Are you a parent thinking of switching your kids from the traditional schooling system to homeschooling? This article highlights everything you should know about homeschooling before making the decision. Homeschooling generally involves learning at homes under the tutelage of a parent, guardian, or private teacher. Read on to see everything you should know about homeschooling, including the advantages and disadvantages.
Who Should Homeschool?
Homeschooling has continued to gain increasing popularity over the past few years, having caught the attention of more parents and educators. The primary reason for this increased popularity is the acceptance homeschooling has gained as an alternative to traditional private and public schools.
The Department of Education reports that the number of students subscribing to homeschooling has doubled in size since 1999. Perhaps, this increased popularity has caused you to wonder whether homeschooling is ideal for you or your ward. Here, let’s review different categories of students that should homeschool.
Students who can’t learn in negative environments
According to a recent survey carried out by the U.S Department of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), experts found that the most popular reason parents prefer homeschooling to public schools is the hostile environment that public schools are often associated with.
Of course, not every child can cope with the negatives of such environments. Parents are often concerned about bullying because it’s an element they’ll hardly see in report cards. Therefore, they’d rather avoid the possibility of all those by schooling kids at home.
It’s common knowledge that most children with physical handicaps and learning disabilities often find it challenging to thrive in public school settings. One of the most significant challenges of public schools is the limitation of time and resources. This limitation of time and resources makes it difficult for this category of kids to get the specialized instructions they need.
However, homeschooling means that parents can fashion specialized instructions that’ll be needed for learning.
Children that are always relocating
Several studies have already shown that young American families are more likely to move across cities. It goes without saying that kids in such families will experience challenging times trying to incorporate the new learning systems in the new schools. Consistency is key to successful learning, and such consistency is hardly available to students that change schools every few years. Therefore, the best option for such kids to maintain consistency is homeschooling. Homeschooling schedules are not only flexible but their lessons are also designed to be compatible with national guidelines.
Why Do Parents Choose Homeschooling?
To understand why parents choose to homeschool, it’s only essential that we begin by reviewing what homeschooling actually is. Homeschooling is learning from parents or tutors at home. A kid may learn maths, reading, or any other stuff at home, as long as they have the right person teaching them.
There are several different reasons why a parent may choose to homeschool their kids. For instance, a kid may be too sick to attend any regular school. In such situations, a parent assumes a teacher’s role or employs a private tutor to teach at home. However, in most cases, parents choose homeschooling for their kids because they feel that they can offer their kids better education than the local school can. It could also be because a parent wants their kid’s education to include religious instructions, which they may not get in public schools.
Students who don’t like school may also be interested in homeschooling. However, we typically advise parents not to choose homeschooling for kids because they want an escape from rigorous school activities. If this is a problem for your child, find the best solutions that will suit your child. You can also work with your child’s school counselor to help your kid get through this problem.
What are the Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
As homeschooling continues to get more popular, more people are getting more interested in the concept than ever. Perhaps, you are wondering if it is the right option for you or your ward. The truth remains that it’s a difficult decision to make. Hence, the need to compare the advantages and disadvantages before deciding whether it’ll suit your individual needs. How do you compare the pros and cons of homeschooling if you don’t know them? We’ll review some of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of learning to give you a head start.
Pros of Homeschooling
There are quite a number of positive things about homeschooling, but it makes sense to say freedom is one of the most important pros of homeschooling. Whether you choose to call it freedom, control, or self-determination, one clear advantage of homeschooling is the ability it offers you to make your choices. Homeschoolers are typically able to move and travel freely. Adopting this learning system also means that you can practice a religion or conviction without explaining your actions to anybody. Of course, you’ll also not need to worry about bullying or other social pressure because you are studying in your space.
Additionally, homeschooling means that you are not restricted by any curriculum. You can learn any new topic or subject, as long as your tutor is vast in them.
Focus on individual education
Another area where homeschooling’s advantages are felt more is in the aspect of focusing on individual development. Every child has unique learning needs. Unfortunately, grouping them in the same classroom setting often means that teachers would concentrate their efforts on some people. On the other hand, homeschooling helps you to meet your child right in their comfort zone. It also means that you can customize lessons to meet your kid’s educational needs.
We all like to set our schedule, right? Students do too. Home education helps them determine their day’s structure and how they’ll want it to go. For example, if a child always struggles to wake up by 7:00 am, you can schedule their daily studies to start later. In addition, the fluidity of homeschooling means that you can schedule important appointments with your kid’s doctor or dentist at any time.
You can even push back a lesson when it feels like it’s becoming too dull or less impactful since you can make it up later.
Stronger bonding and relationships
As parents, we always want to bond better with our kids. Unfortunately, this is one luxury we may struggle with if our kids spend several hours in school daily. On the other hand, homeschooling provides you an opportunity to spend more time with your kid.
You could also enjoy positive experiences like fun field trips, picnics, and beautiful moments of learning together. Some parents even report that the flexibility of homeschooling means that children can spend more time with both parents and siblings.
Cons of Homeschooling
It can be too much work
Most parents already have too much to do, from the daily role as a parent to a crazy work schedule. Adding the role of a teacher, principal, researcher, and counselor to this can easily become overwhelming to you.
It’s one of the biggest reasons why some parents choose not to homeschool: teaching your kids at home can simply be a lot of work.
We all know how difficult it can be to create, teach, and grade a day’s worth of work on different subjects. Additionally, you may also struggle to keep your younger children who aren’t school age occupied while trying to teach their older siblings.
Less time for yourself
You’re already stuck in a big circle of too many things. Combining your job with other parental responsibilities can be too much. Adding your kid’s educational needs can further deplete the little time you have for yourself. This is the reason why you’ll often hear people say homeschooling is not for everyone.
You may soon realize that you do not have time for your personal exercise anymore, let alone enough time to take care of other needs.
Inability to work
However you choose to look at it, the truth remains that homeschooling is a full-time job that guarantees to take up a significant part of your time. Therefore, it’s almost impossible for a homeschooling parent to work outside the home. Of course, this would be a deal-breaker for households that survive on the income of both parents.
Yes, we’ve talked about bonding as an essential benefit of homeschooling, but parents must also be careful to avoid too much togetherness.
Some kids would develop the feeling of frustration or confinement simply by spending all day, every day with their parents. Moving to homeschool also means that you may need to go through an adjustment period where kids learn to see and treat you as a teacher.
Loss of certain opportunities
Indeed, homeschooling offers an impressive level of flexibility for kids and parents. However, despite this level of flexibility, homeschooling can still limit the opportunities that a child enjoys. For example, high schoolers are often charged to complete certain group projects. Such projects do not only improve their ability to work as a team. They also meet and blend with students that can help walk them through other areas of life.
However, homeschoolers would rely on their parents or tutors to walk them through every challenge while providing social interaction for them.
How Does Homeschooling Affect Socialization?
Often, when people talk about the psychological effects of homeschooling, they do so because they want to review the overall impact of homeschooling on kids before considering it. One of such issues that often pop up is whether homeschooling affects socialization. Yes, homeschooling impacts socialization positively. Homeschooled kids do not have to battle with negative issues like bullying, violence, peer pressure, or other negative influences that we see in today’s public school settings. For instance, a kid with a minor disability may face mockery and other similar issues from their peer, causing them to shy away from socialization.
Indeed, you’ve probably heard people claim that homeschooled kids lack social skills. But that’s a myth. Available statistics show that homeschooled kids do better in socialization. Therefore, it’s safe to say that homeschooling affects the social lives of students positively.
How to Know if Homeschooling is Right for Your Child?
Despite the numerous pros and cons of homeschooling mentioned in this article, you could probably still hang on the fence on whether your kids need homeschooling or not. Fortunately, there’s a way to know what’s right for them. Simply review these factors to know whether homeschooling is right for your kid or not.
The first thing to check when reviewing your kid’s need for homeschooling is motivation. Different people have different reasons for homeschooling. It could be for better education, the student’s health, or religion. Whatever it is, ensure that the motivation is worth forfeiting the benefits of public schools.
Your child’s learning style
Another critical factor that helps you determine whether your kid needs homeschooling or not is learning style. Many students may fall behind in traditional classrooms because they can’t cope with learning together with several other students. If you discover that your kid does better when learning in smaller settings, perhaps you should consider homeschooling.
One of the most significant issues with homeschooling is the cost of it. Usually, homeschooling parents spend hundreds of dollars buying books, equipment, and other supplies that kids would have easily gotten in public schools. Of course, you may avoid paying tuition when homeschooling your kids, but you’ll still need to spend huge amounts of money on lab equipment and other items.
Your child’s future
Perhaps the biggest reason we ensure that our kids get appropriately educated is to help secure their future. With homeschooling, you want to think about your kid’s future. This is why we often recommend picking a program that’s acceptable in high schools and colleges. You should also be vigilant to know when homeschooling goes wrong so that you can quickly make corrections or switch to the traditional schooling system.
Wrapping Things Up: Negative Effects of Homeschooling
Everything we’ve reviewed so far shows that more people are choosing homeschooling because of the numerous benefits it promises. However, you must realize that despite the countless benefits of homeschooling, it still has its negativities. As a parent, you’ll need to compare the positives to the negatives. You’ll also need to review what you need to achieve by homeschooling and ensure it’s worth the sacrifices. Unfortunately, we’ve seen parents make decisions without opening all the cards. This can either potentially improve or hurt your kid’s chance of educational success.