When you are trying to make that difficult decision about whether to start homeschooling, it is better to understand ALL sides of the argument! You need to be sure about the negative aspects of homeschooling as well as the positive.
Certain homeschooling cons usually spring to mind (such as socialization!), but these are often myths about homeschooling perpetuated by people who don't really understand how homeschool works.
There really are negative aspects of homeschooling, but they may not be quite what you expect.
You are totally responsible for your child's education.
Now actually, you are legally responsible for this anyway, even if your child goes to school. What I mean is that your child will learn what you teach it. Habits, morals, and knowledge will almost all come from you. In lots of ways this can be a good thing (family values), but you need to be sure you understand the commitment and dedication that this will require from you. It is up to you to make it work, to learn what you need to learn, and to keep your enthusiasm up.
You constantly worry about the educational experiences you are providing your child.
You can be the top homeschooler in the world, but you will still have moments of doubt and worry about what you are doing. You still have to face that horrible moment when you see another child being brilliant in something you have barely thought to mention to yours. One of the major homeschooling cons is having to face up to your decision every day.
Other people constantly make you justify your decision.
It never ceases to amaze me how people in shops feel it is perfectly ok, on hearing that you homeschool, to quiz you about the education you are providing - or worse to ask if you are sure that it is legal!
Some children can feel isolated.
Socialization is usually considered the major argument against homeschooling. I don't really believe that it is a problem if you understand that social opportunites are something you need to provide for your child.
Homeschooling gives you the chance to pick friends that really suit you and have things in common with you. But some children really like to see the same friends every day - and that isn't often possible (unless you live next door to them.)
You are with your child almost all the time.
I actually think this is wonderful - and so do some children I talked to about homeschooling - the advantages and disadvantages. But you may need to learn some patience and tolerance! I am not the most patient person in the world, but I have learnt to accept a certain amount of mess and chaos in our days.
If you like everything 'just so' then this homeschooling con may mean it's not be for you! You also need to think about ways of nuturing yourself even with the children around, to avoid homeschool burnout.
Homeschooling happens even when you feel ill.
There is an emergency, or your least favorite aunt has phoned to say she is coming to stay for two weeks and you have been using the guest room to store the children's 'rat' experiments. Luckily, homeschool is very flexible, and creative homeschool scheduling can often see you through the worst moments.
You need to be sure that YOU are flexible enough to cope with life, all it throws at you, AND having the children around.
It is hard work.
This is one of the big negative aspects! You are still running the home, feeding everyone, and now you are to take on the responsibility of education and socialization of your child. We are very relaxed homeschoolers - I don't sit my children down to do lessons (so no lesson planning for me!). But I still have to work hard at providing them an interesting and stimulating environment in which they can learn and grow.
You have to be prepared to put in a lot of effort regardless of method you choose.
Homeschooling can be the most wonderful way to live your life. But it isn't always a bed of roses! There are plenty of disadvantages and negative aspects.
Ask yourself 'can I do homeschooling?' and do your research before you make your decision. If you fully understand the homeschooling cons you will face before you start, you will be more able to overcome them.
In an effort to bring you the TRUTH about homeschooling I have been interviewing moms who do it, and asking them about negative aspects of homeschool. Here are the answers to the questions you really wanted to know!
Oh my goodness! I am a home schooling mum of 4 and I have NEVER found a better site! Thank you so much.
Blessings, Jenny (New Zealand)
I wanted to say THANK YOU for your fabulous website. I found your website, and finally I have the confidence to take the plunge and take my daughter out of school and educate her at home, thank you, thank you. Marina (UK)
I cannot get over how much great information and super ideas you have here. Fantastic! Ruralmama (USA)
This is simply fabulous!! I just now found this site and I'm so excited!! The opportunities and suggestions as well as the need to inspire are exactly what I have been searching to fulfill!! I'm so thrilled to get started and even more excited to continue to explore all of the fabulous suggestions and creative ideas you have offered here!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Jennifer (USA)