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HomeSchooling vs. Public Education
Formaleducation has become one of the key pillars to personal, societal,and economic success in the modern world. Formal education hasprompted the government and households to invest heavily oneducation. Today, the two main ways of delivering education includegoing to public schools, or schooling at home. Thechoice of where to educateone`s childrenisleft in the hands of parents with many aspects having to beconsidered. Thischoice is important to the students, parents, and teachers as itdetermines the academic success of the children. However, there havebeen a huge debate overthe home schooling and public schooling, which has confused parentsand students. Much of this controversy has been centered on themerits and demerits of home schooling (Houston& Eugenia). Despite the continued adoption of the home schoolingstyle, there are limitations to the option when compared to publiceducation. The home schooling style of education is not as good asthe public soloing style of education because it lacks enoughprotection of the child, social interaction is limited, as well asthe children being exposed to only one type of curriculum.
Forsome time now parents have been dragged into the question of the bestform of schooling for their children. Over time, the public schoolshave remained an American icon, however, from the 1980s parents andfamilies have deviated from the norm or the icon of public school, infavor of home schooling. In some recent reports, it has been claimedthat, there have been an increase in the number of families adoptingthe homeschooling mode of education. On the other hand, publicschools has as well set-up, and continues to thrive despite thecompetition (Meisels 120). There are different limitations forhomeschooling that makes public education remain the best option.
Homeschoolingis simplified as the act of parents teaching their children acurriculum at home rather than sending them to private or publicschool. Currently, this mode of schooling is gaining popularity amongthe Americans. Different factors are attributed to the adoption ofthis style of schooling such as religion, safety, travel distance,cost of education among many other reasons. On the other hand, publiceducation is the style of schooling where children are sent to eitherpublic or private institution for their education.
Therehas been a 74% increase in the number of homeschoolers from 1999 to2007, with an estimated 1.5 million students studying at home(Houston & Eugenia). This increase in the number of homeschoolershas raised a lot of questions as to why a parent would choose to homeschool his/her child after taking him/her to a public school. One ofthe reasons cited by parents is protection of their children frompublic school influences such as drug abuse and bullying. While homeschooling may protect the child from the influence that comes withpublic schooling, it does little to prepare the students for theworld.
Dangerssuch as bullying and peer pressure exist everywhere, including workareas, college, high school, and in the community where thehomeschooled child will be at one point in his or her life.Therefore, homes chooling denies children the chance to experiencethe dangers of the world around them and learn how to handle them ontheir own. Furthermore, the protection granted by homeschooling isshort-lived begging the question of how will the children will copeafter their homeschooling time is over and they join high school orcollege where the dangers are increased. Therefore, it is better totake children to a public school and prepare them early enough onhandling such dangers.
Onthe contrary, public schooling promotes the interaction between thechildren and the world around them (Cattaro), in addition to exposingthem to vices such as peer pressure, bullying, and drug abuse. Whilebullying, peer pressures and drug abuse are unfortunate problemsexperienced in public schools today, students who face thesesituations daily learn how to withstand them. Therefore, upon leavinghome for college, students from public schools are more competent inhandling dangerous situations than homeschooled children. They canfend and stand up for themselves better when bullied at college orworkplace than home schooled children. They also cope with lifechallenges better because they face them on a daily basis at schoolas opposed to those at home (Pollack 30). More so, public educationoffers children a plethora of ideas and concepts compared to homeschooling which offers little or limited exposure to ideas. Publicschooling in turn offers the school going children to realize theirtalents, and develop them into careers
Oneof the key aspects of human development is the social aspect. Withchildren confined to their homes, it denies them the chance to buildrelationship, friendship, with age mates, and in turn hampering theirsocial development aspect. Homeschooling offers fewer opportunitiesfor socialization. The home environment presents few occasions forinteraction with other students. Despite the lack of the schoolsetting, the fact that homeschooled children do not go to school withthe other neighborhood children, singles them out, making itdifficult for them to make friends (Graham 14). Therefore,homeschooled students do not develop their interpersonal skills whichcan make them uncomfortable or shy in social situations. This makesit hard for homeschooled children to form friendships with others andpractice effective communication.
Friendshipsare important for college and high school students as they make themfeel accepted in social groupings (Cattaro). Hence, homeschooledchildren may lack peers in college and high school owing to theirweak interpersonal skills. Besides, there is a chance that homeschooled children regret missing out on school experiences,especially when they experience entertaining social situations suchas prom in high school. The stunted social development may alsoextend to adult life since communication is a vital skill in livingand working.
*Publicschooling on the other hand, provides a good social environment forstudents to interact. Students attend school not only to acquireacademic skills, but also to make friends and interact with otherpeople (Graham30).Students in public schools are surrounded by peers on a daily basis,which helps them to develop their interpersonal skills. Therefore,they make more friends in college and high school and feel moreaccepted in social settings than homeschooled children. In addition,publicly schooled children have stronger friendships since they weremade early at a young age and developed over time. According toGraham“public schools provide opportunities for socialization to solvesocial problems such as racial segregation” (1).
Thereare differences in the curriculum of both systems. These differenceshave a huge impact on the student outcomes. The curriculum for homeschooled children cannot match that of public schools. Parents mayalso have a challenge in implementing it owing to their lack oftraining in curriculum drafting and use. Homeschooled children’scurriculum may be different from the national one neglecting keytopics which are required to be taught. In addition, the parent maylack enough funds to purchase crucial resources required for learningto take place (Romanowski 45). Homeschooled also fail to benefit fromextracurricular activities which are present in public schools.
Thenational curriculum used in public schools is standardized to givestudents’ competencies in handling examinations and accreditations.Furthermore, trained and qualified teachers ensure its implementationin public schools. Most parents who home school their children arenot properly trained. Therefore, they are not as effective as thetrained teachers in delivering instruction to the students.Romanowski proposes that “both parents who teach their children athome and teachers should strive to understand each other’s role toenhance learning” (87). Public schools are also properly funded bythe federal and state governments thus have enough funds to purchasevarious learning resources. As a result, publicly schooled childrenget an education of higher quality than their homeschooledcounterparts.
Homeschoolingconfines the child to the home environment. The child does notexperience the classroom life and school schedules. He/she does notlearn how to obey rules and meet deadlines as required in the publicschools. The lack of deadlines and stress when schooling at home doesnot teach the student to work under pressure. Public schoolingpromotes autonomy and accountability among the students (Grahamp202). Studentslearn how to respect authority figures and not only their parentsstarting from an early age. Homeschooled students start learningabout a school setting in high school, which can make them confused,especially in the first few weeks of joining. Publicly schooledchildren are used to school settings as they have been in a schoolfor long. Therefore, publicly schooled children have an easy time incollege and high school than homeschooled children. The quickadaptation to high school and college life is important as it ensuresthat learning starts early.
Inaddition to being an expensive style of schooling, home schoolingdemands the presence of a caretaker, or tutor to take care of thechildren when they are undertaking the homeschooling option.Moreover, this option looks to suit families that are financiallystable, as there is demand for more resources than it would be thecase of public education. Moreover, homeschooling limitations can besummarized as time consuming, increased cost, compared to freeeducation in public schools, lack of enough facilities, and lack ofmotivation for the children.
Nonetheless,there are many arguments in favor of homeschooling. It is believedthat homeschooled children enjoy one on one education tailored tomeet their needs (Houston & Eugenia). The student getsindividualized attention at home, unlike a classroom where theteacher concentrates on many students. Homeschooling utilizes thebest learning style for the student when delivering the instruction.It is therefore suitable for children with special needs such asattention deficit (Green 1115). There are reduced distractions athome than in school, though distractions such as the television andmobile gadgets require a high level of self-discipline. However,distractions are useful in helping developing self-discipline amongstudents, which is needed in life.
Inaddition, parents argue that homeschooling offers an opportunity forthe family to interact strengthening the family bond. It givesparents an opportunity to instill the desired values in theirchildren, such as Christianity since they spend more time with them(Houston & Eugenia). However, the family can still bond byspending time together once the student is backing home from school.Home schooling is also flexible as opposed to public schooling whichfollows strict schedules (Green 1100). The flexibility experienced inhomeschooling just favors the parent and may lead to time wastage.
Despiteboth options posing strengths and weaknesses, there homeschoolingoption is more disadvantageous compared to public education. Thereare various advantages of homeschooling. These include providing alearner centered approach to learning, greater flexibility, andstrengthening the family bond. However, the disadvantages ofhomeschooling make public schooling the better alternative. Thebenefits accrued from sending children to school exceed thedisadvantages. Public schooled children develop their social skills,have better learning resources, and learn how to handle challenges,respect authority, and meet deadlines in a timely manner. Inaddition, learners in public schools are better equipped for collegeand high school than those schooled at home (Berger 203). Therefore,public schooling is the best way of preparing students for college,working, and socialization. Each of the two modes of schools has itsown merits and demerits. Parents may find it hard to choose betweenthe two however, the public schooling option looks to offer more tothe children than the homeschool, which in turn takes the upper handover home schooling approach.
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