Homeschooling can be a wondrous thing. There is so much flexibility! You can study anything your child is interested in, you’ll create unbreakable family bonds, and allow your kid to uniquely flourish on their own. Now, while there are many advantages like these, the disadvantages of homeschooling may not be so obvious to those who are considering transitioning to this way of life. Plus, here’s a helpful handbook to help you decide between homeschool vs. traditional school
What are the Cons of Homeschooling you may want to Consider
Homeschooling is a method of educating children from the comfort of your own home (or on the road!). It can be done at home by parents or through an organized program funded by your state. Deciding if homeschool is for you can come down to many things. Everything from the type of homeschooling you prefer to do, your actual homeschool daily schedule, and your child’s individual needs.
The Disadvantages Of Homeschooling Your Children
Now, homeschooling is a great alternative for many families, but it isn’t perfect. There are disadvantages to homeschooling that you should consider before making your decision. In this post, we will discuss 11 disadvantages of homeschooling children. We hope that this article will help you make the right decision for your family!
Knowing what may lie ahead will make you that much more prepared.
1. Socialization Difficulties
One of the first disadvantages of homeschooling that comes to mind for most is the difficulty in socializing children. We all know the importance of having our child interact with other children their own age.
As part of their developmental health and ability to form social skills, kids need to learn to form bonds with others.
Of course, they can make friends outside of school, but it will take more effort for both you and your child. You will have to ensure they are a part of group activities and must actively arrange meetings/playdates.
In a traditional school, kids spend hours with each other every day, so these bonds form quickly. It may take a little longer for your child to form bonds when they can’t see them each day of the week!
2. Requires More Organization
You’re wearing two hats when it comes to homeschooling: teacher and parent. Without a homeschool schedule or planning, things can quickly feel out of control, and the stress piles on.
Homeschooling parents need to set aside time to plan lessons, hands-on experiences, and activities for the kids to do. Also, some kids cannot do independent learning, and you may need to be with them every step of the way.
While you’re being an active teacher, you also still need to manage the house, cook meals and have time to do the things you enjoy as a parent yourself.
Between planning and implementing, many underestimate the true time commitment of homeschooling. It is a full-time commitment in order for the child to receive a quality education.
3. No Big Events To Look Forward To
Many of life’s biggest moments happen when you’re in school. Just look at any movie set in high school! They almost always revolve around prom, graduation ceremonies, homecoming, or going to the first big game of the season.
These events are exciting for kids to look forward to at any age. Think of everything from field trips to band camp to sports tournaments.
Similar events can happen for those who are homeschooled, but it certainly takes extra effort from the parents to make it a bang.
4. Homeschooling Materials Can Get Expensive
Cost is one of the many disadvantages of homeschooling that people don’t think about. Public school, of course, is free, with the checkbook having to come out for things, such as sports uniforms or tickets to the school play.
What you don’t think about are all the free materials being provided, from textbooks from the library all the way to computer software you don’t have on the laptop at home.
This can also include additional resources the school provides, such as guidance counselors, support teachers, and even all the extracurriculars. If your child wants to join the track team or learn an instrument, that will come out of pocket rather than the schools.
Since coming up with a curriculum can be so time-consuming for the parent, many parents opt to choose programs that already have it all laid out. And, those sure can get pricey!
Also, due to the time commitment, one partner often forgoes full-time employment in order to educate the kids. Losing an entire income stream is a big sacrifice for many families.
Lastly, when your child is ready to graduate from homeschool and move out into the big world of college, they may have access to fewer scholarships. This can include sports scholarships (as it is harder to be recognized), scholarships from the high school, school district scholarships, etc.
5. Lack Of Facilities
Schools certainly put tax dollars to good use. Many public schools have great facilities that you just can’t replicate at home. This means no gyms, running tracks, band rooms, chemistry labs, theatres, lunch programs, and more.
You can find many of these facilities outside of school, but it doesn’t come without a little effort. It can be difficult to find certain team sports, especially for younger kids.
These facilities for extracurricular activities also expose kids to hobbies they never thought to try before. As a parent, it is up to you to ensure they try as many new experiences as possible…even if you’re not good with the paintbrush yourself!
6. Requires More Discipline
Anyone who has tried to work from home will know that distractions are everywhere. Why wake up early if you don’t have to make it to your first class? Why read a book when the TV is only a few steps away? Work for another ten minutes or have a snack now?
You can never wait for motivation to strike. Unfortunately, that sucker is unreliable. Instead, you have to learn to evoke discipline to get things done even when the desire is simply not there.
At school, you just have to show up. Even those who gaze out the window surely must hear some of the words the teacher says at the front of the room!
Some kids even thrive being around others where the competition helps them excel. But, as a parent, you have to be your kids’ own personal cheerleader and motivate them when they’re down.
7. Fewer Breaks for Parents and Kids, Too!
A moment of realness here… homeschooling likely means you’re going to be with your kid 24/7. It’s one of the disadvantages of homeschooling some parents might not like to admit.
Practically free child care, you will have to pay for a babysitter or arrange for someone to look after the kids. Or, you will have to get a heck of a lot done in the hour they are at Girl Scouts!
There are ups and downs to being with your kids all the time. For many, the bonds of a parent and child who is homeschooled are unbeatable. But, it can also be lonely and isolating for parents, as they no longer have much free time to be with their own friends and support systems.
Online homeschooling support systems can help with this.
The exhaustion factor for not having a break from the kids going to school will also creep up on you. Making food, keeping the house in order, and working for some can get pushed to the wayside. Hobbies and nights out are a whole other concern!
8. Dealing With Criticism
Anything outside of the norm, people will have qualms about. Without a doubt, it is hard to break the mold and do your own thing.
People may not understand your decision to homeschool and understand the benefits it is providing your child. Everyone from trained professionals to other parents may not like to see homeschooling succeed.
Overcoming a stigmatism surrounding homeschool will be something you will have to deal with for years. Be prepared to answer lots of questions and handle criticism.
Your child, too, will experience these questions, though hopefully gentler.
9. It’s Difficult To Keep The House Clean
When you’re in a house all day, you will notice how much more difficult it is to keep it tidy. Every minute it seems as though you wash dishes only to have them magically reappear again.
And the more people around, the messier it’s going to be.
10. Stressful For The Parent
Homeschooling is a lot to take on. Anytime something goes wrong, it’s hard not to take things personally. When a child can’t grasp something, you may be quick to blame yourself.
Or, you have to restrain frustration when they don’t understand something, and you can’t find another way to explain it.
A child’s education is a big responsibility, and all of it gets loaded on the parent when homeschooling. There will be times when you lose patience, have a lack of motivation, and moments where you might even want to cry in the pantry.
The lack of support from the community (AKA criticism mentioned above) can also be a heavy burden to carry. Stress is a matter of fact, but how you manage it will be key.
11. Record Keeping
This one tends to slip by for most. Schools take care of all the record keeping for you, providing everything your child needs upon graduation, so you don’t have to think twice about it.
Since transcripts are required for college, you should know what you will be responsible for keeping a record of all grades, even from elementary.
We use this particular homeschool planner and have really liked it!
Even though homeschool disadvantages exist, parents should consider these disadvantages against what is best for their child before making the decision about whether or not they want to home-educate them.
Homeschooling can provide more one-on-one attention from educators than traditional schooling does, which many kids need as opposed to large classrooms. It is important that parents educate themselves fully about all advantages and disadvantages when deciding if this type of education will work best for their family’s needs.
After reading this list of disadvantages of homeschooling, you’re probably feeling a little dismayed. Now, make sure to go read some of the advantages! While it may not be suited for everyone, some homeschooling parents wouldn’t change a thing about their decision!
No matter what you decide, always have your kids’ best interests at heart.
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