Pros and Cons of Homeschooling
Homeschooling has become increasingly popular in the US, with an estimated 4% of all children in the USA being homeschooled, and numbers only seem to be growing. Parents home school their children for different reasons, but it is often due to the fact that they believe their local public schools are not up to their desired standards.
With schools nationwide making huge cutbacks and teachers getting laid off right left and center, many parents feel their local schools are failing their children, which can prompt some to turn to home education. However, home schooling certainly isn’t without its controversy and there are certainly many pros and cons of home schooling.
If you’re considering taking your child or children out of school to be home schooled, read our list of advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling to help you make a sound and balanced decision:
Pros of Home Schooling:
- More Individualized Learning – Home schooling can allow for one on one learning between teacher and student, which is often rarely available at public schools. This individualized learning can help children learn more quickly and more effectively, enabling some home school children to be much further ahead in their curriculum and even grade year than many public school children. This individualized learning can also be especially valuable for children with special needs, who may struggle to learn in big classroom environments.
- Increased Educational Freedom – Children attending regular school typically have to follow a strict schedule, where their timetable is decided upon by their teachers and school leaders rather than by themselves. But with home schooling, children have the opportunity to focus on what really interests them, and even manage how they divide their time learning and what subjects they study each day. This increased educational freedom can be very beneficial to children, as it allows them to have more control over how and when they learn.
- More Religious Influence - For some homeschooling parents, religion is the primary reason for homeschooling their children. Their religious beliefs are very important to them, and they hope that by homeschooling their children they will have more influence over educating their children to their religious belief standards. Indeed, if you do homeschool your children for religious reasons, you will likely find that you are able to have more control over your childrens’ religious development and spiritual growth.
- Less Busywork, More Free Time – In many schools, at least part of each school day is consumed with busy work, in which children likely aren’t learning as much as they could or even should. However, with home schooling you can create your own timetable and class schedule, allowing learning to be compressed and intense, but also leaving more free time in the day for your children to pursue their hobbies or just relax. This freed time can be tremendously beneficial for children, and is another key reason why many parents decide to home school.
Cons of Homeschooling:
- At Least One Parent Must be Unemployed or Work From Home – In order for home schooling to work, at least one parent must be unemployed or work from home in order to supervise and care for their children during their homeschool days. This simply isn’t viable for many parents, (even if they want to homeschool their children), as they have to go out and work to earn a living and provide for their family. Therefore, for many parents homeschooling their kids simply isn’t a realistic or attainable option.
- Financial Burden – Even if one parent can stay at home to homeschool their children, homeschooling can be a major financial burden and you may find it hard to make ends meet. Although sometimes local or government benefits can be awarded to parents who decide to homeschool their kids, this isn’t always guaranteed, so you’ll need to factor in the costs of school supplies, lunch, textbooks and all other homeschool expenses to determine if you can actually afford to homeschool your children.
- Outside Judgement – Although a significant amount of children are homeschooled in the US, there is still some stigma attached to it, and you may face judgement from others and criticism regarding your decision to home educate. If you have a thick skin and really believe that home schooling is the answer, then this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you have any doubt in your mind you may find the outside disapproval somewhat wearing.
- Lack of Socialization – One of the biggest disadvantages of home schooling is that your children may not get adequate socialization and may go on to enter the adult world without the social skills needed to fully integrate into society. Unless you make sure that your children socialize with other kids on a regular (ideally daily) basis they may miss out on important social development skills and may struggle with socializing later in life. Although home schooling can be great education wise, it definitely can cause potential socialization setbacks.
Of course there are many other pros and cons to homeschooling, but above are some of the key points you should definitely consider before you decide to take your children out of school. Homeschooling is a huge decision and not something that should be taken lightly, so take your time with forming your decision. Good luck!