Public School vs Homeschool Pros and Cons
A child’s education commences during infancy. Your child may not consciously knows it, but the skill of learning to smile is already a form of education. During toddler years, your child becomes more aware of his or her environment and begins to absorb the stimuli in the surroundings. The simple act of showing things to your kids and explaining its color and shape is a process of laying the groundwork for formal education.
In a glimpse, education is what helps hone children and prepare them for bigger roles in the society - as a family member, a student, or an employee.
You can already discuss with your children the importance of education by using simple words and metaphors. If you see they admire someone on TV or books, explain to them that education can help them achieve their dreams and be able to follow the footsteps of people they adore.
What is Socialization?
The concept of learning is possible through socialization. This is a lifelong process of absorbing and putting into use ideologies and norms which enable individuals to function in the society.
There are two types of socialization. The first one occurs in the first stages of childhood and referred to as primary socialization. This is when the child learns to talk, behave, and mingle with others through his or her immediate family. The child can be exposed to traditions and norms practiced by the family through many interactions. On the other hand, secondary socialization takes place in school and through adulthood. The child learns the appropriate behavior in the society through non-family examples.
Child development experts, educator as well as sociologists suggest that socialization during formative years determines how the child will relate to the society. In conclusion, both the family and teachers play significant roles for the child to attain distinct socialization.
Sources of Socialization
Parents provide the first set of lessons about behavior to their child. Parents’ own experiences, attitudes, and roles in and out of house will affect these lessons. Socialization in the family can also be influenced by the culture, hobbies, or sports practiced by members. Early forms of stereotyping can possibly occur but what is important is for parents to be involved in their children’s growth and development. It is better for parents to focus and spend more time with the kids. Children have the tendency to absorb new learning when they feel an adult is listening to them.
When the child leave home for school, the teacher now becomes a source of socialization. Like parents, mentors have their own roles and behaviors in and outside the classroom that can influence the students. The school itself can be an originator of norms, preferences and stereotypes. This is mainly the reason why parents should think wisely where to enroll their children. We will discuss more of this topic in the sections to come.
Children will surely have interactions with other kids at school, at the park, or in the neighborhood. Toddlers love being with other kids as they feel happy with the positive energy around them. While children spend more time with their friends, they gain new ideas directly and indirectly.
Ideal Age to Enrol Your Kids to School
Is there an official school age for toddlers? Many preschools have an age requirement for kindergarten and it is around 2 ½ years old. Parents can have the option to follow this or keep their children for a few more years so they be finally ready for school at age 4 or 5. Readiness of the child for school can be determined by many factors. Let’s look into these factors one by one:
- Do you feel that your child is independent enough? Most preschools already require children to be potty-trained or can already eat on their own. There are teacher-assistants in preschool but children are expected to be able to know the basics.
- Is your child’s attention span long enough to focus on one activity? A day at the preschool involves arts and crafts, group activities, storytime and more. If your child can sit still through one activity, then he or she is good candidate for school. Toddlers are required to join these group activities to teach them how to interact with other students. Meanwhile, solo activities like drawing and coloring encourage children to focus and accomplish things on their own.
- Do you think your child can handle a repetitive activities? Preschool days are usually centered on same activities like group interaction, art projects, and exercises. Teachers may change the activities a bit but children must feel comfortable going through the same tasks almost every day.
- Does your child have the energy for a half-day at school? Preschool keeps children busy for about 3-4 hours. The simple tasks at school already consume the children’s’ energy. Assess if your child will not have trouble keeping up with the half-day program.
Readiness of a child for school can be evaluated by checking if the child is physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially capable to meet the demands of a structured curriculum. You can seek the advice of other moms and child specialists to know the right age to enroll your child to school. It will be also useful to be familiar with the types of school around your neighborhood and their specialization.
Factors that Affect your Choice of School to Enroll your Children
Children are a very diverse population. Every child possesses a different set of skills, capabilities, behavior and attitude. This is the outcome of biological factors as well as the parents’ upbringing. A child emotions, minds, and spirit can be tapped to achieve its maximum potential in the right learning environment. It is the parent's’ responsibility to find this conducive environment. In general, you pick the school that will work best with your child’s strengths, need, or personality. You can also look into the mission and vision of the school and see that these values complement the beliefs of your family. Here are other things you can consider when choosing the best school for your offspring:
On personal preferences:
- Do you want your child to be enrolled in a private or public school?
- Is homeschooling better?
- What are you views on homeschool vs public school socialization?
- Do you prefer religious subject included in the school curriculum?
- Are you into a specific teaching philosophy?
- Is the location of the school easily accessible with private and public transportation?
- Is the tuition and other school fees affordable?
- What are the opinions of other parents with regards to this school?
On school curriculum and facilities:
- Does the school have facilities, may include library, music room, sports and recreation areas, that will help your child develop his or her other skills?
- Does the school support children with special needs?
- How big is the school area and how many students they accommodate per class?
- What are the school events that promote parent and family involvement?
Aside from the considerations stated above, there is also a big debate on the pros and cons of public school and homeschool. The topic public school vs homeschool has led to many online and offline discussions among families, teachers, school administrators, and child specialists. Most parents remembered spending their grade school and high school in hallways filled with lockers and students - the typical sight in any public school. However, it was in the year 1980 that families started looking for options, and found out that children can study full-time at the comforts of home. According to surveys, there was more than 50% increase in the number of parents who chose homeschooling over traditional enrolment at a public school.
It’s true that there are homeschooling disadvantages. A large portion of parent population has attended public schools. It was a “normal thing” to do during their time. There were as many as 30 kids compiled in one classroom listening to lectures and demonstrations of different teachers throughout the day. Children are expected to have peers, pursue extracurricular activities, deal with rigorous school assignments, and work independently. Parents who experienced these situations agree that these are also the reasons why public schools are better.
The changing time and availability of tech jobs gave rise to the idea of homeschooling. Parents who gave in to this concept felt that home is the most safe and suitable environment where the children can learn new things. You may ask, “what is homeschool like?”. Imagine a setting where a child does not have to worry what clothes to wear or if there friends would approve the things they do. Homeschooled children are focused only on their academic goals. He or she does not have to deal with the pressure of peers just to become popular. Homeschooled children learn lessons at their own pace in a calm environment.
To dig deeper on the homeschool vs public school debate, let’s compare the two learning systems based on the following components:
Curriculum and Teachers
As parents, it is expected that they have high expectations for their kids and would want for them to achieve a more meaningful educational than they had when they were students. In public school, the teachers supervise the performance of a large group while addressing the special needs of a few. Parents who opted to try homeschooling want the academic flexibility for their child. This means the mentor and child can work hand in hand to learn difficult subjects. The point here is that children need to learn the basic skills - to write, read, comprehend, and count. Homeschooled children goes through an individual experience to learn these things while public schooled kids acquired this knowledge with the help or in competition with their fellow students.
Beliefs and Values
A few families with strict religious belief often have reasons to choose homeschool over public school. Bible studies and prayers together with general education are reasons for homeschool. This means there may also instructions to the teacher to explain history or current events based on the family’s religion and values.
Safety and Convenience
Public schools can sometimes become an unsafe place due to issues related to drugs, violence, and bullying. Parents pick homeschooling as they feel this is a safer option for their children. The everyday travel can also be a contributing factor for parents to choose homeschool. No need to wake up early for school and feel forced to listen to long lectures. Families who travel a lot and transfer homes very frequently see homeschool as their solution to help their children keep up with their studies.
Parents who went to tradition public school are often confused on how homeschooled children will learn to socialize. Families who have children who are into homeschooling say that interaction within the family is more similar to real life setting since children get to mingle with babies, other kids, adults, and even elderly. However, any people still think that there are social disadvantages of homeschooling. Extracurricular activities are not a problem too since there are many private institutions now that offer dance, art, singing classes and swimming lesson.
Making the right decision on what type of schooling to choose for you child depends on how he or she learns and in what way do you want him or her to gain new knowledge. The two concepts, homeschooling and public schooling, have pros and cons. The first offers a controlled and secure learning environment while the latter exposes your child to a world full of ideas and only he or she can decide which one to absorb. A handful of families also tried a combination of the two methods. See which one will best support your child’s interest and help him or her grow in a smart and kind-hearted individual.
At the end of the day, parents should serve as guides and be actively involved in their children’s educational journey. It is essential to always spend some quality time with the children for non-academic activities like baking, doing household chores, playing board games, a movie night or a walk down the park. Children appreciate when the parents listen and acknowledge their achievements, be it big or small.