Recently the question came up by a mom wondering what the difference would be between a private school and a home school using the same curriculum. She asked if the difference was just as simple as the location of the student. I have heard this question come up more than once by those unfamiliar with homeschooling or those who believe homeschoolers chose this form of education based solely on curriculum choice.
If a school using the same curriculum I would chose then why would I homeschool? Is there a difference?
The number one reason parents choose to homeschool is for religious reasons. The second most popular reason is dissatisfaction with the school system. Does this mean that if parents could find a school in line with their religious views and a school which ran in a satisfactory manner that there would be no need to homeschool? For some the answer would be yes but for many others the answer would still be no. The real question is “WHY do you want to homeschool?” If you are comfortable sending your child to a public or private school then do so without apology. If you choose to homeschool then do so without apology. No matter which educational choice you make there will always be advantages and disadvantages.
To answer the original question; yes, there is still a difference between homeschooling and sending a child to school even if you plan to use the same curriculum as the school system. While my answer will be skewed toward homeschooling keep in mind that I am fully aware not everyone should or can homeschool.
Homeschooling offers more than curriculum and a different location. Homeschooling gives your child a chance to have a customized education despite curriculum. A homeschooling student has the ability to work a grade ahead in one subject, two grades ahead in another; on the current grade in another or a grade below if the student struggles. A homeschooled student is not confined to name, rank and serial number. In addition, the parent has the freedom to switch curriculum that does not seem to work or add to or take away from the curriculum. Even if the religious views appear to be similar to your view there may be ideas and concepts you prefer to teach to your child. Often parents of school children complain that their children are negatively affected by the social interaction with some of the other students. Negative social interaction will happen even at a Christian or private school. If you believe you want to strengthen the core of your child’s character before dealing with these issues then homeschooling will benefit socialization. In the end the decision is yours to make but understand that homeschooling is a lifestyle and not simply an educational choice.