Resources › For Educators Parents Guide to the Pros and Cons of Homeschooling Share Flipboard Email Print Takahiro Igarashi/Image Source/Getty Images For Educators Homeschooling Spelling Geography Becoming A Teacher Assessments & Tests Elementary Education Secondary Education Special Education Teaching By Derrick Meador Education Expert M.Ed., Educational Administration, Northeastern State University B.Ed., Elementary Education, Oklahoma State University Derrick Meador, M.Ed., is the superintendent for Jennings Public Schools in Oklahoma. He previously served as a school principal and middle school science teacher. our editorial process Derrick Meador Updated July 03, 2019 According to statisticbrain.com, more than 1.5 million children in the United States are homeschooled. Homeschooling is a highly debated school choice topic. Parents choose to homeschool their children for a myriad of reasons. Some of these reasons are based on religious beliefs, others are for medical reasons, and some just want complete control of their child’s education. It is important for parents to make an informed decision regarding homeschooling. Even advocates of homeschooling will tell you that it is not the right placement for every family and child. The pros and cons of homeschooling should be carefully weighed before making that decision. Parents must examine the entire process of homeschooling instead of focusing on the idea of homeschooling. Pros of Homeschooling Flexibility of Time Homeschooling allows children to learn on their own time. Parents control how much time each day and how often their children complete their lessons. They are not boxed into the typically 8:00-3:00, Monday-Friday time in which traditional schools operate. Parents can customize their child’s schooling around their own schedules, their child’s ideal learning time, and can take school with them anywhere. In essence, a homeschool student never misses classes because lessons can be completed at virtually any time. Lessons can be always be doubled up on a particular day if something arises that interferes with the regular schedule. Educational Control Homeschooling allows parents to have complete control over their child’s education. They control the content that is taught, the way that it is presented, and the pace at which it is taught. They may provide their child with a more narrowed focus on certain topics such as math or science. They may provide their child with a more broad focus and include subjects such as art, music, politics, religion, philosophy, etc. Parents may choose the omit subject matter that does not align with personal or religious beliefs. Educational control allows parents to make every decision when it comes to their child’s education. Closer Family Relationships Homeschooling allows families to spend more time with each other. This often results in an increased bond between parents and children and amongst siblings. They essentially rely on each other for everything. Learning and play time are shared amongst all members of the family. In families with multiple children, the older sibling(s) can help teach the younger sibling(s). Education and learning often become the focal point of a family who is homeschooling. When one child is academically successful, the entire family celebrates that success because each of them contributed to that success in some way. Exposed to Less A big benefit to homeschooling is that children are able to be sheltered from immoral or corruptible behaviors that occur in schools across the country. Inappropriate language, bullying, drugs, violence, sex, alcohol, and peer pressure are all issues that children in schools are exposed to on a daily basis. There is no denying that these things have a profound negative effect on young people. Children who are homeschooled may still be exposed to things through other avenues such as television, but parents can more readily choose when and how their children learn about these things. One on One Instruction Homeschooling allows parents to provide one on one individualized instruction to their child. There is no denying that this is advantageous for any child. Parents can better identify individual strengths and weaknesses and tailor lessons to meet their child’s specific needs. One on one instruction also minimizes distractions helping the child remained focused on the content being taught. It allows students to learn at a faster rate with more rigorous content. Cons of Homeschooling Time Consuming Homeschooling takes quite a bit of time for the parent responsible for providing the education. This time increases with each additional child. Parents must take the time to plan and research the content that they need to teach their children. Teaching the lessons, grading papers, and keeping track of each child’s progress also takes a considerable amount of time. Parents who homeschool have to give their children their undivided attention during learning time which limits what they are able to do around their house. Cost Money Homeschooling is expensive. It takes a lot of money to purchase the necessary curriculum and the homeschool supplies you need to educate any child adequately. Integrating any form of technology into homeschooling including computers, iPads, educational software, etc. increases the cost significantly. In addition, one of the allures of homeschooling is the ability to regularly taking your children on educational outings or field trips whose costs add up quickly. Underlying operational costs for meals and transportation must also be taken into consideration. The lack of proper funding can significantly inhibit the education you provide to your child. No Break No matter how much love your children, it is always enjoyable to have some time alone. In homeschooling, you are both their teacher and their parent which limits the time you can spend away from them. You see each other and deal with each other all the time which can lead to an occasional conflict. It is essential that conflicts are quickly resolved, or it can have a profound effect on the schooling itself. The dual roles of parent and teacher can lead to stress. This makes it even more important for parents to have an outlet for stress relief. Limited Peer Interactions Homeschooling limits the amount of social interaction that children can have with other children their own age. Interacting with peers is a fundamental aspect of child development. While there are other avenues to ensure that the homeschooled child receives this beneficial interaction, the diverse interactions available at a regular school are difficult to simulate. Limiting a child’s interactions to parents and siblings can lead to social awkwardness later on in life. Lack of Expert Instruction There are parents who have a background and training in education who choose to homeschool. However, the majority of parents who homeschool do not have any training in this area. It is not realistic for any parent regardless of their education to be an expert on everything their child needs from kindergarten through twelfth grade. This is an issue that can be overcome, but being an effective teacher is difficult. It will take a lot of time and hard work to provide your child with a quality education. Parents who are not properly trained can harm their child academically if they do not spend the time to ensure that they are doing things the correct way.