Homeschool Pros and Cons: What You Need to Know

Homeschooled student working outside
January 30, 2024
4 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 01/30/234

If you’re a parent or student considering homeschooling, you may be wondering if it's worth it. To learn more about the major homeschooling pros and cons, read on.

In today's digital age, it's hard to find someone who isn't glued to their phone. Whether we're waiting in line, going to school or work, or simply relaxing at home, many of us have our smartphones within arm's reach at all times. 

But before our high-tech smartphones were created, there were telephones. In fact, the first telephone bears absolutely no resemblance to our modern phones. Nonetheless, it was a revolutionary creation that changed the face of telecommunications.

Alexander Graham Bell, the creator of the first telephone, was one of the many famous inventors who spent a large portion of his childhood being homeschooled. So, while there is no denying homeschooled students can achieve greatness, you still may be on the fence if it is the right option for you and your child. 

Rest assured, this guide will cover the pros and cons of homeschooling and answer frequently asked questions about this form of education!

What are the Benefits of Homeschooling?

Let's explore the advantages of homeschooling and why it's a choice many families consider.

Lifestyle Change

Homeschooling is more than just a change in education; it's a lifestyle shift. As a homeschooling parent, you wear multiple hats, taking on the roles of both teacher and administrator. This means organizing lessons, arranging field trips, and ensuring compliance with local homeschool regulations—all on top of your usual parental duties. 

There are financial costs, too, as you invest in textbooks, supplies, and tools for homeschooling. While there are ways to cut costs, like using bundled resources from programs like Calvert Education, it's worth noting that dedicating more time to teaching can impact your family's income, especially for single parents. And your daily routine? It'll need some rearranging to accommodate the extra time dedicated to homeschooling.

Educational Freedom

Homeschooling offers a unique educational freedom that's hard to find in traditional schools. Parents can tailor the curriculum to their child's specific needs and learning pace, ensuring a deep understanding of concepts. If a child excels in a subject, there's no need to wait for others to catch up—they can progress at their own speed. 

Homeschooling encourages learning beyond the classroom, with real-world experiences that make subjects more engaging and memorable. But, it comes with responsibilities. Parents must plan and schedule lessons effectively, recognizing that organization is key to successful homeschooling.


Now, let's talk about socialization in homeschooling. Contrary to some myths, homeschoolers do have a social life—it's just a bit different. Homeschooling can shield kids from peer pressure and bullying, fostering better self-esteem and academic performance. Parents often choose this path to protect their children's values and well-being. 

While homeschoolers might have less daily interaction with same-age peers, they engage in various community activities, interact with a diverse range of adults, and participate in sports and social events through recreational leagues or classes.

In a nutshell, homeschooling provides the flexibility to adapt to individual learning styles, protect children from negative social influences, and offer unique hands-on learning experiences. Just remember, it also brings lifestyle changes, financial considerations, and added responsibilities for parents to juggle.

Pros of Homeschooling

Let’s dive even deeper into the positives of homeschooling. 

mother homeschooling son

1. Tailored Education

One of the biggest advantages of homeschooling, and one of the main reasons parents choose it, is that it allows for personalized and tailored education. Parents can adapt their teaching methods and curriculum to match their children’s learning styles and interests, which can result in more effective and enthusiastic learning!

Students get individualized attention from their parents or tutors, which can allow them to identify and rectify their weaknesses and hone their strengths. Whereas in traditional school, students are all taught the same curriculum, and teachers can only give students limited personal help, as they have to teach over 20 students in each class.

2. Flexibility

Homeschooling provides flexibility in terms of scheduling and curriculum. Parents can set their own schedules and pace, allowing for a more relaxed and less stressful learning environment. Homeschooling also allows for unique field trips, travel, and other experiences that may be difficult to incorporate into a traditional school setting!

This way, students can enjoy their education and feel more in charge of their learning! This flexibility also allows students more opportunities, as they can change their schedule to accommodate work, extracurriculars, or community service commitments, all of which will strengthen their college applications.

3. Effective Learning

In traditional classrooms of over 20 students, it’s easy for students to get distracted, which can decrease the efficacy of their education. When they’re homeschooled, they will have fewer distractions and can focus on learning. 

4. Independence

When students are homeschooled, parents are partly responsible for their education, but it is ultimately up to the student to complete their coursework and ask for the help they require to succeed. They can learn independence, become self-reliant, and hone their time management skills.

5. Diversity

Homeschooling is an untraditional method of learning when it comes to college applications. Only a small percentage of applicants are homeschooled, which can give you an advantage because you can bring different perspectives to your college’s community.

The challenges of being homeschooled or unique skills developed, such as self-motivation and independence, can make for an excellent personal statement!

6. Safety

Although a less common reason for students to be homeschooled, more parents decide to homeschool their children for its safety benefits. Homeschooling reduces children's risk of bullying, violence, and contagious illness. Students can also be more closely supervised in the event of any emergencies.

Cons of Homeschooling

While there are numerous pros to homeschooling, there are also some cons to consider:

1. Limited Social Interaction

While homeschooled students still have the opportunity to meet other students through homeschool groups, extracurriculars, and sports teams, they will not have the same access to peers their age as they would in traditional school. 

two young girls playing together

2. Limited Extracurriculars

Again, while students can search for external extracurriculars to pursue, high schools offer various clubs, sports teams, and other programs that are readily available and accessible to students. ​​

Homeschooled students miss out on these activities, which may impact their opportunities for personal growth and affect their college applications, which should include diverse extracurricular experiences.

3. Limited Resources

Traditional high schools have access to various resources, including gymnasiums, theatre stages, diverse art supplies, science labs, and specialized equipment. The majority of homeschooled students do not have access to these resources, which can impact the quality and depth of their education.

This is particularly relevant to students interested in STEM, as traditional high schools offer vast resources to support students’ learning in these subjects. 

4. Difficulty Getting Into College

While homeschooled students can certainly get into college, it is more challenging for them. Homeschooled students typically do not have transcripts and cannot receive school records or recommendations, which can make it difficult for colleges to review them in the same manner as traditionally-schooled applicants.

Additionally, homeschooled students can find it difficult to adjust to college once they’re admitted. They will go from one-on-one learning to being in large classes with hundreds of students! They will not be given the same personalized support, and may need to adapt their learning style to thrive in college.

5. Costs

The final drawback of homeschooling is it will be more expensive than public school, which is free! Parents will have to hire tutors and pay for the educational resources needed.

Pros of Homeschooling Cons of Homeschooling
Allows for personalized and tailored education, adapting to children's learning styles and interests. Reduced access to peers their age compared to traditional school.
Provides flexible scheduling and curriculum, creating a less stressful learning environment. Miss out on various clubs, sports teams, and programs available in traditional schools.
Fewer distractions and increased focus on learning. Lack access to specialized equipment and resources available in traditional high schools.
Encourages independence, self-reliance, and time management skills. Challenges in terms of transcripts, recommendations, and adjusting to college.
Unique perspectives and skills developed can enhance college applications. More expensive than public school due to hiring tutors and purchasing educational resources.
Reduces the risk of bullying, violence, and contagious illness.

Is Homeschooling Worth It?

So, after learning about the key homeschooling pros and cons, you may be wondering “is homeschooling worth it?” 

The answer to this question largely depends on your personal circumstances and whether you’re willing to put in the extra effort to ensure your child receives the same quality of education and opportunities as traditionally schooled students.

While homeschooling will allow you to personalize your child’s education, can help them develop key skills, such as independence, and can make learning more fun and effective, homeschooled students may have a harder time getting into and adjusting to college.

If your child is prepared to supplement their homeschooling with diverse extracurriculars and put extra effort into their other application components, then homeschooling can absolutely be worth it!

FAQs: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

To address any remaining inquiries about the homeschooling pros and cons shared in this guide, read on!

1. What Is the Biggest Problem With Homeschooling?

While it’s difficult to say which of the shared cons is the biggest, most parents decide against homeschooling because it may affect their child’s chances of getting into college and can limit their socialization opportunities. 

2. What Resources are Available for Parents Who are Interested In Homeschooling Their Children?

There is a common misconception that parents have to rely on themselves to homeschool their children! Homeschoolers are not alone! Some of the resources available to aid in the homeschooling process, including:

  • Homeschooling Organizations: to provide resources and support to families that are homeschooling, such as the National Home Education Network 
  • Homeschooling Conferences: some conferences are held by education organizations so parents can connect with other homeschooling families and learn about different methods and curricula
  • Curriculums: Many organizations offer prepackaged homeschool courses, lesson plans, and curricula, such as Time4Learning and Sonlight
  • Learning Platforms: there are many free or low-cost educational resources that can supplement students’ learning, such as Khan Academy or Coursera
  • Homeschooling Groups: if you search your local area for homeschool groups, you can connect with other homeschool families and children to participate in social activities and gain useful advice

There are various resources available to support you and your child in your homeschooling journey! Take some time to research them to see which ones fit your needs and goals best.

3. How Do Colleges and Universities View Homeschooling Applicants?

Colleges and universities encourage homeschooled applicants to apply to their schools. In fact, many top colleges are increasing their efforts to evaluate homeschool students fairly and on an equal basis. But, this is difficult, considering traditional students have transcripts, school reports, and clear course descriptions. 

4. Is Homeschooling As Effective As Traditional Schooling?

Yes, homeschooling can be as effective as, or more effective than, traditional schooling, it all depends on the level of support students are given, their curriculum, and resources. 

5. How Popular Is Homeschooling?

Homeschooling has increased in popularity in recent years, largely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While there isn’t significant data on high school students in particular, studies suggest there are between 1.9 million and 2.7 million home-schooled children in the US. These numbers are expected to only rise in the coming years!

6. Homeschool Better than Public School?

Deciding whether homeschooling is better than public schooling depends on what suits your family's needs and preferences best.

Final Thoughts

While many homeschooled children enjoy the benefits of personalized and individualized learning, others find it to be limiting in terms of socialization and extracurricular opportunities. 

Ultimately, the decision to homeschool is a personal one, and families should carefully consider their individual circumstances and priorities before making this big decision!

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