Homeschool Programs Defined And The Pros And Cons Of Using Them

homeschool programsWhen it comes to homeschool programs, the first question usually brought up is, “Do they really work?”    The answer to that is, it depends.  It’s safe to say that most people are not fully aware of what homeschooling actually consists of.   It’s something everyone has heard of, but not many know a friend or family member who has actually been through it.  So if homeschooling is something you’re interested in implementing for your child, let me paint you a better picture of what it is exactly.

What Is Homeschooling Exactly?

Most of us have heard of the term “homeschooling,” but what does it exactly entail?  It can seem impossible to have an education without a professional teacher in the room to give you lectures and assignments, especially since the majority of children attend some sort of schooling.

Education, however, comes in all sorts of shapes and size.  There isn’t one defined path that a student must go through in order to receive a good education.  When you  are curious about something and take the effort towards learning about it, you are involving yourself in a form of homeschooling.  This is also known as interest-motivation education or self-motivated education.

For these reasons, homeschooling is different for every child.  There are families who take a child’s curiosity in a particular topic and then helps him or her learn about that topic.  The understanding to this approach is that within any area of interest, there are opportunities to explore general school subjects like math, history, science, etc.  This means that all of the main subjects are covered in homeschooling, but not in the same order most schools cover them.

The more traditional way a parent can homeschool their child is to follow the state curriculum, just like a normal school does.  Standard textbooks would need to be purchased, and the student can expect to take quizzes and tests.

Are Parents Qualified To Be Teachers?

Most teachers will say that the children who do well in school are the ones whose parents are involved in their education.  Basically, good parents who are committed to homeschooling their child usually show that they are more than capable of being a qualified teacher.  And it’s a common misconception that parents do all of the teaching during homeschooling.  There will be certain subjects in which the parents are not really able to help with.  This is when they ask for assistance, whether it’s from other family members, the internet, or other extensive resources available.  The goal of the parent is to find the most effective tools and resources that will help their child learn.

Some believe that homeschooling parents need to possess a teaching credential in order to be an effective homeschooling teacher as well.  The majority of  classes associated with teaching credentials prepare the teacher to work in large group settings, and create formal lesson plans that  follow the state standards.  However, homeschooling parents don’t need to worry about either of those.

The Pros And Cons of Homeschooling

Pros:

The freedom to be yourself – The first thing most homeschooling parents appreciate is the freedom.  You don’t need to be in class by a certain time, there are no set schedules, and you can take field trips and vacation anytime you’d like to.  The student doesn’t have to worry about bullies, peer pressure, competition, or anybody else for that matter except themselves.  There’s no teacher telling the student what he or she has to do, or what to believe.

Learn at your own pace – If your child is struggling on a certain subject, you can spend extra time learning it, rather than skipping to the next topic.  Or maybe your child is understanding the subject a lot quicker than expected.  Instead of having to wait until everyone in the classroom understands it, you can proceed to the next subject and save yourself and your child some time.

Convenience – There’s no need to worry about transportation, forgetting homework, or any other inconveniences that occur when a child goes to school.  Your child can wake up right out of bed and into the “classroom” in a matter of minutes.  If he happens to get sick during a lesson, he can just hop right back into bed.

Family support – Parents actually don’t see their children too often when they’re going to school.  When homeschooling, parents are with their children every single day, morning to night.  This tends to bring everyone closer since you are able to learn more about your child.  Teenagers seem to benefit even more from this interaction, as rebellious and destructive behavior starts to fade soon after homeschooling begins.

Cons:

The cost – Homeschooling usually means that one parent must sacrifice full-time employment in order to teach their child.  Add the fact that the parents are responsible for purchasing all of the learning materials, homeschooling can be a huge burden on a family’s financial situation.  Most homeschooling families will agree though that the loss of income is worth the satisfaction of seeing their child learn and grow in a setting they prefer.

Get started with the basics of homeschooling here.

Lack of socializing with others – Keeping children at home all of the time can hinder their ability to get along with others.  Public schooling gives kids the opportunity to meet other peers, which translates to building friendships, respecting others, sharing, and other social characteristics.  It’s also a great chance to learn about people with different cultures, religion and ethnic backgrounds.

Limited group activities – A lot of times homeschoolers will not be able to participate in group activities or team sports with public-schooled peers.  This can deprive a child from understanding the concept of teamwork and trusting others.  Being able to associate themselves to a team, group or even a school for that matter can also hinder a child’s development.  However, there are always other group outlets available for homeschoolers.