Homeschooling is becoming a popular alternative to traditional education. Once upon a time, this was something that was done strictly for religious reasons. However, these days, parents are making the choice to homeschool based on the best educational option for their child. Today, over 2 million families educate their children at home, and the number continues to grow steadily each year.
Making the decision to homeschool can be a difficult one. There is so much information on homeschooling that often people are not sure where to begin. Consider the following pros and cons that are common to most families to determine why some may choose to homeschool and others might not. After you evaluate the list of pros and cons that are specific to you and your child's needs, the decision of whether or not homeschooling is right for you will become much more clear.
The Pros to Homeschooling
- Educational Freedom. If you choose to homeschool your children, as the teacher, you will be able to create the perfect curriculum for your children's growth and advancement. You can create curriculums that are uniquely tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. This will help them to advance in the areas they are good at and to get that level of nurturing attention where they need some work.
- Family Bonding. There is something very satisfying about having your children at home every day. If you are worried about the negative aspects of socialization in public schools, and you believe your child will pick up morals that you do not agree with, then homeschooling is an excellent choice to make.
You will be able to teach your children in every way and the moral lessons you attempt to implement will be long-lasting. Of course, the time you get to spend with your children is invaluable. The care and dedication you have taken to make their educational experience unique and exciting will strengthen the bond your family shares.
- One-on-One Attention. Your children will no longer have to worry about vying for any teacher's attention. As the teacher of your children, you will be able to help them the minute they need extra attention. This is the perfect situation for both special needs and gifted children, although on-level children flourish with the extra attention, as well.
- The Ability to Take Life Easy. One of the best things about homeschooling is the freedom that comes with it. You do not have to work on the 8-4 schedule unless that is what works for you and your children.
You can homeschool at midnight if you find your children work best at this hour. You also can choose to homeschool year-round and you can pick the days that you have off. Its all up to you!
- The Option to Teach Your Way. If you are religious, you can teach religious-based curriculum and have prayer breaks if you want them. If you are non-religious, you can teach a secular-based curriculum.
As a homeschooling parent, you will have the ability to create the structure of your child's school environment from the ground up.
The Cons to Homeschooling
- The Cost. There are numerous methods to home chooling. The fact is that many of those methods do cost money. In fact, some methods cost a great deal of money.
How you want to homeschool will affect your decision based on whether you can afford your method of choice. There are some people that homeschool using classic books. They may have these books around the house or they have been purchased at flea markets or garage sales.
These homeschooling parents combine these books with free worksheets from the internet and the cost is minimal. However, other families purchase books from the major companies public schools use. The new books can cost a great deal of money.
If you buy the books through an auction site like Ebay (if you can find them), you might only spend a few hundred or less for the year's curriculum. However, if you buy them from an educational site, you could spend upwards of $500 or more depending on your child's grade level.
Use and Abuse of Time. Most families today have each adult in the home working. If you are working outside the home, it is likely that you have a small window where you can handle your homeschooling and that is it.
The problem here is that some children resist the homeschooling procedure. In the beginning, it can be hard for the children to separate the home environment from the school environment. This is why it is recommended you have a room or area dedicated to school time. If you are on a tight time schedule and your children do not like working under those restraints, it may be harder for you to homeschool.
The Homeschool Stigma. If you decide to homeschool your child, you will become a minority. Of course, that minority is growing larger every day but it is still the minority. You will hear everything from "You're only homeschooling because you are afraid to let your children live their own lives" to "They will not get enough socialization" or "Your family is just plain weird!"
The truth is some or none of that may be true. However, these issues will need to be dealt with and some people will not want to have to handle them.
Socialization Issues. Depending on the area you live in, this may not be an issue at all. All around the world there are homeschool support groups. If you live in a big city, you will have no problem finding groups, co-ops, field trips, and other activities for your homeschooled child. However, if you are in a more rural area, you might feel you are starving your child of socialization. If this is the case then homeschooling might be a bad idea for you and your family.
Depending on your situation, location, and your child's needs, homeschooling may or may not be a viable option .There is no right choice for every single family. Ultimately, the decision will have to be based on personal choice and opinion. Whatever you decide, you should remember to keep your child's needs at the forefront, when determining whether homeschooling them is the right decision to make.