The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling - Is It Something Parents Should Consider?
Education is an important part of every child’s growth and development. Thanks to global events like the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the educational landscape has experienced some seismic shifts. With many students around the world having to resort to online learning, it was new territory for a lot of people. But thanks to all the technological advances society has made in the past couple of years, transitioning to school at home was less daunting than it seemed. Because of these changes, homeschooling, once a less common choice, has risen to become a frontline topic in education debates. As we step closer to the future, it’s of utter importance that parents become aware of both the potential benefits and drawbacks of homeschooling if they’re considering taking this route.
The Advantages of Homeschooling
Let’s first take a look at the advantages that come with homeschooling your child. One of the most prominent benefits that stand out immediately is the flexibility it provides. When it comes to traditional schooling, your child’s educational journey is dictated by the school’s curriculum, their schedule, and other institutional restrictions. In comparison, homeschooling allows parents and their children to customize the learning process to best suit their preferences. It provides an opportunity to further explore subjects of interest, adapt to individual learning styles, and learn at a pace that works best for the student.
Homeschooling can also create a stronger bond between the child and parent who is acting as both a teacher and mentor.
This heightened level of involvement can produce a comprehensive understanding of the child’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests. When you tailor the learning environment to fit these elements, children may develop a newfound love for learning, leading to an overall better academic performance.
Lastly, studies have evidence showing that homeschooled children tend to mature more quickly than their peers due to the real-world, practical experiences they encounter. They tend to be more independent, self-driven, and thanks to their opportunities of experiential learning, it can help foster essential life skills.
The Drawbacks of Homeschooling
Despite plenty of benefits which we’ve just explored, homeschooling isn’t without its own set of challenges. One of the most significant concerns is the level of commitment and effort it demands from the parents.
The responsibility of planning and executing lessons, evaluating progress, and sourcing resources will fall entirely on the parent/teacher. For parents juggling work, personal responsibilities, or multiple children, this can be far too much of an overwhelming task.
Another issue that often gets asked is the potential lack of socialization. Traditional schooling provides children with a platform to interact with peers, engage in group activities, and build friendships. While homeschooling can still offer small group interactions or virtual collaborations, it can never fully replicate the breadth of social experiences offered in conventional schools.
Finally, not all parents feel equipped to teach every subject, and as children advance to higher grades where subjects become more specialized and difficult, this becomes a bigger problem.
While online resources and additional tutoring can help, these options all come with additional costs that may not be available for the family.
Should Parents Consider Homeschooling?
Since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic essentially turned homes into classrooms for a good year or so, many parents got the chance to gain firsthand experience of homeschooling. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of homeschooling rose to 11% by September 2020, more than doubling the number from the prior year. The data suggests that many parents have found value in this unique educational approach.
But at the end of the day, whether or not parents choose to consider homeschooling is a deeply personal decision that is largely influenced by the family’s circumstances, values, and resources. Before making this decision, it’s important that parents fully and carefully consider all the pros and cons of homeschooling, and apply it accordingly to the context of their child’s needs.