Homeschooling: Advantages and Disadvantages of Homeschooling
Why do people homeschool?
Parents choose to homeschool their children for many different reasons. Many parents are considering it due to safety concerns, bullying, drugs, negative peer pressure, and struggling schools that leave some children behind, especially those with special needs.
Sometimes a kid is sick and can’t go to regular school. But more often, kids are homeschooled because their parents feel they can give their child a better education than the local school can. Parents also might choose homeschooling because they want their child’s education to include religious instruction (learning about faith), which isn’t offered at public schools.
Parents have cited these as some of the common reasons why they chose to homeschool their kids:
- Can give child better education at home
- Want to be aware of what the child is learning.
- Religious reasons – allow to teach faith in depth
- Poor learning environment at school
- Family reasons
- Home atmosphere is more relaxed, and schedule can be tailored to child’s needs
- To develop character/morality
- Object to what school teaches
- School does not challenge child
- Other problems with available schools
- Student behavior problems at school
- Child has special needs/disability
- Child not old enough to enter school
- Child could not get into desired school
- Enable family to travel
Advantages of Homeschooling
Kids who are homeschooled may benefit from the one-on-one attention. For instance, if you don’t understand something in math, the whole class won’t be moving on without you. You might be the whole class! It’s also possible that you might learn more than you would in a regular classroom, because if you really excel at something, you can keep learning more at your own pace.
Kids who are homeschooled also may get out in their communities more than other kids. They might get to experience hands-on education at museums, libraries, businesses, marinas, and other community resources. They also might volunteer or participate in “service learning” where they take on local projects.
Homeschooling, though, in many cases, can reap rich rewards and can deliver many benefits in making kids smart.
According to the Academic Statistics on Homeschooling, many studies have found out that homeschooled students on average outperform their peers on standardized tests. Another study from the National Home Education Research in 2003 also found that homeschooled graduates are active and involved in their communities, are more involved in civic affairs, and more are “very happy” with life, compared to the general US population.
An article in the Journal of College Admission notes that homeschoolers’ ACT and SAT scores are higher than those of public school students, and home-educated college students perform as well as or better than traditionally educated students.
These benefits might explain why homeschooling have this effect:
Homeschooling is one-on-one tutoring – Some studies have shown that in schools, the smaller the students-teacher ratio, the better the students learn. Among other benefits, the students are helped individually, and teachers ensure that all students master a basic skill or concept before going to a more advanced one. It ensures that genuine learning is taking place. Homeschooling is, in effect, one-to-one ratio of teaching.
Homeschooling tailors learning to specific children’s educational needs – Parents are able to assess their kids’ strength, weaknesses, leaning styles and interests. Homeschooling allows parents to customize their children’s education to maximize learning, strengthen weaknesses and allow focus on special areas of interest or giftedness. This makes kids highly motivated to learn, and thus results in kids developing a love for learning.
Homeschooled kids tend to think more independently – They are also unlikely to follow the ideas of a group without first making up their own minds. College students who were homeschooled express that they feel more mature than their dorm mates, because they know how to think for themselves and aren’t influenced as readily by peer pressure.
Homeschooling eradicates boredom – Since learning is specifically tailored to individuals, it make them put consistent effort into learning. Also, kids do not have to waste time on what they already mastered while other kids are catching up.
Homeschooling makes kids work for the knowledge, instead of grades.
Homeschooling provides a safe learning environment – Children who are homeschooled are not exposed to teasing, bullying, negative peer pressure, bad influences, and in some cases, bad or even misbehaving teachers.
Homeschooling gives a sense of security in kids with “attachment parenting” – This is an increasingly popular approach that involves round-the-clock physical contact with children and immediate responses to all their cues.
Homeschooling strengthens closeness of the family, and parents’ relationships to children are made deeper – Parents spend more time with their kids, and are able to watch their children grow. Families are able to travel, practice their religion and observe holy days.
Homeschooling accommodates special needs.
Homeschooling prevents children who are hyperactive or not behaving according to the norm, but otherwise have good intellect, from being unfairly labeled as needing special education.
Parents immediately face financial disadvantages when they decide to homeschool because one parent must stay at home. But the costs of teaching your children at home can by minimized. Take advantage of free homeschooling curriculum and other free homeschooling resources.
This is always a big worry to parents. But there has been research into socialization and homeschooled children are generally well-adapted. There are ways to overcome the social disadvantages of homeschooling.
- Criticism from others
Another disadvantage is facing criticism and negative comments from others when you tell them of your decision. It is important to carefully research the pros and cons of homeschooling so that you can feel confident about your decision – and rebuff arguments against it.
What parent doesn’t worry about their child’s education. And homeschoolers have it bad! I find that reading the stories of other homeschooling moms really helps me to feel more comfortable about what I am doing.
- Knowing where to Start
It is easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to start. But there is lots of advice and information available for those about to start homeschooling.
- Finding a method that suits your family
At first it feels like you will never find a way to homeschool that everyone enjoys! There are homeschool curriculum advantagesand disadvantages to consider – let alone finding a style that will suit you.
- Finding the Best Resources
We all want to use the best resources, but there is so much available, how do you pick the best? Take a deep breath and check out these homeschool resources first.
- Finding the time
Taking the time to teach your children, on top of all the other things you need to do, can be hard work. But you can be flexible with your homeschool scheduling.
One of the major disadvantages of homeschooling in the beginning is a sense of isolation. There are other homeschoolers out there – you just have to find them!
Trying to do too much in your homeschool will set you up for a major case of homeschool burnout. Take some time to learn how to keep homeschool and life in balance.
Taking the time to understand and tackle the disadvantages of homeschooling, will help smooth your path – and make way for some of the wonderful benefits to homeschooling.