Private School vs Homeschool: 9 Pros and Cons

Education is an immensely important part of a child’s development. It can impact all aspects of a child’s present life and future opportunities. Parents want to make sure that their children get the best opportunities, which means exploring all of the possible options, their pros, and their cons.

Personalized CurriculumLarge Time InvestmentReasonable CostGood SocializationParental InvolvementHigh Quality of EducationFlexible ScheduleAvailability of Resources
Home School
Private School
Different Pros and Cons

1. Curriculum Choices

Home School: Pro | Private School: Pro

The first aspect of education to consider is the choice of curriculum, many would consider this to be a pro in homeschooling and private schools. Unlike public schools, private and home schooling allow for parents to be able to choose and streamline what they want their children to learn about and experience. However, homeschooling seems to push out private schools in this aspect because the parents control the entire curriculum.

Homeschooling parents value and enjoy the fact they can peruse through a variety of curriculum options and hand pick what is best for their children. For homeschooling parents with children who have additional needs, like ADHD or other mental health struggles, they can modify the learning experience to best benefit their children. They can also add additional concepts into their education, such as religious education, sports, or arts. (Source)

With this in mind, it is important to remember that private school is not completely obsolete in curriculum choice. Private schools often pride themselves on having extremely good curriculum plans and the ability for a parent to choose the path that best suits their child.

The main reason that homeschooling beats private schools in this aspect is that private schools cannot be personally tailored to one student. They must satisfy the needs and desires of all the students at the school, which can lead to a more generalized education than some parents prefer. (Source) Although parents who homeschool their children have complete control over the curriculum, it is personalized in private schools again, making it a pro for both.

2. Time and Energy Investment

Home School: Con | Private School: Pro

The next aspect of education to consider is time and energy investment. Time and energy are both resources that cannot be replaced or substituted easily, so it is necessary to consider what amount of time and energy an individual has to spend on education. If a parent is looking for lower time and energy investment, private schools are a great option!

Private schools are great at lowering the amount of time and energy a parent invests into a child’s education. Unlike homeschool, where a parent has to be a full-time teacher, private schools allow parents to drop their kids off and go on their merry way to work or other responsibilities.

Once the school day is over, the parents come and pick up their child who has had a busy day full of high-end learning opportunities. The energy and time invested are the energy and time required to take a child to and from school.

There are even boarding options with private schools, so a parent can allow a child to live and be taken care of at school instead of at home. This option can be appealing to people who have busy jobs and lives that cannot invest the time and energy needed to be able to teach their children well.

Homeschooling, on the other hand, requires a ton of time and energy investment, which is a con for the overrun parent. A parent who is homeschooling must create a curriculum that meets state requirements, optimize a schedule, teach their children, record learning, and be able to handle the tasks of socializing and pushing their children to learn consistently. That can be exhausting for someone who is not prepared to make a large personal investment into their child’s education. (Source)

3. The Cost

Home School: Pro | Private School: Con

The third aspect of education that is important to consider is the cost of education. Cost can be a huge factor when it comes to deciding what is feasible for a child’s education. If a parent is looking for a more frugal and fiscal option, homeschooling would be the better option of the two.

With homeschooling, a parent does have to create a curriculum and provide all the different things a classroom would have. This can end up costing a little bit because good resources are not typically cheap. Some of the common items a person would need to buy for homeschooling are textbooks, notebooks, pencils, and paper, along with other items that enhance learning. (Source)

There are also some free resources that are worth looking into, such as Khan Academy, Crash Course, and other websites that offer high-quality tutoring. A parent can also look into homeschooling groups in their area, which can decrease the cost of education. It is similar to budgeting for groceries. A parent can set a budget and not spend absurd amounts of money and still offer decent meals, or in this case, educational opportunities.

On the other hand, private schools are known for the ridiculous amounts of money that are required. This is a con for many who aren’t able to invest that kind of money in their child’s education. They often ask for yearly tuition, similar to colleges. The average cost of a private school in the United States is 19,100 dollars a year.

Some schools charge even higher than Ivy League Colleges! Although these numbers are ridiculous, these types of schools do tend to offer financial aid and scholarships. This would be something to look into, as financial aid opportunities will change dependent on the household circumstances. (Source)

4. Social Life

Home School: Pro | Private School: Pro

The fourth aspect of education to consider is the social life being offered. Both private schools and homeschooling have benefits and drawbacks, however, the socializing that students get with other students at private schools is unparalleled when compared to that of home-schooled children.

Homeschooling is stereotyped as having bad amounts of opportunity to be social with other people. In comparison to the traditional classroom setting, there are some initial drawbacks such as not having peers of the same age to learn with and have adventures with every day.

On the other hand, this can lead to incredibly tight relationships with family members. Parents get to spend more time with their children, which can be an incredibly special time for a parent and child. Homeschool parents can also be proactive at socializing their children by getting involved with other local homeschool families and having their children join extra-curricular activities at the local school or in the community. (Source)

Private schools offer traditional socializing opportunities that homeschooling doesn’t. Children have the opportunity to be able to be around people their own age, who have similar interests, and have bonding moments with them through school activities. However, the main downfall is that private schools can be very demographically limited in the people attending.

This means that a child would be less exposed to people of a different race and different financial backgrounds than others. Without diversity, a child can end up being less adept at building relationships with people who are different than them. But, just like homeschooling, parents can adjust and make up for this potential setback. (Source)

5. Parental Involvement

Home School: Pro | Private School: Pro

The fifth aspect of education is parental involvement. If a parent wants to be deeply involved in the life and education of a child, homeschooling would be a great option!

Parents are the main core for homeschooling education, as they are the teacher, lunch staff, aids, nurse, and every other person that would be employed in a school for their children. Parents who homeschool are constantly interacting with their children, which could be seen as a pro or con depending on the parent.

Parents also have a larger impact on the value of the education being offered. This is especially true with older children, as the concepts become more and more complex and difficult to teach.

Parents are also decently involved in their children’s education in private schools but in different ways! Instead of being the teacher, they are involved in the process of getting children prepped for school, getting the materials, and being asked to support the school financially. Some say that private schools are good at fundraising because the parents often continually give financial aid to the school. (Source)

6. Quality of Education

Home School: Con | Private School: Pro

The sixth aspect of education to consider is the quality of education being offered. Private schools will typically have a higher quality of education being offered because the teachers are professionally trained and have higher qualifications than the typical homeschool teacher.

Another thing that private schools offer that is harder to receive in homeschooling is the opportunity to take Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses and tests. Some private schools offer 10-20 courses and can offer up to 34 different courses. The teachers are then able to teach the curriculum tailored for these tests. The trained professionals and environment make it good practice for higher education and possibly help a child reduce debt going into college. (Source)

Homeschoolers do have options if they want higher-end education or college help. Often, they take courses offered at community colleges and get concurred enrollment credit for it. This makes it possible for them to be able to graduate much faster than the average student. I had a homeschooled friend who did this and he graduated with an associate degree at 18 years old, a solid couple of years before most. This also gave him the ability to apply for higher education and be looked at for scholarships.

However, his mother and father are both extremely knowledgeable and educated. Their education gave them the edge they needed to be able to teach their children the concepts thoroughly. Parents with less of an educational background might struggle to offer the support a student needs.

7. Time in School

Home School: Pro | Private School: Pro

The seventh aspect of education to consider is time in school. Private schools tend to follow the standard school schedule that most people are accustomed to. Homeschooling offers a ton of flexibility when it comes to time in school because time in school is defined by the family.

I remember talking to my home-schooled friend during the school year about this. During one of our conversations, he mentioned that his family was going to go across the country to learn about United States history. They would go and visit landmarks, enjoy nature, and have a good experience. This all happened during what would be a busy time of year in the public school year.

His parents didn’t have to get permission to take their child out of school for that long. They just moved their curriculum to match their lifestyle. This is a powerful ability that is only really available to that homeschooling. There is also research that shows that following the standard school schedule influences mental health negatively, so homeschooling could ease that concern. (Source) However, this could be a con as some children could use the familiarity of the set schedule that is offered through private schools.

8. A Child’s Disposition

Home School: Pro | Private School: Pro

The eighth aspect of education to consider is a child’s disposition. The personality and abilities of a child can greatly influence whether private or homeschooling is better for them.

Private schools are known for pushing children to succeed. They have nearly a 100 percent graduation rate! (Source) Children who need additional outside motivation could benefit from being at a private school. Children with an innate desire to learn, who thrive with abundant social life, and who want to be pushed also would likely succeed in this environment.

There are children who would not succeed in a private school environment and need the additional help and care that only a parent can offer. This was the case for one mom, who described that her child needed additional help and love as she had reactive attachment disorder due to a traumatic past before her adoption. (Source) Children with disabilities, mental illness, or physical ailments may need to be at home to receive the best treatment for them.

9. Resources for Education Needs

Home School: Con | Private School: Pro

The ninth and final aspect of education to consider is the resources available for education needs. This ties into what an individual child needs to be successful. Either educational option can have the resources needed for their education, but it is good to consider these questions. (Source)

  1. What are my child’s interests? Do I have the resources/budget to be able to provide adequate learning about this interest(s)?
  2. What are my child’s educational needs? Can I provide what they need to be successful?
  3. Does my child need additional support to help with an ailment (like ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Autism, etc.)? Am I able to provide that or would a private school have better resources?

With those questions in mind, it is important to remember that private has a bit more funding than usual for homeschooling parents and can provide more resources such as textbooks, materials for experiments and projects or field trips.

It is clear to see that private school and homeschooling can both be good choices for a family. It just depends on what better satisfies the needs and wants of a household. Whatever an individual ends up choosing, it is sure to lead to a good education and happy experiences.