Homeschool Pros and Cons

Homechooling is often a topic of issue and debate.  The homeschool pros and cons may partially be in the eye of the beholder.  There are definite advantages, disadvantages, benefits, and pros and cons to homeschool.  Read on for more homeschool pros and cons. 

Homeschooling is not all positive or all negative, but a combination of both elements that may work wonderfully well for your family and others that may prove challenging. Because homeschooling usually takes place in the home, the situation and choices can be quite personal. Nevertheless, knowing the pros and cons that others have found can be helpful in both making the decision to homeschool and in setting up, choosing materials, scheduling, and other aspects of the homeschool experience.

Pros for Homeschool Education

For those who experienced homeschooling in their own families growing up, homeschool may be not just a choice but a tradition. When the parent has the skills and attributes required for good instruction and when the child is happy to be schooled in the home setting, homeschooling can add to the close ties within the family, as parents and children extend their sharing.

Unlike a teacher, who meets children only briefly before they begin spending their days together in most cases, the parent often knows the child better than anyone else. Particularly when a child has special needs or health issues, but also in perfectly normal cases, this extensive knowledge of a child’s personality, talents, likes, and dislikes can get learning off to a good start and make it easy for a parent to adapt lessons to create an excellent fit.

Obviously, one-on-one attention is much more readily available in the homeschool setting, and without any distractions, people find that they can cover as much material in less time than children spend in school, allowing for many other activities to be fit in, including, but not limited to, homeschool field trips that may serve a double function of learning activity and family activity. If desired, care of younger siblings and housework can freely intermix with focused learning activities, or classes can be kept discrete and focused.

With homeschooling, parents need never feel out of touch with their child’s life, and children do not need to spend their days separated from their siblings. In the best situations, this can strengthen the family, and when the family has a faith base, this can be integrated into the education. 

Cons for Homeschool Education

The commitments of time and money, and the demands on skills that a parent may not have the background to carry out well are issues that can make homeschooling too difficult or actually detrimental to a child’s education and family peace. The need for advanced or specialized equipment for a particular class may add a lot of unanticipated cost. Adding teaching to the demands of the household, especially if there are multiple children, may prove too tasking. Purchasing materials and texts and providing other experiences may cost more than anticipated. Keeping the paperwork required by the state, and dealing with a child who doesn’t understand something and is frustrated can be challenging. And figuring out how to keep homeschool issues from seeping out into the family can be a problem as well.

Not everyone who is cut out to be a parent is cut out to be an educator. Even those who are prepared to be educators may not have the best rapport with their child in those circumstances. In addition, some students do require specialized learning experiences, due to learning disabilities, learning style, or other issues, and parents who are not trained educators may find themselves at a loss to understand what issues are involved and how to address them. In some cases, the professional training of teachers, special educators, speech language pathologists, reading clinicians, and others may be able to address elements of a child’s learning needs more quickly and better than a parent who—in this particular area—is walking blind. Even when the issue is simply one of different styles, a parent with little education experience except as learner may not be readily able to adapt lessons for best results. And when it comes to teaching material at a level that the parent has not attained himself or herself, the challenges increase.

Another area that may prove challenging is homeschool socialization. Trying to find ways to create peer-to-peer interactions for a homeschooled child whose neighbors attend public or private school, are on that school schedule, and have formed close friendships there can be difficult.

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