It has always been accepted that parents have an inherent right to determine how to raise and educate their children. These days, the latter decision is made more complex for the simpler dichotomous decision of private versus public schooling is given a third rival: homeschooling. Homeschooling holds an obvious advantage over the other two, that of the fact that as a parent, you are given an opportunity to be completely hands-on with your child’s education, from schedule, to curriculum, and to the sort of development you want imbibed in him or her through that education. While these advantages may hold true under any circumstance, it is important for you as a parent to also understand the disadvantages in the system as well. Only then can you be certain that you are indeed making the right and educated decision in choosing homeschooling over the other two.
The first obvious disadvantage is the amount of investment you have to make as a parent. Why? Homeschooling leaves the responsibility of educating your child completely on you. This means you’re going to have to research and collate a curriculum for your child, as well as determine on your own supplemental activities that will enhance this learning experience. Moreover, this means having to invest greater time in your child than a normal working parent would. Homeschooling may require either parent to stay home and be the teacher, or may put greater stress on parents who both work for a living.
This also means doing away with the expertise of an accredited teacher. Trained teachers are equipped with the knowledge to teach a wide range of topics as well as strategies in order to stimulate greater learning and active participation. As a parent without this training, you may find it necessary to do much more research, especially as you determine what you want to teach your child.
The classroom setting provides inherent benefits of socialization to your child. Homeschooling obviously takes away this opportunity for your child to interact with other children in the learning environment. Although your child may have siblings to interact with, this may translate to your child as not being exposed to a wider gamut of ideas and perspectives. A classroom with children from different backgrounds and personal beliefs provides your child with ideas that may stimulate his mind to think and criticize.
Visit and talk to people who have undergone homeschooling. This may help you get to know more about these disadvantages, and perhaps, help you learn how to appropriately respond to them to make homeschooling work for you.
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