It is a fact that homeschooling was once the only option of schooling available. In centuries long gone, children would receive a variation of homeschooling from knowledgeable members of their family. Additionally, skills such as hunting, cooking and sewing were taught as forms of common sense schooling. It wasn’t until the early 16th century that other options such as community schooling (public school) and professional tutors became widely popular. Today, homeschooling is still an active option for educating children, however, the practice has been somewhat overshadowed by the public school options. So what are the Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
As with almost every decision in life, there are many pros and cons when it comes to homeschooling. It is up to the potential homeschooling family, to access their lifestyle and determine their goals for choosing such a method. Successful homeschooling also depends on the willingness of the student to accept their parent or guardian as their academic teacher. Below are a few pros and cons of homeschooling that needs to be weighed out…
Pros of Homeschooling:
- Freedom to Choose your own Curriculum: For the parent, there are no options when it comes to curriculum choice in public schools, they choose the study materials. The opposite is true for homeschooling. There are three main types of homeschooling actively taught: structured, unschooling and eclectic, and within those three types there are literally hundreds of different methods to choose from. The choices are catered to the different lifestyles and learning personalities of children. Additionally, you can choose to create your own curriculum as long as the children are learning their required subjects.
- Flexible Schedule: With public school, you have to adapt to the school’s schedule, however, with homeschooling, the schedule is flexible. You can choose to school your kids everyday for two hours a day, or three days a week for five hours. The flexibility of the schedule also frees the time for other valuable activities.
- Less Pressure on Children/ Builds Self Confidence: One of the main reasons why families choose to homeschool is because their child/ren may feel bullied or pressured in the public school setting. Bullying can lead to low confidence and poor academic scores. Homeschooling can take the pressure off the students and help them to flourish and rebuild their self confidence.
- Spending Quality Time: Homeschooling strengthen the family bond – children learn to appreciate their parents on a different level while the parents get to know their kids on a deeper level. Admiration, love, respect and playfulness come as a result of spending quality time together.
- Religious Freedom: Another reason why families may choose to homeschool is to foster religion in their children’s heart. While most private school are religion based, the cost associated with that option can be exuberant. With homeschooling, the parent is free to teach from a religion based curriculum and implement their religious beliefs in their child’s learning.
- Individual Attention: One of the biggest pros with homeschooling is the individual attention that the student will receive. The individualized attention will allow the student to flourish in their strengths and grow in their weakness. As the parent and the teacher, you will be able to help your children on a one on one level and tend to their academic needs without being pulled by an entire classroom of kids. And the child will feel like their voice is being heard.
- You are their Biggest Influence: It is no secret that children are influenced by what they see and hear, and public schools are notorious for generating poor decision making due to peer pressure. With homeschooling, you are your children’s biggest influence, you are gifted with the opportunity to instill values in your children that will lead them on the right track to being responsible members of society.
- Inexpensive Option: Compared to private school, homeschooling is the more inexpensive option. A homeschooling curriculum for the entire year will cost less than one month’s worth of private school tuition.
- Nurtures the Child’s Talents: Homeschooling is also synonymous with influencing prodigies in various fields of talent. When children get that individual attention, their talents and interests are noticed more quickly. Parents who homeschool usually seek out their child’s talents and actively nurtures them.
- Homeschoolers Excel Academically: Because of the one on one attention, and also because of the absence of peer pressure, homeschoolers tend to excel academically, surpassing their public school peers in test scores.
Cons of Homeschooling:
- You are Responsible for their Education: By choosing to homeschool your children, you are taking on the responsibility of educating them on the fundamentals. You are their teacher, therefore, it is up to you to teach them what they need to learn to be academically confident.
- Added Stress: Homeschooling can bring out unwanted stress in many areas of your life; the stress of being an inadequate teacher and the stress of demanding children can cause homeschooling efforts to fail.
- Public School Taxes: It is an unfortunate truth that homeschooling families are not exempt from paying public school taxes even though their children are not in public school.
- You are Responsible for their Social Development: Perhaps the most value that public school brings to the table is the natural socialization with non-family peers, such socialization is absent with homeschooling families. Now that you have taken on the role of educating your children, you must also take on the role of instilling proper social development. You can encourage socialization by joining homeschooling groups and by signing your children up for teamed classes such as soccer, basketball, dancing and choir. Socialization is an important aspect of development and should not be overlooked.
- Lack of “Me” Time: When you make the choice to homeschool your children, you are also making the choice to give up your time to nurture and teach your children. Your ever-present children will need continual attention, which means that your “me” time drastically shrinks. However, this will become less of a con once your children become older and more independent.
- Cluttered Home: Because your house will be more “lived in”, it may be difficult to keep your rooms free of clutter. However, once your children become older, you will be able to encourage them to clean up after themselves and to help with daily chores.
- Teaching Multiple Children: It may be difficult at first to teach multiple children of different ages and academic strengths. One way to deter this problem is to teach your children on different days, or at different times – that way, all of your children will receive the individualized attention and you will be less stressed.
In addition to the pros and cons mentioned above, there are a few additional points to consider before you jump into a homeschooling adventure…
- You Must have the Time: It is an obvious fact that homeschooling is most compatible with families who has a stay at home parent to teach the children. Therefore, you need to consider your availability to be a home with your children – if you are considering starting an out-of-home career path in the near future, then homeschooling may not be the best option for your family. Having a change of heart midway through the year can be a difficult transition for some children, therefore, this is a very important point to consider.
- You Must have the Patience: Patience is a huge requirement when it comes to homeschooling – your children should feel nurtured, safe, confident and accomplished when you are schooling them. Feelings of impatience, stress and anger should not be felt by either the parent or the child.
When it comes to the pros and cons of homeschooling, the scale is considerably tipped towards the pros side. Homeschooling is one of the most rewarding methods of teaching available, and most of the points on the cons list can be fixed and reversed once homeschooling novices become more experienced. Children are only children for a short period of time, if they are stressed at school or if you feel that you can take on the responsibility of teaching them yourself, then homeschooling is an excellent option. Statistics show that children who are homeschooled are more productive, respectful, self-confident and smarter than those who are schooled in a public school setting. Regardless, the option does require deep thought and considering, and both the children and the homeschooling guardian needs to be 100 percent in for guaranteed success and harmony.