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Pros and Cons of a Homeschool Education

By Luke Smith


 

Homeschooling has become more prevalent since 2020 due to COVID-19, but many families have elected to homeschool their children long before and will continue to do so long after. Like anything in life, there are pros and cons to homeschooling which I will address in this article, but the overall consensus is if the parents have the resources, then homeschooling might just be the best thing for your children.


PROS:


Parents have control over what their children are learning


This point is often viewed negatively by the traditional school system as educators raise concerns that students will not be learning the skills they will need to compete in the workplace and beyond. This is not necessarily the case. When parents take control of their child’s education, it is often because there are things they want their kids to learn that they might not learn in school such as Bible Study, Crafts, Mechanical or other “Trade” skills, or perhaps more in depth historical courses.


Sexual education may be a controversial topic, but what is so bad about giving parents the choice to decide what their kids will be exposed to? Parents may have religious or traditional beliefs that they would like to pass on to their children and so long as the beliefs do not harm the child or put them in situations of increased vulnerability, then parents have the right to do so.



Kids can learn at their own pace


One significant fault of the school system is that it is designed to keep kids moving along regardless of whether or not they are actually prepared to do so. For a homeschooling family, kids are able to learn and advance at a pace they are comfortable with. If a child is struggling in understanding multiplication, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to start throwing fractions and division at them as they are likely going to struggle with those as well. This leads to a student perpetually struggling in all things math and creating mental walls like “I can’t do this… I’m stupid… I don't know how to do math”. With a patient instructor that does not need to meet artificial timelines, the child can focus on mastering the given skill before they move on to the next because the time is provided for them to do so!


“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” — Jiddu Krishnamurti



Schedule Flexibility


Almost every study that has ever been done suggests that forcing kids to wake up at 6:30 (or earlier) to get to school by 7:30 has negative effects on their cognitive development, their emotional development, their physical development, and their mental and physical health. Yet America proceeds with this model anyways; primarily to use school as a form of daycare so the parents can get to work on time. Should parents have the resources, it is absolutely better to allow your child to get some more sleep and begin their schooling at 9 or even 10 am. With a homeschool program, parents get to set the schedule they believe is best for their family.


Some families also travel a lot whether it be for military or other career purposes, or maybe families just like to take a lot of vacations. Rather than interrupting your child’s life and education every couple of years, homeschooling provides some stability so the education may continue as scheduled regardless of where you are. If you are a family that likes to travel and take vacations, that is just another form of learning your kids will get by directly exposing them to new places and new cultures. You and your children would be punished for providing your children with that wonderful experience in the traditional school system.



Alleviate Social Pressures


Sex, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are just some of the common pressures children face every day in schools. While these are the most well-known, they are not necessarily the most damaging to a child, should they fall victim to the pressure. During the critical years of adolescence, a child is developing their self-esteem and their self-image. Bullying always has and unfortunately, likely always will exist in some capacity, and we all know how cruel kids can be. “How expensive are the clothes you wear? Do you have the newest I-Phone? No, what a loser!” Students are confronted on their family’s economic status, their religious beliefs, and pressured to be promiscuous in dress and behavior at early ages in their development. These pressures can shape a child’s self-image for the rest of their lives; especially for young girls who are often pressured to wear make-up and dress provocatively at a young age by their peers.


By homeschooling your family, parents can alleviate some of these pressures. It is still important for children to be exposed to these kinds of influences, but at least parents will have the option to do so in a controlled environment.



Safety



Whether it be from drugs, bullies, gangs, perverts, or numerous external threats, your family is simply safer in their home. It is still important, however, for children to have exposure to external dangers as they need to be aware of these threats and learn how to fend for themselves; but it is again safer to do so in a controlled environment under your protection, rather than relying on complete strangers to keep your family safe.


 

CONS


Social Development


One drawback of Homeschooling is that children do not get to interact with their peers on a regular basis which makes it really difficult for them to make friends – real friends that is. Parents try setting them up with their friends children for play dates and things of that nature but these are friends of circumstance (that could potentially become real friends) but not friends that they naturally chose due to common interests.


Furthermore, almost more important than the educational learning students do at school; the social learning and social development is just as important. Schools give kids the opportunity to develop their social skills while kids can only learn communication skills at home. Social skills pertains to how a person might interact in different settings, particularly with their own peers. One day, your little one is going to go off in the world and make a life of their own and they will be at an out of this world ginormous disadvantage if they do not know how to interact with different types of people (bosses, colleagues, customers, etc).



However, there are alternative solutions to address these concerns. While the school environment might be the traditional place for kids to develop these skills, meet new people, and make friends; enrolling your kids in other social or athletic programs, can allow your child to accomplish these goals. Things like recreational sports leagues, art classes, karate classes, book clubs, etc… Keeping your child’s social calendar full will allow your child to thrive in both their educational and social development.



Educational Standards


Another challenge for homeschooling parents is making sure their child is actually receiving a quality education. Lets face it, if you struggled with Math in school, you are not going to do any better now trying to teach it to your child. Homeschooling puts the burden on the parents to be an expert in all subjects (think Algebra, Geometry, Chemistry, Physics, Literature, Spanish, Computer Science, World History, American History, European History, etc). Schools are also adjusting to the times and emphasizing digital skills that will allow students to be competitive in the new workplace. It is estimated over 80% of the jobs that people currently work will not exist in 20 years due to automation. Do you as a parent know python, java, robotics, or other coding skills and feel comfortable enough to teach them? There are tons of curriculums out there to assist parents but at the end of the day, the burden is still on the parent to answer those important questions your child will have.



Fortunately, there is a solution for that too! MathMobile Tutorials offers private one on one homeschool programs. These programs can be taken advantage of online, in our office, or we can send a private instructor to your home. MathMobile can either provide the entire program with core subjects, languages, and electives; do just the core subjects; or we can pick and choose which courses you would like us to teach and which ones you feel comfortable teaching! Even better, we are COGNIA certified so taking courses with us will actually allow your child to get their diploma! This allows your family to enjoy the advantages of homeschooling without the worry that your child is not getting a quality education they will need to thrive and compete in the marketplace.



Workplace Discipline


Schools provide a structure to your child’s life. Directly they are teaching them how to read, write, and perform complex math problems, but indirectly they are teaching them important disciplinary skills like punctuality, meeting deadlines, and arriving prepared. While the flexibility of a homeschool program is advantageous for a lot of reasons, it is simultaneously allowing your child to be a bit laxed in matters of discipline that will be very important when they enter the workforce.

This does not apply to all homeschool programs of course. Some parents are excellent about ensuring their “student” is up and prepared for learning at a designated time every day and they reinforce that same structure they would get at school. Other parents struggle with this and for those who do, it is a significant hindrance to their child. If this is something that you as a Parent-Teacher struggle with; it is strongly advised that you set a hard “daily schedule” and make sure that your child is adhering to it as they need to learn how to arrive to class (which will one day be work) on time and prepared for the day.


Summary


Overall, the advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages for homeschooling; particularly since so many of the disadvantages can be addressed with outside resources. At the end of the day, nothing is more important than your child’s well-being, which will include their education. There is nothing wrong with taking one of the most important parts of your child’s life into your own hands. MathMobile Tutorials has been proud to assist homeschooling families since 2004 and we are excited to continue doing so for many years to come.

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