Some might say "no". But, a great many people are now saying "yes, there are negative aspects of homeschooling - it's harder than it seems".
At first glance it may be very easy to see the advantages and more difficult to pinpoint the challenges. However, giving fair consideration to what others have found to be negative aspects of homeschooling or you could say negative effects of homeschooling helps weigh the pros and cons of homeschooling more accurately.
There is quite a variation in outlook of what constitutes a disadvantage. There are though some common ones that many have experienced to one degree or another and is worthy of note.
Socializing - interaction with other kids is maybe at the top of the list of negative aspects of homeschooling. This one is not agreed upon by all though.
Some homeschooling parents have a fabulous support group they are connected with which gives the kids structure and lots of experiences and friends outside of the home. One homeschooling dad told me his family spent more time out with others than in the home.
Then there is the extreme opposite where one homeschooled girl spent all her days at home. Her daily routine consisted of reading the instructions and doing the work - she felt isolated and depressed.
What was the big difference between these two scenarios? Motivated parental involvement, and the ability to do so.
I even see a difference with my kids when I compare scenarios dictated by schedule. When they have a period of play and interaction with other people, especially other kids they glow with great satisfaction.
Important too is giving consideration to personality. My daughter loves to be with people - she is very sociable. Schooling at home by herself is more difficult (at the same time - such a personality can be more affected by "bad associations").
As children get older the age appropriate curriculum becomes more difficult and varied. Within school there are many teachers, each equipped to teach a different grade. Another one of negative aspects of homeschooling is reported to be the stress some parents experience because they have to learn a new curriculum every year.
Also, just sorting through the task of deciding on a curriculum can reportedly cause quite a bit of stress. There are scads of homeschooling curriculums to choose from - which one is the best for your family?
Of concern for some also is the lack of solid support by a local homeschooling group. And, then there is the obligation of meeting the state and legal requirements. Some homeschooling parents have reportedly found this to be stressful.
Within the public school system sports, music - even instrumental lessons, the arts are integrated into the curriculum at no extra monetary cost. Some homeschooling parents report that making arrangements for their children to benefit from these advantages can put a burden on the family's finances and so is considered by some to be one of the negative aspects of homeschooling.
Sport, art and music lessons are costly not to mention the fuel consumed in driving a child to these lessons.
Also, of concern with homeschooling is that kids might be at a disadvantage in not being exposed to different teaching styles. This could catch up with the child in a negative way later if they were to attend school.
A similar one of the negative aspects of homeschooling is that it might shield a child from learning how to interact with differing personalities of people, even deal with the more difficult personalities. Even beyond that, rubbing shoulders with fellow students of differing backgrounds - people who think differently than your family or friends within the classroom setting teaches tolerance and respect.
Another one of the possible negative aspects of homeschooling is the criticism you will recieve. The first year of school that I kept my daughter home from public school wasn't even compulsory but there was quite the response from others ranging from questioning to mild criticism. Because homeschooling is not mainstream you will recieve criticism - that requires a lot of conviction and strength.
Considered by some to be among the negative aspects of homeschooling is that maybe your family would have to get by on only one modest income. As a very hands on stay home mom that is the case with us - and yes, there are sacrifices. It's one of those things you decide what is more important to you. We have simplified our life and it's totally worth it to us but may not be doable for some.
Being needed constantly can be exhausting. That might possibly be considered among the negative aspects of homeschooling. My kids both still have afternoon naps and that time is so precious to me. No matter what I do it's my own time. I love always being with them but their nap time is my regeneration time.
Looking back on her homeschooling days one outgoing teenager who is finishing high school within the public school system spoke to me about two negative aspects of homeschooling she identified for herself.
She says it's very easy to skip days - it's hard to be self-disciplined and very easy to get behind. Also, although regularly with lots of people doing volunteer work she wasn't accustomed to working in a classroom setting. She found it a bit of a challenge when she went into the public school system.
As a point of reference I'd like to share our experience and observations:
In the country where we live (Canada) public schools offer junior kindergarten when a child is 4 and senior kindergarten when a child is 5 (half day programs). When my daughter was 4 sending her to school wasn't up for discussion - I wasn't ready and neither was she.
During that year we went to several day time kids programs on a regular basis. Programs that were running during the day when the other kids were in school were easy to find simply because of the age of the kids involved. That worked out well since my kids bedtime is 7:30 p.m.
We all thoroughly enjoyed this arrangement although I have to say it required a big change in my schedule - it meant less hours in the day to get other things done. And, especially because I'm a poor multi-tasker there were other things that got left unattended.
I didn't follow a specific curriculum but for a 4 year old it's easy to find number and letter workbooks. The challenge was trying to get her to do age appropriate assignments and finish her work. She balked at the instructions and felt at liberty to whine and cry.
I know that if she had had peer example within the classroom setting she would have worked much better - for a 4 year old that is.
I noticed about half-way through the year that those programs and the work we did together left a gap. We were together all the time and mutually enjoyed it but my daughter's personal growth and personality left her wanting more as she grew older.
Throughout that year my daughter became very aware that other children her age were attending school and she really wanted to go too.
Although still undecided about homeschooling I did enroll her in senior kindergarten this year- French immersion. I knew I could start homeschooling any time I wanted to and I wanted to see what the differences would be in my daughter being in a classroom setting.
First of all it's a very good school she is currently at - that makes a big difference as there are many reports of public schools not meeting the needs of children. The day's curriculum is completely in French and is full with age appropriate music and art - and the kids are still pretty innocent.
I've noticed too that my daughter feels challenged to do her best learning in a group setting. She is highly motivated in comparison to being the only student and receiving assignments from mommy.
My daughter absolutely loves going to school! She never complains about the work they do within the class or the homework she is sent home with every weekend.
Of course this is just the beginning - it's kindergarten - half day program and lots of fun! That being said though, school for the time being is working out well and, with my husband's and my help and support, has even strengthened her to stand up for her beliefs and differences.
That being said though I look ahead to the next year and continue to ponder my desire to homeschool. Do the great things about homeschooling counteract the challenges sufficiently? Can I do homeschooling?
So, are there negative aspects of homeschooling? Yes, there are both pros and cons of homeschooling.
Making the decision as to whether these challenges or negative effects of homeschooling can be successfully overcome within your family requires a great amount of honest examination and in the end - is your decision to make.
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