The first word that a child speaks, the first step that he takes, the first time he eats food―all these are taught to him by his parents. In the process of socialization of a person, parents and other family members have a big role to play. In old times, when there were no schools, children depended on their parents to teach them the skills of life. Now, however, things have changed and we have private and public schools filling in for the parents, and teaching children how to live, act, and survive in this world.
Homeschooling, a concept in which children, instead of going to schools, are taught by the parents or other guardians at home itself, is catching the fancy of many people again. People are considering this option as there are many advantages of homeschooling. However, at the same time, there are disadvantages as well. So, should parents go in for homeschooling, or should they rely on schools to educate their children? Let's find it out by looking at the pros and cons of homeschooling.
Quality Time and Family Bonding
One of the benefits of homeschooling children is that parents get to spend a lot of quality time with the kids. When kids go to school, everything, right from when to take the children to a museum or a soccer game to when to take them out for holidays, has to be planned according to the school schedule. But when parents are homeschooling children, such limitations are not there. Parents can spend as much time, whenever they want to with the kids. This gives them enough time to instill good values in children and also to bond as a family.
Individual Attention and Personalized Coaching
No two children have the same learning and understanding capacity. But, in most schools, this factor is overlooked, and all children are taught and treated the same way. This can develop an inferiority complex in some children who are unable to catch up with the other students in the class. However, when homeschooling, parents teach their children with a lot of patience and are able to give them individual attention. Parents understand if the children take time to understand things, and may even use certain other methods to specifically teach their children. Thus, another advantage is personalized teaching.
Safe and Flexible
These days we see more parents who have jobs which ask for a change of location every few months or years opting for home schooling. Home schooling's flexible timings suit the children as well, especially those who find it difficult to wake up early morning. Parents too need not worry about getting the children ready for school first thing in the morning. Flexibility while homeschooling extends to the subjects being taught too, in the sense that if a child is not in a mood to study a particular subject, parents can always switch to something of the child's interest.
Confidence and Personality Building
Homeschooling provides the opportunity and gives time to the children to mingle with all age groups, which helps in instilling confidence in them. As children who study at home are more regular at participating in community activities, it leads to development of a better personality. Children are not under any kind of stress of assignments or exams, their studies are fun and are especially designed keeping their nature in mind, all these things make children happy and confident individuals.
Ill-equipped to Face Challenges
One of the main disadvantages is that homeschooling does not instill a competitive spirit in them, which is regarded as a serious negative effect of homeschooling. For example, in school, a child has to compete with so many others to get into a sports team, this makes him strong enough to face challenges, compete, and even to accept rejection, in case he is not able to make the cut. The child might even find it difficult to mingle with the other children of his age, when studying at home. All these things are left untaught while homeschooling children, this being one of the main reasons why homeschooling is bad.
Financial and Emotional Problems
There are disadvantages of homeschooling for parents as well. Since homeschooling involves teaching the child at home, it means that either of the parents will give up his/her job and stay at home. This being one of the major disadvantages because, it leaves the family with lesser financial resources. Homeschooling can be very stressful for the parent who stays at home with the child, which in most cases is the mother, as it can lead to her isolation from everybody else.
As parents, looking at both the pros and cons is very important, before arriving at the final decision. Although, initially you may find the flexibility of homeschooling and other advantages very appealing, but at a later stage, it may happen that the disadvantages might bog you down completely. So, think long and hard about your individual situation, ask yourself whether you are well prepared and trained to take such a responsibility, only then think of going ahead with homeschooling your child.