We are a reader-supported education publication. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission to help us keep providing content.
Up until 2019, roughly 3.3% of American households homeschooled their children. However, the pandemic sparked new interest in alternative school arrangements and, by fall 2020, 11.1% of households were homeschooling.
Perhaps you’re considering similar options for your child. Whether it’s to stop the spread or simply enjoy more time together, homeschooling is a great way to provide a safe and encouraging learning environment. But is homeschooling right for your family? A closer look at the pros and cons might help you decide.
The Benefits of Homeschooling
There are plenty of benefits to homeschooling, especially if you have the time and space to establish a quality routine and setting. Here are some of the most notable:
Enjoy More Freedom
In many cases, parents’ decision to homeschool during the pandemic revolved around discussions about viruses, masks and vaccines. Wearing a mask and maintaining distance from friends is a big ask for any kid. If your child’s school is still enforcing COVID-19 restrictions, you might find more freedom in educating your little one at home.
Cater to Kids’ Interests
Most states recommend you follow a generic curriculum when schooling kids at home. However, only you and your child know which learning path is the best fit. Help them choose electives that match their interests and spend as much time as you want on subjects that pique their curiosity.
Support Individual Learning Styles
Would your child rather listen to an audiobook than read a novel? Odds are they’re an auditory learner. Do they pay attention to educational videos and diagrams? Maybe they’re a visual learner. Whatever their learning style, homeschooling allows you to notice and support it so they excel academically and reach their fullest potential.
The Disadvantages of Homeschooling
Of course, there are a few downsides to homeschooling, regardless of how great a space you establish. Here are some of the most common:
Less Free Time
Homeschooling takes a lot of time and effort, especially behind the scenes. On top of teaching your child each day, you must organize learning materials, plan a curriculum and create a learning schedule that works best for your family. These responsibilities take up hours of your day, which means you may be unable to work, complete household chores or maintain a social life.
Fewer Social Opportunities
Your child will also have fewer opportunities to connect with kids their age. While you might join a virtual homeschooling group or periodically visit the playground, they might struggle to make friends or engage in a group setting.
Material and Facility Expenses
Sending your little one to public school has its perks. In most cases, tuition is free and so are the textbooks, laptops, art supplies and computer software. Unfortunately, you have to buy these and other essential learning materials when you homeschool. Add field trips, extracurricular activities and testing fees and homeschooling could easily cost $700 to $1,800 per student annually.
Should I Homeschool My Child?
Ultimately the decision is up to you and your little one. Consider your values, available free time, commitment and energy levels before making a choice. If you carefully consider the pros and cons, you’re sure to make the best one for your family. Sure, homeschooling is a major adjustment, but it can be rewarding depending on how you look at it. It’s a major adjustment but it can be rewarding.