Homeschooling pros and cons, honestly. Families homeschool for many good reasons, but there are negatives to our way of educating and raising kids. Seeing those negatives, the cons, as big or small totally depends on you, your lifestyle, your finances, your needs, and your kids’ personalities. Before choosing homeschooling for your family (and it has to be a whole family choice) let’s weigh up the homeschooling pros and cons. I’m trying not to be biased here in any way, but cons are hard to come by.
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Homeschooling Pros and Cons
The biggest of the pros of homeschooling is in individually tailored education for the child, free from age and state curriculum restrictions. The most significant of the homeschooling cons must be that one parent can’t work or must work from home. A big homeschooling con is family income loss. But there are ways around that. We give a breakdown of more homeschooling pros and cons below.
- You get to spend a lot more time with your kids and don’t miss out on their childhoods.
- Nobody cares more about your kids’ education than you.
- Homeschooled kids get 1 on 1 instruction or help, at their own pace.
- Homeschooled kids frequently score above their peers in standardised tests.
- Homeschooled kids can follow their own interests, not those required by the school, be they artistic, sporting, career or academic.
- There are many and diverse homeschool groups, clubs and get-togethers in most areas, leading to busy social interactions.
- Homeschooled kids are not segregated by age, they don’t see people older or younger than them as non-approachable or not friend material.
- Homeschooled kids get their education in the real world, not in an institution. They are better prepared for that world that their regular-schooled peers.
- No school run.
- No packed lunches.
- No uniforms.
- No bullying.
- No homework.
- No memorisation and testing.
- No forced sports when the kids really hate the idea.
- Homeschool sports involve awesome things that the particular kids love, like high diving, kayaking, ironman triathlon, hiking Everest, scuba diving, you know, ordinary things. Don’t mention team sports to us please, neither of my kids have any interest and neither do we. If they liked the idea, it would be easy to sign them up.
- Homeschooled kids spend more time being kids, less time being forced to sit still, shut up.
- Homeschooling is totally legal in most countries.
- Homeschooling is flexible, you can pick a learning style that suits your family and your child.
- No terms, no school holidays, family life can be totally flexible.
- No work-week, no weekends, great where a parent works odd hours.
- No sick days or parental leave for sick kids.
- Homeschooling can be less expensive than sending them to school.
- Homeschooling allows mum or dad to finally figure out all the stuff they didn’t learn in school. Nothing is as educational as homeschooling your own kids!
- Homeschooled kids aren’t institutionalised, they retain a strong sense of self and individuality.
- If kids are aiming for exams, the content can be covered and memorised in no time at all, school attendance from 4 years old is in no way required to pass final exams. How do homeschooled kids sit exams? See here.
- No memorising times tables if you don’t want to. You certainly don’t need to.
- Homeschooling is fun! You’ll enjoy every second of your kids’ childhoods and they’ll enjoy not being confined to desk or classroom.
- Your family bond, if you get it right, will be incredibly strong.
- You will never be that parent who says ” I wish they were back in school.” during the long vacations. You will feel deeply sorry for the children of those parents.
- Homeschooled kids sleep when they need to, eat and drink when they need to and pee when they need to. That’s a big freedom!
- Many Home Ed kids enter college or university and many start young. If that is your goal, it’s not a problem.
- Home Ed kids can start their own businesses young and create their own jobs and income streams. They have freedom and time to do that.
- Homeschooled kids have time and freedom to experiment in any aspect of life, work or learning.
- Homeschooled kids can dye their hair blue and have piercing if they choose. But they still have to deal with Grandma.
- Home Educated kids have more experience of real-life skills, from shopping to cooking to gardening to booking flights to opening bank accounts, to starting businesses, they are never separated from the real world where normal life happens.
- Peer pressure….meh!
- Homeschooled kids pick up social skills mostly from adults, not a gang of 10 year olds.
- They won’t pick up swearing, racism or other unpleasantness in schools.
- Opting out of standardised education is the future, you’ll be a trend setter.
We have to give some homeschooling cons to balance out the pros!
- One parent will have to stay home. There will be reduced family income if both parents had planned on working. Not all families plan on having 2 incomes so a lot of us don’t see this as a loss. Single parents can homeschool and I know of many examples, usually when that parent has a “side hustle” or dramatically reduces expenses to make it work.
- Some parents might find it academically hard, not so much the content but there is a lot to get your head around in the curriculum if your country or state requires adherence to it. Not all do. ( There is a huge misconception that mum is “teacher” in homeschooling, this is simply not the case. There are no teachers, they’re not essential and Google has absolutely all the answers)
- Parents must undertake extensive research on homeschooling and unschooling methods and philosophies. Maybe not a con, but a time commitment.
- There is a huge time commitment to maintaining a homeschooling lifestyle. Having children at home all day means more shopping, cooking and cleaning, if the parent wants to play “teacher” in a school-at-home scenario (which is rare) lesson planning and preparation of materials is required.
- Homeschooling can be cheaper than sending them to school, but it can also be way more expensive. It depends how much money the parents want to throw at science equipment, computers, travel, field trips, clubs, tutors or other resources.
- If the parent doesn’t do their research properly, don’t relate to their kids as individuals or don’t know what they’re doing in any other way, they can totally mess up family relationships as well as the kids’ education. Note: School-style education is not required at all, but pushy, results-focused parents, could turn kids off learning entirely.
- There are stereotypes in homeschooling, strangers hold opinions not based on fact. You will have to stand your ground and explain the realities from time to time. Or just smile and walk away!
- Your decision to homeschool can lose you friends and extended family relationships.
- Some homeschooling parents don’t do it right (there are many versions of right) or have a political or religious axe to grind. I’ve never met any of these people but you find them on the internet. These people are the cause of the stereotypes. Most homeschooling families are just regular people from all and every walk of life with a huge commitment to their kids’ educations and futures.
There are More Pros Than Cons to Homeschooling
We believe that there are more pros than cons to homeschooling, the benefits have been enormous for our family, our kids, and our lifestyle. Obviously, if income is going to be a huge issue, that’s the con of homeschooling to really think about.
It’s really difficult to think of any more homeschooling cons, I’m thinking hard here but nothing is coming. Over time I will add links to the above points regarding statistics on homeschooling success and so on. I’m tired, it’s been a long day and right now I’m just going to sleep on this project. Can you help me out? Any homeschooling pros or cons you can add?