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 that 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!
Let’s start with the positives!
One of the biggest advantages of homeschooling, and one of the main reasons parents choose it, is because it allows for personalized and tailored education. Parents can adapt their teaching methods and curriculum to match their child’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.
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 opportunity, as they can change their schedule to accommodate work, extracurriculars, or their community service commitments, all of which will strengthen their college applications.
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 less distractions and can focus on learning.
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.
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!
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.
While there are numerous pros to homeschooling, there are also some cons to consider:
While homeschool 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.
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.
Traditional high schools have access to various resources, including gymnasiums, theater 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.
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.
The final drawback of homeschool is it will be more expensive than public school, which is free! Parents will have to hire tutors and pay for educational resources needed.
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!
To address any remaining inquiries about the homeschooling pros and cons shared in this guide, read on!
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.
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:
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.
Colleges and universities encourage homeschooled applicants to apply to their schools. In fact, many schools 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.
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.
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 over 5 million students were homeschooled in 2021, which is up from the 3.2 million students that were homeschooled in 2020. These numbers are expected to only rise in the coming years!
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!