Pros and Cons of Homeschooling – Honest Commentary
Homeschsooling is growing by leaps and bounds as more and more families are choosing to educate their children at home. Our family chose to homeschool for fourteen years, and we graduated all three of our students from high school homeschool.
The choice to homeschool is not entered into lightly, and is definitely a lifestyle choice as much as an educational choice. Homeschooling families are quick to recount the positive aspects of schooling at home, but as with any major life decision, there are some challenges to consider as well.
Cons of Home Education
The Pressure Is On
Homeschooling is still foreign to the older generation. Family members, especially grandparents, may not understand or agree with your choice to educate their grandchildren at home. This difference in opinion often spills over into the larger family dynamic.
Family members who are unfamiliar with home education may envision your child sitting in the house alone for days on end. They will express their concern by arguing that your child will not be properly “socialized”.
Parents who decide to home educate commonly feel extreme pressure for their child to overachieve just to prove to their detractors that they made the right decision to homeschool.
Because homeschooling is a lifestyle change, parents often struggle to adjust to the new routine. Moms especially seem to struggle with time management, and the feeling that they never get enough done in a day. Even though they may be doing a great job being a teacher, they realize that they have less time for housework, errands and time alone to pursue their own hobbies.
My Teacher is My Mom
Students and homeschooling parents both can struggle with the boundary lines of these life roles. Parents often forget to put on the compassionate parent hat when their kids need extra encouragement. Instead, mom or dad really want to enforce completion of the lesson plans, so it seems easier to be strict “teacher” instead.
Pros of Home Education
Because we are home with our kids each day, we have a rare opportunity to bond with them in a way that is not possible for parents of children who attend a traditional school. We are there to help them read, discover historical events, and create great art. We are there to solve the squabbles and to help them discover what God wants them to do with their lives.
Educate According to their Needs and Interests
The biggest advantage of home education is the ability to encourage your child’s strengths and help them in their weak areas. It is not possible to address each child’s individual needs in a classroom setting. Homeschooling parents can spend all the time they need to help a child who is struggling to read. Parents can also allow a child to immerse himself in a subject or activity without interruption.
Don’t Miss the Milestones
Traditional school setting require our kids to be away from us for many hours each day. This means that we will miss a lot of milestones. Educating our kids at home means that we will experience all the “firsts” with them. We will be the ones to teach them to read, to accomplish math, or to write that first chapter story. We have the opportunity to introduce them to museums and great art exhibits and science exhibitions. Parents have the opportunity lead and guide children through the stages of adolescence and the newness of the boy-girl dynamic.
Whatever your reasons are for exploring home education, it is important to make an informed decision. There are challenges that every homeschool family must face. Our family definitely believes that the pros outweigh the cons.
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