Balancing the Pros and Cons of Homeschooling
Homeschooling has become an incredibly popular alternative to sending kids to school. While a lot of parents have understandable concerns regarding homeschooling, there are a plethora of advantages to this style of learning. In this post, we’re going to talk about some of the biggest benefits of homeschooling and why it’s becoming more popular. However, we’re also going to deal with some of the biggest concerns regarding homeschooling and why a parent might be hesitant to incorporate it into their child’s life.
By understanding both the pros and cons of homeschooling, you’ll be able to achieve a healthy balance that can provide your child with an excellent education at home without any compromises.
First thing’s first; why homeschool?
Homeschooling is popular for a variety of reasons. Below, we’ve listed some of the biggest benefits of deciding to homeschool your child.
- You have more control over what your child learns. While many parents can use this power irresponsibly to teach their children things that only they think are important, it can be incredibly beneficial for children if you feel that their current school doesn’t give them a good education. If you’re concerned about what they might be teaching in schools, then homeschooling is a great alternative.
- You can control when your children study. This is something that certain parents might find enticing about homeschooling. For instance, if you want to raise a child but both you and your partner are constantly traveling together, then homeschooling is usually the only way to give your child an education on-the-go.
- Show your child that learning can be fun. Many public schools fail to create a fun and engaging learning experience because the teachers have to worry about an entire classroom of children. When it comes to homeschooling, you can show your child that learning can be fun if approached correctly and when using the right resources.
- Provide a better learning experience for your child. A lot of schools are built around the concept of teaching as many children as a teacher can handle. This means that children can’t get a personalized learning experience since they’re expected to always be on the same level as their peers. With homeschooling, you can speed up or slow down the learning process as you see fit. This is a great option for parents that believe their child excels at certain subjects or has shown a greater interest in some subjects over others.
- Discuss topics that might be sensitive in schools. This is an advantage for most parents. In schools, sensitive topics might not be discussed because teachers fear that it might cause backlash with some of the parents. However, when homeschooling, you can control what your child learns about and this can include rather sensitive or difficult topics. This can greatly improve your child’s worldview, and you’ll always be there to support them if your child finds it difficult to understand or accept certain things they’ve learned.
- You get to spend more time with your child. Being able to assist your child through their younger years and spend more time with them is always a bonus. Homeschooling means you can spend a lot more time together with your children which can be an exciting prospect. This can be beneficial to both the parent and child.
As you can see, homeschooling comes with many unique benefits that are difficult to obtain when you send them to a school. However, with all of these benefits, there are also some disadvantages that we can’t ignore.
Why parents are hesitant about homeschooling
For starters, most parents aren’t always confident that they can provide an excellent education for their children. Most parents would need to study all of the topics that they want their child to study, and you’ll need to keep up the homeschooling several days a week for it to be successful. While you might be able to combine homeschool and public schooling, this can create a lot of stress for your child as they might find it challenging to handle multiple forms of study.
Not all parents are suited for a teaching role either. Some parents will get angry or frustrated when their child fails to understand something. Teaching requires a tremendous amount of patience, and not every parent will be able to have the restraint not to get frustrated. You’ll also need to be around your child for most of the day which can either be a good or bad thing. However, if your child gets too comfortable seeing their parents, then they might act restless or misbehave which reduces the quality of learning.
In addition, a parent must have some teaching experience for homeschooling to become effective. This means setting up your lessons plans and adapting to your child’s needs and preferences. Once you have some learning experience, you’ll find it a lot easier to motivate your child, but this can take a lot of time to build up the confidence needed to teach your children.
So to summarize, here are some of the biggest concerns when it comes to homeschooling:
- It’s difficult to cover all of the subjects that a parent might want to teach their child.
- It has to be done for most of the days of the week, not just once or twice.
- You often can’t mix both homeschooling and public schooling as it could be stressful for your child.
- You need to be incredibly disciplined and patient when teaching children.
- You’ll also need some teaching experience to make the learning experience smoother for your child.
- You’ll have to cope with restless and misbehaving children that don’t want to sit still.
Lastly, there’s the biggest concern of all; social interaction. Schools can help your child learn to interact with the world. They can teach your child social skills and they’ll make friends that might not necessarily stick with them for the rest of their lives, but at least they’ll have some form of social interaction that can teach them to integrate into society. Finding friends to play with during leisure time and also having other students to discuss topics with can be incredibly important to your child’s development.
In short, many parents are worried that homeschooled children could become anti-social. There’s usually a lot of debate about whether homeschooling has a negative impact on a child’s social skills. However, this can often be negated with smarter homeschooling concepts. For instance, homeschooling parents can introduce their children to various clubs for physical activities and specific hobbies. These are fantastic opportunities for your child to make new friends and also go on group outings. Places like the library and museums are also good places for your child to be exposed to the outside world and study–they don’t have to be stuck at home all the time! In other words, social skills are usually not a huge concern when it comes to homeschooling as your child can get plenty of exposure to social situations and can make friends through other means, not just school.
Tips to help you homeschool more effectively
So to conclude, let’s take a look at some tips that will help you homeschool more effectively.
- Create a learning area for your child to treat as a “school” – You should be looking for ways to decorate a part of the home and turn it into a school of sorts. It should have all of their study materials, it should have a whiteboard for when you’re taking notes and explaining things to them, and you can even decorate it with cheap bean bag chairs to make it more comfortable for your child when they’re studying. There are lots of ways to decorate a study room but the idea is to model it after a laid-back classroom.
- Research homeschooling options – There are plenty of homeschooling options available, so make sure you research them to create your lesson plan. For instance, you can subscribe to homeschooling magazines to learn about more concepts and methods to help teach kids, or you might want to sign up for online lesson plans that mirror that of a regular school curriculum. Alternatively, you can create a curriculum from scratch and buy your study materials.
- Define a schedule for your child to study at home – Make sure you define a schedule for your child to study. Ideally, this should be similar to a regular school schedule so that your child can meet up with friends after they’re finished studying. Sticking to a schedule will make things a lot easier for both you and your child as well.
- Don’t hesitate to join support groups – Homeschooling can be a tricky endeavor as it requires a lot of work from the parent. As a result, you might find it hard to balance this with your regular work life, so joining a support group can help motivate and encourage you to keep going with your homeschooling decisions.
At the end of the day, homeschooling isn’t without its disadvantages, but it’s hard to understate the benefits it offers especially if you have the time and dedication to homeschool.
Dallas Dorrall is passionate about music and is living her dream managing and promoting Nashville/Muscle Shoals based Country Music Artist, Johnny Collier, currently touring the US. While traveling, she enjoys reviewing new artists, restaurants and nightclubs. Dallas is crazy about her family and friends and attributes her enthusiasm for life to a quote by Marianne Williamson (which she still reads every day) entitled “Our Deepest Fear”.