Public school or homeschooling: Which is the better option?

Sophia Furlani, Staff Writer

There has always been a controversy about whether homeschooling or public schooling is the right way to teach kids. There are pros and cons of both, but is there a right choice?

One obvious difference between the two is the environment.

With homeschooling, parents are assured that their child has safe and calm surroundings. Homeschool supporters believe that a place a child is familiar with will help him or her learn more efficiently. The home is also the most secure environment with no distractions such as other students, school bells, and technology like in public schools.

Supporters of public schools believe that the separating of the classrooms is actually helpful to children and will lead to success in the future. The real world is not as calm and peaceful as we would like it to be, and students should learn to adjust to it.  

In addition to the environment, homeschooled students do not have to deal with the same type of social issues that public and private schools present.

When a child is home, he or she doesn’t have to worry about peer pressure from other students, bullying, or trying to fit in. This gives the student more time to study and focus on academics.

The big problem public school supporters see with this is that it doesn’t give homeschooled kids the ability to make friends or adapt to other people around them.   

“Initially, I was involved with a lot of homeschool-centric youth groups and programs; this allowed me to socialize with people my age. However, as I got older I began to realize the lack of these resources for teenagers. I found myself feeling isolated and lonely at times.” said homeschooler, Skye Wootten, who recently graduated from Ludlow Public Schools by meeting the requirements needed.

According to some research, children who are living a sheltered and protected life are less likely to learn how to interact and to work with one another. It will be difficult for them to be able to build real, dynamic skills that are necessary in the real world.

They say the mission of a public school is not only to further one’s academics, but to teach children how to apply these skills through meaningful, needed interactions with their peers and also their teachers.

The most important aspect of homeschooling is the unique learning style and pace the child can work at. He or she can be taught hands-on, and instruction can be tailored to fit the needs of the student. In public schooling, every student gets taught in the same way.

“I liked teaching myself and going at my own pace. I also was able to work at the level I was at, instead of potentially wasting time on something I was proficient in,” said Wootten.

So is public schooling or homeschooling the right option? It’s not that simple, “education is an individual experience.”

For Wooten, “Homeschooling was the most comfortable option for [her], being someone who had severe difficulty in a classroom setting.”

On the other hand, her “six-year-old sister is in kindergarten, and she loves the atmosphere and classroom community. There is not one image of what schooling should look like, and every child and family should be able to choose what works best for them.”