Choices in Education

1 July 9:00 pm
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by Amy Tjaden News Editor


Are homeschooling and school at home the same thing? I suppose it depends on how you define each. When I think of homeschooling, I think of children allowed to pursue their own interests. I picture relaxing days spent reading books, playing educational board games and exploring various topics in history and science.


School at home makes me think of rigid schedules, worksheets, tests and lectures. It is like a smaller version of a public school classroom, only in the home.  Is one better than the other? That depends on whom you ask. It also depends on your child and how he learns.


One testament to how popular homeschooling is becoming is the fact that the public school system is making sure they stick their finger in the pot. Many districts now offer alternative schooling. Charters schools are growing and many point to them as a choice for homeschoolers. They offer part-time enrollment, which may be attractive to many parents who want more of a homeschool approach.


There are so many virtual schools to choose from now it is overwhelming. Many in the homeschooling community enroll their children in these virtual academies as a way to get official transcripts.


Schooling is about choice and each family has to do that which works best for them. Personally, I enjoy the freedom of homeschooling. I like knowing that we are not accountable to anyone. If we wake up and want to spend the entire day reading, we can. If we decide we want to focus an entire month on learning about the War of 1812, we can.


Virtual academies and charter schools are just too much like public school for my taste. However, they work great for some families and I’m happy they are available options. Right now, there are many articles out there debating the merits of homeschooling vs. public school. I have my own feelings regarding public school but the bottom line is that we have choices.


When it is all said and done, do we really need to debate anything. As long as we are each doing what works best for our own family, why should we worry about what kind of education the neighbors are choosing?


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