It’s been 20+ years since my family began our homeschool journey. Those years have given me plenty of opportunities to reflect on our decision to keep on going and given me time to wrestle with the disadvantages of homeschooling and reasons not to homeschool.
5 Reasons Not to Homeschool Your Child
Following are five reasons not to homeschool that I have struggled with, and perhaps you are struggling with too.
1. “I’m Not Qualified to Teach My Child”
This thought comes knocking all too frequently. Although I have a master’s degree and a host of skills, somehow, I am willing to entertain this idea.
Modern culture messages the concept of “specialization” loud and clear, and schools and employers have marched to the beat of that drum. Some specialists are rightly defined as experts — veterinarians, airplane pilots, and surgeons come to mind. We’ve been encouraged to think of modern schools and teachers as a similar kind of expert.
But there’s a strange twist of logic at play when I allow this idea to occupy space in my brain. Educated in a private brick-and-mortar school, I don’t feel qualified to teach my kids. Why do I sometimes think the system that produced my lack of qualification will work better for my children?
Fortunately, as a Classical Conversations member, I benefit from the investment my local community makes in supporting me as a homeschool parent. I receive training, equipping, outstanding curriculum, online resources, and enjoy an annual Practicum where my homeschooling skills are further developed alongside others. In fact, my qualifications to homeschool improve year over year!
2. “I’m Afraid Homeschooling Will Limit My Child’s Opportunities”
Although statistics (like this report from NHERI) and homeschool graduate testimonies continuously debunk this “homeschool disadvantage” again and again, it can still make me anxious. What about prom? What about sports? What about debate club? What about driver’s training? I want social and enjoyable opportunities for my kids that build skills and lead to scholarships and other prospects.
Thankfully, Classical Conversations has included several kinds of possibilities into the curriculum. With Memory Master, Spring Protocol, Team Policy Debate, Mock Trial, and various individual rhetorical events from dramatizations to grant proposals, my kids have been exposed to multiple opportunities. And, if my child’s appetite is whetted for something “more,” the curriculum leaves room for us to pursue options beyond community day.
Five of my six students have completed the homeschooling journey. They earned scholarships, were admitted into their top-choice colleges, and pursued their purposes and vocations. They’ve all had the doors of opportunity open to their future! Classical Conversations’ structure and commitment to classical education gave my family plenty of freedom to pursue opportunities that are tailor-made to us.
3. “I’m Not Confident I Can Meet All the Requirements”
When considering homeschool pros and cons, there can be insecurity about completing transcripts, providing accurate assessments, and navigating my high school student’s possibilities to earn college credit.
Classical Conversations anticipated my needs by forming several key partnerships. Partners such as the Classic Learning Test and CC Plus assist me in solving my reasons not to homeschool. In addition, Classical Conversations has a 25-year track record of providing homeschool parents with an excellent curriculum. By providing a proven program that has helped thousands of families homeschool from pre-K through high school graduation, Classical Conversations’ partnership with parents makes homeschooling doable!
4. “I’m Not Sure I Can Handle Being Home With My Child All the Time”
One of the cons of homeschooling is you will have to make decisions and sacrifices that require more than you would like to give. You will have to get used to spending the bulk of your time with your children. Some of the issues you’ll encounter are:
- You will have to do most of the administrating, managing, directing, and handling the responsibilities of homeschooling your children. Your work ethic, work capacity, and executive skills will be tested and increased!
- You will have to accommodate your family being in your home most of the time. They’ll use it hard, leave messes, consume your resources, and just when you get the junk drawer sorted, someone will leave a new pile of stuff elsewhere!
- You will have to cultivate strategies and a support system for what to do when homeschooling is hard and the days grind on.
- You will have to practice the fruits of the Spirit, repentance, and discipleship. And your character will be formed right alongside your children.
Of course, one of the advantages of homeschooling is you don’t have to be stuck in your house! Even if you are a one-vehicle family and are limited in getting around, going outside relieves so much of the built-up pressure that naturally occurs when everybody is home. Enjoying study breaks on the back deck, taking walks, bird watching, nature journaling—all these opportunities and more are just outside your doors. Ideas abound for field trips!
The Classical Conversations community day is another big help in distilling some of the pressure of being home with your kids all the time. Gathering in a Christian community with like-minded, classically educating parents is a lifeline and often the highlight of my school week!
5. “I’m Worried About My Child’s Socialization”
Cultural voices are loud about the general assumption that a brick-and-mortar school is an essential avenue to socialize children. Despite abundant social problems in that environment, sending children to school is regarded as a civil good and personal gain for the student.
The rub, then, is that many homeschool parents doubt whether their children will make lasting friendships, learn to read social cues, cultivate respectful behaviors, and learn to “read a room.” Sometimes my own children’s conduct at home would lead me to believe it’s a legitimate concern!
I find Classical Conversations’ essential practice of gathering weekly in community with other homeschool families is a powerful way to address my fears about socialization. And it offers a consistent pattern of interaction in which social growth and strengths improve.
The Advantages of Homeschooling
20 years in with four to go for my family’s homeschool journey, I find far more benefits of homeschooling than disadvantages. Some of the above reasons not to homeschool still follow me around (I’m looking at you, Junk Drawer!). But my concerns about homeschooling are typically fleeting or short-term. I’ve learned to be okay with the discomfort they create because that’s usually the motivator to assess what’s working and what isn’t.
Of course, there are probably more than just five reasons not to homeschool. But whatever they are, I find myself reminded by my family’s experience and the testimony of others. Classical Conversations has got me every step of the way. Providing me with a proven program, the blessing of weekly community, and abundant opportunities for my children, Classical Conversations satisfies my homeschool concerns.
Not yet a Classical Conversations member and interested in our community-based approach to homeschooling? We’d love to hear from you! To learn more about us, click here.