Since time immemorial, the society has had two primary systems of schooling. These systems are Mainstream school and homeschooling. Homeschooling entails a one on one method of teaching whereby a person teaches a child or a small group of children. Mainstream schooling is where students are taught in a classroom. This system entails a larger number of children packed in one classroom. The system could be a public school or private school.
There are various reasons that guardians choose between these methods of learning. However, both mainstream schooling and home learning aim at equipping a child with adequate knowledge and skills to enable one to fit in a future society.
In a public school, children get to be taught by trained personnel with the required professional qualification. Schools employ trained and qualified teachers. Similarly, homeschooling is done by a professional with relevant skills, say ones parent. Hence, in the end, both the homeschooled and public schooled children get relevant experience.
However, there seem to be more contrasts than similarities between homeschooled children and public schooled children. These differences stem from the mode of study, activities, teaching personnel and to an extent, the environment.
In a Homeschool setting, a child gets unique and personal attention than in a mainstream school system. One person teaches one child or a small group of children. Homeschooling provides a child-centered learning. A teacher teaches a child at his/her own pace, without any competitive aspect. The mainstream schooling entails a classroom packed with many students that make it impossible to give a one on one mode of teaching. The children are therefore unable to get adequate intimate and personal attention. In a public-school setting, the fast learner children are usually disadvantaged as they are forced to study at the pace of the slow learners. In some cases, these children become disinterested in schoolwork in the long run. On the other hand, since the public-school system is a competitive system, the slow learner child may not get adequate attention.
Studying at home provides a safer environment for the children. The children are less likely to be attacked by predators and do not face abuse and violence common with the mainstream system. A child taken to public school is likely to encounter bullying from older students. Another problem likely for a child to face in public school is peer pressure that could lead to drug abuse and teen pregnancies.
A public-schooled child does not have a choice regarding school schedule. The child has a planned program and cannot choose when to study. The homeschooled child has a choice on what to study and how long the study should take. A home-schooled child also has the advantage of getting more "hands-on" experience than the public-schooled child. The public-schooled child is limited in gaining this hands-on experience by school schedule, availability of facilities and the rigid school system.
A public-school child has the advantage of participating in a classroom setting. The child also gets to meet other children from different background and cultures. The competition the child experience prepares them for the outside world competition. A homeschooled child may not get the chance to socialize with other children as this depends on the guardian preference.
In addition to this, public-schooled children have the advantages of using their schools infrastructure like playgrounds, music halls and amphitheaters to develop their skills as they compete with their peers. Homeschooled children would be at the mercy of the guardian or parents choice and will to take them to such extra-curriculum activities.
In conclusion, it is evident that as much the difference between a homeschooled child and a public-schooled child seem many, the outcoming is the vast knowledge gained.
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