What Are the Pros And Cons of Homeschooling?
I could see the pros and cons of homeschooling right from the start. I knew there were many benefits to homeschooling. I was excited to co learn with my child (a pro) but nervous that my lack of knowledge would hinder them (a con).
I was also worried that I couldn’t do it. Was I enough?
Weighing Up The Benefits of Homeschooling Against the Disadvantages
The other day I got a little jealous when one of my friends told me what she had been up to while her kids were at school. I felt indignant. I was missing out on doing that. It’s not the first time these feelings have surfaced. I’ve missed out on quite a few things whilst homeschooling. However when I truly examine my situation I realise I am doing what I want to be doing.
Disadvantages of Homeschooling – Giving Up My Career
About 7 years ago I returned to part time work for a short stint in order to keep my nursing registration up to date. As part of the refresher course I worked full time for a month. So I had to organise for my kids to be homeschooled by a collection of family and friends. As I walked the corridors of the hospital for my third week full time, I found myself wondering what my children were doing. I realised then and there that in pursuing a career I was missing out. As much as I enjoyed working as a registered nurse, I knew where I wanted to be most of all and that was at home with my children—learning and maturing with them. One of the benefits of homeschooling is being with my children. Work and play was always going to be there but my time with my kids would not.
Disadvantages of Homeschooling – Not Enough Time For Myself
When homeschooling it can be difficult to find time for yourself. At times it’s really hard not to be selfish. We have stuff we want to do. And when you are not in the mood to do lessons and would much rather do x, y z – the temptation is easy to give in to.
However, I have found that some of the problem is that parents say this it is more that they want time off, or time alone. I agree time alone is bliss but I trick I learned early on was to learn to be alone even when the kids are present. Teach yourself to switch off. Find a place in the house you can be alone (don’t set up camp in the toilet either) and teach your children to respect your space. One if the benefits of homeschooling is that your children become comfortable doing their own thing and will leave you to do your own thing knowing you are available if necessary.
For many years we had afternoon quite times. This was a life saver for me.
Benefits of Homeschooling – A Choice
These days the missing out feeling still comes, but it is only fleeting. Homeschooling has enabled me to do so many things I could never have done had I not chosen this lifestyle.
- I can give my children a private education and save on school fees.
- I can sit on the couch reading books with my kids for ages.
- I can run our homeschool schedule to suit my husband and children.
- I can pursue family interests. I can develop friendships with other homeschool mums.
- I can have my own home business.
- I can go on holidays out of school holidays.
- I can go on and on…
As I look back on twelve years of homeschooling I realised there were many benefits to homeschool. I haven’t missed much at all.
I am so blessed and privileged to be at home with my children.
I am thankful to have the time to share our family values with them.
I enjoy learning with my children. We are all growing and living together. I am hopeful for their future.
I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity.
One book that really helped me understand this principle was Essentialism. The author showed me how everything is a trade off for something else.
Pros of Homeschooling
When I first embarked on this journey of homeschooling I knew there was a lot I didn’t know. I skimmed through school very middle of the road. School was a good opportunity to socialise. I was a reader but the quality of the books I read were pretty trashy. I went on to university and a career and became much more studious because it mattered but my general knowledge was pretty dodgy.
My geography understanding was poor, my spelling needed work, times tables definitely needed a brush up and my teacher qualifications zilch.
However I started homeschooling with the attitude I should be able to manage kindergarten, and after a year of kindergarten I thought, “I can do first class”.
And then as the years marched on I realised that I could co learn with my kids. My satisfaction in re-learning things I thought I should already know was making home education a bonus for me as well as the kids. The pros and cons of homeschooling where actually mostly cons.
Today Karen Andreola has coined the phrase Mother Culture to reflect this idea. But it was actually one of the principles in Charlotte Mason‘s PNEU. She wanted teachers to make sure that they were as interested in learning as they expected their students to be.
Pros and Cons of Homeschooling – Getting To Choose What To Learn
One of the pros and cons of homeschooling is that you don’t know what you don’t know. We can live in a bubble of ignorance (a con). However you don’t need to (a pro).
One of the best ways to co learn with your kids is to read aloud together. As a child I grew up on Enid Blyton and progressed to romance novels. I hadn’t been introduced to the classics. In my first years of homeschooling I devoured many of these children’s books with my kids. Winnie the Poo, Beatrix Potter, Snuggle Pot and Snuggle Pie, Blinky Bill, Little House on the Prairie, Black Beauty were all on my reading list and as my children enjoyed these for the first time so did I.
Whilst I don’t use a lot of textbooks for teaching sometimes I need them if I’m clueless about a topic. Using a teacher’s manual in these circumstances is also a great way to learn as you teach your lessons. We are using a grammar resource at the moment that helps me brush up on my grammar. I’m only a little ahead of the kids in this one.
I love an excursion. Museums, art galleries, expos and fairs are all wonderful places to take the kids for a fun day. They are also a great place to learn. Attending these places with a curious attitude spurs the kids and you to make the most of the adventure.
Researching a topic of interest is also an opportunity to learn with your kids. As I’ve helped my kids write-up a narration, or find out how to use software I learn as well. My history knowledge was abysmal before I began homeschooling with book and now it is greatly improved. It’s also become a favourite topic for me.
Co learning has also made me more aware of the importance of choosing resources that are interesting. And if I think if resources are dead boring then I shouldn’t be surprised that my kids do also. It’s made me thoughtful in what I choose for my kids lessons. This is one of the pros and cons of homeschooling. You get to make choices.
Co Learning With Your Kids Is Enriching – A Pro
Since I have been homeschooling I have been able to enjoy some wonderful co learning experiences with my children. I’ve also been able to refresh my education and I’ve been stretched to learn more. My love for learning and for learning along side my children has meant that I have seen the benefits for me as well as the benefits for my children.
My kids love me being involved in what they are doing and I feel like I’m learning along with them.
Again the pros and cons of homeschooling are that this is enriching but it does take time.
If you haven’t tried it – I encourage you to do so!
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