If you’re considering educating your child at home, you’ve likely pondered the question, “Is homeschooling better than traditional school?” The answer to this question can vary widely depending on many factors that determine the structure and content of each individual homeschool. Ultimately, the success of homeschooling depends largely on the efforts and abilities of the parents who take on the responsibility of educating their children.
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Nevertheless, after spending 30 years in the homeschool community as a homeschooled student myself and a homeschool mom, I’ve had ample time to consider the matter. And in this article, I’d like to spend some time telling you why I think homeschooling is better than traditional schooling and why.
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Homeschooling Gives You Options: Traditional Schooling Does Not
All children are different and they all have different temperaments and learning needs. Traditional schools say all children need to fit within their framework for education.
If a child needs modifications, these can take weeks or months to facilitate – if they’re facilitated at all.
In a homeschool, a parent can mould the educational program around the child. They can choose a curriculum that will suit a child using a curriculum finding tool. Or just modify the curriculum they have to fit the child.
Some parents don’t use any curriculum at all and they unschool. But, really, there are lots of homeschool methods you can choose from. These aim to help you have a more effective educational approach for you and your child.
If you don’t know much about homeschool methods or approaches, you can learn about them more in this article, and get this free quiz which shows you what sort of homeschool method will suit your family most.
Homeschooling is Flexible: Traditional Schooling is Not
When you homeschool, you can decide when you’re doing schoolwork and when you’re not.
That means you can choose what:
- Hours of the day schoolwork will happen
- How many days of the week you’ll school for
- What holidays you’ll take or not take
- When to take a day off
Let’s look at these flexible options more below.
Homeschooling Lets You Choose Your Hours
I firmly believe homeschooling is better than traditional schooling because children and parents can choose what time of the day they want to work in.
Will they choose to work in the morning for a few hours…maybe only half an hour…either way, the choice is yours.
This is possible only because homeschooling is effective way to educate children – a very effective way!
Homeschooling Let’s You Choose Your Days
If you really need to take a weekday off to work at home, and then make up for it on Saturday, you can do that if you homeschool.
Or, if you’re like many homeschool moms these days, you’ll want to do a four-day homeschool week.
This gives you a day to do what you want – whether that’s cleaning the house, going on a field trip, or taking a day to work at home as a homeschool mom.
Homeschooling Better Than Traditional School because of HOLIDAYS!
Many homeschool parents like their kids to work during traditional school holidays so they can take holidays outside of the hectic period.
This lets them have a more relaxing holiday and forego the pleasures of battling other parents who are desperate to fit in this or that experience before school goes back!
Taking your holidays when others are in school also means you get cheaper hotel accommodation for your stay as holiday letting companies always charge more in school holidays!
What Days Will You Decide to Skip?
I really believe homeschooling is better than traditional schooling because you get to take a day off whenever you want.
For example, this week we are toilet training my youngest girl, Penny. It’s going to be a hell of a week.
And I’ve decided we’re going to skip any bookwork until things are a little less tense.
Of if you or your child is going through a sticky medical issue, you can halt curriculum work for a period and re-start it later down the track.
Schools have an incredible amount of busywork they give students to fill in time.
Homeschooling is better than traditional schooling because parents can cut this out and be on the lookout for more helpful resources.
Parents can also encourage homeschoolers to follow their interests (which really gets kids learning fast!) and take classes or do curriculum work they love.
Homeschooling is Better than Traditional Schooling Because Kids Can Get Way More Stuff Done!
People are shocked when you say that the average time a parent takes to homeschool is 2-3 hours a day.
That’s because homeschools are way more efficient than traditional schools!!!
There’s no contest.
Homeschoolers Have Better Academic Outcomes
Because homeschools are more efficient, homeschooled students have better test scores than their public school counterparts and even many private school peers.
This is reflected in plenty of homeschool facts (if you’re interested in looking into this more closely, check out the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI)).
Homeschooling is Better than Traditional Schooling Because Kids are Better Socialized
Wait…did you read that correctly?
You sure did.
The reason you’re probably confused is that you’ve probably been fed a whole lot of homeschool myths about how a child needs 30 other kids around them to learn social norms.
But, this isn’t the case, and study after study has shown homeschoolers are doing just fine with socialization.
In fact, homeschoolers are better at learning how to interact with a wider variety of age groups (as you can see in the book Why on Earth Homeschool) because they may:
- Do art classes with older people
- Sit in Bible Study with people of all ages
- Participate more in volunteer groups with people of all ages
- Spend more time with their family who feature people of all ages
Socializing with people of all ages means they’ll have more of a well-rounded social experience.
Consider Manners When Considering Is Homeschooling Better Than Traditional School
I often hear people commenting on how wonderful my children’s manners are.
This is the norm in homeschool families.
Indeed, my good friend, Jemma, decided to homeschool when she saw how gentle and polite homeschool children were compared with the schoolchildren Jemma used to to teach.
Similarly, my parents decided to homeschool my two brothers after they compared the behaviour of the homeschooled versus the traditionally schooled children.
Of course, this is a generalization and not all homeschoolers are like this, but this has been my overwhelming observation during my many interactions with homeschoolers (and having been one myself).
Good Manners are More Than Skin Deep
I think homeschooling is better than traditional schooling because manners usually come from parents teaching deeper heart issues to children.
For example, when I teach my son to be polite and say, ‘Excuse me.’ if he wants to interrupt, I like to teach him the heart behind why he is doing so.
That is, interrupting is unkind to the person who is talking.
On the other hand, saying, ‘Excuse me,’ means the child is acknowledging he needs to be excused for interrupting and is acknowledging how inconvenient the interruption is.
This is loving.
As a Christian, I also like to teach the gospel-centered reason behind love. That is, we love others because Christ first loved us and gave up his life for us.
We now want to imitate Christ because we love him so much and love others, which includes excusing yourself if you want to interrupt.
This makes his good manners more than skin deep and trains him how to think – not just how to behave.
Homeschools are Better Than Traditional Schools as they Teach Critical Thinking More Heavily
Homeschoolers are known for being deep thinkers and critical thinkers!
Indeed, so many of the homeschool curriculum programs out there today are focusing on critical thinking skills for children.
I think this is driven by the reaction of parents who see the way public schools do things. That is, public schools not only forego encouraging critical thinking, they train children NOT to think.
How is that done?
Well, the very nature of amusement (absence of musing or critical thinking) is that children don’t think at all.
And that’s where public schools are going.
This is great for the schools, because it means they create sheep who can’t think and just follow the government’s way of doing things…but it’s not good for children or for society.
Homeschoolers Can Engage with Nature: Traditional Schools Don’t Do This
A school day usually goes like this:
- Rush to car after taking in a rushed breakfast.
- Sit in classes, with recess breaks and lunch.
- Exit school exhausted before zombie-ing out in front of a screen or in the backyard after school.
There isn’t time, let alone inclination to spend quality time in nature, connecting with the world around us.
I think the lack of connection with nature is responsible for the sad lack of pretty gardens and fields around us.
Fewer and fewer cottage gardens filled with various and flowers are seen these days.
People just don’t have the time or interest…because everyone is too busy.
We lose a lot when we lose touch with nature.
But, Homeschooling Success Depends on the Parents
Homeschooling is not a panacea.
It is just a tool.
Homeschooling helps you more effectively educate your children to think critically and think through many things in life in a deeper way.
It allows you to have a better connection with your children.
So if the parents are good and try their hardest, you’ll usually find the homeschool will be a success.
On the other hand, if parents can’t be bothered trying a little bit with their homeschool, and they don’t really care about their kids, the homeschool can go all wrong!
The truth is that homeschooling does take effort. Many parents enjoy taking the time and putting in the effort to give their kids an amazing education.
But, some parents do not and don’t care about their kids. In this case, kids might be better in school.
But, in my experience, homeschools are usually a rip-roaring success.
Do You have To Be Educated to Homeschool Effectively?
I would just like to add that many people have the misconception that you have to be highly educated to homeschool properly.
This is such a mistaken idea.
I know because my parents were pretty poorly educated, yet they loved us dearly and made our education work.
My mother finished her Year 10 certificate and comes from a non-English speaking background. My father finished high school and eventually got a post-grad diploma in chef-ing.
But that’s it.
Yet, they educated us so that my younger brother became a lawyer with his own law business now, my older brother became an architect and then re-trained to become a pastor. I went to medical school before dropping out to eventually become the homeschool mom that I am.
My point is that you can have very little education yet produce children who are highly educated.
So don’t let a lack of education stop you from homeschooling!
Suppose you’re feeling unsure of how to homeschool and where to start. In that case, you can do a Homeschool 101 course like the Homeschool Parenting Program or checkout Youtube channels (like my How to Homeschool channel) run by experience homeschooling parents.
So, Is Homeschooling Better Than Traditional School?
What is better – homeschool or regular school?
After attending a Christian school for three years, my parents saw its sad limitations and decided to homeschool us.
They never looked back.
After being homeschooled for 10 years myself, I had a wonderful experience. In fact, it seemed my time in school was such a dark time…homeschooling felt like stepping out of a dark tunnel into a sunny field of daisy’s.
As a result, I’ve decided to homeschool my own children. We’ve only been homeschooling for two years, but the rewards have been incredible.
I’ve loved seeing my children blossoming in front of me. I love to spend time talking through deep issues with them and talking about God so much throughout the day.
My days are so happy, and I’m so thankful to God for the opportunity to homeschool.
So, if you’re asking yourself, ‘Is homeschooling better than traditional school?’ I’d say yes!