Classroom, eLearning

Homeschooling: Advantages and Disadvantages

In 2001, around 1 million children were receiving homeschooling. This figure has continued to grow reaching around 2 million in the United States in 2012 (statistics differ on the exact number) and still showing indications of ongoing growth. There are many different reasons why parents choose to homeschool. For them it seems the logical and best alternative to either public or private school education. As with any form of education, there are both advantages and disadvantages.

home schooling, parent, child

Advantages

The advantages to homeschooling range in scope and effect. It depends upon the person teaching, their circumstances and their ability. The advantages also rely on the characteristics or nature of the student or students involved. This said, the following are the most commonly cited advantages of homeschooling:

  • Control of curriculum – Depending upon the state, you can decide the curriculum upon which your child can focus
  • Pace of learning – how long the child spends upon a subject is up to your judgment and the child’s capability
  • Religious freedom – the right to teach religion or not in the classroom
  • Freedom from external problems and situations such as bullies, peer pressure and even boredom
  • Control over diet. There will be no cafeteria food or switching food when children are not supposed to do so
  • The elimination of expensive and potentially dangerous school trips
  • The focus of your child can be on studying
  • Flexibility to make the schedule of the curriculum work with your own lifestyle and pattern

Disadvantages

As with any human endeavor, there are disadvantages to homeschooling. These include:

    • Time – homeschooling can absorb a substantial amount of a parent’s time
    • Financial restrictions – In order for one person to remain home as teacher, he or she may have to give up their job effectively reducing the family income
    • Too much togetherness – You will be in contact with your kids without little respite 24/7
    • Students may have limited involvement in team sports and other extra-curricular activities
    • Lack of social interaction – Children do not receive maximum exposure to the various types of people they will have to deal with in the wider world. This might affect their ability to develop the correct coping mechanisms required

Conclusion

Everything has advantages and disadvantages. This is why it is necessary to consider carefully the possibilities. What is also essential is to be very aware of your own nature and that of your child. Some personalities are not of the type to undertake the experiment of homeschooling successfully. Whether parent or child, homeschooling may not be the answer. The private or public system of education, in such situations, may serve best the needs of all parties.

Sources: homeschool.com, nces.edgov/gov/pubs2006/homeschool, home-school.com

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The Author

Mary Brown

Mary Brown

Mary Brown has enjoyed writing about education and finance related topics, such as scholarships, student loans, college, vocational degree choices, and adult education since the early 2000's. She also writes about school budgets, accreditation and fundraising.

4 Comments

  1. Emma
    January 15, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    I’m a homeschooled fifteen-year-old Asian-American living here in the United States. I really enjoy it–there are always misgivings, of course, but the overall quality of the education truly shows. However, it’s not for everyone–I often encounter difficulties in being accountable to my Mom, who teaches me. And it isn’t a willy-nilly freestyle homeschool method (which is probably the worst way possible to teach), where the parent(s) just do whatever they want whenever they want with no solid academic goal.
    We partake in a homeschooling curriculum that can be rigorous and very challenging. But I endure it, knowing that the education certainly outweighs the public school.
    In addition, the advantages you gain in homeschooling also depend on who is teaching. My mother is an American–she adopted me from South Korea–and a practicing nurse anesthetist in the upper-middle class of the work force, with a Masters degree in her field. Now, that would affect your homeschooling experience, depending on the background of the teacher.
    To parents looking for a way to teach your child, I believe that homeschooling will provide an excellent alternative in education. Your child just has to remain diligent (I’ve learned that through years of bumps and mistakes) and a desire to learn, and so do you.

  2. Cat
    January 10, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Never say never

  3. August 10, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Homeschooled children will never have the opportunity to have a favorite teacher nor to receive feedback from adults other than their own parents or other homeschooler parents. I taught special education and drama in the public school system for 32 years and still keep in touch with many of my former students. They still mention positive experiences they had in our class. I would never have considered homeschooling my own children, nor would any of my teaching colleagues as it deprives children of learning skills needed for surviving in the real world. Our son had difficult times in school, which led to our making changes in his placement but we would not have considered teaching him ourselves. My husband is also a certified teacher, now teaching at the University level.

    • Mary
      October 27, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      Although this is an old comment, I wanted to respond to the comment by Nancy Florkowski. It seemed such a narrow minded view and I wanted to offer another perspective, in case readers are considering homeschool. I work as a University professor myself, and come from a family of educators, so have a great deal of respect for education. However, I also see a tremendous number of flaws with our current system, which leads to students falling through cracks, and arriving at university utterly unprepared. There have been shifts in education, moving away from adequate instruction of many fundamental skills, such as handwriting, grammar, math, etc. This is a major reason that many educated parents choose to homeschool – for a better quality education. As for the points raised by her comment – I take issue with its tone. In my experience, homeschool children take a variety of classes outside the home, with tutors, small classes and activities, and co-ops. Very few are instructed ONLY by their parents, even if the parents deliver the “core instruction”. It seems to be a better preparation for the “real world” to have children actively participating in a range of experiences and activities, and dealing with various instructors and mentors, as well as a range of ages. We cover core instruction at home, but my daughter is busy with volunteer work, language classes, dance, music, sports, guides, church, etc. Not to mention homeschool groups. So she actually has a number of teachers, and a variety of social groups. It seems like a very dismissive view that was raised in the comment by Ms. Florkowski, and I wanted to offer a different (and more accurate) picture.