Education is one of the most valuable investments society makes in its members. While most parents choose traditional classroom education for their children because they believe a formal education system is better equipped to meet the learning needs of their children, there are also parents who opt for homeschooling. The reasons behind homeschooling include distrust of the formal education system and a personal conviction that parents can provide better education to their children as compared to the alternatives . Whether homeschooling or classroom education is better for a child may depend on a number of factors including the learning needs of the child and the unique circumstances of the family.
In homeschooling, parents act as the teacher and supervisor. The peers of the students in homeschooling tend to be their siblings or other people they already know. The children get to spend more time with their families in homeschooling as compared to classroom education. In contrast, the responsibility for teaching and supervision in classroom education falls on an instructor with formal academic qualifications. The students in traditional classrooms are surrounded by a diverse group of peers that allow the students to learn social skills in order to navigate the outside world .
Classroom education may or may not be free, depending upon whether parents enroll their children in public or private schools. In contrast, homeschooling requires parents to make certain investments such as purchasing teaching materials, teaching tools, and learning supplies that are usually provided by schools in classroom settings . In addition to financial costs, there are also greater time investments required in homeschooling as compared to classroom education. Parents, who decide to homeschool their children, have to set time aside for instruction and other learning activities including field trips .
However, there are also certain benefits of homeschooling as compared to classroom education. Homeschooling offers more flexibility as compared to classroom education that functions around a rigid schedule. Homeschooling may be more suitable to children with unique learning needs such as gifted children and children with learning disabilities. While some schools do address the unique needs of such students, many schools fall short of expectations .
Homeschooling may offer more potential for customizing the curriculum than classroom education. This feature of homeschooling is, particularly, important to parents who have certain educational criteria in mind such as religious-oriented approach to education. For example, many Christian families in the U.S. want to incorporate Bible study in the curriculum and discuss various subjects such as literature, history, and science etc. in light of the teachings of Christianity .
Some parents prefer homeschooling because it takes place in a safer and calmer environment than classroom education . Homeschooling may also protect students better against concerns such as bullying as compared to classroom education. Similarly, the probability of catching a disease is also lower in homeschooling than classroom education.
Homeschooling and classroom education are the two primary approaches to education of children in the U.S. Individuals with formal educational training serve as instructors in classrooms while parents take the role of instructors in homeschooling. Homeschooling enables students to spend more time with families but classroom education gives more opportunities to students to develop social skills. Classroom education may or may not be free but homeschooling requires parents to make certain investments to develop an educational infrastructure in a home environment. In addition, parents have to set more time aside if they decide to homeschool their children. However, homeschooling also holds certain advantages over traditional classrooms such as more flexible schedule, better ability to fulfill unique learning needs of the students, and a safer learning environment.
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