Homeschooling unlocks valuable opportunities for students to expand knowledge and transferrable skills, as well as harness student’s unique qualities and interests. But like other learning models – such as public schools, private schools, charter schools, etc. – homeschooling has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Before you draw up a homeschool curriculum and pull your child out from public school, you must first consider if homeschooling is the best choice for your child.
The main advantage that homeschool advocates praise is the amount of freedom that home instruction grants students and parents. Since many families feel religious and spiritual beliefs are an essential component of their identity, homeschooling provides the opportunity for parents to include religious studies into day-to-day instruction.
In the majority of cases, homeschool students thrive from private one-on-one learning. Parents can better assess their kids’ strengths, weaknesses, learning styles, and interests through this learning model. Homeschooling children can also digest educational materials at a faster pace than their peers in public schools. If your child feels confident enough to begin a new lesson, you should avoid wasting time on redundant or repetitive exercises. If your child is struggling with a subject or a specific concept, you can dedicate more time until your child better understands the material. This ability to modulate lessons can motivate while molding your child into a better student.
Homeschool parents can also eliminate negative influences and distractions running rampant in public schools such as bullying or peer pressure. Kids enrolled in homeschool education also can get out in their communities more than other children by experiencing hands-on education at museums, libraries, businesses, marinas, and other community resources. These students can volunteer or participate in “service learning” where they take on local projects. With their days no longer revolving around set school hours, homework, and the traditional school calendar, homeschool families have an easier time scheduling off-season vacations, visiting museums, and participating in other educational field trips.
Many people laud the benefits of homeschooling, but the practice also has critics. Many people don’t appreciate homeschooling. First, homeschool instruction can become more expensive than enrolling students in a private institution or hiring a private tutor. While there are many free resources available, homeschool supplies such as textbooks, books, paper, art supplies, computers, software, and other homeschool tools can cut into your monthly budget. You will need to implement lessons, organize field trips, coordinate activities with other parents, and make sure you are compliant with state and local homeschool requirements. These responsibilities get added to your normal role as a parent, which for most can be overwhelming.
Parents also have to continuously do research and adapt their teaching methods to make sure the children receive the best standard of education. What was taught 5 years ago is not necessarily how the material is taught today. By assuming the responsibility of an educator, the parent needs to be more patient and innovative in assisting the child who learns at a slower pace or has special learning needs.
Homeschooling may result in some socialization issues. Children do not receive the same level of exposure to their peers, which might affect their ability to develop the coping mechanisms required. Students typically have limited involvement in team sports and other extra-curricular activities because most public schools do not allow homeschool students to participate. Parents try to solve this by scheduling play dates, organizing sports teams with other families who have homeschooled students, or signing up for outdoor activities.
Homeschooling has become an acceptable alternative to sending kids to school. While some parents have understandable concerns about homeschooling, there are a plethora of advantages to this style of learning. Whatever education path you choose for your child, be sure to weigh the pros and cons, and consider how your student’s goals align with your decision. Each child is unique and his or her parents must acknowledge this to tap into a homeschool child’s true potential.
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