(Update: If you would like to comment or add to the discussion, please go to the new Just Enough blog website. Thank you.)
You’ve read about them in homeschooling articles, you’ve heard them brought up in conversation, and you may have even written a letter or blog entry defending against them – that’s right, we’re talking about the CONS OF HOMESCHOOLING. (Insert suspense movie music here.)
So many non-homeschoolers stress over their perceived cons of homeschooling, and we explain ourselves again and again. But, the answer is always, “Those aren’t cons, those are pros!” I wanna say, “Give me a *real* con to discuss.”
So here it is. A list of real homeschooling cons, from a homeschooler who is in the know. If you are thinking of homeschooling, or you don’t know much about it, this is the list that will tell you all there is to know about the problems that homeschoolers have, and where homeschooling is lacking.
1) Parents and kids have to learn to accept each other as they are, and to get along with each other so well that they can live together peacefully.
2) Parents have to accept responsibility for their actions and live their lives, pretty much all the time, in a way that they want to see their children live their lives.
3) Families have to listen to a lot of smack, and field a lot of questions about their decision. It takes a long time to convince the world around them that it’s OK that they don’t send their kids to school.
4) Parents have to be resourceful. Parents have to learn how to find things in their community, how to get information on their own, how to access people who can answer their questions, and how to communicate well.
5) Parents have to let go enough that they can balance their devotion to their children with their own interests and self-care. Parents in school have to do this too, but it’s more poignant in homeschooling, because it’s very easy to spend every waking moment dealing with homeschooling “stuff” and kid “stuff” that we forget about who we are as individuals with our own interests.
6) Homeschooling requires dedication – but not to workbooks and curriculum. Homeschooling can involved these things, but the dedication has to be towards being a good person, being open minded, and to being involved with the family. It also requires parents to be dedicated to understanding their children.
7) Homeschoolers have increased chance of making themselves sick with worry, with fear and with guilt. One of the biggest cons of homeschooling is the time it takes to learn to live as a homeschooler without these hovering over us.
8) Homeschoolers have to pave their own way. Even if there is support and resources available, ultimately, homeschoolers have to shovel most of their own snow. In other words – homeschoolers have to be independent and willing to put in the footwork.
9) Often, homeschoolers have to stand up, alone, and do what they have to do even though others around them are doing something different. Homeschoolers have to be OK with not conforming, and know themselves well enough to be able to walk into a situation and know they are the only ones there who homeschool, and will probably be questioned, talked about or even confronted.
10) And finally, homeschoolers have to accept that no matter what they do, life will never be perfect; kids will always have holes in their learning, the house will never stay clean, and there will never be enough time to get everything done that we want to do. The hardest thing about homeschooling is choosing between the million and one options, million and one workbooks, projects and learning opportunities. The biggest benefit of homeschooling is also the biggest con of all – freedom.
What are some of the real cons you’ve encountered as a homeschooler?
Edit: If you like this entry, you might like The Real Cons of Being Homeschooled.