I’m going to be brutally honest.
Yes AND no.
Maybe AND maybe not.
Sometimes BUT not always.
And ultimately, it depends.
Probably not as helpful as you’d like, right?
But here’s the thing:
Because homeschooling happens smack dab in the middle of the rest of life, there are MANY factors involved in determining whether or not homeschooling is worth it.
And what is considered “worth it” by one family might not be for another. What I consider “worth it” might not ring true for you.
The responsibility of taking ownership for your child’s education, possible financial concerns, the challenge of finding time for self-care, and worrying about social isolation…
These are all common and valid concerns!
To figure out if homeschooling is worth it, it’s best to start with the essentials.
Specifically, what are YOUR priorities?
This is the point at which I need to express my insistence on complete honesty! This is NOT the time to answer based on how you THINK you should answer.
Don’t think about what your sister or mother-in-law or best friend thinks your priorities should be. Try to disregard what your local community and society at large are telling you about what you should prioritize in your life.
Check in with your gut, listen to that still small voice, and connect with your intuition.
This is about YOU and YOUR immediate family!
First, I want you to answer the following questions:
- Where are you at on the introversion/extroversion spectrum? How much alone time do you need in order to feel like the best version of yourself?
- What is your family dynamic like?
- When you think about spending the majority of your time with your children, how does this make you feel?
- How involved are you (or do you want to be) with your community? Is volunteering a big part of your family’s core values?
- Do you currently work outside of the home? If so, will it be realistic to homeschool and continue on with your career? If you’re currently a stay-at-home parent, is it financially feasible for you to continue staying at home to homeschool?
- Do you foresee homeschooling increasing your financial stress? If so, do you see a way around this or not?
- How much support do you currently have? How does your partner feel about homeschooling? Are the household responsibilities divided up pretty evenly?
- How do you feel about travel? Is this something you hope to do as a family? If so, how will the ability to homeschool during off-season times positively impact your travel plans? Alternatively, will possible financial stress mean that you must cut back on desired travel plans?
- How do you currently practice self-care? Does this present a challenge when you consider adding homeschooling to the mix?
- And finally, what are the reasons you are considering homeschooling?
I know that all of these questions may seem like overkill. But I promise, taking the time to answer them (and maybe even writing your answers down!) will provide a sense of clarity as you move forward making the best decision you can for your family.
Next, consider the following:
- One year from now, what are your specific hopes for your family?
- How about 5 years from now?
- 10-15 years from now?
Finally, it’s time for a straight up REALITY CHECK:
Let’s be real with each other; life is full of unpredictable circumstances!
Sickness, death, job losses, car accidents, moving, friendship changes, mental or emotional struggles…
Regardless of how much we plan, one thing is for sure:
Life WILL throw us curve balls!
It’s important to acknowledge all of the circumstances that are beyond our control in order to understand that adjustments will constantly need to be made.
So, let’s recap…
- First, consider the specific questions I’ve outlined above.
- Next, consider your future hopes for your family.
- Finally, acknowledge the reality of life’s unpredictable nature
IT IS CRUCIAL to get clear about your specific reasons for homeschooling.
If you choose to homeschool, this WHY serves as your anchor when life gets rough and stormy.
Without this WHY, it’s easy to succumb to fear and disappointment. With it, however, your values and reasons for homeschooling are always at the forefront and serve as your ever-present anchor.
Homeschooling definitely has its challenges and seasons of stress and overwhelm.
A lot like life, wouldn’t you agree?
Considering these challenges, concerns, and sacrifices, is homeschooling worth it?
Again, this is a decision you and your family will need to make based on your unique life circumstances, your feelings after doing research and weighing the pros and cons, and ultimately, it’s going to require a leap of faith.
- You will be spending A LOT of time with your children!
- You will probably experience some financial stress.
- At times it might be hard to find strong support from friends and family. You may also feel a lack of community which might lead to loneliness.
- It can be challenging to find enough time to practice good self-care.
- From time to time, you will definitely experience moments of self-doubt and frustration.
Are you still with me?!?
With all of this in mind, decide how you TRULY feel about these scenarios. And brainstorm ways you can troubleshoot and problem-solve any stressful scenarios.
Another Reality Check:
- You have the ability to spend the best hours of the day with your children and be their primary influence.
- You have the flexibility to make changes when something is not working. The math curriculum can be switched, you can sleep in, stay in your pj’s until noon, take an impromptu field trip, travel during the off-season. These are some seriously awesome perks of homeschooling!
- While support and community can sometimes be challenging to find, it IS available! In addition to local in-person community, the opportunities for online connection with homeschoolers from all over the world is constantly growing. There are currently vibrant groups encompassing homeschooling families of different cultures, backgrounds, faiths, and circumstances.
- Homeschooling isn’t a fixed educational model. It’s a vibrant, ever-evolving, and fluid lifestyle that encompasses so much more than “school”. In other words, the opportunities are endless!
Factoring in both the pros and the cons, you’ll make the best decision you can, recognizing that the decision to homeschool ultimately requires a leap of faith.
If you decide that you’re learning towards homeschooling, or eager to learn even more, I encourage you to check out the following posts:
And if you have any other questions, I’d love to answer them. So please feel free to leave your specific questions in the comments below!