Did you know that according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, only 3% of school-age children are home schooled? Sure that may mean more than 1.5 million children who are learning outside of a traditional school setting, but still….that’s a pretty low number.
For those who are considering home schooling, it can be daunting. They invariably worry about that question (the one about socialization), they worry about curriculum, and they worry that their child will somehow suffer by being kept home. That’s a whole lot of worry and a whole lot of reasons not to homeschool.
Look, every family is different. Every child is different. Every season in life is different. It’s okay to say, “We’re going to do this now, but we’ll re-evaluate at the end of the year to make sure it still works for us.” That’s a healthy response.
It’s also okay to look at all of the options and say, “This isn’t going to work for us.” Only you know what’s best for your family.
The reasons we home school today are not necessarily the reasons we initially started to home school eight years ago. However, that doesn’t make the initial reasons or our reasons now any less valid.
If you are still weighing the pros and cons, here are 10 reasons why you should not home school your children to give you another perspective.
TOP 10 REASONS NOT TO HOMESCHOOL YOUR CHILDREN
1. Don’t home school if you want a lot of free time.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but sometimes home schooling is like herding cats. You’ll be lucky to shower every day.
2. Don’t home school if your kids are vehemently against it.
When the kids are little, it’s easier to home school if they have never been to public school. If, however, your kids have been in a traditional school setting and they really don’t want to home school, you’re going to have to weigh the pros and cons of the battles that will surely ensue. Why do you want to and they don’t?
3. Don’t home school if you don’t believe in it.
If your heart isn’t in it, save yourself and your family the agony – don’t do it. You have to believe it’s the right thing for your family at this time in your lives.
4. Don’t home school if you’re not willing to put the work into it.
Classroom teachers don’t wake up every day and hope for the best in the classroom (I was one, so I know of what I speak), they plan, they prepare, and they constantly re-evaluate what they’re doing.
As a home schooling parent, you have to be willing to do that. Even if you use a boxed curriculum or use an online program like Easy Peasy, you still have to plan and prepare.
If you’re unschooling, you still have to do think about what your kids are learning and give them those opportunities to explore and learn. Don’t shortchange yourself or your kids by thinking there’s no work involved.
5. Don’t home school if you don’t like spending time with your kids.
I’m serious. If you’re a parent who dreads the weekends, days off from school, and summer vacations, because the kids are home…you might want to rethink the whole home schooling thing.
6. Don’t home school if you think all kids learn the same way.
I have three kids who all learn in different ways. As their mom and teacher, it is my responsibility (and honor) to give them materials and lessons and opportunities that will help them learn best.
That means watching, listening, and talking with them about their education. If I tried to teach all three of them the same way, we’d be a mess.
7. Don’t home school if you’re not willing to give up a spotless house.
You would think that if you’re home all day the housework would get done. Wrong. So, so wrong.
The fact is that when you home school and work from home like I do, housework means a 15 minute sweep of the house to pick up shoes, toys, books, papers, those ~~foot stabbing~~ abundant Legos, and run the vacuum.
If you’re really lucky, you manage to throw a few loads of laundry in and wipe some things down with disinfecting wipes. You know what? It’s okay! Learning happens here and I wouldn’t want it any other way. But if you do, maybe homeschooling isn’t for you.
8. Don’t home school if you know everything.
One of the absolute greatest pleasures I get from home schooling is discovering and learning new things with the kids. Whether it is learning what a Viking burial mound looks like and why it looks that way (thank you, Minecraft Homeschool), or having one of them do independent research and then tell me all about Hero Rats, homeschooling gives us the opportunity to learn something really cool each and every day.
If you already know everything or you are not willing to learn, you might want to rethink home schooling. Remember…your curiosity and enthusiasm fuels your children’s curiosity and enthusiasm.
9. Don’t home school if you aren’t willing to go outside the house for opportunities.
Now that we’re a one car family, our time out is very limited. However, that doesn’t stop us from finding opportunities for the kids to interact with peers while taking TaeKwon Do or art and music classes at the local community arts center.
It is great to be home, but you’re going to go stir crazy if you are not willing to at least go to the library or meet up with other homeschoolers every now and then. Don’t be afraid to get out.
10. Don’t home school if you’re not willing to learn the home school laws in your state.
Contrary to what many believe, most states have quite a few laws regarding home schooling. You may be required to declare your homeschooling intentions by a specific date, you may have to submit evaluations, and you may have to be registered through a private school.
The bottom line is, you must find out the laws in your state and understand and abide by them. If you’re not willing to do that, please don’t home school. One uninformed/law-breaking home school family can bring out the crazy in the anti-homeschool camp. Please, please learn and follow the law.
I can’t tell you whether homeschooling is a good option for your family or not, but I can tell you that I firmly believe it’s a great option. For us, it works.
And I hope that after you search your heart and really examine why you’re considering it, that it works for you too. The experience will absolutely change your world.