In 2012, as stated by author and lawyer Natalie Regoli, studies show that there are 1.77 million students that were homeschooled. This figure is increasing each year in the United States. There are many reasons as to why some parents let their child learn at home instead of attending formal settings of the education system in public or private schools. Some reasons cited by parents were being aware of what is being taught, poor learning environment in school, and personal family reasons.
So, if you’re thinking of getting your child homeschooled and whatever your reason may be, you may want to consider the advantages and disadvantages before deciding on it.
- It gives more freedom and flexibility in planning a curriculum and schedule
Without the formal curriculum from the government or institution, homeschooling your child gives you more opportunities to choose the classes they can take and learn. Homeschooled kids focus on what they really want, do them whenever they want, and for as long as they wish. This means that they are not forced to learn something that doesn’t interest them. Instead, they have more time to learn the things they love most and can tackle the things they find difficult without limits and pressure.
Also, with this, you, as a parent, get to assess your own child’s strengths and weaknesses, learning styles, and interests. It can lead to better tailoring of their educational needs. It also can make your kids highly motivated to learn and, thus, developing a love for learning.
- No room for negative influences that they may encounter in school
Another good thing about getting your child homeschooled is protecting them from external problems and situations such as bullying and peer pressure. This lessens your child’s exposure to teasing. Starting a homeschooling system creates a safe environment of learning for them.
Although there are critics who argue that the kid’s exposure to such problems may toughen them up, the truth is that kids who are more bullied often face symptoms of depression and anxiety that lead to bad performance in school.
- It provides more time for one-on-one learning
One problem with the traditional educational system is that there is only one teacher for a large number of students. The ratio between the two can have a big difference. Plus, there’s only a limited time for a class, so it causes the teacher to not attend to each of their student’s concerns right away.
Homeschooling is more personal, and you can really focus on your child – their needs, what they find difficult, and many more. Since the ratio is at 1:1, you can focus more on your child and adapt your teaching methods to what works best for them.
There are a lot of benefits to homeschooling, but like a lot of other things, there can also be downsides to them. Here are some disadvantages to help you weigh out everything well.
- It limits your child’s opportunities to participate in teams, competitions, and other extracurricular activities
It doesn’t necessarily mean that your child won’t be socializing at all, but their exposure is lower than those who are not homeschooled. Homeschooling can lessen your child’s exposure to the various kinds of people they might meet in school and may have to deal with as they grow up.
This whole disadvantage just talks more about not having your kids be able to team up with classmates, compete, and join extracurricular activities. But, to end the whole stereotype, homeschooled kids are not weird, and they still do socialize.
- It can cause financial restraints
Dedicating most of your time to teach your child at home may cause you or your partner to quit your jobs or have a part-time job only since your child will be needing attention and care most of the time that they are in the house. This is necessary since one of you has to remain at home and be a teacher.
Homeschooling your child also requires you to buy the learning materials needed, like books, computers, and whatever their needs. This leads your list of expenses to add up more.
- It can take a lot of time, resources, and energy
If you’re a parent who is not a teacher by profession or has less experience of teaching, this might be a challenge for you. You will be needing to exert more effort and time in learning about lesson preparation and techniques for your child. Also, you have to put dedication in continuously doing research and adapting your child’s learning method to give them the best quality of education. Having a lot of patience is also required if you choose this path for your child.
More so, you have to have an excellent resource of learning materials for your child, so they are more hands-on and can learn firsthand. Meaning, such resources will add up to your expenses.
Everything has its good and bad things, and I hope the list I have provided helps you in any way. What you must always remember, though, is to consider what’s most important for you and your child.
If you’re spending more time thinking about the disadvantages of homeschooling and that it takes too much of your time and energy, then maybe getting your child homeschooled is not for you.