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Is Homeschool Better Than Traditional School?

Story By: Stefanie Verdugo Tholen

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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.

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About the Writer
Stefanie Verdugo Tholen, Reporter

Stefanie Verdugo Tholen is 41 years of age, lives in Fresno, California with her husband Tim Tholen and has a 2 1/2 year old daughter named Helena. She was born and raised in Fresno by her parents Joe and Margie, who were married for over 42 years.

She has two older brothers, and comes from a very large Mexican-American family. Stefanie attended San Joaquin Memorial High School, where she excelled in English and Drama. She was in various plays throughout her high school career and graduated with a 3.5 GPA. After high school, she attended Fresno City College and knew immediately that majoring in mass communications was her passion, however, life events led her down a path to working full time at a law firm and she decided to work full-time while trying to complete her college courses.

At the age of 19, she moved in with her boyfriend at the time, (who is now her husband of 13 years) and working full-time became her main focus to continue her status as an independent adult. As the years passed, she continued to take her general education courses in hopes of earning her degree in mass communication, however a full-time paycheck took precedence.

Later in life, she and her husband welcomed their one and only child into the world and life as she knew it changed for the better. She then realized she wanted to return to school to finish her degree and pursue her lifelong passion in journalism with a focus in broadcasting.

She is now in her last semester at Fresno City College, continuing her studies in journalism. She has previously taken Journalism 1, 3, 15, 16, and is currently enrolled in Journalism 11A and 16, to obtain her AA degree and transfer to Fresno State University in the spring. She also enjoys photography, is a member at Community Media Access Collaborative, has been an elite volunteer at Fresno Bully Rescue for the past six years and enjoys Zumba, golf, and spending time relaxing at home with her husband and daughter.

Contact Stefanie at [email protected]

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Is Homeschool Better Than Traditional School?