Homeschool, public school, private school. There are many educational options out there. Making a decision can feel overwhelming. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself to make the right choice for my daughter, but in reality it wasn’t a make-or-break type of decision. Adopting a “let’s give it a try” mentally was a much better way to go about it. I realized I could always put her in school if it didn’t turn out to be a good fit.
People like to ask me if I’m homeschooling my daughter through her high school years. I really don’t know. I just take it year by year, because I never know what the future may bring. Circumstances change, people change. I’d like to homeschool my daughter until she goes to college, but we’ll have to wait and see how life unfolds.
There is no perfect school (home or otherwise) out there. The choice you make really boils down to which option is better for your child, you and your family. If you don’t feel a strong pull in one particular direction, get out some paper and and a pencil and jot down your pros and cons for each of the options you’re considering.
Pros and Cons of Homeschooling (a sample list)
- Adaptability: I can cater the curriculum to my child’s strengths, interests and individual needs.
- Flexibility: I can sleep in every morning if I want to! We don’t have to rush to catch a bus. We can have as many recess breaks as needed. I’m in charge of my schedule.
- Consistency: Values I want to instill are carried over from home life to school life.
- Time: I get to spend more time with my child.
- Socialization: I can be my child’s role model for social interaction, as opposed to a room of same-aged peers. I can provide opportunities for her to experience a broader, more diverse social circle.
- Responsibility: As the parent, I have to provide everything my child needs for a quality education, even though I feel unqualified and have no prior experience.
- Money: It costs more to homeschool, but we make less. It costs money for materials, extra-curricular activities, classes and field trips, but I can’t work full-time if I’m the educator.
- Time: It takes time to teach and plan. That means less time for myself.
- Socialization: I have to arrange play dates, join co-ops or do whatever it takes to find friends for my child.
Just by looking at my list of pros and cons, one couldn’t be certain whether I homeschooled my child or not. There is no best option out there in education. I had to weigh the positive and negatives, figure out which ones were most important to me, and choose the better option. If money and career were most important to me right now, I’d stop homeschooling and send my daughter to public school. I miss going on vacation each year, tackling house projects, and feeling more free financially, but since we are making ends meet for now, I’m choosing to homeschool. I know it’s a long term investment in my child that I won’t regret.
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