When it comes to homeschooling, there are people who believe it is great, and others who believe a child should definitely attend a regular school. Here we will compare the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling, taking into account that it is the parent who decides to homeschool their child themselves. While this isn't an easy decision, having the pros and cons clearly divided might help one towards understanding whether homeschooling is a good fit for their child as well as themselves. At the end of the day, it cannot be generally claimed that one option is better than the other because so much of it actually depends on the child and their parent. Some children are much happier and learn a lot more by being homeschooled, while others develop better in a classic school environment. Likewise, some parents make great homeschooling teachers, while others are just not meant for it. All of these facts need to be taken into account when deciding, but it is always good to know that both, attending school as well as being homeschooled, have their advantages and disadvantages.
Here are 10 advantages of homeschooling, followed by 10 disadvantages of homeschooling. Hopefully, these help those who need to make a decision come to one more easily.
20 Pro: Better education
According to Family Education, kids who are homeschooled get a better education. This is the result of many factors like the student-to-teacher ratio and the fact that the education is more tailored. This is probably one of the biggest advantages homeschooling brings, as all parents want their kids to end up having a good education, and by that we mean not just to pass classes, but also end up keeping most of that knowledge for the rest of their lives.
19 Pro: Spending more time with family
This is clearly another very important benefit of homeschooling. According to Homeschooling Ideas, besides teaching their kid, the parent also ends up spending a lot more time with their child. And since the child doesn't need to physically leave the house for the classes, there's also no time lost on getting to class. Just think about it, usually, kids spend on average at least 5-6 hours at school, but when homeschooled they spend that time at home, surrounded by family. And we all know how important being with your family is.
18 Pro: It nurtures creativity and imagination
When a kid is homeschooled, it is a lot easier to focus on nurturing the kid's talents and encourage the kid's natural sense of creativity and imagination. This is something that might be more difficult in a school environment, as classrooms often have a larger student-to-teacher ratio and the fact that the teacher probably doesn't know the child as well as its own parent does. Besides this, a child is usually more prone to exploring their own creativity and imagination in a more comfortable setting, such as their own home.
17 Pro: More feedback from children
Homeschooled children usually give feedback to their homeschooling teachers more easily, simply because they are more comfortable to say what they think or need to their parent in private, than to a teacher in a room full of other students. And feedback should definitely not be underestimated, as it tells the teacher what the student understands and needs. Getting more feedback from the child most commonly results in a better teacher-student relationship, and that in return means the child gets a better education.
16 Pro: Flexible schooling schedule
A major benefit, not only for the children but also for the parents, is the fact that homeschooling is so flexible when it comes to scheduling. This means that the hours in a day which are spent on homeschooling can be easily moved to adapt to the parent's or child's other obligations. But most importantly, this also means that vacations and traveling can be booked while other children are still in their school year, and this leads to saving a lot of money, as it is generally cheaper at those times.
15 Pro: No school violence, drugs, and other negative behaviors
When a child doesn't attend a school, it is also protected from all the negative influence that is evident in today's schools. This means your child cannot be bullied at school, it cannot participate in any potentially harmful activities that may lead to violence or other deliquent behaviors. And with how dangerous schools can potentially be, protecting your child from this is definitely another benefit of homeschooling.
14 Pro: More tailored education
Because homeschooling is so flexible, it means that it can also be adapted to your child's needs and wants. Sure, there are things that need to be covered no matter what, but when it comes to homeschooling, a lot of space is left for tailoring the child's education to their needs, preferences as well as learning level. And this is something that is very difficult to achieve in a class with other children, as some might be better and could go further with certain topics, while others can barely follow.
13 Pro: Focus more on children's special talents like music or athletics
Since homeschooling is so flexible in terms of time and the education itself, it is quite easy to focus more on a child's talents and preferences. So if the child shows a greater affinity for writing, music, or sports, the parent can easily adapt the schedule to focus more on those talents in order for the child to not only reach their maximum potential, but to also enjoy homeschooling a lot more, as they spend more time doing what they like.
12 Pro: More adequate teaching materials and methods
Not every teaching method works the same for every student, and with homeschooling, the parent can easily experiment with methods and resources in order to make learning as easy for their child as possible. This is something that isn't achievable in most schools as they are catering to a larger group of students. Besides this, homeschooling allows parents to get a lot more creative in the ways they want to teach their children, which, in turn, leads to the children having a lot more fun learning.
11 Pro: Better teacher-to-student ratio
As mentioned previously, the fact that there is one parent teaching usually one or two children makes for a perfect teacher-to-student ratio. In a classroom full of children, it is definitely more difficult to give every single child the necessary attention and help, especially with the time restrictions, but with homeschooling, this problem does not exist. And because of this ratio, it is so easy for the child to give feedback, and for the parent to make sure the child really understood the subject matter.
10 Con: Parents are legally responsible for their children's education
When children are homeschooled, it is the parents who have the full legal responsibility to make sure the child gets the minimum necessary education. While this does not seem like a big deal, if the parent doesn't fulfill their responsibilities, there can be legal consequences. Besides the legal responsibilities, there is also the personal burden a parent can feel since they are the ones who are providing their child with their education, and they could be constantly doubting themselves if they are doing a good enough job.
9 Con: There are no other children to share the experience with
Probably the biggest disadvantage of homeschooling is that the child does not spend nearly as much time with other children of same age, as they would if it attended a regular school. And at the end of the day, we all know how important it is to have someone who shares the same experience with you when you're growing up. Homeschooled children generally don't have such a person. This also means they have no one to study with or share their learning experiences with.
8 Con: Children can feel isolated
Homeschooling can definitely make a child feel isolated, as they are fully aware that they don't have the same experiences as their friends who are attending regular schools. And as a parent, even though you want to provide the best education for your child, you still don't want your child to feel isolated, and homeschooling could potentially lead to that. While this might not always be the case, it is good to be aware of it and make sure to talk to your child and help them if they do feel isolated.
7 Con: Parents constantly need to justify their decision to everyone
This is probably the most annoying thing about homeschooling your child: the fact that you constantly need to justify your decision to everyone because, of course, everyone has an opinion on it. And most commonly, these opinions are negative, as many people find homeschooling to be unusual and not as beneficial to the child. So if you do decide to homeschool your child, be prepared for all the annoying questions you are bound to get from family and friends, as everyone seems to think they know best.
6 Con: Finding the best resources
When homeschooling a child, the parent is in charge of finding the best resources for studying. And while this may seem easy at first, one can easily get overwhelmed with the number of materials that are offered out there. Finding the most appropriate resources that match the child's learning level and personality might not always be an easy task. Homeschooling is hard work for a parent, especially because it includes so much more than just giving your child classes.
5 Con: It is hard work for parents
Yes, teaching your child might seem like a great idea because you think you can give your child a tailored education, but do not underestimate how much work homeschooling is for a parent. It is essentially as time-consuming and exhausting as a full-time job, as it not only requires the full attention and patience of a parent during the lessons, but also a lot of preparation, reading, and work after and before the classes. Homeschooling is a huge dedication, and not every parent is capable of it.
4 Con: Children have a harder time developing social skills
Since homeschooled children don't spend nearly as much time with their peers as children who attend regular schools do, it is of no surprise that they can struggle with developing good social skills. Being in school and spending a lot of hours with other children of the same age means that there will be a lot of interaction, which leads to the development of social skills. Not having this experience can result in a child growing up and not always knowing how to interact or behave around others.
3 Con: Children spend too much time with their parents
Besides not spending enough time with peers, homeschooling can lead to spending too much time with one's family and parents. While this might not be a bad thing, it can be quite annoying, especially once the child reaches that teenager stage. Spending too much time together can lead to becoming easily irritable and can potentially result in a lot of arguing. Besides this, spending too much time with their parents can easily make the child too attached and not independent enough, and that is something no parent wants.
2 Con: One parent cannot work
A major drawback to homeschooling, according to schoolmoney.org, is that it generally means one parent cannot have a full-time job. This means if both parents used to work, then there will be less income. As previously mentioned, homeschooling is as time-consuming as a full-time job, and having any other work besides this would be too exhausting and unhealthy for the parent. So when one decides to homeschool their child, they will also need to give up having any other job.
1 Children might feel like they are missing out
Lastly, a definite disadvantage of homeschooling is the child's own feelings of missing out. While they might get a better education, they may feel like they would have preferred to go to a regular school. When we think about our childhood and growing up, school was so much more than just education – it also meant friendship, first crushes, birthday parties, sharing lunches and so much more. And that is something a homeschooled child cannot experience, and they might end up blaming you one day for taking that away from them.