The Homeschool Decision
Still undecided? Maybe it would help to look at the pros and cons.
- You make the decision about WHAT your children learn. Some parents have reservations about what is being taught in public schools, and want to protect their children from certain information they deem inappropriate. You also may see deficiencies in what is being taught in public schools, and want to enrich your children’s learning experience.
- You make the decisions about HOW your children learn. A public school classroom can't tailor its teaching style for each child. As a home schooling parent, you can teach your child in the style that best fits him or her, and you can tweak your teaching style as needed.
- You get to choose the curriculum. This ties in with the "what your children learn" note listed above. You can decide how many books, worksheets, crafts, and so forth that your student does. You can reject or accept aspects of various curricula and/or design your own.
- Your child gets one-on-one instruction. Time and again, studies have shown that children learn well with individual instruction.
- Home schooling takes time. Not only do you have to commit to the actual teaching time, you may also have to research and prepare lessons, copy or print out worksheets, maps, exercises, etc., and keep careful track of your child's progress. This all means less time to work at your job, run errands, clean the house, cook meals 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. This means you have to keep careful records.
- Home schooling can cost money. It is not just the curriculum - while some curricula are very expensive (over $1000 a year just for the study materials), others are based on free resources like library books. So the expense is not necessarily the materials. The expense also extends into loss of income - the parent who is teaching usually ends up spending less time at work.
- Unfortunately, criticism and even contempt from others comes with the territory of home schooling. You alone can decide if you will find this aspect of home schooling stressful.
After you evaluate these pros and cons you will be better able to make an informed decision about what is best for your family.