Leah Courtney ~ Blogger ~ As We Walk Along the Road
"Because of homeschooling, we've had the joy- and sometimes challenge- of being together every day.
PRO – There are many pros for homeschooling, but one which has been particularly important to me has been the time I've had to spend with my children.
Because of homeschooling, we've had the joy- and sometimes challenge- of being together every day.
This can sometimes cause stress, but it has also led to the unmistakable blessing of strong relationships with my children as they are now teens and young adults.
CON – Although the ability to customize curriculum and teaching methods to each child is a definite pro of homeschooling, this has also led to one of the biggest cons for us.
My college-aged kids sometimes face frustration because they are stuck in a class that seems to them irrelevant or that doesn't work well with their learning styles.
Unlike our homeschooling, they can't just change up what they're doing. They have to stick with it. Although they understand, this sometimes causes frustration and overwhelm.
Michelle Curren ~ Blogger ~ Mid-Life Blogger
"Children all develop at different rates and have different strengths and weaknesses.
PRO – It’s hard to choose just one “pro” because there are so many benefits to homeschooling, but the one that comes to mind first is being able to taper your homeschool to each child’s needs.
Children all develop at different rates and have different strengths and weaknesses.
If they go to public school and can’t keep up with the class, they may be labeled, held back, or taunted by the other kids, all of which have a negative affect on the child’s self-esteem, and for life!
But in your homeschool you can give them the time they need to master a concept or skill without that baggage, while at the same time focusing on the areas where they’re stronger.
An example that I can give is when my daughter was about 14, she couldn’t deal with writing assignments. She would sit and look at a piece of paper and cry without writing a single word on it.
I tried handling it in different ways. At the beginning of the following school year, I started out with a lighter load, holding off on algebra. I wanted to give her more time and less pressure until she could over come that roadblock.
She did get past it within a few months and now she’s in college and writes 8-page papers without batting an eye and is an honor student.
So just because your child is having difficulty with something doesn’t mean that they always will, they just may need time to mature and overcome it. They can’t get that in public school.
CON – I have a much harder time thinking of a “con.” Some of them are actually kind of silly.
For example, in a popular post I wrote called “Homeschool Graduates in College ~ From the Professors’ Perspective,” two of the cons the professors lightly gave were that “they expect quick grading and feedback” and “they forget to put their name on their papers.”
A few others mentioned research and note-taking skills. When students reach the high school years, I think it’s helpful for them to take classes from outside sources such as the community college or co-ops, to help prepare them for these expectations.
Brittany Dixon ~ Health Coach ~ A Healthy Slice of Life
"We are able to speed through things they get quickly...
PRO – Can I choose two? First, the flexibility of our schedule. I love having the quality and quantity time with them and appreciate being able to do school when it works for us, and being able to travel or go on field trips whenever works for us, too.
Vacationing off season is such a gift! I also love the ability to have such a deep understanding of my girls' academic abilities. We are able to speed through things they get quickly, and slow down and dive deep into the subjects they need more practice with.
CON – I really love my girls to have exposure to art, music, and foreign language.
As a homeschooler, I find I need to be more purposeful in my pursuit to find quality avenues for this exposure than I would if they were in school and getting weekly exposure to these subjects in the classroom.
Stephenie Peterson ~ Author ~ Stephenie Peterson
""All three of my kids have the freedom to learn new skills when they are ready.
PRO – Did your child learn to walk at exactly the same age as every other baby in the neighborhood? Probably not! What about talk, crawl, or wave goodbye?
Your child learned these early skills when they were ready. In a school setting, children are expected to learn their academic skills on a schedule. At home, they can learn at a more natural pace.
My oldest has Asperger's. Some things come very easily to him, while other skills are a struggle. He started reading the Harry Potter series independently the week he would have started Kindergarten, but at the age of eleven, he still struggles with his fine motor skills.
At home, we can make that work. He can type longer assignments. He can read books that challenge him. We can take time out of our day to be sure he gets occupational therapy.
All three of my kids have the freedom to learn new skills when they are ready. They're never rushed through difficult material or forced to wait for classmates to catch up before being allowed to move on to more challenging assignments.
CON – I am not going to lie, sometimes it's hard! Sometimes I butt heads with my kids. There are days when I want to send them off on the yellow school bus as it rattles on by our house.
There are days that my daughter tries to talk her way out of a math assignment or my youngest son hides his school books.
We're a family made up of imperfect people and this kind of thing is inevitable. In the end, the good days outweigh the bad ones and I wouldn't change it for the world.
Anne Marie Sweden ~ Blogger ~Zephyr Hill
"I love being able to take an individualized approach with each child...
PRO – I love being able to take an individualized approach with each child, according to the way he or she learns best. This is an invaluable experience that children rarely get in a homeschool vs public school setting!
CON – One of the drawbacks of homeschooling is the pressure that it puts on parents. When you decide to homeschool, the full burden of their education is fully on your shoulders.
No dropping them off at school each day and leaving the teaching up to someone else!
Victoria Carn ~ Work-at-Home Mom ~ Mommy's Playbook
""Your homeschooling has to evolve. You have to evolve.
PRO – The ability to create a safe place and compassionate learning experience for our children is one of my greatest pros with homeschooling. It is an amazing gift to give our children the freedom to explore whatever interest them without being ridiculed or discouraged. Our children are never asked to lay their childhood interests aside too soon, nor are they limited from advanced interests due to their age.
CON – Everything changes. As soon as you have a great system in place, one of your children will need an exception (or an interest will change, puberty, etc.) Your homeschooling has to evolve. You have to evolve. The constant requirement to improve upon ourselves to better our children's education is challenging. Especially if the parent is set in their ways or doesn't accept change easily. (*cough* not me at all - HA!)
Brittany Meng ~ English Professor ~ The Bam Blog
"I realized that I am a better mom when I am not their teacher...
PRO – One homeschool advantage that we enjoyed when I homeschooled my twin boys in 4th grade were a flexible schedule (we played at the park in the mornings and did school in the afternoons while my younger son napped), Bible study, and enjoying chapter books together.
CON – For our family, however, homeschooling was very difficult due to learning disabilities, ADHD, and major outside stressors (military life).
Homeschooling affected my relationship with my sons (as well as my mental health) in a negative way. I realized that I am a better mom when I am not their teacher and that I need more outside support to help them succeed educationally.
They are back in public school for 5th grade and it is a much better fit for our family.
Dawn Camp ~ Blogger ~ My Home Sweet Home
""Homeschooling moms put too much pressure on ourselves...
PRO – The births of our eight children spanned a 19 year time period.
I had heard adults talk about never really knowing their older or younger siblings because they didn't attend the same school at the same time and had such different schedules, but I wanted my kids to know each other.
They definitely do—some of them might say they know each other too well! We may not always be in sync or in harmony, but we do life together.
Four of our children have left the nest and four still live at home. I love seeing the strong bonds they have with each other and how those have extended into adulthood.
CON – Homeschooling moms put too much pressure on ourselves when our kids are in the high school years and looking at life beyond our home.
Do you hold your high school guidance counselor responsible for your life beyond graduation and your career path? I didn’t think so. God has a plan for your child and it’s bigger than you.
You will not be the one who makes it happen or the one who derails it. Some children will grow up and follow the exact path you would choose for them and some will go against everything you taught them (don’t worry, this phase might not be permanent).
Do the best you can. Speak the truth in love. Love them unconditionally even if you don’t support their choices. Pray for them and over them.
Your words and example are etched in mind and memory and will bear fruit when least expected. (p.s. - Grandchildren are awesome!)
Christy Knockleby ~ Blogger ~ Houseful of Chaos
"You get to watch as your kids progress and tailor their studies to them.
PRO – You get to watch as your kids progress and tailor their studies to them. If they have a hard time on something, you can seek out solutions and alternative methods of explanation.
Your kids can progress as their own speed, whether that is slower or faster than they would be doing so at school. When there are topics they are interested in, you can make the time to dive in deeper and learn more about it.
CON – The cons is that homeschooling can be a lot of work. It can be intensive, particularly if you have intensive, talkative children.
I think it is common to over think oneself, worrying that one is doing too little or pushing too much. Then sometimes homeschooling can strain a parent-child relationship a bit.
Bettijo Hirschi ~ Blogger ~ Paging Supermom
"We have so much more time to devote to the things we love...
PRO – The number one thing I love about homeschooling is flexibility! We have so much more time to devote to the things we love and explore things that capture our interest.
I also love the ability to travel more and to visit places when they're not as crowded since we have the flexibility to visit on our own timeline rather than following a school schedule.
CON – At first homeschooling was really tough on me -- having all four of my kids around me ALL. THE. TIME. It was definitely an adjustment, and by bedtime everyday my patience still runs pretty thin.
All moms need to remember to take time for themselves, but for a homeschooler it is vital.
Ronda Bowen ~ Blogger ~ Secular Homeschool Today
"I think it helps develop self-confidence in a way that doesn't happen in a standard classroom.
PRO – The best part of homeschooling, for me, is the ability to tailor each child's education to him or her. I go for mastery of subjects, so if a child is zooming through basic math concepts, I let her.
If she needs extra help with reading, then we spend more time on it. I think it helps develop self-confidence in a way that doesn't happen in a standard classroom. That makes it a good choice when a child is asynchronous in development.
CON – I won't lie, the time it takes to seek out social opportunities is what makes me sometimes long for the classroom experience. We're secular, so it can be tough to find other secular homeschoolers in our area.
It's always worth it, in the end, but it's also a constant concern of mine: is my child getting out enough and being exposed to others' ideas enough?
Amir Nathoo ~ Co-Founder ~ Outschool
""Right now, tools exist to give your learner a personalized education that engages and inspires them.
PRO – One pro of homeschooling is it has never been easier. Right now, tools exist to give your learner a personalized education that engages and inspires them.
The internet opens up opportunities for curriculum and connection that were impossible just a few years ago. As online education evolves beyond slideshows and voice-overs, homeschooling no longer means sacrificing connection or socializing with other kids.
In fact, homeschoolers now can connect with students around the world while learning about topics that are meaningful to them.
CON – One con of homeschooling is the decision fatigue that can happen. With so much high-quality educational content around today, families have to work with their learners and make some choices.
What topics do the children want to explore? What skills do they want to develop? With the speed at which the world changes and children's interests evolve, these questions can be challenging to answer. It's hard to find everything you need in one place.
Camille Kirksey ~ Mom ~ Homeschooling in the D
"Living a homeschooling lifestyle is exactly what you make it.
PRO – The biggest pro about homeschooling is the freedom it provides. Living a homeschooling lifestyle is exactly what you make it. Your family is able to experience the journey together, which is something that can be challenging, yet liberating at the same time.
CON – The biggest con of homeschooling is that it’s an enormous responsibility that can feel like a burden at times.
Being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom requires that I wear many hats throughout the day, and as an emphatic introvert, I can easily feel overwhelmed and “done” often.
I didn’t experience that when I worked outside of the home and my children were in school and daycare.
Dana Wilson ~ Founder ~ Train Up a Child Publishing
"Our kids are my best friends, and I'm theirs!
PRO – The closeness of our family as a result of having homeschooled. Our kids are my best friends, and I'm theirs!
CON – There are things they had to learn for themselves in college to complete their undergraduate work. Fortunately they knew how to learn and were successful, but this made extra work
Melissa Corkum ~ Parenting Coach ~ The Cork Board Online
"My favorite part is how well-rounded and socially adjusted my kids are...
PRO – You get to reclaim your education! I've learned Latin, Biblical Greek, and more English Grammar than most professors. Plus, I decided that I love history.
It was just never presented well to me when I was in school. Our family has also taken advantage of the flexible schedule to travel. Our kids were able to go on our adoption trips to South Korea and Ethiopia.
My favorite part is how well-rounded and socially adjusted my kids are because they are exposed to so many different groups of people and real-life situations.
CON – If you don't set boundaries with your kids, you can all get burned out on each other pretty quickly! It can also be tough to homeschool when you're running a business or working full-time.
Teri Olsen ~ Editor-in-Chief ~ Homeschooling Teen
"Free from bullying, peer pressure, and cliques, they can better develop their self-esteem, self-confidence, and independent thought.
PRO – An increasing number of teenagers have been homeschooled their entire lives, and more teens are leaving public school to be homeschooled.
This allows them to learn at their own pace, study what they want, and discover what they really love to do. Free from bullying, peer pressure, and cliques, they can better develop their self-esteem, self-confidence, and independent thought.
It enables them to focus all of their energy on academic and creative pursuits without being preoccupied with problems at school.
These homeschooling teens are studying subjects in depth, taking college classes, volunteering, traveling, and "learning by doing" through apprenticeships, on-the-job training, even starting their own businesses.
CON – There is a need for more detailed record-keeping during high school, especially if your son or daughter plans to attend college.
This can be kind of a pain if you enjoyed a relaxed and unstructured style of homeschooling during the earlier grades. But believe me, when it comes time to create a homeschool transcript, you will be glad that you kept good records!
Documenting activities, courses, hours, credits, GPA, etc. as you go is much easier than trying to piece everything together later.
Katica Blajic ~ Founder ~ Little Tots Learning
"Homeschooled children can accomplish in a few hours what takes a typical classroom a week or more to cover.
PRO – Homeschoolers enjoy unlimited educational resources; the world is their classroom, and resources abound in the community. Homeschooling provides a high adult-child ratio for the student.
No busywork. Homeschooled children can accomplish in a few hours what takes a typical classroom a week or more to cover. In many classrooms, less than one hour out of each school day is spent on "on task" learning.
No wonder students have so much homework. And that brings us to a major "pro" of homeschooling: No more homework!
CON – Time Restraints. There's no way around it: learning outside of a school environment can consume a lot of mom or dad's time.
Living Outside the Norm. Like any activity that challenges mainstream thinking, homeschooling may be seen as an oddity at best, or even as a threat to those who unable to accept ordinary parents succeeding where sometimes trained professionals fail.
Patrick Farenga ~ President ~ John Holt GWS
"The significant amount of time it gives back to parents and children...
PRO – I’d say the biggest pro of homeschooling is the significant amount of time it gives back to parents and children to live and learn together.
CON – I think the biggest con of homeschooling is responding to the same, perennial questions about homeschooling—“Why do you homeschool?” and “What about socialization?"
Deb Chitwood ~ Child Educator ~ Living Montessori Now
"We were able to follow our children's needs and interests so that they loved learning and followed their own unique passions.
PRO – It's hard to choose one pro because homeschooling my two children through high school was an amazingly positive experience for my whole family.
One of the best parts was certainly the freedom we had ... to individualize our children's education, to follow our children's passions, to teach our values, to travel when we wished, and to spend enough quality time with our children that we were always close and still are.
My two children were figure skaters, so we adapted our school schedule around their skating. My son (now 33) was able to have fascinating experiences as a pairs skater while homeschooling, eventually competing and traveling internationally.
He also started his own DJ business during high school and is now the owner and head of one of the largest DJ companies in San Diego.
My daughter (now 28) graduated from homeschool high school at 16 and then had the opportunity to train and compete in ice dance with a dance partner in England.
Because of homeschooling, she was able to do her bachelor's degree work from ages 16-19 while competing internationally in ice dancing.
She was able to use her experiences training in sports and later as a professional ice dancer to create her online business. She loves that she has the freedom now to homeschool her own children.
Through the freedom to be Montessori homeschoolers using character-based unit studies, we were able to follow our children's needs and interests so that they loved learning and followed their own unique passions.
They thoroughly enjoyed their bachelor's degree work after homeschooling, got straight A's, and both became entrepreneurs who continue to love learning and creating.
CON – The only real con I experienced with homeschooling became a benefit in some ways. I tended to not plan as well as I should have and to get way off schedule at times.
My children didn't worry about it, but it troubled me. Later on, I realized that my children may have become even more self-directed as a result. It was so freeing to realize that I didn't need to be perfect.
My favorite advice to give homeschoolers now is simply that you don't need to be perfect.
Rahcel Ramey ~ Blogger ~ Titus 2 Homemaker
"This is great for building relationships (and training children in relational skills!)...
PRO – You're with your children (and they're with each other) all the time. This is great for building relationships (and training children in relational skills!) and it's the foundation of discipleship.
The mixed-age setting is also excellent for learning and growth, both academically and socially.
CON – You're with your children (and they're with each other) all the time. It never stops. Let's face it, (almost?) all of us have days when we kind of wish we were putting our kids on the bus.
If we don't have good reasons for having made this choice, we probably won't have the gumption to persist through those hard days.
Galadriel Grace ~ Book Author ~ Heritage Grove Academy
"With homeschooling, kids can do and become anything.
PRO – With homeschooling, kids can do and become anything. Because we have so much more flexibility there’s more time for them to perfect their talents and I have the opportunity to tailor their curriculum to meet their needs for what they want to do.
While still in school they’re already pursuing their entrepreneurial activities, and by the time they grow up, they’ll be so much further along.
CON – The only negative thing regarding homeschooling is simply the doubt and worry that sometimes hangs around the back of our minds from anyone who might oppose or question our lifestyle choice.
That's something that can truly test our faith, especially when we hear of difficulties that some homeschoolers have had.
Doing what we know is meant for our family and educating our children to the best of our ability is really the only answer for that.
Roxanne Raiche ~ Homeschooling Mom ~ Home, Work, & Horseplay
"I love being able to mix and match curriculum and grade levels
to fit my children perfectly.
PRO – Customization!
My youngest son has special needs and struggles with reading and writing. Homeschooling allows me to not only customize his school work, but also his siblings. Every child learns differently and at their own pace.
I love being able to mix and match curriculum and grade levels
to fit my children perfectly. I know being in control and custom fitting curriculum for my children has allowed each of them to blossom in their own way.
CON – As much as I love being with my children, my biggest con of homeschooling is being with them almost all of the time.
When you are homeschooling there is not a lot of quiet time for mom. If you are not teaching lessons you are cooking, cleaning, playing chauffeur, lesson planning, and every other part of what being a stay-at-home mom entails...
All while your children are underfoot, complaining about what you made for dinner, making endless messes, asking to go to the 10th place that day, and fighting with their siblings!
Just like everything there are good days and bad days.
My best advice is to make sure you take some time for yourself. Everyone will benefit if you get time to relax and do something just for you once in awhile.
Now I’ve Got a Question For You…
I'm so thankful to all the above individuals for sharing their insights. I had a lot of fun collecting all of this info, and I know I certainly learned a lot in the process.
What about you? Is there something on this list which struck you as particularly relevant to your situation? Which important takeaways will you be bringing to your own decision-making process? Any homeschooling pros and cons of your own you would like to share? Let us know!