Is homeschooling the best choice for everyone? I’ve been homeschooling mom for more than 10 years now, and I can’t agree to that statement. The decision to homeschool is one that must be carefully weighed when your family is considering it. Here are the benefits and drawbacks to consider before homeschooling.
See also: Affordable Homeschooling Curriculum
The Pros of Homeschooling
Homeschooling has many benefits. Some are educational and some are relational.
Quality and Quantity Time With the Family
Homeschool families spend a lot of time together. It allows the parents and children to enjoy each other’s company as a family and as a learning unit. My children are close siblings, and I know that part of the reason is because they are together regularly.
Opportunities to Teach Values and Worldviews
Because we homeschool, my children see my values acted upon regularly. I don’t just tell them what I believe. They see the way I act, day in and day out. This gives parents the opportunity to teach children how to question, evaluate, and form opinions for themselves.
With homeschooling, I’ve learned that even the four children from the same family do not learn the same way. They have different needs in a curriculum and plan. Some need structure. Some need movement. Some need to move slower. I can adjust and adapt so that no one falls behind just because of a learning difference.
The Cons of Homeschooling
So, with all of these benefits, can I agree that homeschooling is for everyone? No. There are drawbacks to homeschooling. I’ll be the first to say it’s not all sunshine and roses.
The Blurred Line Between Teacher and Parent
Because I’m serving the role of mother and teacher, it’s easy to carry over feelings and attitudes from one to the other. When I have a child who gets up in the morning and immediately has a bad attitude over chores or bickering with a sibling, it is sometimes difficult to put that aside and work with that child on math. Feelings carry over. He’s annoyed with me, and I’m annoyed with him. To succeed in homeschooling, I have to maintain that line. But it’s very easily blurred.
Financial Cost to the Family
There is a loss of income when mom stays home to homeschool. Homeschool families usually live on one income, and are likely to spend a lot of money on curricula each year. It can help if mom has a part time job or works from home. But in many homeschool families, living on one income takes sacrifice and diligence. This cost can be a definite drawback.
The Cost to Mom and Marriage
As a homeschool mom, I’m “on” all the time. At any moment of the day – or sometimes night – I can be caught up in a school-related question. Plus, staying home all day with the kids doesn’t give me a lot of time to wind down. This constant tug can affect, not only mom, but the relationship between parents. If there isn’t any time to build the marriage relationship and problems with kids are constantly creeping in, it’s time to set some boundaries. Setting aside time for mom to refresh and for mom and dad to relate is crucial. Homeschooling can definitely have a cost if those boundaries aren’t set.
As with any decision, weigh the pros and cons before homeschooling. If homeschooling is the right fit for your family, be prepared for those potential drawbacks and have a plan for dealing with them. Only then can homeschooling be a very beneficial – and enjoyable – way of life.
About the All-Star Blogger
Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. Her days are filled with being a mom, homemaker, and teacher. In her (very rare) free time, she enjoys blogging, reading, and reviewing books and curricula. These days she’s learning the joys of being a mom of teens. You can read about her family and homeschooling life at As We Walk Along the Road.