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Should You Home School Your Child?

Updated on July 24, 2011

People choose to educate their children at home for a few reasons but the two biggest ones are religion and not liking the school in their district.

Teaching your children at home is fine if you are qualified but unfortunately many who make that decision are not. I’ve seen many young people who had to get a GED or who were very uneducated due to parents attempting to teach them at home.

I know about a dozen mothers that taught their kids and only two were fully qualified and gave their children a decent education that they could carry on to high school or college but even those kids are socially inept.

Before you make that choice ask yourself these questions.

Are you qualified?

Teaching kids the basics while they are young isn’t too difficult but as they get older the subjects get harder. Even in the public school system teachers don’t teach every course. Some people excel in history, some in science and others in mathematics. There are few people who are great at every class; even Albert Einstein had classes he failed.

Teachers go to training conferences and classes on a regular basis to update their skills and techniques so they can continue to give our children the knowledge they need.

Know your limits.

Be willing to hire a tutor if there is a course you aren’t too great in. Don’t assume teaching is easy. If you struggled with courses in school or college you will have a hard time teaching them to someone else. Make sure your beliefs or geographical location isn’t the only reason for your decision.

Do you have the time?

Educating children is a full time job and can’t be taken lightly. If you aren’t willing to put several hours a day into it than you should reconsider. You can’t just hand a child an assignment while you watch television or surf the Internet. Your child deserves better than that.

Do you have the funds for curriculum?

There are books and supplies needed to teach your child. In public school you don't have to pay for text books and other teaching tools because our tax dollars cover this cost.

Consider the lack of social skills.

There is no guarantee your child will be popular or have a lot friends even if they go to school but being at home with little interaction with their peers will not help them learn to get along with others their age.

Many people have friends they have known since they were young and it they had not gone to school they wouldn’t have met them.

Most of the kids I know that were taught at home are very introvert and have a hard time meeting new people. One girl is gifted and highly intelligent but was unable to go on to college or gain a good paying job due to being horribly shy.

Children need to learn to interact with people other than their immediate family. This gives them the skills to get by in employment later in life.

Going to church or meeting up with other homeschooled kids for outings doesn’t give them the same interaction or opportunities for growth they get in the school system.

Going to school, they get to meet people from many cultures giving them an education in diversity they wouldn’t get at home.

I know it’s hard to let our kids be exposed to negative people but if they are always around people that tell them how great they are and accept them no matter what, they don’t grow emotionally. In the real world not everyone likes us and sometimes they let us know about it. The sooner children are exposed to this reality the better they are at handling it.

Too much togetherness can put a strain on family relationships.

No matter how much you love your child or they love you at some point you both need a break. You have more patience with them when you have time away from each other. Teachers get to go home at night and have a break from their students; a parent who schools their own child does not have this luxury.

In closing I want to add that while I am not an advocate of teaching children at home I realize there are situations when it is necessary and there are parents who are more than qualified. I simply think that people should consider all ramifications and possible negative outcomes before making that decision. Your child’s education is very important, all kids should get the best one possible and we as parents are responsible for making sure that happens.

All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.

Albert Einstein


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    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Kootheancheah, I've heard that and seen here in America how some Asian parents push their kids to do well in school. You can go overboard but it's good for parents to encourage their kids to do their best.

    • kootheancheah profile image

      kootheancheah 6 years ago from Penang, Malaysia


      Over here in Asia, it is quite the reverse. Asian parents put so much emphasis on eduction. They are pushing their kids so hard to do well in school that they hardly have a life. Many asian mums are tiger mums.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Kootheancheah, I feel very strongly about this seeing many children grow up without a proper education.

    • kootheancheah profile image

      kootheancheah 6 years ago from Penang, Malaysia


      You're right. Parents need to assess this carefully especially their own abilities too before jumping into it.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Kootheancheah, I think some parents think it will be easy and then get in over their heads. Our kids deserve the best education we can give them.

    • kootheancheah profile image

      kootheancheah 6 years ago from Penang, Malaysia

      Just came across your piece after having published mine. Interesting article. I missed some of the points you mentioned especially about parents' qualifications and limits. Thanks.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      dahoglund, there are some great parents that take the responsibility seriously and do a great job. Some, including myself, should not attempt it.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I favor the home schooling for those who can handle it. I don't think we would have been able to do it.

    • Learn Things Web profile image

      Learn Things Web 7 years ago from California


      I've seen a lot of poorly educated kids coming out of public schools. So, there are pros and cons of sending children to public schools as well. I meet so many parents who are frustrated by low academic demands at their children's schools.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Lisa, not all children are educated enough for either one. It depends on if the parent knows what they are doing and does a good job. I know many people that were not able to get a GED and had to take remedial night courses to even get that and still were not able to go on to college.

    • profile image

      Lisa Singer 7 years ago

      Home schooling your child is all a matter if personal preference. Children who are home schooled are able to get their GED and then go to college if they want to.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      LTW, in the beginning I had no opinion and it really didn't make me any difference whether people taught their child at home or not but I've seen a lot of poorly educated children as the result and feel people need to make sure they are qualified before taking on that responsibility.

      This article is not for nor against, I simply want people to realize the pros and cons.

    • Learn Things Web profile image

      Learn Things Web 7 years ago from California

      Most homeschooling parents have some kind of post-secondary education, so those with only a GED are an exception, rather than the rule. There are plenty of extroverted homeschoolers and introverted schoolkids. People often see what they want to see. If they don't like homeschooling then they insist that all homeschooled kids are introverts being taught by poorly educated parents. Homeschoolers who don't like public schools insist that they are all full of gangs and drugs. The pro and anti sides create their own realities. They see what they want to see.

      I've met a lot of parents who homeschooled because their kids were failed in some way by the public schools. It used to be that if you couldn't afford a private school, your child was stuck in a place that didn't work for them. Now parents have the option of homeschooling open to them as well.

      I knew a mother who homeschooled for two years because her son was four grade levels behind in reading. She got him up to grade level and then sent him to a private school. He received a college scholarship, so obviously those two years of homeschooling were hugely beneficial.

      There is no reason to be against homeschooling. It is fine to be against homeschoolers who do a bad job, just like it is fine to be against schools that do a bad job.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Pan1974, like I said there are many reasons people choose to teach their children at home. In your case it worked out well. Some have great success but you have to weigh all the reasons and decide what is best for your family.

    • pan1974 profile image

      April 7 years ago from Columbus,Ga

      I home schooled my two daughters for a year and a half, now their back in public school and are doing real good.I don't have a teachers degree. My oldest daughter is "A" straight a student, and my youngest is an "A B" student.The reason I decided to home school was because they had home work from every teacher when they changed classes, and I would stay up all night helping them with their home work, they still made good grades but they were stressed. When I home schooled them, it gave them time to focus on what they were learning, and now since their brains had time to relax and focus they are smarter in public school than ever before.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      IM, having a teaching degree definitely makes you qualified. Good luck, it is not an easy job.

    • IdeaMorphist profile image

      IdeaMorphist 7 years ago from Chicagoland

      I went to school to be a teacher and then could not teach. Now I hope to teach my own children and have them learn socialization aspects through our religion, sports and other extra curricular activities. If I am able to efficiently home school them it should leave time for even more of these things. I hope that this will allow my children's lives to be more enriched while still providing all kinds of learning, development and growth.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Lynda, I wouldn't want to do it either. It's not an easy job and I'll leave it to the experts.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Don't know about here, but in Alberta, Canada there is an online course and resources for home-schooled kids and their teacher-parents, with standardized tests -- and it is mandatory if you're home-schooling. Many parents there choose to home school because of the distances involved for some families. Children who spend three to four hours a day on a school bus, especially in the brutal winter months put in very long days.

      I agree with you entirely on the socialization side -- as important as the formal education. I would think parents who are home-schooling would have to devote a lot of time involving their children in outside activities.

      Not a job I would take on. Good hub. Lynda

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Some states have that, Will but we don't have that option here in Oklahoma. I doubt some parents would use it even if given the opportunity due to religious beliefs.

      Thanks, Rob.

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 7 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      Good advice, Pamela.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      We should have a voucher system so parents and students aren't stuck with bad schools.


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