If you are considering teaching your child at home, study the pros and cons of homeschooling before taking the plunge. Making the decision to homeschool your children requires a great deal of planning, dedication, and organization.
Pros and Cons of Homeschooling
Everyone has an opinion about homeschooling. Some people approve of it while others do not. Consider what is right for your family’s particular situation before making this important decision.
Advantages to Homeschooling Your Child
There are many advantages to homeschooling a child. Read on for a few examples.
Freedom to Teach
Homeschooling parents have the freedom to teach their children whatever they like. Parents decide what, when and where a child learns. They tailor the child’s education according to the her needs, basically devising an individual education plan. This individual attention is ideal for learning disability or gifted students.
Teaching Religious Beliefs
Parents can instill their family’s religious values in their children. Since homeschooling parents select the curriculum, they can incorporate their religious values and beliefs in the lessons.
The pros and cons of homeschooling are clear when it comes to the amount of time a parent spends with homeschooled children. When a child learns at home, parents have the opportunity to spend more time with her. They build stronger family relationships since they are constantly around each other.
Use of Time
Homeschoolers also tend to accomplish more schoolwork. When a child goes to a regular school, she travels to the school by car, bus, or walking. On the other hand, if she learns at home, she eliminates commuting time. She is also not distracted by disruptive students in the classroom.
Many children who attend regular school wake up as early as 5:00 a.m. Kids who aren’t “morning people” have trouble staying alert during early morning classes. They often arrive home during the late afternoon and stay up late to finish homework. In contrast, when a child is homeschooled, the parent decides when the day begins. Instruction can begin later in the day so the child can wake up refreshed and ready to learn.
Eliminating Negative Influences
Homeschooled kids do not have to deal with school bullies or peer pressure. She is protected from negative environments involving drug abuse, cursing, and other inappropriate actions within some schools.
Flexible School Schedule
Families can plan vacations whenever they wish; they do not have to wait till spring, winter, or summer breaks. Therefore, they can save money and fly during off season if they wish to travel. If they wish to provide their child with a variety of field trips throughout the week, they have the flexibility to do so. Many parents take their homeschooled children to a variety of enrichment activities throughout the day. Visits to museums, parks, and other educational venues provide the homeschooled child with a rich array of learning opportunities.
Disadvantages of Homeschooling Your Child
Despite the many advantages of homeschooling, there are disadvantages as well. Consider these disadvantages before deciding to teach your child at home.
Parents must devote a great deal of time to planning hands-on activities, taking field trips, and planning curriculum.
Sacrificing a Higher Standard of Living
In most households, both parents have to work outside of the home. If a family decides to homeschool, one parent will have to remain in the home to teach the children. It can be difficult for families to adjust to less money coming into the family coffers.
Spending All Day With the Kids
A parent who homeschools children will be surrounded by his or her children 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This can be a stressful situation if the parent is not accustomed to being with children all day. The homeschooling parent needs to cultivate a great deal of patience in order to deal with children around the clock.
Homeschooled kids often miss out in organized sports. If the child is young, she can often join a community team. Unfortunately, if the homeschooler is a teenager, it’s nearly impossible for a her to find a team to join since she doesn’t attend regular school. Local schools might be unwilling to let a homeschooler play for their teams if she is not enrolled as a student.
A Weighty Responsibility
One frightening disadvantage to homeschooling a child is the fact that a child’s education is completely up to the parent. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the child receives a quality education that prepares her for the future. Most parents are not certified teachers, so they may worry they don’t have the aptitude to teach. To overcome this obstacle, the homeschooling parent should obtain a quality curriculum to serve as a guide.
Resources for homeschoolers can be costly. It’s often useful to borrow materials from other homeschooling families or obtain free resources from homeschooling websites.
Some fear that homeschooled children will not learn socialization skills. They may not have as many opportunities to socialize with children from different backgrounds. This may cripple them in the future when it is time to go to college or work. Homeschooling parents should seek out opportunities for their children to mingle with kids from all backgrounds so they can develop an appreciation for people who come from different walks of life.
As you can see, teaching children at home can have advantages and disadvantages. Consider the needs of your family before making the important decision to homeschool your children.