Is homeschooling the right choice for you, your child, and your family? Over the course of 2022, we’ve looked at the benefits and the disadvantages of homeschooling, we’ve given reasons not to homeschool, and we’ve also discussed the qualifications of homeschool parents and college opportunities for homeschool students. In this blog post, we’ll put it all together and compare the pros and cons of homeschooling so that you can make an informed decision about your child’s education.
Pros of Homeschooling
There’s no doubt about it: homeschooling is rewarding. From academic outcomes to social development, homeschooling will lift up your child.
1. Homeschooling Puts Learning in Your Hands
Home education affords freedom and adaptability. You can control the pace of the curriculum, modify lessons for specific learning styles, return to previous lessons for further reinforcement, and develop additional hands-on activities. The clock and the calendar are not your enemies; arbitrary policies are not your master. Your child, meanwhile, can pursue his or her own talents and shore up any weaknesses. Is your child a budding scientist? Let your child conduct experiments! Does your child struggle with writing? There’s no need to rush to the next class; take your time and practice some more!
2. Homeschooling Promotes Healthy Socialization
Homeschooling promotes healthy family relationships. Strong parent-child and sibling bonds form when families spend time together learning, playing, and relaxing. Even the inevitable squabbles can provide opportunities for growth and bonding if handled with love and patience. Why is that important? Aside from the precious, intrinsic value of a loving and united family, current research strongly suggests that healthy family relationships promote higher self-esteem, steadier future relationships, and greater overall physical, mental, and social well-being.
And what about peers and socialization? It may take some extra effort to get your student involved in extracurricular activities (check out this blog post for some ideas on the matter), but studies generally suggest that there’s little difference in social skill development between homeschool students and other students.
3. Homeschooling Safeguards Your Beliefs and Values
Homeschooling gives parents the freedom to teach their child Christian values and beliefs. Although students, teachers, and other employees may have the right to practice their religions, public schools are guided by secular values, values increasingly at odds with Christian values, and it’s a sad truth that many religious schools are carbon copies of their public counterparts. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” Solomon advises in the Book of Proverbs (22:6). Homeschooling allows you to actively train up your child in the right way.
Cons of Homeschooling
Of course, homeschooling isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
1. Homeschooling Costs Money, Time, and Energy
As science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein once wrote, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” One way or another, homeschooling costs.
Homeschooling may represent a loss of income if one parent stays home to teach their child. Parents who opt for this arrangement may agree that the opportunity cost is worth the education and the bond gained from teaching their child; however, other families may not be able to survive on a single income. But don’t despair! It’s entirely possible to homeschool while both parents work full-time—it simply takes more effort. Check out this video to see how one homeschool mom manages homeschooling and her full-time career.
Homeschooling also costs time and energy, requiring significant planning, effort, and dedication. The parent has to juggle planning the curriculum, preparing lessons, organizing activities, tracking the student’s progress, and more, in addition to non-homeschooling responsibilities. However, both time and effort can be freed up by finding a program that works for you and joining a local community.
2. Homeschooling Comes with Anxieties
It’s only natural to worry about major life decisions!
Some parents may worry that their student will fall behind their public and private school peers. They may feel pressured to keep up. However, the fear of falling behind isn’t ground in reality. Homeschool students do just fine in terms of academic achievement according to most studies. There’s no need to keep pace with someone else’s schedule; let your child learn at the right pace.
Another source of anxiety may come from judgmental attitudes. COVID-19 may have created temporary homeschoolers out of many families and changed perceptions toward homeschooling, but old prejudices sometimes die hard. Homeschool parents may feel alienated, or they may worry that others will look down upon them. Rest assured—whatever other people may think, homeschooling is the right choice. And, hey, the families of 3.1 million homeschool students (that’s 6 percent of all school-age students) will agree with you!
Is Homeschooling Right for Your Family?
The positives clearly outweigh the negatives in our list of the pros and cons of homeschooling. The pros will benefit you and your child for a lifetime, and the cons are conquerable. You should strongly consider homeschooling; your child deserves no less!
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