Benefits of Homeschooling: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents

Many parents ask us about homeschooling and whether it is a good fit for their family. To learn about the benefits of homeschooling, here’s Tutor Doctor’s comprehensive guide for parents!

Homeschooling is highly situational

As a general concept, when we hear the word “benefit” we tend to think of universally beneficial ideas. For example, consider the benefits of drinking filtered water – it’s objectively better for everyone to drink clean water, and arguing otherwise is pretty difficult! However, not everything in life is so clearly defined. With this in mind, the benefits of homeschooling are highly situational and largely dependent on a family’s individual needs. 

In other words, it’s important to remember that the benefits homeschooling can provide for some families can also be seen as negatives for other families.

If your family is considering homeschooling, it is crucial to really think about why you are primarily considering the switch. If you don’t already have a specific reason in mind, it may be best to reconsider and weigh your options. As a general rule of thumb, we wouldn’t recommend pulling kids out of school solely due to academic struggles as homeschooling may not adequately address the underlying problem.

Common reasons for homeschooling

So, why should parents consider homeschooling? A common assumption is that homeschooling is primarily due to religious reasons – and although this is certainly a valid reason for homeschooling, it’s actually not the most common. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the top reason for homeschooling (as reported by 80.3% of families) is due to “a concern about school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure.”

There’s no easy way to say this, so we’ll just say it – these are valid concerns, and it’s something most parents (understandably) would prefer not to think about. Unfortunately with the massive rise in school violence over the past two decades, it’s not surprising that many families cite safety reasons for why they choose to homeschool their kids.

That being said, there are many other common reasons for homeschooling not due to safety concerns. Nearly three-quarters of homeschooling families report “a desire to provide moral instruction, emphasis on family life together, [and] a dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools.” In addition, a little over half of families cite religious reasons or a desire to provide nontraditional education.

Parents may also choose to homeschool their children if they require special needs, either due to physical or mental challenges. When it comes down to it, the choice to homeschool is a highly personal one that 100% depends on your family’s individual circumstances. For more information on this topic, check out the links below:

Concerns with homeschooling

From a developmental perspective, there are generally two main concerns with homeschooling. The first is that students will not receive the academic support they need to succeed later in life. Teaching is a difficult job – and as silly as this sounds, it’s important to ask yourself the honest questions: Am I capable of teaching my child geometry? Do I remember MLA essay formatting? Can I adequately prepare them for the SAT? We mean this earnestly – these types of questions are the things parents really do need to consider. There’s a darn good reason why so many families who homeschool choose to work with private instructors and tutors!

The other concern with homeschooling is that students will be missing out on key social development by not being around other students their age at school. This is also a valid concern, and many parents realize they have to make a cognizant effort to involve their homeschooled students in alternative activities to make up for this lack of social interaction.

During the pandemic, many parents found their way into pod learning programs as a healthy middle ground. Click here for more strategies to help your homeschooled child develop social skills.

Is your family ready to make the switch to homeschooling? Check out Tutors Doctor’s tips and resources to help successfully transition!