The Real Cons of Homeschooling

(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.


54 Responses to “The Real Cons of Homeschooling”

  1. onlysometimesclever Says:

    Good list, Tammy.

    Pretty much any con that I can think of is covered in your list. I like your point that whatever the cons of hs’ing are, they are actually (or at least *can* be) a benefit to the child or to the family.

    We’re in our fifth year of hs’ing, and I have never second-guessed our decision to undertake homeschooling — though it has already lasted longer than I initially “signed up” for. Hm. Maybe that’s a “con.” 😀 Homeschooling itself snuck up on me; I didn’t *intend* to commit for so long. At the outset, I just planned on teaching my dc to read, so that when they entered “real” school, they’d have a leg up on things. I very successfully taught not only my 5yo, but my 3yo to read that first year, with very inconsistent effort on my part. In a way, though it was difficult, it was easy, too… I had to admit that my kids learned well from me, and that was a certainty I did not have when faced with the idea of shipping them off somewhere.

    I’m trying, now, to take a long-term perspective on my kids’ education: I don’t need to panic if they don’t have it down when they’re 7yo, whatever “it” might be. We have time to re-investigate. KWIM? That said, in my book, there are still many too good things to learn, and too little time. 🙂

  2. Dora Says:

    I would have to say just plain mom burnout…you sort of implied it. We have to be sure to take care of ourselves, somewhere in there.

  3. Mother Crone's Homeschool Says:

    Tammy…I love this list, and I am going to refer many new homeschooling moms to it. Great writing!

  4. Jolene Says:

    Wonderfull. I am just starting out this year and am having a few doubts. I hope all goes well. Thanks for your inspirational words even though they are cons.

  5. momlovesbeingathome Says:

    Love this post! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

  6. The cons of homeschooling « Mom loves being at home Says:

    […] cons of homeschooling I just read a great post by Just Enough, and Nothing More.  I would encourage anyone interested in homeschooling to read […]

  7. Marc Says:

    thx so so much i am in the 6th grade and our class is having a debate and this is exactly what i needed the begining was right most websites start a convo. so i just want to thank u very much

  8. Kelly G. Says:

    i do not agree with homeschooling

  9. kim Says:

    this is my first year hs”ing and i wouldnt have it any other way,my first child i sent to school and she came home telling me alot of things that no child should ever learn,since this is my last child i have decided to keep her home and try to teach her more morals/respect than the kids get in a regular school so far its been really hard and yes i have had my doubts at times but deep down i feel she is getting a better education at home verses going to school surrounded by strangers that really dont care if children learn or not alot of them are there just for the pay….one thing i do know is that if you homeschool you shouldnt feel guilty for keeping your child at home and teaching them the things they really need to know to survive this day and time you should be proud,schools get paid to teach homeschoolers dont make money they make kids with respect,morals,and kids can learn at there own pace never rushed….

  10. Lisa Cabello Says:

    Again my daughter has graduated from a Distance Learning Program and I didn’t have to hover over her to finish.
    My son (6th grade) does most of his work by himself. Dad helps with Math I help with English.
    My 21 year old is responsible to get her courses finished and she’s paying for them too!
    I had one heck of a disagreement with my husband the other night and the children heard it too! How’s that for real life? My homeschooling self, spouse and children have never become sick with worry or fear! I’ll tell you what though this week in public school is the AIMS test and you should see the school age kids cramming for that one worried they won’t pass it or pass onto the next grade!
    Homeschooling children make their own decisons of what they will become in life as many are doing. The new trend for homeschoolers in NOT hurring off to collage and instead taking time off to volunteer or work or take course!
    I have taught my children that it is OK to be diffrent and not conform! Gee-is that what public schools are teaching these days-to conform? How sad is that? Soooo what you are saying is that it’s wrong to be a non-conformist? Like what a homeschooler has the plague? Sounds to me like public education needs to teach more tolerance!

  11. Linda Says:

    Here’s a real con of homeschooling: Despite all the articles saying that you can homeschool for very little money (which you can, and we do), the truth is, if you don’t have much money, your kids can’t take the classes they want to take with other homeschoolers, or go to the museums very often, and you can’t travel and take them to interesting places. Although my kids wouldn’t want to give up their freedom from oppressive public schooling, they do wish they could could take more interesting, fun, stress-free classes with other kids, and go to new places more often.

  12. AK Says:

    Another con is that you have to get rid of your tv 🙂 (or at least control how much its on) so kids spend time reading and other activities etc… 🙂

  13. momlovesbeingathome Says:

    Personally, I don’t see the TV as a con. Our family has never really been big TV watchers so it’s not even an issue in our house. I have found that if kids are taught from an early age to watch a lot of TV then that’s what they are going to want to do as they get older. If, on the other hand, the TV isn’t turned on for them all the time when they are young they aren’t going to feel like they need to watch TV that much as they get older. We watch some fun shows that aren’t necessarily educational but there is a lot of stuff on TV that is very educational so it can be a great educational tool as well.

  14. Krystal Says:

    I’m homeschooling my 4 year old daughter and so many people keep asking her “Oh, so you’re going to school next year?” and she tells them (as I have given her the confidence enough to answer) “I’m already in school. Homeschool.” And she’s the happiest thing on Earth too about our decision. I’ve told her all the pro’s and cons of everything regarding both homeschooling and “traditional” schooling, and she has agreed with me that it really is the best thing. Sometimes she says she wants to go to school IMO because there are kids there to play with. When these occasions arrise, I promptly carry her off to the park, playground, or wherever need be to let her know that you don’t have to go to school to play. School is not about playing. It’s about learning. Speaking of which…

    The “s” word… Everybody that doesn’t understand homeschooling, mentions this word. Socialization. “Well, I think the kids really need to interact with eachother.” is what I get a lot. School isn’t about that. I tell them (mostly to just ease their mind and get off the subject more or less) of the many opportunities that are out there and that we take advantage of. We go to the park. We play with other kids at friend’s houses. Next year, she’ll be elligible for Girl Scouts, and I wholeheartedly plan on signing her up as soon as I get a moment to… lol. These things usually bog down the “traditional” schoolers because of the fact that the kids come home from school, and they have soccer practice, piano lessons, and they still have to somehow manage to finish their homework, and have a (most of the time, anyways) nutritious dinner. Anyway, I have too much to say about it all. This is a great list of the “cons” of homeschooling, which are really great for your family to have to deal with because in the end, you’ll all be closer as a family because of it. Anyways, that’s just my 2 cents.

  15. heather Says:

    When I feel our daughter feels left out of what all the other kids in school are doing is a concern of mine. After reading the con list and all the comments including the non believer who suggests to always question life, I feel once again reassured that we are doing the right thing. We haven’t “officially” started homeschooling our 5 year old yet, but have been learning since birth. So far our studies have taught us to be intuitive and the resourcefulness will come naturally. Thanks everyone for so much encouragement!

  16. sunny Says:

    First of all, Home schooling my son has driven me crazy from time to time. But whats good about websites such as these are always a PICK ME UP that I am not alone in these. (Or at least I am not the only INSANE ones)

    Hey……… Why can’t all those curious relative of ours just leave us alone? Hmm.. That’s a thought!

  17. Maria Says:

    Public schooling is “not all that”, the truth is….Homeschooling is not either. Even though children are being raised differently, there will be great people that would have graduated from public schools, and also great people would have been homeschooled. Believe me, when my kids are out of school, we have the best learning time, without the hassle of me worrying about the next day’s lesson. And the best conversations on the dinner table are the different experiences they bring home, without mommy and daddy.

  18. Maria Says:

    Public schooling is “not all that”, the truth is….Homeschooling is not either. Even though children are being raised differently, there will be great people that would have graduated from public schools, and also great people would have been homeschooled. Believe me, when my kids are out of school, we have the best learning time, without the hassle of me worrying about the next day’s lesson. And the best conversations on the dinner table are the different experiences, good or bad, outside the protective corners of our home, that they themselves endured, either successfully or not. I feel this is the best way, children can learn.

  19. Fatima Ahmed Says:

    I too do homeschooling. My husband is either against it at times or other times does not have any strong opinion about it, and naturally he is totally non-supportive when it comes to trying to understand the reasoning behind it. He is not into education – or even basic reading – unless it is something on the news to do with Britney Spears. My siblings and parents also don’t understand that I don’t care to send our child to “school” in the “regular” sense. My mother especially believes a great deal in “depression” (we have a family genetic trait) and that “depression” arises from “staying at home all day”. So she is constantly giving me unwanted advice on how to get back into the jobarket once our child goes to school “fulltime”. No one can see that being a homeschool teacher is a great source of joy and excitement for me, and also for my child. Hence the biggest con for me is not having anyone within the family circle who supports or even understands my efforts. It is very hard to do, when your child is forever being – forced – to “socialize like normal kids” by their father, or other people who “care” for them. At 3, our son can speak in full sentences, is told by everyone we meet that he is bright, well-mannered, has proper enunciation. He is also is begining to read, and has a developed a love of nature, reading, art, etc. He loves to play, and has many handpicked toys that have added to his learning. He plays well with other kids in a group setting as well, and we both are often shocked and surprised with exactly how roughly and aggressively most daycare/public-schooled children play, their mannerisms and language. My husband is more eager for us to involve our son in “regular” activites – like Chucke Cheese birthday parties, and chowing down dinner at his friend’s home, whose 5 year old daycare-going daughter kicked our 2 year old on his lip and drew blood, and did not even apologize. Our child and I would rather have fun and learn at the same time go to the skating rink and learn about balancing, ride ponies and learn about horse grooming, play in the sand box and learn about measuring, visit museums and learn about art, and be read dinosaur stories to, along with some side insights about their diet, lifestyles, names, etc. Now that it is nearly time to enroll in school I am having to field questions from all the family about sending him to public school or private school, not being able to afford private school and hence settling for public, and naturally involving myself in a “satisfying” career. My parents are from Asia, and are constantly pressuring me to send my child to school there – even f it is boarding school, and as good (ie bad) as public schools in the US. My husband thinks it is no big deal to send our child to school anywhere – just as long as he gets to go to work every morning and stay there till it suits him to come home, and as long as he can tell his friends that his son IS going to some school. My husband went to public school – in fact he likes to boast that he had to change atleast five schools, since his grades kept falling, and no one really wanted to take him! In our family, we like to say we are “educated”, but that really just means that we can earn money. It is like this with many Asian families, and is hard for a progressive-minded, liberal-minded (yours truly) and (hopefully) forward-thinking person to deal with our culture. It suits no one in my family to see me – with a masters degree and capability to earn hard cash – well settled in my life as a homemaker and homeschool teacher. I want to homeschool because I want to focus on my child’s potential to be a better human being, and contribute ositively to the world we live in. With so much negativity around, children are becoming increasingly frustrated with their own lives and are being forced into making decisions that they know nothing about. I want my child to be a confident and strong member of society. But with everyone else pulling you down, it is truly very hard to keep your footing. One of the biggest cons, therefore, is not having a culture, a society AND/OR atleast a family that supports your efforts, or has the time to devote to your life in understanding what it is you do, and why you are doing it.

  20. Mrs. Nicklebee Says:

    Great post, Tammy! Today is now officially Homeschool Encouragement Day at the *Nicklebee house!

    God bless!

    Mrs. *Nicklebee

  21. Mrs. Takedeeep Says:

    Homeschooling teaches kids only their parents viewpoints. The Children lack experience in social atmospheres and how everyone has a different perspective.

  22. Debbie Says:

    Great list, it’s true these cons are actually great for families! We are glad we homeschool.

  23. Mr. Sabo Says:

    So many negative generalizations about public schools. I have nothing against homeschooling but replies like those posted on this site do nothing to break the stereotype that homeschool parents are arrogant and carry a “we are better” attitude. Not every family is cut out to home school so give public schools their due, they have a lot to offer. The image of homeschoolers could be improved if the focus was more on why homeschooling is right for you and less on bashing public schools.

  24. Negative Feedback « Just Enough, and Nothing More Says:

    […] Read Posts The Real Cons of HomeschoolingGood and Bad Schools, EducationAbout Tammy TakahashiNeopets and WebkinzDeschooling […]

  25. April Says:

    “Homeschooling teaches kids only their parents viewpoints. The Children lack experience in social atmospheres and how everyone has a different perspective.”

    I don’t see how my child sitting in a classroom all day with children the same age makes him understand other viewpoints or makes him deal with social atmospheres in a better way. 30 minutes for lunch at an assigned table with the rest of his class is not the kind of socialization I am looking for. Perhaps being in public surrounded by people of all ages and races would be a better way to socialize.

    “homeschool parents are arrogant”

    I don’t see this at all. I see homeschoolers willing to concede that there are positives to public schooling. Homeschoolers have dealt with public school, but public schoolers generally don’t know anything about homeschooling. They only know that their cousins neighbors sister was homeschooled and she is “weird”. To me the arrogance comes from public schoolers. More often, I see public schoolers totally dismissing homeschool as though there are no positive points whatsoever.

  26. Anna Says:

    Homeschooling teaches kids only their parents viewpoints. The Children lack experience in social atmospheres and how everyone has a different perspective.

    Oh, pish. My guess is that you don’t know many, if any homeschoolers, and you are basing your statement on extremely limited input. Certainly not on facts. Please do not speak of that which you know not.

    If you don’t think that public schools are presenting a very limited, one-sided series of facts and ideas, then you are deluded. Investigate how textbooks are chosen for print and adoption. Look at the banned book list in any school library—that is a perfect example of children being taught a limited viewpoint. Listen to any literature/social studies class in a public school…there is little discussion, only top-down interpretation under the guise of teaching.

    As for the social aspect, I dare you to try to keep up with the schedule that my kids have. They get greater diversity of people and ideas from those activities that we have chosen than in any classroom.

  27. Mary Says:

    I don’t believe we homeschooling parents, as a lot, are any more likely to be arrogant than the general population of parents.

    Homeschooling is forging your own path. That absolutely takes a degree of courage, confidence and fortitude. Because we must be firm in our resolve (even when feeling doubts), it may come off as arrogance.

    I don’t believe that school will irreparably damage children. But I do believe that homeschooling (unschooling actually) is the best thing for my children, my family.

    Homeschooling Con?
    Not really a con, more a challenge and something that gets to THE heart of the matter for me: I have to really work at it to make sure that each of the three of them get enough individual time with me to meet all their developing needs.

  28. Karen Joy Says:

    Homeschooling is forging your own path. That absolutely takes a degree of courage, confidence and fortitude. Because we must be firm in our resolve (even when feeling doubts), it may come off as arrogance.

    That is fantastic, Mary.

  29. Mary Says:

    Thanks, Karen.
    This whole post and comments have been very thought-provoking for me.
    I just posted thoughts to my blog: if you’re interested…

  30. Jan Zeiger Says:

    Your list was great. I’d say the biggest con for me is just the fact that my kids are still little and I feel like I’m never caught up. There’s just so much to do! I see other moms with kids in school or preschool who clean the house when their kids are gone and that makes me a little envious. Not of the kids being gone–but just of the extra time to get stuff done. I love being with them all day everyday, but wish I could afford a maid!

  31. Jinx Says:

    Those don’t seem like much of terrible cons to me, and I’d say the pros of homeschooling definitely triumph over a few adjustable downsides.

    Interesting, though.

  32. Maria Says:

    Hi there…I tried to use the email link on the upper right but can’t seem to get it going…I was hoping I could quote or paste this list on my blog (naturally linking this site!)


  33. Rachel Says:

    I love the way there are always commenters who know next to nothing about homeschooling, who pull out tired old chestnuts like “homeschoolers don’t get enough socialization” or “homeschoolers only get their parents’ point of view” or “my neighbor’s sister homeschools her kids and they’re really weird.” Do they actually think these arguments are new, thought-provoking, or valid in any way? And do they have nothing better to do than troll homeschooling blogs and voice their disagreement with homeschooling?

  34. john connore Says:

    Isn’t homeschooling for the most part a religious based deal, when you look at the data, kids from religious families have lower IQs. That would probably be a result of being unable to deal with science or to think outside their dogma. I feel sorry for kids in this enviroment, parents pushing their archaic beliefs with the help of homeschooling. let’s wait and see how many noted scientist come out of this enviroment

  35. momlovesbeingathome Says:

    John, since this is Tammy’s blog I won’t jump in here with a long response to your comment but I will list a few scientists who were homeschooled:

    * Leonardo da Vinci
    * Albert Einstein
    * Pierre Curie
    * Booker Washington
    * Andrew Carnegie
    * Thomas Alfa Edison
    * Blaise Pascal

    Maybe you want to rethink your opinion of homeschooling?? Maybe even do a little research on it??

  36. angela Says:

    I needed this today. I have fallen victim to my doubts about homeschooling after 10 years. I read these posts and felt rejuvenated. I have five children and was feeling just a little overwhelmed. I would just like to say, THANK YOU!!!!

  37. Donna Says:

    Hi. I’ve been really curious about homeschooling. I don’t have kids yet, but I am considering homeschooling when I do. I would like to say that I admire the parents that homeschool and it’s great to see your dedication but I also ask that you don’t knock public school, because even though some parents aren’t able to teach their kids all day, they are very much dedicated to their child’s education. People talk about the negative influences your child will have in public school, but I was in the public school system my whole life and I was on the honor roll k-12, went to college earned a degree and am now working on a second one. Yes, I was exposed to negative influences, but my parents taught me well and I have very good morals. How your child handles negative influences doesn’t depend on the school, it depends on how you raise them.

    I would also like to hear more from people whose children are done with school. No offense, but alot of the comments I have heard are from people with small children and it seems like the issues would come up more with middle and high school kids. Please don’t think I am knocking homeschooling, because I really am interested. I just don’t like people acting like public school kids are not as good as homeschooled kids

  38. Rachel C. Says:

    In response to Donna’s question:
    I am glad you did well in public school and liked it 🙂 I am 31 and was homeschooled and now I homeschool my 7 and 10 year old daughters. I will also homeschool my nine month old when she is ready. My husband homeschooled for a year in Jr. high, but did not like it and really thrived in public school. Which was the best for his life! I was in public school till sixth grade and then asked to be homeschooled for Jr. High and High school. I think your point is right on about “it is about how you raise your child to handle negative influences” But I will say I love giving my children the gift of learning without having to deal with negative situations coming up as a common problem in their life. They just get to enjoy learning and when negative situations happen (and they do) we talk about them and work through them. Which is happening more now that she is a tween. My experience growing up homeschooled was I had friends from all backgrounds and I started Jr. college at 16 to get my General Ed out of the way. I felt very prepared for life just being able to be me everyday of my teen years. I had tons of fun with my friends going to glam rock shows in Hollywood on weekends and I felt I lacked nothing in my social world. I was aloud to be me and I love letting others be who they are! I don’t know if this puts any light on what you wanted to know. But I think it would be to long if I let myself keep going on!! Also to Johns statement about the science thing….my 10 year old is in love with science and has even dissected many different animals including a shark at age 8. With the amazing science classes offered to homeschoolers she almost gets to much science (can you ever get to much science??:). Oh, and I am religious and I don’t think I am any more stupid than anyone else 🙂
    Well hope this gives a little more info to things: Have a good life!! Enjoy learning about everything and never stop asking questions…even about Homeschooling

  39. Karen Joy Says:

    John ~ Many prestigious universities are now actively seeking homeschooled students, doing recruiting at homeschool events, and even tailoring scholarships specifically for hs’ed students — especially in engineering and the sciences. Young adults who have been hs’ed for all or most of their lives are now being recognized for their independent, original thought and their self-motivated work ethic.

    Donna ~ One of our family’s babysitters is now a 21yo young woman who is finishing her senior year at Arizona State University. She is a double-major in art and pre-med, and will graduate with highest honors. She plans to study to be a nurse and become a medical missionary. She was also homeschooled up until her junior year of high school. She was eager to find out what “real” school was like, but upon entering, told me that experiencing it has helped her decide to homeschool her own children, once she has some of her own. Our other regular babysitter is also a senior at ASU. I’ve known her since she was 10yo. I’ve always told her mother, “If I ever have a daughter, I hope she turns out exactly like Cassie.” I do now have a daughter, and I still feel the same. Cassie is a phenomenal scholar, and a solid, exemplary Christian. She was also public-schooled her whole life. So, yes, I’m aware that fine examples of character and academic life can come out of the p.s. system — it really does depend on parenting.

  40. Ann Duncan Says:

    “I would also like to hear more from people whose children are done with school. No offense, but alot of the comments I have heard are from people with small children…”

    I believe I qualify to respond. Beware – this is going to sound like flat-out bragging, though actually toned down facts:

    I homeschooled my first 4, all grown (and now unschool my nearly 15 yr old). My son, 34, has always ranked at the very top, wherever he tested. When he tested for the military they told him he could choose whatever school he wanted. Now is a chemist dealing with hazardous waste.

    My oldest daughter, 32, is a homicide detective, graduated with honors (while working lots of hours) with a degree in criminal justice. Her criminal law prof really wanted to see her go into law ‘because of your fine mind’, she was his ‘pick’ of her class of 70 students. She missed finishing at the very top of her police academy by less than half a point.

    My 29 yr old daughter attended a top university in Canada, (also, while working) where she graduated with a degree in biology, then completed holistic nutritionist studies, now a successful nutrition consultant and seminar speaker, in addition to being the administrator of an agency that certifies organic farmers.

    My 26 yr old daughter is an HR director in a large medical group, also just completed an intense NLP Masters program.

    My 14 yr old is writing a book, is obsesessed with fencing (which some call an ‘athletic chess’) as well as with economics, and has her own business.

    EACH of my five homeschooled children are regularly ‘acused’ of being brilliant. As well as delightful to be around. This mama couldn’t agree more 🙂

    Rest assured that there are lots of us with similar results, Donna.

  41. Bradley Says:

    Hi. What a cool blog! I’m wondering how many dad’s there are out there who homeschool?! I’m a 31 year old who just started practicing for a child and want to home school. I’m a private drum teacher, I teach 25 students, one on one, from 2-5 in the afternoons so I reckon I could teach my bambino when he/she arrives. This blog has gone a long way to dispelling some of my fears and concerns,thanks everyone!
    I’m also an atheist so I know all about being questioned all the time and even harassed. No worries.

  42. Rachel Says:

    I have known many people who were home schooled and the only flaw I could find is that they were not very aware of the real world. Most of them were very sheltered and oblivious to reality. Having the parents hold a credential might not solve that problem. Being a firm believer in public schools, I don’t think the home schooling system would have the time, or the funding, to only let the kids who have parents with a teaching credential participate. I think it is very unrealistic to assume that this could ever take place. Sending your child to public schools is not a bad thing. There is still plenty more a parent can teach a child, so where the child goes to school should not be an issue. I think home schooling is just a parents power trip and, in all fairness, do not see the point of having home schooling be an option for students and parents at all.

  43. Karen Joy Says:

    I think home schooling is just a parents power trip and, in all fairness, do not see the point of having home schooling be an option for students and parents at all.
    ” Holy moly, Rachel. Are you SERIOUS????

    It’s my guess that you don’t have children. It’s also my guess that you don’t actually know any homeschoolers IRL. You claim to know “many,” but I have a hard time believing that, because of your statements.

    So, you really think that the desire to educate one’s own child, one’s own responsibility, is a power trip??? I’m hard to shock, but I literally gasped when I read that.

    As I mentioned in a previous comment, I’m not totally anti-public schools. The vast majority of homeschooling families aren’t the hyper-sheltered isolationists you describe. They just see homeschooling as an opportunity to do well for their children, and want to spend time with their kids, rather than just pawn them off as someone else’s responsibility. Also, homeschooled kids almost across the board get a better education than their publically-schooled counterparts. Testing (like the Iowa and other achievement tests) shows it. The SATs show it. (I think I recall the last stat I read that approximately 30% of the perfect SAT scores are from homeschooled kids.) Homeschooled kids routinely win the National Spelling and Geography Bees. Heck, my own 8yo just won an essay contest and gets to go on TV on Sunday for it.

    If my kids are sheltered, it’s a heckuva lot better than what I heard today, as I stopped for a bus who had just let off a bunch of kids. A whole passel of them, probably eight or younger, were screaming, “F***!!!!” at each other and laughing their heads off. I think my 6yo should be sheltered from that. And, as my kids mature — my oldest is nearly 11 — my husband and I talk w/ him at our own pace about things he encounters with friends, on TV, on billboards, etc. So, yes, my kids are sheltered enough to not go around screaming the F-bomb at other young kids, but I doubt that they are too sheltered.

    Move to Germany, where homeschooling is outlawed, as are a number of other rights that parents in the US enjoy. You may find yourself more at home.

  44. The Real Cons of Homeschooling, revisited « Only Sometimes Clever Says:

    […] blog of homeschooling mother and author, Tammy Takahashi.  She first posted a great article called The Real Cons of Homeschooling more than a year and a half ago, on October 4, 2006.  I’ve been following it ever since.  […]

  45. Childlife Says:

    “…where the child goes to school should not be an issue. I think home schooling is just a parents power trip and, in all fairness, do not see the point of having home schooling be an option for students and parents at all.”

    Rachel – In all fairness? Really? Your motivation for making this statement was an effort to be equitable?

    I’m sorry, but I fail to see how completely removing an educational option for a child, no matter what that child’s circumstances are, equates to fair-minded educational opportunities.

    Perhaps an example might expand your point of view…

    My daughter is five years old. At five years old she has been through 25 surgeries and more medical trauma than I can even begin to fathom. She’s had a trach and still has a g-tube. She also has a rare condition called cyclic vomiting syndrome which presents as 1-2 week-long episodes where she sleeps in excess of 22 hours a day, is unable to eat, looses control of her bowel function and rouses only to retch, gag, and writhe in pain. It then can take up to two weeks to allow her to recover from these episodes in a stress-free environment so that she doesn’t trigger an immediate second episode. She has serious food sensitivities, which can trigger these episodes and also has some severe oral feeding aversions due to the fact that she was on a ventilator for two months of her life and had a birth defect which interfered with her swallowing ability while she was very young.

    In spite of all of these challenges, she is bright, outgoing, and energetic. She isn’t due to start kindergarten until this fall, but she is already reading and writing and has a remarkable vocabulary. I have heavily involved her in our states Early Intervention program, seeking to provide her with every opportunity to learn. I have been accused of a lot of things regarding my daughter’s upbringing, but a power trip has never been one of them. Even before she was born, I have fought for her with all of my strength and every ounce of my passion to secure for her whatever it was she needed in life to succeed, whether medical, educational or otherwise. If public school was what she needed to succeed, you can bet I would pour my heart and soul into seeing that she got it.

    I had a meeting this week, to discuss my daughter’s educational needs with local public school officials. At our meeting, I went over my concerns with them: That her medical diagnosis will sometimes cause her to miss several consecutive weeks of school, that the school nurse and her teacher would need to be trained on how to handle and appropriately address her CVS episodes if one of them were to come on suddenly during school hours, of the serious nature of her food sensitivities, of her feeding challenges which necessitate someone to be with her at all times supervising her meals. After the hour-long meeting, the public school officials informed me that home schooling may be the best option for my child. That I would be able to streamline and pace her curriculum to match her health. That they would not likely be able to secure an attendant to assist her during mealtimes to keep her safe. That I had been doing an exceptional job in providing her with what she needed and that they doubted that they would be able to match me at it.

    So I ask you… would removing the option of home schooling for my child truly be all that is right and equitable in the world? In all fairness?

  46. Jesus Freakk Says:

    I’m a homeschooled freshman in highschool. There’s another thing that is a downside about HS’ing that totally struck me when I heard it last year and it stuck in my mind: Most of the homeschooled teens I have met are all Christians, like me. That is great that we have that in common and it kinda connects us. But, where does witnessing and spreading Jesus come in when all you do is hang out with believers? For me, that is a big thing to think about. Once your kid is in highschool, hopefully they have their mind made up about a lot of things. They can make decisions based on what they know to be real.

    That developed ability is going to force them to make a choice one way or another. Good, or bad. Stick with what you have figured out, or make yourself learn those lessons all over again and much more harshly. Going to public school would expose them to all these things they have been preparing for. I realize that we can meet lots of different kinds of people without going to gov’t (tax)-funded schools, but sometimes it is hard to go out and spread it if Mom and Dad are following us around with an umbrella.

    That thought has been making me think that maybe next year, maybe the year after, I’m going to go out and be a real Jesus Freak. I’m not going to become walking MTV like everybody else; I’m going to school, I’m going to get my eyes opened, I’m going to raise my hand and challenge the teacher as to why slime-origin is more valid a belief than that of a Creator. Then I’m going to go back home to my parents and my animals and my Bible and I’m going to always have my roots at heart. That’s what it is all mainly about, right?

    I’m not trying to convince all homeschooler parents to enroll their kids into a public school. Not only would that be unrealistic and highly demented of me, it would be mean if your kids don’t even want to go. Besides, you don’t really have to let go of your kids until they become adults. All I’m saying is, there are always two sides.

  47. Anthony Says:

    Here is one reason, among many, why parents take their children out of today’s public schools.

    When I was in first grade, the teachers thought that I had several learning disabilities.
    The teacher did this because I did not write neat and complete all of the required writing assignments.

    We had to write at least 10-20 sentences every day in my first grade class!!

    My parents took me out and homeschooled me from 2nd through 12th grade.

    I graduated a year early and now I am getting my masters degree in science with a minor in math.

    I am getting hired to teach at an online University so I can work at home and help homeschool my own children.

    So maybe if some of these public school teachers knew a little more about diagnostics of learning disabilities, we might have more respect for public school.

    Homeschooling kids are normal. My brother was homeschooled and now he is preparing to run his own business.

    I’m not putting down public school. Just don’t go so far about the lame socialization issues.

    If your kids want all of the socialization, let them go to public school.

    I have friends, I talk to people normally.

    In fact, I seen people completely anti-social that have gone to public schools and some with homeschools


  48. apaulinaria Says:

    Commentary on the article:

    1. Wow what a horrible notion. No parent/child should ever be asked to do this… What an outrage!
    2. *See comment above.
    3. Eh… Whatever, let them think that public schools will actually teach their kids, more money for my kids :)!
    4. I think with the new inventions called the library and internet we can accomplish this mission without too many casualties. Plus it would teach kids communication and how to be resourceful! I think so far these “cons” sound like pros…
    5. You don’t want to deal in affairs of child, don’t have one. As a parent I think it’s pretty much clear that now your life has changed and it’s all about your kids either way.
    6.Yeah, this is too hard. Yuck… Who wants to be “a good person, open minded, involved with family, and dedicated to understanding their children”? I guess I’ll just send my kids to a public school because I’d rather be “a close minded, uninvolved, undedicated nutjob”. Now that I think about it, this article seems to be very satirical.
    7. Versus the bullying, peer pressure, teenage drama, and self confidence issues in public schools?
    8. Yet another great lesson rarely taught in public schools!
    9. This is a joke, right? Isn’t that the kind of confidence and independence we want our kids to acquire?
    10. And on that note…. Once again, I might be the odd woman out, but those are things we all have to learn sooner or later. Wouldn’t it be better sooner? Plus, I don’t think the first part of this argument is valid because even public school students have to learn this. I know I did… it was in rare form that my room stayed clean for more than a day.
    So all in all, these seem, again, more like pros versus cons.
    The author, although pointing out some very good points, failed to explain how this list is a list of cons. Instead, it has a feeling of being more of a “This is What Home Schooling is Like” than “The Real Cons of Home Schooling”.

  49. Adrienne Says:

    I went to an all-girls private school until age 17. Not having boys around could have been poor social preparation for life – but that’s not true – just like home-schooled kids will not lack socialization without being with kids their own age for 6 hours a day.

  50. Lori Says:

    Thanks for the links to your Cons lists. Very informative and inspirational!

  51. Mike McMahon Says:

    As a school board member for school district of 10,000 students I enjoyed reading your list. Whenever I speak to parents who are grappling with the choice to send to their child to private or charter schools (only one experience with a homeschooling) I completely understand that the parent is doing so with best intention for their child. So while I do my best to make public education excellent, I am not least offended when a parent opts of the traditional public school.

  52. John Says:

    I found this post to be an informative discussion. I must say, however, that the spelling and grammar of some of the home teachers is not very impressive. How does the home schooling system ensure that their child surpasses their sole teacher’s competency level.

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