1. Family Commitment
You must carefully weigh the challenge of time. You may barely have enough time to do what you are already obligated to do so how will you manage extra hours of teaching each day. (If you are using a video program with older children, very little is required from the parent.) You have heard the old saying that there are only so many hours in a day. I believe the author of this quote is unknown but I am sure that the author was most probably a pioneer mother who was homeschooling her children.
Once everyone else has gone to bed, Mom must look over her assignment for the following day to be sure that she has all the supplies for that particular lesson and is ready to begin her day on time. There are going to be days that the home schoolteacher is going to feel overwhelmed and wonder if life is passing her by.
If you like to kick back and relax when the children rush out the door for school, you need to now be fully aware that you will now have the children 24-7.
2. Some parents are not cutout to home school their children.
You must be honest with yourself and your spouse and decide whether or not you are willing to devote the time and energy to the task. It may be best for some children to stay in the public school and the parent become more active in the parent teacher organizations.
3. Home schooling does not produce angels.
Just because you take Billy out of the public school system does not mean that he is going to immediately change an ugly character trait. If you decide that your main reason for home schooling Billy is because he presents a discipline problem for the teacher, what makes you think that his attitude will change when you teach him? There is a possibility that you have created a hard-to-control child. If he is accustomed to whining and getting his way on the little things around the home, he will not do an about-face just because you are the teacher. You may not be able to gain enough control to be able to home school. Please be realistic about this reality of home schooling.
I know of one parent who was angry with the school because the school always seems to think that their child was involved in any unfortunate incident. The parents, without trying to get to the root of the problem, jerked the child out of the public school sixth grade classroom and decided to home school. There was little if any teaching that took place. The young man rode his bicycle seemingly all day while the regular students were in school.
I was teaching his brother at the time in a seventh grade public school classroom. The brother told me that there would be no way that his brother could do my seventh grade work the following year because Mom was too busy with the younger children to make him do his lessons. I tried extremely hard to help the young man the following year when his parents put him back in public school, but the child was not willing to give up the previous freedom that he had enjoyed. His attendance was very sporadic. The mother furnished him with a ton of excuses. (Do NOT take on the task of home schooling as a last resort because you are angry with some teacher.)
4. Friends will change.
Once you decide to home school chances are the friends that you thought would be friends for life may change. (This fact will apply to parents and students.) Your child will probably start doing outside activities such as field trips and sports with his home school circle of friends. The mother's lunch dates will also dissolve. There just isn't going to be enough time to manage your home, cook, teach and "rat the road."
5. What about math and science?
Our home school students will suffer academically if our commitment is only to teach the subjects that the student or mother has an interest in. I was talking to a family of home schooled children. I asked the seventh grade home schooler what type of problems was she doing in math. (At the time I was teaching seventh grade math.) The young lady looked sheepishly at her mom. Her mom smiled and said that the daughter did not like math so they didn't do it! (No wonder that some parents give home school children such a bad reputation.) I picked up my teeth, smiled and changed the subject. It was not my place, nor will it be yours to attempt to correct this type of thinking.
General math and science seem to be the two areas that suffer the most. Perhaps Dad can assist in this area. If you decide to home school, be sure that there is a plan for these two valuable subjects.
6. A plus for not choosing home schooling may be your child's involvement with sports.
School boards usually have a rule that the student who participates in sports must take so many hours of academic courses from the school that he or she plays for. Many parents have great hopes of a sports scholarship. This is rarely available to home school students. There are few Peyton Manning's or Larry Bird's in any of our schools; however, it is surprising the number of parents who are sure that their child will qualify for a four year sports scholarship. You could check with your local school board concerning their allowance of home schooler's participation in a public school's sports program.
7. Accountability for home school.
One of the "cons" concerning home schooling is the fact that there is usually a state guideline for home schooling. Some states require home schoolers to take a standardized test. I personally am grateful for this law. Not only does it challenge me to do my best, but it also stops some parents from home schooling who should never have started such a valuable task.
8. Time management
My pet peeve with home schooling is the fact that the students are not required to work on a time frame. If the child should return to a regular classroom, that teacher does not have "all day" for the student to work ten math problems.
I am constantly amazed how foolish some parents are to allow their child unlimited time or no time frame to complete a task. This habit will be carried into the work force. Many times the home schooler cannot cope with the fifty minute class frames that are prevalent in a regular classroom. If you are a parent that does not see the need to assign a reasonable amount of time for a task then it is my firm belief that you are crippling your child for the future. This is a most definite "con" for home schooling.
9. Hooked on TV
If you are home schooling, you need to reduce the amount of time watching TV. This does not mean that the TV must stay off entirely, but you can use some of the evening TV time to enrich the child's reading. It is very healthy for the student to see dad and mom reading at night. Television does not stimulate good reading habits. The child needs to see that movies are seldom as good as the book.
You certainly need no imagination for the tube. This may be the time that some of the household duties can be done. The mom may feel an additional emotional stress if the family is sitting in front of the tube and she is doing all the chores. If my husband chose to grab the remote instead of helping me, I would have had a tendency to feel resentment toward him. We would all like to think that we control the TV, but we are kidding ourselves. It is so easy for us to lose sight of our main reasons for home schooling.
10. Ring Ring
For many moms the largest "con" for home schooling is the fact that there is no time for Mom to camp on the phone. There is no such thing as "I'll only be a minute" on the phone. Answering the phone devalues the importance of home schooling. It is an open invitation to losing control because of the interruption. For many parents, phone calls control their day. Not answering the phone requires a special kind of discipline. It is necessary for the home to have an answering machine. (The answering machine will not help your school day if you are constantly running to the machine to see who called.) I suggest that you turn the ringer off if possible during the school day. (A fax or an email works just fine for me.) Home schoolers must recognize the fact that you are serious about your new job of teaching. Once you establish this rule, calls will diminish during school hours. I think it is good for Dad to record the message stating the hours of your home school. It is good to include in the message the actual time frame that you will be busy conducting school.
Home schooling is not free and the government does not provide home school vouchers. The cost varies with each program. In this writing I will list programs that I know are available and then you can check on the cost. In some programs you purchase workbooks and teacher's editions for each subject. (Remember to call around and find other moms that are home schooling because they may be ready to sell you their teacher's edition or the text at a reduced rate.)
Some home school programs offer classroom videos that the child uses and actually sees a classroom teacher teaching the lesson. This is especially good for Jr. High and High School and for technical subjects such as advanced math.
To offset the cost, you may want to consider the fact that your child does not need to have such an extensive wardrobe. These savings could apply toward some of the school supplies. You will save money on school clothes, gym clothes, uniforms, or unnecessary school fees. One thing for sure, I think you will find in the long run that ignorance is far more expensive than home schooling when everything is said and done.
Last Updated: 05/24/2014