So, you think you want to homeschool? I think that’s awesome! It is a wonderful thing to do. But I will admit that it isn’t for everyone. There are things to weigh up and work out (the pros and cons of homeschooling) as you decide to do what is best for your family.
This is a list of pros and cons of homeschooling to help you weigh up what is best for you. I would also encourage you to talk to other homeschool parents and get their thoughts (hopefully honest thoughts). It is also ok to try homeschooling and, if it is not for you, put them back into school. You don’t have to sign up for a lifetime of homeschooling.
PROS OF HOMESCHOOLING
Individualized education: This is my number one pro. Being able to make my children’s education fit them, tailoring to learning style and ability. You don’t have to stay just on one grade level. Extra support and time in areas of weakness can be provided. You can also customize according to interests.
Freedom: it is wonderful to have the freedom to make your own choices when educating your children. You don’t have to always be at home. You can travel during school term and are not restricted to vacations.
Flexibility: Oh the joy of setting your hours! You can set your start time based on what works best for your family. You can even skip a subject if you need to. Not feeling it? Do it tomorrow.
Strong relationships: When homeschooling you have the extra time together and stronger bonds can be developed. You get more opportunities for fun experiences, can travel together, etc.
No busy work: Many families love this. You can cover the curriculum, often more in depth, in a shorter amount of time. You can be more on task. When having only one, two or more students, you can focus on the work and are not distracted by a whole class of students who need assistance.
No homework: Need we say more?
More time and rest: This is great for our children. So many face sleep deprivation and exhaustion from having to get up early to go to school and then deal with extra curricula activities and homework. When homeschooling you can let your child sleep, have more time in the day, and hopefully have a lot less stress.
For most of these I feel that it is best to not recreate school at home. That is not what homeschooling typically is. Many, if not most, families want to do something different to the normal classroom setting.
CONS OF HOMESCHOOLING
Socialization challenges: Children need to form bonds, they need to make friends. Some people find this a challenge but this is where co-ops, sports teams, dance lessons, etc are great. There are many opportunities to provide socialization for your children.
Requires discipline: That is, the discipline to not be distracted and get the stuff done. What sort of routine do you need? Can you stay on schedule?
Can get expensive: Homeschool curriculum costs money. It can quickly add up. But there are ways to reduce those expenses by using second hand curriculum. People also talk about how schools can provide sport, music, etc. but you need to provide all that yourself when homeschooling. But many people also provide those despite their children being in public or private school. You just need to weigh up the costs.
Facing judgment and bias: You do something out of the norm and people will start judging, often letting you know their opinions.
Elective opportunities: This is especially for older children. You might not feel you are able to teach a subject they would like to do, or to get the resources for them to learn it. But truly, there are more and more resources available.
Too much togetherness: For some families the together is the blessing, for others, they need to make sure they have breaks and alone time. This is a personality thing.
Inability to work full time. This ties in with the expenses. For some families they weigh up the pros and cons of being on a single income when homeschooling. Many do balance homeschooling with part time work. The flexibility of this is great.
Less time for yourself. When you are homeschool mom and mom mom, it can be hard to balance it and still have time for yourself, shower, exercise, etc. But this is where a schedule can be good….and training your children to have quiet time so you can too.
If you have had your children in school – public, private, Montessori, charter, etc. – and you decide that you will start homeschooling, you might want to have a period of deschooling. I have a vlog on that. Check it out to understand it more.
Choosing to homeschool takes time and effort. Talk to friends. Talk to your children about it. Find out what resources there are available for you. Weigh up the pros and cons of homeschooling. Give it a try. You might find that it really is the best decision for your family.