We have been learning at home now for nearly 4 years, and of course, there are many pros and cons for homeschooling. We have homeschooled both in the UK and America, so we are very versed in both countries.
Now before I start I need to say that homeschooling is not for everyone.
Homeschooling is HARD, and you need to have a lot of PATIENCE. However, it is the best thing we have ever done for our family, and we are all (mostly) loving it.
Why Do People Homeschool?
There are many reasons people homeschool, and your reason might be (and probably will be) completely different from the next person. But I will list the most popular reasons:
- Religious Reasons
- ASD – School Unsupportive
- Anxiety / Mental Health of Child
- Childs education needs not being met at public school
- Safety concerns
- Freedom to travel
- Follow a childs passions and strengths
- Parents were homeschooled
If like us you started in the public school system, it can be a very difficult decision to make. Especially if you don’t know anyone else that homeschools!! However, only YOU can make the decision and do what is right for your family.
Pros and Cons of Homeschooling
Now of course some of the benefits for some will be a disadvantage for others, so I will add them in both sections.
Pros of Homeschooling
It is a myth that homeschoolers don’t socialize!! There are lots of homeschool groups you can attend, you can go on field trips, join sports teams (even if they are after school), join a music group, I mean the lists are endless. You have exactly the same (if not more) opportunities as public school kids.
Cost of Homeschooling
This appears in both lists, as it depends on what you are comparing it to! So for us, the cost of homeschool is actually cheaper than public school. There are no uniforms to buy, no going on vacation at the busiest times, no expensive school trips, etc. Also, there are so many free curricula for homeschool that you can literally do it all for FREE!
More Educational Freedom
If you go to public school you have to follow the curriculum set out by the country / state. If you are wanting to study the bible or want to study geography in grade 6 for example, you will need to homeschool. This for us is one of our main reasons for continuing to homeschool in middle school. We want to focus on both American and European History, we want to fast-track math (I know you can do this in public school, but there is still a lot of waiting around for the rest of the kids to keep up.)
We struggle with ADHD in our home and we can lose him with any small distraction. In a class of 20-30 kids, it is nearly impossible for him to concentrate. Also, we have found that (depending on the subject, and the complexity of it) he works better when listening to music. He also likes to move around and fidget. This is perfect for him, however not ideal in a public school environment!
1 on 1 Teaching
As we are a homeschool of one, he gets complete 1 on 1 teaching from both me and other online tutors we use. Now I know of course most people homeschool with multiple children, however, it is still very much 1 on 1 teaching. This is so important for us, and it works so much better than having to wait for the teacher to answer a question, or for us to wait for other kids in the class to keep up.
Free Time / Don’t Have to Follow the Schools Timetable
Another benefit of homeschooling is that you can switch your day or even switch the months that you homeschool. Our local middle school in Florida starts at 9.30am and finishes at 4.30pm, we are early risers here and start our school work at 8am. Also, we homeschool in the summer months (as the weather in South Florida is not pleasant) and then take off from Thanksgiving until the New Year. This works so much better for us.
Another great benefit for us is that it definitely encourages independence. Although I set the curriculum he works at his own pace to complete it (within reason of course!). He completes his daily homeschool planner at the end of each day to monitor what he has completed, this helps so he can see what he has done. In fact some days he is disappointed in himself that he has only written 5 lines as opposed to his normal 8, which motivates him to catch up the rest of the week.
This was one of my first concerns when we started (he was only 8!!). I have done a lot of research both in the UK and America, and this is normally seen as a benefit, not a disadvantage. This is taken directly from Harvard’s website:
Each applicant to Harvard College is considered with great care and homeschooled applicants are treated the same as all other applicants. There is no special process, but all relevant information about your educational and personal background is welcome. In addition to the application, all applicants are required to submit standardized tests, a transcript (you may create your own), and recommendations.Harvard
Oxford University welcomes applications from students from any background, including those who have been home educated. However, you will still need to meet our admissions requirements.Oxford University, UK
But this is the case for all local universities and colleges we have researched.
Cons of Homeschooling
Major Lifestyle Change
I can’t stress this one enough, your life will completely change if you decide to homeschool. You will be with your children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will get no breaks, like at all!
If both parents work full time there will be an adjustment in finances with one parent having to be at home. Unless you could work from home of course.
“Can I actually do this?” is a question we homeschool moms ask ourselves most days! This is completely natural, and to be honest, if you weren’t asking these questions you probably aren’t doing enough! A number of homeschool moms have written books about homeschooling, and I definitely recommend you check them out, they helped me no end.
Socialization / Isolation
This appears in both pros and cons, as homeschooling can feel isolating. For example, a number of the homeschool groups that are local to us are very religious. Now that is great for lots of people, but not for us. So although it doesn’t affect my homeschooler it does mean I feel fairly isolated. Although, I am not sure it would be much different if he was in public school either!
Cost of Homeschooling
Although you can homeschool for free, most homeschoolers chose a paid-for curriculum at least for certain subjects. For us, we pay for WriteShop, Real Science Odyssey, and Beast Academy for math, and Florida (like most states and countries) does not help with homeschool funding.
What to do when you are sick?
This is definitely something that is much harder when you homeschool. The kids don’t go to school, they are with you 24/7, even when you are sick! Check out my top tips on how to homeschool when mom is sick
What are your pros and cons for homeschooling? Let me know in the comments below.
Last Updated on 21 September 2021 by homeschoolof1