School at Home

Know The Truth About School at Home and Homeschool

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Know The Truth About School at Home and Homeschool

If you’re new to the world of home education, you may be very confused by this title. Schooling at home and homeschool may look like a simple rearrangement of words, but the differences go far beyond that. Let me break down school at home versus homeschool for you.

Schooling at home has the basic characteristics of looking like traditional public school done at home. This can mean you use an online public school, or it could mean that you set up a classroom in your spare room and teach in front of the student-laden desks. What these things might have in common is lack of flexibility, strict structure, and possibly public school standards for what and how our children learn.

Online Schooling

With online schooling you’ll have much less required of you as the parent, as online school teachers will do the vast majority of the teaching and grading online. This does mean, though, that your children can be taught the same things as the kids inside the classrooms, and they will be susceptible to indoctrination from the curriculum and the teacher.

Christian instruction is usually prohibited within the school day unless you choose a Christian program specifically. It is simply doing public school in front of a computer rather than among your child’s peers. For most families, this defeats the purpose of homeschooling at all.

Recreating a classroom setting and structure at home, on the other hand, requires a lot of effort on the part of the parent. You choose the curriculum and you will do the teaching. It might involve early morning alarm clocks and a rigid schedule, just like in a regular classroom.

There isn’t anything inherently wrong with this approach, but it can steal away some of the beauty of homeschooling. The freedom and flexibility to hop on some rabbit trails in learning, and spend a little extra time on a subject your kids are excited about, and stay up late to watch a meteor shower is squelched by the rigidity of your schedule. It doesn’t afford for a bad day to be turned into an amazing trip to the zoo because staying on task is the ultimate goal.

School at Home Versus Homeschool: Which is Best for Your Family?

Homeschool shares the characteristic of learning with schooling at home, but beyond that it looks as unique as your family is! It means you and your children have the freedom to learn in every aspect of your day. You, as the parent, can choose what curriculum to use or if you will use one at all. You can choose to structure your day or go with the flow. You can spend an entire week on astronomy because your son can’t get enough, or completely skip that section in history because no one is listening anyway and come back to it another time.

Homeschooling allows you to set up your day in the way that best fits your family. If you all thrive on structure, then by all means, structure your day! In fact, I recommend it. But it also allows you the flexibility to throw the plan out the window at any time you deem necessary.

Homeschool opens up the door to pursuing the passions and gifts your children are blessed with. You may have a child who is gifted with numbers but shuts down with words. Adjust how you see fit. You can also tailor your teaching methods to your child’s specific learning style. Do you have a particularly fidgety child? Let her stand up while she does her math. Take an impromptu break to jump on the trampoline.

That is freedom. That is homeschool.

We lean heavily toward homeschool and customizing your homeschool to your unique family and lifestyle. But whether you choose schooling at home, homeschool, or even unschooling, do what is best for your family and enjoy the freedom you have to choose how to teach your children.

I also encourage you to research various methods of home education. Many books, podcasts, and blogs will open your eyes to the possibilities that education holds.

For more information about the differences between “school in a box” and choosing your own curriculum, check out this post!


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