Professor Melissa Bakeman
California State University, San Bernardino
30 May 2018
Homeschool vs Public vs Private School
For many years there has been a battle on what is the best way for parents to educate their children. Many people are not fond of the traditional public school. Public schools cater to a variety of students all attending the same classes and learning the same curriculum. Whereas private schools offer more choices, especially in religious education. Many parents cannot afford the cost of tuition. Homeschooling offers families with children a less costly way of educating their children and allows the parents a hands-on experience with their children’s education. Personally, I have experienced schooling in both the public and homeschool formats. I feel that I could offer some good insight into how both have their benefits and drawbacks in developing well rounded students.
As there is with everything in the world, there are always pros and cons with decisions like that could affect the lives of people, especially children. Homeschooling is a great way for children to get their education outside of a classroom setting. Obtaining an education out in the world is often more rewarding. Here are some pros and cons that pertain to homeschooling:
• Parents can devote their time to helping their children succeed.
• Children can learn on their own time and dedicate most of their time to their interests.
• Ability to learn out in the world and not confined to a classroom.
• Parents, that work, are not always at home to help their children with schoolwork.
• Children are not able to make friends as easy and are unable to participate in activities that are outside of the classroom, such as sports and clubs.
• Homeschooling could be expensive as books, computers and other materials needed are often not supplied.
Public school, being the cheapest option, is in every city, state and almost every country in the world but in most cases often referred to as “primary” school and “secondary” school. Public schools offer children a place to be 7 hours a day, 5 days a week to learn and make friends, participate in activities. Like there were with homeschooling, there are also pros and cons to public school. Here are a few:
• Public school is free as almost all the money used comes from some form of government.
• Children take many different classes to learn many different subjects.
• Children can participate in extracurricular activities such as league sports and school clubs.
• Children often get stressed being away from home and their family.
• Large classes can sometimes make it difficult for children to receive help when they need it.
• Classes are often formed around a central idea that all students must learn regardless of their intelligence level.
Private schools have often been thought of as a school for only the rich but are usually more open. Due to private schooling being entirely funded by tuition and other private entities, the school can tech what they want. Many private schools are often balanced around certain types of religion or a specific concentration. These are pros and cons relating to private school in general.
• Classes are smaller so children often receive better assistance with problems they are having.
• If parents cannot afford the school and their child is very strong in learning, there are often scholarships that are paid for by donors.
• Schools are often close knit and a closeness is built between parents, students and teachers.
• It is less likely that a child can participate in sports. Private schools are unlike universities with sports programs that can recruit students into sports.
• The curriculum is often more challenging than that of public and homeschools and many private schools require students to pass tests to be accepted.
• Private schools often do not have the same guidelines as public school, so teachers are often not required to have any experience in the subject they teach.
The biggest problem in comparing all three is understanding that not everyone attending each type of school is the same. There are many people that love public school and have succeeded after attending. Public school is good for many reasons.
Parents that have many children often rely on public school to take care of their children while they are away at work. It is also great for children whose parents are both working all day long and cannot be there to watch them. There are many after school activities that kids can partake in, the top usually being sports. Most public schools often have various sports that kids can join.
Public school is the most popular choice of education for children in the United States. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) states about enrollment in the fall of 2017, “about 50.7 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools. Of these, 35.6 million will be in prekindergarten through grade 8 and 15.1 million will be in grades 9 through 12.” (NCES, n.d.) Public schools also have the largest number of teachers employed. The NCES also states:
Public school systems will employ about 3.2 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers in fall 2017, such that the number of pupils per FTE teacher—that is, the pupil/teacher ratio—will be 16.1. This ratio is higher than the 2007 ratio of 15.4. A projected 0.4 million FTE teachers will be working in private schools this fall, resulting in an estimated pupil/teacher ratio of 12.2.
What contradicts this information is that almost every school has an average of 30 students to every one teacher. This leads to many students feeling cramped and make doing schoolwork almost impossible.
A leading problem in public is bullying. Bullying is a major problem that is not something that should be taken lightly. According to StopBullying.gov, “28% of US Students in grades 6-12 have experienced bullying” (Facts About Bullying, 2017) and “70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.” (Facts About Bullying, 2017)
Personally, I have experienced bullying all throughout my education starting in 4th grade. My first experience was having a pocket knife pulled on me in class. Second, was being pushed into the playground jungle gym and almost getting knocked out. Third was getting punched in my back on the way to the school exit and right in front of my mother. All three of those incidents occurred at the same school. All of them were by the same group of people and were reported but nothing was done to solve them and nobody got in trouble.
In 6th grade, I was walking through a hallway and the same person that I had conflicts with during 4th grade pulled another pocket knife on me. This incident was reported by a teacher because she witnessed it all. I was later told that, by the principal of the school, that it was my fault for not reporting the bullying and nothing could be done.
Bullying is what led me going into homeschooling in Fourth, Fifth, Seventh and Eighth grades. Ultimately that was the best decision of my life. Homeschooling allowed me to learn outside of the confines of a classroom. I could learn at my pace and learn topics. I was lucky enough to get enrolled in a program called California Virtual Academies (CAVA). CAVA brands themselves as a “network of nine California Virtual Academies uses the K12 online curriculum to offer California students in grades K–12 an engaging learning experience. With personalized learning approaches, the academies and K12 provide the tools kids need to succeed—in school and beyond.” (CAVA, 2018).
All students through CAVA are provided with the material they need to finish their school work at home. Such materials include books, a computer, writing materials, etc. CAVA is not specifically a homeschool program, it is designed as a home public school. A “rigorous, tuition-free online public education,” (CAVA, 2018) not every class is held online, holds frequent “get-togethers” for their students in order them to maintain a connection with other students. These “get-togethers” offer students a chance to participate in group study and projects. All the events are hosted by “experienced, California-credentialed teachers.” (CAVA, 2018) The teachers that CAVA employs are available to their students during the week by various platforms.
Homeschooling is becoming a popular way of educating children. According to Brian D. Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), “there are about 2.3 million home-educated students in the United States (as of spring 2016).” (Brian D. Ray, 2018) Brian also writes:
Homeschool students are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside their homes and with people other than their nuclear-family members. They are commonly involved in activities such as field trips, scouting boy and girl scouts, 4-H, Political drives, church ministry, sports teams, and community volunteer work.
Homeschooling should not be seen as a way of harboring a child from the outside world. Many students are able to
While most students that attend private school come from families that have the money to spend on their education, not everyone can afford what is often seen as anywhere in the range of $10,000 to $50,000 a year in tuition. That is comparable to some top colleges. According to collegefactual.com, “in the 2016 – 2017 academic year, full time undergrads at Harvard University paid $47,054, before modifications for financial need. From this total, the expense of tuition was $43,280, $3,791 was fees.” (Harvard, 2018) That shows the highest-priced private schools cost just as much as one of the most famous Ivy-League University.
Much of that tuition often goes towards teachers’ salaries and supplies that are needed at school. Many private schools often rely on donations from former students and investors that are dedicated to seeing many children successfully obtain their educations. What is often viewed as a school for children with parents that can afford it is not often the case.
According to the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) which was quoting a survey done by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there are 34,576 private schools in the United States and that accounts for roughly “25% of all US schools.” (CAPE | Benefits of Private Education, n.d.) On the same page for CAPE it states there are roughly 5,751,000 students that are enrolled in private education, that translates to around “10% of all US students.” (CAPE | Benefits of Private Education, n.d.)
Back to school statistics for 2017. (n.d.). (National Center for Education Statistics) Retrieved 6 4, 2018, from National Center for Education Statistics (NCES): https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372
Brian D. Ray, P. (2018, 1 13). Research Facts on Homeschooling. Retrieved 6 5, 2018, from National Home Education Research Institute: https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/
CAPE | Benefits of Private Education. (n.d.). Retrieved 6 4, 2018, from capenet.org: http://www.capenet.org/facts.html
Facts About Bullying. (2017, 9 28). (Department of Health and Human Services) Retrieved 6 4, 2018, from StopBullying.gov: https://www.stopbullying.gov/media/facts/index.html
Harvard University Tuition And Fees. (2018, May 8). Retrieved May 31, 2018, from College Factual: https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/harvard-university/paying-for-college/tuition-and-fees/
Who We Are. (2018). (California Virtual Academies) Retrieved 6 5, 2016, from cava.k12.com: https://cava.k12.com/who-we-are.html