Homeschooling During the Pandemic: Yay or Nay?


20 minute read

There are countless reasons why you might consider homeschooling your kid. Whatever your motivation is, homeschooling during the pandemic is a good call to make. That's why within a year's time, millions of parents have embraced the movement!

But the thing is: 

Should you too? Does homeschooling during the pandemic deserve a 'yay' or a 'nay'?

It's only natural for you to make sure you select the right choice for your kid's education. After all, a learning method suited for a child might not be appropriate for yours. The homeschool vs public education debate has been going on for years, but which should your kid pursue especially in light of the coronavirus?

We compiled everything there is to know about homeschooling to help you form an educated approach to your decision. Who knows, you might have an answer to the question "homeschooling during the pandemic: yay or nay?" after reading this!

Homeschooling 101: The Technical What-nots!

 

 

Homeschooling is a progressive movement that began in the 70s. Educators named John Holt and Raymond Moore were the proponents for home education at the time. Their newsletters in educational reform ignited the "new" educational system we now know today.

Both school education vs home education has their pros and cons. We recommend taking time to understand the entirety of homeschooling first - the good, the bad, and the statistics - before taking the next step further! 

 

The Homeschoolers Growth Trend

Ever since its conception, the number of homeschoolers in the US has been in an ever-increasing trend. Data from National Home Education Research Institute shows an annual increase hovering around 2-8%. But in the year 2021, it experienced a significant spike in homeschoolers. Homeschooling during the pandemic became even more popular to mitigate viral transmission.

Homeschooling during the pandemic shown by the spike in 2021 homeschoolers number

Now that the coronavirus is still on the loose, and still very much a threat, homeschooling during the pandemic would be a wise decision. Getting to focus all attention and supervise your kid assures you that they learn what they have to learn in a COVID-safe environment.

 

The Expenses Related to Homeschooling

 

The difference between homeschool vs public education extends to the costs associated with each. Taxpayers pay an average of $15,240 per student in public schools. With the vast number of homeschooled students today, they represent around 68 billion worth of savings for the taxpayers. 

Why public school is better than homeschool? There are aspects where public education comes out superior over homeschool. Like in the expenses side of things, public school students benefit from tax-funded resources. While homeschooling families spend around $600 per year on educational expenses

 

Academic Performance of Homeschoolers

  • Advocates advertise homeschooling vs public education as a better educational outlet for students. The Standardized Academic Achievement Test results prove that claim! Homeschooled children scored 15-30 percentile points above public schooled ones.

  • 78% of peer-reviewed scientific journals reveal that homeschooled children vs public schooled perform statistically and significantly better.

Homeschooling During the Pandemic might be beneficial since 78% of journals says kids perform better

  • Commendable performance of homeschool vs public education is not defined by parents' teaching certification, educational attainment, nor family's income. 

  • Homeschooled children vs public schooled score above average with the SAT and ACT on most occasions.

  • Why homeschool your child? Another motivator might be because colleges are taking increasing notice of homeschoolers. Leading to increasing recruitment.

 

Psycho-social and Emotional Development

 

  • The parameters used to measure this aspect includes peer interaction, leadership capabilities, family relationships, community participation, self-esteem, and self-concept. Children in homeschool vs public education exhibited above-average performance.

  • The social, psychological, and emotional development is superior in homeschool vs public education. This data is displayed in 87% of peer-reviewed journals.

  • Homeschooled children vs public schooled are more involved in the community activities, amounting to 5.2 engagements. And based on limited research, they show higher political tolerance than conventional students.

The statistics reveal the average performance of the vast homeschool community. The likelihood that your children share the same results is possible, but that is yet to be seen. 

 

Homeschool vs Public Education: Which is better?

 

Perhaps the clincher to you need to make a decision is to compare the two learning setups side-by-side. 

In essence, both school education vs home education has their perks and quirks. Making either of them a viable platform to train specific classifications of students. We looked at the curriculum and environment differences between the two learning setups to shed light on their differences. 

However, during a time like this, pooling your kids with other children might be counterintuitive. The threat of the virus is still apparent and vulnerable sectors like children might be at risk. In this case, homeschooling during the pandemic might be the best possible response. But that is still up for debate.

To be honest, choosing either one is a parent's responsibility. This decision is based on how much you know your child, the goals you wish them to attain, and how safe the environment is. This fact is penultimate to making a choice!

We have a complete parent's guide for homeschool vs public education that gives a toe-to-toe comparison between the two! Check it out to assess the difference yourself! Just take note that no model is one size fits all!

 

Homeschooling During the Pandemic, Should You Do It? 

 

We recommend you to pursue homeschooling during the pandemic as kids are at a much higher risk given that they belong to the vulnerable sector. Kids staying and learning in the comfort of their homes reduces the risk of contracting the virus which may be detrimental to the family. For this reason, we urge homeschooling during the pandemic.

Although, if what you're looking for is the validation to choose homeschool vs public education, refer to the list below! See if your kids qualify for homeschooling based on: 

  • Your preferences as a parent

  • Your child's setting and safety

Knowing the reasons why you should homeschool is one thing. But meeting the general requirements to see if homeschooling is a perfect fit for your child is another. The list below provides a barometer for that aspect. Answer the following with YES or NO.

  1. Do you want to design or subscribe to a curriculum based on your child's skill and intellect level?

  2. Would you cater to your child's optimal learning by implementing the most appropriate learning style for them?

  3. Is a flexible work schedule acceptable to you?

  4. Are you seeking new ways to strengthen the bond within your family?

  5. Do you believe that technology is an important factor for your child's learning experience?

  6. Are you willing to integrate real-life events and trips for your child's regular school days?

  7. Do you look for autonomy over your child's curriculum and recalibrate the targets and methods as needed?

  8. Is an environment free from peer pressure, bullying, and other peer interactions desirable to you?

  9. Would you like to protect your child and ultimately, your family, from the risk of the coronavirus?

If you answered YES to most of the questions listed above, then you'll likely choose homeschool vs public education, especially in this era where deadly viruses plague humanity. That means you should consider taking the reins on your kid's learning and practice homeschooling during the pandemic!

Ultimately, the decision to choose to homeschool is your call to make. The choice lies in your observations and desired outcomes for their education. 

 

Homeschool vs Public Education: Which Should You Choose?

 

Qualifying to homeschool is only half of the story. There is more to homeschooling than only knowing you can do it. The more pressing question is should you do it

Say, you've passed the qualifying stage but still cannot make up your mind. Here are 10 common reasons why parents choose homeschooling during the pandemic vs public education, and vice versa!

 

10 Reasons to Homeschool Your Child

 

Transform the Negative School Environment

One of the most pressing "negative" elements found in institutions is the risk of contracting the virus. This pandemic has ravaged society for 2 years now but is still very much a threat. Homeschooling during the pandemic aids in transforming the school environment into a risk-free learning facility, in the comfort of kids' homes.

Aside from that, another negative school element is bullying. Bullying is no longer new, but it's still an epidemic that higher-ups need to cleanse the school from!

The NCES reports that the majority of parents choose homeschooling as an escape from the public school's negative environment. Bullying and peer pressure are particularly difficult to see for parents. Worse, teachers may dismiss incidents as such and go unreported by the victims. 

Down the line, this may all lead to emotional and social problems for the victim. This is one reason why homeschool is better.

 

Give Them Higher Quality Education

Some kids are above, while others may be below average and that's a fact. In these situations, Homeschooling poses the best possible solution.

Higher-quality education is not only about how much information you can learn in the classroom. But also how appropriate the techniques are for the child.

The ability to tailor fit the curriculum to your kid is another reason that makes homeschools vs public education, better. Homeschooled children vs public schooled tend to learn more optimally

 

Provide More Appropriate Social Interactions

Although school education vs home education has more interactions, it's not necessarily better. Suitability is one important element to consider. Another is safety! The more interactions kids have with classmates, the more they put themselves at risk. That said, if this is a pressing matter to consider, then homeschooling during the pandemic is imperative. 

Additionally, in a homeschool environment, kids receive the proper socialization. Interactions that support their values minus the exposure to bullying and peer pressure. 

 

Support the Learning of a Child with Disabilities

Challenged children, whether mentally or physically, do not tend to thrive in public school settings. Plus the limited time and resources allotted for each lesson may make the learning extra difficult. Specialized instruction is needed for people as such. Individualized Educational Program that is usually observed in homeschools.

Physically challenged children, especially disabilities linked to their overall health, may have co-morbidity factors that accentuate the coronavirus' effect. Homeschooling during the pandemic can help keep the kids belonging to this sector safe and away from potential threats.   

 

Apply Modern Teaching Tools and Strategies

There are a lot of teaching tools available online. Ranging from open source to paid ones. You can take advantage of this abundance of courses online as tools to convey learning to the kids. 

Homeschool vs public education thrives on varying strategies to maximize learning. The latter is more structured, this leaves no room to employ modern teaching techniques. If you're looking to integrate some online courses into their curriculum, you can! This is one of the benefits of homeschooling over public schools.

 

To Forge Stronger Bonds with the Kids

Some people tend to ask "who can homeschool your child?" The answer is practically anyone - parents, grandparents, tutors, etc.

But if you want to get the most out of ]homeschooling, doing it yourself is the best choice. This allows you to track their progress diligently. On top of that, homeschooling is a viable platform to strengthen your relationship with your child.

They appreciate the effort you're pouring in to make sure they learn. In response to that, they exert the same motivation to return the favor.

 

For more Flexible Scheduling

The world is your educational oyster when you homeschool. A feat that public education can only wish to acquire.

Homeschoolers have unlimited freedom and flexibility. If you're homeschooling while working full time, then adjusting the study time is a breeze. Moreover, depending on the current lesson, you mosey on to various locations to reinforce the learning. 

Say, you're studying history. A quick visit to a museum cultivates the discussion further. Homeschoolers don't only learn from homeschool workbooks, but also through independent learning

 

Cater A Regularly Relocating Family

Moving around from one location to another is difficult for kids. These children perform best on routines. Which makes relocation extra hard because they need to move out as soon as they adapt to the system. 

Homeschooling is independent of all the moving around. This is one of the benefits of homeschooling over public schools. Instead of enrolling children in different schools every 3 months, in homeschool, you can simply pick up where you left off.

 

Curriculum Recalibration

The purpose of homeschooling is to tailor fit the learning to a specific person. This way they can maximize the amount of information they receive. 

Readjusting the curriculum is possible in homeschools. While in public schools, they base the curriculum on the average performance of the whole class. That said, if your child is gifted then the class might be holding them back. But if the student is falling behind, the curriculum might completely leave them failing. Homeschool addresses this.

 

Reduce Overall Stress

Public school has a reputation to eat a child's confidence away. The bullying, the peer pressure, the not-keeping-up-with-the-latest-fashion. All these are causes for stress and factors that advocate why homeschool is better.

The threat of the virus can also be a major stress trigger, perhaps not to our unsuspecting children but to us, parents. Knowing that your kids interact with other people potentially carrying the virus might cause further anxieties and worries. That being said, homeschooling during the pandemic helps in alleviating feelings of stress associated with such reasons.

Besides that, nothing is more stressful than to listen to your child pour their hearts out from all the bullying and mean words they get!

 

10 Reasons to NOT Homeschool your Child

 

You Find the Whole Process Tedious

If you can't dedicate a huge chunk of your life to homeschooling, then this might not be a good choice. Homeschool vs public education relies heavily on parents to fulfill their parts in the program. Without your all-out efforts, the venture may fail.

This is the struggle when homeschooling while working full-time. Dividing your day into two separate chunks can burn you out as a parent. Although effective time management might do the trick!

 

Socialization Might Be Jeopardized

Contrary to some homeschool advocates, socialization in public schools can be good too! Although not always ideal, the competitive nature of being with peers (rather than family members) sharpens one's grit to power through competitions. This element might be jeopardized in homeschooling. Especially since their only competition is themselves. This is one reason why public school is better than homeschool. 

Although currently, there are bigger issues that need to be addressed more than the interactive and competitive aspect of public schools. The danger of social interactions, nowadays, must be put into consideration as well. That is why kids might be better off homeschooling during the pandemic, at least while the virus is around

 

Access to Sports and Other Elective Opportunities

Anyone can play sports, be it homeschooled children vs public schooled ones. 

However, competitive team sports events are more observed in public school settings. These events are awesome self-esteem boosters. Moreover, exposure to various people and the opportunity for recognition.

Other than parental recognition, homeschoolers don't get much exposure to these competitive affairs.

 

Children Thrive Best in Competitive Environments

In conjunction with the previous point, competitiveness is what adds spice to life. Homeschoolers only compete with themselves, targeting to beat their previous class performance. While public school students compete with each other. 

This serves as a training ground for when they have to compete in the professional environment with other equally qualified people. Homeschool vs public education, don't offer the same perks.

 

Public Schools are Generally Cheaper

On the monetary side of things, public schools are much cheaper to pay for than homeschools. This is due to the tax-funded resources available to public school students. Homeschoolers spend on average around $600 annually for their kids. 

Additional costs include any trips or gadgets that children should have access to. Public schools, on the other hand, are government-supported which share the burden with parents. Homeschool vs public education is more expensive.

 

Frees Parents From Additional Workloads

If you take on double shifts and overtime to make ends meet, then homeschooling might be another workload. This is not helpful for parents' finances and their health.

Taking homeschool responsibilities out of the way, then parents get a workload off their backs. Homeschool vs public education is much more tedious. Unless parents have the privilege to focus on homeschooling without any financial worries, then it's not a good option.

 

Teach Independence to Children

Why public school is better than homeschool? Well, public schools won't treat your child as babes in need of supervision. Public school is a battlefield that instills responsibility to kids.

Public schools teach children to be responsible and independent. They buy their food, they check their schedules, and they answer for themselves. This is an early training that produces responsible children, a reason why some prefer school education vs home education.

Public schools urging children to practice social distancing, sanitation, and wearing protective gear is another form of responsibility especially in light of the virus. Although it would not be as safer as pursuing homeschooling during the pandemic.

 

Experienced Degree-holding Educators

Homeschool vs public education, are facilitated by parents, most of the time with no prior teaching experiences. On the other hand, conventional schools have degree-holding educators that were reared to teach.

If you want children to receive the best learning possible. Especially for specialized educators then public school is the better choice.

 

Lack of extracurricular involvement

Based on the stats given above, the reason socialization is great even when homeschooling is because of extracurricular activities. Most homeschoolers are more active in the community than conventional students. 

But if both you and your kid do not participate much in community relations. There is no room for you to get involved in fun community affairs, then this might compromise their socialization. Their only exposures are you and their siblings. Which might not be that ideal.

 

Kids will not be ready for the 'real world'

The thing about public schools is that they resemble much of the things happening in the 'real world'. No, not the bullying nor the mean kids per se. But the bureaucratic system is embedded in public schools. The interactions, dealings, the professionalism are observed more in public institutions rather than homeschools. Competition, which is also a fact of life, is a quality that homeschools lack.

 

What are the Requirements for Homeschooling?

 

The requirements for homeschooling vary from one state to another.

Some states have few to no requirements for homeschooling. While other states like New York and Pennsylvania are strict with homeschool regulations. They might demand a portfolio review and standardized testing every now and then.

Why public school is better than homeschool? If you live in a strict and homeschool-regulating state then public school is better. For a majority of parents, the only prerequisite to commit to homeschool is the desire and dedication to doing so. Others seek to conduct homeschooling during the pandemic to keep their kids safe from the threat of the virus. These strict regulations can be discouraging to most!

Check out the map below to see which states are strict and which are open to homeschooling:

Homeschooling Regulation Guide for Parents Planning to Pursue Homeschooling During the Pandemic

How to Kickstart Your Homeschooling Journey?

 

If you have a young child that has not gone to any schools in the past, homeschooling may commence once they reach school age. Provided that you comply and adhere to the regulations existing in the particular state.

For public school students who wish to transfer to homeschool, the process slightly differs. Parents need to first prepare a letter of withdrawal from the school superintendent. Make the intention clear by stating the motivations behind the decision. Whether it's homeschooling during the pandemic or for other academic reasons, declare it clearly. After which, they may follow the state-specific homeschooling guidelines.

 

Tips for a Successful Homeschooling

 

Integrate useful skills into the homeschooling curriculum

One tremendous advantage of homeschools vs public education is the versatility it offers. Parents are not required to strictly follow a curriculum like that of conventional institutions. This leaves much room for incorporating other concepts useful in the future.

This includes lessons on:

  • Coding

  • Graphic designing 

  • Creative writing

 

Diversify the learning outlets 

One of the benefits of homeschooling over public schools is the opportunity to use alternative learning outlets. A limitation that public schools have. Here are viable alternative learning media:

  • STEM toys to help children learn as they engage in educational play. A portable microscope can be beneficial, say when the lesson is about small insects and creepy crawlers.

  • Watching educational TV shows may also be helpful in this regard. These programs can expose children to new information.

  • Accessing open-source online modules and educational games.

 

Plan the whole school year out before classes even start

A plan guides you both on what are the expectations and what are the tasks you need to do to get the job done. Planning beforehand should be imperative. This will also save a tremendous amount of time.

 

Encourage extracurricular participation

Whether it's on sports, music, or general community relations. Encourage kids to participate as a form of exposure to the world. Moreover, it helps them socialize with peers their age and other pillars of the community.

Although this is out of the question during this time. Try to stick with homeschooling during the pandemic as of now. Engage in community relations and other extracurricular participation once everything is deemed safe.

 

Ask for advice from fellow homeschoolers when needed

The homeschooling community is always available to help out when needed. Do not be afraid to seek help. Seasoned homeschoolers are a gold mine of advice. They can make a difference in making your homeschool vs public education, more worthwhile!

 

Setup their home classroom for a real school experience 

Your home classroom will be your kid's abode throughout the duration of the school year. Make sure their place of study is prepared to give the child school vibes. This helps them focus more on the lessons and learning while at home.

 

Homeschooling, Is It A Yay or a Nay?

 

"What's better public school or homeschool?" has been a lifelong debate.

It seems to be far from coming to a close. Nevertheless, there are many reasons why homeschool is better. Although public schools also have perks up their sleeves to offer. 

The suitability of homeschooling entirely depends on your choice, safety preferences, and goals for your child:

  • If you wish to keep your kids safe from the virus and have the time and resources to devote to your kid's optimum learning, by all means, pursue homeschooling during the pandemic

  • If you do not have the privilege to put your dreams on hold or the time to dedicate it solely for your child, then maybe let them continue in conventional schooling. Better yet, wait until the pandemic subsides and then resume their class attendance.

So, what will it be then? Is homeschooling during the pandemic a 'yay' or a 'nay'?

Whatever your choice may be, we are certain that they're all for what's best for your child!

Regardless of your answer, if you are looking to find alternative ways to teach your kids, STEM toys can be beneficial. Our portable microscope is perfect for adventure-loving children who love to explore the world up close. 

Get it at 15% OFF with FREE SHIPPING!

« Back to Blog