The disadvantages of homeschooling are numerous and will impact not only the child but also the family. We will highlight 8 real challenges that may stop some parents from home education.
1. Homeschooling may cost over $10,000
The cost of homeschooling over the lifetime of your child may be more than you think. For example, if your child is homeschooled from K-12 you can expect to pay well over $500 per year per child, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association. This includes textbooks, materials and any expenses for equipment you may have to prepare since you are the school. The costs will only rise over the life of the child. And if you have more than 1 child the costs are even higher.
Your freedom of choice for your child is the disadvantage and a double edged sword and this is the reality of homeschooling. How will you do chemistry experiments for example? If you want your child to have hands-on experience you will need to buy the equipment, chemicals and any related materials to run any experiments. Do you know how much a chemistry textbook costs nowadays? If you look on Amazon, I am sure you will see they are not cheap.
2. Up to 30 hours per week of Homeschooling is like a normal job
Did you think you could sleep in this morning or will you have to get up on time? If you are homeschooling you must follow a strict routine. Your child depends on the discipline you convey to develop the character to be homeschooled. If your child goes to a normal public school the teacher and the staff there will be in charge of this. However in your own home school, you are the teacher, principal and counselor. Oh and the head cafeteria cook, since you will most likely be preparing the school meals as well.
3. Parents are not qualified teachers in most subjects
Are you able to teach calculus or applied physics? How about cell biology? Certainly there are some parents that may be a whiz in math and science but the older the kids the harder the subjects become. In public schools the teachers undergo years of study and use teachers guides and resources to lead them in their daily lessons. Usually the teachers are also specialized in their fields and have a degree in education. Almost 57% of teachers have some advanced degree according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Are you qualified to teach all of the subjects? Even if you get the curriculum from a reputable source you are still the sole teacher for your child. Are you certain that you are capable of managing all the subjects and the necessary homework?
4. Home schools lack space and equipment
Often you will see many homeschoolers are using their kitchen tables for the classroom. The typical classroom from my era had a nice blackboard, lots of bookshelves for the textbooks and equipment. There were cabinets for all of the other supplies and tests and workbooks. There was also a projector and a pull down screen for class discussions and presentations. Nowadays classrooms are full of electronic devices like IPads, PCs and other high tech stuff.
Hey, do you have a basketball court, gymnasium, swimming pool or a track? How about a nice children’s library? The schools nowadays have a full range of facilities and equipment and supplies that will make most homeschools pale in comparison.
5. Homeschooling seen as socially awkward: A stigma of society
As soon as you utter the words to your friends or family, I can almost guarantee you will hear the “s” word, socialization. Most societies whether in the United States, the UK or anywhere around the world, once you mention homeschooling, this subject will always come up. No matter how many families are homeschooling, there will be those who do not understand much about homeschooling. Consequently, people will feel your child and you are most likely socially awkward. There is no way to get around this issue, society has made up their mind.
6. Patience in Homeschooling required!
Being impatient will be a certain disadvantage in homeschooling. Patience is a virtue and a necessary quality to have if you are to succeed as a homeschooling parent. The same goes for the child because they must also be patient with themselves and the teacher. They will not have any fellow classmates that they can ask for help from. The data shows that having patience is critical for success and lacking it will likely make homeschooling not an enjoyable or successful endeavor.
“Homeschooling is not the right educational choice for every family, but when homeschooling is difficult, parents can practice patience and persistence”Secrets of Successful Homeschooling, Lisa Rivero
7. Burnout quickly from lack of motivation
Just as you thought the freedom of educating your own child was a novel idea, it dawned on you that there was no way out. You cannot take a break otherwise they will fall behind. How can you finish this chapter if you don’t keep moving forward? Parents will face all kinds of hardships and so will the child. Learning some subjects are difficult and sometimes boring. Not everything in education is so inspiring and wonderful. Fun and games are mainly during the few years from K through elementary levels. You might burnout from the constant pressure of teaching and the chances of losing your motivation are also high.
Your child might also get sick of seeing you day in and day out. Maybe you might even wish there was a substitute teacher available. Just think about the fact that in a public or private school your child will have on average 6 to 7 different teachers per day. And some of these teachers will be with them an entire semester. And over the number of years there is a significant amount of variety and teaching styles they will encounter. You are
8. Loss of childhood and being with classmates
There are going to be many missed experiences your child will not have such as going to a school carnival, or school dance or football game. They will not be on the school team for tennis or track and they will not hang out with any friends during break time. There are many aspects of public or private school that your childhood memories are filled with. Some people will feel that this is an important part of childhood growing up with their peers. Once they are grown up they might have realized that they missed out on a vast amount of what most of society feels is a normal childhood. It’s hard to know what they will miss out on as they are homeschooled.
The disadvantages of homeschooling your child are something that you may not have fully considered. Sometimes all of the positive information on this subject may overshadow the downside of homeschooling. If you look carefully and weigh the 8 critical disadvantages we highlight in this article, we hope that you will think twice about educating your own children.