Advantages Of Homeschooling
Homeschooling is increasingly becoming a popular option among families with school-aged children. Due to numerous factors such as a developing understanding of how children learn; large class sizes; increased standardised testing; bullying; stress and not getting the desired school places as well as the innate advantages of homeschooling, more and more parents are looking to homeschool in the UK. Homeschooling pros and cons are of course what any prospective home educating parents will consider before committing to it.
I have a full library of homeschooling posts including information on socialisation, unschooling, learning to read and more so please feel free to use those, as well as my popular list of 100+ brilliant UK homeschooling resources (many of which are FREE!)
Our family has been homeschooling since our eldest was born; none of our children (we have three) have ever been to nursery or school, instead experiencing different social and academic opportunities. One of the things that people ask me most is “what are the advantages of homeschooling?” as the lifestyle is hard to imagine if you don’t know a few people doing it already. The advantages of homeschooling are as numerous as drops in the ocean and the best bit is that because every child is unique, the benefits will be unique to their character and personality as they have the freedom to flourish authentically. I make no secret of the fact that we love homeschooling, and so I have put together this list of 40 advantages of homeschooling- and there are many more! At the bottom of this post I have balanced out the homeschooling pros and cons with some of the tougher bits of committing to a homeschooling lifestyle.
After reading the list you may be interested in checking out answers to the 10 most frequently asked questions about homeschooling, as well as 10 things to consider before you commit to homeschooling your child.
40 Advantages Of Homeschooling
- Homeschooling gives your family quality time together- in a world where we are increasingly ‘busy’ and rushed, it is a special thing to be able to share a significant amount of time together as a family.
- It also gives children freedom to spend more quality time with their friends- we don’t have time limits where we need to cut playdates short, and trips out together often give them the whole day to socialise uninterrupted.
- Homeschooling offers children a significant opportunity to mix with children of different ages. Most schools have classes of one narrow age group; homeschooling circles include everyone from babies to teenagers. The younger children learn how to play from the older kids, and older children learn to be caring and inclusive to the little ones.
- Children have ample time to pursue their own hobbies and interests; their own interests can be prioritised instead of squeezed between school classes and work. This has the twofold benefit of being good for their mental health, and allowing them more chance to become accomplished at their hobby as they can spend more time on it.
- When your child learns something new, achieves something or grasps a new concept you are, more often than not, there for that wonderful moment.
- There is no school run
- There is no homework
- No ironing uniforms
- No book or schoolbags to pack
- No permission slips to sign
- No parents’ evenings
- Bedtimes are less of a stress because the whole family doesn’t have to be out of the door super early, so it matters less if the kids are asleep ‘on time’
- Mornings are more relaxed and enjoyable because there isn’t the mad rush (although to be honest no matter what time I have to leave the house, I feel like I’ve been rushed!)
- Children are not compared to their peers with grades and are therefore more confident in their own abilities
- There are no compulsory exams which greatly reduces stress and improves children’s mental health (and parents’ stress on behalf of their children)
- Homeschooling families can take advantage of lovely weather- if it’s sunny there is nothing stopping us from being outside all day, going to the beach or having a picnic in the garden.
- If it’s raining, we can stay in and have quiet, crafty, bookish, cosy days.
- There is less pressure on children to look a certain way- no school-dictated hair length or colour, kids can wear whichever nail polish or shoes or coat they want- this helps children form their self identity and confidence.
- Creating our own schedule helps children to be intrinsically motivated and self-starting
- Your scope for a homeschooling ‘curriculum’ is unlimited- you can explore subjects and topics that schools don’t
- Bullying is far less frequent as homeschooling groups have a high adult-child ratio
- It saves the ‘taxpayer’ around £5000 per child per year, as this is how much the average per-child funding is for schools
- There are no compulsory purchases so you can spend as much or as little as you like on homeschooling
- You can travel whenever you like- no fines for taking your kids away in ‘term time’!
- Travel is waaaay cheaper as you’re not paying school-holiday prices for hotels, transport and activities
- On days out you generally have a load of space and have a high quality experience (of, say, any National Trust property, farm, museum or theme park) because most children are in school. Fewer queues, yay!
- Having flexibility with time means that you can be available to help friends, family or the community when you want to
- Children grow up without a pre-set idea of how education is supposed to look or where it is supposed to happen, which sets them up well for life-long learning
- Children become equipped to deal with prejudice (you would not believe how people respond to us being out in public on a SCHOOL DAY) and become more eloquent and confident as a result
- Children also become more accepting of alternative ways of life, because they are living a non-traditional life
- Children have ample time to be bored and learn how to self-direct
- Children have more time to learn about general life skills; shopping, cooking, laundry, budgeting, house and car maintenance- the things that can seem like peripheral activities but are actually fundamental to living
- Children are not forced to socialise with the same people every day
- Children are not forced to stay in situations that make them uncomfortable or unhappy- this is an excellent basis for being able to leave situations they don’t feel are right when they are older
- Children can spend more time outdoors
- Children can spend more time doing art, feeding their imagination and creativity
- Children can spend more time climbing, running, jumping- any physical activity that benefits their physical and mental health
- Children who are introverted can spend less time in crowds of children and more time socialising in a way that suits them (one-on-one playdates or smaller groups, for example)
- Children who are very extroverted have unlimited time to join in with meet-ups, interest-focused groups and playdates, as well as mixing with people with a huge range of ages, cultures and backgrounds
- Children cultivate close sibling relationships as they spend a lot of time together
There are of course many more advantages of homeschooling, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind when people ask me. If you can think of any more please comment below, or let me know if any of these are surprising to you?
Homeschooling Pros and Cons: The Tougher Bits
- Spending a lot more time with your children. If you have a strained relationship with your child, either because of school-induced trauma or another reason, this might be difficult at first. However, most homeschooling parents have found that their child relaxes and becomes far happier once they are out of school, leading to a better relationship. Being with your children also means you need to be a bit more organised prioritising time for yourself, whether this is spending a bit of time doing things you like while your kids get on with something else, and/or getting time to go out and take some head space.
- Another ‘con’ in the homeschooling pros and cons list is the practical disadvantage of the ‘stay at home’ parent not being able to take a regular job, which of course may impact on finances. Many parents work from home (like me) or do weekend or evening work- these posts on the costs of homeschooling and how home education impacts benefits may be of help.
- People will question you and often be rude about your decision to homeschool your child. My attitude to this is ‘meh, whatever’ but you do need to be able to grow a thick skin if this kind of thing bothers you.
- You are 100% responsible for your child’s education- technically all parents are but you can’t blame the school if you are homeschooling! This means you have to make extra effort to find activities your children enjoy and also places where they can find and make friends. When it comes to homeschooling pros and cons I would put this in both categories as it can feel like effort but it also means you deepen the relationship with your child as you are collaborating as partners to create a wonderful life and education for them!
I hope adding some ‘cons’ to this homeschooling pros and cons list is helpful- as you can see there are literally 10 times more ‘pros’ than ‘cons’, and we LOVE homeschooling! For more info and tips check out our other UK homeschooling blog posts.