Homeschooling Pros and Cons
Homeschooling parents can second guess their decision. So, if that's you - why not create your own homeschooling pros and cons list. Let's have an honest look at homeschooling - reasons why families begin and reasons why families choose to stop or not begin at all.
In a NPR Interview, homeschooling advocate, Michael Farris says, "Well, the basic reason we started homeschooling is that we learned from an educational psychologist that kids get their values from whomever they spend a majority of their time with. And so we saw our oldest daughter, who was in the first grade at the time, caring way too much about what her fellow six-year-olds thought about life and her mom and I thought that we were smarter than a bunch of six-year-olds and that we'd rather transmit our values than the six-year-olds transmitting their values. And so we heard about it, we thought great, we thought we'd try it for a year and, well, that was 33 years ago." (from a NPR interview )
What about you?
Each family comes to homeschool for their own reasons and circumstances so one family's list will be different than your own, but there are many pros and cons which we can all agree on.
Here are some common Homeschooling pros and cons, written without any further explanation - but as a basic list:
- Homeschooling is a huge responsibility
- Parents often have feelings of inadequacy
- You may second guess if there are gaps in the curriculum and feel responsible for covering all subjects;
- It takes years!
- There is no 'me-space' as your family is around you all the time.
- It can be costly
- It is going to be messy - especially with a ton of kids and resources!
- It requires a full commitment of time and energy
- You will need to be creative in organizing social events and providing ways for your kids can interact with others
- You will need to teach subjects you may not be familiar with - or find teachers/ tutors/ online courses to help you;
- You can get the feeling that people are watching and making judgements on what you're doing / not doing
- You will need to deal with family issues that arise, from little squabbles to bigger issues
- You may compare yourself to other 'successful' homeschool families
- Homeschool kids don't really know how they compare to the 'norm' - especially when they are entering school or an educational institution for the first time.
...This is Me! What can I do?
If you are homeschooling right now - you will sometimes be bombarded with these negative thoughts about homeschooling - and begin to use these are reasons to give up...
I know I've been there - as these concerns and questions are real. For special encouragement - read this series: Homeschooling and Trust
- You can teach to the individual
- You will have far more family time
- You can make special family memories and traditions;
- Learning together - group work, shared experiences
- You can enjoy holidays out of peak season - mid week excursions to avoid crowds
- You can provide a safe, social atmosphere
- You are able to choose the relationships / social groups you wish to cultivate
- You can allocate appropriate time for specific needs
- You can take as much time as needed until a concept is fully grasped - not rushed through a curriculum
- You may skip over work if understood
- You can share the chore work load in the family
- Teach life skills
- You have the ability to move beyond a grade level and finish early if desired
- You can teach your family values and beliefs
- You can use technology and choose online courses
- You can create a network of other families for local support and shared educational experiences when suitable
- Flexible hours and days - Life is education and you can use all life experiences as educational opportunities;
- Include other family members and employ those in your wider community to teach, mentor, guide your children;
- Ability to have the time to sort out issues and teach strategies to deal with conflict, listen and forgive - in real life examples.
Create your Homeschooling Pros and Cons List
Does any of this ring true for you and your family? Do you have other homeschooling pros and cons? Why not create your own homeschooling pros and cons list - and highlight the reasons why you began. This will especially be useful when you are second guessing your decision.
Add your comments below.