This might come as a surprise to you, but a great deal of homeschooling parents don’t necessarily think that homeschooling is for everyone. In fact, most of us believe that it’s a personal decision that each family should not go into lightly and that you should do a lot (and, I mean, a lot) of research and contemplation.
So maybe you’re at a crossroads and you’re trying to decide the advantages (and disadvantages) of homeschooling versus public school. Here are some questions you can ask that might make things a little clearer for you and your family.
5 Important Questions to Consider for the Advantages and Disadvantages of Homeschooling versus Public School
1. Why are you considering homeschooling?
Do you feel like you’re being “called” to homeschool? Are you scared of today’s public school climate? Or, are you feeling pressured to homeschool because you have some friends telling you that’s what you should be doing?
Give some serious thought to the reasons you’re considering homeschooling (like, make a list of the reasons so you can see them!). This is the time to talk to your kids and spouse or partner about homeschooling, too. You definitely don’t want to spring it on everyone and have to fight that battle along with getting started homeschooling.
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2. What are the public schools like in your area?
Are your public schools . . . scary? Or, do you have award-winning public schools that everyone raves about in your area? Will your child receive a much better education than you could provide them at home by going to your local public school?
Talk to some friends. Meet with teachers. Research homeschool curricula. Join the school’s Facebook page and read the reviews and follow the issues people are posting about. In some cases, the answer will be blatantly obvious. For others, the pros and cons may be equal, so you’ll have a tough decision to make.
3. How involved do you want to be in your child’s learning?
Homeschooling is a full-time job all on its own, so you need to ask yourself how involved do you want to be in your child’s learning? It’s an important question because if helping with homework, coming up with field trips, and creating social opportunities doesn’t sound sound appealing to you, then you need to give some long, hard consideration to homeschooling.
Don’t get me wrong! It’s not that you shouldn’t homeschool if you don’t like those things (trust me, we all go through that), but you might need to readjust your thinking, expectations, and schedule.
4. How will you facilitate “extracurricular” interests?
What if I told you that a vast majority of our homeschooling was spent outside of the home?
Between outside-the-home classes (for us, music, swim, Spanish, cooking, and others) and field trips or homeschool meet-ups, we spend a lot of time outside the home. (I mean, A LOT.)
One of the things that you should ask is how will you fill in the “extracurricular” gaps that your child could get at public school? If they would run track at school, what will you do to make sure that they have that opportunity at home? Or, maybe your kids are in drama club? How will you encourage their “theater bug” from home?
Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to get kids face-time with other kids or to encourage their interests. But, you will need to schedule and stay on top of it!
YOU MAY ALSO BENEFIT FROM : HOMESCHOOLING VERSUS SCHOOLING AT HOME
5. Does your child have special needs?
If your child has special learning or physical needs, where is the best place for him/her? Does the public school system provide resources that you would have to replace if you start homeschooling? Or, would your child’s needs be better served with a one-on-one learning environment at home?
It’s a tough decision, but you need to list the pros and cons of both educations in order to figure out what’s best for your child.
Just because everyone can homeschool doesn’t mean that everyone should. It takes a great deal of time and commitment and you should spend some time considering the questions presented here.
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