During the 2021 to 2022 school year, nearly 6% of American children were homeschooled. That’s well over 3 million children. Homeschooling is beneficial in many ways. That said, homeschooling also has drawbacks that need to be considered.
Today, we’ll consider homeschooling pros and cons before deciding whether to homeschool your child.
- Pros of Homeschooling
- You Can Focus on Problem Areas
- You Can Customize the Learning Experience
- Your Child Gets the Attention They Deserve
- A Flexible Learning and Testing Schedule
- There’s No Commute Needed
- Specialty Co-op Groups
- You Are Involved as a Parent – Values and Bonding Time
- No Peer Pressure or Bullying
- More Exposure to Adults
- Fewer Distractions During Class
- No Homework and More Free Time
- Better Standardized Testing Results
- Possibly Better Resources
- Cons of Homeschooling
Pros of Homeschooling
We’ll start by looking at the advantages of homeschooling a child.
You Can Focus on Problem Areas
One advantage of homeschooling a child is that you can focus on problem areas. Children generally excel in several topics while lagging in others, which is natural. The excellent part about homeschooling is that you can focus on problem areas to ensure your child is proficient in all subjects.
This is opposed to regular public school, where children only get so much time per subject; they generally get left behind if they don’t understand it.
You Can Customize the Learning Experience
Homeschooling also stands out because you can customize the learning experience. Here we are not talking about topics but rather the style of learning. Some kids learn better by reading, some by using electronics, some by doing, etc. You can customize your child’s learning experience at home to suit their learning style.
Your Child Gets the Attention They Deserve
There might be 20 to 40 children in a public classroom setting. This means your child will not get the attention they need, especially if they need help.
However, if you’re homeschooling your child, you won’t have more than one, two, or maybe three kids in the classroom. This allows you to dedicate more time to one child, giving them the attention they deserve and need.
A Flexible Learning and Testing Schedule
With homeschooling, classes don’t start or end at a specific time, and vacations aren’t at particular times. You can create a flexible schedule that works for you and your child.
This goes both for classroom hours and vacation time. Homeschooling provides much greater flexibility as it’s convenient for parents and children. However, create a good routine. It’s vital to start and end schooling daily around the same time.
There’s No Commute Needed
When homeschooling, there’s no commute for your child. Children may sometimes travel up to an hour or more during a single trip. This can result in up to 2 1/2 hours of traveling per day. That is a lot of time your child could spend learning, playing sports, or having fun. This is time that doesn’t get wasted when you homeschool your child.
Specialty Co-op Groups
You might think your child will not have access to various extracurricular activities, but there are specialty co-op groups. Homeschool parents form these groups to provide a specific service or necessity.
You Are Involved as a Parent – Values and Bonding Time
When homeschooling, you, as a parent, can be more involved in your child’s learning. First, you can ensure your child is getting the attention they need. You will know your child is learning the things that match your family values. By being your child’s teacher, you also get to spend more time forming a close bond with them.
No Peer Pressure or Bullying
Yet another benefit of homeschooling is that there are no other children to put peer pressure on your kids. No one will tempt your kids to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol at home. Moreover, the classroom setting is ideal because there won’t be any bullying.
More Exposure to Adults
With homeschooling, there is more exposure to adults. This means homeschooled children generally interact better with adults, which is useful later in life.
Fewer Distractions During Class
In a public school classroom, your child will more likely be distracted by other children who don’t want to learn, which affects your child’s learning experience. However, with homeschooling, there are no other children to distract your child. It’s all about learning.
No Homework and More Free Time
With homeschooling, most of the work tends to be done during class hours, with no so-called homework. There’s much more free time for homeschooled students than for public school students.
Better Standardized Testing Results
Homeschooled students tend to perform better regarding college entrance exams and general standardized tests.
Possibly Better Resources
If you are more affluent, chances are your home classroom will have resources that a poorer public school won’t have.
Cons of Homeschooling
Next, let’s look at the disadvantages of homeschooling your child.
You Are the Parent and Teacher
One drawback is that you must be both the parent and the teacher. Sometimes, this may create a stressful relationship because you must be a teacher who disciplines a student and a parent who nurtures a child. Furthermore, you have to spend more time working. You take on a teacher’s job, which you may or may not be qualified to do.
Possible Reduced Income
If you are going to teach your child, you will most likely not be able to work on the side. This means you will possibly suffer from a reduced income. This can put a financial strain on families who homeschool their children. How much this affects you depends on the financial situation of your family.
No Public Sports Teams
Most public schools do not allow homeschooled children to join their sports teams. This is unfortunate because even with sports co-ops for homeschool students, there often aren’t enough students to form a team, let alone a league. This means that homeschooled children often miss out on team sports.
Possibly Poor Resources
Once again, this has to do with the family’s financial resources. Sometimes, parents might not have the resources to buy necessary educational materials.
Fewer Friends and Less Socialization
One of homeschooling’s most significant drawbacks is that your children aren’t going to have many friends. This is a given. In public schools, there are hundreds of children to make friends with. In a homeschool situation, unless your child has a sibling, they won’t make many or any friends.
This can create problems in your child’s social skills, which are critical to develop for adulthood. A lack of socialization in the classroom often leads to a lack of social skills in the future.
Less Recognition and Fewer Awards
In a public school, children get recognized by teachers, other children, and more for work well done. They also earn awards for a variety of things. However, in a homeschool setting, the only person recognizing your child’s good work is you, the parent. Children need recognition, so this can be a problem.
The Learning Experience Can Be Worse
Remember, some people aren’t qualified to be teachers. Whether you don’t know how to teach or simply don’t know the subject matter, you might not be capable of teaching your child such a wide array of subjects.
If you aren’t qualified, your child may not learn what they need to know to be a successful adult. As a parent, you must be familiar with all the topics you need to teach your child.
There are about twice as many benefits to homeschooling your child as there are drawbacks. Therefore, it stands to reason that homeschooling a child may be a good idea. Now it is up to you to weigh the benefits against the drawbacks and decide.