When we look at the argument of home schooling versus public schools it is very easy to get sidetracked into a lengthy discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of each and wander off into a wider discussion about the strengths and weakness of the public school system. At the end of the day however it is really only results that matter – and that doesn’t just mean academic results.
Starting however with academic results, there are numerous studies which clearly indicate that home schooling wins hands down and this is largely attributed to the fact that parents who are genuinely interested in their children’s education provide considerable motivation for the children to produce better results.
One study (sponsored by the US Department of Education) found that home school student test scores were ‘exceptionally high’ and that the median scores for every grade were much higher than those seen in the public schools.
The study went on to note that home school students in grades one through four were a full grade level above students in the public schools and that, by the time home schooled students reached the equivalent of grade eight, they were four years ahead!
It was also noted that this was largely attributable to the very poor standard of most public schools but that this did not fully explain the results as home school students also did considerably better than those attending private schools.
The study also noted that home schooling costs were lower. On average, government schools spent $6,500 per student every year and private schools spent $3,500. Parents undertaking home schooling spent of $550 per student each year, although this figure does not of course take into account the time spent by parents on home schooling for which a public school teacher would be paid.
One of the problems with the public school system is that it is a system that is designed rather like many socks today – one size fits all – and while this might work reasonably well for socks, it certainly doesn’t work at all well for our children.
Children are supposed to come of the public school system as ‘well rounded’ individuals with a broad education across both the arts and sciences and with the social skills needed to cope in the modern world, but the practice rarely matches the theory.
Your children may well come out of school being able to name all the Presidents of the United States in order but if they cannot even boil an egg then they are going to find striking out on their own a bit of a struggle.
Each child is a unique human being with particular strengths and weaknesses and these are lost in the sausage machine of public education.
home schooling provides you not only with the opportunity to teach your children what they need to know to succeed in the real world, but it also allows them to opportunity to develop their own skills and interests to a degree that is rarely possible in the public schools.