The age-old debate of homeschooling vs traditional schooling has for years gone back and forth, leading many people to ponder the question ‘Do homeschoolers do better than their traditionally-schooled counterparts?’. With the data that is available today combined with the advantages that homeschooling provides, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’, homeschoolers do better and here is why.
One major advantage homeschoolers have compared to traditionally-schooled children is the notion of a more flexible schedule. True, in traditional settings children may have a large degree of autonomy around when they complete their studying, but in most cases they are bound by the confines of the school day. On the other hand, homeschoolers have the option to take learning to a whole new level by creating their own schedule and adjusting the order in which they learn guided by their own individual styles and preferences.
This offers homeschoolers a unique advantage when it comes to focusing on areas of education that particularly spark their interest.
Focused on the Student’s Needs
In traditional settings, students are often subject to cookie-cutter curriculums and pacing guides that fail to account for individual needs, learning styles, and interests. However, homeschoolers have the advantage of a more individually-tailored approach to education.
Parents or homeschooling mentors have the ability to assess their children’s’ levels of interest, readiness, and subject aptitudes and are able to create educational experiences that are tailor-made specifically to fit the student’s needs. Because homeschoolers are no longer bound by rigid school standards, they have more freedom to dig deeper on the topics that interest them most, giving them more substance and understanding than the average traditionally-schooled student.
Focus on Life-Skills
Another benefit to homeschooling is the focus on life-skills. Much of the traditional school experience is focused on learning content from textbooks with little attention paid to the development of real-world life skills.
On the other hand, homeschoolers have the advantage of being able to explore the application of their knowledge in everyday life through unique hands-on learning opportunities. This can be something as simple as a picnic-in-the-park, learning to bake with a family member, or even interning in the student’s chosen field can significantly increase the ability of the student to apply what he or she has learned in a real-world context.
Lower Stress Levels
In traditional settings, it’s a well-known fact that children often feel immense pressure to “succeed”, often culminating in an overabundance of stress and anxiety. Large class sizes, school-mandated assessments, and bullying can further contribute to already high levels of stress. Homeschoolers on the other hand experience markedly lower levels of stress, often due to a diverse range of learning opportunities and one-on-one instruction that allows them to progress at their own pace.
This lack of pressure to “catch up” or “keep up” can give homeschoolers a newfound sense of accomplishment and confidence.
Healthier Learning Environment
Unlike traditional forms of education that often confine students to large classroom settings with a dozen other students, homeschoolers are able to take advantage of a healthier learning environment that is often free from distractions or competition. This allows students to take advantage of an open, relaxed space that naturally offers more concentration and focus.
Strong Family Bonding
Perhaps the biggest advantage of homeschooling for many families is the strong family bonding that results from teaching and learning in the same space. Schools separate parents from their children and replace that relationship with the conventional classroom setting.
But with homeschooling, the daily activities of teaching and learning are carried out together, giving families a chance to truly bond and learn from each other.
In traditional schooling settings, students are often subject to external rewards and punishments that are typically given in the form of grades, rewards or punishments. This may be effective in the short-term, but in the long-term, these reinforcements fail to truly motivate students on an intrinsic level.
Homeschoolers on the other hand, often have the advantage of specially-tailored goals and expectations that motivate them to do their best and encourages them to become self-directed learners.
Another advantage to homeschooling is the notion of increased responsibility and accountability. Since homeschoolers are primarily responsible for their own academic progress, they are often more likely to take ownership of the learning process and take greater responsibility for their actions. This increased self-accountability can often lead to improved personal responsibility, organization, and problem-solving skills which are all important life skills.
Freedom to Pursue Interests & Passions
Since traditional schooling requires students to adhere to strict curriculum standards, students are often restricted from pursuing their interests or passions. Homeschoolers on the other hand, have the freedom and flexibility to explore topics and interests beyond the traditional curriculum.
This provides an invaluable opportunity for students to discover and develop their unique talents and interests.
Spend Quality Time with Family
Finally, perhaps the most significant advantage of homeschooling is the ability to spend quality time with family. Homeschoolers often enjoy extended periods of time that can be spent with their families, whether it be in the form of vacations, family outings, or simply having meals together. This quality time not only enhances a family’s bond but it helps to foster a warm environment where learning can take place.
The advantages of homeschooling over traditional schooling are undeniable. From the flexible schedule, to the focus on the student’s needs, to the zero-pressure and healthy environment, to the strong family bonding, homeschoolers indisputably have the upper hand in their educational journey.
It’s clear that homeschoolers have the advantage of a more individualized and custom-fitted learning experience which allows them to reach greater heights than their traditionally-schooled counterparts in both education and life.