As with most adventures you undertake in life, it helps to have some idea of what to expect before starting. Since we’ve homeschooled multiple children for about 8 years, people often ask me what the pros and cons of homeschooling are. Here’s what we’ve learned over time:
Pros And Cons Of Homeschooling
Pros Of Homeschooling
You can stay home.
As you know, going anywhere with children is rarely a quick and easy thing. It starts with making sure everyone is dressed and fed and buckled in, and sort of snowballs from there. The luxury of learning in the comfort of your home cannot be denied, especially when you also have babies or toddlers. They can take naps, play with their own toys, etc. And I don’t know about you, but it seems like the more my family is in the car, the more money we spend (snacks, gas, etc.).
You can save money.
Some curricula are on the high side, but generally speaking, homeschooling can save hundreds if not thousands compared to traditional private schooling. It also saves you money on gas, school supplies, lunches and after school activities. One overlooked “hidden cost” of public education is that families often relocated specifically to be near the “good” schools; houses in these areas tend to cost more (purchase price plus property tax), meaning tens of thousands in additional spending.
Learning is customized.
You have the freedom and flexibility to learn and grow “outside the box.” If that means spending all day at the insect zoo and then coming home to catch fireflies in a jar for your science lesson, go for it! The possibilities are endless and aren’t just limited to education; you and your children are free to volunteer in the community, get projects done at home or just indulge in fun.
You call the shots.
That means no need to follow school mandates about what supplies to buy, which vaccinations to get, which clothes to wear (or not) and which rules you must obey. Your home is your castle!
Your children might get sick less often.
Being at home more cuts down on exposure to germs.
Your children might be safer.
Depending on the community where you live, being at home rather than attending a local school, may be a much safer place for your child. We are fortunate to live in a very safe town, but I know of many families who began to home school in reaction to recent shootings and other school-related violence.
Your children will be influenced more by you than by the world.
Children in a traditional school may bring home books and homework, but they sometimes bring back bad words, skewed views of history, science and other subjects, or ideas that conflict with your family’s values. Learning at home gives parents more oversight and influence. These considerations may be especially important for families that have strong ethnic or religious traditions that they want to pass on.
Cons of Homeschooling
The responsibility of educating your children is much greater
The responsibility of educating your children is much greater than when they are being primarily taught by others. If they get behind in their work because there’s a new baby in the family, or you get distracted with other things, then it’s on you.
A good homeschool education requires a daily investment of your time.
This means that other tasks, hobbies, etc. must be put aside to make room for learning.
Staying motivated can be difficult.
Staying motivated can be difficult when you hit a roadblock, or just get burned out. And when a parent isn’t motivated, chances are the children won’t be, either.
Staying organized is crucial to keep everyone on track.
Staying organized is critical to keep everyone on track and to give your children a sense of stability. They like to know what to expect, and what’s expected of them. If organizing is not your forte, I highly suggest using a very structured curriculum and making use of handy tools like homeschool apps, timers, and calendars to keep you on point. Being accountable to another adult also helps ensure things actually get done.
If you’ve homeschooled, I’d love to hear your thoughts about what’s been easy and what’s been challenging. If you’re curious about homeschooling, let me know if you have other questions!