St Aiden's Homeschool – Our Other Blog

August 22, 2009

Homeschooling ~ The Darker Side, Yes there is one :)

Homeschooling – The Darker Side

Yes there is actually one 🙂

It’s not all sugar ‘n spice and smooth sailing on the homeschooling
front. Like all things in life, there is a downside that has to be
seriously considered when you explore the homeschooling option.
Though one man’s bane may be another man’s boon, there are certain
common reasons for concern.

The responsibility of teaching your child rests solely on you. You
cannot blame anyone else if your child is seen wanting in the
skills that his peers excel in. If your child cannot do the things
that are expected from other children of his age group, it can
reflect adversely on you as an educator as well as a parent.

Having said this I hasten to add that I am a firm supporter in each  child developing at his or her own pace, with gentle but constant encouragement in areas where he or she is clearly battling a little.

A critical part of homeschooling is the time that you will have to allocate to the preparation of lessons, and the lessons themselves.  Obviously you (and they) will benefit by spending so much more time with your child/ren.

You may well have to give up your friends, shopping and other entertainment and dedicate all these or at the very least the equivalent in quality time to your child/ren. (I personally had absolutely no difficulty with this)

This can I would imagine become frustrating at times. You will have to learn to take the aggravation with equanimity and wait for the rewards with patience and enthusiasm.

A parent who is dedicated to tutor his or her child single handedly does not realistically have much time left over for a career or in fact that much of a social life.  Well this is the general belief.  It is however quite possible to have all three simultaneously, the
entire family does benefit. However, for some this may mean that the family is robbed of an additional source of income. (As a single parent with no regular child support this of course really doesn’t affect me personally at all.)  In turn, this may lead to stress
over finances. You will have to train yourself to live on a strictly controlled budget. While this is a matter of habit, it does need some getting used to.  Homeschooling is NOT a cheaper option to the already prohibitively expensive conventional education methods
in South Africa.  It is however a safer alternative, where your child/ren can grow, learn, be respected, loved and nurtured in a safe loving family environment.

You cannot take a break when you feel like it. Feelings of guilt will probably assail you if you neglect studies just because you are feeling blue. You may also fear that your child/ren will take advantage of the situation. Even when you have given homework, you have to be around to give a helping hand. This means that anytime your child is around you, youare on duty! For some, this may mean working every waking hour. The child studying at home also needs to get out and about more, even if just for walks on nature trails, a visit to a nursery etc. This comes from staying at home all the time. Interaction with adults and other children does need to be given special attention.

Children tutored at home cannot develop in the various directions that are open to children attending public schools. To achieve that kind of exposure, you either have to be a super-parent skilled in everything, or enroll your child to various activities.
This may not only prove too costly, but also be counter-productive.  Again having said this, I must point out that in a recent survery it was estimated that there is as little as an hour to two hours of formal teaching taking place in public schools during the day. The
day is generally taken up by break-times, tea-times, play-times, assemblies, inspections, teacher meetings, sports practice, play practice and the like.  A Homeschooled child is receiving education in one form or another every single hour of his or her awake time. I
state this as a fact ~ from personal experience.

Lastly, if you envision enrolling your child to a public school, there may be a certain period of emotional as well as social adjustment. A child who is used to being at home for the whole day and enjoying so much of uncontained freedom may have to undergo some distressing emotional upheavals before he or she gets used to the rigours and disruptions of a regular school life.

I know where my choice lies.. no two ways about that..

Donnette E Davis

St Aiden’s Homeschool


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