Ever considered homeschooling? Let’s examine the pros and cons of homeschooling kids to help you decide.
Every year, homeschooling kids becomes a more and more enticing option for parents across the country. The amount of homeschooled students rose by 18% between 2007 and 2012 and continues to grow each year. This brings about a larger debate over the pros and cons of homeschooling kids and whether it’s a good idea to remove kids from the traditional school system. While every parent has the right to make that choice for their family, we examined the pros and cons of homeschooling to help you determine the right plan for your family. Depending on your family’s interests, lifestyle and relationships, homeschooling could be right path for you.
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The Top Reasons for Homeschooling Kids
Physical and Emotional Freedom: Public schools have to follow strict curriculums to coincide with standardized testing. When you choose to homeschool your kids, you get to set that curriculum (within reason, of course). It allows you the freedom to teach the way you want while allowing children the freedom to learn the subjects they want without peer pressure. As kids get older, the flexibility allows them to participate in school around their hobbies or career interests. Plus, homeschooling allows families the physical freedom to travel regardless of a school schedule.
Religious Reasons: Some families share strong religious or spiritual beliefs that may not be furthered with traditional schooling. In such cases, homeschooling kids allows families to incorporate their religious beliefs into their teaching.
Health Complications: Children with health complications can benefit from homeschooling programs because they can complete their education from home or even a hospital. It allows parents the freedom of giving their children an education without health complications impacting it, such as following poor attendance. Although we will not talk about the politics of vaccines, it is important to mention that homeschooling allows parents with strict beliefs about vaccinations a way to deal with requirements set by traditional schools or childcare facilities (varies by state and situation).
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Why You Should Avoid Homeschooling Kids
Lack of Socialization: One of the most common cons of homeschooling kids is the lack of socialization. Children who are homeschooled do not interact with peers every day like traditional students, so they have to seek out other social opportunities. Homeschooled kids can still participate in sports, clubs and other after-school activities to make friends and socialize, but it requires the parents to be more proactive. It’s up to parents to keep their children socially active – preferably with non-family members too – so that the lack of socialization does not impact them later in life.
More Parental Responsibility: With homeschooling comes responsibility. The parent who takes on the burden of homeschooling their children is forced to become both parent and teacher, which can be difficult for some relationships. You will be the one creating lesson plans, organizing work, teaching, testing and planning activities. If you’re excited about this, great! Homeschooling is a commitment that requires a lot of time and effort in addition to your responsibilities as a parent.
Potentially Costly: Public school is free. Homeschooling, on the other hand, is more costly. While it’s certainly still cheaper that private school, you need to be prepared to invest in teaching supplies, software, field trips and more. As your kids get older and need specialized equipment for subjects like chemistry, you may see those costs increase.
When deciding whether or not to homeschool your kids, it’s important to consider every scenario. For example, taking your kid out of public school versus never enrolling them in public school could impact them. While you can always enroll your kids back in traditional school, homeschooling kids is a big decision. Talk it over with your partner (and your kids!) and determine what’s best for your family.
Can you think of more pros and cons of homeschooling kids? Share your experience below!