This post is insanely hard for me to write. We extol the virtues of homeschooling on a regular basis, but lately we’ve been actively looking for the cons. After all, everyone should be fully prepared for every eventuality in life. The first two cons of homeschooling we’ve found are on health.
Immune system concern
When we are exposed to various bacteria, viruses, pollen, and other things in the wide world, we develop a stronger immune system. The saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is mostly right here. As long as the immune system isn’t overloaded, a small amount of adversity in the system is a good thing.
Yet, there are a few (very few) groups of homeschoolers that isolate themselves to the point where they may not test ─ and thus grow ─ the immune system. This can lead to allergies, a more severe reaction to different illnesses, and in extreme cases the child might be intimidated by the world around them.
To plan for this, simply get out in the world more. Most people already have co-op days, church/community meetings, playdates, museum visits, playground time, family time…
Let’s just say there’s a lot of interactivity. This is usually enough, but in case you have a kid that doesn’t want to get out, aim to get them out a bit more and interacting with all those variables so they can build their immune systems.
A mental health concern
This one has two parts that we’ve heard from the gaggle of Insanitekian homeschoolers and even some research. 1: Noticing mental illnesses when they start and 2: being strong and prepared for all the world can throw at the kids after they are adults.
Mental health is doable.
99.9% of people are perfectly normal with their own set of quirks. The more we learn about the world and the more we classify these quirks to give names to it, the more likely someone will give a scary name to whatever your child’s quirks are.
In the rare change that a mental health issue, even a minor one, might arise it’s always good to notice it at its early stages so you can work through it. It’s important not to become reticent to any and all mental health concerns. We, as humans and family members, are more important than ignoring problems.
It’s a normal fact of life that the more time we spend with people, the more we don’t necessarily see minor changes in people. We have a tendency to chalk it up to a bad night’s sleep, hormones, etc. A friend may be more able to see when something goes awry.
Preparing for the world.
This is similar to socialising concerns that many people have. But, as noted above, there are a lot of activities that homeschoolers do that are both socialising and testing their immune system. The concern here is that there isn’t enough variability in different personalities and trials that will prepare children for the world at large ─ no matter what they encounter.
Honestly, this isn’t any different from any other environment that children are in, and it’s nothing to really stress about. However, if you want to help your child be prepared for more in the world, there is a fun solution.
The solution? Read a variety of memoirs, biographies, autobiographies, and even watch vlogs. Then, discuss what’s going on, good ways to approach problems, and different ways to help people who might need help.
Let’s talk. What kind of things do you do to combat these potential cons of homeschooling on health?