Making choices about your child’s education is one of the toughest decisions that a parent faces. Parents around the world want to do what is best for their child and their education. As long as homeschooling is an educational option, there will continue to be a debate about what is best. Exploring the climate, schedule, academics, and parental tasks of both homeschooling and traditional classrooms will help you make a decision that is best for your family.
If there is more than one child in your family, homeschooling would be a multi-age environment. This instills collaboration and teaches leadership skills. There is also a sense of consistency, not only day to day, but also year to year. It is also important to mention that extended time with family could strain those relationships.
Most traditional classrooms are grouped by age, which allows for quality peer interactions and shared experiences. Due to the variety of abilities present within a traditional classroom, students get the opportunity to see diversity and mentor their peers. Classroom management is an issue in the traditional classroom, as more students present the potential for more challenges.
The homeschooling schedule is flexible, revolves around the family, and includes time for bonding. This flexibility also allows for field trips and vacations. The schedule also allows students to progress as needed. Homeschooling requires a facilitator that is organized and dedicated and a student that works well independently.
The schedule in a traditional classroom is rigid. The time limits for each subject are set by state educational officials and district personnel. Students learn essential time management skills due to this structure.
The curriculum is in homeschooling is selected and carried out by the facilitator, which is often a parent. Time is available to expand on topics, pursue interests, and receive additional instruction. The facilitator has to be very diligent to present all of the material and not just focus on their student’s strengths. Homeschooling co-ops and support groups exist to help parents make academic decisions. In recent years, people with an instructional design degree have spent time developing technology that enhances instruction, which is particularly helpful to homeschooling facilitators.
The curriculum in a traditional classroom is determined by the state and school district officials. The classroom teachers are then provided materials to implement the curriculum. Extra time needed for topic expansion or additional instruction has to come from somewhere else, like recess, study hall, or after school help sessions. Specially qualified teachers are available to work with gifted and special needs students. The work done by people with an instructional design degree also enhances the education in a traditional classroom.
In a homeschooling situation the parent assumes responsibility for lesson planning, facilitating lessons, and progress management. The parent is also financially responsible for all of the materials needed. The parent is the only person responsible for the social and character education of the child. They get to share their values and shelter their child from negative influences.
In a traditional classroom the parent is responsible for collaborating with the teacher, continuing their child’s educational experiences at home, and providing school supplies and materials. While the parent is still responsible for their child’s character education, that component is also taught in school. The traditional classroom increases the opportunities for independence and conflict resolution.
While no situation is perfect, the advancements made by those with an instructional design degree have made it easier for parents to choose the technology and curriculum that fits their educational objectives. It is important to evaluate each environment to determine which is truly best for your family.
Denielle is responsible for a wide variety of tasks at work. She is always willing to take on extra tasks and does so with a smile. She enjoys spending time with her family as much as possible and loves hosting BBQ’s for everyone to get together.