Comparing Homeschooling vs Public Schooling:

Ten Reasons for Homeschooling Children

A Public School Teacher Tells All

I am a public school teacher. While I think that the public school system is necessary, and serves most students adequately, there are several reasons you should seriously consider educating your children in your own home if you have the means to do so.  I have come up with ten that I think most effectively support my opinion.

 

Reason to Homeschool # 10 – Class size of 1

If you ask just about any teacher what the most important factor is in education they will say class size. What is the ideal class size? One. One teacher teaching one student. Unfortunately for schools, such a scenario is impossible. So the typical ratio for an average class is 25-30 students to one teacher and possibly an assistant which is far from ideal. In an elementary class that may be manageable because typically the teacher has those 30 students for the whole year and gets to know them rather well. High school is different however as students change classes throughout the day. So at most high schools teachers have to keep track of 150 students or more (30 students x 5 classes/day).  At ratios of 30 up to 200 to 1 in public schools it’s easy to see the advantage to homeschooling.

Reason to Homeschool # 9 – Arcane Traditions

Do you know why students have the summer off? It is so they can work the fields of their family’s farm because 90% of people live in farming communities. Wait… that statistic is from 1920. These days less than 5% of people live and work on a family farm. So why do we still take 3 months in summer off? Remember I am a teacher, I LOVE having the summer off, but is that really what is best for the students? Of course not. Most classes require weeks of review so students can relearn everything they forgot over the summer. While there are many more, this is just the most glaring example of how most schools are stuck in the past.  Homeschoolers are not chained to a calendar so no need to forget everything learned over summer and waste the first quarter of the year with review.


Reason to Homeschool # 8. Delayed Maturity

By grouping students into similar age groups it slows the maturity of the group as a whole. I have met many homeschooled children and were always amazed at their level of maturity compared with their public school educated peers. One criticism of homeschooling I often hear is that kids will not be socialized. Well trust me, I see everyday how kids are socialized in public school. Bullying, drugs and alcohol, sexual pressure and the celebration of ignorance (think Jersey Shore) are inescapable and I do not think homeschooled children are missing anything.

Reason to Homeschool # 7. Priorities

reasons to homeschool

(TribLocal photo/Jenn Zimmerman)

As I mentioned I am a public school teacher and I am also a coach for various sports. While I love sports and coaching and I think participating in athletics is great for kids, I am very bothered by the glorification of athletics in our schools (and for that matter our society). We have sports rallies that take time out of the academics day just so we can cheer for our athletes. There is no such school wide rally for honor roll students, debate, music, art, theatre, Science Olympiad or any other non-athletic extracurricular activity. Our job is to educate students, but often times academics is not made a priority.

Reason to Homeschool # 6. Schools are Authoritarian

I have a bit of an anti-authoritarian streak in me so this one may be more of a personal peeve, but I think schools are too authoritarian. This topic also ties into the “arcane traditions” and “class size” issues already discussed. Anytime you have a one size fits all approach to anything there will be people that are dissatisfied. In the case of a classroom dissatisfaction often leads to discipline problems. I am not a fan of training kids to be unquestioning obedient automatons that sit quietly assimilating and regurgitating whatever they are told to believe, yet to many that would be the perfect class. In the school wide picture our administrators spend most of their time dealing with things like kids being late to or skipping class, chewing gum (yes it is prohibited in my school), and dress code violations.


Reason to Homeschool # 5. Standardized Testing

Standardized testing is the bane of the teaching profession. I could probably dedicate several blogs to this topic alone but the basic problem is that they are a poor indicator of learning and are usually misused. Standardized tests should be a tool, a diagnostic to help locate potential areas of improvement. They should be a two way street with teachers giving input and receiving feedback to help shape instructional practices. However, the standardized test is being used as the sole measuring stick by which students, teachers and schools are said to be “effective”. So rather than learning to apply concepts to the real world where answers are not concrete or selected from a list of alternatives, we instead teach test taking skills and tricks to perform better on “the test”.

Reason to Homeschool # 4. Inconsistency

Like most things in this world teachers fall along a relatively normal distribution or “bell curve”. Most teachers are average, myself included. I have seen excellent teachers and I am not yet one of them. Truly excellent teachers are hard to come by and you are lucky if you (or your kids) have one in your educational career. Conversely, there are some very bad teachers. You are about as likely to have a terrible teacher as you are to have an excellent one but unfortunately just as having an excellent teacher can be life altering, so can having to endure a horrible teacher. So really the question is do you want your children’s future to be determined by the luck of the draw?

Reason to Homeschool # 3. Social Promotion

Kids get put in grades by age and the pressure to keep them with the same group is tremendous. Teachers and administrators are reluctant to suggest that students be “held back”, and for good reason. Typically, the suggestion that a child is not ready to advance to the next grade is met with denial and often hostility from parents. The result is that students get farther and farther behind as they move up in grade not having mastered material from the grade before. Many students may struggle only in one area such as math or reading and get promoted with hope that they will “catch-up”. However, with the class size problem most teachers are forced to “teach to the middle”, not challenging advanced students and continuing to leave struggling students farther and farther behind.

Reason to Homeschool # 2. Dumbing it Down

reasons to homeschoolGraduation requirements are becoming more and more difficult. In my state students require 4 years of math including Algebra II and 3 years of science including chemistry or physics. At first glance this may seem like a good idea, we want our students to be globally competitive right? As far as I’m concerned we might as well make dunking a basketball a graduation requirement. What do you think would happen if we did? Gold star if you answered “lower the rim”. That is exactly what is happening in our science and math classes. In past years more academic college bound students would take advanced math and science classes and students that were not so inclined would learn a trade, start an apprenticeship, or get a diploma with minimal credits leave school and join the workforce or the military. There is an overwhelming attitude that every student should be prepared for college, but in trying to accomplish that noble goal, very few if any of our students are actually prepared for anything.

Reason to Homeschool # 1. Political Agendas

Education has become a political football lately as funding battles and union busting has become a priority over actual student learning. Largely this is due to school systems becoming controlled more and more by state and federal decree rather than by local school boards and individual teachers. The fact is, I would be a much better teacher if I were not constrained by state and federal bureaucrats most of whom have not been in a classroom since graduation. Additionally, as power over curriculum is concentrated at the top, there is a concerted effort to push various agendas within the public school system that most people would be shocked by. Bottom line is, you as a homeschooler (depending on your state) will be free of government influence in your classroom.

What I have compiled is surely not an exhaustive list, but I think gives one sufficient motivation to at least consider home schooling. Additionally, I could write an entire book (and I just may) on the topics covered here, but for the sake of brevity condensed them. Please feel free to expand on or add to any of these topics in the comments section.

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33 Responses to Comparing Homeschooling vs Public Schooling:

Ten Reasons for Homeschooling Children

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  2. Rachel says:

    I was home educated from K5-12th grade. Here is an article I wrote about some great reasons to consider home education! http://www.ordinaryhomemaker.com/11-reasons-i-love-home-education/

  3. Karen says:

    We homeschooled our children when the youngest was in 6th, the middle was in 7th and the oldest in 10th. It was the best thing we ever did. They were subject to the worst public school can offer and the other children were, for the most part, undisciplined, foul-mouthed pathetic sheep. My oldest was turning into one, herself, and when we kept her home for her 10th grade and up she went back to being the sweet girl we knew and loved. My kids all graduated and went on to college. One went on to become a Physician Assistant with a Master’s Degree. Another earned a Master’s in Art. The third just didn’t want to be in college, but ended up in Korea teaching English along with his wife. Today he is a journeyman plumber and owns a home with his wife and three children. They are all great people and wonderful parents, and we thank the Lord for showing us we didn’t need Uncle Sam to do something we were totally capable of doing ourselves.

  4. Julia Kercher says:

    Thank you, thank you for this article! I am currently homeschooling my 7-year-old and intended to also homeschool my 11-year-old next year. She just finished 5th grade in public school after homeschooling the previous year. She wants to go to middle school with her friends and I needed validation that I was making the right decision to bring her back home. I am now even more certain that homeschooling is the best option for both of my daughters.

  5. Kirk Kelley says:

    Well I tend to disagree with many of your points and I was a public school educated individual who like many others has a Masters Degree…I can state that the public school system provides kids with structure and heaven forbid they’re not the center of attention. It also lets kids learn to respect people in authority and not just mom &dad….and as far as the sports, it’s great being part of organized athletics…it teaches teamwork and that they need to strengthen athletic skills in conjunction with brain skills…plus, not all parents are qualified to teach subjects of which they themselves are lacking in knowledge…

    • Jo says:

      Homeschool does all that minus the bullying, the obsession with sports over arts and education, etc.

      • lia says:

        Jo, thats where youre wrong, normal kids are supposed to be obsessed in arts,sport,etc because thats how they find out what they want to become when they grow up.
        “THE BULLYING PART IS TRUE THO”

    • Jey says:

      I think you would find the public schools today are very different from when we were kids. I was shocked to see (and hear from my kids) how these kids are allowed to act with little or no consequences. Public school was great for me but it is a totally different thing these days.
      As far as sports go, I totally agree that they are great for kids, however it is very possible for a homeschooled cold to be uncooked in sports at the highest levels. In some states they can join the teams at public schools. As a former high school athlete I feel that these athletes (even though athletics are good) get far too much attention and money in comparison to kids in other clubs throughout the school.
      As far as parents being suitable educators goes, homeschooled kids consistently test 13-30 percentile points above public schooled kids in every subject (you can look that up) so apparently they are figuring it out.

      • Jey says:

        Good grief, I should not have responded through my phone. My apologies for the typos and hopefully you can figure them out! Lol

  6. […] Comparing Homeschooling vs Public Schooling: Ten Reasons for Homeschooling Children A Public School … […]

  7. Polly says:

    From my 13 years of public school education, this is what I learned: to read, to write, and to do basic math. These are very basic skills that my mother could have taught me. I retained nothing else from the boring lectures of my teachers, because no one can effectively teach 30+ students at once, and we were all distracted by the other boys and girls in class.
    And I was getting A’s on my report cards! Proof that I was learning something, right?
    Yet, I can’t remember anything interesting, inspiring, or useful from my school days.
    But I remember many things about the kids I went to school with…I remember which girls were “sluts”, who smoked, who did drugs, who was anorexic, who was gay, the gang fights on campus…I remember the nice kids who were brutally taunted by the “cool” kids, and the constant drama of who’s-dating-who, and jealousy, and break-ups, and who wanted to commit suicide. And no mention of God…ever.
    I learned more from the kids than from the adults…and it was NOT good things that I was learning.
    In 11th grade, my grades started slipping…I stopped doing homework, I stopped trying…all I wanted was to get OUT of school…away from the idiocy, away from the drama. At age 16, I felt that I was wasting my time in school. I was learning NOTHING. I wanted to get out, get married, start a family, and actually live my life.
    So I’d say, from my 13 years of public school, this is what I learned: Nothing of real worth.

    • donita says:

      That was pretty well my experience and I know many other’s as well. Thank you for stating.

      We homeschooled our kids beginning at age 6 months until they went to private school to grades 6 and 5. They both skipped grades. Now one with a Master’s and the other with a Doctorate degrees, and both with other certificates as well, they are cheerful, well adjusted, and socially excellent, and we as a family are very close and have many wonderful memories.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for your reply and unfortunately you are not alone in your experiences. I wish more students and parents would reject what is being forced upon them, but the status quo is very powerful.

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  9. Just me says:

    Awesome article. Don’t forget to add the need for public schools to lump many students who are not robots, not sitting still and speak when asked to talk ( mostly boys), into special ed classes. These are mostly normal, active boys with great curiosity but are labeled. How sad this is going on. I won’t buy into it and am considering homeschooling. Thank you for a well written article.

    • admin says:

      Very good point. I have written about homeschooling special needs students, but the epidemic of drugging kids into conformity is very troubling indeed. (Mis)labeling kids as disabled when they don’t thrive in today’s learning environment is another problem. I think you just inspired another post.

  10. Victoria says:

    My heart sank when I read the bit about math and science standards. I’ve been so concerned about homeschooling high school and meeting the standards of college. I’ve always wondered how the public system could accomplish the subject requirements. Public school has been stolen from the public. We would have to hit the restart button from the ground up. Now with the new common core being implemented it will be much easier to insert propaganda. I’m happy to read comments from the teachers who are self described as “rogue teachers”.

  11. Jennifer says:

    THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!! I hope you DO go on to write a novel about this! I am a home schooling mother of two in Canada (our laws differ up here, however the negativity towards home schooling from ignorant people is still very much the same). I was in school to become a teacher when I made the decision to home school my children for health reasons. Over time, it became more and more apparent that is was and still is the RIGHT choice for all the reasons you said and more. I struggle mainly with negativity from my ex and his family (my childrens’ biological father whom they visit with once a week) and from neighbors. Today I was trying to compile facts/articles that support the benefits of home schooling, when I found your article. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for (opinions/facts from a professional in the business) giving the negative facts on secular education. Thank you again and please keep on writing! More people like you need to come forward and speak the truth.

  12. Tom G says:

    Dont forget the moral aspect of government schools. The proper role of government is to protect our individual rights by using force as in military,police, and courts. Why does education need force? What force you ask? Forced taxes to pay for it and Forced attendance. Capitalism is a sysyem of voluntary trade. Our schools would function at the highest possible levels and have a moral base if they were voluntary

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  14. Anonymous says:

    This was very enlightening. This information will only serve to encourage me to keep going on my homeschool mission. Tomorrow, my children and I will be starting our 4th year. It’s a tough job but oh-so-worthwhile!

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  16. Patricia says:

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. I am a home schooling parent and face a lot of questions as to why I home school. At times I need to remind myself I am doing the right thing. Thank you for reinforcing them in your blog!

    • Anonymous says:

      Patricia, YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING. Keep up the good work! In my opinion, I think the better question would be,to parents who choose to subject their children to mainstream school, why do they do that?! I always answer the maaaaaaany times asked, “WHY do you homeschool your children?” question with “have you watched the eye-opening documentary film about our nation’s DESIGNED TO FAIL public school system called Waiting For Superman?”

  17. Jackie says:

    Great points!!

  18. travis says:

    i need to know who wrote this, i am writing a paper and need the authors name so i can cite it and not plagiarize.

  19. [...] Homeschooling Hub ::: Top Ten Reasons to Homeschool Your Children [...]

  20. Jenny says:

    Nos. 1 and 4 I know were issues for my parents. And so many homeschooling groups do the same: put politics ahead of the students’ learning.

  21. Adriana says:

    thanks for share!

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