What are the pros and cons of homeschooling? Are you for or against it?Estimates vary, but somewhere between 2.7% and 5.8% of American children are homeschooled. The reasons parents give for...

What are the pros and cons of homeschooling? Are you for or against it?

Estimates vary, but somewhere between 2.7% and 5.8% of American children are homeschooled. The reasons parents give for homeschooling their children are many, but they include wanting to spend more time with their children, and to be more in control of their learning and instruction. Opponents point to the lack of ability of parents who are untrained in educational disciplines and the inability of homeschooled kids to form close social relationships outside their families. Would you ever consider homeschooling your own children? If you were homeschooled, what was your experience? 

Expert Answers
Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the pros of homeschooling is not having to teach a government mandated curriculum, some of which can be directly opposed to your belief system. Another pro of homeschooling is precisely what is stated in the above question - getting to spend more time with your children and imparting to them your gained wisdom and experiences and relating it to the studies at hand.

One of the cons of homeschooling is not teaching a well-rounded curriculum as is typically the case in the public school system. Homeschooling may mean you have less resources to offer for learning. In addition, another con of homeschooling is the lack of large group activities that children can become involved in. The various clubs and activities at a school, sports and otherwise, are very beneficial and contribute to children forming quality relationships and learning teamwork.

I am for homeschooling (though I have never been home schooled), despite some of its drawbacks, precisely for the first reason I mentioned - having to adhere to a government curriculum that you may partially disagree with. I'm from Ontario, Canada, and the Ontario government is getting a little too pushy in my opinion on what they're demanding that public schools promote and teach, to the exclusion of subjects that some parents want taught in the schools but cannot have taught in the schools.


mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator
This question will become even more critical if the voucher plan goes through. Vouchers and home schooling remove students and money from public schools leaving them with the most difficult to educate. My experience with home schooling has been quite varied. Some parents are truly devoted to educating their children with all the world has to offer and one to one help when they need it. They made sure to provide social experiences which were either part of the local school district's social activities or ones they planned on their own. The problem was that most of the parents didn't know how to teach math especially and the other subjects were taught without any plan. The books available for home schooling contain some good material, but again, it depends on the parents to truly teach it. Most of the students returned to school, in Minnesota at least, woefully behind in curriculum. They found functioning in a larger classroom, the expectations of working with classmates and being successful in the bustle of a middle school hard to do. Of course, there were exceptions and those students were a delight-- disciplined, eager to learn, responsive to suggestions and willing to work hard. Because of my experience in an 8th grade classroom with returning home schooled students, I am against the idea.
Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Several of my husband's cousins were homeschooled in Texas because of religious reasons.  The followed the A Beka curriculum with their four children to varying degrees of complexity based on their financial situation at the time.  Some years they did the full curriculum, while others involved lots of reading and probably not much else.

My biggest concern with homeschooling after meeting my husband's grown cousins is their lack of social skills.  I am aware of some parents who home school their kids while having them involved in club sports or other activities to build their social skills.  My husband's four grown cousins all still live with their parents and, while they are a very close family unit, they have little interaction with the outside world.  Two of them went to college and did ok academically, but I wonder if they will ever have the social skills necessary to succeed in this world.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My main concerns against long-term homeschooling are the lack of social skills that may never be developed in such a restricted environment. I have taught many former homeschooled kids who later transferred into public and private schools, and this seemed to be their primary drawback: They run the gamut between highly undisciplined to extremely shy or withdrawn around others. In many cases, the homeschooled kids did not receive a well-rounded or thorough education from their parents (usually the "teachers"), and the children found themselves scholastically far behind the other students. In many cases, I don't blame the parents for not wanting their children exposed to the high risk non-educational aspects of public schools--bullying, fighting, drugs, etc.--but I believe all children need to become acclimated to the outside world and its ups and downs: the good and bad that they may never encounter inside the overly protected seclusion of their own homes. 

Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My own experience is that many parents homeschool their children because they find various elements of curricula objectionable for religious reasons.  I am conflicted over this, believing strongly that parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit to do so religiously, but also believing strongly that children schooled with this motivation are not being exposed at all to different points of view, which is a very poor way to provide the next generation's citizens in a democracy.  In short, I think that public education promotes exposure, tolerance, and better citizenry in the long run.  Everything that tends to dismantle our public education system is of great concern to me for this reason. 



pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I was homeschooled for a couple of years, though it was in very different circumstances than those experienced by most Americans.  For me, it was because I was living in a place where most schools weren't in English and my parents weren't convinced that the missionary schools that used English were good enough.

For me, the major problem was the way it affected my relationship with my mother.  I got plenty of socialization because we had lots of friends who would come around and play.  But my relationship with my mom suffered because I would resent having her push me to do better and more school work.  If she had been a "real" teacher, that wouldn't have been a problem.

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am for the right to homeschool, but I don't believe that everyone has the ability to do it well. As a teacher, I have actually had more good experiences with homeschooled students who have transferred into public school than bad. I'm sure that's a reflection on the parents who were doing the homeschooling. They were probably committed and involved. It's definitely not for everybody, but in some cases it's a good option.

suzannah304 | Student

I'm against homeschooling because the students who are homeschooled find it difficult to adjust in any kind of environment. They need to develop their communication skills and social skills. It might be tough time for them.

cheesepwr | Student

I am currently a student in the USA. I am a highschooler and until now I have gone to a public school.I loved it there but due to extreme budget cuts I was afraid that it would not meet my needs anymore.Instead of going into straight homeschooling I chose to try an online E-school. It is a very new and extremely differnet learning enviroment for me. From my experience the pro's are : being able to travel and work anywhere (even in the car with hotspot (I don't drive) ), being able to sleep in, and I get more of a say in my work load. The con's are : A lot of the work is self taught, it dosen't take any less time to do it at home ( maybe more because there are so many distractions),It can get really lonely ( it does help that i am very envolved in my community), bad internet connectivity and power outages prevent you from getting your work done, and you can never really leave school. Especially in high school there are many social activites such as dances, sporting events and clubs, although theese exsist for homeschoolers they are different because they are not with the people you see all the time and are close with. In conclusion there is a school for everyone and it just takes time to find the right one. For some people homeschooling is great while public is better for some.

rahulsk | Student

It is better not to do homeschooling. If all are gathered they can share everything what they learn about .

luiji | Student

Homeschooling can be a really good thing, or disastrous.

Homeschooled students need to be taught how to act socially, because  they're never in social situations, and must be taught properly. I know some homeschooled kids who would be in year 9 or 10 but can't even write a birthday card - their mother does it for them. They also can't fit in, socially

But homeschooling can also be really good. In Australia, our top year 12 student was homeschooled up to Year 10, and managed to be the best in WA.

So homeschooling can be good, and can be bad.

ramadugula | Student

When we examine the question in the Indian perspective, we are bound to come up against a few surprises.  It is a country where 3 year old kids are forced to go to school (at least in families called middle-class or higher middle-class)  Parents, under the false impression that their children would miss out on a good start if they didn’t start early, create abhorrence for schooling in their kids.  If you think those who go to school so early find learning fun, you are wrong.  Most teachers in the country that teach in kindergarten are either untrained, or poorly trained, engaged by the employer primarily because they come cheap.


About two decades ago, there was a system in practice in India called ‘into first form’.  Children who never went to a formal school up to 10 years of age, would be admitted in class 6 (first form)  These kids certainly had an enjoyable childhood before entering school life at 10.  Most of them were taught the three R’s and that’s it.  Such kids still did extremely well at school and rose to important positions in life. 


Despite all disadvantages in homeschooling, it is clear it doesn’t prevent children from having a successful academic career later.  My vote goes to home schooling (under proper care and guidance) till 10

iklan100 | Student

i would also like to add please, that when we talk about 'home schooling' in the USA, Canada etc vis a vis (say) places in South Asia (where I live) we mean something quite different, in terms of facilities available, resources and so on. Social constraints, customs, traditions, taboos etc and many other prejudices are also to be taken into account.

iklan100 | Student

To an extent i agree with both speamerfam and bullgatortail. For 2-3 years, circa 2003-2005, I was working in a very remote hill area of my country (and 'hill' means the Karakoram range!) and I opted to keep my family with me, as my wife and three kids ddint want to be separated, even though the government was willing to partially subsidize their stay and education in the nearest big town (Abbottabad). There were NO good/decent primary schools in that whole region, and my children, moving from Lahore, from a very fine school, had obvious educational problems. I thus had to perforce educate them at home, with my wife's help -- and we found that numerous social and other linked problems emerged, even though the kids did ok as far as studies were concerned. However, all three complained that they 'missed' many attendant educational facilities such as libraries, cinemas, proper parks/sportsgrounds, various youth organizationsand clubs and other such things which theyd taken for grated in a big city and which they now missed sorely. i think all of these were also 'educational'. Education/schooling isnt only about book learning and academics, in my view, thus.