Homeschooling Pros and Cons - Calvert Education (2023)

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Homeschooling Pros andCons - Calvert Education (1)
If there is one thing that we have learned at Calvert in over one hundred years of providing homeschool curriculum and education services, it is that homeschooling is not for everyone.

Every educational system offers great opportunities for children to learn new information and skills, as well as harness their own unique qualities and interests. Homeschooling is no different than public school, private school, charter school, unschooling, and other models in that there are pros and cons.

In previous posts, we have written about ”What is Homeschooling?”, the “Top Myths About Homeschooling” and touched on other topics about the benefits of homeschooling.

Now it is time to have a very frank conversation about the pros and cons of homeschooling based on feedback from our Calvert parents and others.

Homeschooling Pros andCons - Calvert Education (2)

Homeschooling Is A Major Lifestyle Change

One of the first issues to consider is that homeschooling represents a major lifestyle change.

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As you probably know, when you decide to homeschool, you will take on the duties and responsibilities of both a teacher and administrator. You will need to implement lessons, organize field trips, coordinate activities with other parents, and make sure you are compliant with state and local homeschool requirements. These responsibilities get added to your normal role as a parent.

You also have the added financial costs of homeschooling. While there are many free resources available, homeschool supplies such as textbooks, books, paper, art supplies, computers, software, and other homeschool tools cost money. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the financial costs associated with homeschooling.

For example, some programs, like Calvert Education, can actually help minimize costs by bundling resources together into a kit that can include classroom-tested materials, step-by-step lesson manuals, textbooks, reading books, math manipulatives, science kits, and online tools all designed to empower parents to be successful teachers.

However, you cannot escape the fact that by dedicating more time to teaching in your children at home, your family may suffer a loss in income. The challenge is greater if you are a single-parent. Careful budgeting and time management skills will be essential if you are going to homeschool.

What’s more, since your child will no longer be in a public school environment and all learning will take place in the home, the family’s lifestyle and pace will change. More time will be dedicated to homeschooling. Daily chores, errands, doctor’s appointments, and typical household routines will need to be scheduled in coordination with your homeschooling plan.

Another important change is that while parents normally spend a lot of time with their children, homeschooling parents spend even more time with their kids. The amount of time you need to spend homeschooling is a major lifestyle change that influences the decision of many parents on whether or not they homeschool. Though there are many ways for parents to secure time for themselves, it is important to recognize that you will spend more time with your children than you do currently.

Homeschool Socialization Is Different

A second topic to consider is homeschool socialization.

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One of the biggest myths we shatter is the idea that homeschool socialization does not exist or that homeschoolers are all weird or do not know how to interact with people. The truth of the matter is that there are pros and cons with the social experience of homeschoolers, just as there are pros and cons with public school. Experiences will vary for all children, but the fairest way to characterize socialization in a homeschool environment is to say it is different.

Homeschooling Pros andCons - Calvert Education (3)How is homeschool socializationdifferent?

For one thing, homeschoolers do not have the same exposure to peer pressure and bullying, both of which are tied to poorer academic performance and lower self-esteem.

Parents often decide to homeschool because they do not want their child’s values to be defined by their peers or for their children to face social ridicule or bullying. In private or public schools, the pressure to “fit in” or achieve a perceived level of social status among classmates can be quite great.

Homeschooling also means less daily interaction with large numbers of kids in a child’s age group. And homeschoolers can end up spending less time each day participating in organized sports and activities with their peers.

However, this does not mean that homeschoolers have no access to their peers, or have no ability to play sports or socially interact with others outside their family.

In fact, on average, homeschoolers participate more in their community, are less sedentary, and socialize with a wider mix of adults (especially professionals) than their public school counterparts.

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As part of its flexible nature and focus on one-on-one / personalized learning, homeschooling involves more field trips, real-life experiences, and hands-on learning. When it comes to sports, homeschoolers often participate in recreational leagues or homeschool sports classes offered in their community. Some students are homeschooled because their athletic or artistic talents have them engaged in sports and activities at a higher level.

Homeschooling Provides Greater EducationalFreedom

A third aspect of homeschooling to consider is the academic freedom you can gain and what impact that will have on you and your child.

One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is its flexibility.

If your child is struggling with a subject or a specific concept, you do not need to skip it and move on. Instead, you can work with your child until she/ he has mastered the material. Homeschooling allows you to take all the time you need to ensure learning is taking place. Likewise, if your child is ready to move on, you do not need to waste time on redundant or repetitive lessons. Homeschooling children can move through educational materials at a faster pace than their peers.

In a public or private school, with 20 or more kids in a class, a teacher has to address everyone’s learning style and everyone’s pace. When the majority are ready to move on, other children get left behind. Of course, if your child is ready to advance to other material, she/he often must wait until a sufficient number of students are ready. In both cases, many children often end up feeling bored, frustrated, or both.

Another benefit of homeschooling education is that it exposes children to more unique experiences. Parents and kids often cite how homeschool curriculum encouraged them to get out of the home and learn about science, art, math, and history in the real world. Experiencing things outside of a classroom is often more engaging and leads to better absorption of knowledge and skills.

Homeschooling Pros andCons - Calvert Education (4)

See our post “Parents are Natural Teachers: Why Every Parent Needs to Get Involved in their Child’sLearning”

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Of course, with the educational freedom comes added responsibilities. As mentioned above, parents are now required to become teachers and administrators. While we firmly believe every parent is capable of being the best teacher their child will have, it is important to point out that planning and scheduling are critical pieces to the homeschool puzzle. Be sure to take this into account as you consider whether or not to homeschool.

Homeschooling Pros and Cons Chart

As a parent, you only want what is best for your children. Homeschooling your child can create a wealth of learning opportunities that are not available with other school options.

However, it is important to take into account both the pros and the cons to ensure you make an educated and informed decision.

Below is Calvert Education’s chart of homeschooling pros and cons. The chart includes some of the points from the article above, along with additional factors.

If you have questions, please contact our team of counselors at Calvert. We are happy to review these and other facts and answer any questions you may have about homeschooling.

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Homeschooling Pros and Cons

Homeschooling Fact: More family time spent on homeschooling.
Pros:
  • You have a more direct role on your child’s daily learning.
  • You have the satisfaction that your children are learning, developing skills, and maturing in a way that aligns to your goals and values.
  • Build stronger relationships with your children.
Cons:
  • You have to plan school-time and activities and handle the administrative work of being a teacher.
  • Less time each day for yourself.
  • Potential for more stress and fatigue by taking on parenting and teacher responsibilities.
Homeschooling Fact: More money dedicated to education in homeschooling.
Pros:
  • You can use vacations and other activities as part of your homeschool curriculum.
  • Purchasing bundled learning packets can help with budgeting and ultimately help reduce costs.
Cons:
  • Dedicating time to homeschooling can mean a loss of income or reduced time working.
  • Need to tighten your family’s spending.
Homeschooling Fact: Team sports options change for homeschoolers.
Pros:
  • Your children can still participate in recreational leagues, amateur leagues, attend local homeschool sports classes, or create their own sports leagues.
Cons:
  • Most school districts do not allow homeschoolers to participate in public school sports teams.
Homeschooling Fact: Different path for your child’s socialization.
Pros:
  • Less ridicule and social pressures that reduce self-esteem and discourage learning.
  • No bullying.
  • Greater exposure to more adults through field trips and other activities.
  • Connection to other homeschoolers of varying ages and skill levels.
  • Real-life skill building is stronger in home-based learning.
Cons:
  • Some kids who were homeschooled recall having a smaller circle of friends.
  • Less daily interaction with large groups of kids within the same age group.
Homeschooling Fact: More educational freedom and flexibility in homeschooling.
Pros:
  • Your child can move more quickly through assignments and subjects they understand, and spend more time on topics that are challenging.
  • Homeschoolers tend to perform better on standardized tests.
  • No homework! Yeah, that’s right. Since all learning is going on during the day, there is no need to task your child with additional work.
  • Ability to pursue child’s interests, and have more personalized learning – matching lessons to child’s learning styles.
Cons:
  • Possibly fewer resources such as technology that may be available in a public school.
  • Parents must teach a broad range of subjects. Greater freedom and flexibility requires more time and responsibility from the parent.
  • Potentially less structure when compared to public school.
Homeschooling Fact: Recognition for achievement is limited to homeschool.
Pros:
  • Less distraction from students who do not value learning allows for greater achievement
  • Homeschool students often show a greater pride in their own achievements, as they are self-motivated.
Cons:
  • Less outside family recognition of good work.
  • Fewer award ceremonies, as are common in public schools.
Homeschooling Fact: More time for community involvement.
Pros:
  • Less distraction from students who do not value learning allows for greater achievement
  • Homeschool students often show a greater pride in their own achievements, as they are self-motivated.
Cons:
  • More time to be involved in the community whether through volunteer opportunities or community projects.
  • Children lose some social interaction with peers.

FAQs

What are the negative things about homeschooling? ›

Home educated children are exposed to fewer world views and generally have less opportunity to socialise with children from different backgrounds. They will not have to negotiate and learn to deal with conflict to the same extent as children attending state schools.

Are homeschool students at a disadvantage? ›

More specifically, socialization, or the lack of it is one of the most commonly-mentioned disadvantages of homeschooling. Kids need to be around other kids to make friends their age and develop social skills. Schools are usually the place where children bond with other people and learn to interact with their peers.

Is homeschooling better education? ›

If you homeschool, your children have the ability to socially develop in a different way. For example, you might have close family relationships with strong shared values. They will be less dependent on their peers, and have less early exposure to drugs, alcohol, sexual activity, and bullying.

What do psychologists say about homeschooling? ›

Long-term studies suggest the psychological effects of homeschooling later in life are generally positive. Home-educated students are doing well and are certainly no worse off than their public school peers.

What is the success rate of homeschooling? ›

Homeschoolers have an average graduation rate of 67% compared to the 57.5% graduation rate for students from public schools.

What are the con of homeschooling? ›

Homeschooling: the cons

As such, being the child's teacher is an additional burden on parents which not all are able to undertake. Furthermore, a parent will have to ensure that healthy boundaries are set between the parent and child now that the “teacher and student” dynamic is also present.

Do homeschooled kids have better mental health? ›

Homeschooling is also believed to help minimize depression that many students experience due to traditional schooling. Bullying, challenging coursework, and awkward social interactions are primary factors in the depressive tendencies of students who attend brick-and-mortar schools.

Does homeschool help anxiety? ›

The truth is, homeschooling can provide a uniquely supportive environment, where anxious kids can be encouraged to try new things, and where their emotional and mental health can take priority over academics when that's helpful.

What age should you start homeschooling? ›

At what age can you start homeschooling? The short answer is, you can start at any age. However, as a homeschooler, your state's department of education can give you a more specific answer based on the homeschooling laws where you live.

Do homeschoolers feel lonely? ›

Homeschoolers aren't necessarily more prone to loneliness than other people, but our loneliness can be profound. For one thing, we're parents, a condition that increases risk for loneliness across the board. (In one study, British mothers said their first year of parenthood was the loneliest year of their lives.)

Why homeschooling is the best option? ›

Homeschooling provides positive and appropriate socialization with peers and adults. Homeschooled children are largely free from peer pressure. Homeschooled children are comfortable interacting with people of all ages.

Is there a tax write off for homeschooling? ›

You may be wondering if the federal government provides any tax benefits to help homeschooling families recoup some of their costs. Unfortunately, the answer is no. There are no federal tax credits or deductions that apply specifically to homeschoolers.

Are homeschooled students happier? ›

Homeschoolers are happier than most kids for 10 reasons you might not have thought of. Homeschooling can provide a mentally, physically, and socially helpful environment for a happier child.

Do homeschooled children learn more? ›

Academic Performance

Homeschooled students tend to score higher on tests of academic skills when compared to children in public schools across most studies.

What is the most common issue for homeschooled children? ›

The most common was a concern about school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure (25 percent). Fifteen percent of homeschooled students had parents who reported that the most important reason was a dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools.

Can homeschoolers get into Harvard? ›

What if I am homeschooled? Each applicant to Harvard College is considered with great care and homeschooled applicants are treated the same as all other applicants. There is no special process, but all relevant information about your educational and personal background is welcome.

Are homeschool kids better behaved? ›

Homeschool parents actively encourage their children to take advantage of social opportunities outside the family. Homeschooling families are more likely to be civically engaged than families who send their children to public and private schools. Homeschoolers display fewer behavior problems than do other children.

How do homeschoolers make a living? ›

Here are 30 money-making suggestions you might explore to keep your homeschool household operating in the black:
  1. Farmers' market garden produce and baked goods.
  2. Babysitting/day care/after school care for public school students.
  3. Tutoring/teaching.

Is homeschooling better for ADHD? ›

Homeschooling offers great benefits and flexibility that are perfect for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Providing your child with ADHD an education that can be catered to their needs helps them gain confidence and perform better academically.

How smart are homeschooled kids? ›

Research suggests homeschooled children tend to do better on standardized tests, stick around longer in college, and do better once they're enrolled. A 2009 study showed that the proportion of homeschoolers who graduated from college was about 67%, while among public school students it was 59%.

Is homeschooling stressful for parents? ›

It's completely normal to feel stressed, uncertain, and overwhelmed about the days to come. While homeschooling can be a bit unpredictable at times, you can put your best foot forward by developing a simple routine and not putting too much pressure on yourself or your kids.

Do homeschooled students do better in life? ›

Eleven of the 16 peer-reviewed studies on success into adulthood (including college) showed that homeschoolers had better results for political tolerance, college GPA, and college retention than students in conventional schools.

What can I do if my 14 year old won't go to school? ›

If your teenager is repeatedly refusing to go to school, communicate with teachers or school counselors so they know why your child is struggling to get to class and can provide extra support. For example, school staff may wish to discuss setting up a 504 plan.

Why is homeschooling so stressful? ›

In fact, homeschooling can be incredibly stressful. Balancing home and education has its own unique variety of pitfalls: bad attitudes and dynamics, different learning styles and needs, and the various demands of work/school/living all tangled up under the same roof.

Does being homeschooled affect college? ›

Fortunately, college admissions is handled very similarly for homeschoolers as it is for traditionally schooled students. In fact, many admissions offices actively seek out homeschoolers. Admissions officers evaluate each student within the context of his/her own background and the opportunities they've had.

Is it too late to switch to homeschool? ›

The short and perhaps expected answer — no, it's not too late to homeschool. Whether your child is in finishing elementary school or beginning their senior year of high school, it's never too late to withdraw your child from a traditional school to start homeschooling.

What are the pros and cons of being homeschooled? ›

Pros and Cons of Homeschooling a Child
  • Easier to teach and easier to learn. ...
  • Discipline issues in the classroom are avoided. ...
  • Adaptation to special considerations. ...
  • Makes good use of time. ...
  • Cost. ...
  • Adapting your child to a new reality. ...
  • No social interaction during study time.

What is homeschool burnout? ›

In reality, homeschooling burnout is simply when you're investing far more energy (both mental and physical) than you really have to spare. Some homeschool moms and I've been one of them, convince themselves “that's just the way it is” and go on powering through and working through the pain.

Why are homeschooled kids socially awkward? ›

Because they consume different media and usually less media in general (screen-free homeschooling is becoming popular), homeschoolers are socially awkward in that they often don't know what is happening in popular culture.

Do homeschoolers have an advantage? ›

By far, one of the best advantages of homeschooling is freedom: Freedom to teach your child the way you want to teach them and let your child learn at their own pace. Freedom to live by your own rules and go by your own schedule, and… Freedom to soar ahead academically!

What type of homeschooling is best? ›

Classical education offers many benefits, making it one of the most popular homeschooling methods today. This method also has the reputation of being the most prestigious homeschool method, noted for producing little geniuses who are better readers than most adults.

What are 5 benefits of homeschooling? ›

5 Key Benefits of Homeschooling
  • Personalized Education. The educational structure of homeschooling enables parents and teachers to work together to tailor learning to the student. ...
  • Preparing for College. ...
  • Schedule Flexibility. ...
  • Take Classes Anywhere. ...
  • Self-Discipline.
27 Aug 2018

Why do parents choose to homeschool? ›

Generally, parents choose to home school their children for social, academic, family, and/or religious reasons. As for me, many educators are surprised to hear that academic reasons influenced me most.

How much does homeschool cost? ›

Homeschool fees

Most online schooling providers and homeschooling curriculum providers' fees range between R6 000 and R30 000 depending on the Grade and offerings of the school.

Will homeschooling affect my benefits? ›

Families choosing to homeschool their children should have no fears concerning their ability to receive benefits under the current law. These families are completely protected under §404.367 of the Social Security Code.

What is homeschooling pros and cons? ›

Pros and Cons of Homeschooling a Child
  • Easier to teach and easier to learn. ...
  • Discipline issues in the classroom are avoided. ...
  • Adaptation to special considerations. ...
  • Makes good use of time. ...
  • Cost. ...
  • Adapting your child to a new reality. ...
  • No social interaction during study time.

What is homeschooling advantages and disadvantages? ›

Parents have less time for personal needs. Homeschooling affects a family's finance too. Parents have to spend money on learning materials, online courses, and so on. So, they have less time to earn money. More expenses, but less income.

Is homeschool better for mental health? ›

Homeschooling is also believed to help minimize depression that many students experience due to traditional schooling. Bullying, challenging coursework, and awkward social interactions are primary factors in the depressive tendencies of students who attend brick-and-mortar schools.

Why do homeschooled children do better? ›

Homeschooled students perform better because they are given more control over their school experience. Remote learning is effective, flexible, relaxed, and every student has the opportunity to “choose their own adventure” so to speak. Every homeschool curriculum is moldable.

Is homeschooling good for anxiety? ›

The truth is, homeschooling can provide a uniquely supportive environment, where anxious kids can be encouraged to try new things, and where their emotional and mental health can take priority over academics when that's helpful.

Are kids happier homeschooled? ›

Homeschoolers are happier than most kids for 10 reasons you might not have thought of. Homeschooling can provide a mentally, physically, and socially helpful environment for a happier child.

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