June 26, 2023
The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling
If you're considering homeschooling for your child, you're not alone. There has been a 38% increase in the number of homeschooled children in the UK from 2017 to 2020, with over 75,000 children now being educated at home according to the latest UK government statistics from the 2019/2020 academic year.
Homeschooling has its advantages and disadvantages, and it's important as a parent to weigh these up carefully before making a decision on your child’s education.
The benefits of homeschooling
Homeschooling provides flexibility in when you teach, how long your child spends on each topic and what activities you decide to set, which can be customised to the student’s individual needs and interests. This can help children who need more time to understand a subject, and it can enable children to progress more quickly in areas they excel.
Homeschooling also provides the advantage of flexibility around your family’s lifestyle. Lessons can be scheduled around other commitments and can also be taught from anywhere, making homeschooling a perfect option for families who travel or for children pursuing careers alongside their education.
With homeschooling, parents can tailor the curriculum and teaching methods to suit their child’s unique needs, which they of course understand on a much deeper level than a teacher could. By providing one-on-one guidance, your child can develop a better understanding of the topics and help them to overcome learning challenges, with extra time dedicated to the exact areas they need it in the curriculum.
Homeschooling provides more opportunities for family time and shared experiences, such as field trips, extracurricular activities and hobbies. This can help to create a stronger family bond, as well as provide additional educational opportunities outside of the classroom setting.
Homeschooling also provides children with more opportunities to pursue their passions and interests. Which areas of the curriculum you spend the most time on can be tailored to a child’s specific interests and learning style. This can help to spark and cultivate a love of learning that can last a lifetime. It also allows more time to dedicate to extracurricular activities or hobbies, giving children the chance to explore their interests and develop new skills.
Parental challenges of homeschooling
Homeschooling requires a significant time commitment from parents, including careful planning and preparation, as well as a commitment to teaching and supervising children daily. This can be challenging for parents who work full-time or have other commitments, and it can also be emotionally and mentally taxing without the support of a partner or co-teacher.
When homeschooling, parents are responsible for their child’s education, including curriculum development, teaching and providing feedback. This level of responsibility can be overwhelming, and it may be challenging for parents who lack teaching experience or knowledge in certain subject areas.
Challenges for homeschooled children
Strained Parental Relationship
Homeschooling can sometimes place a strain on the relationship between parent and child. Parents may find it difficult to balance the roles of being a parent and educator. Homeschooling can cause stress and frustration when attempting to teach difficult subjects or handle behaviour issues. Similarly, children may feel pressure to perform academically to please their parents.
Socialisation with Peers
While homeschooling allows for a more individualised and focused approach to learning, it can also limit opportunities for children to interact with other children their own age. Parents may need to be proactive in seeking out social opportunities for their homeschooled children, such as enrolling their child in clubs, sports teams, or other extracurricular activities.
Achieving homeschooling success
While there are certain challenges to homeschooling, many parents are seeing that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, and there is also lots of homeschooling support for parents out there too. Homeschooling offers a unique and personalised approach to education that allows parents to tailor their child’s learning to their individual needs and interests. With careful planning and support, many families have successfully navigated the challenges and found homeschooling to be a rewarding and effective educational option.
We have seen many of these success stories ourselves at King’s InterHigh. We support homeschooling families with our online learning provision around the world. Matthew Hyland, parent to one of King’s InterHigh’s students, has seen the benefits of learning from home for his daughter Nina.
"I am extremely proud of my daughter for the way she applied herself to her studies each day and I am confident her home taught experience with King's InterHigh has given her much more than just exam grades."