Amber is a writer with a large family and a wide array of knowledge on various topics, including budgeting, parenting, and many more!
After several months of quite a few problems at school, I decided to embark on the journey of homeschooling. Private schools were not an option. It was either homeschooling or online school. However, I was determined to go about this the best way for my little one, which led to my learning quite a few things about homeschooling.
It's important to learn both the pros and cons of homeschooling so that you can enjoy the advantages, and you can find ways to prepare for the disadvantages of homeschooling that will impact your family.
Advantages of Homeschooling
As you dive into the world of homeschooling, it won't take you long to start thinking about the wonderful world of homeschooling. You don't have to deal with things like school fees or the problems that can come with school districts attempting to decide what is best for your child. These are some of the huge advantages of homeschooling.
Little Peer Pressure
I don't want to say that there will be no peer pressure as teenagers and other homeschooled children can still try to pressure your children to do things, but you as a parent have more control over this. If you don't like the way that a child is influencing yours, you can simply encourage your child to not play with them anymore. Having that much control over the social interaction that your child has is a great way to keep positive influences in their lives.
No Grade Level
It's important to note that when I talk about the decision to homeschool, I am referring to traditional homeschool. When you sign your little one up with an online "homeschool", this is not actually considered a homeschool. It is an online charter school program. In traditional homeschool, there are no grade levels. Instead, you can measure your child's academic performance based on how well they do a certain task in lieu of grades.
This can drastically benefit children that have a learning disability because they do not feel pressure from schools or parents to pass or fail. Instead, they can simply work at their own pace and master one task at a time, which can help them maintain healthy self esteem, avoid feeling pressured, and you'll never have to worry that they are not learning what they need to because teachers are simply passing them.
I think every homeschool parent recognizes that the world does have dangerous components, but your children may be safer than if they were at school. This is particularly true if you live in a violent neighborhood, your schools are consistently reporting shooting threats or children bringing guns to school or there is a lot of violence among the children.
Use Your Child's Learning Style
Children tend to learn things in different ways. Some children learn better if they can fidget while learning. Little ones don't always learn by seeing and hearing things. Sometimes, they'll learn better via doing things, and other times they'll learn better via life. One of the biggest pros of homeschooling is that you decide what your school environment is, and then you can structure lessons around your child.
Choose the Curriculum
Most of the things that we learn in school do little to prepare us for life. It's wonderful that children are encouraged to learn such a diverse number of subjects and things, but your children will not benefit from all of it. In fact, curriculums that are geared towards standardized tests often leave out critical life lessons, such as how to file taxes or pay bills. Parents often struggle to teach children whatever they can when they are not in school or other activities.
When you are able to choose your own homeschool curriculum, you can take the time to include things that you deem are important for children to learn.
Life can get busy, which can make it hard to work around school hours. You'll find that you're missing school for doctor's appointments, etc. When you opt for homeschooling, learning can happen anywhere. This offers you more flexibility than any other schooling option.
At the same time, you can also opt to design portions of your house like a standard classroom in an elementary school. Homeschooling plans can involve a desk and learning materials that you often find in an elementary school. One of the biggest homeschooling pros is that you can do whatever works for you and your child.
Instead of learning about science in a classroom with YouTube videos or a lecture, you can let your child learn about science via nature walks and by visiting children's museums. They can learn about reading by going to the library. Homeschooling offers the option for your child to have more unique experiences, making them a more well-rounded person overall.
Develop a Strong Relationship With Your Child
When you spend every day schooling your little one, you can't help but develop a very strong relationship with them. This will last well into adulthood and will be something that you both cherish.
Homeschooling Can Help Save Money
At the beginning of your homeschool journey, you may look at the expenses, such as field trips or materials, and wonder how you are going to afford it all. However, it's important to note that homeschooling can actually help you save quite a bit of money in the long run.
Parents will not need to purchase new school shoes, clothing, book bags, supplies or pay school fees every year. If you provide transportation, you'll instantly save on how much gas money you spend. Most homeschooled children qualify to go to places like museums and zoos for free, as well. This is a huge benefit for homeschool families.
Disadvantages of Homeschooling
While there are many advantages to homeschooling, there are also a few key disadvantages to homeschooling. It's important to consider both so that you can make an informed decision about what is best for both you and your little one.
Homeschooling is a Major Adjustment
Although the idea of homeschooling sounds wonderful, and homeschool kids tend to be smarter, this will be a major adjustment for both you and your child. You'll have to learn how to incorporate lesson plans into your day. There are many different forms of homeschooling, from unschooling to a child sitting at the proverbial kitchen table for hours on end. You'll need to decide what is right for your family, and this can take some time.
Parents Need to Consider Homeschool Socialization
Granted, children aren't socializing as much as they should be in regular schools. However, that little bit of socialization is gone the second that you pull your child out of school. Consider joining a homeschool community so that your little one can interact with other homeschool students. You can also join play groups.
Can be Stressful
This school choice can be a stressful one. You may feel overwhelmed in the beginning as you try to find your footing in the world of homeschooling. Previously, your child was gone for eight hours a day, which is when most parents that are working from home get their work done. That little bit of a break will be gone.
Not only do you have your little one at home all the time, but you also have to figure out how to balance working, education, and basic childcare. It can be very stressful for some parents. Consider these things and plan for them before you begin your homeschool journey if you think they will be a problem.
Less Time For Yourself
If you are home during the day, you more than likely had the entire school day for yourself. Now, that time for yourself is gone. You'll also find that you are busier with more housework, making sure that your child has wonderful learning experiences, and trying to figure out an effective learning strategy. Overall, there is simply less time for you.
To deal with this, consider finding a part-time babysitter or enrolling your child in other programs so that you can still have some time for yourself. Homeschooled students can often learn the same things that traditional schools teach for a few hours a day. You can send them to your parents for a couple of hours or consider letting them go to a friend's house so that you can have plenty of time for yourself as well.
Parents Have to Handle IEP Needs
This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. If your child receives special services through the school, they will not be receiving those any longer. This can mean that you will need to find a certified specialist to provide them if your child still needs them. Most parents will qualify for a scholarship to cover the costs, but you'll still spend time going to the same appointments that they used to have in school.
If you don't want to use special services from a provider, you can work with your child yourself. However, this is also more time that you spend working with them, which can make it a bigger adjustment for yourself depending on what those needs are.
Educational options like this one do offer financial benefits. You'll spend more time with your little one, but you'll also find that you have less time for work. This can often mean that the household has to take a cut in their income to make this happen.
There are some people that will instantly say it's wonderful that you have chosen to be a homeschool mom. They will say that your child being smarter is the biggest benefit of homeschooling.
However, there are other people that will instantly judge you. They will say that your little one will turn out weird because the homeschool environment is so different than a traditional school. They'll preach about the cost of homeschool supplies, and swear that your child will forever be socially awkward. You may also hear that they won't be able to go to college or that they will fall behind. (Homeschool children can still attend college, by the way.)
Is homeschooling free?
Homeschooling is as expensive as you make it. It can be free, though! Most families spend money if they purchase a curriculum for their homeschooling program or on materials. However, you don't have to have a curriculum or expensive materials to help your child learn.
Is homeschooling expensive?
Homeschooling is not expensive. You don't have to pay school fees or download a curriculum. It's not like an online school, and you don't have to design your house to look like a typical classroom. Most parents find that they don't have to spend a lot of money on supplies outside of things they would normally purchase for their children.
Is homeschooling cheaper than public school?
Yes, it is. You'll find that you don't buy your little ones as much because you aren't under constant pressure to buy them the best of everything so that they aren't bullied. You won't have to spend as much on gas money or school fees, either. Homeschooling is as cheap as you need it to be.
Homeschooling offers quite a few advantages that public schools simply don't. However, there are a few key disadvantages that you'll need to consider as well. Make sure that you consider both of them so that you can make an informed decision about what is best for your little one, and your household.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Amber Lynn