Are you going mad trying to schedule extra-curricular activities and still build in family time with your children? If attending a traditional school, chances are that your elementary, middle or high schooler is pretty booked. With sports and other activities, they can barely get everything done in a regular school day. Wait a minute. You forgot to allow time for dinner and homework in that perfectly planned out agenda!
If this sounds familiar, you might want to consider homeschooling. That word, although much more common today than 10 years ago, still has a bit of a stigma. It goes against the norm. When mentioned, it tends to raise eyebrows. Maybe you think some possible implications are that your child can’t fit in with a regular school or its schedule. Or, perhaps, you feel like homeschooling is only for those who have a lot of money or lots of time to spare. Whatever your reaction is towards this idea, it’s best to be informed before jumping in or ruling out. Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons commonly associated with homeschooling.
First, being able to teach your children from the safety of your own home allows many freedoms. There are both educational and emotional freedoms to be considered. Firstly, you and your child can decide when you want to learn certain concepts and facts. This allows your child more choices in learning, according to his/her own ability, maturity and interest levels. Although most states have learning guidelines, there is much more educational autonomy when homeschooling.
Likewise, children who are taught at home do not experience the same degree of negative social aspects as do those taught in a traditional homeschooling setting. Peer pressure and bullying are not big concerns. Additionally, studies indicate that self-esteem plunges dramatically for middle school girls. Similar studies of the same age home schooled girls are indicating that their self-esteem remains largely undamaged.
Other pros to homeschooling involve closer family relationships, more well-rested children, and a lack of homework with which to contend. Although each of these is pretty self-explanatory, homeschooling allows you, as the parent, to be in charge of the schedule. You get to say when classes begin and end. You are the one to plan educational excursions with your kids. You are the one that sets up and enforces the level of work to be done.
Conversely, some of the cons for homeschooling can involve the potentials for loss of income, time restraints, and limited opportunities to participate in team sports. Usually, one parent has to either quit a job or cut back significantly in order to homeschool. This can sometimes bring additional strife to family life.
Even though you are now the boss of your schedule, it can still be time-consuming to schedule engaging and hands-on learning experiences. While some people envision homeschooling as time spent at the kitchen table surrounded with textbooks and worksheets, most modern families opt to take a fair amount of learning out into real world experiences. Similarly, it can be tedious when you are with your own children 24/7 without much of a break. Lastly, many homeschool parents report that it is challenging to find outside team activities that will accept them if they do not ‘belong’ to a certain school or district.
Perhaps not sufficiently mentioned here, but still of grave concern, is the ability of the parent to actually teach. Some people vehemently argue that any parent can teach, while others recognize that teaching is a skill. This topic is largely and highly debated. It could constitute an entire blog of its own, so I’ll at least mention it here briefly.
Finally, whatever your circumstances, it is probably a good idea to make a pro and con list if you’re considering a switch to a homeschool environment. Perhaps this somewhat non-traditional schooling is right for you, perhaps it is not. But it is always best to examine things first. Investigation prior to contempt is the key to finding what is right for you and your family. Whether your choice is homeschooling or not, Dynamis Learning Academy can help you with any academic challenges you may face with your child. We customize our tutoring programs to fit the child’s needs, whether that is to fill in gaps in subject areas or to further strengthen particular skills and advance them even further. We encourage you to reach out to us for a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation. Our goal is to reach as many children as possible and help them reach their potential.