With a growth rate of 7-15% homeschooling is getting more and more popular every day. Some parents aren’t sure they are capable of teaching their children in this type of environment or if sending them to public school would be a better fit. Before any decision can be made parents should sit down and create a list of the positives and negatives of homeschooling their child.
Influence- Every age group is bombarded with things that are often inappropriate. Whether it’s an elementary, middle, or high school child they are at one time or another faced with situations that they should not have to endure. Examples of this are hypersexual behaviors, sexting, and being exposed to things that are repugnant, such as pornography. In addition being a victim of bullying, having low self esteem, and dealing with peer pressure, children find themselves participating in things that they otherwise may not. These circumstances most likely would not be an issue if the child is homeschooled. Parents wouldn’t have to be concerned about their child being exposed to vile things because they provide constant supervision.
Keeping up with their peers- If a child requires additional instruction they may not obtain the assistance they need because the teacher student ratio may not permit it. A child that is homeschooled will not be affected by this because they will not have to share the attention of the teacher; they already have it.
Stress- The typical child has a minimum of one hour of homework per night not including the study that’s required for an upcoming test or exam. They have a lot on their shoulders and have to keep up in order to get the grades that they are capable of; this brings about a lot of stress. Having to juggle all of that responsibility can cause the child to feel overwhelmed and sometimes give up but a child that is homeschooled can balance things better and their environment is usually not as stressful as a public school setting.
Socialization- When children spend the majority of their time with their family and not a lot of time in a social setting it proves to be difficult to relate to their peers. They may not have the social skills needed, they may not be able to relate, and they may not possess empathy for other children because they haven’t been in situations that required them to be supportive of their friends. Attending public schools give children the opportunity to be around others that have the same difficulties, problems, or troublesome situations that they do. When they are able to bond with their peers then they’ll know what friendship looks like and how to be there for one another.
Discipline- In a school environment the majority of children know that there are boundaries which cannot and should not be crossed. There are consequences involved for poor behavior and inappropriate conduct and those consequences ultimately teach them how to respect their teachers and other adults. If a child is homeschooled they may only look at their parent as a parent and not as a teacher that they should respect. This can be wearing on the parent because they have to be strict as a teacher would be but also understanding as a parent would be. Finding a good balance can be difficult if a child is homeschooled.
Extra-Curricular Activities- In addition to learning, playing sports, participating in activities, and having fun should also be a part of a child’s day. If a child is homeschooled they won’t have the opportunity to play sports for their school. They will also miss out on extracurricular activities with their peers and the fun of going to school dances. Those events cannot be replaced or made up for in the end.
Whether a parent chooses to send their child to a public school or opts to home school, they should always consider the pros and cons, talk to other parents, and then move forward.