Although pure homeschooling has no real disadvantages for children, there are concerns and stumbling blocks which have the potential to snag parents.
Here is a brief summary of the fundamental homeschooling disadvantages.
1. Misunderstanding Socialization
One of the most common objections brought up by people who have no experience or knowledge about homeschooling is the social aspect of going to school; that is, they fear a child who is homeschooled will be somehow deprived of basic socialization skills. Yet this is the most important reason a parent would choose to homeschool. There is nothing natural about spending time with tens or hundreds of kids the same age. In fact, the school environment can be quite toxic; children are often competing for attention which can foster selfish behavior, leading to all sorts of issues. The act of being separated from parents often creates a feeling of insecurity and/or abandonment. Young children are emotionally vulnerable and are still developing basic communication skills. A free and protected environment like at home, where parents can be more attentive to their child’s needs than a teacher who must monitor many children, is better.
2. Adopting The “Teacher” Role
If a parent thinks they need to be a “teacher” for their child, many problems can arise. For example, you may experience feelings of inadequacy in relation to not knowing enough about a subject. More importantly, from the child’s perspective, they will likely feel unnecessary pressure which will negatively affect your relationship with them in your role as their loving parent. The key is to do less, all the time; let them explore and discover things they find interesting and be attuned to supporting them when and if they ask. Remember, everything they have learned in their short lives so far has been learned without a single formal lesson. This includes the massive achievement of having learned to speak a language. You had patience when they did all this and they can show you they can do the same for just about anything else they learn if you give them the chance.
3. Time Restraints
If a parent misguidedly chooses to turn the home into a surrogate school and they assume the role of “teacher” while insisting on the use of textbooks and workbooks, then homeschooling can consume their time and sanity. However, if you allow your children to direct their own path, to follow their passions and interests, then learning will become something natural for them which takes much less effort on your part.
4. Educational Restrictions
If a parent doesn’t understand that a child just needs space and time to explore their own interests, they may get glued to a certain “teaching method” they think will best benefit their child, or they might panic that their child is not learning fast enough and try to compensate by forcing their child before they are ready. However, if you allow your child to become their own teacher, giving them space and time, there are no limits to what and how much they might explore and discover.
5. Financial Restraints
As a general rule, at least one parent needs to stay home, which means not working (unless they have a way to make money from home). If this is a potential struggle where the stay-at-home parent might have to start working part-time at some point in the future, this might create stress or pressure.
6. Living Outside “Normal” Society
By homeschooling, parents are removing themselves and their family from the mainstream, to a degree. They may need a thick skin to shield themselves from inevitable negative comments and criticisms. However, if you persist then this becomes a great learning experience for your children to observe: To stand up for what you believe in and to cultivate a healthy indifference toward worrying about what other people might think, particularly when they have little to no experience or knowledge of something.
[Note: That was an excerpt from Chapter 1 of my book, Home Time.]
What About Homeschooling Disadvantage No. 7?
Well, it’s the name!
The word “homeschooling” automatically puts in people’s minds the idea of a school-at-home which, for an unschooler (even/especially one with school teachers as parents), is the antithesis of what the whole experience is about.