Considering both the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling, is an essential exercise when deciding whether or not home schooling is the right decision for you and your family.
The benefits of home education far outweigh any negatives, but knowing the downside of this life-changing commitment needs to be looked at, to make a well thought out, prudent decision.
Your decision to become a home educator greatly impacts your family and changes your life!
Deciding to homeschool is definitely an easier decision for some of us, than for others.
For you, giving up a second income may be a huge sacrifice. Or, constantly having your children around 24/7, may be an enormous adjustment, or at least take some getting used to. :)
For others, having little free time may seem unbearable!
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Changing priorities or making a life-style change isn't always easy, many times it causes pain. But the greater the sacrifice, the bigger the reward! Giving up some personal comfort for our children, is definitely worth it.
Take some time now, to consider some potential homeschool hurdles for your family, to make a well informed decision and prevent any potential problems, before they arise.
One of the disadvantages of homeschooling for your family may be that all the responsibility falls on your shoulders, to provide everything your child needs academically.
Ensuring that our children receive the best education possible and taking on the responsibility in providing it, is a huge concern that all home educators face. Take into consideration the commitment it takes, before deciding to homeschool.
The good news is that as home schooling grows, valuable resources, programs and opportunities increase as the need arises. Local home school support groups provide a great way to learn about opportunities close to you, to enrich your homeschool experience.
Another disadvantage for some families in certain areas may be the lack of available programs designed specifically for homeschooled students.
Although homeschool programs, sports teams, enrichment classes, etc. are increasing in their availability, many areas have little to choose from. Some solutions to this problem can be found through your local community center.
Many home schooling families I know sign their sports-loving children up for community sports leagues and classes. If enough homeschool parents attend, some community centers will provide homeschool gym classes or programs specifically for homeschooled children, at more convenient times during the day.
Another one of the disadvantages of homeschooling worth considering, is minimal available free time for you, the home educating parent. As much as I love homeschooling my children and having them with me all the time, being a home educator can be somewhat lonely at times.
Many of my non-homeschooling friends are free to get together at a moment’s notice for coffee. Going shopping during the day, working out whenever you want, pursuing your career, interests or hobbies will take second place to your family’s education and needs.
My home schooling friends have become my closest friends, as we see each other weekly while attending homeschool co-op classes.
Many families meet for park days, field trips and other homeschooling activities. Getting to know the other families in a group helps you feel connected and provides you with the support you need.
Also, make sure you schedule time for periodic breaks to get away from homeschooling, your responsibilities and family, for a while.
I absolutely love my kids, but I also enjoy my time away from them too! Going on a date with your spouse or out for coffee with a friend will provide the refreshment and relaxation you need.
One other disadvantages of homeschooling worth noting here, is the extra burden in providing challenging avenues for your child to excel in, as you develop any areas of giftedness they exhibit.
Most families can adequately provide for their child’s academic needs. However, if your child has a special talent or giftedness, it may not be so easy or convenient to nurture.
Your child may possess a gift or talent that is far beyond their years or your ability to instruct them.
Don't let your fear get in the way, though! There are many highly educated individuals in the community that can assist you in providing the level of instruction your child needs, and are willing to help you.
From your child's perspective, a disadvantage of homeschooling may be the lack of friends, or homeschool students their age. Ask them their opinion, to learn how your child feels or what they think.
Although their concerns may not directly affect your decision to homeschool, you will understand your child better and know what is important to them.
You will want to make extra effort to look for opportunities that address any gaps in their education, provide educational enrichment, or satisfy their need for friendship.
Grab a piece of paper and fold it in half, side to side. On one side list the benefits to homeschooling, on the other list the disadvantages of homeschooling.
Your list may be different than mine, but you clearly see any potential problem areas for your family.
Underneath your list, write down some solutions or creative ideas or people that can help you overcome any difficulties you see. It will encourage you to know there are solutions for any home schooling hurdle.
Counting the cost is a reality all homeschool parents face. Writing out your concerns and thinking through possible difficulties allows you to see the big picture, and gives you time to really think about your decision.
Perhaps you will discover that a certain disadvantage of homeschooling isn't really a disadvantage at all! :)
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