Tuesday, November 27, 2012

There are Disadvantages to Homeschooling?


 Here is the opinion that was shared with me:

The main disadvantage of homeschooling (in my opinion) will be the lack of socialization by your children. Not being able to learn with friends, and not being able to associate and congregate with other kids of the same age could lead to some developmental problems. An inability to socialize well, a shyness that comes with not being around other kids, and a tendency to work better as an individual, rather than in a team stem from this lack of association. These are of course things that could be overcome if the attempt is made to rectify them. By being involved in other activities such as dance or sports, by living in a neighborhood with many other children that can be socialized with in free time, or by having siblings or cousins that are in the public system, the social skills can rub off on kids that are homeschooled. I think that it is important for all kids to have an open environment to hang-out with kids their own age, and if not in school, then there should be another source.

Another disadvantage to being homeschooled, is that resources aren't as fluid as they are in a public/private school setting. The theory is that schools will have better books, and the teachers will have a better education than a parent does, and it could serve as a disadvantage if the parent is not ready and willing to be the go-to person for everything under the sun. The parent must be willing to do the research if a question can't be answered on the spot, which could actually turn into an advantage if the parent is willing to go that extra mile. The cost of homeschooling can start to come into play when you purchase textbooks and teaching materials, and thus it makes it harder for the family that is doing the home teaching. Further costs come into play when you consider the opportunity cost of a parent staying home, and not bringing in a second income for the family. This could be the big thing that keeps some families from homeschooling, simply because it costs the family a second source of money.

The final disadvantage that I think exists, is the patience that has to come from any parent deciding to homeschool a child. You have to know ahead of time that there will be a lot of frustration coming from the student when you are covering hard subjects, and that when they get flustered, you can't allow yourself to do the same. It is important that you are able to separate at times the role of parent and teacher, because you will have to be there for your child in a different manner in times like these. You also can't take it out on yourself if a subject is slightly more difficult to teach than the next one. Textbooks are out there which have been designed to teach straight from them, and acquiring them can remove some of the stigma from difficult subjects like Science or Math. The key is that you have to know that you will be teaching year-round, and that it really is going to be a full-time job. That means that you need to treat it like one, and not like a free pass from getting a public paid job.


  I do believe that I could have let this all go if it were not for the last sentence:
‘That means that you need to treat it {teaching your children} like one {a job}, and not like a free pass from getting a public paid job.’

Yes, it was that last sentence that fired me up, and where my graciousness ended. 
 Therefore, I will eviscerate this entire opinion.

First, lack of socialization.   

Really?  AGAIN?  No.  Just NO.  Go read my blog post entitled ‘Socialization, Ridiculous!’ if you missed it or need a refresher on why talking about socialization or even ‘social’ is B.S. for homeschoolers.

But, I am going to say this as a caveat to the socialization conversation.  I would almost guarantee that children who are homeschooled and are not ‘social’, are just ‘shy’, don’t make friends well, are uncomfortable in social situations, etc… would be NO LESS so if in public school.  In fact they would probably be more so.  I’ve seen this first hand – personal experience.  Children who were pulled from public school to homeschool that did not have friends or socialize well in public school and then are the same as homeschoolers.  I’ve also seen children who homeschooled, and were shy, withdrawn, or anti-social, be sent to public school where they are miserable because they are still shy, withdrawn, or anti-social and now they are mocked and bullied.  Some kids are just very square pegs that will never fit into any round hole.  At least with homeschooling there is time for them to develop that certain something they love and then seek out like-minded peers so they can ‘belong’. 

So, let’s get off the socialization issue, shall we?  Again I say, because it’s ridiculous.

Second, resources aren't as fluid as they are in a public/private school setting. The theory is that schools will have better books, and the teachers will have a better education than a parent does, and it could serve as a disadvantage…

After I picked myself up off the floor from the laughing fit I had over the idea that resources aren’t as fluid for homeschoolers, I started laughing again.  Clearly this individual has no real understanding of homeschooling.  Resources for the homeschooler are the most fluid in existence.  It’s not because there is so much available curriculum just for homeschoolers or even because we know how to fully utilize free resources.   Do you know why resources are the most fluid for homeschoolers?  Because LIFE is fluid and that is our ultimate resource for learning.  There is nothing that can’t be found and used as a teaching tool when you homeschool.  Nothing.  Life is our true teacher.  Exploration and curiosity are our curriculum.  True, as children age and enter the upper grade levels, certain ‘courses’ or specific resources will need to be found for children to learn, for example, high school  Chemistry, Algebra II, Graphic Arts, etc.  Those resources are available.  Just one example of fluidity of resources is that in the state I live, Punky will be able to enroll, at age 16, in community college and take dual enrollment classes whereby she will earn the credits needed for high school while also earning college credits.  She can graduate high school with her two-year college degree completed.  How is that for fluid?

As to teachers having a better education than the homeschooling parent.  Hmmm.  I am assuming the author of the above opinion is referring to a ‘better education’ as a college degree – specifically an education degree.  That may be true, at times, certainly.  Not every homeschooling parent has a college degree and certainly the number of homeschooling parents with education degrees is far less.  Isn’t it a shame that folks without college degrees can’t succeed in our country?  If only there was someone to emulate, someone for whom success was achieved through intelligence, hard work, and ambition that had not earned a college degree that we could look to for inspiration.  (Insert sarcasm sign here). 

Here’s where I could begin listing the names of individuals who succeeded without a college degree.  Since there are SO many though, I give you this link instead (and some of these folks aren’t just college drop outs, but high school drop outs!)

Enough said on that.

 Third, the patience that has to come from any parent deciding to homeschool a child.

Did this person stop and think about what she was saying before she typed it?  Is this person a parent himself?  Can someone please, please tell me that they knew EXACTLY what each day with their child would be like before having their child?  Are any of us completely prepared for all the challenges we face in raising our child, including the amount of patience that is required? 

My point, lest it was lost in my sarcasm, is this:  If you have the patience to parent your child you have the patience to homeschool your child.  It’s parenting, in a nutshell.  Are there challenges since you are exposing them to subjects, ideas, and concepts that are normally foisted off on government controlled entities known as school?  Sure there are.  If your child was at public school and struggling to learn math, would a good parent not be sitting down with them night after night and doing their damndest to help their child succeed?  Of course they would.  If the child STILL struggled and needed a tutor, would a parent not look into getting their child help?  Of course they would!  Caring parents parent their children through ‘education’ as well as all other ‘lessons’ of life.

At the end of the day homeschooling is total, whole, parenting.  You and your family are taking on the responsibility of raising your child; your whole child, fully.  You are not giving up pieces of your child to ‘the system’ to dictate to them what they must learn, what they must be interested in, how they must behave, or,  worse in my opinion, how they are and are not succeeding.

Homeschooling, I believe, is a natural extension of parenting.  Now, before I get hate mail from public schoolers, let me say, I understand that our cultural and economic climate is such that a two person working household is absolutely necessary for some families – just to survive.  Thank goodness there is public school for your children, as there should be, to (hopefully) help ensure the success of your children for their future.  Yet, I know families who homeschool who made the sacrifice of giving up (or never having) a second income because of their personal priorities.  My husband and I are one of those families.  We decided we wanted a child and when Punky arrived I stopped working – quit my career, actually.  I made a choice.  We learned to live on my husband’s income so I would be the one home with her every day.  After she entered public school the plan was for me to return to work.  Homeschooling became the answer for us and I never returned to the ‘real’ job market and we continue to live on only hubby’s salary.  It can be done.  It was about personal choices and our family’s priorities.

There is no judgment in this statement I make:  Anything is possible and there are always choices.  It is about what your priorities and desires are for you and your family.  If you choose to not give up a career after having children, that is your choice.  It was your choice to make.  If you choose to not homeschool your children, that is your choice.  However, that does not in anyway make the other options that can be chosen wrong.

I wish that folks would stop looking for reasons to poke at homeschoolers just because it’s a choice different than one they would, or did,  make.  That’s all this person’s opinion really is; a way to ‘poke’ at those who make different choices.  S/he is a mouth piece for cultural rhetoric.  I wonder where she learned how to do that?

My full time job is mother.  I can’t control that society only talks a good game about how it’s the most important job one can have.  I can’t control that some don’t understand that for us a natural extension of that job includes educating my child at home. 

I can’t control that there are ignorant ass-wipes in the world who make this statement: 
 The key is that you have to know that you will be teaching year-round, and that it really is going to be a full-time job. That means that you need to treat it like one, and not like a free pass from getting a public paid job.

But what I can say to those folks is this:

There are no disadvantages to homeschooling, there are only challenges; just like life.  Homeschooling is a life-style choice, not a job, but the rewards are greater than any public paid job could ever offer me.  I can say that.....

 'Go coitus yourself.' 

~Mari B.


  1. You pretty much said everything I would have said...

    1) Socialization- If public schools are churning out perfect examples of 'socialized' children, then I think the commenter has a point. However, we all know that to be untrue.

    And what about all of the people who were 'homeschooled' before the public schools were invented 150 years ago? Were they 'unsocialized'? And if socialized means acting like all the other kids in school...I'll take the unsocialized kid.

    2) Ever heard the term 'educated idiot'? A college degree means NOTHING in homeschooling.

    3)This comment is due to ignorance. And can I just say that I don't understand parents who say to me "I don't see how you can stand being with your kids all day!" When you homeschool you develop deeper relationships with your children and, at least for me, I enjoy being with my kids! I want to say "I don't see how you can stand being AWAY from your kids all day!"

    Obviously this came from some ignoramus. ;)

  2. OH, if I had a dollar for all the times in the 10 years I have homeschooled that I have been given this drivel... as if I didn't mean to take homeschooling seriously.

  3. "Third, the patience that has to come from any parent deciding to homeschool a child."

    {rolling eyes} I think this is the one that grinds my gears the most. In order to parent well you have to have patience. Do homeschooling parents need to have more than the "average" parent? No! And no, I am NOT a saint for homeschooling my daughter. Good grief! I am no different than any one else.

    Both my husband and I work full time outside the home. We have a small farm that takes up a majority of our non-working time. I am FORTUNATE enough to be able to take my daughter to work with me everyday. This is where she does her work too. When there is a will there is a way. I am not super mom, just a mom who wanted desperately for my child to have what I think is a better education. We make it work.

    Great blog post. Just found your blog this morning. :)


  4. I would add that putting kids in school socializes them to be good little cogs in the system. God forbid they should learn that they system may not serve them and that they can create their own lives outside of it.


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