More than 1.7 million children in the U.S. are homeschooled. There are many benefits to homeschooling such as tailored learning and less social pressures, just as there are many challenges like increased responsibilities and costs.
If you’re thinking about homeschooling your children, you should consider both homeschool pros and cons. Keep reading to learn about the benefits and limitations of homeschooling.
Pros of Homeschooling
Here are some of the benefits of homeschooling.
Custom Education and Flexibility.
Homeschooling allows teachers to design a curriculum based on the child’s needs, capabilities, and pace. It is often a one-on-one experience that creates an intimate learning environment and opportunity for discussion and conversation.
A homeschooled education is highly flexible. Students can take the time they need to master a topic before moving onto the next one. For topics already mastered, they can move on and get back to learning. There is less unnecessary repetition.
In addition, homeschoolers have the ability to explore new ways to learn. For example, you can go outside to learn about science or visit a museum to learn about art or history.
Customize the curriculum – explore new ways to learn such as going outside to learn about science, going to museums to learn about art or history. It is truly a customizable education and will provide the satisfaction that your child is learning and maturing at the rate you desire.
Less Exposure to Peer Pressure and Bullying
Perhaps one of the best among homeschooling pros and cons is the reduced exposure to peer pressure and bullying. Bullying and stigma are associated with poor school performance and mental health issues.
At public or private schools, children have pressures to fit in or reach a certain social class. With homeschooling, you won’t have to worry about your child being pressured or bullied. You can also have more assurance that their thoughts and beliefs are their own.
Dedicated Teaching and Bonding
Teaching your child means building a stronger relationship with them. It also means that you, as a loving and caring parent, are dedicated to your child’s learning and progress. At a traditional school, it is hard to know how invested teachers are in each individual student.
Parents also understand their child’s needs and backgrounds and can incorporate those into the tailored learning experience.
Cons of Homeschooling
Below are some of the challenges to homeschooling.
The responsibilities of parents who homeschool their children are tripled. Parents must become administrator, teacher, and parent. Homeschools have to abide by standards and learning requirements similar to public and private schools.
There are approvals and required subjects, assessments of progress, and deadlines. Some states require parents to meet educational qualifications or spend a minimum amount of hours per day teaching.
May Increase Costs
Homeschooling requires materials that most schools provide for students. Things like textbooks, books, art supplies, blackboards, paper, and others can quickly add up.
However, you will be able to alter the purchases based on your child’s needs and learning style. For example, if your child learns history better with documentary than a textbook, then you could save on book costs. If your child does not pay attention to a black or dry erase board, then you won’t need one.
Plus, many businesses sell packages of homeschool materials that help parents save on costs.
There will be other additional costs that you would be less if your child attended a public or private school. You’ll have to consider the costs (both monetarily and timely) of meals, as your student will be eating all meals at home. Plus, costs of exploratory learning experiences that would be considered field trips at a traditional school and included for free.
Lastly, loss of income. It is a given that spending more time teaching your child at home will reduce the amount of time for occupational work and income. Many parents who homeschool their children do not work outside of the home at all. Thus, budgeting and time management will be extremely important for your family.
Homeschooling pros and cons include considering lifestyle. Everything must be scheduled around the homeschooling schedule, as it is important for homeschoolers to keep a routine.
This means doctor appointments, chores, errands, the pace of life, and more will need to be scheduled around your homeschool plan.
In addition, homeschooling means parents are essentially spending their entire day with their children. It can be easy for parents not to incorporate self-care and “me time” into the routine.
If you choose to homeschool, be sure to allow alone time or adult time. It will benefit both the children and the parents. Check out some examples of scheduling daily life from Well-Trained Mind.
Less Daily Interaction with Peers
This is often the biggest concern among parents. They are afraid their children will grow up to be socially awkward or have no friends.
The fact is, homeschooled students do have less daily interaction with other children their age. They also have fewer opportunities to participate in competitive sports and clubs.
However, there are positives to this. Homeschooled children often interact more with adults and therefore can be more mature and knowledgeable about the real world than their peers. In addition, homeschoolers are more involved in their communities and less sedentary.
Plus, social media today allows children to interact on a constant basis with their peers.
There are also community league sports and recreation teams that children can participate in. Some communities also offer sports classes for homeschoolers.
Let us Help with Homeschooling Pros and Cons
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