The Pros and Cons of Home Schooling

People new to the concept of homeschooling often have a thousand and one questions.  This post will show you some pros and cons that may be helpful in guiding you as you consider whether to homeschool or not.

Some homeschooling advantages:

There are several advantages to homeschooling.  Let’s take a look at five:

1.     Allows for quality vs. quantity time. Homeschooling can provide individualized attention and instruction lacking in public schools today.  Parents are better equipped at understanding what their children’s interests are and, as such within the homeschool environment, have more time to observe how their children are progressing, as well as what areas they may find difficult and can be there to help them out. One thing is certain, you must at all times keep the lines of communication with your children open!

2.    Children can learn at their own pace. When being homeschooled, children can work on their curriculum at their own pace.  They are not placed in an environment where they have to wait for others, or, if they are not “getting it” to feel the pressure to just “fill in the blanks” so the whole class can move on.

3.    Curriculum designed for the child’s interests. Parents are free to match their teaching style and curriculum in accordance with the child’s learning style, allowing him/her to successfully understand the subject matter. The plus to this approach is better learning results.

4.    No peer pressure. In a homeschool setting, age difference is not a factor.  Not only are children free to associate with children within their same age range, but with children of different ages as well.  The advantage is this provides the ability of the child to relate to all age groups.

If peer exposure is seen as needful, this should not be a problem and can be supplemented by taking the kids out to play in the park, attend lessons in ballet, jazz, etc., where they will have plenty of peer exposure.

5.    “Hands-on learning”. Unless the public schools schedule a field trip, the vast majority of time spent learning is confined to the classroom.  Homeschooling allows more flexibility in getting an education outside the classroom in addition to “hitting the books”.  Trips to the park, the museum, the zoo or just going fishing with mom and dad can be a great alternative when homeschooling your child.  It is a fact that the whole world is a place to learn and grow.  Just a trip to the store can teach multiple subjects like math, English, finances, communication skills, etc.

Some homeschooling disadvantages:

Just as there are distinct advantages to homeschooling, it is of equal importance to weigh out potential disadvantages.  Here are three to consider.

1.    Homeschooling requires extra time. For the homeschool parent, much time and effort is required for the preparation of teaching materials and lessons as well as managing the child’s opportunities in order to cultivate friendships and expand on the child’s interests.  Parents who homeschool will have to sacrifice time they might spend on themselves for the sake of the child.  Remember, they are now home 24/7!

2.    Minimal exposure to their peers. Homeschooled children do not have a lot of opportunities to bond and develop friendships with peers.  If this is a problem, as was pointed out already, taking the kids out to play in the park, attend lessons in ballet, jazz, etc., will give them plenty of peer exposure.  Plus, sports activities at the public schools are usually open to the homeschooled child.

3.    Cost. This is a big one if you consider that you already pay taxes to support the public schools.  You will also not get any financial consideration from the government.  Otherwise, there are plenty of resources available at minimal cost to you.  Also, many public schools make the school’s facilities available to homeschoolers.

Whether you’re going to homeschool or not, hopefully, this short article has helped you in making that decision.  Naturally, it all depends on you, as a parent, on how much you are willing to give your child.  It will require great consideration on your part as to whether it is worth it, not only for the sake of your child’s education but to be honest with yourself if you are willing to make the sacrifice.  Just be clear: on top of all the learning materials, the field trips and the extra cost involved in both money and time, homeschooling entails a lot of love, patience, and encouragement.

But when you weigh out the pros over the cons it’s plain to see why homeschooling is so popular.