This post is not what you think. I recently came across an article where the author describes the disadvantages of homeschooling in 6 points. After homeschooling for 7 years now, I can honestly say this author doesn't have a clue. It always amazes me when people criticize homeschooling but have never done it or have never met a homeschooler. I have no idea if this author has ever homeschooled (I'm thinking he/she has not from the short and sweet list provided).
The author lists time, cost, socialization, lack of facilities, patience, and motivation as the disadvantages of homeschooling.
So here are my thoughts on the author's key points.
Time~ Yes, time is a big concern. As a parent who has taken on the task of homeschooling her children, I am well aware that there will be a lot ( and I mean A LOT) of time devoted to teaching my children. I would be a fool if I had not realized this. No homeschooling mother has ever said, "yup, I am going to have all the free time in the world now that I am homeschooling!" Here's a news flash....we do not sit around watching TV and eating chocolates. It gets a little annoying when people ask, "What do you do all day?" I spend hours planning my children's curriculum and hours teaching them. I start planning for the next school year in March and we do some subjects year round. My house is in a constant disarray. I joke all the time that if I sent my kids to school my house would be clean.
Cost~ Cost can vary. I know families that spend thousands of dollars a year on curriculum and others that spend no money. We spend about $600-$800 a year for two children. This includes books, supplies, co-ops, field trips and extracurricular activities. We use a lot of free resources we find online and books from the library.
Socialization~ UGH! Homeschoolers are so sick of this topic. Our kids are socialized.. My kids are part of a co-op that meets weekly, a homeschool group that meets 3 times a month, soccer, violin, choir, CCD classes, play dates and yes they have friends! We can have events planned everyday of the week if we really wanted to, but we don't. If we did everything we were invited to do, we would never have time for school. Our kids socialize with the postmaster, the librarians, the store clerks, and any other person they meet while we are out and about.
Facilities~ No, we don't have a chemistry lab, but you would be amazed what can be done in your own kitchen. Homeschoolers have the advantage of joining co-ops that help provide various activities that can meet these needs. Gyms have homeschool P.E. classes and many counties have a pool that we can use. My kids swim every summer since we have a pool. Running tracks, we have our yard. My kids ride their bikes almost daily and if we walk to our mailbox and back, we have walked 3 miles. I would rather have my kids playing outdoors rather than being cooped up in a stuffy gym. Parks and Rec provides children with plenty of opportunities. Sadly, with all the budget cuts to schools, most schools are losing many of their extracurricular activities anyway.
Patience~ Of course, we lose our patience at times. Who doesn't? There isn't a parent out there that hasn't. You don't have to be a homeschooling parent to lose your patience. I have seen plenty of teachers lose their patience with students in schools. I remember a teacher throwing an eraser at a boy in my class for not paying attention. None of us are perfect.
Motivation~ Most homeschool children are not homeschooled by themselves. Most families have plenty of children hanging around ready and willing to motivate their siblings. This seems especially true when mama doesn't want it. I have two blessings from God who are 17 months apart. Believe me, they are competitive. Princess P has been determined to do anything her big brother has down since she could walk. Parents can easily keep their children motivated and challenged. I know my children better than any teacher could ever know them. I know what will motivate them and what won't.
Homeschoolers have nothing against teachers or parents that send their children to school. That is there choice. We have made a choice that we believe is right for our families. We just wish people would be more respectful of our choices.