Homeschool vs Public School – From a Mom Who’s Done Both
July 11, 2019
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Homeschool vs Public School
Choosing the best education for your children is one of the most challenging decisions a parent can make. We all want what is best for our kids, and it’s hard to choose what path is going to be most beneficial to them in the end.
Growing up I went to a public school for kindergarten, and then private school until fifth grade. Then my parents decided to homeschool me until I was in 11th grade when I returned to the private school.
I had experience with all different types of education during my childhood. When it came time to choose how I wanted to educate my kids, the homeschool vs public school debate was pretty clear – I wanted to homeschool.
I homeschooled my two oldest children up until my oldest was starting 3rd grade. By this point in my life, I was a single mom and working 50-60 hours a week. Homeschooling became practically impossible with my lifestyle, and I eventually chose to place them in public school.
3 years later, I don’t regret my choice. They are happy and thriving and growing smarter every day. There are times where I miss homeschooling. I am in a place in life where I could homeschool again, but the kids love their schools and want to stay. It is always possible this may change again in the future, but for now, this is where we are at.
As someone who experienced all types of education growing up and has also experienced both homeschooling and public school as a mother, I have some valuable points of view and tips I want to share with moms who may be struggling to make this choice.
What I Loved About Homeschooling
One of the things I loved most about homeschooling was the freedom we had each day. I was able to create an environment for learning that fit our needs on each individual day. Some days were more structured than others, and that was totally okay! Homeschooling isn’t about worksheets and tests all the time. You can create a learning experience through other resources.
You can go on field trips anytime you please, and you can teach things that most children don’t get to learn in traditional schooling. Every state has it’s own laws and guidelines to follow. In our state, there is not much regulation. We were not required to report grades or tests to the state, so it made it easier for us to create our own lesson plans. Be sure to check out homeschooling laws for your state.
The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling
- Freedom of choice
- Teaching topics we are interested in
- No alarms or school bus!
- Allowing the kids to learn at their own pace in their own natural way
- Choosing our own curriculum
- Creating a sense of independence in the kids
- No peer pressure or bullies
- Allows us to spend more time with our children
- The responsibility of their education completely falls on you
- Teaching them things that you don’t know much about
- Affordability – some curriculums can be pricey and signing the kids up for activities can add up if you do many of them (Homeschooling CAN be done on a budget, however) Not as many breaks from the kids
What I love About Public Schooling
My children are all in an excellent school district. We opted for a school of the choice program due to my son being special needs. Our home district did not have the best resources, and I wanted the very best for him. So we enrolled the children in a better district, and we are in love. The teachers there are so kind and are excellent and building relationships with their students. Our kids learn so much each day and are absolutely thriving.
When I first put them into public school after homeschooling, I was honestly extremely nervous. I had heard a lot of bad gossip about public school and was concerned about bullies or even my kids falling behind in school.
These concerns are totally normal, and I am so happy that our experience turned out to be such a positive one.
Pros and Cons to Public School
- Their education is handled by professionals
- You get time away from the kids to work or do other things
- They get to spend more time with other children
- Public schools do many fun events for the kids – our schools do field days, popcorn days, Christmas parties, daddy-daughter dances – all things homeschoolers don’t always get to have!
- You can still be involved by volunteering at the school. Many teachers even allow room moms to come in on certain days and help with their child’s class.
- It teaches the children to be independent in some ways
- You are on a stricter schedule
- Papers, notes, reminders, etc. I currently have about 12 trees worth of paper in a drawer from all the things the school sends home with them!
- Sometimes you get a teacher you or your kid doesn’t like
- Dress codes – they drive me crazy sometimes. No leggings? Seriously?
- Less control over your child’s education
- Less time spent with the kids – Yes, this is absolutely a pro and a con.
How do you choose?
Choosing between homeschool vs public school is a tough decision. Talk to your child and get a feel for what they are most interested in. Schedule a meeting with your local school or attend a round-up. This allows you to meet some of the teachers, take a tour of the school, and really feel it out before you decide.
Remember, you can change your mind at any time. No matter what you decide, you are a Rockstar mom who’s doing the best you can for your babies!
Let me know in the comments – what factors helped you decide between homeschool vs public school?