So you are considering educating your child at home and want to know the “Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?” That is great! It is good to weigh your options when it comes to your child’s education, health, social exposures, and overall happiness. Let’s take a closer look.
PROS OF HOMESCHOOLING
- 1) Socialization: This one is a little controversial, as in the past it was seen as a huge negative, but now many see it as a positive. With home education getting more and more popular and with the never-ending addition of social media websites, kids and families feel less isolated. Local support groups are a great way to stay connected with “like-minded” children and families. Many offer group family support, educational events, Co-Op classes, sports, and fun field trips. The advantage of this type of socialization is that you are choosing whom to spend your time with.
- 2) Less Sexual Pressure: At home, children are only exposed to what you allow them to be exposed to. This makes it much easier for parents to effectively shelter their children from sexual behaviors and influences. These parents can also determine when and how they teach their children about sex education.
- 3) Limited Drugs and Alcohol Exposure: As a parent, you have way more control over what your children are exposed to. In today’s society, there is no way to 100% keep your children from knowing about drugs, but the exposure can be very limited. You are the one teaching them and telling them about the effect of drugs or alcohol, not their friends.
- 4) Safety and Bullying: Kids are not bullied or in unsafe conditions at home. Bullying happens every day, in every school, across the nation and it is very hard to control. Knives and guns are being brought to schools and kids are being hurt or killed. At home, children experience a safe educational environment.
- 5) Family Values and Beliefs: One of the big pros of homeschooling is the allowed freedom and time to teach family values and instill beliefs in a continuous manner without negative outside influence.
- 6) Course Selection: The ability to pick and choose courses of study that are interesting and important to you and meet your educational goals. One can take courses not offered through public schools.
- 7) Teaching Method: The family can determine what teaching method or methods best suit their child and implement it. There are no restrictions on how or what you teach your child.
- 8) Efficient Teaching: No useless work and you can teach at the speed of your child’s ability to learn. If he catches onto the concept quickly you can move on to the next topic.
- 9) More In-Depth Learning: Due to limited time restrictions, homeschool teachers can explain topics in detail and use whatever educational tools they have available to them until the student acquires a full understanding. Typically, students who are educated at home do less memorizing and more in-depth learning which might boost their self-belief.
- 10) Family Education: The flexibility and freedom of unrestricted learning allow not only the child to follow their passion but the entire family.
- 11) Flexibility of Schedule: Since there is not a set schedule of classes, it allows the opportunity to learn different things at different times and places. It gives a sense of freedom to the educator while allowing the student to learn in an exciting way.
- 12) Less Everyday Stress: Due to the amount of individual attention, school days are shorter and less stressful. There is no running around getting ready for school, no waiting turns, raising your hands to go to the bathroom or worrying about homework. There is no homework in homeschool.
- 13) Kids Can Be Kids: They do not have to sit in one spot for long periods of time. Children can do what children do – play, act silly, pretend etc…. Of course, there will have to be some restrictions in order to maintain focus. However, the added flexibility will allow children to have fun. It is important for children to play and have a fun time during these childhood years.
- 14) Health: Children are less stressed, have more freedom, are more active and exposed to less illness. In addition, the type of foods and sugar intake can be controlled, making for a much healthier and happier child.
- 15) Family Bonding: You and your children will be spending a lot of time together in a low-stress learning environment which encourages love and laughter. The bond that forms will be one that cannot be broken.
CONS OF HOMESCHOOLING
- 1) Little Alone Time: You will be with your children most of the time. This could be considered a pro or a con of homeschooling. You will need to have a lot of patience and be able to accept less control of your day. Some mothers/teachers experience burnout. It is important to set aside time for yourself even if it is only a 30-minute bubble bath, of course, kid free. I know it is easier said than done, but it will make you a better mommy and teacher.
- 2) Daily Commitment: Teaching your child at home takes a lot of time. You have to prepare lessons and projects, grade papers, set up co-op classes, schedule educational activities, and social events.
- 3) Financial: Potentially less money to support the family can be considered a large con of homeschooling for some. Since one parent will most likely have to be home to educate there is possibly a full or partial loss of income. See also this post on grants from the Geological Society of America to help you finance your or your kids’education.
- 4) Responsibility for Child’s Education: The parents are totally responsible for the education of the child, from course selection to the method of teaching, hours of study, habits and much more.
- 5) Social Acceptance: Many people do not know much about educating at home, therefore you might find yourself having to explain and defend your choice.
- 6) Socialization: This is not difficult as there are many homeschooling groups. However, it is something that you will have to schedule and be a part of depending on the age of your child, otherwise, they can feel lonely.
- 7) Organization: Most families’ homes do not have room for a classroom. Student books and materials along with all of the teaching items can be a lot of stuff, in an already full home. The key is to be a very efficient organizer to stimulate radical encouragement.
- 8) It Can Become Like a Job: Unfortunately, all of the duties of running a home do not disappear because your family chooses to homeschool. Now you will be fully responsible for educating and socializing your child along with your part of the home duties. Many find that this is the hardest aspect of homeschooling.
- 9) Family and Child Agreement: Homeschooling is hard and to be successful it is very important that both parents are in agreement. It is much better if the child is cooperative, otherwise, it might be a more difficult process.
- 10) Responsibilities During Illness or Emergency: Teaching does not stop because of an illness or an emergency. Just like school – a few days can be missed, but, if much more it might cause an issue and be hard to get back into the routine. You will need to be creative and adjust to circumstances.
- 11) Standardized or Required Government Exams: Required exams may be more difficult to schedule due to limited access. Some support groups organize testing.
- 12) Sports: When being educated at home there is a strong possibility that you will not have access to “middle school” or “high school sports.” Some states or school districts allow nonpublic educated children to join their sports teams and eventually develop their leadership capabilities. You would need to research the laws for your area. Depending on where you live there are typically city league sports and some areas even offer homeschool sports leagues. So your child can get as much play time as he/she needs, however, if your child is one that’s really big on competitive sports, this may be a huge con of homeschooling.
Homeschooling can be the most rewarding experience for you and your children; however, there are a lot of pros and cons of homeschooling. Homeschooling a child is a lot of work and is not for everyone. As long as you do your research you will be ok with your decision.