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Home school or private school?

Homeschooling vs private school

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Many parents seeking an alternative to public education for their children consider the options of homeschooling and private schools. There are several important aspects to consider before selecting what is best for your child. Here's a look at homeschooling versus private schools, the pros and cons of each option. If you want to compare specific schools one-to-one, visit our compare hub.

Homeschooling pros

  • Child(ren) get(s) individual attention
  • Parents have freedom to tailor curriculum to child(ren)'s interests
  • Children are deeply aware of their parents' interest in their academic success
  • More opportunity to focus on internal family values, with less influence from peers
  • Convenience of learning at home, eliminating commute to school

Homeschool cons

  • Parents sacrifice time to teach, including time for their careers and time to themselves
  • Homeschooling limits child's exposure to social connections, opportunities to form vital friendships with their peers
  • Limits child's extra-curricular opportunities, access to school clubs and teams, etc.
  • No access to the vast array of resources available at schools including equipment, libraries, etc.
  • Education limited to parents' knowledge and research abilities as, versus private schools' highly trained teachers
  • Homeschooling is done by a single parent versus schools offering exposure to variety of different teachers over the years
  • Constant interaction with family members may seem suffocating
  • Financial burden of investing in computers, software and other educational materials
  • Schools have better reputations, recognized by post-secondary and higher institutions
  • Children may feel they are missing out on a normal childhood experience

Private school pros vs. homeschooling and public education

  • Private schools typically offer parents more involvement in their child's education than public schools
  • There are a variety of alternatives to choose from, such as girls' schools, boys' schools, boarding schools, Catholic schools, schools with gifted programs, and schools for troubled teens. Each of these offers a specific focus on your child's individual needs
  • Parents can choose an educational philosophy they believe in, such as Montessori, Waldorf, Christian, Muslim, etc.
  • Most offer smaller class sizes, giving teachers more time to give students individual attention
  • Discipline and homework are often top priorities
  • Many schools offer IB, AP and international exchange programs, further enhancing your child's education and opening doors to more opportunities
  • They offer prestige and are often more highly regarded by higher education institutions around the world
  • Offer more athletics and extra-curricular activities
  • Children benefit from school having more resources, and learning from staff with various areas of expertise
  • Children work on state of the art equipment, with the latest technology

Private school cons

  • The cost of a private education often requires a significant financial commitment from parents, ranging from $5,000 to $40,000 per year (boarding schools are most costly). (However, financial aid is available at many schools in the form of loans or tuition relief. )
  • More parental involvement in the school activities and fundraisers is often expected which some parents may not be willing to commit to.
Learn more about the advantages of private school.
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