Parents who choose to teach their children at home are sometimes characterized as overprotective parents who shelter their children from the struggles and disappointments of life.
Are homeschooled students happier, though? Well, you can say they are since they are sheltered from things they could face in school like bullying for instance.
According to an extensive study by two researchers from the University of Virginia, which compared the levels of life satisfaction among various educational groups, including homeschoolers, public school students, private school students, and Catholic school students, the answer appears to be yes.
Homeschooled students were particularly satisfied with their social lives and friendships, although public school students were more satisfied with their academic lives.
It does appear that homeschooled students are more satisfied with their social environments and feel more confident in the classrooms than their public school counterparts.
There is some evidence to suggest that home-educated individuals are better adjusted and less reliant on structured learning programs.
The Pros of Homeschooling
Some parents decide to go the homeschooling route due to one reason or the other, we will shortly be looking at some of the pros of homeschooling.
Some pros of homeschooling include:
- The social aspect of the homeschool lifestyle has been well-documented, with kids being less likely to be bullied or put down by others because they don’t fit in with the crowd.
- Parents who homeschool their children can tailor the curriculum to their children’s individual needs and interests, fostering a deep understanding of topics that may not be as exciting for students at a school without customization opportunities.
- Families are also able to keep much closer tabs on what their child is learning, making sure that they’re following all guidelines set forth by the local government.
- Some parents who homeschool find that it helps them bond more closely with their child than would otherwise be possible if the child was enrolled in traditional schooling. Others might find that increased parental attention encourages better grades.
- Another plus to homeschooling is that many families save thousands of dollars per year due to lower taxes, which can then be used for other educational pursuits like traveling abroad or getting tutoring for subjects your child struggles with.
- Finally, homeschooling is a great option for those with special needs children, as well as those who have learning disabilities themselves. Parents can create lesson plans that are catered to their child’s learning styles and design them around their strengths.
These students often benefit from having smaller class sizes and more one-on-one instruction than they would receive in public or private school settings.
The Cons of Homeschooling
Homeschooling also has disadvantages just like they have advantages, listed below are some of the disadvantages of homeschooling:
- The research on homeschooling is not extensive enough to draw any conclusions.
- Those that claim that homeschooling offers a better education are not taking into account the diverse needs of all students, as well as different levels of social skills and maturity, which might be addressed in a traditional school setting.
- Parents who home-school their children might not have the time or know-how to teach them life skills like balancing a checkbook or buying clothes for work.
- If you do decide to homeschool your child, make sure you set up some guidelines so they will have things to do and won’t get bored (especially if they’re younger). You should also keep an eye out for signs of depression or isolation, which can lead to mental health issues.
- The parent-child relationship might suffer if both of you are only spending time together at home and never going out with friends or attending events.
Children need to learn social skills, which they can pick up in traditional schools through extracurricular activities, such as sports and drama clubs.
If a child doesn’t have access to other kids their age, he or she might struggle socially when he/she enters college or into adulthood.
The Uncertainties of Homeschooling
Homeschooling has many upsides and benefits, but it also has many drawbacks. When deciding to homeschool, several considerations need to be addressed to feel confident with your decision.
There are several misconceptions about the abilities of homeschoolers.
Contrary to popular belief, not all students who are homeschooled will automatically succeed academically or socially. Being homeschooled doesn’t mean you don’t have to put in any effort.
The benefit of more personalized attention is a great perk for children who may struggle more in a classroom setting.
However, as mentioned before, being homeschooled does not guarantee success either.
If you are deciding between public school and homeschooling, you will have to weigh these pros and cons against your own goals for your child.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which option fits best with your family values.
Make sure to discuss your feelings on this topic thoroughly with those close to you before coming to a final decision.