Should you Unschool/Homeschool or go ahead and send your child to school? Lots of parents struggle with which they want to do. I think if you sit and think about these 3 questions, then compare the school vs. home columns, you might get a clearer idea.
Think about your own observations of school and the interactions that happen there.
Think about how time is spent.
Think about what a perfect school would look like? And then compare it to what is reality.
Go to School
Learn at Home
Confined in building from (roughly) 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Moves from classroom to classroom, but rarely outside the building
Learning can take place at home
or in the community
Children learn from 1-7 adults each day
Children learn from as many adults as needed for the material or experience to be adequately covered
If child and teacher do not get along or communicate well, they may be able to change midyear, but they must stay together until there is a system-wide “break."
If child and teacher do not communicate well and “teacher” is parent, they work it out. If “teacher” is outside tutor, guide, docent, director, parents have flexibility to change that person
Compulsory attendance laws vary from state to state but usually require a student be present at the school for a minimum of 180 days before advancing to the next grade.
“Compulsory Attendance” does not apply since the child lives there. The focus can be on LEARNING instead of simply ATTENDING.
Children stay with a particular class period for around 45 minutes, and change subjects about 6-7 times per day with curriculum predetermined by a school board appointed by the governor.
Learners that are interested in a particular topic can stay with that topic as long as they are interested.
Some families recognize that learning doesn’t really “stick” if they learner is not interested.
Learners can learn more like adults learn outside of school, immersion in the topic with the goal being mastery.
Parents and children can together determine the learning path.
If a child doesn't feel well, they should try to push through and go, unless they have a fever or are throwing up.
If a child doesn't feel well, parents recognize that they won't really absorb much that day. They can rest until they feel better, read a little in bed, drink fluids and get better.
Committees determine what the curriculum will be for ALL the children of the state. Politics plays a part since school boards are elected positions and the budget is met through taxes.
Parents and children can together determine the academic/educational path for the child. Families can budget for learning expenses. Several families can band together to share costs. Libraries, used book stores, homeschool book fairs and resource sharing can be used.
Family outings or vacations must take place on weekends, holiday breaks, or in summer time. Unless child has summer school, then work around the school schedule. School schedule usually trumps family desires.
Family outings and vacations can be taken whenever the activity is available. Families only have to work with the parameters of the family's other commitments.
- Families can choose times that are best suited for the activity
- Families can choose off-season times for better rates and less crowds
Children connecting with same age children is important. Relating to children in other grades is discouraged.
Relating to teachers is in an Authority: Student format
Parents are encouraged not to interfere with the relationships the children have at school. This is seen as the child "learning to cope."
Spending time connecting for family members is important, as these relationships last throughout their lives. Relating to others with similar interests is what matters - not the age.
Relationships with adults in a child's life can be varied in format, not necessarily authoritarian style.
Parents can easily see the relationships the child has with adults and other children, and adjustments as necessary to help these relationships be as successful as possible.
Physical activity occurs at set times each day, and in whatever form the curriculum has deemed appropriate.
Families can decide what physical activity to pursue. This is not a one-size -tits-all, but instead can be tailored to the individual need of the child
Fresh air: From the car to the building; loitering is discouraged.