How to determine if homeschooling is right for your family
Updated: Aug 26, 2020
Are you thinking about how difficult it was to do remote learning last year and dreading this coming school year? Do you feel overwhelmed thinking about trying to keep up with multiple children’s schoolwork, spending more time figuring out computer problems than actually teaching your child? Are you worried that this year may be inconsistent and you won’t be prepared to help your child?
If you said yes to any of those questions, it may be time to consider homeschooling as an option during this time of distance learning and social distancing. It can be a daunting task, but it also may be a perfect solution for your family.
Here are a few pros and cons to homeschooling that may help you to make the best decision for your family.
Pros to Homeschooling:
Homeschooling means you have control over the physical environment your child is working in every day. You also have control over the schedule your child will follow (which means it can be flexible to meet your family’s needs) and their workload. It also means you decide the curriculum your child will use and what things you will emphasize most in their education (find a few tips for choosing the right curriculum HERE).
No matter what crazy shenanigans are going on in the world next year. If you choose to homeschool, you can be prepared and know what to expect (at least for your child’s learning). It may bring a lot of peace of mind knowing you will be prepared for the year ahead, instead of being thrown into something last minute.
Teaching will be so much more effective and efficient if you homeschool. You can plan lessons specifically to meet your child’s needs, which will cut out so much time that your child wastes at school. Join this Facebook group to get free Thematic Homeschool Units. They are differentiated, which means you can start exactly where your child is and work with them from there. It also means that if you have multiple children, they can all learn the same content while working on their skill level in reading and writing.
Cons to Homeschooling:
(And possible solutions to these issues)
You are both parent and educator:
I was in a faculty meeting discussing the increase in behavior problems. An administrator made the comment, "we save our worst behavior for people who care for us the most because we know they will love us anyway." This is especially true in the family. Your children probably save their worst behavior for you because they are comfortable around you. This can make educating them difficult. Going from parent to teacher may turn into ugly power struggles that leave both parent and child frustrated.
However, the fact that your child is so comfortable with you can be your best asset. You don't need to try and be two roles. The best learning happens authenticity. Also, you know what motivates your child and can help incorporate things they enjoy into difficult learning tasks. You may need to set some clear boundaries and expectations, but you have been doing this already for so many things. Just take what has worked in other areas (chores, teaching kindness/respect) and apply it to your homeschool time.
Things rarely go as planned:
This is more true now than ever! It can be frustrating researching, planning, and preparing a lesson or activity that ends up not being successful. As an educator, you must be patient both with your learners and with yourself. Be flexible and willing to try new things until you find a good fit. Learning is a process that takes patience and perseverance (you are learning to be a teacher, just as your child is learning the content you teach). Both of you will improve over time.
Filling the role of the educator can bring feelings of stress, pressure, anxiety, or inadequacy. It is a huge endeavor of great importance and that can be stressful. Teaching is an investment. You put time, energy, creativity, and love into something (or rather someone), in an effort to help them reach their full potential. When you have negative feelings remember that learning is a slow process, made up of many interactions and experiences, just keep trying. Also, take comfort knowing that educators have many of those same feelings. It takes time and experience to feel confidents, and even then, things that are really important to us have the ability to bring us the greatest disappointments and the greatest joy.
Less Social Opportunities:
As made perfectly evident by COVID, it is hard to find a good replacement for in-person, social interaction. As a homeschooling family, it will be important to help your child have social opportunities with family members at home and with other kids in the community. It will also help you as a parent to have a community and support. Learn more about the many social opportunities that can inhance your child's experience HERE!
Comment below and list more pros and cons of homeschooling to help parents make an informed decision!