Online Schooling and Homeschooling: What’s the Difference? | Jeff Horton | Equity & Thought Leadership | Duluth, Minnesota

Jeff Horton
2 min readMar 26, 2024

Online schooling and homeschooling are two terms often used interchangeably, but they differ. While both involve learning from home, there are some critical differences between the two. This blog will explore the differences between online schooling and homeschooling.

Online schooling, also known as virtual schooling, is a form of education that takes place entirely online. Students attend classes through a virtual platform, interact with teachers and peers through video conferencing and chat rooms, and complete assignments and assessments online. Public or private schools typically offer online schooling and are subject to state and national education standards.

On the other hand, homeschooling is a form of education in which parents or guardians are responsible for teaching their children at home. Homeschooling can take many forms, including traditional textbook-based learning, online courses, and experiential learning. Homeschooling is not subject to state or national education standards, although many homeschooling families follow a curriculum aligned with these standards.

One of the main differences between online schooling and homeschooling is the level of autonomy and control parents have over their child’s education. In online schooling, the school provides the curriculum and instruction, and parents have little control over what is taught. In homeschooling, parents have complete control over their child’s education and can customize the curriculum to meet their child’s needs and interests.

Another difference is the level of socialization that students experience. In online schooling, students interact with teachers and peers through virtual platforms, but they may have fewer opportunities for in-person socialization. In homeschooling, parents are responsible for providing opportunities for their children to socialize with peers, such as through homeschooling co-ops, community organizations, and extracurricular activities.

Finally, there are differences in the legal requirements for online schooling and homeschooling. Online schooling is subject to state and national education standards, and students must take standardized tests to measure their progress. Homeschooling is not subject to these standards, but families must comply with state laws regarding attendance, curriculum, and assessments.

While online schooling and homeschooling share some similarities, the two have essential differences. Online schooling is a form of education provided by public or private schools that take place entirely online. At the same time, homeschooling is a form of education in which parents or guardians are responsible for teaching their children at home. The two main differences are the level of autonomy, socialization, and legal requirements. Parents should carefully consider these differences when deciding which education is best for their child.

Originally published at https://jeffhorton.info on March 26, 2024.

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Jeff Horton

Jeff Horton is a Duluth-based educator, superintendent, technology enthusiast, and believer in representation. Learn more @ http://jeffhorton.info/.