Understanding Homeschooling Pros and Cons

There are definitely homeschooling pros and cons to consider if you are thinking about teaching your children at home rather than going the traditional, public or private school route.

Obviously, I am a supporter of homeschooling as I have taught all of our ten children at home; including the five oldest who were taught from kindergarten through home school high school.

I am currently teaching four others at home and our oldest son has been enrolled in a private, Christian high school.

I will be as truthful as possible in sharing the homeschooling pros and cons that I have experienced so far. I will try to add to this page as I discover additional items.

Homeschooling Pros and Cons:

  • One on one instruction – ideally each child is able to receive personalized attention from the parent-teacher to learn in a non-threatening, supportive environment 
  • Family togetherness – the family has an added opportunity to experience educational, creative, and social experiences together on a daily basis
  • Teach your values – the parents are able to teach and reinforce their personal values to their children on a consistent basis
  • Teach household management – parents are able to teach children how to manage a home as they incorporate valuable life skills such as housework, home/auto repairs, and cooking to all of the children to help prepare for adulthood
  • Teach child training – parents are able to teach older children how to care for their younger siblings and possibly find work as babysitters or nannies for others, too
  • Teach/encourage hobbies – children can maintain a flexible schedule with their coursework that allows for hobbies and other pursuits
  • Teach/encourage entrepreneurism – parents can quickly aid and encourage business ideas and prospective jobs as they recognize these interests in their children
  • Ability to progress at own pace – home schooled students can progress at their own pace and often complete more than one grade level during a typical year (conversely, the academic pace can be slowed down if necessary) 
  • Ability to select resources – parents are free to choose the homeschool curriculum that is perfectly geared to their child's learning style and the parent's style of teaching
  • Freedom to choose materials that honor your religious views – parents have the freedom to select materials that honor and promote their specific religious values and avoid those that do not agree with their beliefs
  • Ability to offer remediation as needed – child is free to follow a path of remedial work if needed and not experience any stigma of being in a different book than others in his/her class
  • Ability to promptly deal with behavior issues – parents are around children on a daily basis for a large amount of time and can quickly address problems that arise between the children

This list of homeschooling pros and cons is not exhaustive, but I have tried to come up with as many items as possible that pertain to most families.

Now, I will share some of the negative aspects of home schooling that I have experienced or observed with others.

Homeschooling Pros and Cons:

  • Loneliness for children – the children may be alone for the majority of their time unless there are multiple children in the family

Solution: Parents try to resolve this problem in most instances by getting involved in activities and field trips.

  • Cost of homeschooling – the parents have the sole responsibility of purchasing books and required supplies for each child in their respective grades which can quickly add up

Solution: Some parents decide to enroll in the state-run homeschool program or charter school which supplies curriculum, and even laptops, to registered families.

  • One parent income – in many instances, homeschooling households have just one income since the parent-teacher is unable to work outside the home 

Solution: Homeschoolers are creative and many moms are able to work from home, including maintaining home-based businesses such as daycare and tutoring while homeschooling, too.

  • Homeschoolers have messy homes – it can be a challenge to keep up with the school work and housework on a daily basis because the children never go off to school

Solution: Organization is very important and many parents learn to delegate chores to the children to help with the housework.

  • Extra household expenses – there are people in the home throughout the day which adds to additional heating, cooling, electrical, and water usage

Solution: The family can learn about conservation and budgeting along with their other studies. I have explained to our children that excessive electricity bills (caused by them not turning off lights) leads to fewer dollars that can be spent on them and they understood the importance of conservation.

  • You are always with your children – each day is spent with your children and you don't get a break like other parents who send their children off to school at age three or four

Solution: It becomes very important for the primary parent-teacher to spend quality time with their spouse and friends to have time away from the children, and their home which can be considered their "job-site."

  • Loss of "free time" – the parent-teacher gives up the time they would normally and customarily have to themselves once the children were old enough to go to school

Solution: Parent-teachers can continue to pursue some interests while homeschooling although it is a time-consuming commitment to the family.

  • Tough subjects – the parent-teacher has to teach tough subjects like advanced math or science

Solution: There are many opportunities where students can attend tutorial classes or register for dual-enrollment courses at the community college to earn their credits for the tougher classes.

  • Criticism from friends and family – your closest friends and relatives may not agree with your decision to homeschool and may not be shy about letting you know just how they feel

Solution: Be convinced in your decision to homeschool and represent it in the best possible light to others, but don't expect them to immediately be your biggest cheerleaders, although they usually come around.

Another useful place for information relating to homeschooling pros and cons is the HSLDA website, among other sources on the Internet.

If you know of homeschooling pros and cons that were not mentioned here, please share them on the Contact Me page and I'll add them. Or, share on the Facebook page.

Other Links: Pros of Homeschooling | Homeschooling Facts | What is Homeschooling

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