Those who have children may consider home-educating them sooner or later. Of course, it’s a privilege to be able to do this, as it will be a full-time focus and means you need at least one full-time income coming into the household.
If you do have the opportunity to do this, however, you may feel inspired and interested in the possibility. After all, being able to offer all of your time, effort, and care into educating your children personally is appealing to many, knowing that despite how good teachers can be, they have to split their time among thirty or so pupils per class, leaving less time for your own little one.
However, educating your child is not necessarily a free-form approach. For example, you will need to teach an approved syllabus to your child, and regular inspections will be undertaken to make sure you’re doing so.
While you can often read between the lines and decide which teaching structure you use, that doesn’t mean you can teach them anything you like, nor will they be free from any grading qualifications to graduate the same level of schooling they would otherwise. Some parents also worry about the lack of social contact being taught at home brings, and what worrisome outcomes that could cause a child to face.
In this post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of home-educating your child, allowing you to make that final decision for good.
Pro: Homeschool Has Flexible Schedules
It’s important to use a routine from the top down because children learn and develop best in a regimented environment. This isn’t like being self-employed, where you can get up at 3 am and work in your home office if you so desire. Children need to start working in the morning and focus on topics until they get tired in the afternoon, with plentiful breaks and time for lunch peppered throughout.
That being said, weekly schedules can vary. If there’s an impromptu showing of theatre production in your area, and you’ve been learning about Shakespeare, you can quite easily flip around the book study until tomorrow and enjoy the theatre today. Little alterations like that help you decide when and where you teach what elements of a subject and then develop a coherent outcome thanks to your efforts.
Con: There’s Limited Socialization in Homeschooling
It’s true that, yes, home-educated children might miss out on the conventional experience of developing in line with their peer group. But of course, that’s not always a positive. Sometimes, children struggle with being bullied, with peer judgment, and simply struggling to make friends.
Additionally, many home education practitioners will make study groups or local meetups to help their children meet others and connect with them anew. So, while this can certainly be a challenge, there are ways to ameliorate this.
Of course, the “con” here is that this comes as an additional requirement for home education, sometimes outside of study hours, and it’s up to you to plan for it.
Pro: Trips When & Where You See Fit
A trip outside of your regular studying schedule often takes a huge amount of planning and preparation for schools to achieve. They need approval from the school board, they need to plan every aspect of the trip with many risk assessments in place, they need the parents to make voluntary donations or even come along to help chaperone, and they need to pay for a large class to head out, they need to hire coaches and more.
All of this can take months to plan for a single day out. As a home educator, you simply decide where you’re going, get in the car with your little one, and go to experience it. While you might not have access to the larger schooling packages, you can still be nimble enough to enjoy a baseline visitor attraction, be that heading to an aquarium or museum for the day.
Con: You Have To Fund Every Aspect Yourself
When you choose to home-educate your child, you do so with the acceptance that a place in school would have been provided for them for free, but you’ve turned that opportunity down. Of course, many who opt for private education make the same decision, so you’ll hardly be an outlier there. That being said, you can’t expect any additional funding from the government if you choose to be home-educated outside of support with disability provisions if your child manages any conditions like this.
This means that you have to fund school trips yourself, learning resources, textbooks, and, of course, the opportunity to not work but teach your children instead. Moreover, you might not have access to afterschool clubs run by the school or the programs that concerned citizens or PTO organizations will fundraise for to add further experiences for little ones.
Pro: More Time With Your Child
Of course, sometimes it’s best to look at the most obvious benefits and realize their importance. If you home-educate your child, you may have three times the usual amount of time with them as children than you would otherwise. For some, this is more than enough reason to follow the process.
Moreover, having more time at home and being taught by a loved one who truly cares about their education can work wonders. It means you get to explore topics together, share fun memories, have a fun laugh when needed, and enjoy deeper bonds with your little one.
You also get to avoid the constant worry of them having a bad or uncaring teacher or not having the time they need to develop certain skills. After all, all children develop at different rates, but the regular classroom environment isn’t necessarily set up top accommodate all kids.
Con: More Time With Your Child
How on earth could this be a con? You might be thinking that, too. Well, most parents are aware that raising children is a hard, hard task. Of course, becoming a parent allowed you to accept this somewhat before your little one was born.
But being responsible for your child’s education, running a household, taking care of pets, maybe even running a side hustle to contribute to family finances – well, all of this can take a lot of effort. Moreover, it’s not as if your children will be angelic and perfectly behaved each and every day – no child is.
So, it’s important to be very aware of the realities of this effort, be that registering your child to sit their mathematics exam in a school setting to complete the course or sitting at the kitchen table with your little one as they become more and more frustrated with a scientific topic.
Home education takes a great deal of discipline as a parent, which is why we place it in the “con” section for now because having an entire schooling system take care of that for you is much easier, and what many parents choose to do instead.
Pros: It’s Not All Or Nothing
Of course, you can’t let your child attend school “part-time,” as it were, but you don’t have to home-educate forever. Perhaps you’ll simply plan to do the early years to give them the best headstart, then send them to high school when the time comes.
Perhaps you’ll only home-educate for two years as you move to another location, or perhaps when you’re following your partner to another job opportunity. The best pro of home education, and schooling in general, is that you get to decide when and how it happens for the most part, pending approval by the child-focused authorities.
With this advice, we hope you can more easily decide if home education is right for you and your family at the moment.