Education is not learning the facts, but the training of the mind to think. – Albert Einstein
Home-schooling has been a popular concept in many countries for many years. Even in India, we had home education in the form of the “Gurukul System” where students lived and studied with the guru. In the modern times, formal education with its rules and regulations is a popular medium for educating children. But there are still many parents and teachers who believe that homeschooling is a better option to impart education to kids. In home education, parents educate their children at home instead of sending them to a traditional school. The teaching is focussed on the individual needs of the child and is not based on a set of guidelines for the masses.
There are a number of reasons why parents choose to homeschool their children. Religious concerns, doubts on the overall quality of public schools, frequent family transfers, a child has special needs and dissatisfaction over the curriculum are a few of the reasons. Like any other traditional school, homeschooling has its own pros and cons.
Advantages of Homeschooling –
Flexible Schedules – There are no crazy morning routines associated with homeschooling. You can totally adjust the curriculum according to your schedule and not the other way round. You can decide the day’s learning according to your and your kid’s comfort. In order to teach discipline to the child, fix a daily schedule and change in weekly or monthly.
Personalized Attention – In a traditional school, the teacher has to divide her attention between all the kids at the same time. This is not the case with home education. At home, you can help your child with any problem almost immediately. In one-on-one teaching, the teacher always has an idea about the strengths and shortcomings of the student.
Safe Environment – With incidences of assault and shootings in schools on a rise, the home is the safest place for children. They are also safe from bullying and mental abuse. When the child is at home with you, he feels the safest.
Time-saving – When the child goes to normal school, a lot of time is spent on getting the child ready every morning and traveling to and fro. Home-schooling saves a lot of time by getting rid of such compulsions. Also, there is no homework because all the work is done at the home itself! So the rest of the day can be utilized productively.
Better bonding- When you spend time with your child teaching him every day, a closer connection develops between you and the kid. In between classes, you can simultaneously teach him good behavior and manners.
Disadvantages of Home-schooling –
Unstructured approach- Without a planned curriculum, home education lacks a proper structure. A homeschooling parent has to rely only on himself to set a framework and that can be tough at times. Also, sources of genuine information are limited.
Expensive – In home education, one of the parents has to be present at home at all the times. This means that the income sources become limited and you have to adjust. Also, there is a lot of compromises involved with regards to career and ambitions.
Pressure on the parents – At homeschool, you double up as your child’s teacher also. You have to spend almost all of your otherwise free time on the kid and it can become too much at times. There is very little time left for doing your stuff. In comparison to this, when your child attends a traditional school, you have all that time to spend on doing things which require your attention as well.
Fighting the stereotype – Since home education is still not very common, you can have a pretty tough time answering people’s questions about why you chose this way. There are a lot of assumptions made about you and your family and it can get really irritating. Many people begin believing that your child is a slow learner or that you are religious fanatics, it can be pretty tough explaining them.
Limited socialization – Homeschoolers have to make extra efforts to socialize since they are at home for most of their time. In traditional schooling, kids interact with other children and learn a lot in the process. This is not the case with home education.
Homeschooling can be a boon or a bane depending on your tactics to manage it. Many famous personalities like Thomas Alva Edison, Charles Dickens, George Washington were homeschooled. Recently an Indian teenager, Malvika Joshi, made into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology despite being homeschooled. If you want to homeschool your child, start from an early age. If it is working fine for both of you, you can continue with the practice. Otherwise, you have the option of getting the child admitted to the traditional schools.