Homeschooling advantages are what draw us in and make us want to pursue this adventure of educating at home. There are so many wonderful reasons to homeschool. But, what about the disadvantages of homeschooling?
What about the hard parts of homeschooling? We know the advantages of homeschooling well, but what about the things that hardly anyone talks about–the struggles and negatives of homeschooling?
Listed below are a few of the most common disadvantages and struggles homeschool moms face.
(Disadvantages for the children is another post. Stay tuned.)
4 Major Disadvantages of Homeschooling for Moms
This is not an exhaustive list.
There are more than four disadvantages to homeschooling, but these are four biggies to be aware of especially if you’re just thinking about a homeschool journey.
Disadvantages of Homeschooling for Moms #1: You don’t get lunch breaks, vacation days, or weekends (or, really, breaks of any kind).
There is no end in sight to the amount of work mom is required to do.
When homeschooling, household chores and responsibilities are flanked by the school day and can bleed over into evening hours. What doesn’t get finished during the week runs over into the weekend.
It is ridiculously easy for a homeschool mama to neglect herself and her needs due to the fact that her time is monopolized by her family and their many needs.
Homeschooling is a ton of work without appropriate amounts of rest to offset the imbalance.
It takes a wise woman to draw firm boundaries, take the time she needs to rejuvenate, and just ignore the nasty kitchen for a few hours.
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Disadvantages of Homeschooling for Moms #2: You are always with your children.
When traditionally practiced, homeschooling allows most members of the family to be home together the vast majority of the time.
Most homeschool families do everything together. They school together, do chores together, run errands together, attend church together, eat, play, and socialize together.
All this quality time is advantageous in many ways. However, mom usually gets the short end of the stick here.
Even if each child has their own extra-curricular activity, it is usually mom who drives them to and fro.
Mom must go to great lengths (even greater lengths if her children are very small and she has more than one) to find alone time. Doctor and dentist appointments are a priority for everyone in the family except for mom. Recreational alone time is non-existent.
Socialization is an issue concerning many today in the world of homeschooling. In my opinion, the children are doing great in this arena.
Mom however, could use a few more friends/hobbies/experiences outside of the home.
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Disadvantages of Homeschooling for Moms #3: Lack of support.
When a family decides to homeschool, they are choosing an honorable option for educating their children.
However, not everyone sees it that way.
To many, homeschooling is still considered an alternative education.
Homeschooling is hard enough when all the family and friends in your inner circle are supportive, but it can be downright impossible when there is no support or encouragement from one’s nearest and dearest.
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Disadvantages of Homeschooling for Moms #4: You have to deal with authority issues and role confusion from the children.
Familial roles are easily blurred when homeschooling.
Mom is everything to everyone all the time–she’s mother, teacher, chore chart keeper, maid, chauffeur, nurse, cook, errand runner, bill payer, and on and on.
She’s also the disciplinarian, encourager, and playmate.
All. Day. Long.
Every. Single. Day.
Switching roles so many times is exhausting and draining, which can cause mom to be inconsistent in her parenting techniques.
Sometimes her children end up ignoring her requests because they have unintentionally tuned her out. You know, because they hear her all the time … on everything.
Before you know it, mom is so frustrated that she’s screaming her head off trying to get someone to listen and obey her.
(Who’s in charge around here anyway?)
Remember, nothing is perfect.
Private schools are not perfect.
Public schools are not perfect.
Homeschools are not perfect.
Each educational option has its own list of pros and cons. And that list will vary according to each family.
Take a break on those hard days when the disadvantages of homeschooling outweigh the advantages and you’re second guessing your decision to homeschool.
Those days will come.
Do whatever needs to be done so you can regain the appropriate perspective.
And yes, sometimes the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages for months at a time.
Hang in there.
This is a worthy fight.
No one ever said homeschooling would be easy. If they did, they are probably not homeschoolers.
The amount of stress, sacrifice, and exhaustion is worth it for many of us. Homeschooling is the best choice for our families. We feel blessed and honored participating in and contributing to our children’s lives.
It doesn’t have to be perfect to still be right.
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Angelene Woodard is a wife, mother, writer, and reluctant homeschooler who blogs about her frustrations and victories at www.unqualifiedmom.com where she encourages fellow Christians to embrace their weakness and accept His strength.