Homeschool Vs. Public School

Homeschooling has become a popular schooling model in the United States in the last two decades. Further, the models seem more applicable due to challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused paralysis in the mainstream schooling model. There is an equally strong critique for both options, which leads to discussions and debates regarding advantages and disadvantages. Nevertheless, both home school and public school offer different advantages such as class size, schedules, course subjects offered, and socialization.

Class size in homeschooling and public school is comparable regarding quality of instructional interaction between a teacher and student, and social issues. Rampell (2009) quotes the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that the recommended American class size is 21.4 to 24.3 students per class. Experts content this recommendation as to the optimal population of students per class, which is likely to produce desired benefits (Rampell, 2009). Such as class has the optimal teacher-student ratio, which allows quality instructional time, and a fair, professional burden on teachers. In that perspective, homeschooling scales up the advantage of teacher-student ratio, since the class size reduced significantly, and the professional burden is reduced. The teacher may thus customize instructional time according to a student’s learning capabilities, unlike in public schools. As the class size reduces – like from a public-school class to a homeschool class, teachers can harness the advantages of one on one teaching methods. Further, the discrepancies between intentions of teachers and their pedagogical practice, and between teacher practice and student expectations reduce with class size (Carey & Grant, 2014). Also, a large class size such as in public school increases social challenges such as bullying, the spread of infections, peer pressure, among others. Therefore, while the American class size is optimal for learning, homeschooling offers even a better class size with better results.

Additionally, both homeschooling and public-school systems have varied schedule management options, which might be beneficence of a disadvantage. Firstly, public schools have rigid class and semester schedules, which are followed by all students. For instance, high school students attend six one-hour classes or four 90-minute classes, depending on the state or school. This scheduling system is approved by the ministry of education; thus, it is suitable on average to produce desired benefits. Students have rest breaks after each class to relax and allow time to shift into another class. They also have time for extracurricular activities, usually after the classes, in the evening. Nevertheless, this system does not favor all students. For instance, it is seldom for all students to have one hour or 90 minutes concentration span. Moreover, Bradbury (2016) backs the decision by some higher institutions to reduce their lecture time to 15 minutes, after his study finding indicating that the attention span for a student in a teaching scenario is between 10-15 minutes. Note that the public-school system may not agree with such assertions since the school must adhere to a set curriculum standard. In contrast, a homeschooling system affords the flexibility for a teacher to master the individual attention span of their students, and tailor their instructional schedules according to that span.

In connection to schedules, one may tailor the courses offered or taken at homeschool, unlike in public schools. The United States education system has courses offered through the approved curriculum, some being mandatory and other optional. For instance, all students attending American public high schools must take pure and social sciences, math, and English courses. Public universities and colleges will also have prerequisite courses in arts, literature, history, math, and natural and social sciences. While all the mandatory courses are arguably essential for a student, they may be fulfilling the demands of a curriculum but not adding up to the practical benefits of the course. This discrepancy might be overridden through the homeschooling system. That is, one may choose to study only the courses that are most beneficial to their career trajectory. Else, students may pay more attention to the courses that are likely to benefit their future career at the expense of those that are not likely to be of much value. For instance, a student whose proficiency in acting or sports may find value in social sciences and languages than in math and pure sciences. Thus, homeschooling and public schooling offer a different perspective on the value of a course and the options to take or not take them.

Lastly, socialization is paramount for human development and is significantly influenced by both homeschool and public-school systems. Socialization begins at home and continues in a school environment, where students learn the norms and expectations in a given social group. It is through socialization that individuals master the abilities to communicate effectively; they develop self-learning capabilities, self-control, and morals in a society. Schools play a significant role in ensuring desired socialization outcomes. For instance, teachers in a public school are authoritative agents of learning, who enforce the socially acceptable personal attributes of their students (Keppens & Spruyt, 2017). That is, through disciplinary guidelines, students learn what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Besides, interacting with classmates and schoolmates is a critical tool for learning and appreciating individualities and cultural differences that persist in a community. In that perspective, public schools offer a better socialization context compared to homeschooling. Nevertheless, large populations, as in public schools are seldom to control, which results in some unhealthy behaviors such as drug abuse and gangs. This is combated by homeschooling since patents of home study tutors can monitor students closely. Thus, socialization in homeschools and public schools is comparable, each with its pros and cons.

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To sum up, both home school and public school compare and contrast in various aspects such as the class size, schedules, course subjects offered, and socialization. The American class size is optimal for desired learning outcomes but becomes better as it reduces as seen in homeschool class sizes. Homeschooling enables custom scheduling to accommodate students’ capabilities, although public schools have the recommended scheduling system. Besides, students may choose to study only the most valuable courses, which would be mandatory in public schools. Lastly, public schools offer a vast socialization context, while in homeschooling, students are closely monitored.


Bradbury, N. (2016). Attention span during lectures: 8 seconds, 10 minutes, or more?. Advances In Physiology Education, 40(4), 509-513.

Carey, G., & Grant, C. (2014). Teacher and student perspectives on one-to-one pedagogy: practices and possibilities. British Journal Of Music Education, 32(1), 5-22.

Keppens, G., & Spruyt, B. (2017). The School as a Socialization Context. Youth & Society, 51(8), 1145-1166.×17722305

Rampell, C. (2009). Class Size Around the World. Economix Blog. Retrieved 12 August 2020, from