More and more parents are deciding to home school their children. The home school movement really started to pick up speed about a decade or so ago. Parents may consider home schooling for a host of reasons. The most popular reason that parents choose to home school is for religious reasons.
Home schooling is clearly a huge commitment that requires dedication, materials and the patience to educate your child at home. There are plenty of pros to homeschooling but there are also some cons. Weighing out your options carefully will help you to decide if home schooling is something that you and your family can pull together successfully.
Reviewing the pros and cons listed below can help you to make an informed decision.
Pros of Home Schooling
1. You Are In The Driver Seat
When you choose to home school, you are also choosing to take control over what your child learns. You can teach from your own perspective. You can pick and choose through the curriculum and teach it the way you see fit. You also get to plan the lessons and have control over other areas as well.
2. One On One Attention
Home schooling your child means that they get one on one attention. They do not have to risk being put in a crowded classroom with 30 or more other children trying to get the teachers attention. Children learn better in smaller environments. There has been numerous studies that have supported the idea that children simply do better in smaller classroom settings.
When you home school the world becomes your classroom. Every day and every place is a new opportunity to learn. Simple trips to the grocery store can turn into a math lesson. A day in the park becomes a lesson in science. You are not bound by 4 walls when you home school. You have the freedom to teach wherever you are.
4. Less Expense
Home schooling requires that you have certain materials on hand to help with the education process but it is far less expensive than even public school education is.
5. Exposure to Illness
Kids are like walking petri dishes. They are full of germs. Homeschoolers are exposed to less germs than children in traditional school settings. They get sick less often.
Cons of Home Schooling
Not everything is grand about home schooling. There are some cons associated with educating your child from home.
1. Lack of Social Exposure
Children need social interaction. Sure you can make up for the lack of interacting with other children every day by seeking out social situations for your child BUT some experts believe that setting your child apart from other children by home schooling can stunt their emotional development. Part of the process of going through a traditional school setting is learning how to get along with others and how to work out situations. Some experts believe that competing for the teachers attention is an important part of learning things like patience and how to navigate in a group.
Of course children that are home schooled are not necessarily exposed to diversity in cultures either.
2. Are Your Qualified?
It is a dual edged sword to teach your child ONLY what you believe. It can stunt their intellectual growth by not sharing other world views with them. Do you have enough general knowledge to be able to teach your child what they need to know? Do you have enough patience to teach your child what they know? One of the key reasons a formal education works is because your child can be exposed to other world views and use reasoning skills to form their own opinions.
3. Can You Afford to Home School?
The amount of time commitment to home schooling would mean that at least one parent is a stay at home parent. That would mean losing that one parents potential income. Can you afford to live on one income? For a lot of parents no matter how attractive home schooling is, it is just not financially practical for them to stay home.
While the home schooling trend continues to grow it is not for every family. It sounds like a very attractive idea to live without alarms, to not have to be anywhere at any point during the day. It also sounds very attractive to teach your child only what you want them to know but it may not be the most practical idea if you want your child to be able to balance what you believe with what others believe and to form their own ideas.
Ultimately home schooling is a very personal and profound choice that has to be made as a family in the best interest of the child and the family.