5 Reasons to Not Homeschool

Is Homeschooling Right for You?

Father helping son homeschool / Reasons not to homeschool
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If you’re considering home education, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of homeschooling seriously. While there are many positive reasons to homeschool, it isn’t the best fit for every family.

Consider the following 5 reasons to not homeschool to help you carefully examine your personal motives and available resources before making this decision.

Sometimes a lack of personal motivation is revealed when potential homeschooling parents consider their curriculum choices. They don’t want their children in public school for a variety of reasons, but they also don’t really want to take on the responsibility for their children's education. "I’m looking for something he can do on his own," they say or, “I’m just too busy to spend a lot of time on this.”

Top 5 Reasons to Not Homeschool

1. Husband and wife are not in agreement about homeschooling.

No matter how much you want to home educate your children, it will not work for your family if you don’t have your spouse’s support. You may be the one preparing and teaching the lessons, but you will need the support of your husband (or wife), both emotionally and financially. Also, your children will be much less likely to cooperate if they don’t sense a united front from mom and dad.

If your spouse is unsure about homeschooling, consider the possibility of a trial year. Then, look for ways to get the non-teaching parent involved so that he sees the benefits firsthand.

2. You haven’t yet taken the time to count the cost.

There are obvious financial costs of homeschooling, but many would-be homeschooling parents don't consider the personal cost. Don’t rush into the decision to homeschool because your friends are doing it, or because it sounds like fun. (Even though it can definitely be a lot of fun!). You must have a personal conviction and commitment that will carry you through the days when you want to pull your hair out. For the sake of your family, your reasoning must supersede your emotions.

3. You are not willing to learn patience and perseverance.

Homeschooling is a personal sacrifice of time and energy based on love. It takes careful planning and a willingness to go the distance. You will not have the luxury of allowing your feelings to dictate whether or to not to homeschool on a particular day.

As time goes on, you will be stretched, challenged, and discouraged. You will doubt yourself, your choices, and your sanity. Those thoughts and emotions seem to be universal among homeschooling parents.

You don’t have to have superhuman patience to begin homeschooling, but you do have to be willing to develop patience, with both yourself and your children.

4. You are unable or unwilling to live on one income.

To give your children the kind of education they deserve, you will probably need to plan on being home full-time. Often the teaching parent who tries to work while homeschooling finds herself stretched in too many directions and tends to burn out.

If you are planning to hold even a part-time job while teaching school, especially K-6, you may be better off choosing to not homeschool. When your children are older, they are more likely to be more independent and self-disciplined in their studies, allowing the teaching parent to consider working outside the home. Carefully consider with your spouse what changes are necessary to make your school a priority.

If you must homeschool and work outside the home, there are ways to do so successfully. Talk with your partner and potential caregivers to develop a plan to make it work.

5. You are not willing to be involved in your children’s education.

If your current idea of home educating is choosing curriculum that your children can do by themselves while you monitor their progress from a distance, you may want to consider not homeschooling. That scenario might work depending on how independent a learner each child is, but even if they can handle it, you will be missing out on so much.

That doesn't mean never using workbooks; some children love them. Workbooks can be beneficial for independent study when you are teaching multiple children at different levels. However, homeschooling parents who plan hands-on activities to blend into their daily lessons and learn alongside their children often find their own thirst for knowledge rekindled. They are enthusiastic and passionate about influencing their children’s lives, giving them a love of learning, and creating a learning-rich environment, which should be one of the ultimate goals of home education.

These points are not intended to discourage you completely. However, it is vital that you seriously consider the impact that choosing to homeschool will have on you and your family. It’s essential to have a realistic idea of what you’ll be getting into before you start. If the timing and circumstances aren't right for your family, it's okay to choose to not homeschool!

~ Guest Article by Kathy Danvers

Updated by Kris Bales