Is Homeschool Better Than Traditional School?


Story By: Stefanie Verdugo Tholen

I hate to sound like an old-timer, shaking her fist at the younger generation, but when I was in high school, our biggest worry about violence was students fighting behind the gym.

Of course, nowadays, we all know what kind of violence high school students are facing.

As a parent of a toddler and another on the way, I have been contemplating the best course of action to ensure the safety of my children, which brings up the question, is homeschooling better than attending a traditional, “normal” school?

According to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, every state in the country hosts homeschooling programs that offer bands, sports, art classes, cheerleading and many more enriching activities.

Homeschooling can be better for some families because of the flexibility that it gives. A family with more than one child may have a very busy schedule, and homeschooling gives parents more freedom for scheduling their children’s education and routines.

With that flexibility comes control: the parent–who often isn’t an expert in education–decides what is and isn’t in the curriculum. Some parents may choose to integrate topics not normally taught in public school, like religion, ethnic studies, or even field trips of places the parents feel can be beneficial.

Homeschooling allows for individualized education as opposed to overcrowded public schools. According to National Center for Education statistics, the average class size in California is 20 students to one teacher.

But the consequence of the individualized classroom is a lack of peers; the child is separated from other children, apart from maybe their siblings. As a result, the child isn’t exposed to children with backgrounds different from their own. Their upbringing becomes a homogenous one.

It can also be a costly education. Parents have to shell out for the curriculum and any other additional costs. Homeschooling can get pretty expensive, but if done resourcefully, it can also be cheap. Inspire, a homeschool charter school, allows parents to homeschool how they want and receive money to spend on books, tutoring and extracurricular activities.

What it comes down to is whether a parent is willing and able to take on all that is required to successfully homeschool their children.

As appealing as homeschooling sounds, I don’t think I would want to deprive my children of the socialization aspect of attending public or private school, or shoulder the increased costs, or the responsibility of schooling my children without a teacher’s educational background.

Call me naive or call me hopeful but I still think there is some good left in humanity and I believe that by the time my children start middle school, major changes will have taken place to restore safety and happiness in our schools.