We live in a world where going to public high school can be like entering a war zone; metal detectors, bullying, physical violence, verbal threats, etc., and/or a dysfunctional learning environment; outdated textbooks, lack of materials and resources, poor quality of education, and more. Because the quality of a high school education has diminished over the years, the appeal for an alternative to a public high school education has increasingly drawn parents to consider home schooling as an option.
The benefits or advantages to home schooling seem immediately apparent. Your child is removed from a potentially threatening environment and he/she no longer have to deal with unruly students and nasty teachers. As the parent and teacher, you dictate the academic course of your child; you make sure the homework and studying is done; etc. The student can learn at his or her own pace, and the parent can focus lessons in the areas of those skills that need extra attention. The entire focus is learning.
But, these same advantages to home schooling can also be it’s disadvantages. It is not at home where a high school student learns to deal with adversity, unruly students and nasty teachers. It is not at home where a student’s social skills and communication skills are continuously developed to take them to the next level; college and life. It is not at home where a student learns about diversity and getting along with their fellow high school students and people in general. Yes, high school can be a breeding ground for poor social behaviors, bad attitudes, and inadequate role models. But, are we not as parents, supposed to lay the foundation at home first?
Another disadvantage to home schooling is the parent as the teacher. The parent may not be able to fully implement an educational plan and/or understand what is necessary to ensure a student has access to the proper curriculum. Many parents are not qualified teachers and those parents who are, are only qualified in their area of expertise. Also, home schooling does not guarantee your child will develop proper study habits, do my excel homework, time management skills, and an overall love for learning.
Yes, a home schooled student might have an academic advantage, but it is the high school student that has the advantages of all of the extra-curricular activities that high school has to offer that presents them as a more well-rounded individual.
Although home school is often better for academics, it does a poor job of preparing a child for college. Kids need to learn how to deal with distractions and learning in a larger crowd of people. Home school helps improve grades because they can learn one on one with their teacher, but in college they will not be given the chance to learn strictly one on one with a teacher or professor. Home school also does not help when it comes to getting accepted into a college. Most colleges have a hard time accepting children who have been home schooled because of the trust factor. When a child is being home schooled it is not uncommon for parents to help their children on tests and quizzes and also curve their grades so they will be accepted into colleges. Overall the experience that high school offers will much better prepare a child for college. The only obstacle in high school is that a child may be distracted by socializing or other things going on around them that their grades may suffer. It takes determination and concentration for a kid to hold a high grade point average in high school, but the challenges in high school will help prepare them for the coming challenges in college. However, the choice between high school and home school also depends on the child. Most children respond better to a home school environment while others need to go through high school to feel prepared for college. For example, kids who are shy and reserved may benefit from high school for it will force them to reach out and socialize. Although many people do not think socialization is an important goal to accomplish, it is. If i child feels uncomfortable in front of people then they will do poorly when presenting in front of their college classmates. Parenting also plays a large role in this choice. If a parent home schools their child, they should act as a teacher and not as a parent during the schooling process. If a child can not feel as if they need to take home school seriously then high school will be the better option. On the other hand, a child who had problems focusing in class or around a large group of people may need to be homeschooled so they can catch up on school subjects they may have missed or done poorly in. Home school may also help them learn to stay focused on the teacher and not what is around them. Home school vs. high school is a popular debate, but this debate has no clear answer or winner. The truth of the matter is that it depends on what kind of situations your child can adapt to.