“Homeschooling and distance learning? Isn’t that the same thing?”
If you’re a parent suddenly thrust into the world of new-age learning, chances are you’ve uttered these questions before. The good part? You aren’t alone. At first glance, homeschooling and distance learning might look the same. After all, you’d likely be using grade 4 math websites in both scenarios. However, an entire world of difference exists between these two learning systems. It’s like staring at a chocolate chip cookie and discovering it’s actually a sultana cookie after you’ve taken a bite.
So, what’s the difference between home school and distance learning? And which is the better option? Let’s find out, shall we?
What Is Homeschooling?
As the term implies, homeschooling is simply the education of children at home. Homeschooled kids don’t attend traditional schools. Instead, they learn at home under the tutelage of parents. With homeschooling, you (the parent) become the teacher, principal, and administrative assistant all at once. You can either purchase a curriculum or piece one together yourself. Usually, most states have homeschooling guidelines and this could serve as a framework for your curriculum.
You’re probably thinking that homeschooling is a lot of work. While it certainly is, homeschooling does come with a few perks. For instance, it’s flexible, meaning that classes can be scheduled around your convenience. It also eliminates commute time and provides a safe learning environment for your kid. On the downside, the lack of structure may disrupt the learning process.
What Is Distance Learning?
Over the last few years, distance learning has gained some momentum in the education sector, especially with the rise of the pandemic. Its rise in popularity was mainly caused by the alternative way for students to learn without physical limitations. But what exactly does it entail?
Distance learning is a learning system where kids get educated without being in a traditional classroom setting. Students aren’t physically present. Instead, they learn virtually through online video conferencing systems. Many online learning websites practice distance learning as it’s a viable solution to location issues. Brighterly.com and other edtech platforms typically schedule online lessons with students. So, while kids get to interact with their teachers and tutors, they never have face-to-face contact with them.
Similarities between the Two Approaches
As we mentioned earlier, distance learning and homeschooling often appear similar, and that’s because they share some traits.
For starters, both homeschooling and distance learning give students the opportunity to learn outside the limitations of a traditional school setting. In both scenarios, students can learn from the comfort of their homes or any other location (even on vacation). The approaches also offer flexibility and a safe learning environment.
In both scenarios, students don’t get to socialize as much as they’d typically do in a traditional classroom setting.
Homeschooling vs Distance Learning
Although the systems might be similar, they still have clear differences which include:
- In homeschooling, a parent is the primary instructor, whereas in distance learning, a child is still attached to a school and receives instruction from qualified tutors and other school personnel.
- Under homeschooling, you (the parent) are responsible for crafting the curriculum. However, in distance education, the school designs and fixes the curriculum.
- While both options are flexible, distance learning programs are typically more organized and have a clear structure.
What Is Better?
If you’re currently weighing your options between homeschooling and distance learning, it’s advisable to first take an introspective look at your motives. Do you simply want a break from traditional school settings? Or are you looking for total control over your child’s education? If the former is your primary motive, then you may go for distance learning as it solves the problem and offers structure at the same time. However, if you’d like to be in charge of your child’s education, homeschooling is the way to go.
We hope this helps. Good luck!