Many parents find themselves having to decide whether or not to homeschool their children. This conversation has become more frequent in light of the pandemic over the last two years, as well as changes in society over the last few decades.
Before having children of my own, I was a middle school math teacher. My plan was always to put my children in public school. After all, that was how I had grown up, and it was what I chose to be my profession.
A few months before my oldest was about to be enrolled for kindergarten, however, I began to feel uncomfortable with the idea. School days seemed a lot longer than they did when I was kid, and I was concerned about the influences my child would be exposed to at such a tender age.
After weighing the pros and cons, I decided to homeschool my children. Now, looking back four years later, it has been the best decision I could have ever made for them.
I want to share some of the pros and cons of homeschooling as I see them now so that you can make an informed decision on what is best for your family.
Pros of Homeschooling
For me, the pros of homeschooling far outweigh the cons. Otherwise, I would have put my kids back in public or charter school long ago! Here are some of the many things our family loves about homeschooling.
My kids are best friends
My two oldest children are three years apart in age. If they were in public school, this age gap would mean they wouldn’t get to spend much time together. Because they are home together all day, they have become each other’s best friends.
We get a lot of play time
My kids are morning people, so we can finish with chores and school lessons by lunchtime! This allows them to have a lot more play time each day than they would if they were going to public school.
The kids get to do work at their own pace
One of the most difficult things I experienced as a middle school math teacher was having to teach lessons when some kids weren’t ready for them. With 35 students in a classroom, there was no way to teach to the students who are furthest behind while also meeting the needs of the advanced kids. Since I am teaching my children one-on-one, if there is a concept they are struggling with, we can work on it for as long as we need. Similarly, if there is a topic they excel at, we can work as fast as they want!
Young children aren’t exposed to adult issues
Many of my friends and acquaintances have their children in public school, and I am so saddened by the questions and problems that come up. Many serious issues, including abuse, become glaringly obvious in a public school setting, even as young as kindergarten. These children aren’t ready to be exposed to harsh realities of the world. Because I homeschool, my children won’t be forced to deal with these issues until they’re more ready.
The evenings don’t feel crammed
We have fostered children in the past, and they attend public school. The evenings always felt rushed and crammed because they would get home from school late in the afternoon, start homework, eat dinner, finish homework, and then it would be time for bed. And if they wanted to do extracurricular activities, it was even worse!
The kids get the sleep they need
Because we can do extracurricular activities in the afternoons, the kids are able to go to bed at a decent hour. They can also sleep in on days they need, or if they are unwell, we can take a break or have a lighter day.
Cons of Homeschooling
Now, before you think homeschooling is all roses, there are some cons as well. It’s not perfect, and sometimes it can be difficult.
You never get a break
I was so excited when it was time for my oldest to start kindergarten. I was looking forward to that break each day. As a homeschooler, our family is together almost all of the time. That leaves very little time for mental health breaks. I run errands, clean, and perform all other responsibilities with my kids in tow.
You have to be both parent and teacher
When I was teaching, I would have frequent parent-teacher conferences. Parents were always surprised when I would tell them how much I enjoyed their child in class, because they apparently weren’t so well-behaved at home! With homeschooling, you and your child have to work together not just on home and family matters, but also on their education. And just like you don’t get a break from them, they don’t get a break from you.
Your kids don’t get as much social time
Homeschool by nature is less social. lBut don’t get me wrong—we do have social time! We go to co-op classes, choir, gymnastics, museum classes, park days, playdates, and more. If you live in a smaller area with fewer homeschoolers, that can limit your child’s socializing. But as you can see from the pros list, that limitation isn’t always a bad thing. Homeschoolers have more freedom in choosing good friends and influences. Thanks to this, I don’t worry about my children’s safety, which is a very real concern in today’s world.
Overall, there are a lot more pros for homeschooling than cons, at least in my opinion! Homeschooling, when done the right way, is a tremendous benefit to a child.With technology available today, there are so many homeschool resources for children that help them get the best of both worlds: a good education and time to be children. One great resource is Troomi. With Troomi, your kids can access dozens of educational apps from their very own kid-safe smart phone. If you’re looking into homeschooling your children, check out Troomi.And, when the family situation allows it, I always strongly encourage homeschooling for any parent!