Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Homeschool Pros and Cons

I have talked with several people lately who have been asking me what the pros and cons are for homeschooling. Lots of people are considering it but just not sure whether or not it will work for them. I have only been doing this a short time so I do not consider myself an expert and I certainly have a lot of kinks still to work out. I would love for other homeschooling parents to add their advice, pros and cons, and comments in the comments section. I love to see what other homeschoolers are doing as it inspires me to do more and continually improve. Here is what I have noticed as benefits or downfalls for me personally. I am sure it is different for each family.

Pros

Kids seem to stay young longer- they are not as influenced by the outside world they are more influenced by their own interests and what I introduce them to.

They seem to think of new ways to learn and activities to do without prompting. Kate found some colored circles and decided to make a pattern without any prompting from me, she made several patterns. I am sure public or private schooled children do things like this too but, I find we have a lot of time to expand on what learning things they do.

We can study what we want, when we want. If they develop an interest in tornadoes, like
the ones that came through our area, we can suddenly explore that for a while. I love choosing how to do things. I like studying history in the order things happened, using lots of hands on manipulatives, and re-learning myself while they are learning.

We can include religion as much as we want their education and government cannot influence us as to how and when we learn.

I can adapt to their ability level. Kate was reading chapter books by age 4. I can give her lots of time to read and not have to move her to a different class or program to teach her at her level.

We can take vacations or breaks at any point and set our own schedule.

I know what they are studying so we can talk about it all the time and apply it to what we see and hear. They are frequently asking me questions about things we are studying on the way to ballet or at random times through the day.

Cons

They seem to work better for other people. Brianna in particular fights me at every step of the way. She complains even when we are doing things that I consider to be fun activities. She does it for chores as well and I have a hard time breaking the complaining habit and keeping her on task. I know she would not complain for her teacher at school.

It takes a lot of work. I am constantly planning, thinking of ideas, and trying to improve and I don't have a planning period like I did as a teacher. They are always with me (this can be good and bad) but it can be stressful! Planning can be fun and they can help too, especially as they get older. But to save money, I make a lot of my own curriculum and it is a lot of work.

I am frequently stressed by the magnitude of what I am undertaking. English is not my strong subject, as you can see by all my misspelled words and run-on sentences. I want them to be educated in correct English. But, I also went through school, public and private, and I don't think I learned proper English. I am trying to form every part of who they are. Not only is their behavior due in part to my decisions, their education falls on me as well. I frequently feel as though there are not enough hours in the day and though I am not doing all I can do to maximize their education.

Well, I may add to this more as I go along. It will be a work in progress. Please feel free to add to it as much as you like so the people who have asked me to do this can further benefit by your ideas.