Are you thinking about becoming your child's homeschool teacher? Deciding on the best educational pathway for your child is one of the most critical decisions you will need to make as a parent. It’s a decision that needs to consider your child’s emotional, physical, and social development, as well as the overall quality of their education.
While for some parents, sending their kids to school is an absolute no-brainer. Others see homeschooling as the best option.
Although not a new concept – homeschooling has been around since at least the 17th century and really started to take off in the 1980s. Recently, it has gained further traction due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To the point that more parents than ever find themselves weighing up the pros and cons of homeschooling their children.
If this is something you are thinking of doing, below are some of the major factors you should consider.Are you thinking of homeschooling your child? Here are the pros and cons of being a homeschool teacher to your child.Click To Tweet
PROS OF HOMESCHOOLING
Easier to teach and learn
One of the big pros of homeschooling is that you can tweak how you teach, to be more compatible with your child’s individual learning style. By teaching them one-on-one, as opposed to within a big classroom, you will be able to focus on your children’s educational development in a way that suits them best.
For instance, if your child responds to more visual cues, you can include graphs, photos or charts to help them better understand what you are trying to teach them. Likewise, if they struggle with maths or geography, you can devote some extra time to ensure they get a firmer grasp of those subjects.
You might also find some benefit in getting a life coach mentor for your child as well.
Avoids classroom disruption
There is nothing worse than seeing your child’s development being disrupted by one or two children who are misbehaving in the classroom.
When homeschooled, your child can focus 100% on their work without distraction from others. This in turn means they will be more likely to absorb the information being taught to them quicker than they otherwise would in a classroom of upwards of 25 other children.
Therefore, enabling them to enjoy more time for extracurricular activities, as well as rest, sleep, and socializing with friends.
Being a homeschool teacher gives freedom and flexibility
One huge advantage of homeschooling as a parent is that you have the freedom and flexibility to manage your child’s learning curriculum and schedule.
For starters, you won’t need to stick to a set schedule where school runs from 8.30 am to 2.45 pm (although this might be handy). Instead, you can adjust the schedule to the most conducive times for your child to learn. For instance, 10.30 am to 4.45 pm. Or even to fit around a doctor's or dentist’s appointment.
Also, when it comes to at-home education, you get to choose exactly what subjects you want to teach your children. Which could be anything from science and religion to cooking and computer skills.
Many proponents of homeschooling argue that practical knowledge, artistic endeavors, traditional trades, and even volunteering work can also be classed as homeschooling too.
A big advantage for many parents considering homeschooling their children is that doing so protects them from the risks of bullying.
In addition, it also prevents them from suffering traumas associated with being shunned as an outcast, along with other social pressures that relate to school. All of which could affect their ability, and effectiveness, to learn.
Develop stronger relationships
So long as you make the learning fun and interesting, your child should enjoy being homeschooled.
Therefore, this enables you to spend a lot more quality time with them, than if they were at school all day. This could well develop a stronger relationship and bond between the two of you.
Just be sure to enjoy lots of social experiences with your child as well. To ensure the time you spend together is not purely focused on schoolwork.
CONS OF HOMESCHOOLING
When homeschooling your child there are plenty of free resources available, as well as institutions across the world like Raising Stars which you can also draw inspiration from. However, you will need to consider the cost of homeschooling your child, in terms of your time.
If you are devoting a significant amount of time to being your child’s homeschool teacher, then the likelihood is that you will not have much spare time for paid employment. Therefore, you will need to work out whether your family can survive on one wage.
Adapting to Homeschooling Might Be Difficult for Your Child
If you decide to homeschool your child, the immediate period from when you take them out of school and start being their homeschool teacher yourself could be a little challenging.
For sure, there will be a period of adjustment as they would need to adapt to the change of circumstances. This will see them being with a parent, as opposed to a teacher, all day long and not being within the classroom environment.
For some children and homeschooling parents, this is a change that is straightforward to manage. However, for others, it's one they just can’t get to grips with.
So, you will need to be honest with yourselves as to whether or not it is a viable arrangement for you to be involved in.
Potential Lack of Social Interaction
One of the big downsides to homeschooling is that your child could suffer from social isolation. Kids need to be around other kids, and at school, they can make friends, as well as develop interpersonal, social, and intercultural skills. They also get to take part in playground activities, school assembly performances and even competitive sport.
The danger with homeschooling is that your child will regress as a result of isolation from other children.
So, it is important to expose them to regular recreational activities with other kids of a similar age. This could be anything from sporting activities like basketball, soccer, or softball to musical theatre, art, or even just a social club.
Homeschooling is a lot of work
Let’s not beat around the bush. Teaching is very hard work, even for a full-time professional. But it is especially difficult for a parent with several other roles to perform.
The whole process of preparing and teaching a curriculum for your child, as well as marking their work across lots of different subjects, is very time-consuming. Add to that the other housework and chores you might have to do like cooking, washing, cleaning, and mowing, and you can soon find yourself mentally and physically drained.
In addition, if you have other younger children at home, you may also find it challenging to keep them entertained and occupied while teaching your homeschooled child.
Less Time for Yourself
While the idea of homeschooling might be an attractive one for you, the reality of it may not be all you thought it would be.
For many parents, teaching your child at home can soon become a labor of love, as they quickly discover they don’t have enough time to do anything for themselves.
Even finding the time to shower might be a challenge, with everything you have to do on a daily basis. So, for parents who are used to quiet, kid-free afternoons, where they can catch up with their friends over coffee and cake, they could be in for a rude shock.
Too Much Togetherness
Although homeschooling could result in stronger bonds being formed between parents and children, there is a distinct possibility that the opposite may happen. You may find that spending all day, every day of the week with your children could lead to feelings of cabin fever.
So, it is important to factor in lots of downtimes, as well as fun activities with both you and your/their friends, to ensure you don’t get sick of the sight of each other.
Potential for Judgments About Homeschooling
One thing that you should be prepared for is judgment from others when you tell them you are homeschooling your child. Unfortunately, homeschooling is a topic many people feel passionate about, and they are not shy in offering their opinions of it.
There are plenty of stereotypes based around the act of teaching your children from home, as well as those who choose to do so. Sadly, you might get some criticism if you tell others that your child is homeschooled. So, you will need to develop a thick skin to ensure it doesn't bother you.
Final Thoughts on Being a Homeschool Teacher
At the end of the day, as a parent, you need to give your child the education you think will benefit them the most. Whether that is sending them to school or becoming their homeschool teacher is entirely up to you.
However, whatever you decide to do, you need to have the courage of your convictions and give them all the love and support they need to succeed.