Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Pros and Cons of homeschooling...

Just to warn you this is going to be a long post.  

Recently a good friend contacted and asked me about homeschooling. Her daughter had some issues in school and she really wanted to look into homeschooling.  She asked me to be completely honest with her about the pros and cons of homeschooling.  So here is my list of what I think are the pros and cons.
I will start with the cons:
*Your with your child all the time- sometimes you just need a break and if no one is around your stuck with them LOL *You will always second guess your choice-its a sign of a good mom. you want what is best and society tells you its school. Your heart may tell you different. *some people will feel the need to tell you that your not qualified teach them- you are because your childs education is your number 1 priority. *people will actually try and test your child's knowledge. Even if the questions are not suitable for a second grader they will asked them 7th grade questions. *cost of materials-although there are a few very very good sites that offer 100% free online curriculum. You still need the craft supplies if your child is one that loves crafts. *cost of extra activities(although there are many that I would pay for even if she was in public school like dance) *cost of field trips- some places give free trips with the letter of approval from the school and many places offer discounts *for my only child getting her out and socializing with other kids outside of activities. People like to tell you that your child is going to turn out weird if she doesn't go to school or know how to get along with other children. *depending on curriculum you use planning time. This year coming will be the first year I wont have to plan I picked a curriculum that does it all for you. *after christmas break slump... many I know get it myself including. Its takes some a couple weeks to really get back in the swing of things after Christmas *the days when its not so fun and easy.... kids just like adults have off days. homeschooling isn't all fun even if pictures make it look like things run smoothly. There are many days I threaten to send her to school. LOL Yes I actually threaten that. But usually off behavior means its time for a small break or switch gears and do something different until the frustration level is down. *many times you have to go somewhere like a doctors appointment and you have no one to watch them. With my recent infection in my arm that turned out to be Lyme it was very scary for Samantha. She sat there very worried and asked the doctor if her mommy would be ok. She is the only one who saw how sick I really got.


*Your with your child all the time- Its you shaping your child's ideas and modeling what you want her to learn morally. You also develop a very close relationship with them. *Samantha has time to spend with elderly family member's and is shaping her to be a compassionate person- at least once a week my mom takes her to visit my great uncle Leo in the nursing home... she doesn't always like going but goes because she knows how much he likes seeing her. He saves all his fruit for her. (she hasn't been in a few weeks but I still think opportunities like this is what makes homeschooling special. *I choose what I want to teach her. I pick the curriculum. I follow a loose list of what each grade needs to learn but I pick it all. If something isn't working I ditch it. I threw away her math curriculum last year half way through and found something else that worked. *If she gets something quickly I don't have to stay on it until the rest of the class gets it. and just the same if something isn't clicking I can stay on it as long as needed for her to learn it. *She learns in so many different ways that I can tailor her learning to her strengths. She is a strong reader so I pick curriculum that plays on that. Her math reads like a story and she is learning. She was tested at the beginning of second grade and she was reading at the middle to end of fourth grade level. *She is a good guesser so I stay away from most online curriculum as she is able to guess without learning. *If we need to travel work can come with us she doesn't miss school. Or we can take a break and pick it back up when we are home. the trips to Mikes she would have missed too much school and we would have not been able to go. *I get to see her learn, I get to witness the lightbulb moments. I get to relearn things along with her *Its no harder then trying to do homework with a kid who has been in school all day and has to come home and do homework. Most days its easier. *It takes a lot less time to complete a day of homeschool then kids are in school. On the average if we don't have any projects planned it takes about 2 hours to do. This year it will be a little bit longer but she is getting older. * many of your daily life is considered schooling. shopping=math cooking=math and science *today there is so much out there for homeschoolers- classes at co-ops, field trips, proms, sports, in mass the schools have to allow your child to participate in everything they have to offer and still be homeschooled. free classes at community colleges that earns them real credits when they are older *they learn how to get along with people of all ages. *when your not sure on a subject other homeschoolers will help out- co-ops are good for that. the one Sam is in has many different classes and parents that will teach your child say Algebra and you teach their child something in exchange.

For me the pros outweigh the cons. I love that if I had the money today I could just take a break from school and visit Mikes family for a couple weeks. (that was before he came home) I love that she is learning so much more at home then she would ever in the public school. yet I do maintain a good relationship with our district school so I can take advantage of all my taxes have to offer... she does music and computers at school. plus we are welcome to do anything with them like field trips, concerts, sports or other classes. I love that for Samantha she hasn't learned to hate learning. She gets excited over science kits for Christmas. She will actually sneak her math book into the bathroom to read it if I tell her I have had enough of it today. Her creativity hasn't been squashed... that I can make it work when her hyperness gets the best of her and no one is telling me to get her on meds and that I never felt the push or need to have her tested.
I think the biggest con for some is the cost.... but just like anything you can pick and choose what you want to do. Split costs with other homeschoolers, get free books and kits from the libraries and so much more. If I didn't homeschool Sam she would be in private that would mean I had to go back to work full time so she could get a decent education and miss out on so much of her. I spend a fraction of the cost of a good private education on homeschooling.

I fully believe that homeschooling is a great choice for most. just like I think public or private schooling is the best choice for others and only the parents can make the decision to what is right for their child.
I would love to hear what you think is the pros and cons of homeschooling.

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