Everyone points out the advantages of homeschooling, but before you jump in, what are the drawbacks?
Consider these disadvantages of homeschooling.
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Weigh Your Options
Every schooling choice has its plusses and minuses.
There is no perfect option.
That is why it is important to consider the drawbacks to homeschool before you begin.
If you decide to move forward, you know exactly what you are getting into.
You can also take steps to mitigate the disadvantages.
6 Disadvantages of Homeschooling Worth Mentioning
Here is a list of drawbacks to homeschooling.
You may find that some of them don’t bother you at all, but others may be dealbreakers.
Consider these before you take the plunge.
You Are Responsible for Your Child’s Academics
You may see this as a positive, and, in some ways, it is.
You are the one choosing curricula, giving lessons, and grading papers.
You are the teacher, lunch lady, guidance counselor, scheduler, and reading specialist all rolled up in one.
That is a lot of responsibility for one person to carry.
You don’t get breaks, and you don’t get a paycheck.
When your child struggles, fails, or is unhappy, you will likely blame yourself.
(That’s not entirely reasonable, but mom guilt is a strange and heavy thing.)
You can counteract this drawback by pulling in extra supports.
You can sign your child up for classes, hire tutors, find community groups, and read books and blogs.
Yes, the responsibility ultimately rests with you, but you are not alone.
Your Child May Have Fewer Friends
A school is a social place.
Your child literally has dozens, even hundreds, of students as potential friends.
As a homeschooler, that pool is considerably smaller.
If you rely on online classes or at-home work, your child may interact mainly with family members.
Even if you are a member of a community group or co-op, it can be hard to make friends when you only see one another once a week.
As the parent, you will have to be intentional about setting up playdates and hanging out with other families to facilitate friendships.
Your Relationship With Your Child May Suffer
No one wants to hear this, but it can happen in certain circumstances.
If your child dislikes learning or struggles with certain subjects or skills, he may take that frustration out on you.
Not only are you the parent (a safe person to receive an emotional outpouring), but you are also the teacher and taskmaster (“You are making me do this, and I hate it!”).
You may long for the time when you were just the parent and not parent and teacher.
Your Child May Try Less
If you have a child who is motivated by peer competition or external praise, he or she may struggle to find motivation in homeschooling.
This type of child may ask, “Why should I write neatly if no one but you is going to read it?” or “Why do I have to complete these math problems before I take a break?
No one is waiting on me.” While you can find ways to motivate your child and provide peer interaction, it is a hill you will have to climb.
You May Have Difficulty with Re-Entry
If you plan to re-enter school after homeschooling, there may be challenges.
One of the advantages of homeschooling is going at your child’s pace of learning, but, as a result, your student may fall behind in certain subjects.
You may choose to study subjects not included in school, and your child may miss certain benchmarks.
If you have a child with learning differences, you will have to navigate setting up an IEP or 504 plan with the school.
Re-entering school after homeschooling can be a headache.
Your Child May Flounder with a Lack of Structure
School is run like a factory.
There are start times, end times, and bells to signal when you should move from one place to the next.
There are deadlines, quizzes, online portals, and study halls.
School is 100% structured.
You may have a student that thrives on routine (or who depends on it to keep himself organized and on track). Without those external structures in place, math work may take 2 hours, mornings may not start until 11 am, and your child may find himself at loose ends.
It Won’t Be Fun Every Day
If you picture homeschooling includes only reading books together, cheerfully doing lessons, going on trips to the library, and your child thanking you every day for being her teacher, think again.
Homeschooling days can be long and exhausting.
There will be days you secretly eat chocolate in your closet to cope.
Your kids may cry during math.
On any given day, you will be either entirely taken for granted or overtly blamed for all the problems in their lives.
The joy of homeschooling is rarely captured in a day.
Some days are great, but others are grueling.
Go into Homeschooling with Your Eyes Open
Yes, homeschooling is wonderful, and it could be the right choice for your family.
If you decide to proceed, it is good to go in with your eyes open.
How will you handle grading?
How will your structure your day?
How will you go about finding community and friends?
When you consider the potential pitfalls, you can best avoid them.