Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

Why traditional education is not the best for everyone

As a high school student who attended a public school in Arizona, I had to arrive at 7:30 a.m. and follow a rigid schedule, taking classes in English, math, science and social studies. Everything was based on that schedule. When I went home I did my homework and studied for exams and standardized tests. Most of my studying was a one-size-fits-all curriculum directed by instructors, the school district and the CollegeBoard.

Conversely, when I was a homeschooled middle school student I had more flexibility. I prepared my study plan based on what I considered to be most important. This included topics that I was interested in as well as the information required to pass the General Educational Development (GED) test. As I explored both ways of schooling, I saw a clear difference between the two forms as well their benefits and drawbacks. Although the practice of traditional education is commonly followed, it is not right for everyone and students should have the right to choose what works for them.

One of the biggest differences between traditional education and homeschooling is what and how students learn. Traditional education emphasizes what the State Board of Education considers important and studying focuses on getting a good grade on exams rather than focusing on knowledge of the course material. As a result, students are tested on their ability to get a good score on exams rather than learning what they will need to know as an adult. Traditional schools establish education standards and ensure that students meet the bare minimum requirements whereas homeschooling has minimal oversight. In addition, students can receive professional management with academics without financial concerns and make the most out of their short time there.

Homeschooled students have the flexibility to choose what they learn as long as they meet the state’s requirements and are able to pass the GED. This freedom allows students to focus on their future career path rather than learning what everyone learns. One of the most common reasons for parents to choose homeschooling is due to their dissatisfaction with public education and wanting to have a say in what their children study. When I was homeschooled, my parents and I were in control of what I learned. I was free of the pressure to perform well and had a tailored curriculum. The process of self-directed education helped me build self-discipline, planning and problem solving skills.

Another difference between the two forms of education was learning how to adapt to society. In school, not only do you learn the material in the book, but you also learn skills that are crucial later in your life. You learn how to follow rules, utilize information and resources, get along well with people from backgrounds similar to and different from your own, build self-discipline and appreciate the value of hard work. Having pre-exposure to a smaller form of society with adult guidance and protection can help build life skills from an early age without requiring too much effort. Traditional education, also, has shortcomings, such as an overemphasis on authority, promoting negative perspectives on failure and an overemphasis on other’s approval in evaluating success. The fact that a student’s worth is determined by a letter grade and that traditional schools aspire for uniformity and rote memorization rather than creativity and exploration can be hard to tolerate, especially for students considered to be out-of-the-box thinkers.

Homeschooled students, on the other hand, are more likely to be isolated without additional effort from parents to establish the skills needed for adulthood. While transitioning from homeschooling to a traditional school setting, I had become very withdrawn and struggled to make friends; however, even with help from adults, adapting to society was overwhelming for me. Homeschooling helped me to learn at my own pace and protected me from mental harm.

Lastly, the environments between homeschooling and traditional schooling differ greatly. Depending on where you live, some students are exposed to danger more than others. The reason I chose homeschooling was because I could not tolerate the bullying from my peers and did not receive help from the school. Homeschooled students can be protected from a dangerous environment and establish values with the help of parents. Although school is where students learn and grow, forcefully putting them in dangerous situations can have a negative impact on their child.

When it comes to a student’s long-term goals, what matters most  is whether they see the importance of learning and actively engaging with the curriculum rather than simply the format of learning. Everyone is different and the format that fits one person perfectly can be difficult to handle, or unsatisfactory, for another. There is no right or wrong answer to how a person learns and both forms of education should be respected.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

In an effort to promote dialogue and the sharing of ideas, The Observer encourages members of the university community to respectfully voice their comments below. Comments that fail to meet the standards of respect and mutual tolerance will be removed as necessary.
All The Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *