Joseph, a good friend of mine spoke to me about his experience of being home schooled. I, in particular, was very new to this concept and hence had an interesting conversation with Joseph which gave me some fresh insights!
I met Joseph in an inter-school event a few months ago and became good friends. I told him about design thinking process and the openIDEO challenge and Joseph's first response was "get people home schooled, they will learn what they like and figure out lot more about people and empathy" :)
For Joseph, home schooling was something his parents intentionally planned for. Joseph mentioned that his parents grew up in a small mid-western town that had a very protected, conservative environment. Once they headed to college for professional studies, they felt the disadvantage of coming a conservative background with limited means. They wanted to avoid this for their kids and hence the set-up for Joseph and his brother. Joseph's mother was a math/science teacher and grandmother, an english teacher. They together set the curriculum for both the boys. He shared that his experience of learning at home helped him learn more from his parents and grandparents, how they lived, what were the challenges the family faced, how well informed the family was and how much involvement the family had in bringing up the two children. In short he learnt to realize and respect the human aspect in every action and decision taken at home.
Joseph is now doing his undergrad at Case Western Reserve University. I have noticed him interact with people, speak/present in public. He comes across as a confident, sensitive and matured person who has good understanding of people.
While regular schooling helps in learning how to interact, work in teams and gives exposure to various kinds of people, according to Joseph, home schooling prepared him and his brother in a holistic way, while it helped his parents save up enough funds to manage Joseph and his brother's undergrad and grad school expenditure.
Insight: Homeschooling could a very good option for certain students if they have the right setting, like well-educated parents or family members who can teach their children or access to tutors. This will be especially helpful for students in low income communities. It will definitely help parents in saving up on certain expenses and utilize the same when the children have to join college for higher education.