Homeschooling vs Public Schools:
Pros and Cons

The pros and cons of homeschooling vs public schools is, quite frankly, an unfair contest, at least as far as your child is concerned.

There's no doubt in my mind that, in most cases, public schooling cannot match the advantages of homeschooling.

John Taylor Gatto quote about children being cruel to each other at school

"School is a twelve year jail sentence where bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned. I teach school and win awards doing it. I should know."

(John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down)

So how come public schooling has got so many cons?

"We need to realize that the school institution 'schools' very well, though it does not 'educate'...It's just impossible for education and schooling ever to be the same thing." (John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down)

quote from John Holt

The Pros of Homeschooling

The fact is, however good the teacher or the school, there is no substitute for the pros which come with homeschooling:

  • The ability to follow your child's interests. One look at our dinosaur project will show you just how far William and Catherine's love of dinosaurs has taken us.
  • Flexibility. See how homeschool gives you a unique chance to organize your time in the way that best encourages your child to learn.  You'll see ideas for making home school lesson plans and you can even have a peek into a day in our homeschool daily program.

I'm going to call on another iconic figure, John Holt, to explain more:

"We like to say that we send children to school to teach them to think. What we do, all too often, is to teach them to think badly, to give up a natural and powerful way of thinking in favour of a method that does not work well for them and that we rarely use ourselves." (John Holt, How Children Learn)

quote by Ignacio Estrada

When we look at the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling vs public schools, you can see that schools are stuck in a trap.

There's no getting away from the fact that there's a teacher with the task of schooling up to 30 children who may or may not want to learn.

And there's a bigger question, should you care to open the box:

What is our schooling trying to teach, anyway?

John Taylor Gatto has a rather stark answer, which he proves by looking at the history of homeschooling:

"The truth is schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders," (John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down)

The Cons of Public Schooling

every child is gifted

When you really look hard at the task public schools face, you begin to realize that it's not about the cons of one bad school or a few poor teachers.

There are lots of very good schools and very good teachers.

But look what they're faced with:

John Holt quote

If you want to see a brilliant talk (including lots of humor!) about how schools kill creativity, have a look at Sir Ken Robinson's YouTube clip.

It's a great wake up call in the homeschooling vs public schools debate.

ken robinson quote

So I'm going to throw at you a bigger question. When it comes to the pros and cons of homeschooling vs public schools, what are you hoping your child will get out of education?

If you think I'm suggesting that by choosing homeschooling over public schooling one of the pros and cons you have to weigh up is giving up any academic aspirations for your child, you're wrong.

One look at the facts will show you that one of the pros of homeschool is that homeschoolers typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public schools on standardized academic achievement tests.

If I've done enough to rock the boat and show you why schools are not the place to send your child, see Part Two of my article on the  pros and cons of home school as against public schooling.

quote from Steve Lambert about homeschool

When it comes to the pros and cons of homeschooling vs public schools it's well worth knowing that you do have a choice and school isn't necessarily the right answer.

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