While this article is primarily about the benefits of homeschooling, you’ll discover a video with homeschool pros and cons.
At HomeSchool ThinkTank, we believe the advantages of homeschooling outweigh the disadvantages, but our goal is to help you make an informed decision about your child’s education.
In this article about the homeschool pros and cons, you’ll find the following.
- List of homeschooling benefits.
- Video about the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling.
- A podcast episode about one huge benefit of homeschooling.
- Information about our homeschool consulting services.
- The opportunity to comment on the pros and cons of homeschooling.
Click a bullet point to go directly to the information you want to know more about.
Embracing the Benefits of Homeschooling: A Story from a Homeschool Mom
Hi! My name is Jackie, and I’ve been a homeschooling mom for about 15 years. I’m a licensed physical education teacher, certified life coach, the founder of HomeSchool ThinkTank, and host of the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast.
I’ll begin by sharing a story about one particular day in the life of my homeschooling family. When you homeschool your kids, you really can have a relaxed homeschool schedule. The story I’m about to share illustrates this point and other benefits of homeschooling as well.
While my family has a basic routine and educational plan in place, we are flexible and adjust our days accordingly. Our relationships, health, and education are all important.
Homeschooling allows flexibility in your life that cannot be matched when your kids attend traditional school.
There are two primary ways you can be flexible with homeschooling.
- Your homeschool schedule.
- Style or approach to homeschooling.
In this article, you’ll see how homeschooling allows my family to have a relaxed schedule. In addition, I’ll share how I mix traditional and non-traditional approaches to education.
My Relaxed Homeschool Schedule
There are many benefits to homeschooling your children, and a flexible schedule is one huge benefit of this lifestyle. If you’re like I was, it might take you years to fully embrace this benefit of homeschooling.
While this story is from a few years ago, it’s an excellent illustration of our relaxed homeschool schedule.
Early one morning, I scheduled an unanticipated and urgent dentist appointment for my oldest daughter. Unlike a parent whose child is in public school, I didn’t consider how this appointment might impact my daughter’s school day. I knew the appointment worked for our family, so I quickly scheduled the only available appointment that day.
Here are a few things I might have been concerned about if my child were in a traditional public or private school.
- Turning in assignments.
- Making up tests.
- Extra homework that evening.
- Explaining why my child missed school.
- How missing school would impact my daughter and our family’s evening.
As a homeschooling mom, I didn’t need to worry about any of these concerns. Just a little side note here: If your kids are in school, I don’t believe you owe your child’s school an explanation when your child misses school. It’s none of their business.
Another Benefit to Homeschooling: Waking Up Naturally
Most days, my kids slept until they woke up naturally, which was about 7:00. On the day of our early dentist appointment, I woke my oldest daughter up earlier than normal, but my younger daughter continued to sleep. While my youngest was too young to stay home alone, it wasn’t a problem because my husband works from home. He was there when she awoke.
Homeschool Pro: Self-Reliance
When my younger daughter awoke, she visited with her dad for about 15 minutes, then went outside to feed the animals. Afterward, she cooked her breakfast and got ready for the day.
Later that morning, my daughter began her schoolwork. She knew what to do and started without any prodding from me or my husband. With each passing year, my children are increasingly more responsible. While homeschooling can be challenging at times, in my experience, things get easier as your kids get older.
p.s. My oldest daughter has now graduated and moved on with her young adult life. Don’t blink! The years go fast.
Video: Homeschool Pros and Cons
Homeschooling offers unparalleled flexibility that cannot be matched when kids attend school. However, like anything in life, there are both pros and pros and cons to homeschooling your kids.
Advantages of Homeschooling: Time with Parents
While my youngest was home with her dad, I had alone time with my older daughter. On our 30-minute drive to town, we visited. For the most part, my daughter talked, and I listened. While I tire of our long drives to town, I’ve always thought that our car rides were great for my relationships with each of my daughters.
As a homeschooling parent, I frequently recognize that I have far more time to visit with my kids than I would if they attended a traditional school. The time that I get with my kids and the opportunities we have for deep conversations far surpass what we would have if my kids went to school.
I believe that untethered time with my kids is another advantage of homeschooling.
A Benefit of Homeschooling: Flexible Schedule
We live in the country, so since we were out and about, we took advantage of our time in town. We decided to go to the gym. I attended an exercise class while my daughter went to the boxing room. If you’re a homeschooling family, you’ll likely count your child’s time at the gym as Physical Education for the day.
On the way home, we took a little more advantage of our flexible schedule. We picked up some of the kids’ homeschooling friends. Upon our arrival, my youngest daughter put her schoolwork away to play with her friend.
Since it was lunchtime, the older girls took over the kitchen. I call this Home Economics 101. While I love that the kids experiment in the kitchen, if you’ve ever been around teens who are learning to cook, I think you’ll feel my pain!
Homeschooling Advantages: More Time for Play & Exercise
Another advantage of homeschooling is having playdates and sleepovers when most kids are in school. And unlike a school recess, we don’t limit playtime to 15 minutes. As a result, my kids have the opportunity to build meaningful relationships and move as much as they need to move.
Let me tell you about the younger girls‘ Physical Education. First, the younger girls jumped on the trampoline. Let me rephrase that, they didn’t just jump, they also moved like horses. They galloped, cantered, and trotted. They also hopped like real rabbits. Like any kid, they tested their physical ability on the trampoline.
Then, they did Physical Education like you’ve never seen it. They headed out to the arena and set up an obstacle course with vertical poles, barrels, jumps, and parallel poles on the ground. And this course wasn’t set up for the horses, they set it up for themselves. The girls ran this course over and over and over again. It was amazing. I don’t think many people could keep up with them. It was a workout and a half.
What I love most about all of this is that it was child-initiated. I didn’t tell the kids what to do, but they were self-driven and creative.
Another Homeschooling Advantage: Working & Playing Around the Weather
If your family has large animals like livestock or you like to do outdoor activities, then being flexible in your daily schedule is a huge advantage to homeschooling.
As a homeschooling family, you can adjust your schedule accordingly and get outdoors when the weather is best. I believe that spending time outdoors is good for physical and mental health, and science clearly supports this.
HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast: Embracing the Benefits of Homeschooling
More Benefits of Homeschooling: Listening to Your Body
The opportunity to listen to your body is among the many benefits of homeschooling. As a homeschooler, here are ways that your child can listen to their body.
- Move when you want or need to.
- Do schoolwork when your attention span is high.
- Eat when you’re hungry.
- Rest when you’re tired.
- Go to the bathroom without permission.
- Speak when you have something to say.
- Ask questions when you’re curious or confused.
Following their natural body rhythm isn’t an option when children are in public school. The public education system trains children to do as they are told when they are told to do so.
Homeschooled children can also follow other natural desires. Here are some examples.
- Read to entertain yourself.
- Learn about something you’re interested in.
- Create for your pleasure or to contribute to society.
Unlike children in school, my kids have the right to listen to themselves. To learn more about how the public education system impacts children, read the article “Dumbing Us Down.” It summarizes John Taylor Gatto’s book, which explains the “Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling.”
Benefits to Homeschooling: Flexibility In Your Approach to Education & Learning
Of the many benefits to homeschooling my kids, the flexibility that homeschooling allows in our educational approach is a tremendous advantage. I don’t believe that education needs to resemble a traditional classroom. In addition, I don’t need to lead all of my children’s education.
Children are born with an innate desire to learn. When allowed, they will follow their interests and educate themselves. To learn more about this, read my article about unschooling.
Pros of Homeschooling: More About My Flexible Approach to Education
On the day of my oldest daughter’s dental appointment, my younger daughter did complete some of her traditional homeschooling curriculum. On the other hand, my oldest daughter didn’t do any of her homeschooling curriculum. However, there was an abundance of child-led learning at play that day.
As a homeschooling mom, I’ve learned to be flexible with our schedule and my approach to my children’s education. Believe me, this didn’t come easy to me. I definitely started homeschooling by trying to emulate the public education system in my home. That didn’t work so well.
Educational Benefits of Homeschooling
After the younger girls exhausted themselves outdoors, they came inside to read books together. Their favorite book is a snake encyclopedia. If you have questions about reptiles, these two could probably give you the answers!
While the younger kids were reading together, the older girls were writing a book. This was not an assignment but something they worked on for months together.
I recognize that non-traditional education has as much value, and sometimes more value, than a curriculum-based approach. This is why I’m willing to let my kids “skip” school sometimes. I recognize that allowing my children to play and socialize also has educational value.
Consider what my kids did in one day.
My oldest child did these things.
- Took care of her dental health (health.)
- My daughter spent time in conversation with me (communication.)
- She went to the gym and practiced boxing techniques (exercise.)
- Cooked a meal with a friend (creativity and socialization.)
- Worked on writing a book with her friend (writing, research, creativity, problem-solving, and communication.)
- Grammarly helps with spelling and punctuation while writing the book.
My youngest child did these things.
- Had a conversation with her dad (communication.)
- Cooked her own breakfast (responsibility.)
- She started schoolwork on her own (self-initiative.)
- Created an obstacle course with a friend (problem-solving, communication, and creativity involved.)
- Ran the obstacle course (exercised.)
- Read books with her friend (reading, comprehension, and communication.)
- Played with toy horses with her friend (socialization and imagination.)
Live & Learn Your WayTM
My girl’s hung out with their friends most of the afternoon. And this happened right in the middle of a traditional school day. Sometimes, they even have sleepovers on school nights. Gasp!
After my daughters’ friends went home, we continued into our evening routine. It’s not a big deal that they didn’t complete their schoolwork. There’s tomorrow, and we do school year-round. For our family, this works best.
At the end of the day, both of my kids learned plenty and progressed with their education in meaningful ways. For us, some days have a curriculum-based component, while other days are filled with child-led learning. This is a nice balance for my family. However, I believe that each homeschooling family should Live & Learn Your Way.
Homeschool Consulting & Coaching!
Benefits & Advantages of Homeschooling
These are generalized statements. Clearly, there will always be exceptions and some parents who aren’t doing a stellar job of homeschooling their kids. However, at HomeSchool ThinkTank, we believe most homeschooling parents have good intentions and act in the best interest of their children.
- Academic Flexibility & Educational Options: Homeschool families utilize many different methods of homeschooling. In addition, there are a variety of curriculum options.
- Calm Household: In a homeschooling household, there’s no need for morning madness. Homeschooling allows you to have calm mornings & pleasant evenings. Also, homeschooled kids have time for sports, fun, and friends without worrying about homework.
- Career Exploration: Homeschooled teens can find opportunities to explore many different careers. Whether working, volunteering, or “going to work” with various professionals, they have time to find opportunities that interest them.
- Childhood Prolonged: Schooling interrupts childhood. When kids are home, their time isn’t as structured, and they play more. In addition, homeschooled kids tend to be less exposed to the pressures and influences that society puts on kids.
- Community Involvement: When homeschooling, kids have more time to volunteer and participate in community activities.
- Conformity: As homeschoolers, there is far less pressure to fit in.
- Connection: Homeschooling families spend more time together and do more together. The shared experiences families have provide more opportunities to connect with one another.
- Conversations: Homeschool families eat many meals together, ride places together, and have many shares experiences and time. This opens up ample opportunity for conversations.
- Diversity in Education: Homeschooling families approach education in a variety of ways. Within one family, children may be educated differently.
- Dress code: Most kids would agree that the lack of a dress code is a positive!
- Drug Exposure: There’s not a lot of peer pressure to do drugs in the homeschooling community.
- Educational Philosophy: You may have your own ideas about education. When you homeschool your kids, you can put these ideas into action. Learn about HomeSchool ThinkTank’s philosophy for homeschooling here.
- Exercise & Fitness: With homeschooling, your child will have more time to play, exercise, and move throughout the day.
- Extracurricular Activities: If your child wants to participate in extracurricular activities, time is on your side.
- Field Trips: Many homeschooling families plan regular field trips. You can integrate trips with homeschooling curriculum or go on field trips as stand-alone educational opportunities.
- Flexible Schedule: Do school on days and times that work for your family.
- Freedom: When homeschooling your children, you truly have the freedom to Live & Learn Your WayTM.
- Friendships with People of All Ages: Homeschool families tend to hang out together. As a result, homeschooled kids learn how to interact with adults and kids of all ages. Visit this article to learn how homeschoolers make friends.
- Grandparents: Homeschooled kids have more time to spend with grandparents. They can take their schoolwork with them or have more natural learning experiences.
- Homework: Maybe the thought of no homework sounds ironic for homeschoolers. However, school is done on your terms, not on a school schedule.
- Household Chores: Homeschooled kids have more time to contribute to household chores.
- Illness: When homeschooled, most kids can still work on some schoolwork through the common cold. If a child has a serious illness, homeschooling may be the only way to meet compulsory attendance laws.
- Individualized Education Plan: We’re not talking about the traditional school IEP. We’re simply saying that homeschooling really is an individualized education plan. Each of your children can homeschool in a way that works for the individual child.
- Job: When your teenager is old enough to get a job, homeschooling opens up many options unavailable to kids in traditional schools. This is possible because you have a flexible schedule.
- Learn at Your Own Pace: Homeschooled kids can progress through curriculum and educational opportunities at their own pace.
- Learning to Drive: Student drivers can practice when the roads are less busy during weekday hours.
- Love of Learning: Homeschooled kids have more time to learn and develop interests for the pure joy of it.
- Low Student-to-Teacher Ratio: Whether you do all the teaching, enroll your child in homeschool classes, or hire a tutor, the teacher-student ratio is bound to be better than in your local public school.
- Maturity: Due to spending more time with adults and being more responsible for their lives, homeschooled teens tend to be more mature than the average teenager.
- Mental Health: Homeschooled teens tend to have less pressure and exposure to bullying, which is better for their mental health. If your child is struggling in school, homeschooling will allow you time to focus on helping your child improve their mental health.
- Military & Traveling Families: For families who move often, homeschooling allows more consistency in a child’s education than changing schools.
- Natural Body Rhythms: Homeschooled kids can listen to their bodies. As needed, they can eat, move, use the restroom, rest, etc.
- Nutrition: No more school lunches! If your family eats healthy, nutritious foods, then you are giving your child the opportunity to develop good eating habits for life.
- Outdoor Time: As a homeschooling family, you can adjust to the weather and plan to be outdoors in the nicest part of the day. See this article about learning outdoors.
- Playtime: Homeschooled kids have less structured time and more time to play.
- Vision for Your Family: Create a vision for the life you want and have the flexibility to pursue it while homeschooling your children.
- Responsibility: Many homeschooled kids are responsible. From helping with siblings, chores, and starting their schoolwork independently, a sense of responsibility is established.
- Safe Learning Environment: Bullying and school violence is not much of a concern at home.
- Screen Time: With kids doing more and more online learning through school, their screen time is at an all-time high. Take back control over your child’s screen time with homeschooling.
- Shift Work: If you work odd hours, then you may be able to spend more time with your kids if you homeschool them.
- Social Skills: Many homeschooled kids have excellent social skills. This happens because homeschooling families interact with others and are involved in their communities.
- Special Needs: Kids with special needs may receive more of the accommodations they need through homeschooling.
- Teach to the Test: Education is not about testing! If your child is tired of standardized tests, then homeschooling might be for you. Stop focusing on tests and start focusing on education!
- Thinking: Children who attend school are trained on many different levels. They are trained to wait and be told what to do. They are trained to see if someone else believes their opinion is right or wrong. Generally speaking, kids are trained to look outside themselves for the correct answer. As a homeschooled child, there can be more opportunities to think and look within yourself for your own answers.
- Time: When your kids go to school, they spend massive amounts of time in school and with school-related activities. When kids homeschool, families get their time back and can spend time as they wish.
- Traveling: Go on vacation any time of the year or go on the adventure of a lifetime with roadschooling or worldschooling.
- Values: Share your values with your children.
- Variety of Learning Locations: Homeschooled kids can do school anywhere in their home or take their schoolwork outside of the home.
- Volunteer: With your flexible homeschool schedule, you’ll have more options to volunteer.
- Yearly School Calendar: Follow the traditional school model or school year-round.
More Articles & Podcast Episodes
- Different Styles & Approaches to Homeschooling
- The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Education
- Homeschool Curriculum
- Start Homeschooling
- More Parenting & Education Resources on Our Blog
Leave a Comment!
Share your thoughts about the pros and cons of homeschooling in the comments below!