What are the benefits and disadvantages of homeschooling?

Homeschooling certainly has both pros and cons. For those trying to decide, it helps to look at a list and some discussions of the various positive and negative aspects of homeschooling.

Here are some to consider....

Pros

* You decide what your children learn. Some parents have reservations about what their children are learning in public schools and want to protect their children from certain information they deem inappropriate. They also may see certain information not being taught in public schools and want to enrich their child's learning experience.

* You make the decisions about how your children learn. There is no way a public school classroom can tailor its teaching style for each child. Yet each child differs. As a homeschooling parent, you can teach your child in the learning style that best fits them, and you can tweak your teaching style as needed.

* You get to choose the curriculum. You can decide how many books, worksheets, crafts, and so forth that your student does. You can reject or accept aspects of various curricula or design your own.

* Your child gets one-on-one instruction. Time and again, studies have shown that children learn well with individual instruction.

Cons

* Homeschooling takes time. Not only do you have to commit to the actual teaching time; depending on the curriculum, you may have to research and prepare lessons, copy or print out worksheets, maps, exercises, etc., and keep careful track of your child's progress. Which means less time to run errands, clean the house, cook meals, work at a job, and so forth.

* Depending on the laws and regulations in your area, you will have to present a portfolio or submit your child to standardized testing. So you will have to keep careful records.

* Homeschooling can cost money. It is not just the curriculum - while some are very expensive (over $1000 a year just for the study materials), others might rely on free resources like library books. The expense also extends into loss of income - the teaching parent usually ends up spending less time at work or not able to work at all.

* Criticism and even contempt from others, unfortunately, comes with the territory of homeschooling. Those who tend to doubt themselves are overly concerned with what other people think may find this aspect of homeschooling stressful.

As you can see, there are trade-offs to homeschooling. There are pros and cons to sending your child to public or private school, too. So the key is to figure out what works for your family.

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