Contrary to popular belief, homeschooling is not public school at home. First time homeschoolers tend to make the mistake of trying to do exactly the same as they would do at school. However, if you follow the same schedule and teaching approach as the public schools, then it defeats the purpose of homeschooling.
It is not necessary replicate the same classroom experience as the one at public school in order to teach your children effectively. Unlike public schools, homeschooling is all about you and your family’s needs. It is a completely different way of thinking and approaching education. You have the opportunity to customize an entire school program and adjust the schedule to suit you. In other words, homeschooling is teaching tailored specifically to individual children. It is not based on a standardized set of guidelines and curriculum to suit the masses. This is what definitively sets homeschooling apart from public school.
Aside from that, there are also other things that set homeschooling apart from both public and private schools:
- No standardized periods of learning. In school, classes are usually 45 minutes or 90 minutes long in order to accommodate the schedules of a large number of students. However with homeschool, you can set the pace and adjust the time dedicated to certain subjects according to the child’s needs. For example, some kids need more time practicing math and then less time on grammar.
- Learning can be collaborative. You can ask your child what they want to learn or things they are interested in. You can dedicate time to appease their curiosity and teach them not just the mandatory subjects, but also those they are interest them. The great thing about learning from a parent is that there is more interaction, questioning, analyzing and debate. It is not just about listening to the teacher speak.
- Flexible environment. Learning and studying does not have to be restricted in one place. Instead of sitting at desks all day, you can sit on the couch, lay on the floor or go to the backyard. This is especially beneficial for students who have ADHD or have trouble staying still. They have the freedom to move around while they study.
- Different curriculum for each subject. When in school, students need to adjust to the curriculum in order to “fit” in class. Since they have limited resources, they follow a one-size-fits-all approach. However, for homeschoolers, parents can adjust the curriculum per subject if they feel that it will improve the child’s education. It is possible to use different materials according to what best meets the homeschooler’s needs.
- Learning non-academic skills. Public schools do not have the resources to teach beyond the standard subjects. Whereas at home, parents can teach their children practical skills alongside the academic ones. This includes how to manage money, cooking, fixing household items, etc.
Overall, there are many things that make homeschooling different from public school.