As the days went by, my husband and I were starting to enjoy family time more. Usually, the prospect of having the kids at home all the time was daunting but now, with activities to do and nature walks to take, we were starting to enjoy it. We started exploring the idea of homeschooling. I think we were not the only ones – suddenly many families around the world were forced to homeschool their children during the pandemic as schools were closed. Some like us were now starting to see the benefits of homeschooling. We used this time at home to start researching.
To begin with, I remembered that I had read several articles by Tim Challies in the past about why he chose to send his kids to public school instead of homeschool. I revisited those and made mental notes. Then I started researching more on the internet and there are quite literally, a million blogs out there debating the benefits and drawbacks of homeschooling and the benefits and drawbacks of public schools. There are Tedtalks, videos, blog articles and books galore about the same.
However, what previously was just other people’s opinions and perspectives, now suddenly started to add up and make sense because of the practical knowledge that I was experiencing and accumulating. In such a short time, I have seen so many benefits to having my kids at home that both my husband and I were convinced that homeschooling was not just another mode of education but one that might be suitable to us as a family.
We started praying about it and spoke to a few church families who were homeschooling their kids and then we made a pro/con list ourselves. Below is our list, it is not in any particular order, my husband and I brainstormed these points in one evening and most of it is in shorthand.
|Pros of Homeschooling:||Cons of Homeschooling:|
|Helps to give our kids a Christian worldview.||Friendship, socialization, events (Christmas, school trips, performances, etc). Will they miss out on these? How can we compensate?|
|Better socialization with adults and people of all ages.||Public schools have teachers with specializations. |
What skills do I need to have to teach in general and also various subjects?
|Flexibility: with learning, time, travel||Resources available in school (labs, sports ground, swimming pool, etc)|
|Better family time, create a family heritage||Extra-curricular activities|
|Improved family relationships – parent/child, siblings||Engagement with unbelievers and the secular worldview. No exposure to worldly teaching opportunities. Read Challies’ articles.|
|Broader, deeper, personalized learning experience (versus teacher/student ratio issues)||Homeschool families are a minority group. Will we be ostracized?|
|Greater interaction/involvement in church events and activities||Regulatory/Local Authority issues|
|Biblical education||Ensuring attainment and standardization|
|Creative freedom||Difficult to change course if we change our mind and send them back to school.|
|More time for outdoor education, nature walks etc||My personal time would be limited and even the possibility of working if we needed the money.|
|Discipline and behaviour: able to know and observe my children’s personalities, struggles and hence help them in specific areas.||Cost! |
Even though schooling was covered as education allowance in my husband’s previous job in Dubai, we are now in London and seeking employment. Public schools are free here and homeschooling would come at a cost and would need to be budgeted.
|Blessing to me as a mother and is a good use of my time and talents|
|Husband able to give strategic input into homeschooling|
|Visibility and control into their learning|
|Better prepared for: a) starting and raising their own families b) wisdom, life skills, finances, morals|
|Less hours at school, no school run, bus rides etc|
|Not getting lost in the class/school crowd|
Please bear in mind that all of this is based on our perspective and experiences. We are both strongly of the opinion that homeschooling is a preference/choice and that we have freedom in Christ to decide how we educate our children. Homeschooling is just another mode of education and we have simply found it to be more suitable for us as a family.