I’ll be honest, when we first started homeschooling, the reality did not match what I had envisioned.
Prior to starting, I researched and planned, convinced that my child would be the next prodigy. Because of the stigma surrounding homeschooling, I felt the need to prove myself to those around me.
When we told our family, I could see the hesitation in their eyes.
My initial approach was all wrong. I put so much pressure on myself, quickly becoming overwhelmed and nearly giving up. After some soul-searching, I changed my outlook on homeschooling completely. Based on my personal experience, I have compiled a list of the Pros and Cons of Homeschooling.
THE PROS OF HOMESCHOOLING
LEARNING AT YOUR CHILD’S INDIVIDUAL PACE
The beauty of homeschooling is that your child can learn at their own pace. Mainstream schooling places emphasis on the group as a whole, while homeschooling provides individualized attention to the child.
When you homeschool, your child becomes the “master”of their education. If they understand a concept, great. Move on to something different. But, if your child is struggling, you can take a step back and focus more intensely on that skill.
MORE CONTROL OVER YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION
Homeschooling allows you more control over your child’s education. Yes, each state has its own regulations and standards, but these are just the bare minimum.
If your child expresses interest in an area, you can choose to focus on that topic. This allows your child to have a more well-rounded education, as opposed to standard schooling.
Also, as a woman of faith, what my child learns is very important to me. For example, some of the information taught in schools today, does not conform with our beliefs as a family. As a result, by choosing to homeschool, I have a greater say in what my children learn.
FREEDOM OVER YOUR SCHEDULE
Homeschooling gives you freedom over your schedule. In a conventional school system, your child spends approximately eight hours a day inside a classroom. Homeschoolers have the flexibility to choose when, where and how they will do their learning.
Many prefer to learn in the morning, while others find it easier to study later in the day. Some people choose to do school everyday, while others only have school several days a week. Some have a set school schedule, while others are more flexible in their approach. Whatever schedule you choose is great, because it works for you.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY & EXPLORATION
How great is it that you can be learning about something and spontaneously take an unplanned field trip? When homeschooling, your child has the opportunity to visit places and learn things using a more hands-on approach. They have the chance to learn, grow and explore by getting out and doing.
Homeschoolers can spend endless amounts of time visiting museums, zoos and other places, as opposed to those attending school. You can go to the park and library, allowing your kids to just play.This is definitely one of my favorite things about homeschooling. I literally have the ability to pack up my kids and go on an adventure!
STRONGER FAMILY BOND
In general, homeschooled kids have a stronger bond with their families. This is obviously because of the greater amount of time spent interacting with family. Kids in school spend a large portion of their day in the presence of others. The benefit of a stronger family relationship is definitely a pro in my book.
THE CONS OF HOMESCHOOLING
REQUIRES LOTS OF TIME & ENERGY
As with any decision, you need to make sure that you are looking at both the negatives and positives, and homeschooling is no different. While I strongly believe in homeschooling my children, and I will continue to do so unless something negatively impacts my abilities, it is definitely not the easy route.
Homeschooling takes a lot of time and energy. Like I mentioned before, you are in control of your child’s education. What that means is that you are in control of your child’s education. A lot of time will be spent preparing lesson plans, planning and organizing your schedule, and actually sitting down to teach your child. It can definitely feel daunting at times.
EMPHASIS ON SOCIAL INTERACTION
Whenever somebody hears that you are homeschooling, their first response is usually “but how will your child make friends”? Socialization and interaction with others is very important for the emotional health of your child.
When you homeschool, you need to place greater emphasis on the fact that your child needs to play and interact with others.
In school, children are exposed to peer pressure and a sense of competition that homeschooled children lack. Because of this, you need to give your child the opportunity to learn these skills in a social setting. Whether by joining organized sports or playing at the park, give your child the chance to have tons of engagement with other kids.
Also, you might even consider joining a homeschool co-op. These groups generally meet once a week and provide a different learning setting for your homeschooled child. While still enjoying the benefits of homeschooling, you get the best of both worlds. Your child will engage with the same set of children regularly. This will give them the opportunity to form closer friendships. You can read about homeschool co-ops here.
IT REQUIRES SACRIFICE
Homeschooling, while wonderful, comes with a lot of responsibility. As parents, we all want the best for our children. While homeschooling may be great for some, it might not even be a possibility for others. Homeschooling essentially means that one parent needs to give up part, or all, of an income to stay home and teach their children.
I am forever grateful for the opportunity to homeschool my children, but it did come with certain considerations. We gave up the luxury of having two, full-time incomes. That being said, the sacrifices we make today, are worth it in the end. My children mean the world to me, and I will do my best for them.
I am not knocking the mainstream school system, because I think it’s great overall. Do I regret the fact that I went school? No, of course not. I received a wonderful education, and I became a productive member of society.
When considering the pros and cons of homeschooling, remember that it is a choice. We live in a country that allows us the freedom to choose, and we should never look down on others who choose to think differently. Never feel guilty or less by how you choose to facilitate your child’s education. Remember, we are all doing our best. Our children will love us regardless, which is ultimately the most important thing.