When it comes down to it, every child needs school. Whether or not the question of homeschooling vs traditional school ever came across your mind is a different story but considering the fact that you’re reading this I think it’s safe to say the question must’ve crossed your mind.
I’ve had my oldest daughter in traditional school from grade 1 through 4, and half of grade 5. I then decided to pull her out of school and homeschool her instead. It was mostly for my own reasons but there were also a few reasons that were directly related to traditional school.
I’ve decided to write an article to outline the pros and cons of each to give you a better idea of the differences to inform you and hopefully make it easier for you to make your decision.
Let’s get it going!
Homeschooling Pros And Cons
- More precious time with your child(ren) – If you’re like me, you love cherishing every moment you can with your kids and what better way to do that then to homeschool. We get to teach our kids everything from the moment they’re born, from walking to eating to talking. Now, imagine teaching them all the knowledge they need to get through life. It feels great to watch them succeed and learn. It’s a huge accomplishment for you and
- No more schedules – Can you imagine waking up to your kids happy voices as opposed to that blaring alarm every morning? That’s a reality when you homeschool your kid(s). No more missing the bus, no more rushing to get the day going. Everything is based on your own schedule, completely free of the stress that is trying to get kids ready for school in the morning.
- Healthier lifestyle – When you’re at home with your kids all day you have a much better choice as to what they’re eating. Instead of rushing a bowl of cereal in the morning you have the time to make a nice healthy breakfast like bacon and eggs, french toast, pancakes, etc. Lunch is much better too since they’re not eating overly salty lunches like Fridays pizza day. Don’t get me wrong here, I love pizza but the sodium content is crazy! If you’re homeschooling your child(ren) you can make a nice homemade soup and sandwiches for lunch. Much better than a slice of pizza right?!
- No more homework – Yes, we still have to do some work during the day but since you’re the teacher you decide how much you do per day. Let’s say for example you do 2 to 3 hours of homeschooling each day, you still have so many hours left in the day to do family activities as opposed to trying to get homework done while you’re making supper.
- Homeschooling community – Homeschooling is actually starting to get pretty popular. I don’t live in a very big city (less than 50,000 population) and we have a great homeschooling community. Since our kids don’t go to school they’re not making friends but that’s not a problem when you homeschool either. The homeschooling community gets together and it allows the children to make new friends and still have the social aspect of school. It’s a plus for parents too because while the kids are playing, the parents hang out and we can make new friends too, which isn’t the easiest as an adult, let alone as a parent.
- Work at your child’s pace – One of the best things about homeschooling is that you work at your child’s pace. If your child has difficulty with a subject you can stick to it for as long as you need to unlike traditional school where they have to follow the curriculum and carry on no matter if the children are grasping the subject
or not which could lead to lower notes on the report card which in turn, leads to low self esteem for your child(ren).
- Choice of studying what interests your child – Another great part about homeschooling is that you can also teach your child about subjects that interests them. For example, my daughter loves the night sky and the universe so I can teach her about astronomy. It makes teaching a lot more fun when they’re also learning about stuff they WANT to learn because it makes them happy to be learning.
- Plenty of free online printables – I was able to download and print a while bunch of stuff for my 4 year old. Literally everything I needed to get started; alphabet, colors, numbers, seasons, days of the week, months, etc. And I got it all for free by doing a simple google search!
These are just some of the better pros of homeschooling, we’d be here forever if I listed them all because honestly, I love homeschooling.
There is just one thing I’d like to add to this part before I change over to cons because this was one of my main questions when I was trying to decide if I should homeschool. Will my child be able to go to college? The answer is yes! I’ve even read that colleges prefer to accept people who have been homeschooled because homeschooling takes a certain level of will to learn as opposed to traditional school. In traditional school they’re forced to learn, almost like the information is crammed into their brains. Like I said previously, they can’t stick to a subject that they’re having a hard time grasping. Curriculum says move on, the teacher has to move on.
Alright, now over to the cons of homeschooling.
- You have to be financially able to stay home – If your significant other has a good job and it allows you to stay home then all the better but not everyone has that option. There are other ways you could stay home with your children and make money on the side though. You could become a consultant and sell Avon, Younique, etc. You could also do what I’ve done and start up to your website to earn commission from products that you’re promoting. It’s not a get rich quick scheme but you could make some decent money in the long run.
(Learn more about that HERE)
- Less “you” time – If you’re used to having a lot of “you” time, transitioning to homeschooling could be a little bit of a change. I find it a little stressful at times because no matter what I have to do, my kids are with me. If I have important calls to make, there they are fighting with each other. Yup, they’re not angels (chuckles). You have to be ready to take it all on when you decide to homeschool.
- Buying your own supplies – If there’s anything special that you need for something that you’re teaching your child(ren), chances are you’re going to have to buy it. It’s not the case for everything and not everything comes with a heavy price tag though. (I purchased my daughter’s grade 6 curriculum book for $18 CAD)
- Travelling for homeschool group gatherings – If you’re like me and you don’t have a license or maybe you do have a license but only one family vehicle, it could make it a little harder or more expensive to get to the homeschool group gatherings if you have to take public transportation.
- Kids tend to get more restless – If we don’t take the kids out enough they tend to get restless easier if they’re used to going to school everyday. They’re used to going for recess a couple times a day, socializing, being away from mom and/or dad, so it’ll be quite the transition for them if we don’t make sure to fit in some outings or at least take them out in the yard or a nearby park.
There are most likely more or different cons for different types of families, but I’ve found these to be the most likely cons.
Traditional School Pros And Cons
- Kids socialize daily – When kids go to school everyday, they socialize with friends everyday which means they’re less likely to get restless at home.
- They learn to obey authority other than mom and/or dad – At school the kids must obey many other adults. Teachers, principal, lunch guard, etcetera, which in the long run will prepare them for having a boss when they grow up.
- Teaches them responsibility – they learn responsibility at school because they don’t have mom and/or dad holding their hand every step of the way. They have to learn to do certain things on their own.
- Extracurricular activities – Extracurricular activities are a great way for children to socialize with other kids and do something they like while gaining self-esteem when they do something well.
- Teaches kids to work and share with others – Sometimes in class there’s group projects where they have to work together to get a lesson done so it teaches them to work in groups. When the children are younger, there’s also playtime where they need to learn to share with others.
- Kids learn and get comfortable with fire drills – Schools teach kids about fore drills, the importance of fire drills and how to behave during a fire drill so that if the real thing ever happens the kids have the skills to know what to do and how to stay safe.
- You spend a lot of money of lunches – I don’t know if they did it by purpose but buying all the stuff to
send to school for your kid(s) lunches are pretty pricey. Even paying for lunches served at school is expensive too.
- Bullying – Bullying is a reality that a lot of kids have to face when they go to school. There are rules in place to try to avoid kids being bullied but that’s the worst part about bullies, they don’t care about rules. When kids are bullied it gives them low self-esteem and they’re unhappy. It might turn out to be an argument with you child when it’s time to go to school. Maybe they’ll try to say they don’t feel well. Either way, this is a huge problem with traditional school.
- Nasty teachers – Don’t get me wrong, most teachers are awesome and they love their job but my daughter has had some pretty terrible teachers too. They just didn’t care about the happiness or wellbeing of the children in class. This makes going to school another argument because what child wants a grumpy teacher who doesn’t care? No child does.
- Sickness and viruses – When there’s anything going around school, almost everyone catches it. From viruses, colds, flu and so many more, it jumps from one child to another because some are too young to use proper hygiene techniques and the oh so important “vampire cough”.(when you cough into your inner elbow)
- Back to school time is very pricey – Sending your kid(s) back to school every year is pretty expensive, especially when you have more than 1 kid. Between buying new clothes, shoes, school supplies, food and snacks for lunches, etcetera, it really hurts the bank account and credit cards.
To Sum Up
When it comes to homeschooling vs traditional school the choice is really up to you. You can always give it a try and go from there, if you like it, you can continue but if you don’t like it or whatever it may be, you could always send your child(ren) back to school. It’s all about your life, your children’s life and what you’re all comfortable with as a family.
I don’t regret taking my daughter out of school so that I could homeschool her instead. I’ve also started to homeschool my 4 year old daughter too and it helps my 2 year old follow along so she’s learning at the same time. It’s great when your kids are close enough in age like that but still works if there’s a bigger age gap.
As I said before, it’s definitely not all cupcakes and rainbows. It does get stressful, they do get restless, but the way I see it is that’d life in general. Even if your kids went to school and you had a job, there would still be stressful days but we need those days to appreciate the good times.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve found this article helpful!
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below and I’ll be more than happy to help you out!
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