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Home Schooling? Advantages and Disadvantages

The topic of today’s communique is Home Schooling: Advantages and Disadvantages.  As a parent I have been tempted into home schooling with my oldest daughter and as a school leader I felt it relevant to share some thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of taking the leap into home schooling.

 

Home Schooling: Advantages and Disadvantages

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Home Scholars can dictate and decide on which curriculum.There can be a narrowing of curriculum placing students at a disadvantage later in life as they have not completed a general education.
Strong bonds develop between parents and the child.Developing minds need stimulating not stifling and this comes through exposure. If a home scholar is not willing to spend time creating opportunities for interaction with peer group members, this can be very detrimental to a child’s psychological, academic and physical growth.
Home school allows for adaptable teaching styles.A good school will adapt teaching styles to meet the needs of the child. If a parent is not a trained teacher the diagnostics, development and implementation of professional teaching standards can be very time consuming, difficult and de-motivating. Also, children learn through a variety of styles and the goal is to develop as many styles as possible. An uninitiated or untrained teacher will not have the know-how to vary to the extent required.
Not time-driven and extra time can be spent on mastering skills and not simply addressing them.Time is of the essence and whilst it is important to master key skills it can quickly become apparent that there isn’t enough time for the remainder of a curriculum. Both parents and child can become disaffected through not having the time outside of the home classroom.
Home scholars can have a flexible schedule.Flexibility is fine but is not a true reflection of the world of university and work where deadlines need to be met. Scheduling can become very difficult as scholars and parents try to fit schooling around an everyday life.
Home scholars can be sheltered from the negatives in society – drugs, bullying, alcohol and generally negative influences.Sheltering can lead to an explosion when exposed later in life. Depression at the lack of interaction and boredom with the same company is common.
Vacations can be taken at any time.Again this is more time spent in the folds of parents and this time can result in dependency culture and an inability to develop independence later, when required.
Socialisation is a key element of a child’s development. Learning from others helps a child to grow in ways parents cannot provide: play is a key element of developing social skills, team working, motor skills, manners and an understanding of ‘how things work’.
Co-operation and the ‘contract’ between a child and a parent can become very tiring, very quickly and needs to be managed carefully otherwise either party can quickly become disenfranchised with the process.
Burn-out is a reality for parents who run busy lives as well as educating their children.
Parental self-doubt can be a real issue, especially when interacting with other parents and breaching new topics and subjects.
Resources can be very difficult to come by if not ‘in the system’. Science, in particular, can become very expensive with the need to purchase essential equipment.
Becoming a peri-teacher is not an easy process. Teachers train for four years prior to developing the necessary skills required to teach effectively. Even after the initial teacher training, teachers can take up to two further years to develop the necessary skills for planning, time management, assessment and lesson delivery. This can result, again, in burn out from the parents’ perspective.
Finally, there can be a stigma attached to home schooling from a societal and academic perspective: many people understand the advantages of a school education and those in higher and further education can perceive home schooling as a soft option lacking in the academic rigour required to prove a child’s abilities – irrespective of how able a child may be.

Again, these are thoughts from both myself and from a whole of host of websites and psychologists who have spent time looking at the benefits and disadvantages of home schooling.

 

The only real piece of advice I can give at this juncture if you or friends/colleagues are considering the home schooling option is to think long and hard, do the research, speak to the professionals and act solely in the interests of the child.

 

Many thanks for taking the time to read this information document.  Should you, or anyone you know wish to come through and discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me via email (paul.page@royalschool.ro) and we can arrange a time to meet.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

P. Page

Head of Royal School

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