The decision as to whether to homeschool your children or send them to a private or public school is not always an easy one. Both methods of schooling have their advantages and disadvantages, and each educational system is not for everyone. If you’re considering homeschool for your children, there are several things to consider before you take the plunge. Read on for many of the pros and cons of this system to make a more informed decision for you and your family.
Pro: You Can Still Maintain a Steady Job
Though parents who choose to homeschool take on even more roles for their child than the typical parent, the schooling method does not overtake all of your time, and you can still maintain a full-time job to support your family–especially with proper time and money.
While you may have to recalibrate your schedule and equipment, such as working earlier in the morning or purchasing an at-home VoIP phone system for small business matters that may come up during the day, many find that homeschooling actually requires less time for students than other schooling methods, so you can reserve a few hours in the day for schooling and leave the rest for work, chores, hobbies and everything else that makes up your family life.
Con: It’s a Lifestyle Change
A homeschooling program means adopting duties as an educator, field trip coordinator, cafeteria, lesson planner, supply obtainer, and community outreach agent. The extra time and responsibility will change the rhythm of your household, which can throw things off balance for a while. However, once you get into the swing of things, the extra time together, and the extra tasks, become just a regular part of each day.
Pro: You Have a More Direct Role in Your Child’s Education
If your child falls behind in math, you can spend more time on that subject. If you find that they’re exceedingly interested in a particular part of their history coursework, you can tailor the lessons to deepen their curiosity. When you’re the one in charge of how your child approaches their education, you can adjust their learning journey to better suit their needs and ensure personal academic success.
Con: You Need to Get Creative About Socialization
Because your child will not be in a regular school setting around other children their age on a daily basis, you will need to discover other ways for them to get the necessary peer interaction they need to form meaningful relationships and develop social skills. Many homeschool parents choose to join community homeschool groups that gather for field trips or weekly lessons, while others enroll their children in a variety of after-school programs for positive peer interaction with their age groups.
The importance of community interaction for homeschoolers is significant, and as much time as your child can spend with other children their age, the better. Still, studies have revealed that homeschoolers are actually more involved in their communities and interact more positively with kids their age and adults alike, so don’t fret too much or overbook your child for the sake of more social interaction.
Pro: Your Child Can Develop Self-Starter Skills
In a typical school setting, there are fewer moments that demand personal student responsibility when compared to homeschool settings. Considering homeschool children tend to work independently for a large percentage of their education, they are therefore more likely to become self-motivated to complete their coursework. As well, during times of dwindling motivation, they have extra one-on-one support from you to find rewards, shift their headspace and empower themselves to make it through challenging assignments, which can help them to develop their own tools and tricks that will help them to remain a self-starter well into adulthood.
Con: There are Fewer Moments of Outside Recognition
When your family’s education is mainly contained within the four walls of your home, the schoolwide award ceremonies, certificates and accolades that children enrolled in in-person schooling systems enjoy are relatively absent. However, you can combat this by utilizing programs that offer built-in awards and benchmarks, or look for community contests as part of your own curriculum, so your child can feel like the work they’re doing matters on a grander level.
Homeschooling has its challenges, but considering homeschool as a whole family lifestyle may leave you pleasantly surprised with the results.