Speaking From Experience… The Disadvantages
So following on from my last blog post regarding the advantages of home schooling ….
Here’s the disadvantages of homeschooling your kiddies!
LESS FREEDOM FOR THE TEACHER
In my case this person was my Mum. We were a regular family living in a regular house in a regular town with Dad having a regular 7 am – 5 pm job so my Mum was the primary person responsible for my education which of course meant she had to stay a step ahead of me!! Homeschooling, while having the upside of more freedom (see my blog post here) also means that you can’t just freelance your time away and not do any preparation for school. The day before the primary educator really needs to think ahead to the next day and decide the basic structure of the lessons that need to be completed and then……..
TURN INTO A DRAGON TO GET THOSE LESSONS DONE!!
Kids can’t be bothered? Well it’s up to you to make them study otherwise it’s just doesn’t get done! And what’s not completed today will still be waiting tomorrow in double the quantity’s. That’s the truth about homeschooling and sometimes I think my Mum felt anything but nice, insisting that the work HAD to be completed and NO I couldn’t go and play just yet! Pretty much it’s hard work catching up once you are behind on the timetable – life is busy after all and kids aren’t motivated to study 24 hours a day!! If being a dragon mum isn’t you, it would pay to think about this aspect before jumping on the homeschooling wagon!!
LEARNING FROM OTHER KIDS
Although home schooled children generally have plenty of kid friends and peer interactions outside school life, there is not normally a class room environment where they can bounce ideas off others and learn from the group as they do in conventional school class room. This can be a disadvantage especially if your child learns best by watching/learning from others. Also really social children may find studying alone or with only their brothers and sister’s boring. One way to escape this, is to join in with other homeschooling family’s in your area and have regular get-together’s and fun events for the kids. Sometimes you may be able to even arrange a day in an actual classroom.
BEING AROUND EACH OTHER ALL DAY LONG
Hey – there’s no such thing as a perfect child right? Or a perfect parent for that matter! It can get tough being in each others pockets all day long! Someday’s you are going to wonder why in the world you are doing such a crazy thing as giving your child an education! So be prepared – sometimes you just have to head on out and have some fresh air in a park or go to the local pool. Everyone needs some time to themselves….
FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND YOUR DECISION
They mean well, but they think you are crazy and no matter how much you explain they just still don’t understand why you would do such a hard thing as educate your kids! It’s pretty simple – explain it – try to answer any questions they may have – and then ignore it. Live your life – they can live theirs!
IT COSTS MONEY
Homeschooling does cost money. There’s the actual course you choose to follow, art supplies, stationary, science experiments and 100 other things that you’ll have to provide for your children. In saying that though – you don’t have to buy uniforms, branded stationery and school lunch boxes so you might even find it balances out in the long run!!
Home schooling can be a rewarding experience for everyone in the family. One morning a week I use to go to an elderly friends house and study there. It helped cement a relationship with them which would have never been formed otherwise. My parents had good support systems in place and I knew that if I wanted to go somewhere one day I’d have to make up for it the next day which was excellent time management and organisation skills to learn.
But just don’t do it because you have a child that wants out of school – I personally think it’s a deeper commitment than that. It truly is a daily chore that will quickly become a daily grind if you are always nagging and can’t be bothered. It’s not just a matter of shoving a book in front of the kid and telling them to learn. Lessons have to be fun, encouraging, motivating and a little bit challenging. And remember – most places in New Zealand have a conventional school just down the road – if it really just isn’t working for you, sending back to actual school is always a very good threat!