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I got asked this question in response to my post What if Public Schools Weren’t an Option? I think it’s a completely valid question! I had to think for a while about the answer because I have been such an advocate for homeschooling so long. The disadvantages of being homeschooled really don’t apply to the kids themselves. The disadvantages of homeschooling happen more with the parents’ lives than anything else.
The FIRST thing everyone thinks is a disadvantage to my kids or any kids being homeschooled is socialization issues. Yet, that is NOT as big of an issue as most people think it is provided parents actively find alternatives for their kids. In our home, up until financial restraints and COVID, my kids were quite involved with many things.
Top Ways Homeschool Children Socialize
Homeschool children learn how to work in group situations with other kids and people by being a part of local co-ops. When my kids were involved in our local co-ops, they worked on various projects with other kids, played with them, and went to classes at a set time. There are plenty of amazing co-ops to choose from. You can read Parent’s article about what a homeschool co-op is to learn more details.
Many homeschool associations line up field trips for homeschool families to attend all across the state. My kids have been blessed to go on many of these trips. Many popular places like zoos, aquariums, and educational places offer homeschool days and discounts (some even offer FREE admission.)
Homeschool associations also create yearbooks, proms, and graduations for their members in some cases too.
If your family is an active member of a church, then your children have the opportunity to make lasting friendships that way too. Some churches also create homeschool groups for families.
I have taken my kids to local parks during the typical prime times for children to be there. It has yet to fail, that my kids have become the leaders and have INCLUDED every child on the playground in whatever fun activity they come up with to do.
As you can tell, the standard disadvantage to being homeschooled that everyone refers to right off the bat truly isn’t a disadvantage at all. It just gets handled in a different way. I also feel that because we are more in control of the types of people that get around our kids, they gain better relationships.
What are the real disadvantages to being homeschooled?
Honestly, I can’t think of any real disadvantages to being homeschooled for the kids. But I can think of a few for the parents.
The Struggle of Working and Homeschooling
I work from home in a full-time standard clock in clock out 9-5:30 PM job Monday thru Friday. Plus, I run this blog on the side and I’m a Pampered Chef Independent Consultant. So, my time is extremely limited.
I have found many programs throughout the years that will teach my children for me, but that doesn’t mean I’m completely off the hook. What spare time I get I do sometimes have to help my kids with their lessons. Considering my oldest son is now in eleventh grade, there are some subjects that I don’t remember jack about it. So guess what that means for me? I have to go through the lessons WITH my son to try and grasp the concepts with him.
Sometimes that means, we resort to Google and YouTube trying to find answers or different lesson structures because the current one isn’t clear enough. Through the years, we have become experts at doing research in a timely manner.
I do have to stay on top of my kids quite regularly to ensure they are actually getting their school work done on time. So, that means in many ways, I have to stay on their behind more. Believe me when I say, I’m glad the company we currently use has an app I can log into throughout the day and see what progress they have made and how long they are spending on their lessons. (That also tells me if they are truly paying attention and trying hard or just goofing off and being lazy behinds. So when they come to me for help, that gives me a valid argument for or against doing it.)
My House is NEVER FULLY Clean
Growing up you could literally eat off my mom’s floors, counters, or anything else because we kept her home spotless. Considering, we were hardly ever in the house and it was just her and I, that wasn’t an extremely hard task. However, my home now will NEVER be spotless. All FIVE of us humans and FIVE dogs are CONSTANTLY in our home.
While we strive to keep it clean and everyone has their own set of chores in maintaining it, you can’t always tell we vacuum/sweep our floors daily (sometimes multiple times a day), we do dishes way more than three times of day (even with a dishwasher), and there is ALWAYS loads of laundry to be done. But our home is presentable. I wouldn’t be ashamed to have someone walk in at any time, but it is NOWHERE as clean as I’d love to see it. It took me a LONG time to accept that fact.
Someone is ALWAYS Hungry
When you’re home all time, it seems there is always someone hungry. We have to make sure we plan out what everyone will eat for all three meals, and ensure we have snacks in the home to tide everyone over. That is one of the reasons why quick and easy recipes are something that is quite important to me!
The Pressure is High
It seems everyone and their brother feels they have the right to “test” my children’s knowledge when they speak to them. They can’t carry a normal conversation with them, Nah, they have to interrogate them and quiz them in some form or fashion. It totally blows my mind because I know I wasn’t quizzed by anyone except one man who owned a local store next to my house. (However, he quizzed me only in fun and it was my form of earning a free candy bar from him at report card time. I always seemed to impress him because I could answer questions faster than the calculator and was knowledgeable on many topics.)
Most of the time my kids can answer the questions asked of them. But when they can’t believe me, the people asking the questions have a lot to say about it! Yet, the funny thing to me is that when my kids did try to go to public schools, they didn’t learn JACK except how to disrespect teachers and each other more.
As a parent who is genuinely concerned about the quality of my children’s education, I do worry constantly about whether or not they are getting everything they need. I have made them endure standardized testing even though with the homeschooling option we’ve selected they don’t have to do them. You’d be amazed how much of a concern this is for almost every homeschooling parent.
As I mentioned before, they aren’t highly skilled in all areas of education. But they can definitely keep up with any other child’s education level within their age group in at least three quarters of all subjects. When they struggle, I do have the advantage of finding other methods to help them out.
Added Family Drama
Another unseen and often unmentioned downfall to homeschooling your kids, everyone is with each other ALL.THE.TIME! As a result, that means there are a lot more opportunities for added family drama. I have to listen to my kids’ fight amongst themselves or hear them complain about the other one almost daily. But despite that, you can bank my kids are thicker than thieves.
Their Diplomas Still Count
Their high school diplomas are still accepted in colleges and with the military. In many ways, they gain a better education because they do have hands-on attention and help through their parents/family members.
While I can see why someone would be concerned about the disadvantages of being homeschooled, there really aren’t any directly for the homeschooler themselves that I can see. I see a ton more positives than I can picture negatives. Now if a child was in an unstable home, then I could think of a long list of disadvantages of being homeschooled!
Can you think of any disadvantages of being homeschooled for the kids themselves?
Southern wife and homeschooling parent who seeks to help women pursue their passions while making every moment count. I aim to help you have more time for what matters most to you, such as your family, friends, and your own self-care. I look forward to connecting with you and helping you improve your daily life. Visit us at Sharing Life’s Moments