September 28, 2023

Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

Continuing with the topics related to homeschooling, and answering the questions that readers have conveyed, in this topic I will develop what, from my point of view, are the pros and cons of this educational option.

Formal education at school is how most families feel are best suited for their children. It is the official formula and has the full support of the educational community and the State. In addition to structured knowledge, the student is offered a social space in which to begin their relationship with others. And, in addition, families, apart from considering it the best for their children, need them to go to school to develop their work activities. There are many advantages, of course, even though our school system has to improve in many ways.

But for those who are interested in knowing, out of personal concern or because they have considered the possibility, we will see what advantages and disadvantages home education offers.

On the one hand there are reasons why a family can decide that it is a suitable path for them, always counting on the child, who, although he does not have all the elements of information, and think what the parents think, has to be satisfied with the decision.

Surely you will wonder if a child can make this important and counter-current decision, and you are right. However, in many of the decisions we make for them, we would find ourselves with the same question. In this matter, as I say, the child must be satisfied with the education he will receive. Basically, the ideal in my opinion, is that all children could be heard on these issues although can we all always do it?

There may be reasons of personal conviction to opt for homeschooling. The way in which knowledge is transmitted in school, the pedagogical formula of the official line, is not accepted as the best by all specialists and families. The way of explaining and living the values of coexistence, especially competitiveness, are other reasons that families explain.

There are also children with special educational needs who do not find their place in school, no matter how much effort is made to achieve their integration and use in schools. Children with hyperactivity or dyslexia, gifted or with school anxiety due to bullying problems are poorly integrated into the system and many of them can suffer school failure. This, without a doubt, would give us to talk at length, because there are many things to improve in the school system and not all depend only on educators, parents can also help improve it.

In these cases, the option of homeschooling, always accompanied by external and socializing activities, can help them in some cases or, simply, be considered as an option by families since it is feasible to organize the study in a more personalized way.

If the family is prepared and involved, a more personalized, spontaneous and flexible education can be offered, which, in the end, would be the objective of the school, but which, due to the number of homeschooling students or scarcity of resources, is partially achieved in some cases.

Another advantage cited is that the family can spend much more time together, doing activities in common and talking about topics that interest them, making natural curiosity nourished by emotional contact.

Of course, there are also disadvantages. The family has to rethink their schedules, priorities and jobs, even when it is possible for homeschooling. The change is enormous for everyone since the child always has to be accompanied by one of the parents or relatives involved in the project. I imagine that it must be complicated, so I think that those who decide on this path do so very consciously.

Even at the economic level, homeschooling has repercussions, expenses must be reduced, since you cannot count on two full salaries. This seems to me a reason that, apart from the personal conviction that face-to-face schooling is better for the child in the opinion of most families, will make it impossible for everyone.

Another disadvantage is that the child may feel different from others. I do not believe that isolation will be reached, because, as I will explain in another topic, socialization can be approached creatively to be effective. But without a doubt, the child has a different life experience than his friends, who may envy him, but it will make him perceive himself that way.

If that happens and the child lives it with uneasiness, it is always possible to consider returning to the face-to-face system. But in other cases, too, it will be a reason for personal enjoyment and a way to create a self-concept independent of age groups, which although they have advantages, also have disadvantages.

Being different is not bad, we are all different in one way or another, the real challenge of a democratic society is to accept the differences of each of us.

There are other disadvantages that we have already seen, such as access to degrees and the way to socialize and above all, to have continuous contact with children, but I leave that for another article in which I am documenting.

Can you think of other advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling?

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