Homeschool vs. Public School

What is the difference?

Photo+courtesy+of+Pixabay+via+Creative+Commons++

Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Creative Commons

Noelle Helmlinger and McKenna Baxter

Not all students deal with crowded halls, faulty light fixtures, and teachers who hate their guts. While this may sound like heaven for any high schooler, this idea of a perfect school exists in people’s homes. In fact, many children in America are homeschooled today. According to A2ZHomesCool, it is estimated that about 1.5 million students are homeschooled.

Publicschools.org declares that homeschooling has several helpful benefits. Homeschool provides a safe, calm learning environment. There are no noisy classrooms or crowded hallways, and there are no classmates to distract them in class. The homeschooled students will be able to learn in a tranquil state of mind from the comfort of their own home.

Another benefit is that there is no peer pressure. Without any classmates around, there is no one to coerce or pressure the student into anything. Bullying and teasing are also knocked out of the equation, and the student can be safely assured that there will be no bullies or ne’er-do-wells bothering them while they learn.

Lastly, students will find they can learn at their own pace and style. Public school is designed to teach larger groups of students, but not all students can fit into this system easily. Homeschool offers a more personalized approach to education. Students will find that they can sit back and relax as they cruise through their work in whatever style appeals to them. Styles such as fast or slow pacing, working all the way through or stopping for breaks, and even work with lots of hands-on activities will be accommodated by homeschool.

However, some say that there are drawbacks to this method of learning. Due to the nature of homeschooling, there are no clubs or associations connected to it, which can rule out a lot of extracurricular activities available to kids who attend public schools. Another issue, which is more concerning to students than teachers, is that there are no snow days or holidays. Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, and many other would-be days off are worked through by homeschoolers.

Sophomore Sarah Dycus, who was previously homeschooled, agrees that it was hard to make friends. “When comparing homeschooling to public school, the lack of any strict deadlines in my family was a huge advantage for me. But at the same time, my neighborhood didn’t have a ton of kids, and the houses they lived in were far away from us,” Dycus says.

On the other hand, Zach Skiles, a student who is currently homeschooled, has a different view of homeschooling. He says that public school is “too impersonal, stiff, and rigid.” He feels that he would be left behind if he went to a public school. When asked if being homeschooled affected his personal life any, he said, “This is a grievance of mine, actually. My schedule is so packed I need time for NOT socializing! Youth group, acting, work, co-op classes, homeschool-family activities, field trips and more make homeschooling more social and more real than being in a classroom for eight hours a day. That’s something I intend not to do even if I’m being paid.” Skiles only complaint is that being homeschooled does not offer a lot of opportunities, such as Governor’s School, and that he often deals with prejudice against homeschooled students.

Despite the problems often associated with public school, there are actually a few benefits contained in the white brick walls. There is a wide array of peers, all of which are different in some way. This diversity opens the students up many different paths which can lead to friendship or romance. Homeschoolers are not always given this opportunity, and without any organizations outside of school, they would find themselves perpetually bereft of companionship, and this may lead to a lack of social skills as well.

    Jibran Jahangiri, a junior at Battlefield, has a positive outlook on public school. “I like that I get to communicate with different people, and that I have the opportunity to partake in after school activities,” says Jahangiri. While he enjoys these aspects of public school, Jahangiri dislikes it when some teachers act like their class is the only one that exists.

The homeschool environment, as was stated earlier, is a peaceful learning environment. However, it may be too peaceful. The real world is chaotic and has surprises around every corner. The moment homeschooled children head out to the real world, they could find themselves shocked at how disorderly it is. It may take years for them to adjust to the fast-paced and pandemonic life.

While homeschool and public school are almost entirely different, the two share one common goal. The children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, and it is mandatory that they are taught adequately, and homeschool and public school aim to do just that. They both contrast deeply in some areas, but their main purpose is to teach children what they will need in life.