Homeschooling is a big move that can change the lives of both parents and the child. Only a few parents dare to take this challenge and teach their children at home. It is obvious that children studying in a class of 20+ students will develop some significant differences from those being taught at home. These differences will be more psychological and will affect the mental capabilities and understanding of a child. Children who are very artsy or more inclined towards sports, generally take homeschooling because this allows them time to master their crafts and have quality education hand in hand.
Homeschooling has its pros and cons that parents should consider before going for it.
- Cultural and moral values
A child studying at home will be as per purely your belief system and vision alone. That means you will be raising a child with not a grain of interference. However, simultaneously, it might be difficult for a home-schooled child to blend in with other people.
Pro: It is found that home schooled children find more interest in talking to expert adults in respective fields than common people. That’s because these children were always focused on gaining knowledge.
Pro: A common problem called “peer pressure” under which a child tries his best to copy his mates to be accepted is lowered down. This means more freedom and space to be oneself rather than become something because of comparison or pre-determined high standards.
Con: Your child might not mix up well or might be unable to cope up with other children of his age. He may find them boring, intimidating, childish, etc. Also, a lack of social sympathy or empathy due to an overtly closed environment may come to exist.
- Personal Life and Lifestyle
If you are a parent who is thinking of homeschooling their children, then be ready for major lifestyle shifts. Your children will now be spending most of their time with you, which definitely needs to be productive enough and be efficiently utilized. That implies a major share of your own time will go towards your child in terms of planning for activities to keep the learning on.
Con: If you are stressed or pre occupied and effected or the ambiance at home is disturbing due to some unavoidable reasons, then your child will be directly impacted. Your personal time will be reduced and you will be forced to make your plans by synchronizing it with your child’s academic schedule, which shall be absolutely your responsibility.
Con: Family life will also be affected because you will have the least time to participate in family affairs.
Pro: If everything goes finely, a parent and child may end up becoming best friends, which is difficult to find these days. It will let parents be always updated about the child’s life, maintaining a mutual bond of trust and honesty.
- Career Path and Knowledge
“No two children are equal”, is an established statement that needs no explanation. It can be seen at home that one child may be nerdy having an interest in learning facts and figures, solving math and science problems while the other child is more into extracurricular activities like dancing, singing, sports, etc.
Pro: Children in homeschooling will have a better opportunity to attain goals that are other than education itself. For example, someone who wants to become an Olympic swimmer needs hours of practice. Such children cannot be taught at regular schools as hours of dedication might not be satisfied. Homeschooling can provide better education and career path to such children.
Con: The child loses social interaction with fellow students and may have a much narrowed view of society.
- Learning Pace and Understanding
Homeschooling has one teacher and one student which means more time to be focused. Learning will be done at the child’s understanding ability and grasping speed.
Pro: The child will get extra attention on the subject areas where he has problems. Topics that are interesting and easily understood to the child will not be repeated. It means the child is not only growing speedily but also efficiently in a more focused manner.
Con: Parents will have to teach all the subjects. It can be frustrating to sit and learn everything first and then to repeat it all. If the parent himself faces problems with subjects it can further complicate the process.
- Parent -the giver, facilitator and the provider
Stability refers to a wider range, including but not limited to mental and financial. Though, a lot depends on the kind of parents and the house that they create for a young mind during the formulative years of a child’s upbringing, but contrary to the regular setting, in a home-schooling way, parents become solely responsible for the vision in which they want to educate their child. Though one can always take much help by involving online help agencies or a specific tutor or educator, but more or less the parent or the care giver has primary responsibility of taking forth the child in the desired pattern. Life of the parent may become too hectic in such an arrangement.
Con: There will be almost no time for social events and family gatherings. In addition to feeling out of place, the child might end up being busy as the schedule in home schooling could be more demanding. A student needs field trips, visits, and other outdoor activities in which the parent will have to struggle far more than the regular set of parents, who are homeschooling their children, the reason being time management between job and teaching.
Pro: Child learns from the environment and in such an environment child can become more responsive, mature and understanding after accounting the fact that his/her parent is doing to the best of their ability to provide education and basic necessities to him. In other words, greater life lessons will be learned.
To wring it all, homeschooling is a good educational option if you have stable finances and you want to seek for a customized solution for your child specific needs as each child is different than the other. Extra attention and care can be provided to the child as he needs or as shall be instrumental in his growth. Homeschooling may be different from regular schooling but this difference can be for better if there is hard work and strong dedication to pursue the same. It comes up with many advantages but simultaneously it has disadvantages too, like any other decision of our lives. As a parent, you will have to see if advantages are more beneficial than disadvantages to make a prudent decision for the better tomorrow for your child.