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As a 7th grader who has been homeschooled for three years and public schooled for four years, I feel I know the strengths and weaknesses of both. They can learn from learn from each other.
How so? You can’t look at the homeschool as and not see the strength that comes from flexibility. You can’t look at the public school and not see the strength that comes from diversity.
Let’s start with the homeschool. Flexible schedules and the infinite opportunities that come with matching curriculum to interest and ability, lead to excellence. Homeschooling is efficient. One can finish their work earlier and go deeper if they so choose. This is an excellent plus for the motivated learner, but may lead to apathy in the less motivated.
This opportunity to spend the time pursuing an area of interest has led to a number of scholastic champs. Recent examples are Robert Marsland who won $40,000 in the 2007-2008 National Vocabulary Championship; 14- year-old Caitlin Snaring won 1st in the National Geographic Bee on her first try; finally we have Phillip Steinch who won $50,000 in the 2007-2008 Intel International Science an Engineering fair for proving carbon nanotubes are stable using lab equipment he invented and built.
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