Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

Pros of Homeschooling:

  • Parental control of what kids are taught and how it's taught.
  • Get to teach your value system to your kids, not the government's "values".
  • You can teach to your kid's learning style. There are no learning disabled kids, just teacher disabled adults.
  • If you want to spend all day learning about how caterpillars become butterflys or how to conjugate verbs you can. 
  • Better socialization skills (home-school kids being un-socialized is one of the great lies). Our kids interact with kids and adults of all ages, not just with kids their own age. This is of particular importance for boys.
  • Lots of time and freedom to pursue other activities. Homeschooling allows them to do much more if the parent so chooses.
  • Takes about 1/3 of the time of regular schooling. My kids, if motivated, are done school in 2-3 hours tops. The lazy ones can take all day.
  • Can do school in your pajamas.
  • Don't have to get up super early to meet a carpool or the bus.
  • Lots of time to play outside and just be a kid. 
  • No getting dropped of at 7am for before-school care and picked up at 6pm from after-care.
  • Lots of one on one time with parents. Builds better relationships with parents and siblings.
  • No busywork and filler in the classroom.
  • Kids learn at their pace not at the pace of the slowest kid in the classroom
  • Costs are very low, much lower than private school and about the same as public school. We spend less than $200 to school our k-8 kids (high-school homeschooling costs more and will be covered in a future post). This assumes you aren't using some expensive curriculum package. My bride does up her own curriculum. But even the packaged curriculum is affordable for most.
  • Safer - we have had no bomb threats, school shootings, stabbings, drug use, bullying...
  • You can take vacation whenever you want. We get to go to the beach when its the off-season. Beaches aren't crowded and the rents are a lot cheaper.
  • You are there to help you kids through the "big issues" in life and can decide when they learn about them.
  • The person who loves the child most in this world is also their teacher.

Cons of Homeschooling:

None. Well none for us. I hear other people comment on the downside of homeschooling but this has always been from people who have never tried it. I have no time or patience to deal with these objections and people any more. We've been doing this for 20 years and have heard it all. If you have problems with the idea of homeschooling try sitting down with a veteran home-school mom (like my bride) and talking about it. We have dealt with all the objections over the years. Or better yet give homeschooling a try. You can always ship them back to the public school, they would love to get their meat-hooks back into them.

Results so far - My oldest graduated college 2 years early and got her masters in a year. The next 4 kids are in college currently, 2 will graduate in the spring. All of our kids have finished high school either 1 or 2 years early. 2 kids are doing high school currently. 1 is middle-school age. 3 are elementary school age. And 2 are too young for school and terrorize everyone else.

***all posts applying to my family only - your results will be different***


Paul Buckley said...

I will offer one possible 'con' - well, not really a con, but a reason why one might not homeschool. The adult in question might not have the proper temperament to homeschool. It is not necessarily a walk in the park (although some days it is) , and it may not be everyone's cup of tea. Certainly, if it works for someone and it works for their kids, then it is of course a viable option and one that should be encouraged.

Rob F said...

it is a walk in the park Paul. our wives don't know how lucky they are ;)

There are other cons i could list too...i'm just tired of dealing with them after 20 years and would rather take the easy smart-a$$ route.

Katie said...

I do not always agree with the "I do not have the personality for homescooling" and that is simply because I used to think that too. But, I think anyone can do it and it is just a matter of growing in virtue (or at least trying to, in my case).

You paint a rosie picture of homeschooling Rob. And it is not always that way. It can be very HARD. Our oldest has several learning disabilities. Will he turn out fine? Probably. And he will go to college. Will he graduate early? Most likely not. Most days, school is a struggle and it has taken us years to figure out what works and what doesn't for him. And we are still trying to figure that out. So, a con would be, "It may not be what you "signed up for."

I think,as homeschoolers, it is important to share the "other side" of homeschooling. Hearing the "my kid graduated at age 10" or "my kid read at age 3" can be disheartening for those whose daily homeschooling is a struggle.

I will stop now . . .

But, there is so much good that happens in homeschooling. Although there are days when I want to bus them off to school, when all is said and done, I would not want my boys anywhere else.

Rob F said...

Katie, your points are all valid and I know all of them. The purpose of the post, which maybe I should have made more obvious, was to be obnoxiously positive about homeschooling. I was during an overreaction to the positive side cause I’m tired of the blanket “homeschool is bad” or “I can’t homeschool” statements. Maybe I’ll do a post that deals with the “cons” in the future….if I get bored enough having fun.

We’ve had 2 that had/have major issues with reading. But it works out eventually and they wouldn’t have gotten the needed attention and love to learn to read in a regular school setting, so even that has worked out for us.

I have met a few mothers who I thought their kids would be better off in school, but they were major dingbats.

So my kids have all started college early, but I couldn’t really care less if they go to college or not, I find it overrated. I’d be fine if they went to tech school, started their own business or just got a job out of high school. College was worthless for my professional career but I did enjoy all the parties, at least the ones I can remember.

I used to think homeschooling was very difficult, and then I started working from home….

There are days I’d like to send my kids all away until they are 18 and I don’t even have to teach them. I like my adult children.

Katie said...

Rob, I hope I am not one of those "dingbats" ;-) I thought I overheard you telling Sam my kids chould be in school!? (Just kidding).

I wish J's issues were with reading. He reads well beyond his grade level, but he writes like he is in first grade . . . luckily there are so many programs now that make the act of physical writing obsolete.

Rob F said...

anyone who runs is not a dingbat.

I failed, yes failed, handwriting in elementary school. i still can't write and can barely read cursive. and my printing is illegible.