Our Life on Christ

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pros and Cons of Home School

Parenting Time Tuesdays 

This year, instead of enrolling my daughter in the public elementary school two blocks from our house (that received horrible reviews), I decided to home school her. I decided that the best time to determine if I would be any good at homeschooling would be this year: she is in kindergarten this year, which isn’t even a required grade in Georgia so if I messed up, I figured it wouldn’t be too detrimental!

As I have been going through the year, I have found a few things I don’t like about home schooling but even more things that I love about it! Here is my list of pros and cons:


Knowing your kids. One of my home school friends commented that when she took her kids out of school, she actually got to know them and learn about their personalities. With her children being in school all day, she only saw them for a few hours every day and on the weekends. Our children are gifts to us. Why not enjoy these precious gifts and actually get to know them?!

You are better able to foster child’s abilities. Being around my daughter for a majority of every day has enabled me to hone in on her strengths and interests. Not to say that all the people that have gone through traditional schools have not been able to determine their strengths but I am able to nurture her gifts in a way that is not possible if she were attending a school outside of home.

We are free to study what, how, and when we want. Similar to the point above, because we are homeschooling, we are not restrained to study certain topics for a specific day, month, or even school year. I am covering the basics (reading, writing, and math) with my daughter as well as some science, history, art, and geography but who is to say when these things should be covered? We are able to progress through topics if she is ready and linger on certain areas if she needs more work.

Also, each day is not revolving around her going to and coming back from school. I remember I used to drop her off at school at 8 AM and have to pick her up by 2:30 PM. My whole day was planned based on her school day. I knew I couldn’t do certain things after 1 PM because it would interfere with picking her up on time. That is not the case anymore. Whether we want to go on a field trip in the morning or have a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, it all works out; we just plan the lesson to fit our needs.

God focus. I believe that God should be the foundation of everything in life and I want to instill the same belief in my children. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it.” Because we are able to study what we want, I am personally able to train my child and not depend on someone whom I don’t know to do it.

Well-rested kids. I am not a perfect mom. I haven’t mastered the art of getting my child to bed by 7 PM like other moms I know. (Sometimes I wonder if they are telling me the truth about doing that—how is that possible?!) Most days, my daughter is in bed by 9:30 PM (horrible, I know but we’re working on it!). I suppose if she had to wake up early every morning to go to school, she would go to bed earlier but how early is too early to wake up? I read a study that says you should naturally wake up sometime between 7 and 8 AM.

If we were involved with the school system, we would be hostage to when they decided to start the school day, which is determined by the school bus schedule, which is determined by bus availability, which is determined by public school funding.

When I was in school, kids were waiting for the school buses anywhere from 6:30 AM to 9 AM, based on their grade level. There were limited buses because funding was cut so the school board decided that elementary kids’ days should start at 7 AM. The rationale: they needed their parents to be with them at the bus stops and since parents had to go to work, kids had to be at the bus stop before it was even light outside. I understand the reasoning but that doesn’t mean I want to be subjected to it.

Kids are socialized “the right way.”
I don’t know if there is truly a correct and incorrect way to socialize a person but I wrote about my experience in a previous post. You can read it here. I am able to have more control over who my child is around and, therefore, am able to have a bit more control over the random influences in her life.

Learning is efficient. In a classroom, a teacher’s time is divided amongst upwards of 20 children at times. Much of the day is spent on busywork so that the teacher can attempt to tend to children that need individual help, which is why kids have so much homework! In home school, the teaching is already so individualized; we can accomplish in one day what would take a whole week in the traditional school! Even the school board knows this, which is why they don’t require a home school parent to spend a full day teaching.


Around your kids all the time. If you are going to home school your kids, there is no way around it: you will be around your kids all the time! This can be a great thing but I listed it under “cons” because no matter how much you love your kids, your husband, or friends, when you are around someone too much, that person can start to get on your nerves!

Learning what you’re doing as you go.
I am so, so very new to homeschooling and there is so much great information and so many great programs out there. It can be overwhelming at times and I sometimes start to feel like I may be missing something. Many homeschooling moms have a teaching background so they already know what to do. I never taught in a classroom so learning as I go has been somewhat of a challenge.

Financial restraints. My full-time job is to home school our 5-year-old and to care for our 7-month-old (and to take care of everything else in our household). This may be a shock to some people but being a stay-at-home mom is not a paid position. We operate on one income, which can be difficult at times.

Time commitment. Planning lessons, teaching the lessons, planning field trips, going on said trips, attending girls scouts, gymnastics, and supplemental home school courses gets to be a lot. Homeschooling is a major time commitment.
Looking at this list, you can clearly see that the number of pros outweighs the number of cons. Some may say that the weight of each con is enough to balance the scale…some may say that. I don’t agree. For me and my family, the fact that we don’t have a second income or that there are some days when my children will drive me a little nutty is a bearable tradeoff for all the positives that we see with homeschooling.

What other pros and cons can you add to this list?

1 comment:

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Man Up Sports and Erika Santiago, Anji Mabon. Anji Mabon said: Parenting Time Tuesday: The PROS and CONS of Homeschooling! http://ow.ly/3oV2E [...]