Nowadays, a lot of parents have been considering having their kids study outside of the public school system, perhaps a different type of education with a different system. Homeschooling is among the most popular systems being introduced to families in the United States. Currently, about 2 million children are homeschooled, and this number is quickly growing by 10% yearly. And although there are some Americans that are resistant and against homeschooling, reports support the fact that homeschooled children do very well on their standardized tests, outdo fellow college mates, grow to be fast learners, and thrive as adults.
It is indeed enticing, hearing from others and reading about how homeschooling has changed other kids. Before deciding to transfer your kid to a homeschooling system, consider some advantages and disadvantages and contemplate if it the appropriate system for your child.
- As a parent, you can choose the curriculum that you want your son or daughter to follow. That is by far the biggest benefit that you can get out of homeschooling. You have several options that are laid upon you, and you can choose what interests your child and how long he’s going to be studying it. You know what topics your child loves, and you only want him to excel in that field. On the other hand, you might want him to take more math lessons if that is his weakness, as you want him to overcome his difficulties. You can also include other subjects that might be of interest to your child, but he’s not very knowledgeable about them. Anything goes. You pay for what you get.
- It is a painful fact that when your kid goes to school, there is a possibility that he is going to be bullied, especially in a public school setting. This has quite a negative impact on the child, which is why parents would opt for homeschooling. They don’t want their children to experience the pain of being teased, humiliated, and laughed at. It is emotionally distressing and is not healthy for your child. Drugs and other types of substance abuse are also prevalent these days, and some kids are easily convinced to try it because of peer pressure and low self-confidence.
- Despite the fact that homeschooling may be more demanding, it can be a relief. It only demands parents to choose a schedule that they and their children are comfortable with, and stick to that schedule until the course commences. On the other hand, with the public school system, children are compelled to follow and adapt to the daily and monthly timetable that the system imposes. Families that are homeschooling can choose to create a routine that is similar to that of the public school, so their children vacation can be set up to be the same with those from the public school, even if they don’t have the same calendar of activities.
- Competitors of the home school program say that children who are homeschooled are introverts and are less social than public educated children. However, evidence refutes this statement, as homeschooled children are not only equally smart but they are also mentally and emotionally stable. “Typically, we’ll see kids functioning at a higher level at school,” says Jerry Bubrick, PhD, clinical psychologist and the director of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Service at the Child Mind Institute, “less symptomatic because they’re trying to maintain this social perception that they’re fine. And they tend to have a lot of embarrassment and shame around their symptoms.” The usual outcome since the system started has consistently been positive, with adults from a homeschool mostly succeeding in their careers and personal lives.
These are only a few of the many perks of children enrolling to homeschool. On the downside, there are also minimal disadvantages that can be seen in those whose parents enrolled in a home school program.
- It may increase the parents’ stress as well as the child’s. Because the typical setup of a homeschool program is one on one, there is a tendency that the teacher might pressure the student to think too hard or focus too much, causing your child to step back, be frustrated, or lose interest. Downtime and relationship building between parents and their children are important steps to overcome this. “Maintaining those things they do together as a family that aren’t related to skill building or obtaining something,” Amy Warren, PsyD, tells. “Enjoying the relationship as opposed to have an end goal in mind. That’s an opportunity for learning, as well.”
- It is more expensive. Homeschooling is not cheap at all, especially for families where only one is working. Though parents think it’s worth its cost, still they find it hard to tackle monetary issues, particularly since homeschooling, unlike public school education, is not subsidized by government money.
- There are limited extra-curricular and outdoor activities for homeschooled children. Perhaps it is because the lessons are one and one and there is more time spent between the teacher and the child to focus on lessons. They are also mostly deprived of team sports, while public school children have lots of time to play in school with their teammates or with community members. Michael Thompson, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of “The Pressured Child”, is a huge proponent and advocate of “undirected free play.” According to Thompson, “It helps their creativity, it helps their stress level, it helps their social intelligence. It is better than most adult-run or adult-supervised activities, though many of those activities are also inherently good or enriching.”
- Despite the positive results seen in children who are homeschooled, there are still many people that only have bad things to say about the system. They still consider homeschooling as something that is outside of the mainstream of what’s acceptable. But in reality, they just see it as a threat to the conventional educational systems that insist on private and public school educational systems. They can’t accept that parents agree on introducing their children to a more relaxed and open educational system where the students will undoubtedly excel and succeed in the future.