Making the decision of whether to homeschool can be a tough one. While some know this is the right path for their families, others of a more analytical or cautious nature want to weigh homeschooling pros and cons before making the decision whether to step away from the norm (approximately 5 percent of today's school age children are homeschooled). Here are some of the most often heard pros and cons...
Homeschooled students are admitted at many colleges, including some of the top universities, such as Stanford, Patrick Henry and Harvard as they normally score more than the average students on college entrance exams.
Entry requirements often call for more planning on the parents and student's parts. Some colleges will only require SAT and/or ACT scores, some a GED along with college entrance exams, and still other others require the parents to create a transcript and/or a portfolio.
School as Childcare
Instead of handing the children over to someone else 8 or more hours a day, the parent/parents have much more time and influence with the children. Homeschooling parents may swap childcare with other parents for a few hours a week, and children may spend some time at outsides activities, but the main source of education, parenting and role modeling comes from the home.
Because school serves as childcare for parents who work outside the home, many who homeschool are mothers in two parent families and far less are single parents. When a homeschooling parent works at home, striking a balance can be challenging, although many do find a way to make it work,
The fact that homeschooled children don't socialize the same as their conventionally schooled peers is considered a pro by many. Home schooled children have more opportunity to socialize with those of varying age levels when on outings or participating in community, church and/or volunteer groups, as well as special interest activities and classes. Another benefit is that this socialization can take place in more natural, "real world" settings, and without the bullyism, peer pressure, and unnatural cliques.
It will take some effort on the parents' parts to ensure the children do have opportunities to socialize with other children; however freedom from the school's schedules allows for plenty of socializing time. Considering that on the average, a homeschooled child only needs a few hours to complete what it would take a week to complete in school, there is plenty time left for socializing.
Family Time/Learning Time
Families who homeschool spend much more time together. Even when one parent works outside the home, there is more time spent together because the children won't be holed up in their rooms doing homework after dinner.
On the downside, many homeschooling moms (usually the one at home with the kids 24/7) feel stressed from all the togetherness. However, homeschooling needn't and shouldn't mean that your children can't learn or do anything apart from you. As mentioned above, many homeschooling children are involved in activities outside the home.
Learning Style Freedom
Homeschooled children can learn at their own pace, if the state's laws are homeschool-friendly. A fast learner needn't wait for the rest of the class before moving forward, and a slow learner needn't be turned off of learning due to frustration and self esteem issues. Also, a homeschooled child may be at varying levels, according to subject, meaning that rather than being held back needlessly in math, for example, because the spelling isn't "up to speed" yet, the child's strengths can be allowed to blossom.
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