Understanding the True Differences Between Homeschooling vs Public Schooling

April 23, 2023

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Are you a parent toying with the idea of taking your child out of public education? Well, you're not alone. Many parents all over the country have opted to provide their kiddos with an alternative educational experience because they know that it truly benefits their child and their family.

We've been exactly where you are, questioning whether public schooling still fits your child best. We know how challenging it can be to sift through all of the pros and cons of each option, especially when you don't have anyone to consult.

The truth is public schooling and homeschooling are very different, and while both have pros and cons, one option reigns supreme in supporting your child for a better future.

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways
  • Children who struggle in a traditional learning environment benefit from homeschooling because it allows them to learn at their own pace.
  • Homeschooling your child means you have more control over their curriculum.
  • Homeschool laws vary from state to state, and it's important to read your state's requirements before homeschooling your child.

The Public School Environment May Not Support Your Child's Growth

Does your child complain about the classroom environment at school? Maybe their teacher doesn't have enough time to answer all their questions adequately. Or, maybe they have trouble learning alongside 20-40 other kids in each class.

I remember my child coming home from school one day and complaining about not having enough time to ask his teacher about the parts of his lesson he didn't understand. Even though he couldn't ask these questions, he still had a homework assignment to complete.

He was frustrated and nervous he wasn't going to pass the assignment. I could see the frustration on his face, and I didn't think I could do anything besides offering him the support he needed and helping him with the assignment.

That was the first time I questioned public school for my child. Sure, when I was in school, I had similar experiences where I thought I didn't have enough time or resources or couldn't focus on the subject matter at hand because it was so far removed from my actual interests.

It's easy to forget your school challenges when you've been removed from that environment for so many years. Having children brings back all those memories and frustrations and can make you feel that sense of uncertainty again.

Teacher and pupils in class

With the right knowledge and understanding of what options you have, you can make an informed decision to homeschool your child and offer them a strategic education plan that fits their needs.

When your kiddo isn't given enough time and support by their teachers, it's likely they'll fall behind. Then, they come home and need you to help them with their assignments anyways.

Why not cut out the middleman and teach them yourself? Taking ownership of your child's education means you give them the time and focus that they need right away so they aren't left with questions on the subject matter or unnecessary stress about completing their assignments.

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This gives your child the tools they need to grow and move forward with their education without getting caught behind. If your child is struggling in a traditional public school classroom and is having a hard time keeping up with the lesson plan, we strongly recommend considering homeschooling.

Homeschooling Lets You Choose Your Own Schedule

One of the perks of homeschooling is being able to choose your child's learning schedule. Public school students often have their schedule given to them by the school regardless of their learning needs. If your child isn't a morning person, think about how difficult it is for them to put on their thinking cap and study world history first thing in the morning.

A woman and a child staring at the desktop screen

Homeschool students are able to work at a pace and schedule that works for them and the rest of their families. While some kids may be fine following this type of schedule, there are many kids that suffer because of this in public schools. With homeschooling, you can teach your child in the morning, afternoon, or evening or create a mixed schedule; whatever works for your family.

Having a set schedule that works for your child is helpful as it teaches them what they can expect day to day, but that schedule is completely up to you. If your child needs a little boost in the morning, try teaching a fun art class or an easier subject at the start of their school day.

Include them in the process of creating their schedule. That's the beauty of homeschooling; you can give your child more say in how they learn. Having this freedom makes learning more enjoyable and keeps them engaged throughout the day.

Decide What Your Child Learns

How many times has your child come home and complained about one of the subjects or lessons they're learning? While there are certain skills and subjects that every child should know, there are a lot of unnecessary learning plans in traditional education, whether your child goes to a public or private school.

The curriculum chosen is set to a standard to accommodate thousands of children. What if every child in your school district had to wear the same clothes or eat the same foods every day? This wouldn't work. Education also isn't just a one size fits all, especially when it comes to children who need more fluidity in their learning.

A public school teacher may try to include fun lessons throughout the standard curriculum, but this doesn't take away from the fact that your kiddo has to learn a lot of information that may not even apply to their future.

Homeschool families get to choose the curriculum taught in their home and how it's presented to their children. Think about the history of the United States. There's so much that has happened since the start of our country that just isn't taught in public schools. Public schools tend to have a single lens through which they portray history every year, but many other perspectives and events are overlooked.

Maybe your child is an avid artist that is set on developing their creative skills into a career. Public school gives them a small amount of classroom time to focus on art, which potentially stunts their artistic growth.

A child writing on a book

Homeschooled children are able to have more time to work on their creative passions if that's the route you choose to take. Homeschooling families enable their children to have a say in what they learn while also providing them with an educational experience that they believe is right for the child.

Teaching Without an Educational Degree

Public school teachers must have a teaching degree to teach. When it comes to homeschool parents, that's not always the case. You may not be required to have a teaching degree or college degree, for that matter, depending on the state you reside in.

Many states will still require you to have at least a high school diploma or general educational development test (GED), which is easily obtained if you don't have one already. So, if you've been questioning whether homeschooling your child was possible because of your educational background, figure out your state requirements.

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Keeping Records of Your Child's Performance

The public school system is responsible for keeping track of a student's attendance and performance records. Depending on the state they live in, homeschooled students may or may not be required to keep track of these records. Make sure to check your state's requirements since homeschooling in Texas is very different than homeschooling in Georgia.

It's up to you to keep track of these records and report them when they are requested or required of you. Even if your state doesn't necessarily require you to keep track of your child's attendance or performance, it's always best to do so anyway.

That way, if any issues arise or your child's education is in question, you have the necessary documents to prove that they are receiving adequate schooling.

Your Child's Social Life

Children doing exercise

We're sure you've heard the debate on whether homeschooled students still have a social life outside of public school. Even with all of the students in a public or private school, is there really much time for your child to socialize anyways? While they attend the class, they're expected to follow along with the teacher's lesson plan. There are a few minutes in between each class, but depending on your child's age, they spend those minutes commuting from classroom to classroom.

Even though your child isn't going to be around those same children when they are homeschooled, this doesn't mean they can't or won't have a social life. If you have multiple children, they'll have each other to keep them entertained throughout the day.

If you have a single child or only plan to homeschool one kiddo, there are other options out there for you to keep them social. There are homeschool groups and co-ops of other families that you and your children can connect with. These groups often host other homeschooled students to learn alongside their own children. These groups also put together sports, extracurricular activities, and field trips so your child doesn't have to miss out on any of the fun adventures that public school students have.

Forming a Better Bond With Your Child

By far, one of the best rewards of homeschooling is the bond it forms with a child and parent. Your kiddo gets to see you from a different perspective, not just the one that tells them to go to bed early and reminds them to eat all their vegetables. Children appreciate kind and compassionate teachers and often credit them with their success as they get older.

Homeschooling your child means you take on an important role in molding them into the best version of themselves. You're alongside them while they learn, struggle, succeed, and start discovering what they truly enjoy learning about and what skills they want to use while they're older.

Children deserve to have someone who's able to hold their hand if needed and walk them through this process.

A woman high-fiving a child

When you become both the parent and the teacher, your child sees you in a different light. They see you for your knowledge, your patience, and your understanding.

What's Next?

If you're seriously considering homeschooling your child, you may not know where to start. The key is to start looking into your state's homeschool laws.

Most states have a few laws set in place, but they are usually very reasonable and don't restrict you too much when it comes to homeschooling your child.

Elementary school-age children may have different requirements compared to high school-age students.

There can also be laws surrounding the curriculum you teach, the number of days your child is required to attend, and whether they must complete standardized testing.

A child from either public and private schools will need some time to adjust to homeschool life. By creating a comfortable, fun, and engaging environment, your child isn't going to miss all of the routines and restrictions that come with public school.

Whether your child attends charter schools, a traditional school, or anything in between, there's nothing quite like the homeschool experience.

Now that you've learned the main differences between homeschooling vs public school, are you ready to take the first step toward giving your child an elevated education journey?

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