Homeschooling is all about parents leading the education of their child (or children)
If you are a parent who has decided that homeschooling is an attractive option, you might be on the cusp of joining millions of American families who are enjoying the benefits of homeschooling.
Did you know that the number of home educated children is increasing every year in the US?
While the number was steadily rising before the pandemic, since 2020 we have seen a big increase in moms who have realized that home school learning is not something to be done temporarily – that there is value in continuing with this, potentially for your child’s entire education.
Let’s not pretend for a second that home learning with your kids is all sunshine and roses.
There are many, many benefits, but you can’t go ignoring the possible downsides.
Instead you can learn from the extensive experience that millions of homeschool mothers and parents have had first hand.
Whether you’re just getting ready to dive into homeschooling, still thinking about it, or trying to work out whether you should continue doing it, considering the pros and cons will shed light on both sides of the argument and have you more clearly weighing up whether the benefits are going to outweigh any possible negatives for both you and your children.
Pros of Homeschooling
I’m just one of millions of moms who have decided that homeschool is right for my two children. I weighed up the pros and cons, and for me the advantages significantly outweigh the challenges. I’ve put together just a few of the benefits of homeschooling for you to think about:
- Giving your child an academic advantage
Through no fault of their own, our country’s teachers are overworked, underpaid and most of all, often overwhelmed with classes that are far too large. To add to that, children with special needs are often overlooked or can take up a significant percentage of a teacher’s time in class, meaning other students aren’t getting the attention they need to reach their full potential.
Homeschooling is one-on-one: whether it is you as the teacher or if it’s a tutor. One of the most common reasons parents choose to homeschool is to provide an upper hand for their child’s learning. You won’t get classes tailored to your child’s needs and strengths at any school, but you can do that when you home educate them.
No matter your political leaning, most parents in American today feel some level of hesitation and even fear of sending their child to school everyday. There are many factors contributing to this – overpopulated schools resulting in lack of attention to individual students and their safety, bullying, social media use and peer pressure even amongst the youngest students, and of course some of the more very serious issues that children in US schools can face. Having your child learning at home does provide peace of mind that is not otherwise possible.
- Saving money
You might worry that homeschool is expensive. This is a common assumption! The truth is that it can be done on even the tightest budget, and it’s a world away from the costs of private schooling. Parents who wish they could afford a private school but can’t, and who prefer not to put their children into public schools, often fall into homeschooling this way – and find that it doesn’t cost anywhere near as much as some people might think.
One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility it provides. You can set your own schedule and adjust it as needed to fit your child’s learning style and pace. This means you can spend more time on areas where your child needs extra help, and move more quickly through areas where they excel.
- Individualized Attention
Another advantage of homeschooling is the individualized attention your child can receive. With one-on-one instruction, you can tailor your teaching to your child’s specific needs and learning style. This can be especially beneficial for children who struggle with writing or reading (as an example), as they may need more focused attention and support in specific areas.
- Customizable Curriculum
When you homeschool you have the freedom to choose your own curriculum and teaching materials. This means you can select resources that are specifically designed to help your child learn and grow through their years of education. You can also incorporate a variety of teaching methods, such as games, activities, and online resources, to keep your child engaged and motivated as you see fit. Every child learns differently and quite simply, homeschooling gives you the 100% control that isn’t possible in a classroom environment where teachers must try to cater to the very different needs of each student.
Cons of Homeschooling
- Feeling overwhelmed and burnt out
Burn out is not an uncommon experience for homeschooling parents, especially single moms who are taking on all the education tasks, as well as the usual daily home chores and routines, and often trying to hold a job at the same time.
Home learning support has come ahead leaps and bounds, and connecting with other parents will firstly help you see you are not alone if you’re going through a difficult patch, and arm you with the resources and help needed to lower the burden and reduce the feeling of overwhelm that you might feel at some point.
It’s all about decreasing the pressure you might be placing on yourself. Check out my full article about the downsides of homeschooling to learn more about WHY some of these things happen, and why are normal but not something that should have you giving up on your child’s education.
- People will ask questions
At some point after you’ve started homeschooling you’re bound to get questions from people. Whether it be your extended family, friends, neighbors, friends at your child’s former school – just about anyone will have an opinion about the personal decision you’ve made to home educate your child.
- Being at home too much
Homeschooling by definition is going to be almost exclusively done at home. If you will be doing most of the education yourself, you might find yourself sacrificing out of house activities in order to fit in those lessons and curriculum that needs to be done.
But experienced home moms often learn to be creative so they don’t get stuck in a rut of spending too much time at home with the kids. There are ways around this and it can make a huge difference to your success as a homeschooler, and to your child’s performance, behavior and results.
Only YOU can decide whether the pros outweigh the cons. Every homeschool parent faces different circumstances, so there’s no one size fits all answer about whether homeschooling is right for you and your family
When I decided to give homeschooling a go at the start of the pandemic (we had little choice after all), I was hesitant to say the least. But you do get into a groove, and you are continually learning.
I like to say that homeschooling is not only learning for the children, but us as parents and single moms are constantly learning as well – learning how to be a better homeschooler so our kids can reach their full potential.
That’s why I’ve stuck with homeschooling and that’s why several million other American families have decided that home learning has more benefits than downsides for them.