A popular topic in many houses with young children is the conversation of what kind of school a student will attend; whether it´s- public, private, boarding school, homeschool, or online. ¨As of 2018, the U.S. is home to 137,432 schools¨ (Bouchrika , Imed). Families tend to have many reasons leaning towards one or another. Some people may lean towards public school because it is cheaper, and your child gets introduced to more aspects of the real world, whereas some parents may want their child to attend private school because it can be considered safer, more sheltered, and they would get a better education. Another thing some parents might consider is boarding school for children that need more structure or have been struggling at home. Homeschooling also tends to be a popular option. Some families do this because they have more control over what their child learns; this also makes it easier on families who travel a lot. Online school can also be good for families on the go, or children who don’t thrive in social situations as much. Whatever way your family chooses, it’s important to look at all of the options offered so your child can learn to the best or his or her ability.
One of the most popular school settings to attend is public; 90% of students attend public school which is around 50.8 million people (Bouchrika , Imed). Due to the fact that the majority of people go to public school, there are a multitude of wonderful things about it, as well as the not so great side. Some of the good things about public school is there are a lot of social interactions for students, you don’t pay extra money besides the taxes you have to pay, and there are lots of different opportunities when it comes to classes. For example, public schools provide transportation for students. Public schools also have a lot of sports for students to play, and they give you a taste of the real world; unlike private schools which are notoriously more sheltered from certain societal beliefs. One student at Tumwater says they like public school because they are challenged and able to learn at a higher level. On the other hand, public schools do have quite a few downsides: there is less one on one teacher interaction with students, staff doesn’t get paid as much resulting in caring less, and there’s a lot more goofing off. One student at Tumwater states that one thing he doesn’t like about public school is that ¨[he wishes] there wasn’t such a bad vibe about talking about God and how it’s pretty much against the rules to talk about God.¨
Another popular learning option is private school. Similarly to public school, it has its positives and negatives. Private school also takes up a big part of our nation’s schooling, it takes 25 percent (Capenet). Some of the nice things about private school is you can go to a religious school to a religious school where you get to learn more about your belief, as well as learning about different subjects from the viewpoint of your faith and its outlook on certain topics. They also have smaller amounts of students in school resulting in more one-on-one time with teachers. In addition to going to school with students of your own belief, and having smaller classes, they also have a higher percentage of students being ahead of their grade in school. According to student Jackson Bishop, “Private school was nice because I got to meet other kids who shared the same beliefs I did, and it helped create a friend group that still runs to this day. I got to meet lots of other kids who I felt were going to be good influences. I didn’t have to deal with the politics and other things that public school can force upon you¨. Even though there seems to be many things that make private school look great, there are still some downsides. Some of these things include: having to pay more money in addition to tax money, not having as many class options, and less students resulting in a smaller pool of students to be friends with. A survey came out of people over 18 taken in 2017, this concluded what people believe the best school overall was. It states ¨71 percent of participants regarded independent private schools as excellent or good, while 63 percent gave the same rating to parochial or church-related schools. Charter schools received excellent or good ratings from 55 percent of American adults; home schools from 46 percent, and public schools from 44 percent¨ (Capenet).
On the contrary, like private schools homeschooling is not a very popular option. According to Nheri only four to five million people are homeschooled which is around 7-9%. This may not be super surprising because most students have a hard time just working on homework with their parents, let alone trying to teach them six classes. Even though homeschool may seem impossible for your family, many families still do it, giving them some extraordinary opportunities. Eden Voung, a sophomore at Tumwater was homeschooled up until freshman year. She states ¨I loved being able to sleep in and having a flexible schedule.¨ Being homeschooled can be really nice because they get to choose their school hours, and adapt to what works best for them. So, if they do better at having class really early or really late at night they can do it. Also, with homeschooling, parents can push their children as much as they want so they can be challenged. As well as your parents being able to challenge you, you can also cut out all the stuff you might see as a waste of time. This includes recesses, homeroom, and going slow for kids that don’t understand or mess around. Although Eden does mention that with homeschool, she didn’t like not having as much social interaction. Like homeschooling, online school also has very limited social interactions.
Online school has many incredible things about it, although there are some downsides. Due to the circumstances of this day in age the use of online schools have gone up rapidly. Some studies have shown that students have been able to learn faster and retain more information. When students are in school, it states they retain 8- 10% of the information that they are being taught, whereas when they are online they learn and retain 25- 60% (Li, Cathy). Reading this may cause you to be surprised, however due to the fact that students are learning on their own they can learn at their own pace and go much faster. Ta-Kashi Neilson, a senior, states that he started going to online school because it is ¨easier [and he] has more time¨. Online school has always been a safe place for students who have less time to learn in their day or have busy schedules. For example, some students who do online school tend to do very intensive and time consuming sports, like gymnastics or opt for the digital classroom because they have a job. In addition to having flexibility with time and pacing, doing online school also allows students to not feel as much pressure from classmates. This can be a relief because no matter why or what it is, almost all students feel judged for something; whether it’s the color of their skin, their clothes, their food they bring to lunch, and even the way their body looks. When they are learning online it can relieve a lot of the stress and anxiety they feel from other people’s thoughts and judgments of them.
On the other side of the spectrum, online learning can cause lots of depression from not seeing people and having less social interactions. One Tumwater student mentions that when they were forced to do online school during Covid, ¨My life changed dramatically from seeing tons of people, my friends and peers to all the sudden becoming super lonely.¨ Also when students were doing online school because of Covid, 40% of people had at least one F as an overall grade. When a student has an F in a class that means that they are either not coming to class at all, not participating while in class, or simply just don’t understand anything the teacher is teaching. No matter what the reason is, it is not good for the student. When students are in an in-person learning environment (whether it’s at a private school or a public school), they are held accountable when they are in the classroom. For some students this is very important because if they weren’t held accountable by someone or something they would have absolutely no motivation to do anything.
Overall, when it comes to education, there are many different options to choose from. When you work on deciding which one you want to utilize, think of what would be most beneficial for you and your family. Whether it’s online school, public school, homeschool, or private school you will still get the education you need to succeed in life. So, choose something that sounds interesting, fun, and the most beneficial for you.
Bouchrika , Imed. “101 American School Statistics: 2020 Data, Trends & Predictions.” Guide 2 Research, 25 June 2020, www.guide2research.com/research/american-school-statistics#:~:text=What%20percentage%20of%20American%20students,attending%20elementary%20and%20secondary%20school.
“Council for American Private Education.” CAPE, 14 Dec. 2020, www.capenet.org/facts.html#:~:text=Private%20schools%20account%20for%2025,2%20of%20the%20PSS%20Report).
Li, Cathy. “The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed Education Forever. This Is How.” World Economic Forum, 29 Apr. 2020,