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Why Homeschool Your Child?: Pros and Cons

Updated on January 7, 2013

Homeschool Project

Food pyramid
Food pyramid

Why Homeschool?

When I first discovered homeschooling, it seemed that most families taking that path did so for religious reasons - so they could use a religious-based curriculum. Later on, I saw many families convert to homeschooling when traditional schools failed their children, some who had disabilities. Today, though, I see the majority of homeschooling families making the choice as a way to provide the very best education to their child. There are many benefits to homeschooling, but it is not easy and there are some cons to explore as well.

Hands-on Learning

Learning all about magnets
Learning all about magnets

Benefits of Homeschooling

I homeschooled my two children for four years in elementary school, and it truly was a wonderful experience. It was not perfect, and not always smooth for my particular family, but the benefits were unmatched by any other educational choice. The biggest advantage to homeschooling is the personalized one-on-one instruction. You can give your child exactly what he needs and not be hampered by the inflexibility of traditional school systems.

Other benefits include:

  • less instruction time needed – working individually with a child means a much shorter school day. The rest of the time can be used for field trips, reading, and developing other life skills. The result is a very well-rounded child.
  • flexible schedule – you are not bound by a rigid 7-hour Monday to Friday schedule.
  • no alarm clocks! – everyone gets enough sleep
  • the world is your classroom – you are not limited to standard text books and the four walls of a classroom.
  • meals together - family mealtime has been proven over and over again as beneficial to the child and family. Imagine the positive effect of three meals a day at the kitchen table. This also provides a chance for kids to learn how to cook and help with clean-up.

Cons of Homeschooling

If there were no cons, everyone would be homeschooling. One of the biggest cons is the financial and emotional burdens that may exist. There is definitely a trade-off involved. To homeschool, typically one parent will not be employed outside of the home. There are families that juggle two work schedules, but that also can add some stress to the family. To give your children the education you want for them, it may involve living on less to make that commitment.

As for the emotional toll, being the homeschooling parent can be isolating and stressful. With careful planning, good communication and dedication, these pressures can be lessened or avoided. The homeschooling parent will need support and planned time away from the role for rejuvenation.

Lack of socialization is one of the most common cons people attribute to the homeschooled child, though there is some disagreement on that issue. One argument in defense is that children in traditional schools may be over-socialized. Statistics on peer pressure, bullying, drug use, gangs and teen pregnancy may support that claim. That said, if you homeschool, you will want to expose your child to a variety of social situations, including time with peers. This will call for additional planning. Other cons of homeschooling are:

  • social acceptance – though homeschooling is becoming more and more common, there are skeptics who will question your decision. Many people asked how I could homeschool without a teaching degree. In my state, you do need a college degree to homeschool, but you do not have to be a teacher by profession.
  • It can be difficult to balance the roles of teacher and parent. The homeschooling parent needs to be a leader, and know where to draw the line.
  • motivation - you have to have a plan and be able to motivate your children to do their work. You have the freedom to be creative, but time and energy is needed for that.

Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

Pros
Cons
educational freedom
time, energy and money required to select the right curriculum
flexible schedule
extra time and energy required to get organized and plan
one-on-one instruction for child
may be challenging if child has a learning disability
more time for quality instruction
less time to self for homeschooling parent
more time for building family relationships
may be difficult to balance parent and teacher roles
escape failing policies of public education
others may have negative view of homeschooling

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    • westernangel profile image

      westernangel 3 years ago from Canada

      Interesting hub. I have been homeschooling my daughter for 3 years now..I agree with your pros and cons

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      Thanks, Sparkle Chi. You are an inspiration to others who are considering homeschooling.

    • Sparkle Chi profile image

      Cate 5 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      Chaplin Speaks, There are always new challenges! What would life be without change and growth? Having successfully schooled one child into adult age, I will simply say that it is worth it.

      Every child is different though. My sons are much more challenging than my daughter, but that might be because I do not have the ability to give them the same one on one attention that I gave to my daughter.

      I love homeschooling my children, and watching them grow daily. There are challenges, but for me it is worth it.

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      Thanks for sharing, Crystal!

      Cute pic of your baby girl, jpcmc ! It is a big decision especially if it means a change in a parent's work status. Good luck.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      My wife and I are considering homeschooling. But the greatest hurdle is that we are both working. We know how important schooling is and we want what is best for our child.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

      Good hub. I am sharing this with a friend who recently made a decision to homeschool her child. Thanks!

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      Hi, Sparkle Chi. Congratulations for homeschooling for 14 years! Does it get easier as you go or are there new challenges at each age? I will probably be returning to homeschooling my son for middle school.

    • Sparkle Chi profile image

      Cate 5 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      You have definitely laid out some of the most common pros and cons to homeschooling! I think I can probably verify each of them! I have been homeschooling for 14 years now, through good times and plenty of difficulties.

      I linked to this hub from my hub here https://hubpages.com/education/A-New-Way-to-Look-a...