I thought it was only right that I present the reasons for not home schooling given that I had already written reasons in its favor. There are disadvantages of home schooling that need to be considered alongside the positive arguments expressed in the earlier article. Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons for not home schooling your children.
1. Structure, Discipline and Time Management
One of the prime reasons for not home schooling is the motivation for instituting a routine. When you’re at home, and you have nowhere to be, there is no imperative to be in a rush to start the lessons. If the child might be in a bad or uncooperative mood that day, how does the hapless mother get him or her to the designated learning area and then try to teach that bundle of joy? Whereas when they are bundled off to school, they will often snap out of a mood once they say hi to their friends, and go on to have a productive day of lessons and a generally fine day. In the structured environment of school, the kids learn discipline and time management, and learn to work within a structure. These are essential skills that we all need in the big world. A base that lacks these will lead to a newly-minted adult being thrown into a shark tank.
2. What Qualifies a Parent to Be a Teacher?
We already don’t need a permit to be a parent. I think a lot of you will agree that many, many parents wouldn’t pass if we needed certification to have children. So what qualifies a parent to teach or undertake home schooling? In that case, why do we require our teachers to be trained? The usual parent to home school is the mother. By definition, she is a housewife. If she’s been a housewife since she had her kiddies, or even if she recently left the workplace, how in touch is she with the world? While some mothers are, I'm sure, quite qualified to teach their children, there are some who likely are not.
3. Objective and Practical Application
A parent teaching their own child (let’s assume it’s mom) means that she relates to her child as a teacher the same way she relates to him/her as a mom. She molds the child as a parent, now she gets to mold that young mind as a teacher. She hears the child as her kiddie, not as a student; she has the same ears. The student will not be heard as he/she would be by an objective teacher. That’s not taking into account her life experience. What if she were useless at math at school? Or history? Home schooling by an untrained parent is not desirable. Toss in a stressed mother that never gets a break from motherhood except when the child is tucked in for the night, and you’ve got an unhealthy mix. This is not even touching on how the environment of home schooling may facilitate abuse; where is the counselor for the child to go to for help? Again, I'm sure there are exceptions to this.
4. Assessing the Student
Momma sees her baby as the best thing since sliced bread. Or conversely, Momma thinks Ethan or Jenna is a little behind the bell curve, if you know what I mean. A mother doesn't always have the objectivity needed to properly assess progress, or lack of it. I’ll argue that she won’t recognize a gifted child. Nor one that may need specialized attention, or remedial learning. Those non-normative children will fall through the cracks, whereas in general, across-the board institutionalized assessments would have caught them.
5. A Biased Point of View
Another of the disadvantages of home schooling is that the child is only exposed to one tutor’s point of view; that view may be biased about certain areas to the point of blindness. A child who is at school is exposed to many distinctly different points of view of many educated teachers, and so their horizon becomes expanded.
6. Inspiration from a Teacher
Many of us can point to an inspirational teacher, and most of us will claim one of our parents was possibly more inspirational than the other. What happens when they fuse to become the one person? How sad to sentence a child to be deprived of one source of inspiration and influence because home schooling isolates children from skilled educators. Even the most talented home-school mom would love that her child was inspired by a stellar teacher, other than her.
7. After-school Activities
Extra-curricular activities are a hugely important fact of education. Sports teach you how to be part of a team as well as instilling a sense of competition. Other activities forge relationships and present a huge number of developmental opportunities for the growing child. There is much more effort involved to enable home-schooled children to participate in after school clubs, sports teams, and all those activities that are primarily organized and run by educational institutes.
8. Friendship and Interaction with Peers
Kids form close friendships at school. These friendships may end after school, or they may last a lifetime. Either way, they form part of who we are, and our memories. Kids who are isolated at home away from their peers have far less opportunity to befriend others, and will inevitably end up with a smaller group of friends, if at all. Sure, some home-schooled kids still have a big circle of friends, and some public-schooled friends don't have many, but it's a fair generalization.
I believe the above reasons for not home schooling are far from comprehensive, but provide a few good points to counter balance the advantages presented earlier. Hopefully together, the 2 articles will provide a good view of both sides of the argument. Were or are you being home-schooled? Did you experience any of these disadvantages?