Homeschooling: Good idea or not?

Homeschooling: the pros and cons via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Home education: does it work?

Urgh this is a tough one.

For the most part, I have always been very open minded to however people wish to parent their children, but for me I have always thought of my children going to a traditional school. I have no experience with teaching young children anything other than martial arts (I used to teach martial arts to 2-12 years olds back in the day) so how could I expect to be responsible for my child’s education?  To me Reuben is a child who is very bright and has a thirst for learning, however he doesn’t often focus to tasks and gets very easily distracted. I’ve been told this is a common thing at this age, and it doesn’t worry me, but it has made me think – if this isn’t a part of growing and he needs more attention to keep his focus, will he be given that in the standard schooling system?

There appear to be so many benefits to homeschooling; one to one tuition, a caring and supportive environment with a teacher who is dedicated to providing a wholesome education because it is for the benefit of their own child who they love, no set standard tests (in some cases) for checking how the school is performing and many other things. On the flip side, the argument against homeschooling is that there is no divide between home and school, no social interaction and little chance to learn to cope in an environment where all attention and care isn’t on you… but what to believe?

A friend of mine recently gave me some information about homeschooling that I found really interesting. She is a home schooler (or home educator as I believe many prefer) and during a chat told me that homeschooling is often seen as providing children with a lower standard of education and a lack of social interaction, however this is statistically proven to be untrue. Statistics show that children who are homeschooled are often more capable of identifying with people of a variety of ages and social backgrounds, and that they often have a higher academic standard, achieving GCSE’s (or equivalent) at the age of 13/14 as opposed to the standard 15/16. I was so interested as well to know that some of the worlds highest achieving individuals were home educated: Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Florence Nightingale, C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens and Leonardo da Vinci. All highly creative individuals who excelled in their field.

All of this really makes you want to consider homeschooling, don’t you think? To know that I could offer my sons the best start in life and possibly help them advance academically faster than if they were in mainstream school is so alluring, but does the way that society sees homes educated people create a bias further in life that way out way the pros?

I was recently sent an article by a reader about a Fortune 500 company in Indiana, USA who has set a firm company policy that they do not and will not recognise home educated graduates and will subsequently not employ them, irrespective of the fact that home education is fully recognised in that state. The concern is that further fortune 500 companies will follow suit, because they can. Isn’t that scary? The story came about because a man who was offered a position with the company later had the offer rescinded, because the company discovered he was a home educated graduate, despite the fact that he was highly qualified and his qualifications and experience far surpassed any other candidate. You can read the full article here.

I would love to know your thoughts on homeschooling! Is it something you do, and you find to be rewarding and beneficial to your family and especially your child? Are you a teacher and on the opposite side of the fence?

Thankfully, I have a year or so to consider what I think is best for my son, and the montessori preschool that he attends is wonderful (incidentally, the owner is a home educating advocate!). Please share your thoughts!

Harriet x


  1. Avatar
    Heather Whittington
    May 13, 2020 / 9:15 pm

    This is a great question and up until recently a question that many parents would have probably had an immediate answer for. Since the Coronavirus hit though and so many thousands of parents have been forced to homeschool their children, I wonder whether the answer now would be a more thought out one and actually one that they perhaps wouldn’t have considered before. Anyway, since I have been teaching both my children at home and trying to work I have found the constant struggle of what to do a daily battle. I did, however, find this super website Family Life at Home; which is basically an online directory linking to loads of great homeschooling resources and educational websites so there are loads of choice and brilliant homeschooling ideas. My children love it. Just a thought.

  2. Avatar October 29, 2018 / 4:47 pm

    I didn’t even consider home schooling, it wouldn’t have worked financially for us at all. I guess it also depends on your career. My kids love what I do. The pros of them having gone to a local authority state school have been many. I can see their primary from our back garden, it takes 5 minutes to walk to with no roads to cross. They have an excellent head. It’s a very forward thinking school in what was a Communities First area. In Wales the curriculum is moving to a more experiential approach. My kids have strong links with industry, they’ve never sat at traditional desks. My year 6 son designed his current classroom with some of his peers after visiting local businesses – it’s stunning and doesn’t feel like a classroom. My year 2 son has a bunk bed in his classroom where they read, he uses a “village” that they’ve built. There are technological opportunities they’ve had at school that I could never have replicated at home. It’s an apple training school, the 10 year old recently spent a day at the national software academy coding. They have strong links with other schools around the world and hold exchanges. e.g. last year a number of girls went to Poland on a STEM trip. The focus of the school isn’t on tests but on giving all the children a wide range of essential life experiences that they wouldn’t necessarily get at home.

    Not knocking home educators at all but a school environment can be such a boost for some children. I know parents at the school who taught themselves to read as adults. We have strong links between school and home – I’m not talking about fundraising PTA crap but adult education opportunities, helping parents into work, first aid training, True Tuesdays (a wellbeing group), a fruit & veg co-op, a Junk Food Café where we recycle food donated by supermarkets that would otherwise have gone to landfill and sell in a café run by parents and pupils to the community, a Fair Share shop selling supermarket donations on a “pay what you feel” basis. I know not all schools go so far but for us, having a school that engages so genuinely with the community has been a real plus for the kids and for me. My sons get on incredibly well, have great friends from school but they also have those other friends from sports, hobbies and our friends kids.

    It helps that my boys bloody love school. From a selfish point of view, I think I’d go bonkers if I had to be in sole charge of their education. I’m happy playing a supporting role! I make sure they have experiences and opportunities outside of school which also help them be better, more interesting pupils. On the flip side of “what do they get out of school?” is “what does their school get out of them?” and I think they give added value to their classes! I am biased but going on teacher feedback the older one stimulates political debate and ideas and information that the teacher has to research and the younger one brings joy and laughter wherever he goes.

    But next up is us picking high school and that gives me the shivers.

  3. Avatar
    Helen B
    September 25, 2018 / 1:04 pm

    We home-educated out two after they both struggled at school in different ways, they went on to college at 16 and my son still loves to learn new things at 22 years old

  4. Avatar June 20, 2014 / 4:48 am

    I am educating my 3 kids at home. I have an 8 year old, 6 year old, an a nearly two year old. I see nothing but positives outcomes. They are excelling academically, they have time to focus on their interests (my 6 yo spends more time on self created art projects, my son spends more time with math, reading, and Legos). They are tier own best friends. We don’t get bored in the summer because they don’t see all of their friends everyday.

    They are very social and have friends outside of our family, but they don’t “need” those friends to be fulfilled and busy. They are wonderful at entertaining themselves. My 8 yo has started his own business and made quite a bit of money (for an 8 yo) this past week.

    I am not concerned about one Fortune 500 company refusing to hire homeschoolers. There are other places to work and self employment is always a possibility. We are a fully self employed family and I prefer it to when we worked for other people.

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