Saturday, December 18, 2010

In A Group or On Your Own

To many people, there's only one way to get an education-conventional school. Homeschooling is another option, but both have their advantages and disadvantages.

In a regular school, there are many other students so kids have the opportunity to work with partners and in groups. There are certified teachers and set curriculums so you always know that you're learning the "right" things and are up to your state standards. School allows children to socialize and to always be with people their age. Parents also have time to work without needing to deal with their kids.

Along with conventional school also come disadvantages. Most students complain about homework and how much of their free time is taken away, making them form their lives around schoolwork. You always have long, busy days and then little freedom after school. Students also have to move at the same pace of the class, even if they're ahead or behind.

Studies have shown that students learn more and better in smaller classes because they get more individual attention. Imagine if there was only one child in each class. The student's needs would be the teacher's needs and focus would be centered on one person. That's what homeschooling is like. Many parents and children say that after they'd been homeschooled and went back to school, they were ahead. Kids also experience more free time because there's no homework. The length of their school day also varies. Going back to school may be hard for homeschooled students because they would have loads of homework, but they would have learned how to do school in three to four hours, so homework might be easier. Independence is another skill learned by homeschooled kids because homeschooling is mostly independent study. That factor could help in college. Parents also feel closer to their children because they see what their child is learning and spend more time with them. In the winter, you could take your child skiing and not worry about them missing key subjects. If you are homeschooling on a trip, you have a flexible schedule and can take days off to do day trips.

But homeschooling is not perfect either. Socially, children miss out on working with others and interacting with kids their age. Students may be very bored of only seeing their family's faces and lonely without friends. There are no field trips to museums or other places that you can go on without pushing back the end- of-year date. Parents might worry that their child is not getting the right education without certified teachers. Without an ending time, days may go until dinnertime if students are distracted that day.

I feel very lucky to experience both in my life, because they each teach important life skills. But, you be the judge.

Off the Pacific coast of Mexico
125 miles north of Huatulco

1 comment:

  1. This post by you, Danielle, certainly pays justice to homeschooling. It is so mature and insightful, besides your incredible command of the English language.
    You are very lucky to be experiencing life this way - seeing different cultures, meeting their people and eating their foods. What a treat!
    Once back in the "real" world, I'm sure it will take you no time to adapt to a more rigid lifestyle. As well, I have no doubt that you'll fit in with any social circle you choose.
    Lucky girl! ENJOY!