I’m a big believer in homeschooling. I’ve seen both sides of the argument about whether or not it’s “better” and I have a unique perspective of my own (I was in public schools until 7th grade, at which point I was pulled out and homeschooled). At the end of the day, I believe that education should be more personalized. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t make sense because kids learn differently and have different interests. That’s my main argument for homeschooling.
There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t homeschool, though, and here they are.
1.) Your child wants to play professional team sports for a living
So, before we get into this, I’m talking about sports that are played in schools, like football, soccer, and basketball. I’m not talking about sports like ballet, ice skating, and other sports that children don’t usually partake in as public schoolers. Kids who are considering a career in those sports often are homeschooled, because they can work their school schedule around their practice schedule.
Homeschooling hasn’t really caught up in terms of competitive team sports. There are homeschool football leagues and similar programs, but homeschoolers typically don’t have much of an infrastructure for sports teams. You’ll want to do some research about your state and sport before crossing homeschooling off the list of possibilities, but you’ll definitely have to jump through some hoops to get your kid in front of recruiters.
Some public schools allow homeschoolers to play on their sports teams. Not many public schools are open to homeschoolers in this way, (even though we pay taxes for those schools) but there are some school districts that are more open-minded. Check out the rules in your area to figure out what kind of sports-homeschool situation you’re dealing with.
2.) Your child learns better in a more traditional, structured environment
Some kids actually learn better in public schools! I think that almost every child can benefit from pursuing his or her interests during the time allotted for their education, whether they are academic, sports-related, tech-related, or creative – but if your kid excels in school, you may not want to take her out of the system she’s gotten used to.
But if your child is asking to be homeschooled, you’ll definitely want to consider it. Giving your child more direction in his or her education can help them grow tremendously as a student and as a person.
If she loves to read and write, she’ll have more time to work on the novel she’s always wanted to write as a homeschooler. If he’s a budding jazz musician, he’ll have extra hours available for private lessons and recording YouTube videos of himself playing. If she wants to start her own web development business, she’ll be able to devote more of her day to building her skills and putting her business together. Giving your child the gift of more freedom over their time can be one of the most valuable things you can do for them.
The thing is, homeschooling comes with a ton of distractions. If you work from home, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Homeschoolers do best when they are self-motivated and able to finish their work before turning to TV, friends, their phone, or video games.
You know your kid better than anyone else, so think about their ability to work independently before pulling them out of school. It’s totally normal for your child to work better in an environment where they can’t escape the work they have to do. Building skills related to discipline and working independently will prove to be valuable later on in life, but if this kind of self-led setup won’t work for them then homeschooling isn’t the best choice.
3.) You don’t have the time to homeschool right now
If you don’t have time, you don’t have time! That’s no fault of yours. Come back to the idea when you feel like you’re less busy. There are some time-saving tips for homeschoolers you may want to read about, for future reference, though.
For example, you can start homeschooling without putting together any curriculum yourself. Virtual public schools like K12 are free and technically not considered homeschooling, but your child will be at home, learning, completing their schoolwork. The program will provide all the curriculum and tools required – even a computer for your kid to do their work from.
Your child will have to complete most lessons on their own but they will have access to a teacher when necessary. Also, they will probably have to meet up with the teacher and other students in an online chat room on a regular basis – something like once every week or two.
If you want a taste of what homeschooling will be like for your family, something like this can help you get an idea of how it will work for you. You won’t have to spend a dime and you’ll have a structured program for your kids to follow in every subject. By starting your homeschooling journey without having to worry about your budget or the curriculum you’re providing, you can focus on things like creating a schedule that works for your family.
4.) You already have too much on your plate
“Too much” is a subjective term, but the thing is is that you shouldn’t compare yourself to other parents. If you are feeling overwhelmed by everything on your plate while your kids are still in school, that’s ok! You are already working hard. You’re already doing the best you can for your kids. Homeschooling demands a ton of extra work and energy that you may not have and that doesn’t make you less of a parent or person.
In fact, keeping your kids in school may be better for you and your children. They’ll worry if they see you stressed out. You probably already know this, but taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to take care of your kids. Don’t homeschool until you’re pretty sure you’re in a good place in your life to commit to the changes and the extra work. If that time never comes, then rest easy knowing that you’re doing the right thing for your children by keeping them in school. For homeschooling to work for your family, it needs to work for you too.
At the end of the day, you just need to do what works best for you, your kids, and your family as a whole. Homeschooling can be a fantastic way for kids to break out of their shells or get ahead academically, but don’t let yourself feel bad if homeschooling isn’t in the cards for you right now. You’re doing the best thing for your kids and that’s what’s most important!