Pros and Cons of Homeschooling
While the covid-19 pandemic continues to impact our world, we as educators have been keenly affected as a result. In our two previous blogs, we wrote of how there has been a significant increase in homeschooling in America; and then of the Rules and Regulations that must be observed for those choosing to homeschool. Our final part in the series will focus on the pros and cons of homeschooling in addition to a resource contact list for those with additional questions or suggestions.
According to Kerry McDonald, of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), more than one billion students around the world are currently missing school due to Covid. Until the pandemic closed schools, an estimated 1.7 million children were homeschooled out of a national school population of 56.6 million (World Economic Forum)
As there appears to be a new variant of the Covid-19 coronavirus, concerned parents of school age children are showing more interest in pros and cons of homeschooling.
Cons/disadvantages of homeschooling include:
- Teacher/parents must be around their child all day
- No “big” events to look forward to
- Student socialization difficulties
- Homeschooling materials can be expensive
- Parents spending time finding playmates and friends for their children in similar circumstances
- Family lifestyle change
- Too much work-running a household and teaching at the same time
- Lack of facilities
- Not enough time for personal needs, not able to work
- Spending time reviewing best curriculum program for their child’s needs
- Children not allowed to participate in organized school sports programs
- Requires more discipline, fewer breaks for kids and parent
- Homeschoolers don’t make good citizens
- Parents are not qualified enough to homeschool
Although this is a rather lengthy number of disadvantages, the positive advantages of homeschooling far outweigh the negative aspects according to recent studies. With a new variant of Covid-19 starting to affect various countries, homeschooling, as well as other forms of similar educational teaching methods (online classes, micro or hybrid classes), will more than likely increase in the next several years, certainly in the United States. Educators, parents, and children agree on one of the top benefits of homeschooling, which is the positive amount of one-on-one time spent together and is not possible to achieve with a classroom of 20 to 30 students.
Pros/Benefits of homeschooling include:
- Academic flexibility – tailor-made scheduled classes, trips, vacations
- Freedom – (from peer pressure) to go anywhere, mobile learning
- Individuality – Parent/families have clear choices to support a child’s learning difficulties and to adjust a learning schedule
- Family bonding
- Socialization – enjoy close family relationships
- Allows students to take their time
- Ability to match the education to the child
- Less learning distractions
- Parents moral and religious beliefs can be passed on to the children
- No homework
- More opportunity for community involvement
- Shelter children from school violence and other public school dangers.
- Can take vacations or field trips (zoos, museums, etc.) while school is still in session.
A report from the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal revealed that 11 of the 14 peer-reviewed studies on academic achievement found that homeschool students significantly outperformed conventionally schooled children. The publicly available state provided data sets showed higher than average test scores for homeschooled children. A similar pattern emerges for the social, emotional, and psychological development of the homeschooled. The study showed that homeschoolers often have better parent-child relationships and friendships than conventionally schooled children. “Homeschoolers are happy, satisfied, and civically engaged.”
The Martin report also showed that compared to conventional students, homeschool graduates are more likely to; have higher college GPAs, be politically tolerant, be agreeable and conscientious, have a more positive college experience and be self-employed.
A homeschooled child is generally adept at socializing with everyone, from small children to adults, according to a report from the State Policy Network. The report states that homeschooled children receive a personalized education where they can learn at their own pace and in a way that works best for them. Parents can choose what their children learn and how they learn it.
According to a study by Education Week, homeschooling offers a “faster pace of learning, children finish with lessons while other remote students are still trying to log on. Homeschooled students are generally more relaxed, have a more engaged day, and can finish their academics by 11 am leaving more time for other school activities. The study also revealed that homeschooled children typically score 15 to 30 points higher than public school students on standardized tests.
Most parents will probably send their children back to public school when and if Covid-19 is eradicated, but some parents may be surprised by what they discover in their children during this homeschooling period.
They may see how much calmer their children are and how school-related ailments such as ADHD are less problematic at home. Teen’s mental health may improve also. Parents may see real learning happening and decide not to send their children back to public schools.
For those families or parents who are considering homeschooling their children, we have included a detailed list of resources and agencies from which information may be obtained for those interested parties.
Texas Home Educators (https://texashomeeducators.org); Texas Private School Accreditation Commission
(https://www..tepsac.org/app/index.html#home); International Association for Learner Driven Schools
(https://ialds.org), for state mandated curriculum standards: Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) (/curriculum/teks)- from Texas Education Agency (TEA)
Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) (https:www.thsc.org)
Texas Home Educators (THE) (https://texashomeeducators.org/)
101 Free resources for home schooling during COVID-19 – (https://www.today.com)
101 Free Resources for Homeschooling or going Remote this Fall – Lisa Tolin, www.yahoo.com/now/homeschool-during-coronavirus-crisis-150442653.html.
Homeschooling A Guide for Parents (https://www.today.com)
Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) www.HSLDA.org
K12Inc. (Online classes) www.K12Inc.com
Prenda (micro schools) www.prenda.com