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omishev

YOUR Pros and Cons of homeschooling

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I am hoping to homeschool next year and have my own list of pros and cons from what I imagine, not from personal experience. Anything else to add to the lists??

Pros

Flexible schedule (hours, days, months, vacations)

Individual attention

At your own pace

Parental control over curriculum

More exercise, more outside time, more free time

More time for extra-curriculars, enrichment, life skills, chores etc without overscheduling them

More sleep

Better nutrition (school lunch is too short to eat veggies ☹ and sooo many birthday cupcakes)

More parental involvement with friendships

More family time

 

Cons

Can I do a good job? I don’t have training or experience in early/elementary education. My training is in Biochemistry and Exercise Physiology and I am not confident in my English, Literature, History, Art, Music or Foreign Language skills.

Juggling multiple children all working on separate things

Keeping the younger kids occupied while the older kids do school

Kids have less time with peers

Selfishly…..

Putting my career (and my intellectual brain) on hold for another decade or two

Financial (living on one income)

No adult time? Time for my workouts?

 

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Con - and this is a major con for me - loss of income and stability in the workplace. That's really it, but it's a biggie (for me).

Pros - my major pro is not having to deal with the school system.

Time spent with kids. Flexibility. Enjoyment of being with, and learning with/teaching my kids. High degree of autonomy. 

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Pro:control and input to tailor education to each specific child and our personal goals and beliefs

I get to teach them, which is enjoyable for me (80% of the time) and gives us a lot of hours together.

 

Con: we spend a lot of time together and I’m they’re teacher.  That can be drama inducing.

I’m not able to pursue my own career or add much to the family’s income, so things are tighter and I’m less employable if I need to go back.

 

 

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I'm on my 12th year of HSing (eek!) as I started when my rising 11th grader was in pre-k. She bumped up against the limits of what I could teach her in 8th grade plus with puberty hormones she was resisting working for me so we ended up outsourcing to dual enrollment at the CC starting in 9th. She will technically be done with the last high school requirements after this fall semester but I'm not planning on graduating her just yet. I plan to graduate her after she finishes the associate's and the general ed requirements to transfer to one of the state's 4 year universities.

Pros:

-Flexibility to tailor the curriculum to the child's needs rather than following a "one size fits all" (NOT!) set of standards mandated by bureaucrats in the state capitol, which have actually gotten WORSE since the state adopted Common Core.

-Much more efficient than a classroom with 31 other students to 1 teacher (standard for general ed in my district).

-Ability to incorporate the family's values (religious for us personally but the secular families we know appreciate the ability to teach their ethical POV)

-No instructional time lost to test prep or standardized testing as it's optional in my state. I do sometimes have my kids take tests for planning purposes & opening up opportunities via talent search but it's not every year & unlike the public schools we do minimal prep.

-No arbitrary rules set by the district or state.

Cons:

-While a motivated & hard-working home educator can absolutely provide an education far superior to that offered by the public school, there is unfortunately a minority who are providing a subpar education. Sometimes it's by design in the case of people who don't believe in college regardless of the child's ability (and sadly some who don't believe their daughters even need a high-school level education). Sometimes it's because of laziness or their lives being too dysfunctional.

-The student may hit a point where he/she no longer is willing to work for the parent. It's very, very common for families to put their previously HSed child into a B&M school for junior or senior high for this reason. It's certainly possible to cobble together tutors, co-ops, online courses, etc. to continue having the child be HSed but that can be costly.

-Years spent out of the paid workforce to HS can make re-entry in the case of divorce, widowhood, spousal disability, spousal unemployment, etc. VERY difficult. Nobody likes to think about something bad happening but I've seen it happen to women I know IRL and here on this forum.

 

My 3rd child has never been HSed and I'm not sure about the 4th. We may be in a financial position where we can afford private schools for him, which were not an option for #1 or #2.

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Omishev, I am a long-term homeschooler approaching what I’m 99% certain will be my last year with my last child; my older two are in college and were both always homeschooled until 9th grade, when they completed high school at a B&M school. (Brick-and-mortar, if you aren’t familiar with that term.)

My Pros list looked originally very much like yours and I mostly consider all of those pros still. Once my first child was at a school, though, we lost a lot of the flexibility benefit; we could no longer go on a family vacation in October when things were cheaper and uncrowded, for example. An additional pro for me was that my kids weren’t conscious of material status symbols before they went to school. They were not so sheltered that they didn’t know what an iphone was, but they felt no social pressure in our homeschool community to have those things. Most homeschholers shared our values and I also liked that about the friendships they did form. My kids were also well-bonded to family, including grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, because we spent so much time with family. I also liked that when sad events happened in our family, my kids and I were free to grieve; to not have to force ourselves into some veneer of “everythings fine!” to keep attending school as normal. 

Cons: Juggling multiple children was MUCH more difficult than I had figured on. My youngest was a bedeviling toddler and I felt like I was going out of my cotton-pickin’ mind for a while there. If he had free access to (supposedly) quiet toys and games, he abused them and threw them everywhere. If he had no access to supposedly quiet toys and games he drove me mad with his constant need for interaction. It was a hard couple of years. I seriously considered both hiring help for him alone or sending him to preschool (which seemed unthinkable before); now I cannot imagine why I did not take that option. 

Personally I felt that both less time with peers and the type of peers they were around was a pro of homeschooling. 

Putting my own development/path towards financial autonomy on hold (sort of; I work Part time), I have come to realize, was a much bigger con than I thought when I began. I think some of it was that when you are young, you don’t really understand how things will be when you are 45+; I think I just thought I could pick back up where I left off at any time. Now - I have not let my brain rot away. I work; I went to college pt; I read, write, engage. But I also see how much harder it would be to “just go back to work!” as I once thought I could simply just choose at any point. Living on mostly one income has gotten harder; dh is tired, I can see that. 

I have always felt I have enough “me” time. I retained my friends and clubs and activities for me. I went to college for five years, part time. I exercise regularly (at my home, though; no gym). I am a homebody, though, so my need to “get away” is not very keen. Generally, I rely on my more extroverted friends to flush me out of the house, lol. 

One more con I wasn’t aware of at first: there are some really nutcakes in the homeschool world. It’s always a special experience when they join your co-op and then wreak havoc...But to be fair, there’s a nutcake or two in any vocation. 

Oh! Also this: I miss being “in touch” with the world in the manner I was when I worked full time. I once worked in a happening city and I felt more relevant to everything; now I feel a lot more removed. When I fantasize about going back to work, the top three things I covet are: being flush with “my own” cash, wearing serious clothes, and being out where things are happening and ideas are being shared. Actually, that notion of being where ideas are being shared is a lot of what is met by coming to this website. 

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6 minutes ago, Quill said:

 One more con I wasn’t aware of at first: there are some really nutcakes in the homeschool world. It’s always a special experience when they join your co-op and then wreak havoc...But to be fair, there’s a nutcake or two in any vocation.

This is SO true! There's a whole lotta crazy I would've remained blissfully ignorant of had all my kids attended B&M schools the whole way through. Some of it is whackadoodle-but-harmless. Unfortunately some of it isn't. I fear that bureaucrats will overreact and start requiring a ton of red tape because of what goes on in the fringes of the HSing world.

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My kids were in public school for 8 years and we are now starting our 6th year homeschooling so I feel like I have a fairly well informed view of both. Social issues are not really a factor for our family. Most of our social group centers around our church and those kids are a good mix of public, private, and homeschool and haven't really changed regardless of where our kids go to school.

Pros: 1. Quality *and* quantity time with my kids. When they were in ps we only got an hour or so after supper and homework of family time. 2. More time to do outside the box stuff like volunteer at a Food Pantry every few weeks. Since it's open during ps hours we never would have had that opportunity together. 3. Go at their own pace. Oldest did Calc 1 and 2 and now is starting college in Calc 3. Our local ps only offers Calc 1 and few students pass the AP exam with a high enough score to test out of it. On the other end of the spectrum, one of my other kids took 2.5 years to finish Alg 1 and 2 because he needed more time. In ps he would have been pushed to finish it whether he had the material mastered or not. 4. Less stress because *I* set our schedule, not one imposed on me by the school board.  5. No more school fundraisers ?

Cons: 1. It's hard. Being completely responsible for your kids' educations is not a small thing.  But the rewards are proportionate to the work put in, so that one evens out in my opinion. 2. Constant self-doubt, but I think all moms feel that, so I don't know that it's unique to homeschooling. 3. The biggest con that I have seen since we made the switch is that now my kids seem to think *everything* in life should be as flexible as homeschooling is. Due dates, wake up times, educational requirements (mine, not the state's), personal hygeine, chores, you name it, it is now up for debate according to my kids. Which can be tiring.

Obviously we are still homeschooling so we think the pros outweigh the cons! ?

Edited by Momto5inIN
Eta: in regards to intellectual stimulation, I have found that homeschooling actually helps stimulate my brain and I've learned a ton!
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I have so many pros, I know I do, but tonight I'm not in a mental place to recognize them. I am overwhelmed and maxed out. 

Cons:

Time. I feel like I could get this dang house under control and organized if I just had time each day without the kids. I could gain some sanity. I could have silence without having to stay up until midnight every night. Really needing a break right now and this year hasn't even started. 

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My kids have pretty much always been home, except one year in EI for ds.  We started homeschooling when he was 4 and he's about to turn 13, so 9 years.

Pros specifically for us:
The kids can learn at exactly the pace needed for them, whether it's moving faster or slower (or both depending on the subject).
We're better able to help them deal with their quirks - ds has Aspergers, SPD and is gifted, while dd has anxiety and probable adhd.   School would be very difficult for both of them for different reasons.
More time together.
Letting them get as much sleep as they need, on the schedule that works for them (mostly). This seems to be coming into play more now that they are getting close to the teen years.

Cons:
Sometimes it's scary being in charge of their education.  But there are so many resources out there for outsourcing or assistance that I'm not sure that's a big con.

I actually went back to work a few years ago after 8 years at home and after a few weeks temping, had a position paying as well as what I had been making 8 years before, so I personally don't have that as a con anymore.  I still freelance for the company I worked for, so I'm keeping up skills, contacts, and resume.   I also have a business teaching science to homeschoolers, and I'm a STEM coordinator for another local company.  So, I've found ways to bring in some income while continuing to homeschool.   Only the freelance would have worked when the kids were younger since that I can do anytime and anywhere.   The others I can do along with homeschooling partially because the kids are older (old enough to do some work independently, old enough to spend some time home alone).

I'd like to say the lack of time for keeping a neat house is a Con, but to be perfectly honest, I doubt my house would be much better if we didn't homeschool.  Partially because if we didn't homeschool I'm sure I'd be working full time.  Partially because I'm a pretty lousy housekeeper even in the best of situations.

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Pros:  Great family time, flexibility, kids learn to think independently

Cons:  Esp. for really ambitious kids - the inability to take part in some neat academic and extra curricular opportunities that would also open the door to other opportunities

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Oh man, my brain was supposed to be on holiday? I've learned more whilst homeschooling than at any other time of my life. Dh too. Homeschooling becomes a family culture of always learning cool stuff!

My biggest personal pro -

flexible schedule. My dh doesn't work a standard 9-5/5 day week shift, he would hardly see the kids if they went away to school.

Con - not enough hours in the day, money in the bank and energy in the tank to do everything we want to. More intense time to pass on my personal character flaws... ouch!

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Oh, this has weighed on my mind very heavily the last few weeks especially as we've just put all of ours into PS.

Homeschooling

Pros:

Flexibility

 freedom (from bureaucracy, school rules, and schedules)

time efficient (especially so in elementary)

individualized education

family time

greater autonomy for kids (and part of that autonomy is letting them decide they want to go to PS)

more time and freedom to focus on life and other non-academic skills

 

Cons:

Loss of pay and career

fewer social opportunities

fewer EC opportunities

lack of subject experts without outscourcing (nbd for younger grades more so for older grades- learning on your own from a textbook is not the same as learning from a teacher trained in that field using the same textbook)

being fully responsible for your child's education

 

For my son, I believe the social aspects were his biggest reason for wanting to go to PS. We have so few teenage hs'ers and the ones we do have either don't attend events or are not good matches for friends (and quite frankly not the kind of kids I want him hanging around). He made friends in Scouts, not through hs 'ing and he is now attending school with those kids and they are great kids- well-behaved and academically minded (all taking honor classes like ds). He has always loved learning with others, we did so much together even this last year for 7th, it would have been great if we would have had been in an area with an academic co-op, maybe that would have been enough? IDK. As it is we don't have that and he is thrilled to be in classes learning with other kids who want to learn.

For my younger two, I do not see PS worth it, I really don't, and if our situation is not what it was I would not have put them in at all. If things improve I hope I can bring them back home, at least until they are older but I guess we'll see what we all think about it once they get a bit further into the year. 

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Lots of the above, plus:

Pros:
My little kids get to be little kids for as long as they like. My 11yo still brings plushies to co-op in his backpack, and none of his friends think that's weird. Or they don't say it's weird. They have influences from all over, but none of them has felt pressured to "be cool".  Watching friends and relatives' kids trying to "be cool" in second grade hurts my heart.
My big kids get to be treated like real people preparing for adulthood. They (mostly) get to choose their course of study. They find and collaborate with mentors. They mostly handle their own business with the occasional (not incessant) signature or check needed from me. They learn to manage their days and responsibilities without having every minute micromanaged for them. They take on real leadership roles. They carry their own medications and knives. (<--- That's one we do have to stay aware of though. We have been known to forget that's not acceptable everywhere.)  Also, they make their own "cool", and gravitate toward people who appreciate their unique qualities.  Typically, those are other people with wonderful unique qualities.
Everything is an opportunity for learning.  I don't just mean that the 8th trip to the zoo that year is automatically educational. If the sink gets clogged, mini lesson on plumbing.  Cut your leg open? Get a "free" (haha) lesson on numbing agents, skin layers, and general healing from the doctor stitching you up. Camping? Lesson on invasive species to understand why you can't bring your own firewood. Exciting movie coming out? Read the book, then compare the two "for school".
Rabbit trails and nothing being off limits. My kids don't have to censor themselves or their opinions to avoid offending their teacher or other students in the class, or fear looking "stupid". They can talk about politics, crime, social justice, economics, religion, sex, relationships, controversial movies, weird music, or ask where farts come from (sorry, I felt like I was focused too much on teens) without being shut down.  They never have a reason to walk away from a lesson with unanswered questions.

Cons:
Gas money. In my area, everything is drive, drive, drive.
For me, finding balance.  95% of everything I do is for my kids or my home or my spouse, and it has been for about 17 years. I'm absolutely not balanced, but I do try very hard to keep a tight grip on that 5%.
Raising extremely confident kids is excellent for them, but it can be excruciating for me.  Some day, I'll be able to utter a sentence without hearing "But..."

Pro/Con:
I do not teach to the test, follow traditional courses of study, or focus on right/wrong answers in the humanities. So I get super nervous when my kids have important tests for things like fire school, drivers ed, or dual enrollment placement. And I get *super* annoyed when they don't take my studying advice.  And then I get SUPER irked when they knock it out of the park anyway. @@.   In other words, I drive myself nuts.

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I’m in my 16th year of homeschooling. I agree with so many of the pros and cons that have already been written. For me, one of the biggest pros is the relationship I have with my children. I really enjoy spending time with them. I’ve got 2 teens and a 20 yo and though the parent child relationship is still there, I see it evolving into something based on mutual respect and admiration. 

One of the biggest cons is the sports aspect for my athletic kid. In this area, once homeschoolers hit middle school there is very little for serious athletes. For this reason, this year will probably be my last as a homeschooler. We are most likely putting our youngest in school next year.

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Totally agree with many of the views above.........some thoughts I didn’t see mentioned on my quick read.

I loved being able to pick our curriculum and adjust it at will.  The kids (or me) were bored with something and we moved on. Frequently after a couple of months.

Travel.......We have been able to travel and move to a different country with little disruption in their education.  For several months their education was how do you move with 8 bags,  furnish a flat,  get a landline/internet,  and all of the other things.  Yes, they still did the basics but we were fitting the basics around our life.

Most importantly family time.  My Dh worked incredibly long hours at two jobs when the kids were little.  Because of home ed he could call and tell me he had cleared the next week on his calendar so pack the van.  By the time he got home we were ready to go.  We could also take field trips with Dad at a moments notice.  Because he had a long commute for his main job (self employed) he tended to drive non rush hour which meant late hours.  I adjusted the kids schedule so we ate dinner when dad got home at 9, they played or watched telly(dvds) with dad before going to bed.  It worked for us in our home ed world.  I read the going to bed books either right before bed or while waiting for dad to pull in the driveway.

 

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Pros of homeschooling:

Flexibility--not being tied to anyone else's schedule or scope and sequence or homework requirements. Freedom to teach to my children's needs as I perceive them.

Potential to avoid a lot of negative social stuff.

Potential for close sibling relationships.

More time to just enjoy my kids.

Pros of brick and mortar school:

Opportunities for my kids to learn stuff I can't teach them.

Potential opportunity to socialize more for kids who crave social time.

Potential to develop mentoring relationships with adults besides parents.

Opportunity to gain social confidence and practice independence.

Opportunities such as sports and clubs and choirs that are difficult to replicate.

I'm only homeschooling part time right now, although I fully expect to have full time homeschoolers again at some future point. I mostly feel very grateful for flexible education options in our current location that have allowed me to cobble together opportunities to fit the needs of each of my children. This year I have two elementary aged children in a Chinese immersion program within our school district, one at an arts focused charter school with an IEP, one attending a two day a week private project based school with an emphasis on social and emotional skill development, and one attending three classes a week plus extracurriculars at a military focus charter school. I've still got plenty of homeschooling and afterschooling to keep me busy.

I miss the time together and the flexibility from when we were just homeschooling but there are things my kids are learning that I could not have facilitated on my own. 

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When I made the decision to put my kids in b&m earlier this year, I wrote out a big pro/con list so I could go back and re-visit my thought process any time. I'll try to dig that out later today. But off the top of my head:

Pros:

Flexibility. We could do whatever we wanted and weren't answerable to anyone else.

More play time for young kids.

No busy work.

Working at our own pace.

Schooling wherever we felt like. Last fall it was usually around a campfire. In the winter it was snuggled on a couch.

Last minute and/or off-season traveling! Our new school takes a very dim view on pulling kids out. 

Cons:

We had individual and family needs that were going unmet. I needed more alone time, my kids needed more social time, DH needed more non-stressed wife time, and we all needed to get away from each other once in a while. B&M will solve all those in one fell swoop.

I learned that I really hate ferrying my kids to all the activities, especially if someone is in a mood (and usually someone is). School is a one-stop shop that includes just about everything if you count afterschool sports and clubs.

It's frighteningly easy for issues to fly under the radar when it's your own kid and there's no child expert in your life to point them out. My aspie doesn't show any of the typical red flags for autism. For example, he does make eye contact, just not enough, and it takes someone who's familiar with lots of children to notice all the little things like that. If he hadn't needed speech a few years ago, we might still not have a diagnosis.

Unbiased grades and feedback from teachers.

Positive peer pressure. If all the other kids are quietly doing their math without complaint, my kid will too. Doesn't always work that way at home.

Delayed gratification. Lunch and breaks are at a set time, and it truly will not kill you if you have to wait until then to eat or get a drink of water.

It's nicer to just be mom.

I laughed out loud when I read a previous post about the kids getting a little too flexible with things like routines and personal hygiene. Yep. 

Kids don't always want mom's advice. I know one of my kids will just love the Boxcar Children, and it's sitting right there on the shelf, but since I suggested it...nope.

Here's a new one that's been on my mind: I was reading a blog a couple days ago and the lady was going on about all the religious stuff she has her kids doing. Most comments were rooting her on, but one said to be careful, because her husband's mom had been a homeschooler who made him do All The Religious Things, and it backfired horribly, really stunting his growth in multiple ways. As a mommy who can get gung-ho about things (not just religion), that really gave me pause and made me think about balance in life. I'm so thankful that we'll have a b&m school in our lives to give us structure and balance. 

 

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Okay, here are a few from the mom of a rising fifth-grader homeschooled since preK...

Pros

Calendar/schedule control: DS really benefits from having a lot of school days, and not too long. He's the kind of kid who would be both bouncing off the walls three days into summer break and very difficult to get to do homework in the evening once school started again. There's time for breakfast with Daddy every morning. Grandma and Grandpa like to visit the first week in May before it gets too hot--and they can. Not having to adhere to someone else's calendar, over the years we've done Disney in October, Carlsbad in I think May, DC in January, etc.

Limits of peer influence: He doesn't feel pushed to grow up fast. Totally willing to come up to a parent and reach for a hug or kiss even away from home. He never sees kids IRL acting like it's not cool to read a history book, or whatever. Nobody scrutinizes our choice of shoes.

Academics: I don't have a problem with teaching him at his level in each subject (a span of three or even four grades from his strongest to his weakest). We don't skip science and social studies in winter/spring in a push to pass a standardized test. (I do have to administer a test, but there's no threshold he needs to reach, and in fact he does well.) There's plenty of time to simply read books.

Cons

Financial: I haven't put a nickel into retirement savings in a decade. I have no plans to earn money in the next four to possibly eight years. We're in good shape so far because DH has been earning a good salary and we've been able to save, but it would be nice to have, for example, a back-up option for health insurance.

Risk: Having me choose DS's subjects and curricula and teach them is putting a lot of eggs in one basket; there's no knowing how it would compare to what he'd get in a school. (I'm a former teacher, but not elementary.) I outsource only piano, scouting, PE and (starting in a couple of weeks) Spanish. We don't do a co-op for the same reasons we didn't choose a B&M school. And everything I do outsource costs money.

Wear on the teacher: I'm on duty an awful lot of the time. (Of course, part of that is just being a parent!) I've had to cut quiet time to one hour a day. Gyms here do not have child care on weekdays from 1 to 4 PM, exactly when I would like to go work out. If I didn't enjoy teaching--if what I really liked to do was accounting/dentistry/architecture/something else--I can see how I'd burn out.

Edited by whitehawk
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13 hours ago, omishev said:

I am hoping to homeschool next year and have my own list of pros and cons from what I imagine, not from personal experience. Anything else to add to the lists??

Pros

Flexible schedule (hours, days, months, vacations)

Individual attention

At your own pace

 

The above are all true IME. 

13 hours ago, omishev said:

Parental control over curriculum

More exercise, more outside time, more free time

 

 

This is can be true if you prioritize outdoor time. 

Or free time could end up being screen time. 

 

There can can also be a negative side to this if dc need a great deal of structure. Very regular structure can sometimes be better met in brick and mortar school. It depends on the children and what they need and also on the parent doing homeschooling. 

13 hours ago, omishev said:

More time for extra-curriculars, enrichment, life skills, chores etc without overscheduling them

Often true. But I have also met a lot of overscheduled homeschoolers. 

13 hours ago, omishev said:

 

More sleep

Better nutrition (school lunch is too short to eat veggies ☹ and sooo many birthday cupcakes)

 

True IME 

13 hours ago, omishev said:

More parental involvement with friendships

 

Not particularly true IME. It depends on where the friends are.  

There may be more transportation to get dc to where they can be with friends. 

I think the friends component could be a con as easily as a pro. 

13 hours ago, omishev said:

 

More family time

 

Yes. Or at least much more time with the children and parent-teacher together. Time with other parent if any would not be much different. 

13 hours ago, omishev said:

Cons

Can I do a good job? I don’t have training or experience in early/elementary education. My training is in Biochemistry and Exercise Physiology and I am not confident in my English, Literature, History, Art, Music or Foreign Language skills.

 

You would probably be able to develop the skills you need in terms of subjects or else outsource. More important may be things like patience, ability to keep on track....  soft skills parts of teaching 

13 hours ago, omishev said:

Juggling multiple children all working on separate things

Keeping the younger kids occupied while the older kids do school

 

These would be part of what I mean about soft skills parts of teaching. 

13 hours ago, omishev said:

Kids have less time with peers

 

This can be both pro or con. Less time for positive parts of peer interaction. Less time for the negative. 

13 hours ago, omishev said:

 

Selfishly…..

Putting my career (and my intellectual brain) on hold for another decade or two

Financial (living on one income)

No adult time? Time for my workouts?

 

 

Career on hold can be major. Most homeschooling parents I know keep their intellectual brains active. 

Adult time can be lessened. Especially the parts you might get at work. There may be about the same time for spouse as there would be if coping with kids in school, after school activities, homework etc. — brick and mortar school can create a lot of hectic evenings. If kids are in homeschooling groups that can give adult time with other parents. If volunteering that involves people of all ages is part of homeschooling that can also give adult interaction. 

Depending on workouts there is probably a way to work that into homeschooling. Or modifying the workouts can probably find a fit.

Some homeschooling families I have known start the day with family run, walk, bike etc.  Baby in jogging stroller with running parent, toddler on bike tagalong with biking parent, bigger kid on scooter, biggest kid on bike, for example. We had neighbors who did that. It was extremely cute as well as good exercise and family bonding. 

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PRO:

being able to tailor curriculum

field trips

flexible

CON:

money (was extremely tight when I started)

a kiddie with asd, add, LDs . . . .needing much too large a support staff for me to provide. 

e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. was a fight with him.

eta:I ended up putting him in b&m because we have a good spec. ed dept. (I cried for two weeks, partly from the burnout). I spendt a lot of my energy coordinating providers, and riding herd on him with school work.  he's getting even more resistant, now that he's a 'tween . . . .

and apparently he has the type of add that made this last clinical psych consider changing the focus of her practice to get away from it.

Edited by gardenmom5
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Many pros can be cons depending on the family.  And vice versa.  OP, take a look at your personality and see how it meshes with your goals. 

Pros: already stated in many posts.

Ability to control what grade level the kids are working at.  In our case we have accelerated learners and there's only so much they can do about that in B&M school.

I personally miss the ability to go on vacation when others are in school and to hit up pumpkin patches and whatnot during the week. 

Cons:

Lack of exercise. I actually found the exercise bit for the kids much improved by going to B&M school.  In the winter, I would have to get them bundled up just to hear whining 8 minutes later.  If I wanted the to have good exercise, it usually involved driving to an activity, which becomes a pain quickly. Now they walk to the bus stop, take gym class, have two recesses (outside in the winter and I don't have to keep picking them back outside!), etc.  It's a lot less work for me.

Less diversified academics. My kids write quality essays and read books they would have balked at for me. They do it without any hesitation at school.  

Stress on mom due to being everything to everyone.  I don't hear about any working men having to clean the bathrooms during their coffee break or keep a toddler and a baby quiet while on a conference call.

Younger kids getting ignored and left to fend for themselves while mom is working with the big kids. 

 

Now that my homeschooling days are over (at least for now) I can clearly see how some aspects of homeschooling are clearly unhealthy for the mom.  I wish homeschoolers as a whole would stop idealizing everything and be honest.  It's not for everyone.  If you like it, great!  If it doesn't work for you, then send them to school without guilt. 

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I think that pros and cons will vary a lot, based on your particular family/kids and also what is available to you locally.  As my kids get older, I'm really starting to appreciate what a great place this area is for homeschoolers.  

Pros:

My goal is to maximize learning while minimizing time spent - while some things take a long time, we move on once we understand something and don't do busy work.  We are working ahead by several grades in some areas and on grade level for areas that they find challenging.  They have lots of time to read from books that I strew about the house.  I frequently find my middle schooler reading from college or general interest adult science books.

The ability to get sleep - local rec baseball sometimes ran until after 9 for elementary school kids, so sleeping an extra hour in the morning was huge

Being able to have family time and down time despite a busy extracurricular schedule - when the kids were little, we were done by noon, and now that they are older, we finish around 2-3, with no homework.  Even if the kids are going in opposite directions for evening activities, everybody has some uncommitted time every day.  Some days we eat a big family meal together at lunchtime.  

Being able to do multiple activities  - because we have time during the day to work on scout badges and practice for Science Olympiad, we can still participate in sports that practice several days per week.  When our Science Olympiad team won state and went to nationals, I talked to kids who said that their school doesn't allow SO kids to participate in any other extracurriculars, since practices would conflict.  

My kids don't have to grow up faster than necessary. We do lots of community activities so they don't live in a 'homeschool bubble', but middle schoolers at church are coming home with stories of awful behavior that I would be shocked to see in adult interactions.  I see no reason that 12 year olds should need to put up with it.    

Great teachers - our co-op has some fantastic teachers who teach what they love, and it offers choices of enrichment classes like chess and required classes like high school literature.  I teach most things at home, but I know that if I need them, I have access to people who know things that I don't.  Teachers who teach 'extras' lessons - music, sport, etc - love teaching homeschoolers during regular school hours, so it's easier to get in with instructors who have a wait list for their limited after school spots.

My job - when my kids were little, I taught part-time at a community college.  I know that this is specific to my particular job interests, but I've been able to teach high school biology at our co-op while my kids are in class so there are no schedule issues.  I've branched out into teaching an online class, and at times I've taught a biology class based on student interests.  There are years that I read as many primary research articles and review articles as a homeschool teacher as I did as a postdoc.  Several families have asked that I teach an AP bio class in a few years, so I'll get to work on that, too.  I got drafted to fill in for another teacher with a family crisis and am also teaching a middle school study skills class this semester, so I'm reading a mix of 'how to organize' books and 'how to learn' neurobiology books right now. 

 

Cons:  

Sometimes I need a break from people asking 'why' and listening to my kids bicker.

Sometimes I get tired of trying to teach my child who wants to argue with every.thing.that.I.say. 

Sometimes I have to remind myself that homeschooling takes the equivalent hours of some jobs - when you add in my co-op teaching, a bit of volunteer work, and kid chauffering, housework sometimes suffers.  My husband never complains - he'd rather my time go into the kids than into the house - but I debate paying somebody to help clean (I havent done it yet).   

There is a lower chance that my kids will have a 'BFF' type of friendship because they don't see the same people every day.  Of course, we also avoid drama, while having lots of time around other kids at activities, co-op, and church, and there are plenty of kids in school who don't have a BFF.  

Edited by ClemsonDana
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Are you thinking of starting with a child or children who would be new to school or with children who have been in some regular brick and mortar school? 

Because I think some considerations change if starting homeschooling from the beginning versus making a change. Also if the child children have their own opinions it can matter especially if they are already tweens or older. 

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I don’t know if anyone mentioned this, but while it is possible to homeschool relatively inexpensively, I think cost of homeschooling should be considered in comparison to other options.

It is Likely to be less than an expensive private school, more than a government/ public school. It can easily become quite expensive if there is a lot of outsourcing and buying the newest and shiniest curriculum. 

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Thanks everyone! It is interesting to hear all the different perspectives. At the end of the day our decision comes down to how we feel God is directing us and I really felt we got a "no" for this year so I am keeping my 6yo in school and starting my 4yo in preschool. But I do have a lot of mixed feelings about it. We are very lucky to have access to a fabulous Christian school. My parents are covering most of the cost so we are actually spending less than I would spend on homeschooling (based on my estimations). It feels like it should be a no-brainer to keep them there but.... homeschooling has always been on my heart. 

The kids' motivation level and willingness to work for the parents is an interesting one. We have been practicing reading this summer and I'm sure DD never made a stink about it with her teacher but does almost every day with me. But this group gave me great suggestions!! 

One major PRO I didn't list is feeling more like-minded with the homeschooling community. Most of the families at the Christian school are very wealthy. Multiple children have commented on the small size of our home. They "all" go to Disney, Hawaii etc on vacations. The cars, the clothes, the toys and electronics... We live a very different lifestyle. DD is young enough that she doesn't really notice too much yet but she will. I don't want the kids growing up thinking we are poor or looking at what other kids have and they don't. We have a roof over our heads, shoes on our feet, food in our bellies, clean water to drink. We are rich. The homeschooling families I know live like us. I really respect those families, their parenting styles and enjoy spending time with them and their children. 

If the kids were all in school I would aim to work 20-25 hours a week so I would be able to drop them off, pick them up, go on field trips and be involved in their school and activities. I would want enough time to myself to be able to clean the house and do my workouts kid-free! 

I want to have another baby. DH doesn't want to have another of our own but is interested in fostering/adopting. Adding a baby to the mix would further complicate homeschooling with younger siblings BUT I know (IRL and here) many large families who somehow make it work! 

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Homeschooled mine from preschool through high school.

Pros

Custom curriculum 

Together time

Reduced peer pressure

You can work one-on-one on deficiencies and achieve mastery

Cons

Expenses for curriculum and classes; potential lost or reduced income from one parent

Unless you use only one line of curriculum and/or the same approach year-by-year, it's a lot of work to purchase and plan

Potential marriage stress as you spend a lot of time on the children

Can be tough for the one schooling to find time for exercise and self-care

We outsourced 2-4 classes for each kid in high school. I was mostly able to barter for that, but sometimes I had to pay the full price, which was sometimes hard to pull together. To me it was worth it at that level to get someone who really loved and knew the subject. As an example, I began falling down during Latin 2, and it was nice to send them to someone who knew the subject versus having to learn that myself. They also enjoyed having discussion-based history and literature classes versus doing that with Mom. My younger one did three years of math with other teachers because our thinking didn't mesh even though I am very much a math person (STEM professor). However, outside classes do tie you down to the traditional school year. So high school was a very different experience than the early years, but I have no regrets.

One is a college sophomore in English, and the other is a college junior in accounting after taking a semester off for National Guard training in the spring.

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CONS

1. It's

%&*#%^&%(@^%&()%*&^#(@&%)^&*(%&#@)%&*($&#@)%&*%&#)@(*$%(*#&%(@

hard.  Not just the actual teaching, but keeping up with it day after day after day when you've got other things on your plate and you see things that you are particular about slipping because you can't keep up with it all.

2. It's expensive, not necessarily, but sometimes... most of the time.

PROS

1. What they said

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We are starting year 3.  

Many of my pros and cons are the same.

Things like "We don't have to get up early."  This is a pro because it means that us non morning people are not forced to be up earlier than we want to be.  But at the same time, it's a con because we aren't accountable to anyone for getting up, which means we sometimes fail at it.  

The "I am in charge of all of their education" is a pro because it means that they are being taught in a way that I know will work for them.  But it's also a con because it means that there may be something out there that works or is helpful that I am unwilling or unable to try.......being the sole person in charge limits the input of new ideas, even as I participate here and start to find other homeschoolers in the area.

One major pro that I am not sure has a con is the ability to engage in non traditional learning experiences.  In another thread I mentioned a field trip to the zoo being more educational with my 3 kids than it was as a group field trip I helped with in a public school.  I can ensure my kids get more out of those sorts of things than a school can, and we can engage in more of them than a school can.  

 

One con is the amount of time it takes for me.  I just posted about having spent all day on the phone with customer service people.  This meant I wasn't able to some planning and organizing that was on my agenda, which means that tonight, I will be doing that instead of cooking.  Schooling has to take priority over my time that might otherwise be spent doing things like cooking from scratch, gardening (even as it was a part of school, our tomato plants and cuke plants are dead) and so on.  Schooling demands a lot of time and energy.  

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I have basically all the pros that people have mentioned but more--- My kids had medical issues that were very well served by being home along with the fact that although each child probably had something for an IEP, they have all done very well with my adaptations for their success as adults.  Even with my youngest, where I probably should have insisted that she go to B and M school for high school, (she did not want to go due to social anxiety, etc but we did do co-ops, learning academies and dual enrollment plus lots of extra curricular.)   Well this dyslexic child got As in her literature and other classes with a lot of reading carrying a 4 course schedule.  (She is such a better reader since she was homeschooled that her b-i-l doesn't even believe she is dyslexic because she reads much better than he did with a B+M education).  She would not have been able to do that without letting her have the time to develop her skills on her own schedule.  

Another pro in our situation was we moved and not always in the summer after school was out.  Homeschooling was very beneficial with that.

Cons were the physical toll on my health (but the pro was that I would probably not have been able to work very much longer anyway and It gave meaning to my life which is a much, much more valuable pro)  and maybe some additional family stress (but having one child in school for one year was super stressful too because he would decompress every day when coming home and I think iit would have been even worse with number 2)>

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Just thought of a con that is funny but not really: your "know-it-all" teen will insist that she can teach herself ANYTHING through reading books & watching online tutorials. Even if it's something that she REALLY ought to take a formal class or training from a knowledgeable teacher on like welding ?

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3 hours ago, omishev said:

Thanks everyone! It is interesting to hear all the different perspectives. At the end of the day our decision comes down to how we feel God is directing us and I really felt we got a "no" for this year s

glad you're listening.

I was doing a full load last fall.  I thought I'd have gone back to school (and been done) eons ago, but other things have just gotten in the way. . . . . I felt strongly Heavenly Father wanted me to quit.    I did finally pray that "ok, I know this is the right answer - can I please feel good about it?"  I laugh at what I got for an answer.

the day after christmas . . . . my left vitreous detached.   even though it's only supposed to affect vision (which is most definitely did), I was tired and didn't feel well.  in march, my right detached.  my health continued to decline to where I thought I'd never be well again . . . . The upward trend of my health only started in July.

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46 minutes ago, Crimson Wife said:

Just thought of a con that is funny but not really: your "know-it-all" teen will insist that she can teach herself ANYTHING through reading books & watching online tutorials. Even if it's something that she REALLY ought to take a formal class or training from a knowledgeable teacher on like welding ?

 

Haha, my husband still does that... and darn it he pulls it off most of the time too!

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4 minutes ago, LMD said:

Haha, my husband still does that... and darn it he pulls it off most of the time too!

Most things I'm willing to let her learn-by-doing. Welding, however, is a definite "if you want to try, it needs to be under the safe supervision & guidance of somebody knowledgeable" (and no one in our household fits that description). I'm willing to pay the class fee even if she doesn't think it's a good use of money.

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If you choose to foster/adopt that's a whole other set of pros and cons lists.

Cons can vary by location.  Specific to the state I'm in now:

1. Some homeschool communities have generally lower academic standards than others, so support and advice for people with higher standards is harder to come by.
2. Some homeschool communities choose to outsource mainly online rather than in co-ops and classes which may not be the kind of educational experience everyone is looking for.

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If you choose to foster/adopt that's a whole other set of pros and cons lists.

Cons can vary by location.  Specific to the state I'm in now:

1. Some homeschool communities have generally lower academic standards than others, so support and advice for people with higher standards is harder to come by.
2. Some homeschool communities choose to outsource mainly online rather than in co-ops and classes which may not be the kind of educational outsourcing experience everyone is looking for.

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Quote

ne major PRO I didn't list is feeling more like-minded with the homeschooling community. Most of the families at the Christian school are very wealthy. Multiple children have commented on the small size of our home. They "all" go to Disney, Hawaii etc on vacations. The cars, the clothes, the toys and electronics... We live a very different lifestyle. DD is young enough that she doesn't really notice too much yet but she will. I don't want the kids growing up thinking we are poor or looking at what other kids have and they don't. We have a roof over our heads, shoes on our feet, food in our bellies, clean water to drink. We are rich. The homeschooling families I know live like us. I really respect those families, their parenting styles and enjoy spending time with them and their children. 

This has been an enormous pro for me all these years. My dearest friends are from my homeschooling community in most cases. Our philosophies of life are similar; our beliefs about what is good for kids or not so good are much more often similar than not. My kids have had close friends whose parents I thoroughly know and trust;  my dd’s boyfriend is from our homeschool community. And one of her best friends, whom she just went out with last night, was from our homeschool playgroup when they were 6yo. 

Once my kids entered high school, which was a private Christian school, I immediately saw their awareness raised about “things.” One of my older kids was more affected by this than the other. I really dislike this a lot; I don’t want my kids to get caught up in the giant hamster wheel of consumption. It’s not just the kids, either - the parents are socially competitive, too. It’s all just so eye-rolly to me. I cannot stand posturing. I like talking to people about knitting or cooking or books or politics. 

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4 hours ago, Pen said:

I don’t know if anyone mentioned this, but while it is possible to homeschool relatively inexpensively, I think cost of homeschooling should be considered in comparison to other options.

It is Likely to be less than an expensive private school, more than a government/ public school. It can easily become quite expensive if there is a lot of outsourcing and buying the newest and shiniest curriculum. 

 

And is easily the most expensive option if you factor in loss of earnings for the person staying home to homeschool.

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One con that I wish we’d thought about more thoroughly is that the homeschooling community is a counter-cultural one.  If homeschooling is the only counter-cultural thing you do, or if your other “weird” traits are more peripheral than primary, it’s a heck of a lot harder to find those close friendships.  We’re sort of elliptical pegs - rounded, but not really fitting in a round hole.

I’d love to find other families in the homeschooling circle of our lives who we can meet up and go to a ballgame together, but I’d guess the vast majority of the groups we encounter are somewhere between apathetic to antagonistic toward organized and professional sports.  We do stuff like that with sports teammates, but they don’t really get homeschooling, and the kids are pretty much bonded based on what school they attend. So we end up with a lot of acquaintances but few vibes leading to closer friendships.

We get by and get along with everyone, but it’s so much harder to drag ourselves out to the social stuff when the clicking isn’t happening all that often.

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Starting 21years homeschooling, 2 college grads, one in college, and a 15yo @ home. We've used independent homeschooling charters, co-ops, and just at-home learning with some dual enrollment in high school.

Pros -- Freedom (to choose materials, to choose schedule, to choose activities, to choose projects, to choose service opportunities, to choose to start our day with Bible)
Academics -- At the time we started the kids would have gone to a 70% ESL school and my concern was that they would be either bored or ignored, or both. Even the child who struggled with academics has had success, mostly because homeschooling taught her how to work hard and expanded her vocabulary, gave her scaffolding.
Scheduling -- We had time to be in clubs and youth groups without worrying about homework assigned by other people, so much less stress
Good friends -- Definitely appreciate the like-mindedness for me, but there was a smaller pool of friend possibilities for my kids than a classroom would have provided.
No dealing w/public school system -- The frustrations of dealing w/a charter were tolerable; I could tell from that experience that I would not be a good public school parent
No fads -- I remember having to explain beanie babies to my kids....they had no idea why they were such a big deal.
Shared responsibility -- I wanted the kids on the learning and housekeeping team early and pursued activities where they learned leadership.
Mentors -- Each of my kids found a mentor, one thru 4H (horse project leader), one thru art (ceramics teacher), one thru charter (overseeing teacher), and those relationships had far more time to develop than would have happened otherwise.
Early employment -- I don't know that this is specific to homeschooling, it's just different from how I grew up. The first started work @ 18 due to no driver's license; the other two started @ 16 in the summertime (camp, lifeguard) and have grown into more and more responsibility and learned to handle their $$ pretty well.

Cons -- No sports (this would be my son; we didn't even have $$ for local teen sports when he was small, let alone as he aged up)
Horses (this would be my daughter; we were able to do a horseless horse project thru 4H and she is now a project leader, going on 14years with them)
$$$ -- Not only the cost of curriculum, but layoffs can be very stressful in a one-earner household. I did do some freelancing at my old job, and now I am teaching very p/t at our homeschool group....in no way does it provide the cushion we really need. We opted for curriculum over almost any other expense so my kids have learned the fine art of thrift store shopping and take pride in it; they are all pretty thrifty adults. My first year at home after a high-stress job (with a 5yo, 3yo, and newborn) was a huge adjustment.
Smaller pool of friends -- This worked out OK in the end, but each of my kids got to experience the joy of exclusion, even in a homeschool group. I'm not sure it's avoidable, and it's made them more sensitive.

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Pros: 
Freedom and flexibility in what and how we study (reaching their learning style, their level, covering the things we value, creating an atmosphere of learning, etc)
Schedule flexibility, especially in early years
Close relationships with and between my children
Dad can be an active part of school

Cons:
This is a hard job, with no pay, and little appreciation (sometimes outright hostility)
Flexibility can turn into contortions that nearly break you (I had to learn to stand firm on some things)
Costs
Finding a peer group is difficult (smaller cross section of people, and with varying educational standards/expectations, and some people very exclusive especially on basis of faith)
Dealing with the outside world that doesn't know homeschooling or has stereotypes/prejudices
 

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Pros (not exhaustive):

Tailored education in many ways (academically, religiously, socially, etc.)

I get to be with them and see the milestones and all of that.

A degree of flexibility and not having to do things just because the school or everyone else does them that way

Teaching is great for reinforcing my own education.

My kids get each other as their main peer group.

My kids have flexibility for their personal needs -- sleeping later if they need to, drinking water when their bodies tell them to, peeing when they need to without having to ask for a hall pass, and dealing with periods without a hassle.

They're avoiding a lot of the undesirables about a public school setting, especially socially.

I get to stay home every day.  I have no career I miss, there's nothing I really can think of that I wish I could do, and since I'm homeschooling my older ones anyway, I feel no pressure to put my babies in daycare and go back to work.

I have to hone my organizational skills in order to keep it all flowing well.

Being able to be at the beach the day after Memorial Day, instead of the hot, crowded summer days.

No school lunches

When my husband got hurt, and then I ended up in the hospital, and then we had a NICU baby, and then when we lost that baby, I did not have to send my confused, heartbroken, stressed children to school and expect them to focus and do well.  Instead, they got to cry when they felt like it without embarrassment, and they got to put school on hold and finish over the summer.

When it's a good day, it's really, really rewarding and a ton of actual FUN!  Like, really, really cool!  

 

Cons:

It is sometimes (often!) really tiring, physically as well as emotionally, especially since I tend to be introverted.

House is harder to keep clean with kids here all day.

The time crunch is real.

Sometimes my kids fight, and sometimes they just need breaks from each other (or from me), which is harder to get.

I feel a lot of pressure to do a good job.  

Especially as they get older, I don't enjoy or want to teach every subject, and especially with time crunches, it's hard to do all of them well.  I don't enjoy science enough, for instance, to want to devote my limited time and energy to learning how to do a really good job with high school level science, and critiquing their writing always feels too personal to me.

Sometimes I want to be the mom, but I have to be the teacher, and knowing the right balance between the two at any given time can be hard.

I have less time to play with my smaller ones because I can't neglect the older ones' schooling.

No matter what else I have going on, I can't neglect their schooling.

We make do with less money.

 

I feel weird listing cons, though.  Some of those would be the same anyway.  I'd volunteer at their schools, and this year, for instance, I'd have five kids in three schools, and that's a lot of stuff to remember and manage, plus packing lunches, plus getting my 10 year olds up on the bus at 6:55 am.  I'd be differently tired and differently busy, and with one kiddo half-day (K), that would still make it harder to have a job.  I don't think you can make a necessarily objective list, because a lot of it is subjective, and the pros outweigh the cons, for us.

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4 hours ago, Crimson Wife said:

Just thought of a con that is funny but not really: your "know-it-all" teen will insist that she can teach herself ANYTHING through reading books & watching online tutorials. Even if it's something that she REALLY ought to take a formal class or training from a knowledgeable teacher on like welding ?

Hahahahaha!  For better or for worse, my children truly got my husband's and my DIY gene.  They are absolutely sure (as is DH, and probably me too) that we can learn anything we want from books and tutorials.  I like to think they'd be like that even if we weren't homeschoolers, but that certainly helps.

 

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50 minutes ago, happypamama said:

Hahahahaha!  For better or for worse, my children truly got my husband's and my DIY gene.  They are absolutely sure (as is DH, and probably me too) that we can learn anything we want from books and tutorials.  I like to think they'd be like that even if we weren't homeschoolers, but that certainly helps.

 

I remember one time I was watching a show on HGTV that features people “flipping” a house for the first time. In this episode, the young lady had this awesome binder, with tabs, and all/most info needed to perform some function in each section, such as, “installing tile,” “sanding hardwood,” “replacing plumbing fixtures.” I was sort of in awe of that binder. I just wish I could get a good look at it! It made me wonder if she was homeschooled, lol! 

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21 hours ago, omishev said:

One major PRO I didn't list is feeling more like-minded with the homeschooling community. Most of the families at the Christian school are very wealthy. Multiple children have commented on the small size of our home. They "all" go to Disney, Hawaii etc on vacations. The cars, the clothes, the toys and electronics... We live a very different lifestyle. DD is young enough that she doesn't really notice too much yet but she will. I don't want the kids growing up thinking we are poor or looking at what other kids have and they don't. We have a roof over our heads, shoes on our feet, food in our bellies, clean water to drink. We are rich. The homeschooling families I know live like us. I really respect those families, their parenting styles and enjoy spending time with them and their children. 

 

I am economically less well off than many others around me and have had that problem in private, public, and homeschooling circles. 

If you have found a good group of compatible people among homeschooling families, I suggest that you go out of your way to build those friendships even if your children are in brick and mortar school. 

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I’m entering my 17th year of homeschooling and my youngest is a high school senior this year. I’m trying not to repeat what was listed above. ?

Pro:  Your kid can read and write cursive. 

Con:  I’m tired. So. Very. Bone. Tired. I’m having trouble rallying for this last year. I’ll pull it together in a minute, but summer feels so easy because I’m just a mom then. 

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3 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

Con:  I’m tired. So. Very. Bone. Tired. I’m having trouble rallying for this last year. I’ll pull it together in a minute, but summer feels so easy because I’m just a mom then. 

 

My youngest asked to graduate a year early, and I no reason to fight her. I was tired too. Her senior year was a rough year for us as a family, and she pretty much schooled herself. I was pretty sloppy on her grading, but she went through her freshman year of college with only one "B" and the rest "A" grades. So it all came out in the wash.

They both live at home and commute to their colleges, and it's so nice just playing cheerleader and handing out chores.?

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13 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

 

Pro:  Your kid can read and write cursive. 

 

?   And my mother would have said that was one of the best reasons for home education!

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Pros are mostly the things everyone else has said, things like being able to cope with individual needs and make your own schedule. 

Cons are isolation and lack of social opportunities, there's not a lot going on in the home education world here for kids over about 9 and no teen community really. Also finding reliable sources for qualifications both materials and exam centres is hard. Things change so fast and I'm not finding options as reliable as I would hope. 

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