We have had our kids in public school and homeschool. I feel that there are pros and cons to both options and each family needs to weigh those pros and cons and choose the option that is best for their family. This can be a really touchy subject and we all need to chill out a bit on judging others choices.
Public School Pros:
- Children get to attend school with their friends.
- Children are exposed to many different types of people.
- Children learn to get along with others. (In my opinion, there is NO substitute for Kindergarten socialization. And as a mom currently involved with other homeschool parents, I know that I just used the forbidden argument that Public School provides great opportunities for kids to learn to socialize.)
- A wide variety of extra-curricular activities are easily accessible.
- Children learn to live by a schedule. Public schools excel at structure.
- Parents and children have time away from each other.
- Less work for the parent.
- Excitement for “Back to School”.
- We have already paid for Public School with our tax dollars.
Public School Cons:
- Rigid schedule, leaving family time less flexible.
- Less free time at home, factoring in the drive to and from school.
- Limited curriculum. (My child learned cursive at home and was penalized for writing her name clearly in cursive on her school paper. Also, my daughter was disappointed that her friends in Private School were learning foreign languages and she was not being offered that opportunity in Public School.)
- School lock-downs. (I am glad our schools do their best to keep students safe, but I want to be able to get my child when I need them. After experiencing two school lockdowns, I was very happy to have my child at home when I heard of another one!)
- Limited hands-on and field trip learning.
- Too much emphasis on standardized testing.
- Teachers must teach to the group, often leaving some struggling and others bored.
- We have to get out in bad weather at times.
- Flexible schedule.
- More free time at home, when school work is completed.
- More family time.
- More curriculum choices.
- Children are allowed to learn at their own pace, with individualized attention and instruction.
- More hands-on and field trip learning opportunities.
- You can stay home when the weather is bad.
- You don’t get to go to school with your friends.
- Limited opportunities for extracurricular activities.
- Much more work for the parent.
- Parents and children do not have as much time apart from one another. (Could be a pro for some and con for others.)
- Parents are responsible for keeping a schedule and teaching their children to stay on task.
- More expensive.
- Some experiences are missed, such as “Back to School” activities, class parties and class field trips.
- Parents have to make more opportunities for children to have social interactions with others and be exposed to different types of people.
Many of these pros and cons are generalizations and you may not agree with all of them, but I hope this helps give you a starting point in your research if you are trying to decide between public school and homeschool.