The Drawbacks of homeschoolingAug 17th, 2010 | By daansys | Category: Issues in Homeschooling, Lead Article
First, this writer mentions that one of the drawbacks to homeschooling is that:
It’s уουr responsibility thаt уου teach уουr child everything thеу need tο know аt thеіr age, аnd thаt thеу understand thаt thе material thаt thеу hаνе learned.
The writer is correct that you are responsible for your child’s education and that you need to ensure that your child understands the material. However, there is no magic formula for what a child must know at each age level. Instead, parents will want to ensure that their children are learning and mastering the skill courses—Math, English (and Science as they get older) and developing an interest and passion for learning that impacts their other core courses and electives. In homeschooling, parents have the privilege of owning their child’s education—that is not a drawback of homeschooling! In fact, the ability to customize and individualize teaching to each child is a major plus!
According to this writer, another drawback of homeschooling is:
One οf thе drawbacks tο homeschooling οn уουr раrt іѕ thе amount οf free time thаt уου wіƖƖ hаνе tο give up fοr homeschooling.
Here the writer comes close to telling it like it is. You will sacrifice the “free time” that you would generally have while kids are in school for homeschooling. However, in exchange you gain the time in the evenings where many parents spend hours helping children with homework and/or reteaching the concepts taught in school (and I speak from experience on this one) and you gain the help of your children with the day to day responsibilities of keeping a home (not what I would call “free time” anyway). The sense of purpose gained when you are committed to your child’s education combined with the rewards of seeing your children learn and enjoy learning is well worth the loss of a few hours of “free time.”
And yet another drawback of homeschooling mentioned in this article is that “your career may be put on hold.” Yep, you got it. My career was put on hold to allow me the time to homeschool my children. But again, I would not call this a drawback of homeschooling. As I get older I realize just how much time we have on this earth. To spend part of it investing in our kids, teaching them and preparing them for their future is well worth “putting our careers on hold.” If the Lord tarries and we are permitted to live our lives until we are old, we have plenty of time to pursue a career once the kids are grown. Looking back, how I wish I could go back and focus only on homeschooling rather than trying to juggle both homeschooling and a career.
As for rest breaks and homework (also mentioned in the article), may I suggest that you decide when and where you will take a break and if you are giving homework, stop it! If you are engaged with your child during your homeschooling day, you do not need to add homework to their evenings. Homework is a reality of a school system where teachers cannot work one on one with students and therefore cannot confirm that each student has mastered the concepts. You can confirm this day to day and do not need to give them busy work at night.
In addition, this writer mentions that “thеrе аrе very ƖіttƖе brеаkѕ аѕ уουr child needs уου fοr аѕѕіѕtаnсе аt virtually аƖƖ times.” Once again, if this describes you, please change your methods. You want your kids to become independent learners. Challenge them to think for themselves. Don’t just answer their questions; instead, ask them how they would solve it, what they think the answer should be, or how they would better explain a concept. This gently moves them from dependence on you to independence and understanding.
One of the final pieces of advice offered by this writer is that “yου hаνе tο mаkе time fοr уουr child tο ɡеt out аnd mingle аƖѕο.” With this point, I totally agree. However, I again would not call this a drawback of homeschooling. This is an opportunity for both you and your children. Not only do they have the opportunity to enjoy other kids of all ages, but you are able to spend time with other parents who are facing many of the same challenges and enjoying the same rewards as you. Where else but in homeschooling can you schedule regular get togethers with other parents who are just as enthusiastic about your meeting as you are?
I guess what I am saying is that yes there are drawbacks to homeschooling, but those drawbacks are also the benefits of homeschooling. So rather than focus on the potential drawbacks, focus on the amazing benefits of homeschooling and enjoy yourself!
Additional homeschooling posts:
Encouragement for Homeschoolers
I heard a great quote the other day that cannot go unrecognized: "Don't lay down in the cemetary until you have to".
Homeschool Graduate Attends Georgetown University for Almost Nothing
There is one homeschool student who has impressed me from the first year I met him.