Homeschooling vs. the classroom

While browsing the CNN website this evening, I found an article that sparked my interest titled “Doing the Math Behind Homeschooling.” It grabbed my attention because this is one of those topics that I’ve always had somewhat conflicting opinions on. In the article, the author argues for the benefits of homeschooling saying that kids who learn at home frequently score higher during testing than kids who learn in a traditional American classroom.  And because of these results, more and more parents nowadays have decided to forego enrollment of their kids within the traditional education system. I used to strongly disagree with this idea. Firstly, because not all parents are “certified teachers” and many have other full or part time jobs which might not allow them to get a full day of teaching in every day. Secondly, I’ve always believed homeschooling to be extremely detrimental in developing good social skills. Probably, in part, because most my own friends who were homeschooled seemed to have a much more difficult time interacting with their peers than my other friends who went to a traditional school like me. Because of this, I was never too fond of the idea of homeschooling. However, I have to say that now looking back on my own personal experience in the education system, I have a new perspective. Between my freshman and senior year, I attended three different high schools. One of them a small, private Christian school, one of them a public school known for being “a school of excellence”, and finally, a charter school which was also supposedly known for being a cut above the rest. However, while each of the schools were supposed to be the best of the best, I did not receive a proper education at any of them. I never, ever had homework my whole high school career, I never had to study for a test or a quiz, and I always got straight A’s without giving the slightest effort. This proved to be a problem when I enrolled at CSU my freshman year of college and failed every single class and eventually had to drop out. I attended three of what were supposed to be the greatest schools in Colorado and yet, not one of them prepared me for college. I had to go to community college for a while and play catch up so I could eventually return to the university and be able to handle college level courses. Needless to say, this was incredibly frustrating and really made me lose faith in the American education system, especially because all my friends who were homeschooled somehow seemed to excel in college and passed every test and quiz with flying colors. It is because of these experiences that I have now changed my tune. I finally agree 100% with the arguments this article makes in favor of homeschooling over the traditional classroom and think it’s something parents should strongly consider when deciding what is best for their child’s education.

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