If you are thinking about home schooling your child, you can find so many resources out there. There are lists and lists of the benefits of home schooling, but it may be a bit difficult to find a list of the disadvantages. This does not mean that home schooling is a breeze and perfect for everyone! While I feel the advantages over power the disadvantages, you will still need to be aware of the negatives to home schooling. As you go through the list, you may see some of the disadvantages and be thinking that one or two may actually be one of the main advantages you feel home schooling brings. This is true for many people who love home schooling, but can be a disadvantage for some. So I’m not saying that they are flat out reasons to avoid the project, nor will you agree they are advantages, I’m just saying that some people may find difficulties along the way.
If you are home schooling your child, you will more than likely spend 24 hours with them. While some people absolutely love this fact, there are many parent’s who struggle with it. It can be daunting to always face the needs of your children and when you add to work of teaching, it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed with the great task before you. With some careful planning and some extra dedication you can get over this and even schedule some “teacher planning” time into your daily schedule. You may also be able to find other home schooling families in your area and entrust some of your children’s teaching to them. This is usually referred to as coop-teaching. You can join a group of families and share some of the teaching. This is also a great way to gain references when you need help as well as help your children form friendships.
This brings us right into another disadvantage. With public school your child will form friendships everyday. They will have friends they see each day and interact with. When you are home schooling you often will only see your family which leaves only siblings for play mates. Once again, this can be turned into an advantage as well, but many parents want their kids to interact with others and form friendships when they are young. Church, extended family and coops all will help your children form life-long friendships as well as learn to respect adults other than mom and dad.
Home schooling is a new concept, so of course there is opposition to it. Many people don’t understand how a parent could teach their child everything they learn in school. While it only matters what you as the parent believe, it may be disappointing to hear these comments. You may find yourself justifying your decision and become discouraged and wondering if you are able. If you want to be successful you need to take these comments with stride and continue persevering and be sure to keep your kids encouraged about learning!
Some parent’s struggle with the “teaching” part of home schooling. It may be a breeze for some to plan the curriculum, make the schedule and do all the organizing, but when it comes to actually teaching the children, some may struggle. When a child learns easily they are very easy to teach, but there will always come a time when a child doesn’t understand exactly what they are learning and you need to help them to understand. Certified teachers have years of training on different teaching methods while you have to improvise and find the method that works best. Some parents become easily frustrated and have a difficult time when their child doesn’t “get it”. This is a time in which you need to consult another home schooling parent and get new, fresh ideas of how to help your child understand.
Home schooling can also be much more expensive than public school. The main expense may be the giving up of a parent’s salary. If you want to teach your child at home, you will more than likely have to stay home full time and give up any job or career you have. While this is extremely easy for some, many parents have worked hard in their career and struggle when giving it up. It may be hard financially as well as emotionally to make the leap to stay home, but the rewards usually add up very quickly! Text books and teaching materials may also cost you a considerable amount of money. A great way to save is by sharing resources and buying used books. Many libraries have great resources that are free for your use. This is one disadvantage that has many ways to get around. You don’t need to purchase an entire curriculum to have success with home schooling. Ask around and see what other people have done and start from there. Many people change curriculums to find the one that works the best for them. Each family and child is different so we cannot expect one curriculum to work for each home.
While there may be many more disadvantages, these are the ones I feel bear most of the burdens for home schooling families. If you are seriously considering home schooling your child, I would recommend doing as much research on it and give it a hearty try!