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What are the disadvantages of homeschooling? Do you give in to them or are there ways to overcome them? Many homeschoolers encounter various negative issues when starting or moving through a year of homeschooling.
Criticism from others - Some parents get more criticism than others. Some have supportive families but the community criticizes or questions if they are doing the right thing. Some people get criticism from all sides and have to stand firm knowing that they are called to homeschool their children.
Guilt and Fear - If you haven't felt some guilt or fear as a homeschool parent, then you're probably not breathing. It's what we do with the guilt and fear that matters most. We often feel guilty that we are possibly ruining our children or have the fear that we are doing the wrong thing. Sometimes we fear we are using the wrong curriculum or fear that our children are either getting too much or not enough work. Max Lucado has just finished a great book called Fearless that addresses all the issues that any person has to deal with when it comes to fear. It's not that we should avoid fear but that our fear should be met with faith.
Housework - When families are home all day and occupied with activities, reading and keeping up on the studies, housework can often go by the wayside and seem like a one of the major disadvantages of homeschooling. Some moms have figured out how to have the family work together to keep the house reasonable presentable and then others still flounder around being frustrated by a messy house. If you balance the school time with a little clean up time, you find that your house stays a lot cleaner. It's not as easy to keep clean as the mom who sends her children off to school, but it CAN be presentable if you keep everyone on track.
Lots of Contact with Family Members - Often when we spend a lot of time with people they tend to get on our nerves. When homeschool families spend a lot of time together the same thing can happen. If everyone has a place to go to be a alone for a while, that can be positive. Some families even find that their children get along better with each other as homeschoolers than as public school students.
No Varsity Sports - Not very many states allow homeschool students to participate in High School sports. In our town they are allowed to participate in community sports until they finish 6th grade. To participate in High School sports they have to take 5 classes at the school. You have to consider the question whether varsity sports are really that important in the grand scope of life. If they are important, then you have some decisions to make as to whether you will allow one of the disadvantages of homeschooling to keep you from homeschooling all together.
We have been able to participate in some community, homeschool group, and church sports that have met the need for many of our children. Children can take ballet classes, martial arts classes, community soccer leagues, community volleyball leagues, etc. If you want some sports activities, there are usually plenty of opportunities depending on where you live.
Expense and Parent Not Being Able to Work - Sometimes the expense of purchasing homeschool materials can be a one of the disadvantages of homeschoolering because people choose expensive materials. There are ways to homeschool for free or almost free that can help with the expenses of homeschooling. I don't know of too many homeschool families where both parents can work full time. There are plenty of opportunities for one parent to work part time if needed. Many homeschool Moms opt for a homeschool home business to help with the extra expenses of homeschooling. Where there is a will, there is a way!
As with parenting, there are advantages and disadvantages to anything. Parenting comes with lots of advantages and disadvantages and we still chose to be parents. If you believe that you should be homeschooling your children, you will find a way to allow the advantages to outweigh the disadvantages of homeschooling.
Enough with the negative - here are some homeschooling advantages!
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