If you’re considering homeschooling your children, you definitely want to go into it with your eyes wide open. Even if you know without a doubt that God wants you to homeschool your children (we certainly do), you should still be aware that there are both good and bad aspects to homeschooling. Just because it’s the right thing for your family, don’t expect it to necessarily be all sunshine and roses. Will you allow me to share the good side and then to make you aware of the bad side of homeschooling as well? When you’re aware of the not-so-good things you can much more easily make preparations to overcome them.
* You make the decision about what your children learn. You have total control over what subjects your children are learning. You can protect their minds from things that are contrary to your worldview. There is no concern over academics that may be less-than-stellar or expectations that may be unreasonable for a child with learning difficulties.
* You make the decisions about how your children learn. There is no way a school classroom can tailor its teaching style for each child. Yet each child differs. As a home schooling parent, you can teach your child in the style that best fits him or her, and you can tweak your teaching style as needed.
* You get to choose the curriculum. This ties in with the “what your children learn” note listed above. You can decide how many books, worksheets, crafts, and so forth that your student does. You can reject or accept aspects of various curricula and/or design your own.
* Your child gets one-on-one instruction. Time and again, studies have shown that children learn well with individual instruction.
* Home schooling takes time. Not only do you have to commit to the actual teaching time; depending on the curriculum, you may have to research and prepare lessons, copy or print out worksheets, maps, exercises, etc., and keep careful track of your child’s progress. This all means less time to run errands, clean the house, cook meals, etc.
* Depending on the laws and regulations in your area, you will have to present a portfolio or submit your child to standardized testing. This means you have to keep careful records.
* Home schooling can cost money. Some curricula are very inexpensive or even free, but often the less expensive options take up a lot more time (searching for library books, printing your own materials, etc.) Finding something that is less labor intensive or finding the right materials for your child can cost much more, sometimes as much as $1000 a year.
* Criticism and even contempt from others unfortunately comes with the territory of home schooling. Those who tend to doubt themselves or who are overly concerned with what other people think may find this aspect of home schooling stressful.
Does the fact that there are some bad aspects to homeschooling mean that you shouldn’t do it? Not at all! Sending your child to school will come with both good and bad aspects also. You just need to be prepared for the not so pleasant parts so that you can prepare yourself properly.
Homeschooling through the good and the bad will take work, but it will be rewarding!
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