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 that you seriously consider the pros and cons of homeschooling. While there are many positive reasons to homeschool, it isn’t the best fit for every family.

I’m offering 5 reasons to not homeschool because I really want you to think through your personal motives and resources before you make this decision.

I’ve seen it more than once while counseling parents about 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. “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.

I’m not talking about the financial cost of homeschooling, but 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 things are a given. I've never met a homeschooler who didn't have to deal with them.

You don’t have to have superhuman patience to begin homeschooling, but you do have to be willing to develop patience – with 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. I’ve watched moms try to work while homeschooling. They are stretched in too many directions and tend 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 some children are older, they may be much more independent and self-disciplined in their studies, freeing you up to get a part-time position.

Carefully consider with your mate 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. Plan with your spouse and potential caregivers how to make it work.

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

If your current idea of home educating choosing curriculum that your children can do by themselves while you monitor their progress from a distance, well, that 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.

I’m not talking about never using workbooks; some children love them. Workbooks can be beneficial for independent study when you are teaching multiple children at different levels. However, I love watching moms who plan hands-on activities to blend into their daily lessons.

These moms 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. I believe that has to be the ultimate goal should you choose to home educate.

I hope I haven’t discouraged you completely. That isn’t my intent. I just want to be sure you seriously consider the impact that choosing to homeschool will have on you and your family. It’s important to have a clear 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