Homeschooling has become a popular alternative to traditional schooling in recent years and it is a desirable choice for many families. While parents may believe that homeschooling is ideal for their children, many don’t know how challenging it can be for a student to be successful in homeschooling.
The following article looks at the challenges facing a student who is homeschooled and the difficulties they face in their schooling.
1: The Different Types of Homeschooling
Homeschooling can mean different things to different people and the type of homeschooling can affect the level of difficulty it presents. Generally, homeschooling falls into one of four categories; structured, relaxed, traditional and unschooling. Structured homeschooling is where the student follows a plan of study that is mapped out by the parents and has a set number of hours dedicated to learning and assignments.
Relaxed homeschooling is less organized and allows the student to learn at their own pace but still focuses on academic achievement, which may involve taking tests and exams. Traditional homeschooling uses the same methods of a regular school, incorporating textbooks, worksheets and other traditional elements to teach.
Unschooling is student-led and eliminates the need for textbooks, homework and other typical school activities.
2: The Benefits of Homeschooling
Homeschooling has a number of benefits that can benefit a student, including the time and freedom to learn independently, the opportunity to learn more deeply and personalize the learning experience, the chance to form meaningful connections at an earlier age and more. A student who is homeschooled is able to move through education independently, without relying on teachers, classmates and pressure to do well, which can be incredibly beneficial. Homeschooling can also provide the student with more one-on-one time with their parents and prevent them from being exposed to a number of negative forces in the traditional school environment.
3: Disadvantages of Homeschooling
Despite the many benefits of homeschooling, there are a number of challenges faced by a student who is being homeschooled. It can be difficult for a student to stay motivated, particularly when learning in an environment that does not give them any external motivation to do so. Without a regular school setting, the student may be unable to access the same resources and support that would be available in a traditional setting and this can be difficult in some areas, such as math and science.
Additionally, the risk of isolation can be a challenge faced by many homeschooled students, without their peers and friends to energize their learning.
4: The Difficulty of Keeping up with Studies
One of the most common challenges faced by students homeschooling is finding ways to stay motivated and keep up with their studies. Depending on the type of homeschooling they are doing, the student may be required to complete assignments, tests and other work, which can be difficult if they are not used to this type of learning.
It can also be hard for a student to keep up with the same level of learning that their peers in a traditional school setting may be receiving. Without regular face-to-face learning, it can be difficult to get timely feedback and it may be difficult to comprehend the material without help.
5: Challenges of Accessing the Same Resources of a Traditional School
Students in a traditional school environment usually have access to a variety of resources that can help them in their learning. In many cases, these resources are not as accessible in a homeschooling environment. As such, it can be difficult for a student to keep up with the same educational standards that their peers in a traditional school setting may be accessing.
It can also be hard to get help on certain subjects and to engage with teachers in the same way.
6: The Need for Parental Involvement
In order for a student to be successful when homeschooling, they will need regular and attentive parental involvement. This can be a challenge for a busy parent, as they need to dedicate a considerable amount of time to engaging with their student, offering feedback, helping with homework and ensuring they are keeping on track.
Additionally, it can be difficult to manage the workload when there are multiple students in the home, meaning that some students may miss out on the parent’s attention due to the other commitments.
7: Difficulties with Socialization
Socialization is an important part of the education process, yet it can be a difficult challenge for students homeschooled in isolation. It can be hard for some students to meet new people and develop relationships outside of school or their home, which can limit their opportunities for friendship and further learning.
Additionally, some students may find it difficult to adjust to social situations that involve groups of people, as they may not have learned how to do this in a homeschooling environment.
8: Struggles to Access Educational Trips and Events
When learning in a traditional school environment, students usually get the opportunity to take part in a variety of educational trips and events, such as field trips, educational seminars and workshops. This is not the same for students who are homeschooled, as they may not have the same access to these opportunities.
The lack of exposure to these events and trips can create difficulty for some students as they miss out on the chance to learn in a different way and to gain a different perspective on their learning.
9: Increase in Technology Use in Homeschooling
In recent years, technology has become an increasingly important part of homeschooling. While this can be beneficial, depending on the type of homeschooling, it can also be a challenge for some.
Many students are used to traditional methods of learning and may find it difficult to adjust to using digital tools, such as learning platforms and iPads. Additionally, the use of technology can limit the student’s exposure to real world skills and activities, as they will spend much of their time in the digital sphere.
10: Difficulty with Creating Portfolios and Keeping Records
When learning in a traditional school, students usually have the chance to create portfolios and keep records of their progress and development. This is more difficult for a student who is homeschooled, as they may not have the same guidance and expertise of a teacher or educator.
Additionally, it can be hard for parents to effectively document their student’s learning and to make sure that their records are kept up to date.
11: Issues Managing Finances When Homeschooling
Homeschooling can be an expensive option and it can be hard for families to manage the finances that come with it. Many homeschooling families have to pay for educational materials and resources, as well as for additional activities and trips that may be available in a traditional school setting. It can be particularly difficult if the family is on a low income, as they may struggle to meet the costs of homeschooling.
12: Stigma That Still Surrounds Homeschooling
Homeschooling is still seen by some as a negative choice and there can be a stigma attached to it. This can present challenges for the student, as they may feel isolated and misunderstood by their peers in traditional school settings. Additionally, it can be difficult for the student to fit in when they eventually transition back to traditional schooling, as they may find it hard to re-engage with the school environment.
13: Adjustment Period Needed When Transitioning from Homeschool to Traditional School
Should a student choose to transition from homeschooling to traditional schooling at the upper levels of education, it can be a difficult and daunting process for them. It can be hard for them to adjust to the pace of learning and expectations of exams and tests, as these will be new for them.
Additionally, it can be a struggle for them to socialize effectively as they may not have had the same opportunity to do so when being homeschooled.
Homeschooling can be a great alternative to traditional schooling and can provide a number of positive benefits for a student’s learning experience. However, it can also be a difficult option to pursue and can present a number of challenges that the student must overcome. These challenges range from difficulty staying motivated, to difficulty accessing resources and difficulty with socialization.
However, with the right support and guidance, homeschooled students can overcome these difficulties to be successful in their studies.