Homeschooling - The Pros and Cons
Homeschooling has been becoming steadily more popular over recent years, and of course in the past year many of us have become homeschoolers without intending to. Why do many parents choose this course, though, even without being forced to by a pandemic?
A great many children thrive at school, whether because of the educational or social aspects. Some, on the other hand, need more individual attention than a school can provide, or they're easily distracted by the other pupils around them. In addition, some parents disagree with aspects of the curriculum and feel they can offer a more appropriate education. If you're considering homeschooling your child, there are both pros and cons.
The Pros of Homeschooling
- Without an obligation to follow the National Curriculum, as a school is, you can tailor your child's education according to their own strengths. This means your child can learn at their own pace and according to the style of learning they respond to best.
- Even a school with a relatively good teacher-to-pupil ratio can't accommodate one-to-one attention for each child. If you homeschool your child, however, they will be your entire focus.
- Lessons aren't tied down to set times or locations. If your child tends to learn best either in the morning or afternoon, for instance, important lessons can be timed for then. Lessons can be held in places more appropriate than classrooms — for instance, you could go out into the countryside to study biology.
- If your child finds learning in a classroom difficult, whether because of distractions, peer pressure or bullying, homeschooling can offer a safe place to focus on their education.
- Homeschooling isn't tied to the inflexible school timetable, either in terms of days or years. The educational day can be built into the family's cycle, while there's no need to stick to rigid terms and holidays. On a practical level, this will enable you to book cheaper holidays during term-time.
- For the most part, you're likely to be learning along with your child, forging a deeper bond between you.
The Cons of Homeschooling
- Homeschooling is a full-time job for at least one parent. Besides having to be at home during the day to provide lessons, there's also a good deal of preparation and follow-up work, if you're approaching it with full commitment. This makes it impossible for both parents to hold down jobs.
- Besides the financial consequences of giving up work, you'll be liable for many of the costs a school would normally bear, such as paying fees for exams.
- While being free from peer pressure may be good for some children, homeschooling can mean social isolation. This makes it vital to find plenty of other social outlets for your child, such as regular clubs. Alternatively, you could contact other homeschooling parents and arrange leisure contact for your children.
- Homeschooling may give your child a deeper education, but not following the National Curriculum could also leave gaps that might make applying for higher education more difficult.
- In school (especially at the secondary stage) your child will probably have specialist teachers for most subject, but if you're homeschooling them, you'll have to be sufficiently on top of every subject, from history to physics. If you find it difficult to keep up, though, you may have the option of hiring a private tutor to cover the subjects you find hardest.
Register at TutorExtra to discover more about homeschooling or to find tutors for your less-preferred subjects.