What Is It like Switching from Public School to Homeschool?
You may have heard people say, “Public school is a prison.” Or that homeschooling is the only education they ever need. The thing is that everyone’s educational experience will be different from one another, and many factors will influence whether an individual prefers public or homeschool.
So what is it like switching from a public to a homeschool environment? How does the experience differ between the two? Let’s take a look at both sides of the coin.
First of All, What Is homeschooling?
Homeschooling is where tutors or their parents instruct students; this allows them to receive individualized instruction on the subject. This school environment can be used for all levels of education (elementary, high school, undergraduate).
Now let’s compare that to public schooling. As indicated in the name, public schooling is enrolled in a government-sponsored or publicly funded school. Though the student population might be large, students are taught by an individual teacher who specializes in the subject being taught to them.
So what are some of the differences between homeschooling and public school? And how does each differ from one another? Here are some of the main differences.
Key Differences Between Homeschooling and Public School
- Social Interaction
One of the first differences between homeschooling and public school is social interaction. Among the first things about being in a public setting is being surrounded by other students to learn, have fun, or both. However, in homeschooling, the student has control over who they are learning alongside. This can be beneficial if you have trouble making friends or are an introvert, but it also means that you may not learn social skills from being around your peers.
- Curriculum Relating to Social Interaction
The other significant difference between homeschooling and public school is the curriculum. For homeschool, you have a private tutor who will be able to personalize your coursework to fit your needs. However, this means that if you have trouble understanding a topic, it may be difficult for you to ask for help with it because of the social interaction mentioned above.
In public schooling, you may be struggling to understand a topic, but you will likely have the same classmates who are also struggling. This means that you may not necessarily need to ask your tutor; instead, you can collaborate with each other to ensure that everyone understands.
- Group Work vs. Individual Work
One of the best ways homeschooling and public school differ is in their methods of learning. In public schooling, you are expected to work alongside your peers to ensure that everyone understands the topic at hand. This can be beneficial because it allows for collaboration and teamwork.
In homeschooling, you will typically receive instruction from a tutor who will expect you to understand the material being taught. The benefit here is that the student has the opportunity to receive individualized instruction.
- Freedom of Choice
When it comes to making decisions for your education, homeschooling gives you more freedom than public schooling. Homeschooling gives you the chance to make life-altering decisions regarding what courses will be taken and when they should be taken (for example, you can take a class during your summer break).
Public schooling gives you little freedom when it comes to important decisions. You will be required to go to school at specific times and take certain courses that may not necessarily fit into your schedule or educational goals.
- The Curriculum
In homeschooling, a personalized curriculum is typically used to teach students. This means that the lessons and courses will be tailored to fit the student’s needs and interests. However, this also means that there may not always be a teacher present to help with complex subjects.
In public schooling, a standardized curriculum is typically used. This ensures that students learn the same things as their peers and be prepared for future courses or colleges. However, they may also lack subject material that would allow them to excel in their desired field of study truly.
- What You Learn
Homeschooling gives you control over what you learn, which can be beneficial because you can learn whatever interests you.
Public schooling gives you limited control over what you want to learn. This may be a drawback for many students who struggle with peer pressure or social anxiety, as they might not feel comfortable putting themselves in such a situation.
- Socialization and Friendships
One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you can take courses alongside your family members. If you are an introvert or struggle to make friends, this may be beneficial because it allows you to grow close with your family members rather than establish new relationships.
On the other hand, public schooling gives students ample opportunity to make new friendships and socialize in a safe environment. This can be beneficial for introverted student who struggles to connect with their family members.
- Connections and College Admissions
One of the most critical factors that homeschooling gives you is the opportunity to network with other students and families in your area, which may help you find a job or college admissions. However, this also means that you are more likely to be associated with local homeschooling families.
Public schooling allows you to build connections within your school district, which can help when applying for college or finding a job. This is beneficial for students who may not wish to become involved in their local homeschooling community (due to religious or personal reasons).
To homeschool or not to homeschool? Whether to enroll your child in public or private schooling is a decision that must be made carefully. One of the significant factors to consider is cost. Homeschooling can save you money, but it requires an initial investment to purchase curricula and supplies for courses that you will be teaching your child.
Public schooling is much more expensive than homeschooling, although various forms of financial aid are available for students who cannot afford the costs. Finances must still be considered, but this will largely depend on which college or university you wish to attend.
- Learning Skills
Depending on your reason for homeschooling, you may want to teach your child specific skills that will help them excel in the future. For example, if you are homeschooling because you believe it is a healthier learning environment than public schooling, making sure that your child learns how to study independently and take tests under pressure could be beneficial.
Public schooling does not focus on teaching specific skills to students; instead, it focuses on exposing students to various subjects they may have not previously studied. This can be beneficial for students who excel in certain fields of study but struggle with others.
How Does a Homeschool Curriculum Work?
The truth of homeschooling, like most things in life, is that it’s different for everyone. Homeschool programs are generally tailored to the students and their specific needs based on various factors, including learning style, age level, and grade placement. Some parents opt for a more relaxed approach, while others prefer a highly structured program with set courses and lessons that must be completed at a specific time each day.
Regardless of the approach you choose, there are essential components to consider when setting up a homeschool program. First and foremost, you need to establish your goals for homeschooling and how your child will demonstrate competency in certain areas (i.e., tests and assignments).
Next, you’ll want to determine which courses you’d like to teach your child. Will they need remedial work in certain areas? Are there courses that you feel completely unprepared to teach? The importance of choosing well-designed homeschool curricula cannot be overstated because it is the backbone of a quality homeschool program.
Finally, consider how you want to structure your school day and select a calendar or planner to map out goals and deadlines. Depending on the approach you choose, an average homeschool day may last anywhere from 3-5 hours of active learning time. Most parents find that a school day of about four hours works well for elementary students, while older children may need a shorter school day to accommodate after-school activities.
Do Homeschoolers Do Better than Public Schoolers?
The answer to this question will vary depending on the homeschooling method and curriculum being used. Some parents have found that a traditional, structured approach has led to higher standardized test scores for their children than public school students. Others report that a more relaxed approach has resulted in a better academic environment for their child. In truth, there is no research to suggest that homeschoolers do better than public school students in all cases.
Do Homeschoolers Get into College?
The short answer is yes. While there are no statistics available on this matter, many colleges and universities across the country report that homeschooled students make up a significant portion of their student body. While it’s always wise to double-check with admissions to determine if your child’s particular homeschooling program will be accepted, the consensus is that homeschoolers are welcome on college campuses all over the country.
Start Your Homeschool Journey with a Quality Homeschool Curriculum
No matter your reason for homeschooling, the key to success is choosing a good fit for your family’s unique needs. Homeschool families have access to resources that have never been available to parents looking to educate their children at home–don’t miss out on the opportunity!
High School of America provides a customized homeschool curriculum for high schoolers to build a strong foundation of academic skills, character development, and personal responsibility. The program’s four pillars are math, language arts & literature, science & social studies, and electives. Each student is assigned an education specialist who helps create a custom learning path based on each student’s unique needs.
Talk to us today to learn more about our curriculum and start your homeschool journey with a quality homeschool curriculum from the High School of America!