When Homeschooling Might Not Be The Best Choice

This year we are celebrating our tenth anniversary here at Phoenix. Over the years, I am certain we have spoken to thousands of families – trying to answer their questions about homeschooling, ease their fears and set them on a good path.

As spring approaches, many families will starting thinking about their educational options for next year . . . And we will be here to counsel and coach new homeschoolers. (Please see our list of open house dates or call for personalized tour.)

One of the questions few people ask is . . . when is homeschool NOT a good choice?

Home schooling might not be right for some families if . . .

1. The family is living in extreme poverty. While homeschooling can be done very inexpensively, it important to have access to good resources and opportunities. If a family is concerned about just satisfying basic needs such as food and shelter, homeschool will be challenging and add additional stress.

2. The family unit has fractured. Parenting in a divorce situation is challenging enough without adding homeschooling on top of it. It can be done but requires both parties to agree and to support the decision. If you and your ex spouse cannot agree on basic issues regarding the children, then we would not recommend homeschooling.

3. The family is headed by a single parent. We have met several brave parents who have taken this task on under these circumstances. They usually manage if they have excellent extended family support, flexible work hours or a home business. If you have to work 9-5, then homeschooling may not be your best option.

4. The family is illiterate. Homeschooling does not require a teaching degree but it does demand that you have a basic proficiency in literacy and numeracy. Currently, It is possible in Alberta to appoint someone else to homeschool your children such as a relative or friend but it means that you may find it difficult support your family in their learning.

5. The family is a new immigrant. For many immigrant families, learning the language of their me home land is critical to their success and they find that school is a better teacher than “Rosetta Stone” or Google translate.

6. The family suffers with sever illness. We do not recommend homeschooling if your family is suffering with sever illness either mental or physical. It adds additional strain to the family unit and children’s educational needs often go unmet while the family deals with crisis. If the situation improves, then the family may want to reconsider this option.

7. The family really doesn’t want to. Sadly over the years, we have encountered families who feel they have no choice left but to homeschool their child. It usually is because of special needs. These parents are often angers and resentful and this makes working with their children difficult.

8. The family explores this option because it is trendy and all their friends are doing it! Yes, we have had families offer this as a reason why they thought they might like to homeschool. To say the least, it did not work out well for them.

Homeschooling takes a significant commitment, dedication of financial resources and time. It can be so rewarding, if and only if, it is a GOOD fit for your family! Consider with care.

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