Education Alternatives: The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

Homeschooling is becoming more popular with parents for a variety of reasons and, like other options, homeschooling has advantages and disadvantages.

Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular among parents searching for alternative education options.  While there are currently about two million home schooled children, that number continues to increase by as much as 15% per year.  Families have different reasons for wishing to employ non-traditional educational methods, but many parents are choosing to home school for the following reasons:
* School campuses are becoming more dangerous.
* Parents can control the curriculum and values taught to their children.
* The teaching parent can tailor lessons and activities to their children’s specific learning style.
* Many parents feel that a home environment is more conducive to learning.

Pros of Homeschooling
Statistics reported by the National Home Education Research Organization indicate that home schooled children score higher on tests than their publicly schooled counterparts.  In addition, other studies report that homeschoolers who go to college have higher ACT and SAT scores, higher GPA’s, and higher graduation rates.  As if that were not enough, homeschooling also offers additional benefits to both parents and children.
* Homeschooling highlights family.   Often in public school, school assignments and other activities begin to slowly take priority over family time.  In a home school setting, parents naturally spend more time with their children so bonds are closer and family becomes more important to the child.
* Homeschooling highlights the needs of the child.  In a classroom, a teacher must tailor activities to meet the needs of the entire classroom instead of the individual.  Parents who home school are free to investigate what works for their child and only focus on those methods.
* Homeschooling provides a safe learning environment.  Even in safe schools that don’t have a high incidence of drug activity, or don’t regularly report weapons being brought on campus, there are some concerns that cannot be avoided.  Verbal abuse, bullying and, and negative peer pressure are prevalent in all schools.  Homeschooling provides a means by which children can simply learn and not have to worry about the anxiety and anguish brought about by some of these situations.

The Cons of Homeschooling
Although there are many positive aspects of homeschooling, what about the negatives?  Certainly, the most talked about drawback to home education is the purported inability of home schooled children to adjust socially, even though there is no evidence to back up this claim.  Perhaps the most significant disadvantages are for ill-prepared parents.

Homeschooling requires a major time commitment on the part of the parent.  This means that most days a parent will be with their child 24 hours a day and, as attractive as this may seem to some, parents must be aware of the time and energy involved in planning lessons, preparing teaching material, and effectively instructing their children.

Inherently, most parents agree on the value of education, but, as with other issues, they disagree on the methods of achieving that education.  For a growing number of families, homeschooling is a viable alternative to the traditional setting.  However, parents should be prepared to make the decision to home school based on understanding the extent of the commitment required.  After all, homeschooling means that a parent is assuming full responsibility for the intellectual upbringing of their children.

About Melissa J. Murphy

Melissa Murphy is in the business of building self-esteem, instilling confidence, and restoring hope in those who have given up on life. She is currently completing her degree in psychology, and has worked as a life coach and faith-based counselor for more than a decade. By bringing her personal life experiences into her work, Melissa is able to help others survive their wounds, heal their pain, and live a life of success despite having incurred overwhelming emotional scars. For the last few years, she has discovered the joys of writing and has published a growing number of articles. Melissa currently resides in the Houston area with her husband and her two wonderful children.

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