Five Advantages and Disadvantages to Homeschooling

Flickr Image: klbndc
Flickr Image: klbndc

Home Schooling

When thinking about the putting your children through home school versus public or private school, you really should make sure that you understand all of the criteria involved in at home education.

There is a special set of rules that a parent, guardian, or tutor must abide by when home schooling children, so if you decide that home schooling is the best option for your children, you need to do a little research in finding out what criteria you and your child must meet.

There are actually a number of reasons as to why parents opt to home school their children. They include

  • Religious reasons.
  • Family reasons.
  • Poor learning environment at the school.
  • Object the lessons of public school.
  • The child has a disability or is special needs.
  • Transportation issues.
  • Public or private school did not challenge the child.
  • The child could not get into the desired private school.
  • The parents career.

When it comes to making the decision to home schooling your children, you really need to weigh both the pros and the cons.

Flickr Image: Foreversouls
Flickr Image: Foreversouls

5 Advantages to Home Schooling

  1. Personalized Schedule. Many parents feel that their kids work better at different times of the day than what a public or private school allows for. So, home schooling allows parents and children to work out a schedule that will best work for the child. Some children work best and learn best in the morning, noon, or evening, so being able to set the learning schedule up in a way that allows the child o succeed is definitely an advantage.
  2. Varied Learning Subjects. In public and private schools there is a set curriculum that each subject must abide by, so by home schooling you are able to control which areas of the different subjects you want to put more emphasis on. This, also, allows you to add courses into the home school curriculum that a normal, say, third grader would not get in organized classes.
  3. Flexibility in Time. You can set your child's learning curriculum around vacations, illnesses, and other surprise events. Where in a public school, children tend to be allotted so many days they can miss without both the child and the parents getting into trouble.
  4. Flexibility in Curriculum. There is, also a certain flexibility around what is taught, not just when. If you go to a public event or on home school field trip, your children may have questions about the topic at hand. Home schooling allows for a break in the normal curriculum so that you can further discuss and do activities towards the questions in a more in- depth manner.
  5. Knowing Your Kids. This is the biggest advantage of home schooling. You are able to enjoy your children and watch them grow and learn on a daily basis. Home schooling allows you to really get to know your kids on a whole different level than packing them on the bus for school in the mornings.

Flickr Image: Creative Loafer
Flickr Image: Creative Loafer

5 Disadvantages to Home Schooling

  1. Not Enough Time. Because home schooling your kids is really a full time job, you just may not have enough time in the day to do what you need to get done. You have to full research topics and prepare lessons, set up projects and field trips. You will have to spend time keeping yourself organized, and on top of all that, you have to teach.
  2. No Time for Work. Because home schooling takes up a lot of time in preparation and delivery, you may run out of time for house hold duties and chores.
  3. Personal Space. When home schooling your kids, you will have to give a lot of yourself away. You will pretty much loose your personal, quiet time. So, if you opt to home school your kids, make sure to schedule in time each day for yourself.
  4. A Lot of Pressure. Because everyone has their own unique style to home schooling, you may end up finding yourself comparing your techniques with those of other parents. This can put a lot of pressure on you to up the anti, so to speak.
  5. They Just Don't Listen. Parents who do not have regular control over their kids, may feel overwhelmed with the decision to home school. In these situations, you will just run yourself ragged running after the kids, preparing lessons, cleaning the house, and maybe even running that home business. Make sure that you have control over your children's behaviors before you decide to home school.

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Comments 41 comments

Tewania Spencer 4 years ago

I do not home school but I would if I had the time. I agree that our school systems are more focused on the discipline of the kids. Teachers don't take the time to make sure that the child understands what they are teaching them. It's more of keeping up of with the schools' criteria. When a parent homeschools than the child is sure to learn.


Jo Jo 4 years ago

I volunteer for an hour a week with a homeschool group. It has been a culture shock. I find the children disrespectful and unable to follow direction in large groups. They become overwhelmed if it isn't all about them and stop playing a game and pout or start crying and run to mommy. The age of the kids are 5yrs to 8yrs. I would never homeschool.


Dan 4 years ago

We don't home school, but I think the alleged social benefits of a standard school are at best wildly exaggerated. If parents are not at all social, then neither will their child be and that child will get harassed at school making it an even more unpleasant experience. Chances are they'll leave school both socially awkward and lacking confidence in themselves. At least if home schooled they might come out socially awkward, but self-confident. We don't home school simply because I'm the parent better qualified to do it and I'm the primary income earner. Luckily we have our pick of schools and can choose to send our child to one that does not follow conventional teaching methods (which I found incredibly tedious as a child). Supposed social benefits of school were not even a factor.


weng 5 years ago

I am NOT in favor with homeschooling, its abnormal!!


gobangla 5 years ago

I find TL's comment rather odd. I have never met any homeschooled child like that. When my daughter was in preschool, she never bothered to approach and play with other children at the playground. Since she has been homeschooled, she does it all the time.

The thing I have noticed is that few kids her age ever approach her to play. She always has to make the first move. Most are very happy when my daughter asks to play with them. I'm sure the vast majority of these kids attend public school. If these kids are so well socialized, why is my child always the one who has to initiate play?


Ichigo 5 years ago

going to school is much better in my opinion.


dentfghk 5 years ago

we are doing a debate and i wana wine like the time i won in giving dis advantages of media and guess what i won but this web is a 100% (percent) un helpful sorry :(

;0


Lucus 5 years ago

Thank you for starting this hub...it has been very interesting to read all the different perspectives! As a military family, it is vital for my children to be able to learn in a consistent way in a consistent environment. Moving every 3-4 years is very stressful for children and learning to find friends and adapt to new situations begins taking priority vs school work. I have found, for many military families, that homeschooling is the way to go! The frequent moves and separations are endured much easier when there is a strong family bond vs a strong peer bond. Children also have a better continuity in their education when it travels with them from place to place, instead of learning to adapt to new curriculums. I know homeschooling isn't for everyone, especially when it comes to the socialization aspect. However, if education is the main focus and is supported with frequent socialization in the community (ie. scouts, dance, church, etc.), how can you go wrong with homeschooling? On a personal note, I went to public school and feel it held me back a great deal! I learned to socialize, but that was my main focus. My school was so over crowded, it was hard to always pay attention in a class packed with students. Looking back, I wish I would have been more education centered. After entering college, some of my homeschooled peers would tutor me because they had learned the value of education long before I did. They also had no problem socializing! Some of them were far more outspoken than me and had great leadership abilities! Homeschooling can be a really great thing if the proper organization and preparation is first put into place!


Carl 5 years ago

It depends on the school system that has been provided for you. Here in Canada I've never heard my children complain about school. Well sure everyone kid has their issues with their school life but I haven't heard of a problem with the material or fellow class mates that wasn't resolved. I also guess that some parents may pay too much attention to the stereotypes that are associated with public schools and all the "drama". But like I said maybe that's what it is like in the States because I have yet to hear of these kinds of problems.


TL 5 years ago

I am a preschool teacher and in the summer time we run a camp. One year we would go swimming and play in a park every Wednesday. A homeschool group would meet at that park at the same time every week. Every week I saw different versions of the same scenario play out. Homeschooled kids playing next to each other and not with each other. One of my kids would run up to one of them and ask them if they wanted to play or if they could borrow a toy, and mist of the time the homeschooler would either ignore or stare at them. By the sixth of seventh week, my kids stopped bothering.

I know that it might have been just that group that was poorly socialized, but it wouldn't surprise me if more homeschooled kids were like that.

To me, school is about three things. 1.) learning basic skills like how read, multiply, divide, add and how to write 2.) learning logic skills and how to learn. 3.) Social skills and how to deal with different people/perspectives.

Where ever your kids can learn these thing is good with me


Alex 5 years ago

This is a merry-go-round discussion.


Carl 5 years ago

Great hub!

Though, from reading all the comments all I have to ask is, if public school is such a horrid place, and so many people seem to be inclined to do home-schooling, why does the public school system still exist?


Diana 5 years ago

I highly agree that homeschooling is the best way to educate children. It is student-centered and perfect for military families, children who need more athletic training, and for kids that need more time dedicated to school work or are being held back. Many of the "disadvantages" to homeschooling such as not knowing what to teach your child, not being educated enough to homeschool, not being able to afford the school supplies, and simply too much pressure on the parent are easily resolved with virtual academies such as k12. K12 provides many programs that support struggling families and assigns a real teacher that can be e-mailed or called in case of any questions. K12 also supplies you with a years worth of school work, everything from textbooks to paint and to microscopes! K12 also takes into account social skills(which frankly I couldn't care less about considering that one goes to school to learn not to chat and make friends). They have fun little clubs and lots of outings! But most importantly, K12 provide wonderful lesson that never fail to challenge and interest all student! Most public schools focus mainly on math, spelling, reading, and sometimes grammar and often don't teach it well. They simply haven,t got the time to teach other important subjects such as science, history, and art. I have obtained great results from homeschooling with K12 and encourage all who are considering to give it a go!

Thank You!!!

P.S. I would also like to thank Whitney for the hub and comment on how Alex is willingly giving his children a bad education.:)


cj 5 years ago

I keep hearing about the homeschool downside of lack of socialization. Do these advocates for socialization mean the catty cliques and brutish behavior all too often seen in the school system? I hardly think subjecting a child to some of the loutish children in the schools presents a strong defense. I challenge anyone advocating for "socialization" to perhaps read Judy Blume's "Blubber." While a work of fiction, it is a pretty accurate portrayal. Yes, there are good kids, who likely/hopefully outnumber the vindictive ones. However, that's little solace if your kid happens to be the object of attention of the bullies or not in the uberpopular clique. The school environment can be an incredibly miserable experience if you're not into conformity or are considered a pariah among your peers. I'm not saying that public/parochial schools aren't without their advantages, but socialization is only marginally one of those benefits.

Learn to deal with others? Come on. The foremost goal of the classroom is instruction, not enduring intimidation and ridicule from the self-styled popular kids. School is part of life? I don't buy that argument either. The formal, organized school system as we know it is not that old of an institution and I think people throughout history have been quite able to learn to deal with others and gain assertiveness depite not having a formal classroom.

For what it's worth, I was a high school teacher and tutor, through the school, for homebound students before taking on the role of stay at home father and I'll offer this benefit of homeschooling. In the capacity of homebound one-on-one instruction, the amount accomplished in one hour was staggering compared to what could be done when 30 students divide your attention. Yes, learning does/can occur in the classroom but the efficiency and productivity in the home, working individually with the student, far exceeded what could have occurred in the classroom. That one student is getting the benefit of custom tailored, individual, instruction.


JC 5 years ago

Alex,

Wouldn't sailing around the world be hugely educational to the kids? Don't have such a narrow view of what an education should be.

My sister is a teacher. She says that there are only 5 teachers in her school that she would trust to teach her kids.


Alex 5 years ago

K - Parents have to put the needs of they're kids ahead of they're own. It wouldn't be fair to pull a child out of school just because the parents want to go sailing around the world.


5 years ago

We are considering sailing around the world with our kids. That would mean we would need to home school them. (Just trying to give other examples of why parents may chose to home school).....


Alex 5 years ago

Homeschooling is really a personal choice but i couldn't imagine not sending my children to a public school. Yeah you have to protect your kids but there's such a thing as being overprotective. Having pressure at school is a part of life. Being stressed and having to meet deadlines is a part of life. I just don't understand why people see those things as bad and are unwilling to accept that. Down the road if an employer has to choose between your home schooled child and someone that actually got out there in the real world and worked hard, i imagine the employer picking the person that got out there.

I hate to keep going back to this one but no matter what, the best place for kids to learn social skills is at school. They'll interact with all kinds of different people and learn how to defend themselves. No matter how much communication there is in a family, kids won't know how to stand up for themselves if they don't expose themselves. I remember being younger and having great communication with my parents, the same kind of communication people here claim to have with their kids, and even still if i hadn't gone out into the world I still wouldn't know how to socialize with people.

Parents have to let their kids take risks and school isn't even the worst one of them. School is a part of life.


eclecticeducation profile image

eclecticeducation 6 years ago

Great Hub! I like the one about comparing yourself to others (having pressure). Us homeschoolers seem to be bad about that. We all know those that have the perfect kids that are entering college at 15, the perfect home, and they even grind their own wheat! *snicker* Good Hub to get people to think about homeschooling.


Stanimir 6 years ago

Great thanks for the essay.I got it foor my english lessons :D


Baileybear 6 years ago

great hub. I am looking into homeschooling my son with special needs. Will link


Mona 6 years ago

Hi every one! This post is very interesting! In fact I have a 3and half yr old that I truly worry about sending to school in fact I second every word you said Collette, especially the monkey see monkey do...Absolutely true.

We have to equip our children with confidence and self-belief and I doubt that this is available in most schools nowadays or those that everyone can afford!


Collette 6 years ago

Hi, I am a mother of a 8, 6 and 3 year old. My kids have always been home-schooled. My parents are teachers in public schools and encouraged me to home-school.

I would just like to encourage those who are worried about socialization. I do think it becomes a monkey see, monkey do situation. If you are a social person....your children will be too. I do agree that a home-school parent has the responsibility of ensuring social exposure...but we have to remember that socialization is not horizontal...but vertical. When you leave school, you are not surrounded by 30 co-workers the same age as what you are. We need to educate our kids to socialize vertical...appreciate a baby, play nicely with little-ones, enjoy the company of adults and respect their elders but learn to communicate with all walks of life. I see too many public educated kids who cannot even look you in the eye and greet you properly...

I made external music lessons part of my curriculum. At the age of 5 my oldest started violin and recorder. She has been invited to performed as soloist with the kzn philharmonic orchestra 4 times in one year, has done many concerts, weddings, corporate functions etc...even earning money in the process. She has never been in public school or even pre-school, but through music became a well-adapted little girl with more confidence I have in my 30's...her sisters are following suit. The six year old also plays the violin and recorder and the 3year old has also been on stage with her recorder....what a fantastic way to get them on stage and teach them not to fear people.

I would rather worry about child molestation, exposure to bad manners that does not get adressed straight-away, peer pressure, bad morals, bad examples, sarcasm, breaking down of your child's confidence and self-believe, little attention and little quality time etc.etc.etc.

I am here to protect my children until they are ready to protect themselves....we do not send little boys to war and just hope they survive and make it to the other side? They have to be trained as soldiers first! Equip your child with all the tools possible to ensure that they know who they are...with confidence and self-believe, they will end up a winner.


aya 6 years ago

home schooling.actually were having a research on it and i was pleased to see your comments in my opinion homeschooling i think its the best since parents will have many free time with their parents..and thank you fr this page for giving us informations..:)


Agnes 6 years ago

I am newly married but i just met these home-schooled kids that were so brilliant, creative and articulate and i am thinking of homeschooling my children when the time comes. I was blown away. I had a hard time in school because of its inflexibility. We never had enough time to rest and were too busy with work. Because i never wanted to get on the wrong side of the administration, i always did as required but i was fatigued, frustrated, angry and tired.


kimbaustin profile image

kimbaustin 6 years ago from Sunny California

Glad to find other people interested in homeschooling. We are what I would consider to be a normal, mainstream family, but just ran out of patience with the school system. Homeschooling, while not for everyone, has been very rewarding for our family. The advantages for me of knowing that my children are getting a top notch, "ivy league" education, while preserving time for our family and allowing for all the activities they participate in, far outweigh any negatives. I highly encourage more concerned parents to explore homeschool as an option.


Sharon White 6 years ago

I think homeschooling is a choice each family make based on their situation. It can be good and bad. However, If there are more advantages go right ahead. All the best to your success.

Education is all about focus and hard work. When the lesson is thaught the student should make sure the lesson is understood before moving on. Work on weak areas so that you can do well on exams.


TMinut 6 years ago

The part about parents needing a degree always gets to me, kind of makes me laugh. I hate seeing parents who can't spell or write well and don't know the subjects they're teaching, schooling their children. HOWEVER these parents are generally the product of public school. What do we say then? "This is what public school did for me, I'm unqualified to teach you so you need to go there too"? As for requiring a HS diploma, I'm not quite sure about that one.

My son needed to stay home for a couple of years but I wanted him in school. He accepted all my views and often quoted things I said verbatim. He needed input from other people but refused to socialize in any way with anyone. Now he's in school but still doesn't interact much with others. I believe it's more a matter of personality than opportunity.

The very good part of homeschooling for him was being able to focus on his interests as well as giving more help in areas in which he struggled.


Mrngirl 6 years ago

Hi there,

i am a homeschooler in grade 11. i would just like to thank everyone who posted a comment on this page. homeschooling is quite a different way of education, but for me personally it's a way of life. i have only been doing homeschooling for 2 years, and yes, i must admit, sometimes it can get a bit boring, but i get a lot more time for my schoolwork and for my family. also, i now get the opportunity to socialize only with the people i want to, not the ones who a normal school would perhaps put me in a class with.

Cheereo!


Randall-Karen profile image

Randall-Karen 7 years ago from PA

Hi. I just found this page and enjoyed the advantage/disadvantage discussion. We’re a homeschool family with 5 children. We have been homeschooling our kids for over 10 years.

There are always 2 sides to every story. However, the advantages of far outway the disadvantages. On the other hand it may not be right for everyone. I must ditto some of earlier comments that homeschooling does not need to take a lot of time when you work together and have clear goals. It doesn't need to cost a lot or take a lot of space.

Another question that always pops up is socialization. Kids need much attention. They are more likely to get more loving, supportive attention at home than in a public setting. If you communicate with your kids in a truthful mature manner they will learn to get and receive attention the same way. When they are in a public setting, especially on their own, they feel the need for attention, but learn to seek it the way their peers do by example: whining, screaming, manipulation, etc. I'm not saying that my kids never whine or scream, but we make it unfruitful for them to do so - they don't get what they want. This takes a flexible environment that is rarely available in a public setting.

If you wanted your child to learn how to bowl would you send them to a group of kids their age, or would you seek a mentor who knew how to bowl? The skill of socialization is the same as any skill. They stand to learn a skill quicker and more complete when mentored by a few that are more mature in that skill. Kids learn more how to “survive” than how to properly socialize in a public school setting.

As for "employability" I know of some homeschool graduates that are self-employed entrepreneurs and some who are employed professionals as well as employees. Of course I know public school graduates who are employed professionals and employees as well. We have had different people tell us that as soon as your daughter is old enough she can have a job here if she wants it. Homeschooling does not seem to be a disadvantage for “employability”.

The Websters http://www.FrustrationFreeHomeschool.com


Dee Jackson 7 years ago

I was wondering. Shouldn't the person doing home schooling at least have a high school deplomia? What should the person responsible for the teaching have per schooling themselves?


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Yes, commincation and being able to socialize is pretty big in today's society, much less ever, which is why the groups are formed. I know in my area, they even have a year book for local homeschoolers. It's crazy but valuable for the kids.

Thank you


SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America

Yes, I can see that too. With many parents who home school , their heightened care would undoubtedly offer the child more attention and assistance. Still, in most schools there are a number of teachers with different skills and talents that a parent may not have - that a child might enjoy and have an affinity for. I do believe it's important for any child to learn how to communicate and get along with others. Many studies show that Marie Montessori had a valid point that learning from peers, even when very young can help them learn quicker too.

I have subsequently seen many home schoolers that have now developed communities to learn and share amongst themselves - offering both the parents and children the benefit of interaction and additionally rounded social activities. In one case they even traded their children for different subject lessons.

With the schools getting more and more dangerous, I can understand the why for alternatives. Bottomline Whitney, I very much appreciate your hub with its sound advice to weight the pros and cons.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

In some cases, please remember that home schooling can vastly improve a child's education. It's not always parent seflishness.


SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America

Appreciate your perspective. I loved traveling but recognized my daughter was too gregarious and competitive to home school. Glad I took the wheels off my heels for her because years later I had the opportunity to view a family who home-schooled all of their children for religious reasons - all 11 of them. The mother had the social graces of ally cat and didn't seem very well educated herself so she relied on the older children to teach the younger ones. You could feel the resentment of the oldest oozing out with each chore she was expected to do (16 yrs old) as if she was an imprisoned slave.

Since then, I've been very curious about the "why" of home schooling. Seems the parents were too ignorant to consider the needs of their children as individuals.


sciencewithme profile image

sciencewithme 7 years ago

Really I do not think there is a perfect solution to educating our children. For my daughter I did public school with lots of home supplementing. For my new step children we are leaning toward homeschooling. We will see what we decide.


ingrid 8 years ago

You didn't mention that children that are home schooled need to have special attention given to their socialisation. Kids in "normal" schools get to meet with and learn to "live with" and interact with others of all walks of life. This is part of learning to become employable, and part of the community when adults. Kids in home school environments do not automatically have these opportunities, and special effort needs to be made to expose the homeschooled children to a variety of people with a variety of opinions. Further, things that are in the news get talked about by kids in the playground. Parents in the homeschooling environment need to find a way to expose kids to ideas (at their age levels) that are current. (Otherwise, what will kids talk about when they DO get get opportunities to see other people?)


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia Author

I have heard about these classes. I have friend who did most of her high school years by satellite. Her senior year was solely online, but the other three years, and I believe all the resst of her schooling was all satellite.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 8 years ago from New Zealand

In NZ there is a middle way -its called the correspondence school, designed for those kids in remote areas - it's a normal school but all work is done by correspndence and radio - probably internet 2 these days - though it doesn't reach remote areas. It can also be used if you are in prison, and adult learner, or for kids whose high school doesn't offer the subject they want. I did a Spanish class via them and still have the class notes - they were excellent. You can also have your own curriculum but then you have to regularly inspected and is a right pain!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia Author

True. I was thinking more along the lines of possible disadvantages for someone considering home schooling and a beginner home schooler. I had other disadvantages in mind, but those seemed more obvious disadvantages that one could have...


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

Actually Whitney, homeschooling takes very little time. I have been doing it for nearly 20 years... :)

Homeschooling is much different that school. Time is used differently and learning happens differently. The disadvantages that you mentioned are generally disadvantages cited by people who have never homeschooled successfully.

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