As public schools become more standardized, home schooling offers more options for individualized student learning

Laura Koscinski, Staff Writer

While homeschooling might have seemed taboo in years past, public education is heading in a direction that might make the home alternative more appealing. Here’s 10 reasons why.


Creativity is celebrated

Unlike your typical classroom with desks placed in rows, students who are homeschooled have the ability to move around freely and organize their learning space in the ways that help them learn best. Also, In public schools, we are taught to think and learn a certain way, but the problem with that is not everyone’s brain is the same. Students are intelligent in different ways, and homeschool embraces that more than public school.


Work isn’t just for a grade

At a public school where standardized tests and letter grades are valued so highly, it is hard to put actual learning first. What most students put most of their focus on is keeping an A in the class to add to their GPA; as long as they have the material memorized for the test, that’s all that matters. Once the test passes, their knowledge of that subject soon fades because they never truly learned whatever was being taught. Homeschool students are graded for mastering work, but often not in the same ways as public school students. In general, what is learned is valued more than a letter grade.


Students have more ownership of their learning

In a public school, we are required to learn what is in the curriculum for each specific class we take. Other than having limited choice in what classes we take, we don’t get any say in what we learn. Homeschool curriculums are often based on standards, giving students a wide range of content options to meet those standards. When students can learn the same skills but in ways that are relevant to them, they’re much more likely to be engaged and actually enjoy what they’re learning.


They are more likely to have more close friends

While students who are homeschooled don’t typically see kids their age as often as those who attend a public school, it is more likely that they will have a small amount of really close friends. Going to a public school with 1400 other students isn’t necessarily the best place to find life long friends. With so much drama and peer pressure that is dealt with often, it can be hard to keep people in your life that you were once closest to, and friendship drama can cause other unintended consequences. With the recent increase of homeschool extracurriculars, homeschool students are less isolated than in the past, but still meaningfully connected to other students.


The environment is more fit for learning

As we all know, sitting in a classroom for almost seven hours a day is extremely boring and it’s no wonder that students fall asleep in class so often. As you can imagine, a home setting is a lot more comfortable to be in and it allows students to stay engaged and move around more often so they don’t doze off during class. “The reason students sit in desks in rows is because a long time ago, kids were put in rows and told what to think because they were being trained for factory work where everyone does the exact same thing,” said senior Kaelin Rork. “Our world has changed, but public school has not.”


Less opportunity for peer pressure

Drama, stereotypes, and peer pressure are a daily part of a high schoolers life. It seems almost impossible to go through middle and high school without experiencing some type of drama or just peer pressure. Students who are homeschooled still have the opportunity to experience it, but they won’t necessarily have to go through it every day. According to a 2017 American Association of Pediatrics study, 41% of public school students felt peer pressured to be mean to another student, 67% felt peer pressured to dress a certain way, and 44% felt pressured to lie or cheat. Those pressures are reduced in a homeschool environment.


Better sleep leads to a healthier life
In high school, most of the upperclassmen have jobs, and along with that, a significant number of students in the school participate in either a sport or other extracurricular activity. High schoolers are busy people who don’t often get the chance for a good long night of sleep. Despite research that shows that a later start benefits students, public schools will not get on board, but homeschools can, allowing learners to build a schedule within reason that works for them.  That schedule not only likely means more sleep, but less time getting ready to go to school in the morning.


Sick days can still be school days

Students in public schools are a lot more prone to sickness. We are touching things all around us and it’s not unusual to forget to wash your hands or simply to not have time to in the rush to not be tardy to your next class. With 10 sick days per semester, students will be forced to still go to school when they’re sick for fear of having makeup time or simply missing too much in class.  All it takes is one person to get sick and then its spreading around the school. Unless you are extremely sick, you likely can continue learning in a homeschool environment, allowing yourself to get on the mend while also not getting behind.


Students get to work at their own pace

Homeschooling can be great for a kid who excels a lot faster than other kids in their grade, and also for students who need more time. With no other students in the room, students are able to work at their own pace. Fewer students also means more one on one time with the teacher and plenty of time to learn and understand the material. Not only is there nobody to hold you back, there’s no one to rush you, either, and when you get to the point where you need more help to understand a concept, you can ask without fear of being judged by your classmates or not having time in class.


No busy work

If you think about it, teachers are busy people. Even the ones who don’t double as coaches and teachers still have a lot of planning and grading to do. It isn’t uncommon to receive busy work for the hour just because the teacher needs time to get caught up on their responsibilities. “I sometimes feel like the teacher doesn’t care about our time, so instead they just give us work to do instead of teaching us,” said Freshman Emily Voss. Homeschool teachers have fewer students, so they are less likely to feel overwhelmed and have more time to design engaging learning that is actually a good use of students’ time.