I am asked this question by many of my working peers, family and friends. This is, of course, after they stare at me in disbelief when they find that both my husband and I work outside the home, homeschooled 3 of our 4 kids and our kids are excelling beyond the typical path they would have if gone the traditional route.
Well, being a working parent of four kids, I have done most all forms of schooling for my kids. Of all of them, only one really needed the full benefits of homeschool. However, two of my other children grew in ways as homeschoolers that the system of learning in a traditional schooling method wouldn't have allowed.
Why I chose to send my kids to private school
I was impressed with the curriculum in the private schools I visited when my oldest son was 4 years old. The kids in the school were reading and doing basic math. It blew my mind. Also, I went to Catholic School while growing up in the inner city and if it wasn't for the education provided there, I don't think I would have succeeded to the point I had in my schooling and career.
My older kids went to private school up til 3rd and 1st grade. It was hit or miss, very structured, overly disciplined and rather stressful for my kids and myself. However, both of them left being quite ahead of the curriculum at the public school in our area. The Gifted and Talented programs at the public schools though gave those private schools some competition. So I aimed for those programs for my kids.
TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL
Why I chose to send my kids to Public School
This is a mixed bag. We lived in one county where the schools were mediocre and decided to move to another county where the schools were 'Blue Ribbon' schools. In doing so, my kids got tons of free programs, accelerated learning and a great education. However, they weren't in a very racially diverse environment and this didn't fair well for my boys.
This is where my oldest and youngest boys were bullied by teachers and students due to their overactive energy and curiosity. It got to the point where my oldest son just showed up to class, did minimum work, yet earned Bs and Cs until he was able to graduate. My oldest girl was in the Gifted and Talented program and really enjoyed it ~ until I let her take a college class the summer of her 10th grade year. After that, she wanted to just take college classes and felt High School was a waste of her time. She wasn't satisfied with her courses and was a bit of an intellectual and found more happiness and recognition when she was homeschooling that catapulted her to experiences beyond my expectations.
The benefits though, were that my son was able to get his EMT certification for free and was offered a scholarship to finish the program at the partnered community college. My daughter was able to participate in AP courses, take classes to earn her computer certifications (but she started homeschooling before she finished).
4th grade through High School/College
The benefits of homeschooling is the freedom to customize education based on your kid's needs, growth, passions and learning style. There really isn't any drawbacks to it as long as you have the resources and creativity to meet your kid's needs.
The a few problems I and my kids admit is the perception of homeschooling and the thought that parents have to be home hovering over their children in order for their kids to learn. The other issue is that it's really difficult to get a clear statistic on how homeschoolers as a whole meet their kid's schooling needs because EVERY HOMESCHOOL IS DIFFERENT.
DON'T MISS THE BIG PICTURE
The best takeaway from this is that parents have CHOICES FOR THE WAY WE EDUCATE our kids.