Below is a table differentiating Conventional Education and Homeschool Education.
Class Room – Students in conventional schools are expected to stay within the confines of a school room. With homeschool children, learning may take place anywhere: in the study room, in a meadow – when they are looking for cocoons to study for science, or in the kitchen cooking up an experiment. In fact, the homeschooler’s class room is limitless. He/she may learn about stuff during a trip to the beach, or learn about math on a trip to the grocery store.There is “hands on learning”. Activities which are outside the context of books are very much essential to the child’s learning process. Trips to the park, the museum, the zoo, going fishing with mom and dad can be a great time to spend an afternoon educating your child.
Teacher – A teacher in a conventional school must be licensed in order to teach. He/she may also end up with at least 30-60 students in a classroom in a typical public school, thereby, making it impossible for each child to learn something or be followed-up in their academic performance. A homeschooled child’s teacher may be taught by his/her parent (provided the parent has a Bachelor’s Degree – as mandated by DepEd), or by a hired/private tutor. In this scenario, there is one-on-one instruction and the possibility of the child learning something is guaranteed.
Parents pattern their teaching style and curriculum in accordance with the child’s learning style, allowing him/her to successfully understand the subject matter, thus better results are achieved. Moreover, students spend their school years thinking and exploring – not memorizing facts that are forgotten soon after the test.
Classmates – Interaction in the conventional school is HORIZONTAL, which means they only relate to children of their own age. These are children who come from different backgrounds and training. What a child learns in this environment are values and norms that his/her other classmates grew up with. It’s important that every child, homeschooled or not, gets proper “socialization”, but sticking them with kids their own age and generally the same social and economic class all day for 12+ years is not necessarily the way to get this socialization.
Homeschooled chidlren do not have to contend with peer pressure. At a homeschool, age classification is not a factor, therefore children not only associate with children their same age level, but with children of different ages and adults as well, so they can decide on their own without the influence of peers. Therefore, interaction is VERTICAL and not limited to kids his own age.
Schedule – The amount of time spent on each subject depends upon the age, small motor skills, learning style, and abilities of each child.
Ranges as follows:
3-5 minutes for preschoolers,
10-20 minutes for 1st -3rd graders,
20-45 minutes for 4th – 6th graders,
45 minutes or more for 8th – 12th graders
More time can be spent on each subject if done orally than if you require it handwritten, especially for children who have difficulty with handwriting. For these kids, save their handwritten work for handwriting practice and for final copies of their composition projects.
The total number of hours spent each day in one-on-one instruction ranges as follows:
thirty minutes in Kindergarten (broken up into several five-minute sessions),
one to two hours in grades 1 – 6, two hours or more in grades 7 – 12.
Again, more can be accomplished orally than handwritten for children with handwriting difficulties.
The remainder of the school day is spent having the child read on his own, participate in playtime activities with his siblings and friends, take a special class, go on a field trip, complete his own “chores”, experiment with science projects, practice an instrument, create art projects, and/or participate in any other activity that can be done independently.
As stated in the previous paragraph, it is difficult for a child to learn and be educated when they are one of approximately 30 students in a classroom assigned to 1 teacher. It is particularly challenging for the teacher to give one-on-one attention to each student, assess their needs, and provide them with the tools necessary for each one to excel. Students who are gifted are not challenged and waiting around for the other students to catch up. Students who are slow, are not getting the attention they require to catch up to the other students.
Providing a homeschool environment for the student allows the child to learn at their own pace. It does not force them to go on to the next section if they have not fully understood the previous one. One-on-one attention by a parent/teacher allows the student to ask all the questions he or she feels are necessary in order to understand and learn. In addition, the waiting time of a teacher working with 29 other students is not there and so the homeschooled student has the opportunity to excel at a more accelerated pace. You will often find homeschooled students are further ahead in their learning than their regular schooled peers.
The learning environment of a homeschool is such that the child feels safe and free to learn at their own pace. The location being flexible is also a great benefit. If it’s a nice sunny and warm day, the parent can move learning time to out in the back yard. Or, if the family is on a camping trip, school goes along with them. Being a homeschooled family allows you to be flexible in the location of study and as such frees up the family to travel and spend time away from their home. All while learning. You will often find homeschooled children in families that are on the road on an extended vacation. These children will most likely have education surrounding their current locale included in their schooling. Breaking up the monotony makes things more interesting. If a child is interested, they will learn and remember.
Course of Study Control
Having control over the course of study of my homeschooled child is very important. We are free to choose the cirriculum that we wish to use. We can mix and match different areas and customize it to our child’s specific needs. Having the ability to teach our families’ values to our children, and not someone else’s, is important to us as well.
More Family Time
Homeschooling allows us to have more family time together. Our children are always with us and we take them pretty much everywhere. They have the benefit of knowing that they are in a secure and safe place. Spending time together as a family gives a security to children. One that they will value and learn from as they grow older and go out into the work force.
I could probably go into other reasons why we homeschool our children, but for now I thought I’d give you a little insight into my perspective as a mother who homeschools. If you are thinking of homeschooling your children, maybe some of the reasons I’ve discussed above will help you make your decision.
When children are in school, relationships with teachers and friends compete with loyalty to parents and siblings. School schedules and homework assignments take priority over family time, and children may be taught values that conflict with those taught in their homes.
Homeschooling allows families to operate as teams. Moms and dads are confidants. Siblings are best friends. Schedules are set according to the family’s needs, and children are taught their parents’ values.
At home, decisions meet the needs of the child – not the needs of a classroom or school system. Children are treated as individuals, and are truly known and loved.