The Real Homeschooling Pros and Cons: What You Should Know and Why
Homeschooling pros and cons can have a big impact on your learn at-home adventures.
It’s important to weigh these pros and cons as you plan and enjoy your homeschool.
Check out these homeschool benefits and disadvantages to help you be prepared and more.
Let’s Take An Honest Look at the Pros & Cons of Homeschooling
As much as our family loves it, homeschooling isn’t for everyone.
When you try to decide as to whether or not to homeschool your kids, it’s important look at the homeschooling pros and cons.
Homeschool families often have a variety of reasons for choosing this path. A few of the reasons why some families choose homeschooling include:
- Flexibility to travel
- More free time with their families
- Incorporate their religion into their child’s education without paying for private, religious education
- Erratic schedules
- More (or less) rigorous academic approach
- Health needs
- Special needs
- Other unique reason
Let’s take a look at what many families say are the homeschooling pros and cons.
Oh, I also encourage you to talk to current homeschool families (in-person or in Facebook groups) to see what they think about homeschooling if you’re on the fence about your decision.
What Are The Advantages of Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is a beautiful thing for thousands of families. For these families, there are many advantages to home education. Here are some of the common reasons families love to homeschool their kids.
One of the main reasons that parents homeschool is because it’s flexible. You have the choice of curriculum, so you have total freedom over what you teach your kids.
If your child is particularly interested in a subject, you’re free to spend more time encouraging this interest.
It allows you to adapt your child’s education to their needs. Some kids need more time because they struggle with a particular subject. And that same kid might be able to zoom ahead in a subject they love.
You know your child the best, so you’re free to help your child however they need.
Let’s not forget the flexible schedule and relaxed routine.
Some families love to travel, which can be hard when your kids attend school. Homeschooling means you take your child’s education with you.
You can even change the breaks that you have for your homeschool. Many homeschooling families opt for a year-round schedule with longer breaks throughout the year rather than only in the summer.
2. Educational Freedom
Educational freedom goes along with flexibility. As homeschoolers, you have the freedom to decide what to study and what our kids want to learn when they want to learn it. Of course, within the homeschool laws of your state!
Yes, all of the basics will be covered (and more) by homeschooling families. But, those basics are covered at the age that works for your kids.
It also means that your kids can pursue non-traditional interests on a deeper level. Unit studies are one way that families study a specific topic deeply for several weeks.
3. No Worries about Bullying
Bullying is a real problem in school districts, leading to an increase in depression in children and teenagers.
Some people say that homeschooling shelters kids too much. Not enough social interaction or chances to develop social skills, blah blah blah.
Homeschooling doesn’t shelter kids per se. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that it provides a safe, nurturing environment from which a child or teen can better learn. And isn’t that what education really is about?
4. Free to Incorporate Your Beliefs
A pro of homeschooling is that it allows you to incorporate your beliefs into your child’s education.
Some families choose a Christian approach. Other families may opt for a more secular homeschool approach for their child’s learning.
Growth mindset and life skills are other ways that you can weave your beliefs into your homeschooling adventures.
If it’s important to your family, then you can cultivate that belief in your homeschol.
5. More Free Time
This homeschooling pro is similar to flexibility. Homeschooling families don’t need to have a strict schedule for their school day (unless it’s something they thrive with). Oh, and it doesn’t run on the same type of schedule as a traditional school!
If you have a child who needs frequent therapies or doctor’s appointments, you don’t need to tell the school or give them special notice.
You can also travel or take field trips whenever your family wants.
Also, it gives your children more time to be free and pursues their interests. Kids can spend more time working on their art or musical talents. Your child might want to play more sports or take extra lessons.
6. Adaptable to Your Child
Despite what some people think, one of the biggest homeschooling pros is that it’s an effective way to teach your children.
When teachers have large classrooms, it’s almost impossible to adapt a lesson and resources to each child and their individual needs.
Homeschool parents can adapt each lesson to what their child needs to succeed.
You can move through lessons slowly or quickly. If your child is a visual learner, you can create lessons around that. Kids may have different learning styles so you can adapt accordingly.
7. Builds Family Relationships
Homeschooling means that you are with your children far more than the average family.
That means you’re there for every milestone, along with every good and bad moment. You aren’t missing out on important moments plus you get to spend extra time developing a bond with your child.
Some people think that togetherness is too much. But, for many families, time together is exactly what they need to have a strong family unit.
8. Encourages Independence
Teaching children to take charge of their education is essential. Higher education requires independence and self-motivation to succeed.
When you homeschool, you can give your kids assignments to complete on their own time, encouraging independence. Your homeschool kids can work at their own pace and develop a love of learning.
Older kids can take part in the responsibility for their education by working independently on their essential lessons.
Also, many homeschool families teach lessons on life skills, like managing money, cooking, and laundry, to help their child succeed in the future.
9. Better Rested Children
Maybe your family is like mine and has a mix of early birds and night owls?
Or maybe you just don’t operate well in the morning?
Homeschooling allows you to start your lessons and activities when it works for your family. You don’t have to start at 8:05 am!
Some days, our homeschool starts around 10 am. Other days, we might not even start until after lunch. As long as our homeschool work gets done, does it really even matter? I love that our relaxed routine allows for my boys to rest as long as they need.
Getting up early to head to school leads to sleepy kids. Homeschooling gives your children the opportunity to sleep as long as needed. That’s particularly helpful when you have teens who sleep a lot 😉
10. A Different Type of Socialization
Many people believe that homeschoolers have no socialization, but that’s far from the truth.
With local homeschool groups in almost every area, field trips, sports programs, homeschool co-ops, and more, families have tons of opportunities.
Many homeschooling families note that bullying is rarely a problem, and it’s nice to see kids interact in groups with peers and get social experience with all ages.
Older kids interact with the younger kids and vice versa, which represents real life. And on a side note: I’m often told how well behaved and polite my boys are in all sorts of situations.
What Are The Disadvantages of Homeschooling?
No matter what anyone tells you, there are drawbacks of homeschooling, even if the family loves it.
Here are some reasons that home education might not work for your family:
1. Parents Feel Anxious
Without a doubt, homeschooling brings feelings of anxiety because taking your child’s education into your hands is a serious and overwhelming decision.
You’ll find yourself wondering if you’re doing enough for your kids and if you’re teaching your kids properly. It can feel like you have less time to do what you need to, let alone covering all of the educational needs of your homeschool students.
All of those thoughts and feelings are normal. You want the best education for your child.
Taking their education into your hands feels like a daunting task, so expect to feel anxious.
What’s important is that you accept those feelings and channel that energy into something positive.
2. Time Restraints
There is no way to deny that homeschooling takes a lot of time for the parent.
Depending on how many children you have, you might spend four hours or more per day schooling your children. That’s a big chunk of time.
And if you have to work from home, that makes it even more complicated.
If you’re a single homeschooling parent, you have to be even more creative with your time and schooling. It means you have to learn how to balance your time and create a schedule that works for your family.
3. Adjustment Period
When you transition from a traditional school setting to homeschooling, there is an adjustment period that may feel weird at first.
You’ll have to figure out what curriculum to use, your schedule, the activities you want for your kids, and how to homeschool your kids.
If your kids spent several years in a traditional school, it’ll feel strange for them as well. They’re used to having teachers, peers, and a different learning setting. They have to get into a different mindset, and that takes time.
It’s important that you give your entire family grace during this period. Deschooling can really help you have a smooth transition.
4. Must Seek Socialization Sometimes
One of the biggest myths about homeschooling is that kids don’t get socialization. We know that this isn’t true, but parents have to spend more time finding socialization opportunities for their children.
You may have to take your children to play dates, lessons, sports practices, homeschool co-op, and other meetings.
While many families homeschool on a budget, it does cost more than sending your child to public school.
If you already live on a budget, you have to decide if the costs are affordable to you.
There are plenty of ways to make homeschooling more affordable, but when you have multiple kids, the costs can add up quickly.
6. You’re Often Together 24/7
Togetherness is a great thing, but any homeschool parent will tell you that sometimes it would just be nice to have a bit of a break.
Making and taking time for self-care can be a HUGE help for this homeschooling con. (Here’s a free list of quick and powerful brain breaks for moms if you need some inspiration!)
Oh, and sometimes sibling bickering can be an issue. It can take some time for your kids to get used to having more time together. And that’s okay.
I feel SO blessed that my boys don’t often bicker! We REALLY work on positive communication and assertiveness.
7. Lifestyle Change
Homeschooling can be a big lifestyle change.
Some families have to make different financial choices to make homeschooling possible. So, you might find that you have to make different choices when shopping. Or you might have to work from home.
Also, if your kids went to school before, they will suddenly be home more, and that leads to changes. Kids adjust, but any lifestyle change requires time to get used to everything.
And one big change that you might notice when your kids are homeschooling is your grocery list and budget! Your kids will be eating all meals and snacks at home. That can take a bit of adjustment. (But, you can also feel good knowing that your kids are getting healthy food – and get them involved in prep and clean-up).
Final Thoughts on Homeschooling Pros and Cons
These ideas are just a few of the homeschooling pros and cons. Every homeschooling parent will tell you things they love about it and some things they don’t love – that’s true for everything in this world.
Ultimately, you have to decide if the pros outweigh the cons for your family. Hopefully, these homeschooling pros and cons help you make an informed decision that works best for your family and its needs.
Do you have any questions about these homeschooling pros and cons? Or do you have any suggestions to add to these lists? Please let me know in the comments below 🙂
I have been homeschooling my children and tips like these are very helpful.