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Homeschooling Disadvantages

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Five Reasons to Rethink Homeschooling

The decision to homeschool your child is a huge, life changing decision. A parent should consider all possible advantages and disadvantages before beginning schooling from their kitchen tabletop. Because of the strong feelings on both sides of the homeschooling debate, sometimes searching parents end up only consuming information from other homeschooling parents. These resources tend to be a bit skewed as they are written by parents that feel they need to defend their choices instead of giving accurate pros and cons to homeschooling.

This site is for searching parents who have read articles and blogs entitled "Should You Homeschool Your Child" and found only positives about homeschooling. If there were negatives, they were quickly refuted as "myths" or "untruths" and turned into a positive. It is important to consider the student's perspective as it is their life that will forever be changed by the decision to homeschool. While much of the material relates to the high school years, all students reach this age! Even if your child is in the elementary years, it is prudent to consider how your choice will affect them as they near graduation - and beyond. I am not trying to make your decision for you. I am just trying to give you information to help inform your choice.

This site is also for currently homeschooling parents. While not attempting to change your mind about the choices you have made for your child, I am trying to inform you as to some of the possible repercussions of being homeschooled. Take these reasons and ponder them. Maybe they'll give you ideas to help your child avoid encountering any possible problems listed.

Reason 1 - Extracurriculars and Competition

You Don't Know You Are Missing Out Until It Is Too Late.

Anyone that watches television is familiar with the stereotypical former football star who reminisces that his football days were his happiest. While that is exaggerated, most stereotypes are rooted in truth. I have yet to talk to a high school football star that didn't recall every detail of their playing days (including grueling two-a-day practices) with a smile.

This is true of all extracurriculars. High school debaters, athletes, marching band participants and cheerleaders spend their spare time in college either continuing their "sport" or coaching those younger than their selves. They enjoy both the participation and the successes they achieve in their activity, and it becomes a piece of the adult they will become.

The lessons that competition provides are also important. In all but a very few vocations, competing is a necessity. If a homeschool student enters the workforce without truly knowing how to compete, they will be at a disadvantage.


Reason 2 - Inability to Grasp Difficult Subject Material

Some Subjects Are Best Learned Through Skilled Teachers.

Some homeschooling parents have a hard time with subjects such as algebra or physics that they learned so many years before and haven't used often since. Or maybe the parents never learned these subjects at all. In any case, a homeschooled student might struggle to translate instructions from a book into mastery of a subject in concepts that are difficult.

Yes, tutors in these subjects are available. But homeschooling, especially in high school, is expensive. While other sites are available to help you determine the cost, it is prudent to take that amount and "pad" it with a 20% overage before you put it in your budget. These costs can strain what often times in homeschooling circles is a one income family. There may not be enough money left over to afford a tutor. If there is, can you afford enough instruction time? Students in a traditional school setting receive 3.5 - 5 hrs of instruction weekly in each subject. Can you afford even a third of that time (we'll say an hour and a half) weekly, across 1 - 3 subjects? Math, Science, and Foreign Languages are difficult for even the best student, but your child might struggle with another subject in addition to these.

Books That Will Help You Decide - Is Homeschooling Best for Your Family?

Don't Focus on the Ability to Make Friends. Think About Dating and Working Relationships.

The socialization question is usually the first aspect broached by anyone questioning the merits of homeschooling. The traditional arguments surrounding socialization have all been done. This article, Socially Thriving vs Socially Depriving by Homeschooling Today is a good example of the typical article on this topic.

One thing that is not often discussed is dating. While some homeschooling parents shun dating and want their children to do "courting", most parents allow their high school students to date when they have reached the approved age. Regardless of what parents allow in their own homes, many students will go on to college and live outside of the family home and their parent's rules.

The public or private high school setting is the place most Americans learn how to relate to the opposite sex, and how the dating ritual takes place. If they aren't dating they are still observing others who are. They are able to view good examples as well as bad examples, and real world parenting can happen. For instance, a high school girl is able to see there is a large pool of the opposite sex, and can begin to see what traits good guys share, and what traits bad guys lack - with some guidance from her parents. But, what a traditional student lives with everyday is only abstract to a homeschooled student. Only having a description of what makes a guy a good dating choice might make it hard for a homeschooled girl to know it when she encounters it in her youth group, job or college.

Traits that are present in corporate politics and work relationships begin to surface in high school. While a homeschooled student might be able to learn how to be polite and talk to others without issue, they show naivety when they get to a work setting. Learning about pecking orders and how to succeed even when others are creating adversity might seem to be unimportant, unless you are the homeschooled student on the job oblivious about what's happening and how to cope. Also learned in a traditional school setting is how to discuss and disagree with peers, which is quite the important trait.

Reason 4 - Loss of Mentoring Opportunities

Most Success Stories Contain the Teacher That Changed Their World View.

Parents can be effective teachers and mentors. They can teach their children about many things, and help them construct their world view and base of knowledge. But other adults outside of the familial structure can be confidants in times a child wants to talk to someone other than their parents, and their counsel can help them succeed.

Teachers can open up subjects, or niches within subjects, that expose your child to something a parent hasn't even heard about. This may become the child's passion, and could influence their vocational choice and their lifelong happiness. Teachers or guidance counselors can help children understand the college application process and what opportunities may be open to them. This might be an area that parents are not as familiar as professional educators, as they went into a different college system decades earlier - or they didn't attend college at all. Some homeschooled students graduate thinking that college is out of their reach financially, which is not true!

Help to Prepare for College


Reason 5 - My Personal Experiences

Repercussions of Being Homeschooled, After Graduation.

During my high school years, most of my contact with others was through church or homeschool associations. Either people viewed homeschooling positively, or didn't express negative views to me. Also, the flexibility I had in hours I could work benefited me as I got my first job in a grocery store. So I was unprepared when I encountered the "real world".

Because my parents were convinced college was out of their financial reach and I had no one countering that belief, I began working full time after graduation and going to junior college part time. In my first classes, I struggled with procedural issues. I didn't know how to write a paper to the professor's liking, as everyone around me did. I didn't participate in discussions because the other students seemed to be smarter than I and I was intimidated. I almost failed US History because I didn't have the base of knowledge that was expected, as my homeschool curriculum spent a lot of time focusing on church and Christian history to the detriment of teaching basic events and ideas.

As I began to get more successful in my work life, I stopped going to junior college for a while because of my work hours and the challenges college was providing. I didn't really have to overcome adversity in my homeschool setting, so it was a coping skill I needed but had not yet obtained.

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The economy began to get bad around my city with the decline in the tech sector. I was scrambling to find a job, and getting nowhere. When I finally found a job, I was ultimately rejected because they couldn't verify my high school diploma - apparently this was a nonnegotiable requirement. I continued my search, but ultimately failed.

I moved states, and decided to go to a major state university. Because the regulations for homeschool were different in my new state, I encountered a lot of problems getting enrolled. Even though I had college credits (and a decent GPA in spite of my problems), they were insisting I take my GED. This seemed like a step down for me, and I kept going up the food chain until I somehow convinced an official to waive this requirement for me. By this time I was 22, and becoming accomplished in my work life. If I had been 18 and as unaware about how the world worked as I was after graduation, I would have given up or taken the GED.

I had to borrow a lot of money for this endeavor, as I didn't qualify for most scholarships. I didn't have any extracurriculars to qualify me for sports or debate scholarships. I didn't have a class rank, or a valid GPA to qualify me for achievement based help. I did get a small grant that was financial need based.

At the university, although I had mastered the basics, I encountered new problems. I was suddenly in "thinking" classes, with professors that had different thoughts and approaches to their subject matter than I had been exposed to previously. I wasn't sure how to handle these classes, and I struggled in several instances. Despite my B average, I gave up a little short of my degree.

(note: Admission policies vary greatly from university to university. has a list of colleges and universities deemed "homeschool friendly".)

Those Who Disagree with Me - A few of the many pro-homeschool voices.

  • Should We Homeschool in High School?
    The author homeschooled in high school and gives tips to homeschoolers on how to do quality college prep and a few suggestions for the college admission process.
  • Pros of Homeschooling
    A list of positive reasons to homeschool.
  • Should Christians Homeschool?
    An article stating only arguments why Christians should be homeschooling, but ends with a call to pray for guidance as no educational choice is right for everyone.

What Do You Think?

john S. on October 03, 2019:

Homeschooling is fine. She is just a quitter and doers not like working. .

Deborah H. on August 14, 2017:

Thank you for sharing your story. Thankfully I was not homeschooled because I would have had these issues had I been homeschooled because my parents were not gifted nor equipped to teach. It's great we have the freedom to choose to homeschool and I want that freedom to be protected. However it's sad, in my opinion, when children are homeschooled by well meaning parents who are not qualified to teach. And I've heard small minded comments from friends that everyone should homeschool and that is down right ridiculous. My children have experienced some truly amazing life-changing teachers in the public school system. Those who have no experience with public schools and bash them are forming opinions about something they don't know anything about.

Retired HS Mom on June 20, 2016:

I'm always amazed to read these articles about how bad homeschooling was. The assumption is, that children coming from the public school are prepared for every facet of life and college. Say again? The public school places no requirement on themselves to make sure all children are prepared for college level of work. Only "certain" kids get to follow that path. So many articles against homeschooling have this slant that all students in the public school are perfectly socialized, have above average IQ's and all teachers graduated at the top of their class and have passed some special "I"m better than God" award and can't possibly be a bad teacher. There can't possibly be any bad social experiences. Everything is perfect in the public school world.

If homeschooling is such a failure where are all the defunct students? Where is this adult population that can't survive? Is there a special government program for them like there is for everyone else who can't make it? There are plenty of people from the public school who are social failures and can't take care of themselves. I can't believe that a grown person can really write an article like this about their parents believing that they missed something in the public school. I feel sorry for your parents. You know, all colleges have remedial classes and they didn't create them because you couldn't make it. They made them for the the average students most of which come from the public school. And about the teacher in public school who changed my world view; he's one of the reasons I homeschooled my children. I didn't want someone like that teaching my kids.

HomeyMom on February 24, 2015:


Thank you for your well thought out and articulated article! The comments have been really helpful for me as well.

I've been homeschooling my children since oldest was in Kindergarten. She actually attended a 2- day a week homeschool support program at the time, which I thought made it ideal. We now do Classical Conversations, which helps to address some of the issues you address here.

What I find interesting, is that my husband, who is the one to reminisce more about his high school days (2 a day football practice is one of them!) than I do- is much more set on homeschooling than I am. He was the popular one who excelled at everything and had a great school experience in many ways.

But he met a few families in his younger years who really changed his beliefs about family/child rearing/ school ... Because of his positive experiences with them.

Now that I have teenagers, I'm asking myself about much of what you've brought up here. You're thoughts are so helpful as I think through it all.

Thanks for sharing!

Farmer Friend on January 10, 2015:

I had many of those same problems, but I was NOT homeschooled. I think you give public school far too much credit. It does not mean you will learn to get along with others, be able to write a paper according to a teacher's wishes or get a date/get along with the opposite sex. You get out what you put in, no matter what your educational path.

If on January 03, 2015:

You sound like a crybaby!!! You should give your parents a big hug for keeping you from the indoctrination machine that you cling to so dearly!!! It sounds to me like you are trying to put your own personal failures into what you didn't get out of homeschooling. Maybe if you put forth the effort; you would have done better in college. You are making excuses for not trying hard enough. If you want something bad enough; homeschooling or public school isn't going to stop you from reaching your goals.

Rebecca on October 28, 2014:

Hey Amy I am a student at Auburn University and I am using your article in one of my essays. I would love to give you credit for it could I have your last name to put down for it? Thanks for the great article!

SBPI Inc on September 17, 2013:

Any option is preferable to Government Schooling/Indoctrination

amy1980 (author) on April 03, 2013:

@anonymous: The full link to the course of study at is

anonymous on April 02, 2013:

@anonymous: Go to

This site gives you a detailed list of what a homeschool student should learn in each grade. It goes from preschool to 12th grade

anonymous on January 28, 2013:

In reading this post, I have learned a few things about homeschooling. I am beginning homeschool with my oldest child in August. I have read some blogs that allude to the fact that we can teach whatever we want, but fail to mention that a lot of the things kids learn in school are required because the colleges require them. All lower education standards are set just so, in prep. for the bigger steps.

While I still believe homeschooling is the right choice for my family, your post has opened my eyes to the fact that I must make sure my children are ready for college. I must stay on top of the state requirements for each year, and try to meet/exceed them. This will not be an easy task. Then, few things are both profitable/prosperous AND easy.

Thanks for your post. It gives me things to look out for, when homeschooling.

Tumblestar LM on November 30, 2012:

I've been homeschooled since the 3rd grade and I hate how much of the homeschooling community shuns anyone who's had a negative experience. All of these points /can/ happen. It doesn't mean they will, but the people who make all of these homeschooling blogs need to stop denying that it's a possibility. Not everyone's homeschooling experience is perfect! Thanks for writing this lens.

anonymous on August 10, 2012:

Homeschooling was horrible for me. I was pulled out of school because my parents were Jehovahs Witnesses and I wasn't allowed to be around kids that were part of "satans" world.

My mom was horrible with most subjects and my books were all christian crap, my dad was mentally, emtionally and physically abusive. So all hell broke loose when I didn't understand something or he felt my mom wasn't doing good enough. I actually have a phobia of math now because that was the worst subject for me and my dad would take it out on me and my mom when I couldn't understand it. I started getting into a horrible depression and then stopped caring about my schoolwork since I just became too scared. Never finished....

I also have social phobia as well from the lack of socialization...I am like a little kid out in the big bad world when I am alone in public.

I guess homeshooling could be good if the kid has a normal home life.

anonymous on May 15, 2012:

To any readers, I have to tell you that these things do not have to be true. It is important to realize that the writer of this article is now thirty years old, and has been out of highschool, and thus homeschooling, for twelve years and a lot has changed on the homeschool scene since then. I was homeschooled from first grade to graduation, and have just finished my freshman year of college. Out of all the reasons Mrs. Amy listed, #1 remains the most true. But even then, with homeschool sports leagues forming and some schools allowing homeschoolers to participate, that is a bit of a shaky statement to make. Although it may not be the typical activities, my old homeschool group helped sustain the local 4-H branch and formed their own archery team. The trick here is to do research as to what is available to homeschoolers around your area.

As for reason #2, there are now several textbook series that are written directly to homeschool students. Being written to a student rather than a teacher who must keep 25 students preoccupied makes a HUGE difference in how easy it is to understand. If these text books are not enough help, there are often websites listed in the books where the parents and students can go for extra help. For math, there are DVDs that can be purchased for textbooks that walks you through on each lesson explaining how to handle any new concepts. If all else fails, there are the same tutoring options that public schoolers use.

Starting in middle-school, my parents rarely taught me anything. They would just hand me the textbook and tell me when certain tests were due. I graduated with a 3.9. Lest anybody think these were "easy" books I was going through, the first time I took my SAT I got a 1910.

For #3, I often see that homeschoolers are more prepared for dating relationships than their public school counterparts. After all, let's think about what makes a good foundation for a relationship. Wouldn't you agree that it's first knowing who you are and where you want to go in life? Homeschoolers may not have the flirting and making out experience, but often they develop clear ideas of who they are in highschool and are fairly adept at determining when a guy (or girl) is not able to support them in their life's endeavor. Often, a homeschooler chooses not to date until they feel they are ready for a relationship. The real problem is knowing how to handle the homeschooler's parents in courting or dating relationships, not the relationship itself!

As for #3's work concerns, this is precisely why homeschooling is also amazing. For my homeschool friends, they have all found work through our contacts we made because we were homeschooled. Let's face it, in this economy it seems to come down to /who/ you know. And who can meet more working adults who have jobs to hand out? Those stuck in school from 8-4, or those students who actually have time to get to know adults besides the teachers who obviously can't hand out part-time teaching jobs to their students?

I won't counter #4, but would like to mention for those students who have a serious hobby or interest, they have more time to pursue it. For me, it was writing fiction. For my older brother, it was computers and robots.

For #5, really? This is a con of homeschooling? That kind of stuff happens to public schoolers too! But again, this all comes down to the family and the student. My close friend recently received a full-ride scholarship to a fairly prestigious private school through her academics, volunteerism, and 4-H leadership skills. She's also been offered at least one full-tuition scholarship. For myself, I receive around $4,500 a semester that was purely because of my GPA and SAT scores.

There is some truth to these cons, but they are not unanswerable problems. It all comes down to how the parent handles the homeschooling situation. As long as the parents are committed to doing their research on textbooks that are of high quality and easy to understand, while making sure their children stay active in the community, there are very few issues in this list that would truly be a problem.

anonymous on May 04, 2012:

Thank you so much for your candid feedback! I have so many concerns about homeschooling, I can readily attest to the benefits, but I have met only one person who went through it, and hated it. I forgot to ask her specifically why. I love the way there seems to be so much more "time" to learn, but understandably agitated at the thought of a parent who hasn't mastered a difficult subject like organic Chemistry or Calculus trying to teach that. I have yet to meet a parent who says they will take the person who knows the least to "teach" their child. To be honest I always thought children who were homeschooled were taught by master teachers who were disciplined and dedicated professionals who decided to take their child's education into their own hands.

Honestly if I thought that I could personally deliver an excellent education to my children I definitely would have, but alas there is so much that I still have to learn.

Best Regards,


mother of five

LLMom27 on April 14, 2012:

It is nice to hear another side to the story. There are pro's and con's to most things, and I know I have found it hard to find the con's of homeschooling on the net. I have homeschooled my children for 17 years (so obviously I think it can be a good thing), but I have come to the conclusion it is not the cure-all that many think it is. It has problems of its own.

Shadrosky on March 31, 2012:

It was very compelling to read the perspective of someone who has "been there, done that" and I applaud you sharing your story in this lens. I'm from public school myself, but have always been curious about homeschooling in general

anonymous on March 10, 2012:

@LilliputStation: What a wonderful reply. I love your response and it is very inspiring to me. I have gone between public school and private school my whole life. I recently made the choice to homeschool my children. I resigned my position as a public school teacher in order to teach my own children. The article really angered me because I have seen and felt what public education is like and watching my own children fall through the cracks was just to painful for me, and to have this article tell me that homeschooling is a disadvantage! What are some of us to do?! Your response helped me to remain calm and stick by my decision. Thank you.

anonymous on March 09, 2012:

May I suggest that you attend a variety of home educatorsâ state conventions? You will find that home educating families are less conforming to the "norm" in exceptional ways. As the Feb 10th post indicates, home educated children actually have more advantages through selective choice.

My son was home educated though age 16 at which point he started classes at the local community college. He isnât into drugs, alcohol, risky behaviors based on peer pressure (think Tim Tebow type). Instead he is diligently studying and has a 4.0 GPA (out of 4.0). He thinks for himself and can defend his opinions based on facts. He had many outside influences though field trips, church, Boy Scouts, 4-H, sports, clubs, friends. . . We were in educational co-operatives K â 10 where parents prepared classes or activities introducing him to a variety of teaching styles. The assortment of curricula is tremendously immense.

anonymous on March 09, 2012:

May I suggest that you attend a variety of home educatorsâ state conventions? You will find that home educating families are less conforming to the "norm" in exceptional ways. As the Feb 10th post indicates, home educated children actually have more advantages through selective choice.

My son was home educated though age 16 at which point he started classes at the local community college. He isnât into drugs, alcohol, risky behaviors based on peer pressure (think Tim Tebow type). Instead he is diligently studying and has a 4.0 GPA (out of 4.0). He thinks for himself and can defend his opinions based on facts. He had many outside influences though field trips, church, Boy Scouts, 4-H, sports, clubs, friends. . . We were in educational co-operatives K â 10 where parents prepared classes or activities introducing him to a variety of teaching styles. The assortment of curricula is tremendously immense.

anonymous on February 10, 2012:

Homeschooling today is much different from years past. Extra-curricular activities are offered through leagues in many localities, as well as, through 4-H, girl/boy scouts, and a host of other orgainizations. Curricula has changed significantly, with online video streaming, a wide array of DVD and computer programs and subjects, tutoring, and co-op homeschooling. One can be very adequately socialized without being in a public school environment. I find the reasoning on dating to be silly and lame. These are things that most of us do not sufficiently understand until we are in adulthood. I agree with the elementary teacher who commented that not all children are the same. You, clearly, did not have a positive homeschooling experience, but the reasons you stated are things that the homeschooling community have progressively worked diligently on and in most cases are mastering.

anonymous on January 16, 2012:

I am an elementary teacher. There are some children that absolutely would benefit from not being in the classroom. Ideally, a parent should choose for each child if they would benefit from public, private, or home school education. Not all children are the same. I have watched children be destroyed in the classroom situation.

anonymous on December 03, 2011:

what is your full name because i need to now for my test

anonymous on December 03, 2011:

what is your full name because i need to now for my test

anonymous on November 17, 2011:

i agree with the whole article, because it is like a crime to home schooled your children, they are missing out everything that is supposed to be part of growing up, being a teenager.

anonymous on November 10, 2011:

Homeschooling is not an appropriate advice to all parents for their children, mostly only riches is applicable for this. Homeschooling is so bored, it is just like your having a date with your house.

bigoyaseo on October 20, 2011:

Hi Really a good lens for school teens. this would help parents and teens to best understand the need of school in life and would also help them tomake school friends

anonymous on September 30, 2011:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I was homeschooled K-12 and am now a college professor. My parents worked with us to provide many opportunities to be involved with competitions, extra-curricular activities, and educational 'stretching'. I went on the graduate suma-cum-laude from a university that gave me a full tuition and room-and-board scholarship. I am married, have four children, and they are currently being homeschooled. On the whole homeschooling prepared me well for life, and I am glad that I was homeschooled. But you do raise some important points.

One is the issue of socialization concerning how to manage relationships and dating. I see this as a double-edged thing. On the one hand there are surely things I missed out on by being homeschooled that could have been positive. On the other hand, I'm happy with my life today, and I think homeschooling helped me become the person I am. I think my parents could have done more to prepare us for making good relationship choices as not all of my siblings have made good choices. My father in law (my wife was also homeschooled) has some good ideas about this. He challenges the choices his adult children make in order to make sure that they have thought through their choices and that those choices are based upon a consideration of all sides. My parents tend to be supportive of whatever their children do in relationships. This has its good side, but it needs to be combined with helping guide young adults to make wise choices.

For homeschooled children reading this, remember that homeschooling provides you with a lot of room to shape the program to meet your goals and dreams. But for that opportunity to be realized, you have to work with your parents to seize it.

JoshK47 on June 25, 2011:

I was homeschooled and have been doing fairly well - however, it is not for everyone, and it's good that you've warned people about some of the pitfalls that can happen in some cases.

ShellB on June 03, 2011:

Both homeschooled and public schooled kids have problems affording junior college and doing well in school. It's too bad you had such a bad experience. I went to public school and had a similar experience as you with junior college. I felt everyone was smarter and I really couldn't afford to go to school, let alone afford the books so I ended up dropping out.

I am homeschool one of my four kids and she is on track to graduate from college with her Associates and be well on her way to a Bachelors, while her peers are graduating from high school. We are taking a secular approach to homeschooling. Getting this head start on college is something I wish had been available to me when I was in high school.

I appreciate your story and it does give people things to consider. Homeschooling definitely isn't for everyone but neither is public school.

Great lens!

lasertek lm on May 10, 2011:

You have some great links for homeschooling materials. Well done.

We actually cover the same topic, maybe you can visit ours:

Homeschooling 101: Guide to Free Curriculum and Other Resources.

lasertek lm on May 10, 2011:

You have some great links for homeschooling materials. Well done!

Maybe you can visit my lens. We have the same topic:

Homeschooling 101: Guide to Free Curriculum and Other Resources.

TeacherSerenia on March 04, 2011:

...but left me to my own devices and workbooks of homeschool curriculum...

That's where you and your mom went wrong. Your mother should have guided you and been available to help you learn. Instead she left you entirely on your own - which is NOT what homeschooling is about. Consequently you learnt ONLY what YOU wanted to learn - which is why you did not do well in college. You did not learn how to write an essay because you did not wasn't to learn how to write an essay and your mother never made you do it. Yes there is the unschooling method where the learning is led by the child - but that does NOT mean the mother steps back entirely and allows the child to only learn what they want to learn. Children must learn the basics and your mother failed to teach you the basics. You should have been up before the truancy board for not receiving a satisfactory education at home.

For the record, I am NOT a home schooling mother - my son is in public school - but I do give him afterschool education as much as I possibly can.

Ann Hinds from So Cal on February 20, 2011:

I am thinking about homeschooling and looking for all sides. You have some valid points even when others disagree. There are pitfalls in regular education that I am fighting. I certainly appreciate your point of view that helps me understand the process better. We can all learn from you. Angel blessed.

amy1980 (author) on January 26, 2011:

@LilliputStation: Actually, my mother DID not teach based on my learning style, but left me to my own devices and workbooks of homeschool curriculum. And, I think this lens does accurately represent some of the disadvantages to homeschooling. I'm sorry you feel I've missed the mark. The main benefit to homeschooling for me was that I was able to work full time, giving me a jump up on my resume when I moved out at 18. I would have traded it for a traditional school setting in a heartbeat.

Thank you for your comment. I think you illustrate two points I tried to make 1) Ultimately it is the child that will be left with the education you provide. The child may feel the benefited from it (you) or may regret the choice the parent made (me). 2) The homeschool education experience varies A LOT based on parent involvement, income, location, etc. To take all the advantages listed in homeschool cheerleading articles as true for your child is reckless. Consider what education experience *you* can give your child.

LilliputStation on January 26, 2011:

I was also homeschooled in the eighties and nineties. My family was poor, and my mom did not like going out so we didn't attend many functions outside of church. I grew up in a slum neighborhood where alcohal and drug use were rampant and visible. I had no particular advantage, except a (non-college educated) mother who loved learning and wanted her children to do well in life. I was taken out of a private school after third grade, and I missed my school and my friends very much. But I am still glad that my parents made the choices they did. And I do not see my home education as anything but an advantage.

I find the reasoning in this article to be extremely faulty. Your "disadvantages" for homeschooling are based entirely on your feelings about your own personal experience. However, these disadvantages can be applied equally to any public school student.

Reason 1- Not every public school student has an equal opportunity to participate in extra curriculars. And not all those who participate have fond memories of the experience. You mention the former football star who looks back on his glory days. What about the guy who spent every game on the bench? What about the gawky uncoordinated guy who couldn't make the team no matter how hard he tried? Do you think he remembers the ridicule he got for it with fondness? Do you think he is spending his adult years coaching others in how to be a "geek"? As far as competition goes, there are plenty of opportunities for homeschoolers to compete. But learning how to compete in the "real world" has more to do with having the ambition and skills to reach your goal than having participated in competition. And any time you have competition, you will have winners (those with that ambition and skill) and losers (those without). In any group of people, whether homeschooled or public schooled, you will find those who are more or less skilled at competition.

Reason #2- I could expound this in great detail, but I think it is sufficient to ask if you know how many students leave the public schools without even knowing how to read. Yes, there are teachers in the public schools who have knowledge of difficult subjects, and yes, homeschoolers sometimes have difficulty with these subjects. But it really comes down to the ambition of the student (how great is their desire to learn?) and the ambition of the teachers (how much do they really care whether the student learns?). You will find lack of ambition in both public and home schools. But where there is a will, there WILL be a way.

Reason #3- My family did not believe in courtship. My parents did very little to teach my siblings and I about relationships. My sister made poor decisions about men, I married a wonderful man at the age of 20 and am still happily married. Have you seen the recent divorce statistics? Are you saying that of those 50% or so of marriages that end in divorce, all of the participants were homeschooled? No? What about all the teen pregnancies that occur as a result of bad relationship choices? Do homeschoolers make up the entire population of those who have unresolved conflicts in their job situation? Are all the losers in dead end jobs former homeschoolers? Clearly "socialization" in the public schools has nothing to do with it.

Reason #4- Homeschooled students are not locked in a box. Homeschooled students come into contact with many people outside their family and homeschool group. My son wants to be a vet. My husband has worked for and become friends with a man who is does the admiting to a major vet school. He has taken my son under his wing. Another one of my sons has an interest in alternative energy. There is a local man who is skilled in this area who has offered my son advice. We meet people in the grocery store, doctor's office, and library who comment on our family size and ask questions about our children. All of them have interesting life stories and have them potential to open up mentoring possibilites. There are people all around you with different skills and most of them are thrilled when they see a young person show an interest in what they do and will go out of their way to help them out. As far as college goes, many public school kids also believe college is out of their reach financially. And many public schooled kids who enter college have no idea what they want to do with their lives. I have personally found the opposite to be true with the homeschoolers I know. However, this is only my personal experience and I'm sure there are both homeschoolers and public schoolers who would fit either of these descriptions.

Reason #5- My personal experience does not match yours at all. I began classes full time at a junior college when I was 16. My mom believed college was a waste of time, but let us make our own choices. I paid for it on my own and with government grants. (All you have to do is visit the financial aid office and they will help you figure it out.) I was at the top of all my classes. My teachers loved me (even the ones who disagreed with me) and I got along well with my classmates. Most of them had no idea how young I was until I told them and were impressed with how smart I was, and how well I was able to communicate. (You know, being an unsocialized homeschooler and all.)

I'm sorry your life has not gone the way you wished it had, but everyone has regrets. Public education does not make a person immune to poor life decisions, or there would be no such thing as mid-life crisis. And public school doesn't gurantee success in a college setting. Everyone has different learning styles and only a small percentage of students actually learn well with standard teaching practices. I imagine your parents made a lot of sacrifices to give you the education you had, believing it to be the best option. I wonder if your mom didn't tailor your learning to suit your learning style, which is why you noticed such a difference when you entered a traditional classroom setting. I'm sure if you chose to focus on the benefits of your home education, you would find many things you hadn't considered before.

As a homeschool mother, I am have given up being able to do many things that a public school mother can do. But it is worth it to me because I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Yes, there are some disadvantages to home schooling, but I don't believe this lens accurately represents any of them.

ShaneeNelson on January 19, 2011:

That's for the post. I am really interested in Homeschooling my child more than ever. I have never been homeschooled before so I knowing the disadvantages is really important in taking any steps. I think all of the point that you made are the reason I am actually going to pursue homeschooling. I think that the school systems have seen a drastic change since I have graduated and I am truly worried about the future generation of children if things stay the same in the present school systems.

anonymous on December 08, 2010:

Nothing Perfect! Every Pros and Cons, we can learn, re-consider and use them for our best! This lense of "Homeschooling Disadvantages" will give us to get another point for doing the best for children. Agree with or not is not important fro me. Thank you so much for sharing :)

amy1980 (author) on November 30, 2010:

I have no desire to argue with you. That's not what this page is about. But I will address what you have said. Your first, third, and fourth points vary based on where you are. Not every child being homeschooled is in an area that offers the opportunities you have where you live. Also, not every child homeschooled has parents that offer them the opportunities you have. Further, not every child homeschooled even has internet. Your fifth argument is weak itself. First, when I graduated homeschool in 1998, I didn't have internet. My local library didn't even have internet. I know that's hard to believe and things have changed. Further - I HAD a valid high school diploma.... in my state. The differences in homeschool regulation varies a lot state to state, and the state I was going to school in did not recognize my high school diploma which is what caused the problem. Your second argument was addressed in my article. Of course you can bring experts into your home. I'm glad your parents can afford that, online classes, your extra activities, etc. Not every parent can, and I think money issues are something that most homeschooling families deal with. I want them to think about not if it is possible to bring in experts, but if it is feasible in their situation. Thank you for stating your opinions. I appreciate it.

lightkids on November 29, 2010:

I agree there are two sides to every argument, but I would like to point out many weak spots in your argument. I am thirteen and have been homeschooling for all my life. You are still allowed on football teams and other sports even if you are home schooled. Second, grasping hard concepts can be done by bringing in experts on the subjects into your own home or someone else's home. I am currently taking debate from a debate graduate from Weber State. Third, I know more people across the valley through homeschooling than most of my public school friends. Fourth, it is not like there are no other parents other than teachers. Fifth, you not being able to get a job or verify a high school diploma is a fault on your not searching for ways to get it. There are several online courses that give you credit that can get you a diploma without even stepping inside a high school. The (real world) has ways of getting a diploma for someone who is home schooled. An argument in favor of homeschooling is you get more personal contact with mentors and gain more knowledge with your schooling to give you a leg up in the future. Choir, band, dance you name it, and I have done it while being home schooled.

xiaohuaz lm on November 25, 2010:

Very thoughtful lens. You're correct, most of the home schooling sites don't talk about the disadvantages. I'm glad I found this lens, we have a 5 year old and are trying to decide whether or not to home school when he reaches 1st grade.

whatsreal12 on September 30, 2010:

Amy, how wonderful that you would be willing to share your experiences... it is such an important opportunity to make things better in the world! I understand if you feel that public school is the way to go and only advocate for that, but if you wanted to frame your argument as assistance to home educators, you might be able to impact homeschooling families positively. For example, I would love to hear you speak about your experience at a conference (provided you aren't completely anti-homeschooling).

I believe that there are many good options available to families and know that everyone makes the best decision they can with the information and choices they are aware of!

I wish you and your family all the best!

Genesis Davies from Guatemala on April 25, 2010:

I was also homeschooled, though right from first grade and I'm homeschooling my sons. I also had bad experiences in some areas, but I think that it was a result of certain things not being thought through.

For example, as you say, parents can't always teach all levels of all subjects. My mom was very good at math, but could NOT explain it to me in a way that I understood. There are two ways to get around this, one is with a tutor and the other is to team up with other homeschool parents who have other areas of expertise and share the teaching.

Social interaction totally depends on the family. I know families that keep to themselves 100%. We were involved in many extra curricular activities, including soccer, karate, gymnastics and dance, as well as youth group. We took outside classes, as well, in art, basket weaving, and participated in 4-H, so I think it is really up to the parents to make sure there are opportunities for their kids to interact with others.

When it comes to uni, I never went because I ended up becoming a paramedic and then traveling. However, two of my sisters went to the university and had no problems . . . both graduated at the local high school, though they were homeschooled.

I think you're right, there are some people who are so gung-ho, they miss the bad spots. Like the fact that it's really hard to be a mom AND a teacher and distinguish between the two and separate them. But for us, homeschooling is the answer and I plan to use my experiences to improve my kids' schooling.

anonymous on October 27, 2009:

Thank you, Amy! I'm so blesed to have you as a friend and I appreciate your point of view! Great lens!

Patricia on October 23, 2009:

I almost home schooled my girls but decided not to. Nice lens!

Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on October 19, 2009:

Well written lens! I've done it both ways with my own children, based on what they wanted. They've all gone on to college. I would not say that the socialization that takes place in public school represents the real world completely nor in a good way in a lot of the end, I think all parents struggle to do the best thing for their child.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on October 16, 2009:

Great lens, well done! I'm so sorry you had bad experiences after being homeschooled. My sons were homeschooled all the way through and have thrived as adults, including in college, but I'm sure they feel they missed out on some things. I suspect public schoolers feel the same way about some other things, some different and some the same. A lot of what you describe having to deal with is just, plain and simply, real life. I'm sure your parents did their best and I hope you have a good relationship with them now. I hope you'll consider finishing that degree, if that's what you want. Our second son did military service first and then college and is so much better prepared for college, having experienced being on his own (well, as on your own as you can be in the military). That would be my personal recommendation for anyone, that they get some life experience first so they can appreciate college better.

Kiwisoutback from Massachusetts on October 16, 2009:

This is really interesting. I've always wondered what the kids perspective would be once they were all grown up after homeschooling. Socialization, after school activities, and college educated teachers are just to much to give up in my opinion. Thanks for making this. Squid Angel blessed!

irenemaria from Sweden on October 14, 2009:

I live in Sweden and we don't have home schooling. I have read your lens with great interest. Good work and 5* from me

kimmanleyort on October 13, 2009:

I agree that this is a very thoughtful and interesting lens. You obviously learned how to write! Homeschooling is a huge decision and all of the advantages and disadvantages should be weighed - just as there are disadvantages to "regular" school.

Barbara Radisavljevic from Paso Robles, CA on October 11, 2009:

I think a lot depends upon the children and the parents involved. I'm not qualified to give an objective opinion.

daoine lm on October 06, 2009:

It's good to see a different perspective on homeschooling - and from the student's point of view and not just the parent. I interviewed a pro-homeschooling writer who challenged a lot of my "negative" beliefs about homeschooling (lack of socialisation, etc). There are indeed a lot of aspects to consider carefully before deciding on the homeschooling route. I don't think it would be a suitable option for our family.

Davidfstillwagon on October 06, 2009:

a very good and thoughtful lens! 5 * and fav'd it

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on October 06, 2009:

These are some very important points that need to be considered by parents when making the decision to Homeschool or not. I am a grandmother so fortunately do not have to make this decision. I am a big supporter of the Public School System but I do realize that each city willl have it's own problems and parents have to do what they think is best for their child.

Andy-Po on October 06, 2009:

Very interesting article

luvmyludwig lm on October 03, 2009:

Great job on this. There are some great points here. Homeschooling is not for us, but I know others it works well for. The reasons you listed here are many of the ones that led us to our final decision. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Seeking Pearls from Pueblo West on October 01, 2009:

This is a wonderful and well written lens on a controversial issue. Since I am single parenting the thought of home-schooling my twins seems overwhelming. I do know of some home-schooling Moms that really love it and their children are thriving. I enjoyed reading your perspective.

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on October 01, 2009:

There are a lot of pros and cons on homeschooling. Thanks for sharing your experience. I've enjoyed the read.

Jennifer P Tanabe from Red Hook, NY on October 01, 2009:

Great lens on an important topic. I know a lot of people who homeschool, but it was not for us. My daughter told me at a young age that I wasn't her teacher I was her Mommy! It's true, she needed a Mommy as well as teachers. And although I hated my high school, she loved hers! She didn't always love the classes, the homework, or the teachers, but she loves her friends (still) and many of the activities, classes, and activities like band, chorus, sports, plays, and field trips (especially to see Broadway shows and have fun at Six Flags!). It seems there really is no "one size fits all" here, and the most important thing is for parents to be involved and care about what works for their children. Whether its public school or homeschool there's a lot more to raising a child than just the courses and grades.

almawad on October 01, 2009:

In my country , Hungary , Europe homeschooling was not an option for long years . And I do not believe that it is allowed nowadays .

Homeschooling would be better for kids who are years ahead in some fields than it is expected ... That was the case of my child : I often wished I had the chance to teach her at home instead of sending her to school where she was bored out of her head . When she was at first grade she calculated things by herself up to thousands - just imagine how boring it was for her to listen every day 1 1 =2

sheriangell on October 01, 2009:

Thanks for sharing the "flip side" of this subject. I'm certain you will help many in making the decision of home schooling.

Lironah on September 30, 2009:

The only successful homeschooling I know of is in families with 4 or more children. They socialize and teach each other, helping the parents out.

As far as curriculum goes, you can get assignment packets from the schools in question, and there are other good resources available. You do have to be responsible about it, and not think that 'educational television' is going to cover it. (Can I express how boring that was? Ugh). You have to be willing to push your child out of his/her comfort zone, which usually means stepping out of yours first.

Lastly, it's quite possible for a child attending regular school to miss important life lessons such as how to apply for jobs or scholarships, or otherwise get along in life. Don't rely on your children's teachers to cover these subjects - they'll learn confidence most quickly when they have your specific guidance and support.

anonymous on September 30, 2009:

I am sorry your experience was not helpful in your situation. The thing people should remember when reading this, many children do not have good experiences in public high school settings either. I have seen kids come out of public schools with a lower faith in God, turning away from their love for Jesus, Living at home with their parents not doing anything after graduating. I have heard stories of young adults coming out of schools and getting lost in the system. I was one of them when I was in high school. It seemed a majority of the teachers just wanted to get us to the next grade and didn't care whether or not we succeeded. Large classrooms, keeping kids segregated, being in a class room is not real life, unless you plan to go to school for the rest of your life. Real life is being lived every day in a homeschool situation. I don't keep my kids home with me 24/7. We get to go places and do things my kids would never be able to do if they were in a public school for 6 or 7 hours.

anonymous on September 29, 2009:

Fantastic lens! very informative ^_^ 5*

Jimmie Quick from Memphis, TN, USA on September 29, 2009:

A well written look into your own experiences. Well done!

The disadvantages you've described could all be attributed to your parents' parenting style rather than to homeschooling although I do agree that (based on what you've said here,) they did make quite a few poor educational decisions. However, as a parent yourself, you know the incredible burden we have. We are all going to make mistakes.

Preparing our homeschooled children for college is a very, very important task. I happen to be a professional educator turned homeschool mom. And on top of that we live abroad where public schools are not an option. Homeschooling is the BEST option for us.

I see that your parents did instill in you a strong work ethic that helped you overcome any deficiencies in your education and upbringing. Good for you! Keep pressing forward and doing the best you can for your own children. (One day they may make a lens about your decision

MarinaKuperman on September 29, 2009:

It's funny, we always wanted to homeschool, because I didn't have good experiences in my school years. However, I know I'm not good at it, my son would have no socializing at all because I work from home and can't take him to any places. Plus, living in Guatemala there are very few activities.

HorseAndPony LM on September 29, 2009:

Great lens. It is good to read about all aspects of a situation. We homeschool out of necessity but I hope to be able to prepare my daughter for the real world after homeschooling.

religions7 on September 29, 2009:

Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

What you describe is just what people talk about when they say that socialization is an issue: dating and dealing with conflicts are part of what the word socialization implies.

Jason211 on September 29, 2009:

I think this is a fantastic lens!

I agree with all your points. With the main point being socialization. I probably did not get the best academic education through public school, but I did gain valuable relationships and experiences. Experiences are what life is about, and if you miss out in one of the most important experience in your life (going to an organized school) then you are missing out in life.

Through the self-confidence that I gained by being social in elementary and high school, I was able to overcome any deficiency that I had and graduate summa cum laude at a state university and gained a top job in my industry.

If parents feel that they can educated their children better than the school system, they should act as a supplement to the system but not as a whole substitute.

amy1980 (author) on September 29, 2009:

I've thought a lot about whether I would homeschool my children. The short answer is no. Because of my experiences in homeschool and my husband's positive experiences in public school, we do not foresee homeschooling.

The long answer is that I plan on supplementing their public education through learning at home and through field trips. Also, because my husband is a commercial airline pilot we have free travel benefits and I plan on my children learning while extensively traveling. I feel that parents can be powerful educators. I just do not plan to limit my children to my teaching at home.

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on September 29, 2009:

Thank you for being so open and honest with your perspective on Homeschooling through your middle and high school years. It is so important to hear both sides of the issues.

I wonder, would you consider homeschooling your own children?

Kay on September 29, 2009:

Sorry you had such a rough time. I was fortunate to see formerly-homeschooled students excel when I taught undergraduates at the University. They helped to shape my first very-positive opinions of homeschoolers. I think, as with any method of learning, attitude can help shape what you do with your experiences. I would never put my children in public school based on my experiences but, with a change of attitude, I could (probably) find something positive about it LOL.

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