Many parents who entertain the idea of homeschooling eventually hit the crossroad where they have to tick off the pros and cons to arrive at the right decision. While as parents we have to make daily decision on behalf of our children, this one is particularly challenging since it affects so many areas of family life.
So, what are the pros and cons of homeschooling, kicking off the school system and taking the responsibility solely in your own hands? Surprisingly enough, the two are close enough.
- Dance to the beat of your own drum. Finally, with a deep big sigh, you arrive at a point where you don’t have to compare your child’s academic success to their peers. Yes, the school system has always told you that you only compete against yourself. Yet, somehow both parents and children are always aware that they are behind or ahead of their classmates, or are not always fully given a credit for all of their efforts. While homeschooled, you are free to learn things when you wish and if you wish. Some homeschoolers only learn to read in grade one, while others have already learned their multiplication facts at the same age.
- Enjoy better academic outcomes. Homeschooled children learn in a distraction-free environment. Many children only spend studying a few hours a day, with or without adult support. Not surprisingly, many of them are able to cover a full grade curriculum in just a few months. For that reason, many previously homeschooled children excel academically when they are integrated back into the school system.
- Well-developed, rounded personality. Since academics is complete within a few morning hours, the rest of the day is open to enjoy the activities children really want to indulge in. The parents of schooled children generally feel the need to cram the extracurriculars into a few hours after school, or to reject doing them at all. Homeschooled children usually have the time and energy to explore the extracurriculars. Art, music, spending time outside, reading and doing nothing – all of those are open to the those who are given the luxury of time.
- Family and siblings’ connections. This is the last, but not the least, if not the most important one. Typically, when the decision is made to homeschool the older kids, the younger ones follow the example by default. As a result, the family spends a lot of time together in their children’s formative years. Very often, the outcome is a strongly bonded, united family.
- Many parents get so overwhelmed with the amount of decisions they have to make that they simply brush off the idea without trying to implement it. Do I do it right? Am I teaching my kids properly? What if I am missing on some important aspects of homeschooling? Do I have to be a teacher? The pressure to be the sole provider of both academic and social aspects might sometimes be too much to even start thinking about it.
- Peer and family pressure. This one might happen to be the biggest obstacle to successfully implementing the calm homeschooling oasis you have initially planned on. Since homeschooling is a novel idea in the modern society, people can’t help but ask a ton of questions. Parents either get ready for those, or eventually, if shaky in their decision, might start succumbing to the pressure.
- Reduced income. Generally, a good portion of homeschooling is provided by one of the parents. Even if the parents hire some help with their children education, the very fact that kids are at home for extended periods of time means that one of the parents has to cut back on working hours or to stay home completely. Many families find themselves sacrificing a second income to implement the new family dynamics.
- Re-integration into a school system, although highly debatable. Many homeschooled children fit well or exceed school expectations whenever required to integrate. Many do not integrate at all and go straight into colleges or universities. Many are pulled out for homeschooling later in their school years, exactly at a point when other homeschoolers decide to re-integrate back into the system.
Like in many other decisions, there is no right or wrong. Also, when the decision is finally made, there is no one right way to do it, either. Every situation and family are unique, with specific demands and criteria. But one thing is super important to keep in mind – as soon as the decision is made, we need to feel good about it. Children are extremely sensitive and will adopt your projected vibe.