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Should You Homeschool? Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Homeschool Decision

Updated on February 11, 2009

Homeschooling is becoming a popular alternative to the traditional school environment for many families. There are many advantages to homeschooling, such as customizing education to your child’s individual needs, having flexibility over scheduling, and achieving more influence over children. However, there are also many drawbacks and the decision to homeschool should not be taken lightly.

Step 1:  Consider the Personalities of Teachers and Students

Homeschooling is a big commitment for both teacher and student. Parents should be aware of the time required to create a valuable educational experience. While some work may be done by the student independently, teacher must be available for extened periods of time to explain new concepts, answer questions, and lead experiments and field trips.

Students must have a high level of respect for the parent and be disciplined enough to accept the parental authority as teacher. As the student progresses through the years, the ability to complete work independently becomes more important.

Parents and children who homeschool are essentially together all the time. Is this the right choice for your family?

Step 2: Consider the Family Situation

Homeschooling does not have to be expensive. However, it almost certainly requires that a parent act as a full time teacher. The requirement that one parent to be home all the time may hinder the family’s ability to earn income.

If there are pre-school aged children in the home, how will the homeschooling child and teacher complete lessons without distraction?

While the attraction of homeschooling for many families is the ability to control the child’s social interaction, effort will have to be made for the child to make friends and engage in group activities.

Parents should be in agreement about the education of children. If only one parent is on board for homeschooling, it’s going to be an uphill battle.

Step 3:  Consider Educational or Intellectual Limitations

Many proponents of homeschooling assert that most parents are capable of teaching their children. While this may be true up to a certain point, parents have educational and intellectual limits. These can be overcome by partnering with other homeschooling parents or supplementing your child’s home education with outside sources. For example, you could always hire a private tutor for particularly difficult subjects.

If your child has special educational needs or requires specialized instruction, you may find it is difficult for you as a parent to meet these needs.

Above all, make sure you know familiarize yourself with all the resources available before you make the decision to homeschool.

Image Credit: Pink Sherbet Photograpy


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  • Sarah Songing profile image

    Sarah Songing 9 years ago

    Wow! Thanks for the informative article, Lela. I am in the midst of going through this decision myself right now, as my oldest daughter is three and still a year and a half from starting preschool. It's a heavy decision to think through, with so many aspects to weigh. Thank you for covering a few of the most important areas in a balanced manner.

    I can definitely relate to the fact that it depends largely on the personalities of the parent and student/child. I homeschooled myself through most of junior and high school with no issues while when my younger brother attempted the same path, met with many challenges because he requires more structure and socializing.

    Thank you for another great hub!