I can picture it now… With all the craziness going around with schools and the pandemic you’re not sure about sending your kid off to school. So you’re scouring the internet looking through the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten.
Should we do it? Should we not do it? Can I teach them well enough? How will they make friends?
Never mind all the questions your husband has and your parents and in-laws. Deciding to homeschool isn’t a light decision.
It took me a while to decide if it was right for our family so I understand the struggle. There are so many things to consider and you just want to make sure you make the right choice for your child.
In this post, I’m covering ALL the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten. I’m sharing the good and bad that I’ve seen after 8 years of homeschooling so you can decide if it’s right for you.
Let’s dive in!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which I’m happy to promote. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Much love & thank you for your support. 😊 To learn more about my policy, click here.
How We Made Our Homeschooling Decision
Before I dive into the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten, I want to give you a little background into our own homeschooling decision. It often helps to understand what made someone else choose to homeschool.
It surprises a lot of people to learn that my husband and I actually grew up going to public school. When I first started homeschooling I didn’t know anyone else who did it.
I actually stumbled on the idea from reading blogs just like this one. I had been researching alternate school ideas for my daughter.
At the age of 3, I was pretty convinced she was a certified genius. She was picking up learning concepts that seemed advanced for her age and I worried about her being bored and disruptive when she finally went off to school.
(Side note: she’s not actually a genius, she’s just very smart for her age, but you couldn’t convince me of that when she was little lol.)
Plus, like plenty of first-time moms, I was terrified at the idea of her going off to school without me.
When I came across the idea of homeschooling, it seemed like the perfect answer. I could teach her at her own pace and not have to worry if she was being challenged enough or not.
And of course, I also wouldn’t have to send her off to school all alone.
About a year later we realized that she had some undiagnosed vision issues and needed eye therapy. The problem with her vision made things like reading small print and mastering handwriting a little more difficult.
I was so grateful to be able to adapt her lessons to allow her to continue learning despite her vision problems. We also started experiencing some of the benefits of homeschooling that I’ll cover more later in the post.
A year or two in and we were fully hooked. I now happily homeschool all 3 of my children and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Homeschooling isn’t always easy and for some families, it’s not a good fit. But for us, it’s one of the best decisions we’ve made for our family.
Pros of Homeschooling Kindergarten
It’s time to cover the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten so you can decide if it’s right for your family. I’m going to tackle the benefits first because they’re more fun.
Although a lot of what I’m going to mention applies to homeschooling in general, I will try to share information specific to homeschooling kindergarten.
Teach to Your Child’s Pace and Learning Style
One of the many benefits to homeschooling, and why many families decide to do it, is that you get to teach to your child’s learning pace and style. If your child struggles in a certain area, you can take more time with that subject.
If your child is advanced in an area, you can continue to expand their learning. For example, reading comes easy to my oldest daughter, but math is a little more challenging.
I’m able to offer her more advanced reading and language arts material while giving her more time to master her math concepts. She’s not stuck sticking to a curriculum or learning pace that doesn’t suit her needs.
I also get to choose curriculums that teach in a method that she learns best.
Your Child Gets More One-on-One Attention
When considering the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten, no one can argue that the extra attention your child gets is a definite bonus. Every single child benefits from a one-on-one teaching environment.
When you homeschool, you can focus on exactly what your child needs to understand or grasp a concept. They don’t get lost in a sea of 20-30 other students all at varying academic levels.
Better Family Bonds
One of my favorite benefits of homeschooling is that you get the chance to build better family bonds. Because your child is home with you all day, they become closer to you as the parent.
It’s a lot easier to develop a close relationship with your children when you spend all day with them. You also get to enjoy a lot more of those sweet moments that we miss as they get older.
Better Relationships With Siblings
Siblings also develop better relationships when you homeschool. I love how close my children are because they spend the majority of their time with each other instead of friends and kids at school.
At an age when most kids go off to kindergarten and start developing deeper friendships with other kids, homeschool children are deepening those bonds with each other.
More Time to Explore Interests and Passions
When you create your homeschool kindergarten schedule, your school day will typically only take a few hours. That leaves a lot of time to explore the things that really interest them.
You can even include things they are passionate about with your kindergarten homeschool subjects. For example, my son is a total dinosaur fan.
Rather than requiring him to put away his dinosaurs when it’s time for schoolwork, we incorporate them into his learning.
Get Sick Less
When you’re children spend most of their time at home with you, they are going to be exposed to a lot fewer germs. I know when my daughter was in daycare for a year, she came home with every bug that went through that place.
Public schools aren’t much better. Especially with the pandemic.
It’s nice knowing that when you homeschool kindergarten, your kids stay a lot healthier overall.
Another reason that homeschool kids tend to be a little healthier is that they get more rest. Depending on how many kids you have and what the public school schedule is, your kids might have to get up pretty early.
Sometimes it’s hard to enforce those bedtimes, especially if you have a bunch of night owls like I do.
When you homeschool, you can pick the bedtime and wake-up time that works for your family so your kids can always get the rest they need.
Save Money on School Fees, Uniforms, etc.
When discussing the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten, you have to take into account how much it costs. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you don’t have to pay for school fees, uniforms, and things like that.
Private schools cost thousands of dollars a year and a lot of families just can’t afford it. Even public schools often have uniforms, fees, and other costs that sneak up on you throughout the year.
You Get to Spend All Day With Your Kids
For a lot of parents, their kids’ childhood goes by way too fast. When you homeschool, you get to enjoy a lot more time together.
Not every parent or child is ready to send them off to school for 8 hours a day at age 5 for kindergarten. Depending on the child’s maturity level, it might be a tough transition.
Homeschooling kindergarten gives you the opportunity to continue learning while also letting them grow up and mature a bit more.
You’re In Charge of Your Day
Another great benefit of homeschooling kindergarten is that you are in charge of what you do each day. You decide how much of your kindergarten schedule is spent on chores, schoolwork, errands, sports, etc.
You aren’t tied to the public school schedule and can come and go as you please.
Freedom to Travel More
One of the things I considered when I was thinking through the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten was the freedom to travel more. Like I mentioned before, you are in charge of your day.
This means if you want to take a vacation in October and go hit up Disneyworld on a Tuesday when no one else is around and everything is cheaper, you absolutely can!
A lot of families choose to roadschool, go on vacations, or just travel more because they don’t have to worry about their kid falling behind from missing too much school.
You either just do schoolwork while you travel or make it up over the summer. Your schedule is your own.
Kids Get More Time to Play
Playing is the work of young children and it is so, so important for their development. Unfortunately, public school doesn’t offer kids enough time to just play and explore on their own.
When you homeschool, your child has so much more opportunity for free play. Something their developing brains need a lot of.
More Time Outdoors
They also get more time to play outside. My kids have often spent hours exploring in the backyard.
Because it doesn’t take nearly as long to teach kindergarten when you homeschool as it does in public school, kids get a lot more time to get outside and explore.
Kids Can Grow Up Slower With Less Peer Pressure
This is probably my all-time favorite benefit of homeschooling. Children grow up slower with a lot less peer pressure.
If they still believe in Santa Claus or want to play with “baby toys” there is no one around to judge them. They aren’t trying to keep up with what the “other kids are doing” because they spend most of their time at home with you.
Because we homeschool, my own kids have been able to really be themselves more without worrying about being embarrassed.
More Control Over Their Friends and Influences
Something else to consider when going over the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten is how much more control you have over who they are friends with. Especially at this age, they aren’t going to get stuck with a friend that you don’t approve of.
You’ll be in charge of all of their social activities and friends and you can easily steer them toward or away from other kids.
You Get to Be a Bigger Influence in Their Lives
Because of the close relationship you build with your child through homeschooling, you become a much bigger influence in their lives. Instead of looking toward their peers for approval, they will be looking toward you.
In our family, I’ve seen that show up as better social skills, better habits, and overall better behavior than what I think they would have if they went to public school.
Another benefit of homeschooling kindergarten is you don’t have to worry about homework. Yes, even in kindergarten they give out homework.
Not only is your kid at school for 8 hours, but then they still have to come home and sit for another hour or two and get their work done. That’s a lot to expect at that age.
When you homeschool, you can easily cover everything they need to learn in just a few hours which leaves more time for playing, exploring, and just being a kid.
You Have Control Over What Your Children Learn
One of the benefits that most homeschooling families really enjoy is that you get control over what your child learns. You choose which kindergarten subjects are important to you and which aren’t.
You also get to make sure your day includes things like religion, character development, and other things you want your child to learn.
No School Drop Offs or Pick Ups
I know a friend that spends an hour and a half in the pick-up line at school. Every day! And that’s just for one of her kids.
When you homeschool, you never have to worry about spending half your day just picking them up and dropping them off at school.
More Time to Teach Life Skills
Something else to really consider with the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten is that you have more time to devote to life skills. You have time to teach your child how to:
- speak to adults
- think for themselves
- handle money
- be a good friend
- take care of your home
You have so much more time for things like that rather than hopefully trying to squeeze it in during spare moments on the weekend or before bed.
You Learn a Lot Alongside Your Kids
When you homeschool it’s amazing how much you learn right alongside your kids. A lot of families think they have to know the information well before they can teach it to their kids.
In reality, at this age most parents know everything they need to help their kids be prepared for 1st grade. Plus, many curriculums will walk you through everything you need to know.
So instead you are learning with your kids which makes it really fun for both the kids and the parents.
Fun Field Trips
When you homeschool, you get to go on fun field trips. We’ve been to the zoo, naval ship museums, children’s museums, nature parks, and all kinds of fun places.
We can go on field trips as often as we want since we make our own schedule. And since we’re often going during the day when everyone else is at school or work, we typically get the places to ourselves.
Which makes it a lot more fun because we can really interact with all the exhibits and activities available instead of spending half our time waiting in line.
No School Fundraisers, PTA Meetings, or School Rules
One of the things I most dreaded when I used to picture my kids going to public school was the meetings, fundraisers, weird school rules, and things like that.
Hearing parents upset over unfair dress code expectations, PTA meetings at the end of a long day, and things like that seemed pretty frustrating.
When you homeschool, you don’t have to worry about any of that. The only person you have to consult is your spouse if you have one and all the rest is up to you.
You get to decide what’s important for your family and your child and you get ignore all the rest.
Great Homeschool Communities
When considering the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten a lot of families are worried about socialization and having friends. I can tell you firsthand that the homeschool communities are pretty amazing.
They are typically an active and social bunch who are ready and willing to welcome you to their group and answer any questions you might have.
My children and I have met some of the best people and made lifelong friends with other homeschoolers.
Accommodate Special Learning Needs
Another great benefit of homeschooling is that you can accommodate any special learning needs that your child has. If they need things taught to them in a different way or at a different pace, you can easily take care of that.
Public schools try to offer this for students, but they will never be able to do as good a job at it as you will. It’s rare for a student to get individualized one-on-one teaching that is specifically geared toward what they need.
No matter how hard they try, the public schools typically just don’t have the resources to offer that type of attention.
Accommodate Special Health Issues
The same goes for special health issues. Like I mentioned before, my daughter needed eye therapy for a few years. This meant weekly appointments and making a lot of accommodations for how I taught her.
Because I only had to focus on her, I could take the extra time to make these changes without slowing down the pace of her learning. Had she been in public school, she would have struggled.
Not only because of how much time at school she would have missed because of appointments, but also because the teachers wouldn’t have been able to teach her in a way completely different from the rest of the students in the class.
Because we homeschooled she was able to stay on pace with her learning.
An Easier Transition to Learning and School Routines
If you’re not sure about homeschooling long-term, that’s ok. You can still get a lot out of homeschooling just for kindergarten or 1st grade. One of the nice benefits of homeschooling kindergarten is that your child has a much better transition to academics and learning.
If your child has always been at home with you and never attended preschool, then going off to kindergarten can kind of be a big deal. Not only are they all of a sudden on their own, but they might not be very familiar with an environment that expects them to follow a whole new set of rules and expectations.
Homeschooling the first year or two lets them adjust to things like sitting down for schoolwork, following a schedule, and things like that in a more comfortable environment. This is especially helpful for children who struggle with change and new environments.
Children Take More Ownership of Their Learning
When you homeschool, your child takes a lot more ownership of their learning. They aren’t just sitting in a chair with 20 other kids being lectured to.
They are participating with you in what they do. You can ask them which subjects they want to do first.
They can help think of different learning activities and games to play. Even at this age, they can be a part of the learning process which will help them excel and become better participants in their learning going forward.
Learn From Other Siblings
Another benefit to think about when considering the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten is how much they will learn from their older siblings. And how much they might start teaching any younger siblings.
When my middle daughter started homeschooling kindergarten, my older daughter was so excited she was always eager to teach her anything she could. She became a great helper.
Now both of my daughters teach my son things all the time.
Learning for Knowledge, Not Standardized Tests
One of my favorite benefits of homeschooling is that you can teach your child the information so they actually understand it and not just so they can pass a test. Even in kindergarten, there is a lot of pushdown from public schools to learn the information they need to know for standardized testing.
If the 1st-grade teachers are seeing that their students aren’t passing certain parts of their tests, then they will start encouraging the kindergarten teachers to work on teaching that information more.
Which all sounds ok, but teaching just to pass a test, doesn’t ensure that the students actually understand or grasp the knowledge. Many kids memorize it just long enough to pass the test but don’t actually understand it well enough to apply it going forward.
Even if the homeschool laws in your state require testing, you can still make sure your children fully understand the information before you move on to the next year.
Nurturing Learning Environment
The last benefit of homeschooling kindergarten I want to mention is that your child gets to learn in a more nurturing environment. I know a lot of great school teachers who really do their best, but no one is going to understand and love your child like you do.
You’ve spent their whole life teaching them up until this point and you know them the best. Can you imagine a better learning environment than spending your day with one of the people who love you the most?
- 15 Tips for Homeschooling Kindergarten: How to Have a Successful Year
- What Subjects to Homeschool for Kindergarten – A Quick & Easy Guide
- Simple Homeschool Kindergarten Schedule + Easy Tips on How to Create Your Own
Cons of Homeschooling Kindergarten
So now that we’ve covered the benefits of homeschool, less cover the downsides. In a post on the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten, it’s only fair to talk about the things that kind of suck.
I wish I could tell you that homeschooling is nothing but fun and great family time, but some days it can be pretty tough. Here are some things to keep in mind when making your decision to homeschool kindergarten.
Homeschooling Requires a Lot of Time and Commitment
Homeschooling definitely requires a lot of work. You have to research, plan, and teach the curriculum.
It’s not too bad when you just have 1 child, but as more start to come along, teaching can start to take over a big portion of your day.
Socialization Takes More Work
One of the biggest questions that comes up when you talk about homeschooling is socialization. In public school, socialization seems already built-in. The kids are all already together.
With homeschooling, socialization is up to you. You have to go through the effort of getting out there and actually meeting other families.
It’s certainly not impossible, but it definitely takes more work than just dropping your kid off at school every day.
Your Child’s Education is Completely Up to You
Another potential downside to homeschooling kindergarten is that your child’s education rests completely on your shoulders. There is no one else to turn to when you’ve got questions or things aren’t going so well.
You can of course always reach out to your homeschooling community, but all they can offer is advice. At the end of the day, how well your child learns and progresses is your responsibility.
Your Child May Struggle to Relate to Peers
Something else to consider with the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten is how well your child will relate to other kids their age. Since the majority of children go to public or private school, they all tend to have similar experiences.
They talk about similar topics, have a similar school day, and generally can relate to each other well. Homeschool kids don’t have those same experiences.
Their parents sometimes tend to guide what they’re exposed to more and what type of people they hang out with. This means, sometimes they don’t always easily relate to kids who go to public school.
Often Have to Live Off One Income
Like I mentioned before, homeschooling requires a big-time commitment. At the very minimum, when you’re homeschooling kindergarten, someone has to be home with your child all day.
This often means that one parent is will have to stay home and the family lives off of one income. Which might mean that money is a little tight.
This was the case for our family for quite a few years. It took me about 6 years of homeschooling before I felt confident I could manage to work a part-time job from home as well.
And even now, my schedule gets a little crazy sometimes trying to fit it in.
Curriculums Can Be Expensive
Another important downside to homeschooling to consider is purchasing a curriculum. Depending on what you buy, it can get pretty expensive.
There are of course lots of great free resources to homeschool kindergarten with. (I cover several of them in a post here.) But there are also some pretty pricey ones.
Depending on your homeschool goals and what subjects you want to teach, you might have to spend some money on your curriculum.
You Have to Spend All Day With Your Kid
I know I mentioned this as a benefit to homeschooling, (and some days it is!) but it can also be a downside. There will be days where everyone is having a rough day and you just wish you could take a break.
Homeschool moms often struggle with burnout sometimes because they are with their kids ALL DAY. It’s not until your kids get older and quite a bit more self-sufficient that you can start to take some breaks and get some much-needed downtime and self-care.
Backlash From Friends and Family
Here is something else to consider when covering the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten: what will your family think? Now, I fully admit I didn’t really care about this too much.
I had done enough research to feel very strongly that homeschooling was the right decision for us and our extended family was fairly supportive. Not everyone is so lucky though.
I’ve heard plenty of horror stories of disapproving family members second-guessing, arguing, and even getting upset about a family’s decision to homeschool.
The disapproving family members may worry that the kids will end up being weird or anti-social because they don’t attend public school and get the same type of experiences other kids their age might have.
I’m happy to say that isn’t true and anyone who spends much time around homeschool communities will see that, but it’s something you might have to deal with.
People Constantly Quizzing Your Kids
Something else homeschoolers have to deal with a lot is other people constantly quizzing your kids as soon as they find out they’re homeschooled. It happens from family members, friends, and even random strangers at Walmart.
“Do you know all the state capitals?”
“Who were the first 10 presidents?”
It’s pretty ridiculous honestly. In no way does public school guarantee a good education, so it’s silly to assume that homeschooling guarantees a poor one.
Plus, half the time I’m convinced the adults themselves don’t even know the answer to some of the questions they throw out there. 😒
I’ve learned to just let them know we haven’t covered that subject yet if it comes up, but it’s definitely something you have to deal with.
Homeschooling Can Be Isolating
Another downside to homeschooling is that it can be pretty isolating if you don’t have a strong homeschool community. Just like any other stay-at-home mom, you’re stuck at home all day with your kids with very little adult interaction.
When I first moved to where I currently live, it took a long time to find a homeschool group that fit for us and it was pretty lonely. I was lucky enough to have been doing it long enough to know it would get better, but it’s something to consider when you first get started.
Having to Plan and Figure Out Curriculum
A very important factor to think about when discussing the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten is planning curriculum. If you’re never done anything like this before, it can be a little overwhelming.
There are seemingly endless curriculum options out there and it can be hard to know where to start. A lot of parents get overwhelmed just thinking about having to figure out what they’re supposed to teach and never even give it a try.
If that’s something you’re worried about, I’ve written a quick guide on what you need to teach for kindergarten to help you get started.
You Have to Follow Your Homeschool State Laws
Another thing that sometimes makes homeschooling kindergarten difficult is the homeschool laws in your state. Depending on where you live they may be fairly strict or fairly loose.
You might have to keep up with attendance, portfolios, test scores, and lots of other information similar to public schools.
It’s important enough that if we ever even think about moving from where we currently live the first thing I will do is research the homeschool laws for that state.
You Have to Teach Subjects You Might Not Enjoy
Something else to consider with homeschooling is that you might have to teach homeschool kindergarten subjects that you don’t enjoy. If math isn’t your thing or you don’t like history, you still have to find a way to make sure your child gets that information.
I remember with my first daughter I was super intimidated about teaching her how to read. It had been so long since I learned to read I didn’t even know where to start.
I ended up doing some research and found some good curriculums, but it caused me a bit of anxiety in the early days.
Limited Access to Teachers & Specialists
One thing that I will admit that public schools do well is they offer access to things like specialists and therapists. If your child has some sort of learning disability or developmental disability it’s a lot harder to find resources for them without paying out of pocket.
Most states offer a lot of free resources and assessments for children, but they often cut off right around school age. Then the assumption is that your child would access them through the school.
When you homeschool, you don’t have access to those and it can sometimes be a lot harder to get the support and care your child might need.
Another downside to homeschooling is that there is less structure in your day. For some families, it’s really nice not to have to be up at a certain time for school and have their afternoons decided by when school gets out.
I personally love getting to decide what our schedule looks like each day.
However, if you struggle with routine or staying organized, than having to create all the structure for your day can feel a little overwhelming. Especially when you first start.
Most families do eventually settle into a schedule, but it might take some time to find one that works for you.
Fewer Sports and Extra-Curricular Activities
The last thing that’s important to consider when going over the pros and cons of homeschooling is that there are fewer sports and extracurricular activities. With public school, a lot of that stuff is included.
There are sports teams, music classes, and lots of clubs that children can join. With homeschooling, finding those activities is up to you.
Most homeschool communities do work to create these types of activities, but there are definitely fewer options.
Final Thoughts on Pros and Cons of Homeschooling Kindergarten
Those are the pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten that I have come across after 8 years of homeschooling. Although I am very happy we homeschool and it’s a decision I’m thankful I made every day, I also fully admit it’s no walk in the park.
It might not be a good fit for every family and I hope this article helped you better decide if it’s right for you.
Did this list of pros and cons of homeschooling kindergarten help? If you have more questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Candice is a mom of 3 who has been homeschooling since 2013. She has an A.A.S. in Early Childhood Studies and cares deeply about helping other parents get the information and resources they need to help them homeschool their children with confidence.