Home Schooling vs. Public Schooling

Which is the BEST Option for Your Family?

Maybe your child is fast approaching school age or maybe you are finding yourself increasingly frustrated with educational options for your family.   Whatever the reason more and more families are exploring the aspects of homeschooling vs. public schooling.  As the homeschooling movement has gained popularity from the 1970’s until today it has brought with it a surge of educational options that rivals most other educational arenas.  When you couple that with what some families are finding to be a less than ideal environment in many public schools, you have room for debate and questions.  But how does homeschooling really stack up to the public school system that has been in existence since most of us can remember?  Are children who are homeschooled at a disadvantage?  Are public schooled students better socialized?  Read on to answer some of these tough questions.

How does the educational experience differ between public school and homeschool?

With public school systems a classroom is typically comprised of approximately 20 students. This means that for any well meaning teacher it is a constant battle to decipher the needs of 20 individual personalities and learning styles to create the optimum learning experience often in a shortened time span.  With homeschooling you may have a large family but the teacher (usually the parent) knows the student intimately and knows what tools they need to succeed.  There is also more freedom and time to explore topics of interest and areas of difficulty as there are no bells ringing to signal preset time constraints.

Are Homeschooled Students at a Disadvantage Academically?

With all the freedom allotted to homeschoolers, do they wind up disadvantaged in the sheer academia?  According to a number of studies on test scores and academic performance, the answer is pretty astounding.  The home educated students typically score 15-30 percentile points more than publics school students on standardized academic achievement tests. That is an increase in test scores that most parents would love to see.

What About Socialization?

This seems to still be a question at the forefront of most people’s minds.  How could a child surrounded by other children all day long in a public school setting not be at an advantage over a child who may only be surrounded by siblings and a parent for most of their time?  The answer is that homeschooled children view the world as their classroom so they are more often not inside the confines of 4 walls when learning.  What this means is that the socialization experience of homeschooled students is more often with a greater variance of people.  They come in contact with not only other children their age (at co-ops, church or social events, and extracurricular sports) but also with people from all walks of life and varied ages as they interact with the world at large.  There is also more time for the homeschooled child to volunteer to communities where their socialization experiences helps.

Now some of the basic questions may be answered, but for someone who is newer to this whole concept of homeschooling and public school, what are the options?  For public school it is simple.  When your child reaches “school age” (usually by 6 years old) you take them down to the local school district and register them for kindergarten.  Simple as that your child has begun their academic career.  Barring any family move from district to district, this is where your child will attend school until they complete the 12th grade and graduate school.  There usually are no other major changes save for the situations where a family may decide to take advantage of a technical school, if offered, usually during the latter high school years.  In many parts of the country there are also now charter and Montessori schools that accept public funding and therefore operate like public schools allowing children into the school system either on an academic testing basis or a locale basis.

In traditional public schools the parent is simply the compliment to the education.  The parent helps with homework, can facilitate assistance in the classroom with parties and field trips if necessary, but is largely left out of the educational part of school.  In fact, the parent has no say in what is taught in the school operating system so if there are concepts that are against the parent’s own set of standards and beliefs (certain religions and material on sex education and reproduction) they are taught regardless of the parent’s personal feelings.

What about homeschooling, how does a parent even get started?  A good starting point in the US  is to review the laws in your state.  This can be done by going to this website https://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp? , picking out your state and seeing what the requirements are.  Every state is a bit different with some having more leniency and less reporting standards than others.  What if you live outside the US and are wondering about international laws?  No problem there is a place to view all of those laws as well http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/

If you are interested in completely removing yourself from the home education proceedings but do want to have your child at home while learning there are a number of online schools available.  This option, at least in the United States, often comes free of charge as it is still being partially funded by the public school system as a whole.  Therefore, while the parent can call it “homeschooling” there is little choice for the parent in the education being provided, however it is provided often free of charge and with the child in the parent’s home.  One of the most well known online public schools is K-12.

For a parent who would like a little more control they must first register with their state or locale in whatever manner is necessary (for some there is no registration requirement) and provide whatever materials are asked of them.  Beyond that the parent has more choices.  A parent can choose to purchase entire grade level curriculum for each child with all of the guesswork taken out of the teaching and lesson planning, a parent can purchase curriculum on a by subject basis for those students who may be more advanced in one academic area than another or a parent has the freedom to develop their own learning protocols.   The parent is the overseeing body who is in charge of what materials they want to focus on and what subjects they want taught to their children.

Public School and homeschool are options available to every parent, in every state.  This option is not yet available in every country, but there are agencies that are keeping tabs on what is available

Homeschooling is legal in all of the 50 United States and of course public school is the option that has been the norm for educating children since before the turn of the century.  A parent must only realize that they have choices and then look at the options available to their family to decide what avenue will best meet the needs of their own child or children.  Whether you as a parent reside in the United States or Abroad, there are agencies that can provide you information and the basic concepts of homeschooling remain the same.

Should twins be in the same class ?

To be Parents of twins would be super excited to know that they are expecting Twins. But looking after twins is not an easy job. Both parents should share equal responsibilities of the kids after they are born. If you are a first time parent make it a point to join a club of parents who have twins. It becomes easier that way. When the children grow up to be preschoolers they enjoy each others company. They do not need other friends. But advice from Twin coaches is to keep them apart in school. They need time apart inspite of being very close to each other to grow and develop their personalities. Here are some parenting tips for the education and schooling of their Twins. There are two main views discussed. One is that the twins should be separated in school. and the other that they should not be separated in school

Avoid Dominance

Dominance of one twin over the other cannot be avoided if they are together. Just in case one twin is more dominating in nature, there is a chance the other twin will be subdued and that could be problem for him / her for life. He/ She will always be in a shell and will never open out. If one of the twin is an Introvert and the other an extrovert then the introvert blends in with the friends of the extrovert twin automatically. In this case the Introvert twin does not have to work on the skill of opening up. He / she is already a part of a ready group. Separating them could result in the introvert twin opening up faster.

No Comparisonshoud be done

There is a tendency of twins getting compared to each other when they are in the same class in school. This prevents the weaker one from becoming strong. He will always be under the shadow of the stronger or more intelligent of the twins. There are times when maybe one twin is excellent in reading or maths while the other is not. This will make the stronger one feel guilty as most teachers will say it in front of the kids.

Separation keeps them close

Normally people think that keeping twins away from each other will drift them apart. Separation from each other keeps the twins yearning for each other as otherwise at home they are together doing all chores in each others company. School is a new place for them and they are out of their comfort zone. So when they meet they have a lot to talk and discuss about and they get a lot of information from each other. So hence the myth that when your twins are given their me time separately they drift from one another is a complete misnormer. Infact they get closer to each other. The time they get away from each other encourages them to understand themselves as individuals and become more confident.

Disadvantage of not being together

There are Pros and cons to everything. In this case the disadvantage is that if the kids are in two different classes it becomes a hectic schedule for the mother of the twins. She has to attend to volunteering if needed in two different classes, Help in making projects for both the kids. Maybe the topic of the project is different. The two classrooms can have sets of different rules and regulations which the mother has to adhere to. Then dropping both the kids to their different classes and then being there on time to pick them up is also a difficult chore. When you have to cater to their tiffin menus set by the two teachers of the two different classes, it becomes very difficult for the mother to do this.

Get Organised

You can turn the disadvantage to your favour by getting a little organized. Put down all details of each week on your computer . Or make a note on whiteboards , A different colour for each twin noting down their activities, events and menu for the week is not a bad idea. You as a mother will definitely put things together better if you organize yourself.

Being at two Places

Being at two places at the same time is humanly impossible. So if you have to attend an event in both classes , you can always request the teacher if the other twin can attend this class and the next time this twin can attend the event in the other twin’s class.

Talk to other parents of twins

Talking to other parents of twins who have already gone through this rigmarole will be very helpful to the first time parents of twins. They are already experienced so they can guide you to better solutions.

There are different views to the topic of the education and schooling of twins. It is debatable. There are some opinions which say that they should be together and some opinions say that they should be separated. But majority say that the twins should be separated if you want them to be confident individuals in their adulthood. There should not be any dependency on each other even though they are there for each other whenever needed. As a parent of twins, what would you do ? Comment your thoughts on your choice.