Homeschooling: Is It Really the Best Option? Pros and Cons Explored
Updated: Dec 1
The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has altered the education system in multiple ways. Since regular schools are not the safest or the most stable option anymore, many parents have started considering homeschooling.
If you are thinking about taking your child’s education into your own hands, there are many pros and cons that you should take into consideration before making the decision. Here’s a list of the 5 biggest benefits and 5 drawbacks of homeschooling.
Perhaps, a flexible schedule is the most significant benefit of homeschooling. Regular schools dictate the time when classes start, tests, days off, and holidays. Homeschooling gives you a chance to adjust the schedule to your child’s (and your own) wants and needs. In traditional schools, classes start unreasonably early. If your kid is not an early bird, you can begin classes much later. When sickness strikes, you don’t have to worry about lagging behind and catching up. And, of course, you can plan your vacation and holidays whenever you feel like it.
When you’re homeschooling, it’s important to keep up with the key subjects and skills. There’s always someone who would prefer the teacher to slow down and explain something again at a regular school. At the same time, some students understand everything faster and get bored and unmotivated if the pace is too slow. If you have just one student in your classroom, you can see exactly how fast or how slow you should move through the curriculum.
Did you know that you could even turn homeschooling into a career?
The world is your classroom
Not every child will strive in a conventional classroom. Some kids might find being in a classroom intimidating. Others will easily get distracted by their classmates. If you’re homeschooling, you can adapt your child’s learning environment according to your child’s needs. Being at home can give the children a sense of calm and safety, so they will have a better attitude towards learning and won’t be afraid to make mistakes.
When it comes to practical skills, you don’t have to stay in class. Instead of being stuck with a textbook and some images, you can have lessons at galleries, zoos, and museums. That type of learning is much more engaging and more enjoyable for every child.
Fewer health risks
In a classroom with other kids, your child is more likely to pick up some sickness from its classmates. At home, your child won’t be at such risk. The health aspect of homeschooling has become even more important ever since we found ourselves in a world pandemic. If your child or your family members have some chronic diseases or conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19, homeschooling will be a much safer option.
More time spent together
If parents work full-time jobs and children attend a regular school, it can be really hard to have any family time on the weekdays. Homeschooling gives you a chance to spend much more cherished time with your little ones. You get to watch them learn, develop their skills, interests, and personalities. There’s no one else who would love, understand, and support the children better than their mother. That’s why homeschooling can give the child a chance to grow in a wholesome and loving environment.
Lack of diversity
In school, little humans start seeing that everyone is different, and yet, everyone deserves respect and fair treatment. Even if they don’t like some of their classmates for whatever reason, they will have to learn to deal with it in a peaceful manner. If you homeschool your children, you might unwillingly project your persuasions and opinions on them. Even if you try your best to educate your children to be empathetic and open-minded, they won’t get a chance to actually coexist and cooperate with people outside their family bubble.
Even though the primary goal of going to school is education, socialization is the most pleasant and the most exciting aspect of going to a traditional school. Playing at lunch break, doing school sports, making friends, and meeting your first love -- those are the things we remember from school, not classes or tests. A homeschooled child will not get all those experiences. If you worry that your child is not very social or may succumb to peer pressure, consider private schools with smaller classrooms and a non-competitive atmosphere.
Homeschooling definitely isn’t for everyone. It is a huge responsibility and a big commitment. Firstly, it will probably mean that you will have to leave your job and forget about your career for a while. You should also consider whether your teaching skills are good enough. Teaching requires patience and, at the same time, a degree of strictness to keep everything in order. If you’re not sure you could do it, a regular school might be better for you and your kids
The absence structure
Research shows that despite their protests, kids of all ages benefit from structures and routines. Especially when they grow older, they start realizing how chaotic the world is. That’s why they need to be around someone who will be in control and give them a sense of safety and stability. For children, school is a great source of structure. It gives them a set routine, introduces them to rules, and a system of praise and repercussions. They know what to expect from every day, and they know what consequences their actions will bring.
No time for yourself
As I’ve already mentioned before, homeschooling isn’t easy. Homeschooling parents play different roles throughout the day, so they need to balance teaching and parenting in their daily lives. That means knowing when to be strict and when to be affectionate. Besides, with homeschooling, finding some self-time will be quite hard. And we all know that pouring out of an empty cup is not a good idea.
As you could have read, homeschooling has lots of pros and cons and it is up to you, your home situation, and your kids needs to find out which is the best schooling system for all of you.