So you’re considering homeschooling?
No doubt you have questions, concerns, and maybe plenty of doubts as well.
Be sure to check these out if you have related concerns specific to these areas!
But right now, I want to get brutally honest about not only the PROS of homeschooling, but also the CONS.
Because you need to be able to make your decision armed with as much factual and relevant information as you possibly can!
Here’s your breakdown!
Pros of Homeschooling:
1. Sleeping In
I LOVE that my children can sleep in!
Depending on their physical growth and developmental needs, they have the ability to sleep in when they need to.
When they are sick, having a rough morning, or moving slowly, it doesn’t matter, because they don’t have to make it to school at a certain time.
This has always been and continues to be, one of my absolute favorite things about homeschooling.
2. Flexibility with Appointments and Errands
We make appointments during traditional school hours because this way we avoid crowds and often get better service.
Being able to run errands during non-peak hours helps me keep my sanity. Grocery shopping is so much more enjoyable when I’m not battling the after work or weekend crowds.
3. Not Contending with Rush Hour Traffic
Not being on the road during rush hour is amazing! And so good for avoiding any potential road rage, (not that I would know, of course!)
4. Off-Season Travel Opportunities
This is another one of our favorite things about homeschooling. We’ve been able to take advantage of off-season travel opportunities.
Cheaper flights, accommodations, and travel costs mean that our money goes farther. Crowds are minimal and we often get more individualized attention since we’re not contending with peak-season crowds.
5. No Homework
This is absolute,y positively my kiddos favorite thing about homeschooling, (next to sleeping in!)
6. Plenty of Time for Extracurricular Activities
My daughter has been dancing her entire life. She currently dances almost 20 hours a week which would not be possible if we weren’t homeschooling.
Because she isn’t spending all day in a school building, doesn’t have hours of homework each night, and has the ability to get the sleep she needs, she is able to pursue her passion and dedication in this way.
My son is currently in the thick of baseball season and also does judo year round. He tends to do a variety of sports throughout the year and again, our flexibility with homeschooling allows him this opportunity.
7. Lots of Family Time
Hands down, MY number one, absolute favorite thing in the world about homeschooling!
Do my children drive me nuts sometimes?
Do I drive them nuts?
But I treasure these days we spend learning, growing, and adventuring together. Through the good and the bad, the twists and turns, the joys and the sorrows, we are spending more time together than a traditional school environment would allow.
And the older my children get, the more clear it is that time really is flying by. I am so grateful we have these years together to cherish.
8. Little to No Peer Pressure
Now before you think that we don’t leave the house, rest assured that we are out and about all of the time, my kids have plenty of friends, and we are involved in lots of different activities.
But while peers are a big part of our social life, my children aren’t spending the bulk of their day with other kids their exact same age.
And I am so glad!
Instead, they spend time with people of all ages. They also get to avoid the intense peer pressure that comes in the form of spending the majority of their time with kids who are their exact same age.
9. Ability to Spend Time with People of all Ages
Like I just mentioned, I love that my kids are exposed daily to people of all ages. This is a healthier environment for them than only spending time with same-aged peers. It’s also a more clear picture of the reality of life.
They have friends with younger siblings and get lots of time interacting with these little people. They have grandparents they see almost daily. They have rich daily interactions with people who offer a variety of perspectives, talents, and life experiences.
10. Plenty of Time for Interest-Led Learning
There are certain subjects that are required. My children know they have “must-dos” that need to be completed each day. But they also have ample time for interest-led learning and discovery which is something lacking in traditional schools.
I am so grateful for this ability to learn together as well as plenty of time for independent learning.
Cons of Homeschooling:
1. it Can Feel Lonely
Yes. It’s true. Homeschooling can feel really lonely and isolating.
In fact, I think this is one of THE hardest things about homeschooling.
Because even though you can find local homeschooling co-ops and groups, and while there are lots of online resources, homeschooling is still not the norm.
You also have to factor in the social needs of your children vs your own social needs.
I urge every single new homeschooler to be proactive in finding community. I suggest starting online and then searching for local connections, as you find your homeschooling tribe.
2. it Can Feel Overwhelming
For goodness sake you are taking on the responsibility of your child’s education! Of course you are going to feel overwhelmed sometimes!
But if you pause and take a breather, then reflect on the fact that it is never too late to learn and evolve, it will hopefully provide some perspective.
I am a HUGE fan of outsourcing and suggest you incorporate this into your homeschooing lifestyle ASAP!
3. Self-Doubt Can be Frequent
I wish I could tell you that after a year or two of homeschooling, all self-doubt and insecurity would disappear, but I would be lying to you.
And I will NEVER lie to you!
I’m afraid that self-doubt will always follow you around like a little puppy dog, but it will also lessen as the weeks and months go by.
The important thing is staying focused and moving forward DESPITE the self-doubt that will inevitably creep in.
Surround yourself with support, focus on the things that ARE going well, and know that you WILL make mistakes, (because let me tell you, we ALL makes mistakes!)
4. Self-Care is Often Compromised
This one is right up there with loneliness in terms of what I think is THE hardest thing about homeschooling.
With all we have to juggle, our self-care is often the first thing to go.
If I were to start my homeschooling journey over again, I would prioritize my self-care right away!
Nothing extravagant, mind you, but daily physical activity, meditation, reading, and quiet time, because these are things that make ME feel my best. Prioritizing getting together with friends, dates with my husband, candles, fresh flowers, music, podcasts, and plenty of fresh air are things that make a huge difference.
Think about what fills YOU up and makes you feel most like yourself.
Then incorporate as much of this into your life as possible, so that you can avoid homeschooling burnout.
5. Financial Stress
Whether homeschooling means your family will be living off of one-income, or you will be working some, the decision to homeschool often means a significant loss of income.
This can definitely cause financial stress.
Making sure you and your partner are on the same page, cutting costs where you can, and recognizing ways you might actually be saving money, (gas for commuting costs, work attire, traditional school costs) might also help to put financial stress in perspective.
6. Hard to Juggle Everything
This goes right back to feeling overwhelmed.
7. Sometimes There is a Lack of Support From Family and Friends
This one is really hard.
It’s tough enough to make the decision to take the leap of faith necessary to homeschool. But then when we have loved ones who look at us like we’re nuts, bombard us with questions and criticism, and try to convince us we’re making a terrible mistake, we can feel completely alone.
You need to find ONE person, (yes, even ONE person in your corner will help tremendously!) and lean on them for the support and encouragement you need. And then reach out to build your homeschooling community and support system.
Sometimes this takes time. Longer than we’d like. But persisting is always worth it because having support is essential to your homeschooling.
8. It Can be hard to get a break
It can be SO hard to get a break.
And ultimately, the decision to homeschool means that YOU are responsible for your child’s education and this will likely take up the majority of your time and energy.
9. You May Feel Like You’re Constantly Having to Defend Homeschooling
Whether you like it or not, you may start to feel like you are the poster child for homeschooling.
Some days you might be totally up for this and other days you might want to run at the first question you anticipate.
This does get easier with time, I promise. I can honestly say that after nine years of homeschooling, I don’t get thrown by people’s questions like I used to. It takes practice, for sure, but it’s totally doable.
10. Sibling Rivalry can be Amplified
On the one hand, sibling relationships can often be nurtured and become stronger.
Then again, all of that togetherness can be annoying and overwhelming at times. It’s common for sibling rivalry to be amplified at times.
This usually comes in waves and changes depending on the age and stage of your children, but this is definitely something that occurs.
There are clearly plenty of variables to consider before you make your decision to homeschool. Review this list, check out the related links, and take time to consider your options.
I hope this pros and cons breakdown will help you as you decide what next step is best for your family. Wherever your chosen path leads you, I’m wishing you all the best!