Traditional school and homeschooling are very different. Understand the differences and the pros and cons become more clear.

What is traditional school?

Most people are familiar with traditional, public school. Parents drop their children off at the local school building in the early morning where the kids go to class, have recess, lunch, take tests, and are ready to be picked up in the afternoon. Each kid is in a class with 15-30 other kids and one teacher and maybe a teacher's assistant, and the teacher works with curriculum selected by the school board. Homeschooling is significantly different. What are the pros & cons of homeschooling?

What is homeschooling?

Instead of taking your children to school and having your children receive their primary education from a teacher, they stay with you and learn from you. Many different approaches are used in homeschooling. Homeschooling can look very similar to traditional school, with the kids using an established curriculum, starting "classes" at the same time everyday, and ending at the same time every day. It can also look very different from brick-and-mortar education. Some parents don't use fixed curriculum and some take their kids on field trips every day.

What are the cons of homeschooling?

  • Homeschooled children do not spend as much time as others in close proximity to other children of the same age.
  • Parents and children might face power struggles.
  • The kids might learn some topics at a faster or slower rate than their peers.
  • You need to schedule more play dates and social events for your children.
  • If you aren't comfortable teaching a topic, you need to find someone who is.
  • You need to search for and buy or develop a curriculum for your children.
  • It's more difficult for kids to get involved in sports.
  • The television can tempt children.
  • Parents have to pay for the curriculum they use, supplies they need, and class the kids take at the local rec center.
  • Parents have less alone time. Educating your children at home requires a lot of time.
  • You get to defend your choice to other parents and family who question you.

What are the pros of homeschooling?

  • Parents have more influence over their children for a longer period of time.
  • Schedules are more flexible. The family can take a vacation in the middle of January, when Disney is at a low peak.
  • You have more control over what your children learn and more flexibility to spend more time on topics they need more help with or are more interested in.
  • Homeschooled children take less tests.
  • Children have time to develop their own sense of self before dealing with a lot of peer pressure.
  • Once a kid knows the material, he doesn't have to do endless worksheets waiting for the rest of the children in the class to master the material.
  • Children can get more sleep.
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