Is Homeschool Effective Enough?

Kalina Kornacki, staff writer

We, as students, have been completing homeschooling for a little more than 2 months now. Being so used to the way we used to be schooled, with teachers always there to help and with all additional resources of friends and the library, the transition was a bit difficult and a bit chaotic. 

Homeschooling can be hard for many people, or it can be their exact cup of tea. For me, it’s half and half. While homeschooling has been a good experience so far, it still provides its difficult encounters. With both my parents still working, I find myself trying to complete my own homework along with helping my younger siblings with their schoolwork when they have trouble. While I have plenty of time to complete my schoolwork, I often find myself distracted and constantly trying to find a way to get myself away from my homework. 

However, others may find homeschooling as their preferred way of learning. They may be able to learn at their own pace, teach themselves the easier way to complete the work, and be able to complete multiple tasks at once without worrying about the next thing. 

So is homeschooling better than public schooling? What are some pros and cons? Is it an option for you in the future? 

Firstly, there are multiple positives for homeschooling. Well, you can “customize or individualize” the curriculum and learning environment for yourself, you can “enhance” family relationships between children and parents and among siblings, it provides a safer environment because of negative problems such as physical violence, drugs and alcohol, psychological abuse, racism, and improper and unhealthy sexuality associated with institutional schools, and you are able to learn whatever particular set of values, beliefs, and worldview you wish to learn by. Homeschooling allows many people to find what works out for them, whether it’s because of how they learn or what they’re learning. It gives people a chance at a more peaceful alternative of schooling, rather than the constant worry about public school’s projects and standardized tests. 

Unfortunately, what has a positive must have a negative.  Not everything about homeschooling is as great as people say. For example, socialization. Kids who spend all their time inside alone (possibly with siblings) won’t get to experience a growing friendship unless they meet friends at a camp or at a sport. However, public school children are constantly around each other, growing and learning about how to communicate and talk. Another problem is that homeschooling is much more difficult than what we are experiencing. Usually a parent stays home, buys all of the proper books and equipment and sits with whoever is learning and teaches them themselves. Actual homeschooling is much like regular school, except for the fact that your parent is your teacher and you get to stay in your pajamas. 

So why go to school at home when you could go with your friends? Public schooling has plenty of advantages like the fact that the kids can join after extracurricular activities. Students have easier access to many activities, like sports and clubs, than homeschoolers do. Another pro is that the teachers are certified, meaning that you can trust what the teachers are teaching and you can trust that they are doing their jobs correctly. If you were to be homeschooled, your parent must have at least a high school diploma or G.E.D.. As a point made before, kids can make friends more readily because they are always surrounded by peers. While homeschoolers can make and keep friends too, it can be difficult finding a community outside of their homeschooling network. Public schooling is also a more affordable option, helping the parents, especially ones with low incomes. Public schooling also provides a guaranteed schedule, allowing kids to get their work done right then-and-there, without the worry of having to get it done later or not at all. The students also do not need much motivation to move onto the next grade because they are compelled to finish the work and continue with their education. Finally, public schooling “creates an opportunity” to learn about how to manage these real-world expectations so that it is easier to be successful once you begin to pursue a vocational career. 

However, there are some disadvantages of public schooling. One reason is the frequent 

stress to meet requirements. Every student wants to go above and beyond. But once the classes begin to get harder and more strenuous, the students begin to feel more pressured. However, many still have the drive to keep up with the curriculum, making them more pressured into completing more difficult activities. This leaves a bad taste in many people’s mouths, making them look down at public schooling. Public schools are also growing in size, meaning that there are larger class sizes. The larger class sizes mean that there is less and less time for a teacher to spend one-on-one time with their students, meaning that the teacher won’t be able to provide the right help for those students. Finally, there is also the never ending concern of bullying and peer pressure. School is a place where a child is supposed to feel safe and understood, somewhere they don’t feel scared to be. On the small chance that a child is made fun of based on their ethnicity, color, religion, clothing, or sexual orientation, people immediately take their child out of public school, blaming them for not making their child feel welcome. Unfortunately, the school, staff, and members cannot always focus on the one time a student is made fun of. When they cannot, people then do not see the school as a safe place for their kids, giving the school a bad reputation. 

So is homeschooling better than public schooling? Or is it the other way around? Based on the information I have gathered and the experience that I (and the rest of the world) is going through, I believe that public schooling is a better option rather than homeschooling. With public school, I am able to accomplish more than I do at home, I am able to see and talk to my friends about more than what happens at home, and I am able to experience a more wholesome and fun environment rather than trying to complete schoolwork at home. If I have to complete work, why not complete it with my friends?