There are so many options for educating your children. Since COVID-19 shook up our routines and virtual schooling became an overall norm for a while, some families made the shift to homeschooling entirely. And while things are opening up, we have hardly gone back to normal, so some people are asking, “Should I homeschool my children?” I am a current educator who was homeschooled, and I am here to give you some insight to help you make that decision. Homeschooling is a big undertaking, because as a parent you are completely taking on the burden of teaching your child on top of your role as guardian. So if you are considering this, let’s talk about the pros and cons.

Pros of Homeschooling

  • Homeschooling is flexible. As long as you are operating within the legal standards of your state, you have a lot of freedom when it comes to your school calendar. My family took many trips in September to avoid the summer crowds. We also had a lighter school load during performance weeks when I was in theatre. Want to take a field trip to the aquarium? You can do it on a weekday morning and avoid crowds. If your family has a lot of extra-curricular activities like sports, a job that takes you on the road, or other obligations that would keep them out of traditional school, the flexibility of homeschooling is absolutely a pro.

  • Homeschooling is customizable. Does your student need a little extra help in math? Are they ahead in reading? Because you are working with your child one on one, you can meet them at the level they need and grow from there. You can ensure they are properly challenged and supported in a way that is difficult to guarantee when they are in a larger classroom. As a child, I got stuck with fractions. They simply did not click in my brain. Because I was homeschooled, my mom spent extra time reinforcing and reteaching fractions to me until I had a lightbulb moment and it all clicked. Then I flew through concepts related to fractions because I had that foundation on which to build. If you feel your child is especially gifted in one area and/or not quite understanding another, maybe they just need some extra practice.

  • Homeschooling is personal. Again, as long as you are meeting your state’s requirements, if you have anything you are passionate about your child knowing, you are welcome to adapt your schooling to those interests. There are lots of reading and history curriculums that are intertwined and themed. For example, one year we learned about American history and read through the Little House on the Prairie series. My senior year of high school, I took an online English course that was focused on science fiction and fantasy literature. If your child has something they connect with on a deep level, that can be incorporated into your curriculum because homeschooling is endlessly adaptable.

Cons of Homeschooling

  • Homeschooling is a full-time job. In the same way being a teacher requires countless (unpaid!) hours of planning and research, homeschooling requires that of you for each child at each level. The best homeschooling plan involves a diverse range of curricula (not just a bulk buy of one brand of books), appropriate levels, and a lot of enrichment. Finding those resources is time-consuming. And the actual teaching part is also a lot. Can it be rewarding? Absolutely. But it does take a lot of energy to plan.

  • Homeschooling is high-stakes. Education is a foundational dimension of a child’s development. Just as parenting is responsible for the mental and emotional life of your child, homeschooling is responsible for their academic life. I have seen many of my formerly homeschooled peers rise to great academic challenges and come out of their homeschool experience successful and well balanced. I have also seen some struggle, as they had many gaps in their knowledge that were overlooked by parents who did not value those areas (like geography or some parts of history). I don’t say this to scare you! I believe strongly that if you use many resources (like community classes, co-ops, online education, tutors, varied curricula, etc.), your child will be just fine.

Homeschooling is what you make it. That is a big statement, but I wholeheartedly believe it’s true. If you are a family that desires some flexibility and personalization in your educational experience, and you recognize the time it takes to plan and implement, then homeschooling may be right for you.

If you would like more information on tutoring or other resources for homeschooling, contact A-List today!