Homeschooling underscores the process of teaching a particular curriculum to students while they are at home, and the curriculum must have the approval of the local jurisdiction of the students and inclusive of the documented hours of studies (Gaille, 2017). The significant advantage of homeschooling is its flexibility, coupled with allowing students to study more at their own pace, albeit it has the power of isolating the students from their peers, which can be problematic for students who enjoy socializing. In the realms of homeschooling learner outcomes and the conceptual theme on homeschooling and schooling in generals juxtaposes the spheres of the academic achievement of the students, the social, emotional, and psychological development of the children; and the success of adults that are home educated (Ray,2017). The big question is, can students learn better in a homeschool environment than in a conventional school environment? Also, is homeschooling a better alternative in educating children, or will parents be overburdened with the responsibilities and management of children in homeschooling? The variety of variables on homeschooling, therefore, underscores more positive outcomes associated with homeschooling underlying safety, unique experience, confidence building, and maturity, among others.
Cons of Homeschooling
Most American families prefer homeschooling for their children as families cite significant reasons for preferring homeschooling for their children like concerns for the environments at schools, the dissatisfaction of the other schools' academic performances, and their preference for providing religious and moral instructions at home (Lips & Feiberg,2008). However, homeschooling can be financially challenging as compared to standard public education. That is following the additional costs of the families in meeting the students’ daily needs at home. Additionally, the formal curricular for homeschooled students that are independent of the public schooling student ranges between $ 600-$10,000 depending on the textbooks and programs used (Gaille,2017). Alternatively, the parents are compelled to have reduced working time, resulting in a loss of income together with tightened family spending.
Similarly, homeschooling makes students miss out on important school activities since most jurisdictions do not allow homeschooled students to participate in school-sponsored extracurricular activities. That means that homeschooling students may be excluded from sports, bands, choirs, other art programs and social events offered by local schools. Homeschooling students, therefore, have limited opportunities for joining such competitive programs and activities provided by the local schools. Similarly, homeschooling has a disadvantage for parents who have to spend more time with the kids at the expenses of their jobs. Balancing the house chores, work, and dedicating time for the students at home for homeschooling encompassing books and worksheets may pose more significant time restraints on the parents, which may be consequently challenging to the parents, especially in single parents’ households. It may also be weighty following the vast responsibilities and pressure on the parents on the performance of their children (Spooner,2016).
Moreover, homeschooling may be boring on the students following their limited socialization, lack of exposure, and limited friends. Students are prone to miss a full day potential, hobbies, interactions, and real-time experiences that are only achieved in local schools. Besides, the limited time for doing schoolwork at home and more free time may create boredom as the students are left to entertain themselves in the confines of their homes while their peers at local schools are enjoying quality time with friends. That subsequently makes the homeschooling students spend more time on the televisions, playing more video games and other screen activities.
Pros of Homeschooling
Despite the negative aspects of homeschooling, they present the best forms of learning. Homeschooling is way much better than public-based schooling since it offers flexible schedules away from traffic incidences, morning rush hours, and waking up early to beat the traffic like in the case of standard public schools, which may be inconveniencing. Homeschooling’s flexibility is advantageous as it does not have to follow the daily schedules used by conventional schools as families are free to have the options they have. Most approaches of homeschooling are based on child-led learning devoid of restrictions, and the children are given a choice to learn in their deposition under their parents’ supervision are not bounded by time, thereby learning at their own pace.
Similarly, home-based schooling has the advantages of saving time and resources since it involves less paperwork, hence lessening the expenses on resources. The primary lesson materials used in home-based schooling underlie worksheets and workbooks in the PACE program and the use of the internet in downloading various source materials with a free curriculum that may be very resourceful (Family Education Staff,2019). Additionally, homeschooling improves the family relationship through parent-child bonding; hence the parents have the responsibility of mounding the minds of their children. The family members also have the opportunity of teaching the children the values and right codes of conduct as parents get to love and take better care of their children who further obey and respect their parents better. That is since some aspects of education can only be taught by parents. The parent-child bonding will also make the children develop self-confidence as they appreciate the love that they are shown by their parents.
Moreover, most homeschooling is preferable since they are free from social pressure, as most parents are concerned about peer pressure. Most students in homeschooling will not have the stress of trying to fit or conform to specific groups that may make them suffer the consequences, failure to which may result in bullying and discrimination. Homeschooling does not exhibit aspects of peer pressure since children are encouraged to develop their personality by doing whatever they love and doing things in their ways. That makes children unique following their various characters, as evidenced by their won learning styles.
Similarly, homeschooling presents various freedoms to the children encompassing education freedom, physical freedom, emotional freedom, and religious freedoms. Education freedom in homeschooling underlies students studying whatever they want whenever they want for as long as they wish. Additionally, most basics are covered depending on the age, ability, interest levels, and maturity of the child (Family Education Staff, 2019). The student’s physical freedom in homeschooling underscores the students' lives no longer revolving around school hours, homework, and school calendar. The parents of such students can comfortably plan off session vacations, visiting the museums and parks for their kids even in the week, making the children live their lives according to what works for them. Homeschooling students’ emotional freedom juxtaposes freedom from peer pressure, boredom, bullies, competition, among others, that are common during standard school days. Homeschooling students have the privilege of thinking and dressing as they want without the fear of ridicule, thus boosting their self-esteem since their lives are not dictated by growing trends and experimentation that may be dangerous.
In the realms of religious freedom, the parents of homeschooling students can easily incorporate their beliefs in their children’s daily lives. Homeschooling also presents stability during times of difficulty or amid transition obstacles like times of illnesses, death of a family member, having a new baby, and relocations. Families will cope with the transitioning periods as the children adjust with comfort since they are homeschooled through the moves, thereby presenting a stabilizing factor during the mixed-up situations (Gaille,2017). Finally, there is less bureaucracy in handling homeschooling since it does not deal with the school administrators, teachers, and other red tape bureaucratic forms.
Homeschooling has become more popular, with most students currently learning at home as most parents prefer homeschooling to standard public schools owing to the benefits of homeschooling. However, homeschooling, albeit preferred by most parents, has the challenges on both parents and the students as well. On parents, it presents the challenges of time and financial constraints since it is more expensive, and most parents have to spend most time with their children, thus limiting their working hours. It becomes even worse for single parents who have to juggle between house chores, work, and supervising the homeschooling students. It is challenging for the students who become bored with time, limited interaction with their peers, and limited co-curriculum activities that are only participated with students in local schools. Despite the challenges, homeschooling is the best form of learning owing to the students’ freedom in the spheres of academics, emotions, physical, and religion. Besides liberty, there exist strong family relations encompassing the parent-child bonding, flexible schedules, saving on times and resources, avoidance of social pressures, and fewer bureaucracies involved.
Family Education Staff (2019, May). Homeschooling Pros and Cons. Family Education. https://www.familyeducation.com/school/homeschooling-support/homeschooling-pros-cons
Gaille, L. (2017, February).15 Critical Homeschooling Pros and Cons. Vittana.https://vittana.org/15-critical-homeschooling-pros-and-cons
Lips, D. & Feinberg, E. (2008, April). Homeschooling: A Growing Option in American Education. The Heritage Foundation https://www.heritage.org/education/report/homeschooling-growing-option-american-education
Ray, B. (2017, August). A Review of Research on Homeschooling and What Might Educators Learn? ResearchGate. DOI: 10.1590/1980-6248-2016-0009
Spooner, R. (2016, June). The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling. Homeschool On. https://homeschoolon.com/pros-and-cons-of-homeschooling/
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