placement into the school. He tested well beyond grade 3, so all of this bull about homeschooled kids getting a subpar education is just plain ridiculous.
There is no cookie cutter answer that is right for everyone. I think if you have options, then by all means search those options out. What may be right for you and your family may not be right for your neighbor. Also, what is right for your family this year may not be right for your family next year. Just remain open and in tune to your children, if you do that then you'll know in your heart what the best decision is for you.
Sheila on March 26, 2010:
I'd like to thank onlyjazz for her very eloquent defense of homeschooling, especially for setting the record straight on the quality of education provided. The test score comparisons clearly put to rest any confusion about whether homeschooling parents have been up to the task.
Further, the below article referencing another relevant study should help to dispel the notion that homeschoolers are poorly socialized.
From the article:
"When measured against the average Canadians ages 15 to 34 years old, home-educated Canadian adults ages 15 to 34 were more socially engaged (69 percent participated in organized activities at least once per week, compared with 48 percent of the comparable population). Average income for home-schoolers also was higher, but perhaps more significantly, while 11 percent of Canadians ages 15 to 34 rely on welfare, there were no cases of government support as the primary source of income for home-schoolers. Home-schoolers also were happier; 67.3 percent described themselves as very happy, compared with 43.8 percent of the comparable population. Almost all of the home-schoolers — 96 percent — thought home-schooling had prepared them well for life."
christopher zastawnik on March 22, 2010:
I'm attempting to write a term paper in sociology by conducting a survey so if anyone is interested in helping with this important study on the aspects of education please go to http://freeonlinesurveys.com/rendersurvey.asp?sid=...
Will Say Plenty from America: Home Of The Free on March 16, 2010:
You know what they say about statistics. People don't lie . . . statistics do. The public school numbers include test scores for kids who don't do a damn thing whereas home-schooled kids are going to be slapped upside their heads by Mom if they don't at least try.
Brendon Floyd from Oklahoma City, OK on March 03, 2010:
I think this is a wonderful conversation but I have not seen anyone mention anything about the different demographics public, private and home school serve. We can debate which of the three of better till ‘the cows come home’ but the fact is that private and home school are an elite form of education (not in a bad way). To compare test scores between the three, as many have done in this hub, is not really fair. Public schools serve ability groups that are on both sides of the spectrum in the same classroom (inclusion). I think that is what makes the public school system so noble and unique; it tries to provide equal education to all (how successful it is, is another discussion). Private schools get to pick and choose their students and home school parents have to be in a solid economical position to take on such an ambitious and important task as the education of their children. I would like see the numbers of how many students get home schooled in an urban setting verse a suburban or rural setting. I would also like to see the numbers on how many home schooled students are considered gifted and talented (I bet it is high).
I think parents who have the privilege (and I stress the privilege) to choose the setting of their child’s education are also parents who are evolved in the child’s education. Research as shown that evolvement by the parents in their kids education is one of the most important aspects to a successful education. I feel this research (sorry I can’t site it right now) implies that kids will be successful in any of three environments if the parents become involved in the education.
Just to conclude, I do not think it is fair to compare test score numbers, or anything of the like, of public schools to private or home school because public schools promote equal and fair education to all which is something nether private nor home school can claim (this is not an attack on home school or private). People who have the privilege to choose between the three represent a small percentage of the population. Students who get sent to public school get exposed to a more diverse group of people; social, class, race, gender, etc. These kids have real life interactions with social problems faced by their communities at large. The school is a social setting and the interactions are not set up, they are real. Home school and private school can have this social aspect but to much lesser degree and a much more controlled degree. And I do think this impacts the students education and their ability to connect to their community and have empathy and relate to those around them who may not be as fortunate.
samboiam from Texas on February 27, 2010:
Excellent article. I am linking it to my hub "My Sister Ate My Homework."
kebbydon from Missouri on February 18, 2010:
I enjoyed reading the opinions and comments. I am a private school teacher. I have taught in the public school system. What is wonderful about our country is that we do have a choice. We get to decide what is right for our family. Isn't it wonderful that we are not a cookie cutter society. I do agree that as a country we need to improve our math and science curriculum. We do not compare to other countries.
If you are a new parent, there is no wrong or right answer as to where to send your child to school. I went to public school, my husband went to private school. We chose to send our children to private schools. Would they have gotten the same or better education in a public school? Possibly! For us it was the school size, demographics of the school and the average ACT scores of the high school. We also sacrificed to afford tuition. That was our choice. Do what is right for your family. That is what good parents do! That is the right answer.
Education Tay on February 08, 2010:
I have taught at public and private schools to students 11-18 and I found that more students in private school also received private tutoring in addition. Some school students receive home tutoring as they do not fit in at the school for health, violence, exclusion, discrimination reasons, although these are no reasons.
Each learning system has its merits and students with parents should adopt what school works for them.
martycraigs on January 22, 2010:
The public vs. private school debate is hard enough, but adding homeschooling to the mix only makes it an even tougher decision. They all certainly have their merits, and people do have strong opinions on which option is best. What I really think it comes down to, though, is the actual parents and children. The general merits of each can be debated, but it might simply depend on the people and the situation. I don't think there is a definitive "best" option in this debate.
Thanks for sharing this.
onlyjazz1 on December 22, 2009:
I enjoyed reading the various opinions and experiences, but that's all that I see: opinions and experiences. I have my own of course (public schooled through 3rd grade, private 3rd-6th, home schooled 7-10th, started college at age 16 and graduated summa cum laude with two BA degrees). I was home schooled back before it was "popular" and believe me, I've heard all of the objections.
But really, we need to see beyond our opinions and look at the facts. What are the real stats on home schoolers after three decades of the movement? And how does a parent's level of education or income impact the education that their children receive?
In Spring 2008 a study was published on 11,739 students from all of the 50 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico that compared test scores from public school students and home school students. Home schooled students scored 34-39 points higher than the norm on standardized tests.
The average composite score in the core areas (reading, language and math) of those students with neither parent having a college degree was in the 83rd percentile. 86 for one parent with a college degree and 90 for both parents having a college degree.
Teacher certification. For those students who had at least one parent certified as a teacher, the composite score was 87. For those whose parents didn't have teaching credentials the score was 88. Statistically no difference.
Family income. Those whose family income was less than $35,000 had an average core percentile score of 85. $35-49,999 was 86. $50-69,999 was 86. $70,000+ was 89. So, obviously income isn't that big of a factor either.
Government regulation. State control (level of reporting/testing required by the states) didn't impact scores either. Low, medium, and high government state regulation students scored in the 87-88 percentile.
I could go on and on, but if you want the whole report, just google NHERI and ask for the Homeschooling Across America: Academic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics report.
The bottom line is that despite all opinions and any experiences to the contrary, statistics show that the vast majority of home schooled students are way outscoring their peers in public school. It doesn't have to do with money or degrees of the parents, but rather the parental commitment to providing the absolute best that they can for their children.
I could debate all the other issues (diversity, extracurricular activities, etc.) and give my opinion on the great experiences of home schooled students, but those are not the primary purpose of education.
If a student doesn't learn to read, all the socialization in the world isn't going to help him. If she can't do her math, going to the Prom isn't going to help her get a good job.
I'm happily married, homeschooling my two children, and run two home-based businesses. I'm involved in the community and many activities. I've lived overseas, traveled all over the world and have friends of many different backgrounds. I expect my children will someday be able to say the same. But that's just my opinion ... :-)
Mina Elanie on December 11, 2009:
Homeschooling is a great opportunity for your children to meet new horizons.
Mnbhndcrtn on December 10, 2009:
I homeschool and my kids are tested every year by the state. There are a lot of different opinions on how adequate an education a homeschooler recieves. I assume this is expected as we are so different. What works for some will not work for others. I don't agree with all you said, but I enjoyed it very much. I wonder if my first hub (about homeschooling) will get such attention? Didn't realize it was a "hot" issue.
cmcelvee on December 05, 2009:
I think I may be a bit late on this post, but I would like to add in my two cents if I could... :-)
I'm getting ready to start teaching in the public school system here in Florida, and I must say that I am quite discouraged at the view that the public school systems are getting. Fortunately, this isn't the parents' faults or even the children. Unfortunately, it is through the faults and inadequacies of today's teachers and administration that make this negative view even possible.
Going into this profession, the last thing I would want any parent to think of my school is that it is less than adequate and the education here is subpar to what could be offered somewhere else. I believe the level of education should depend on the teachers' ability to teach and get the students involved with their academics. If you can't do that, you shouldn't be a teacher.
Also, I don't think the public school system should be used to escape the reality that it is important to be a part of your child's life. No matter where your children are and no matter what type of school they are in, what they are studying, and how old they are, you are never excused from participating in their lives (When I say 'you', I mean the general public).
I am in now way going against you say, rather agreeing with everything and sort of ranting on why some of these views exist. We should never have the illusion that only rich parents who an afford to send their children to high cost 'efficient' school are involved. That is wrong. I grew up in the public school system, performing arts magnet, and my parents were more involved than most of my early friends' parents who sent them to charter and private schools after middle school.
It really is quite sad what people would do to the image of our school systems. We have administrators who don't care, teachers who don't teach (not that they can't... they choose not to...), parents who find excuses not to be a part of their children's lives, and in the middle of it all, children who are suffering from this push and pull of views from the society.
What happened to good ol' days of just teaching your students what they needed and enjoying it?
kimbaustin from Sunny California on December 01, 2009:
Wow! A lot of passionate opinions in this post. I am in a unique situation in that my family has tried public, private and home school. There ARE pros and cons for each. So far, the best solution for my family has been home school. And with all due respect to the poster who believes that homeshool kids receive a subpar education, my husband and I are both Harvard educated and consider our children to be on the Ivy league path based on their continued accelerated scores on standardized testing. My research has shown that Ivy league and top universities are open to homeschool students. Additionally, we have a very broad network of home school families here in California, and I have only met one family that didn't take their children's education seriously. That being said, the choice of education is one of the most important decisions parents can make, and there may be times in your life when one solution works better than the others. Having now done all three, I encourage parents to keep their minds open to all possibilities and follow their hearts and intuition to determine what is best for them.
We may choose to put our children back in the school system at some point, and then again we may not. Right now, we enjoy the accelerated learning pace, the extensive education including all the arts and 2 languages, the ability to travel with my husband all over the world when we want too, the stress relief of having more time together, and the social opportunities that have opened up for our children because we have more time.
What ever your choice, if it is working for you, don't sweat it. Just stay involved in your children's education and everything will be okay.
mjjdcbannan from Arizona on November 25, 2009:
Some very good advice! I just started hubbing and wrote an article on homeschooling myself. I currently home school my oldest of 3, and plan on doing all 3. Your article is great! :)
wsp2469 from Alta Loma, Ca on November 09, 2009:
There are exceptions to every rule. I am sure YOU are personally qualified to teach your children. I am NOT sure every single other parent is qualified to teach children. You have met a certain group of requirements while the parents you speak of have not. That's truly my bottom line there.
I don't know where you live so I can't (nor do I want to) argue with you about single-subject teachers knowing or not knowing how to teach in general. I know where I earned MY degree we were given the tools to teach more than one subject. If that's not true in all cases then I would have to give you some room there as well as tell you I'm sorry to hear that.
The fact that the parents you know assign the learning objectives doesn't give me any comfort. As a parent, I know what I would like my children to learn but as an educator I realize my desires may not mesh with what the district, state and "feds" think my children need to know in order to be at least as smart as kids in public schools.
(Actually, I have more than one degree and am certified in at least two different states and on both coasts so I'm not sure we DO both have the same degree. I'm not sure why you brought that up but I just thought I would give you a little more information about my background just in case you were wondering. I also wasn't aware that I posted anything about my many years of experience either so I'm not sure what you meant unless you were simply generalizing to make your point.)
I'm not making any assumptions. I guarantee you that if anyone else was a former teacher turned homeschooling parent they would have mentioned it. I DO think your opinion holds a little more weight than that of others since you have some experience as a teacher. I assure you, if you reread the above posts you will see a few ignorant statements. (I simply did not want to single out anyone in particular. I don't have time for a bunch of nonsense here when I have hubs to write.)
YOU are certified in YOUR state to teach and therefore YOU are more qualified than the others to teach. People need to realize that. People need to acknowledge that. Anyone who does not acknowledge that you know more about teaching in YOUR state than everyone else does NOT have a degree is indeed in need of an education themselves.
Remember what you had to do to get your degree. Give yourself a little bit of credit. Give all OTHER teachers more credit than those who don't have a degree. That's the bottom line.
Annie on November 06, 2009:
We chose to homeschool because I felt like my young kids were simply missing out on too much by being in a classroom all day. When my oldest child was attending lower elementary school, my homeschooling friends were taking their kids on organized field trips to plays, concerts, museums, science centers, nature centers, farms, fire stations, planetariums, police stations, and medevac helicopter tours. When my 2nd oldest was going into Kindergarten, I couldn't stand it anymore and decided to homeschool them both plus a younger sibling. Now, as homeschoolers, we've done all of the things mentioned above and much more including seining in a nearby waterway with a marine biologist, homeschool tennis classes with a pro who gives us a super discounted rate, gymnastics, and even homeschool band. Our homeschool highlight so far was an incredible off-season trip a couple of years ago from Florida to Washington D.C. (We never could have afforded to go during the summer). We participate in a super co-op in which (among other things) my gifted 5th grader is allowed to participate in a jr. high level Latin/Greek vocab building class taught by a retired teacher. This is something that neither I NOR the local public school could provide. As far as academics, I may not be a certified teacher, but one child consistently scores in the 97th percentile on the Stanford Achievement Test. A second generally scores in the low 90's and the other (who chose to go to a large private school for Jr. High) always scored in the 80's. His transition to "real" jr. high was amazingly smooth. He did great academically and is also participating on several sports teams now. For us, homeschooling was definitely the way to go. I just really miss having my son with us on family activities now that he's in school. I hope no one sees this post as "braggy" but I felt like I needed to set the record straight for some who feel that homeschooling somehow automatically provides all children with a sub-par educational and social experience.
Dr.Ed. on November 06, 2009:
Great story with very timely implications. How do we determine the best method for educating our children? The debate goes on and on....
rsej on October 28, 2009:
I too am a teacher and a parent. I completely disagree with you. After successfully teaching in the classroom for many years I have decided to stay home and homeschool my own children.
I think I must live in the same community as "Heather" who posted earlier. There are thousands of homeschooled children near us and their parents are as fully capable of teaching them as I would be. These homeschooling parents are dedicated and eagerly search out the best curriculum and extra curricular activities for their children. Teaching your children is not just stuffing them with information. It's teaching them HOW to learn and how to discover answers. Many parents learn right along with their children and they discover answers together. There's nothing wrong with that. Many teachers in schools just know "their" subject and couldn't teach anything else. Homeschool parents don't claim to know it all...they claim excitement in helping their children discover the answers that they need.
Your next point was that you feel parents can't objectively evaluate their own children because you find difficulty helping your own children when you don't know the learning objective of the homework. Ummm....homeschool parents DO know the learning objective of the work because they assigned it. That makes it fairly easy to assess.
Every state has it's own testing requirements. My state has none. BUT almost every parent I know utilizes the standard testing provided to homeschool children in different locations. We all want to be sure our kids are on track. Mine, for instance, are a full year ahead.
So you see, I have the same degree that you have. I have the same teaching experience that you have. I have children as you do. But we see things very differently. Don't assume that those with opinions that differ from yours have "overstepped a line". Don't assume they are ignorant or uninformed. Most of the homeschool parents that I know are very intelligent people that are dedicated to LEARNING.
Just relax. You make sure the public school does a great job. I'll make sure my homeschool children do a great job. We can all make where we are the best that it can be.
wsp2469 on October 22, 2009:
As someone who is a parent and a teacher I can set some of these people straight. First of all, yes, a teacher is (as a point of fact) more intelligent than the average parent. Sorry if that hurts anyone but it is the truth.
Secondly, I find it funny that parents feel they can more objectively evaluate their own children than teachers. I find it difficult to help my own children with their homework because I feel I am being overly hard on them and do not always know what the specific learning objective of the homework is.
Thirdly, it amuses me that someone would think a teaching degree--or any four -year degree is easy to get and am not surprised that people who say things like that often have no degree whatsoever.
I know all about LAUSD, too, as I have taught there as a substitute teacher. You need to look at recent studies. Testing will show you that WHERE you live is an important factor here. If you live in one of the "lower score" states regarding the quality of education then your kids are already at a disadvantage being taught by professionals let alone by parents.
Public schools MUST require MORE of their teachers than private schools by the way. On the other hand, homeschooling has the least requirements of the (ahem) "teachers".
Sorry to interrupt but when someone oversteps a line someone needs to at least attempt to educate the ignorant or indoctrinate the uninformed.
DreamLiving on October 12, 2009:
To Ryan, I am writing an article on Diversity and Homeschooling Socialization. This is an area often overlooked by home schooling parents. Most cooperatives and functions for home schoolers are predominantly Caucasian in America. Some groups openly accept minorities but others exclude them. As an example of a television program on Boston Legal, some are decidedly "white." This is the choice of the parents; however, the children still need accurate information to successfully interact with other races and cultures. I am a Diversity instructor who has been recognized at the mayoral level. I respect parents' rights to share their ideas and beliefs. But, the children still need to be able to interact with different cultures when they enter higher institutions and the workplace. For those parents who isolate due to race, religion, or culture, orientation to other viewpoints is wise. This can be done successfully at home or in cooperative type settings. Regardless whether another person agrees with the parents' views, the most important aspect is ensuring exposure and instruction in tolerance and methods for global success. More on this in a hub I'm authoring.
TNK on October 07, 2009:
My kids started out in public school. It was less than desirable. The educational pace was keep up or get lost. Those children that were ahead academically were bored. Social interactions where focused on material objects (who had the best and most expensive, most money, etc.). There was a LOT of bullying, that was harmful (physical violence).
Kids were home schooled as well. Not for every child, and it should be taken into consideration. My son does enjoy homeschooling. He has some learning disabilities so the one on one works well. He does get social interaction through many community groups (boys and girls club, boy scouts, neighborhood kids, etc.). Academically he would be VERY behind in the public schools due to his learning issues, but since he is home schooled he has been able to at least meet state academic standards for his grade levels (and in some areas exceed). As far as college, when he is old enough he plans on taking classes at our local community college and then transferring to a state University.
My daughter did not care for homeschooling, although she does miss it at times. She goes to a charter school, which has very small classes and more one on one support available (6th through 12th grade, total of 300 kids in the entire school). She does like it, but from time to time misses the get to the point no nonsense approach I took with homeschooling (i.e. no busy work, or work with no point).
I think each child has an individual learning style and you as a parent should explore different options to find one style that fits.
Moonchild60, a LOT of public school children are coming out of high school having to take remedial college courses. Homeschooled kids on average score HIGHER on their ACT and SAT's.
HauteMommy on September 22, 2009:
Moonchild-Do you honestly believe most teachers to be more intelligent than the average parent? You make the assumption that homeschooling fails because most parents are ignorant slacks who hold themselves to a higher intellect level than they truly possess.
The fact is, there exist those educators that hold their degree simply because it's the easiest degree to get, not because of a true passion to educate the youth. Though they may be few, those are the teachers I DON'T want educating MY child.
I, on the other hand, hold no teaching certificate, but something far more valuable to my child. I have an intimate knowledge of her learning style and interests, and I have a true passion to cultivate those interests while exposing her to more opportunities for learning than sitting at a desk all day could offer. You can't argue with a personalized educaction from someone with a vested interest in the outcome.
Charm Baker from Los Angeles, California on September 16, 2009:
Wow - a great read and definitely food for thought, whether you have school age children or not. Also whether you agree or not, as some obviously didn't. I totally respect the various views found here. I was seeking an article to compliment my Magnet School hub article, and while I still plan to link to this hub as an additional source of information on "schools", I hope the LAUSD teachers that follow this link are thick-skinned:) Thanks for the info.
Barb on the Go on August 27, 2009:
I think you started off with a good idea; comparing the pros and cons of public, private and home-schooling and you make some good points. However, as I read through the list of pros and cons it seemed that the article really intended to discredit public schools. The statements contained words that made even the pros for public schools seem negative.
Parent on August 17, 2009:
We are in a delima. We have two kids we have been homeschooling in a christian pace program. There is a 5 star rated public school very close to our home. They are in third and fourth grades. They have done well in home school. The main problem is my wife wants to put them in the public school because have two younger children in the house along with the two being home schooled. It has been very difficult on her and I have to work during the day. Does anyone have any suggestions or thoughts on this? Please let me know. We have less than two weeks to decide. Thank you.
CeciliaT on August 11, 2009:
Moonchild60, sounds like you have turned into what you hate; that is arrogant, ignorant and, intolerant. If children in public schools are so well rounded; why is it that the school segregates them by age and the kids themselves segregate themselves even further by race, attire, class, sex, etc...? They are taught to be intolerant of religious people, when some educators ridicule religious beliefs. They are most especially now being taught only one theory-Evolution. When not all notable and credible scientists belief in the theory of evolution but actually belief either in some form of Creationism theory or both. I want my children to learn as much about science as they can. Learning just about the theory of evolution is not what I would consider well rounded. Not presenting a student with all sides is a great disservice to all mankind.
Moonchild60 on July 16, 2009:
I would never accept home schooled children into my college because I think their level of learning is below par because I find most the parents are not as intelligent as they actually believe they are. Additionally, they are limited by their parents beliefs and abilities.
To the comment "Sending a 5 year old to public school to form his own opinions is irresponsible"...what???? They start school at 5, they continue to go and be exposed to all races, religions, beliefs and opinions. This makes them well rounded, intelligent, open minded individuals, oh god forbid!! Why would we want more of those instead of ignorant uninformed people? People who want to "Control" everything their children learn and are exposed to, want to make "mini-me" children that are just like them and will never develop real individuality because from birth their parents are telling them what they are, who they should be, how to think, what to think, what to do, and for you parents who say its not true...you're in denial. It is exactly what happens, and you will never know who they would have been if they have been able to develop their own person.
Gwen P from The Heartland on July 16, 2009:
Hi. As a homeschooling parent, I just would like to address two comments made here, about it. Isolation-first of all, I know not all homeschooled children are allowed and able to participate in a lot of things, but our kids are. They've been in team sports, music, gone to camp, done volunteer work, etc. They have friends in our neighborhood, at church, from camp, from work, the list goes on. So they are quite social. In fact, our kids are sought after to babysit for others, to do work someone knows needs to be done, because they are responsible as well.
Limiting opportunities. Many homeschooled children are accepted to major universities today. In fact, many colleges seek homeschooled kids because they know the level of learning in some cases, is higher than the public schooled children. So no, it's not that much of an issue today.
I won't say it's always easy, and as you said, no way of educating our children is perfect, and we all have to do what's right for us. I just had to make those two comments. Thank you.
Just so you know, most states do have organized homeschool groups that parents can opt to join for support, if they choose to do so.
Cecilia on June 21, 2009:
Public, Private and homeschools are not free. So some of you who keep saying that public schools are free. Please stop that because it is not true. We are being taxed up the rear end in order to support public education. All the money is not even going to the actual school and teachers but to the teachers unions guru's. The day we started homeschooling our children, was the day that the taxpayers stopped paying for my own children, because if they do not attend public school, taxpayers don't get the bill for our children. Public schools can't claim them. They can only claim the children that they have actively attending their public school.
sasha corrodus-odom on June 18, 2009:
One more thing.
I was born in London and the schooling there is more advanced than the public school system in Washington DC (I can't speak for the other states). I was pushed back a grade based on my "birthday". I was bored all the time and caused a lot of trouble in public schools. That was a downfall for me.
However, my mother made up for that and reinforced importance of learning (I'm a proud nerd thank you). I was in music lessons and spelling and science competitions outside of school. So there was a balance, thanks to the involvement of my parents.
I am glad I'm not homschooled. It's hectic in my home and I don't like it there and I don't agree with all of my mother's teachings. I was raised by my "village" which has strengthened me as well as broke me down but it's still a beautiful and needed mix to make me who I am.
I am in the performing arts. That cannot be homeschooled. I went to a performaing arts school that was not in my neighborhood and was free.
Yes, there's peer pressure but I have learned that it is actually worse as an adult moreso than a child. I didn't care what people thought when I was a kid. As a professional adult, my image is very important...
So, it really depends on what your geographical area has to offer. Don't be afraid of a public school. If it's that bad, then homeschool your child after school. I am for outside schooling, whether it be private, public, religious-based (I also went to Catholic school and hated it. I couldn't even draw Jessica Rabbit and I thought that was ridiculous).
It's truly up to you!
sasha corrodus-odom on June 18, 2009:
Great hub but I'm still on the fence about homeschooling...
Maybe every state should have a homeschooling union or association and mothers can get together and homeschool as a group. It will create diversity, socialization, and still offer individual pace education.
grenadierok from Los Angeles on June 06, 2009:
Good hub, good information. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.
Webb.er on June 02, 2009:
Heather, you are doing a wonderful job and I applaud the support the community and other homeschoolers are giving each other. I have to disagree with some of your points - it IS difficult and time-intensive. You said yourself, "...learning is 24/7."
Some homeschooling parents in the U.S. have NoClue what they are getting into - they think if they spend enough money on 'homeschool materials' that they can fill in the blanks. You are more qualified than most, and you realize that every child is different, and you know how to make sure your child is not isolated or lacking in opportunities. I see many in the U.S. make the decision to homeschool and end up putting their children back in public school because they realize how unqualified for the job they are.
Heather on March 30, 2009:
As a homeschool mom (who never intended to be one before I had a child), I have to disagree with all your cons on homeschooling. It's not difficult or time-intensive. We get a lot more done in a much shorter time period than the public school can do with 25-30 kids of varying abilities.
It doesn't limit opportunities at all. In fact, many of the top colleges are recruiting homeschooled kids now because of their ability to work independently, manage their time well, etc. Homeschooled kids, on average, score higher on tests than public schooled kids as well.
It's not isolating at all. This year we had to cut back on our activities in order to make sure we got our schooling done. There's a homeschool saying: "Why do they call it homeschooling if we're never home?".
As for boundaries, why should there be? Learning takes place 24/7. Just because we're not sitting at the table with a workbook doesn't mean we're not learning. Whether we're baking, gardening, playing, etc, we're learning.
Homeschooling is growing in popularity. In my county alone there are about 2,000 homeschooled kids. We're members of several groups and always have stuff to do. We even opened our own enrichment center to offer classes that we're not able to do at home, like Spanish, art, yoga, ballet, Tae Kwon Do, and more.
Many local business give us educator discounts, as well as giving us awesome group rates to get us in the door when the building would normally be empty due to kids being in school.
Homeschooling has been an awesome experience for us. I can tailor my son's education to his needs. He'll never be pigeon-holed or forced to learn something in a way that doesn't work for him. If he's doing better in a certain subject, we can move ahead. If he needs more time to master something else, we can take as long as we need. I feel very lucky to be able to do this for and with my son.
Socio-Image on March 30, 2009:
MichelleKulas on March 20, 2009:
Good Hub! As a homeschooling mom, though, I will say that homeschooling is neither difficult nor isolating. Sometimes we run into the problem of too MUCH socialization... so many activities to choose from and so little time. :) I'm so glad that in our family, school and home are not two entities... we just consider them both real life.