There are many roads that lead a parent to consider homeschooling and each reason is as unique as a child. It is not a decision taken lightly and this blog considers the pros and cons of home schooling.
On chatting to parents who have chosen homeschooling, we found that some followed it because: they felt that their child was not progressing at the level desired; they wished to give their child the kind of schooling that allows their talents to shine; they were concerned about issues such as bullying and travel; they were against the rigidity of traditional schooling. The decision to take up homeschooling is a big one, sometimes involving considerable change to family roles. If homeschooling piques your interest, you may want to consider the following pros and cons:
- Freedom and Personalisation: You are neither bound by official school hours or by rigid teaching methods that may not work best for your child. Research indicates that children have a variety of learning styles (some are active learners; others are more reflective). Unfortunately, most schools approach academics with a standard, one-size-fits-all philosophy; therefore, some learning styles may be ignored and as a result, a child may ‘fall between the cracks’.
- Better Time Management: Some parents have to travel considerable distances to accompany or take their children to school. All that time could be spent learning together. We all remember how, as children, we found how difficult it was to learn new facts and figures when we slept too late the night before. A well-rested mind is a sponge.
- Self-Esteem for Kids: Research indicates that by the time girls reach adolescence, their self-esteem can plummet considerably owing to factors such as peer pressure and an increased focus on body shape (depression and eating disorders are conditions that can ensue). Through homeschooling, parents can stress the importance of respect for individuality and of setting goals that have nothing to do with one’s appearance.
- Religious Freedom: Some parents feel that religion and ethics are an important part of education; a homeschooling environment allows them to incorporate these aspects into the education of their children.
- Career Changes: Deciding to homeschool a child could mean having to leave your job or reducing your workload so you only work part-time; your family has to be economically stable enough to withstand this challenge.
- Homeschooling Can Try Your Patience: We all love our kids but for some of us, being with them 24/7 is not the perfect scenario. The other option, hiring a tutor to conduct your child’s homeschooling classes, can be costly.
- The Social Aspect: One of the best things we usually recall about school is the friends we made; if you homeschool your child, you will have to make the extra effort to enrol them in activities where they can socialise with other children their age and this once again could involve time, effort and money.