Pros and Cons of Homeschooling
In the past couple of years, education has changed dramatically in its scope and method of delivery. Students across the world, as well as parents, teachers, and administrators, have had to adjust to at-home learning and remote teaching. Now that schools are offering in-person instruction once again, families in greater numbers than ever are faced with the decision of whether to embrace homeschooling or not for their K-12 students.
This is a significant decision that can impact not only the trajectory of a student’s education, but their physical, emotional, and social development as well. That’s why it’s important for parents and their children to consider the pros and cons of homeschooling, so that a thoroughly informed choice can be made to offer optimal learning services for each individual student.
Pros of Homeschooling
Homeschooling offers advantages for many students and their families. Here are three pros of homeschooling:
- Oversight of curriculum and schedule: Parents that choose homeschooling for their students have greater oversight when it comes to educational curriculum. Of course, the best practice is to follow an accredited homeschooling program. However, parents can decide to add subjects of interest, such as religious instruction, foreign languages, and other specialized lesson material. In addition to overseeing curriculum, homeschool parents can create a learning schedule that benefits the entire family, including focused hours of instruction without disruptions that are more likely to take place in school environments.
- Safety: All parents worry about their children’s safety, and today’s in-school students are faced with unique safety concerns and crises. Unfortunately, compared to homeschooled students, public and private school students are at greater risk of contracting harmful and contagious viruses and bacteria that can result in health issues. In addition, bullying and peer pressures are much more likely to impact in-school learners. Worst of all is the growing threat of in-school violence and increasing number of school shootings, which can be terrifying for parents and their children. Homeschooled students face little to no risk of encountering these safety worries.
- Independent learning, pacing, and exploration: One of the challenges of in-school instruction is allowing students to pursue independent interests as well as learn at their own pace. Students who are fast learners can become bored in a classroom that doesn’t keep up, and students who need more time to process concepts may feel pressured to move at the speed of others at the expense of their understanding. Homeschooling allows for independent learning and pacing so that each student experiences an optimal setting for understanding and subject mastery to take place. In addition, homeschooled students can explore a broader scope of academic subjects outside the often strict and standardized school curricula.
Cons of Homeschooling
Just as there are advantages when it comes to homeschooling, there are drawbacks as well. Here are three cons of homeschooling:
- Lack of diverse socialization: Of course, many homeschooled students would assert that they have plenty of opportunities to socialize, whether with siblings, fellow homeschooled students, or supplemental activity and social groups. However, there is a significant lack of diversity in socialization opportunities for those taught at home. Public school, in particular, provides exposure to a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff, in terms of gender, race, religious beliefs, socio-economic position, disabilities, life experiences, learning approaches, and intellectual ideas. The opportunity to interact with such a wide range of people simply cannot be replicated in a homeschool environment. This lack of exposure can result in future consequences as homeschooled students may feel less socially prepared for entering college or a career.
- Restricted resources: Students who are homeschooled may face restricted resources in comparison to their in-school counterparts. This may include limited technology, academic materials and support services, or even a dedicated and focused learning environment. In addition, homeschooled students often face restricted resources in terms of extracurricular options, including sports or physical education, clubs, activities, dances, field trips, and more.
- Dual roles as parent and teacher: Parents of homeschooled students may find difficulty in juggling the dual roles of parent and teacher. Children and teens often behave quite differently at home with family members than they might in a school environment with teachers and other staff members as authority figures. In addition, it can be an added burden for parents in learning the homeschool curriculum thoroughly enough to teach it to their children or at least supplement with enough knowledge to explain concepts and properly address any confusion.
The decision to choose between in-person education and homeschooling should be considered carefully in terms of all advantages and drawbacks. Parents should be encouraged to research educational options for their students and even consult professionals for advice if necessary. It’s most important to remember that each child is an individual and has the right to the best possible educational services and environment in which to learn.
No matter whether your child is homeschooled or goes to public or private school, at Cognisprings, we support parents and their children with thoughtfully designed, educational, and unique games, books, and puzzles. Our products enhance learning about the world and create memories of shared experiences. They also foster creativity, exploration, and screen-free fun for healthy development and critical thinking in children of all ages.