Homeschooling is becoming an increasingly popular option for educating American children with an adoption rate of about 10 percent per year. Listing out homeschooling pros and cons can help make the decision about homeschooling an easier one for most parents. About 2 million students are currently homeschooled in this country and these students do well on standardized tests and are widely accepted along with their conventionally schooled peers at colleges and universities. When I investigated homeschooling pros and cons awhile back during our own family's educational crossroads, I found it extremely helpful to list out the various positives and negatives. I wanted to share those points with others who may be struggling with that same decision, hoping it will help make the decision more clear for you and your family. Homeschooling Pros and Cons: Homeschooling Pros You are on your own Time Undoubtedly there is an adjustment period when you migrate from a standard school to a home schooled schedule but the benefits soon outweigh any adjustment. Students and parents are free from school mandated calendars and days off, hours and homework. This often allows more time for family vacations off-peak times and permits time for visits to museums or parks for non-traditional learning opportunities. Social Norms Peer pressure, bullying and competition come with the territory in many public and even private schools. This can be excruciating for boys and girls alike and distract from the main reason students are in school - to learn. Homeschooling allows more time at home and time for socializing by choice, with those fellow students with similar ideals and interests. Religious Choice Different religions have various belief systems that often differ from what is taught as part of the mandatory curriculum in public schools. Varied beliefs around sex education, marriage and alternative lifestyles permit the homeschooler to approach and discuss these topics how the parents want, when the parents feel their child is ready. Sufficient Rest As children get older they need more sleep during peak growth periods. Often this is in direct conflict with most public and private school schedules. Just when teens need more sleep, school starts earlier and homework last well into the late evening hours. Homeschooling allows you to set your child's schedule to ensure he/she is well rested and focused on key learning objectives. Clear Learning Objectives How often has your child come home with a project that takes an awful lot of effort yet leaves you wondering what the learning objective really is? Homeschooling allows parents to set clear, concise learning objectives that are coupled with appropriate assignments designed to meet those objectives. Homeschooling Cons Time Management While you are not on the school calendar or clock, this means you need to use time wisely at home and not treat each day as vacation or weekend time. Proper planning for chores and grocery shopping to be done off-hours will allow you and your students to focus on key learning activities and assignments during peak hours of the day. This may take some getting used to, but like any schedule change, being consistent is the key to success. Financial Concerns In many dual income households, one member agrees to forgo their career or work schedule to teach the children. In uncertain economic times, this can create some financial hardship for some families. However, most families who have made the sacrifice to give up the additional income in order to homeschool their children believe that the temporary sacrifice was well worth the effort. Too Much Togetherness? Being together had its advantages but can also have disadvantages particularly when preteens and teens reach that point where they can become moody. If you do not have a great relationship with your child and too much time together can be a bad thing, then homeschooling is not for you. If you do have a good relationship and can usually work through even those difficult times, you may develop an even closer relationship with your child after this experience. Not the Norm You and your child may feel peer pressure due to homeschooling being outside of the norm. Sporting activities normally engaged in through organized school programs will be a big miss, but often can be replaced by YMCA or local community sporting programs. If you can cope with and ignore the curious comments from mainstream parents and students, about your homeschooling choice then the benefits will surely outweigh the negative bystanders who feel you are not following the mainstream education culture.
Pam Oliveri is an ex Montessori instructor who decided to homeschool her own children and used her hands on experiences in the classroom to model her approach. So as it relates to the pros and cons of homeschooling or insight on the best homeschool curriculum [http://homeschoolingfacts.org/how-to-determine-the-best-homeschool-curriculum], or interesting homeschooling statistics [http://homeschoolingfacts.org/homeschooling-statistics-that-might-surprise-you] which might surprise you, Pam is an excellent resource.
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