What Is Homeschooling?

Homeschooling is a common concept in many countries where school-aged children get an education at home or in various places but not at school.

Primarily, home-schooling is conducted by a parent, online teacher or a tutor. The approach has a broad spectrum that ranges from highly structured forms based on traditional school lessons to a more open free form approach as lead by the person in charge. The technique is widely accepted globally and requires legal acceptance to be practised. It is legal in most parts of the world, including throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America, Hong Kong, and South Africa, while being most popular in Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In India, there's no regulatory body for homeschooling. Still, it is legally accepted, most common in metropolitan areas like Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru. 

There are many reasons why parents opt for homeschooling over the traditional way of educating their child. It could be because they have a different philosophy about education. They may not want to teach the child anything about religion. In special needs cases, parents prefer homeschooling for personalised learning, or they could want to teach the child per their principles. 

Many communities are working to make homeschooling as "normal" as any other way of educating children. Parallel to this, organizations are offering online solutions for homeschooling. 

The debate on the approach has been never-ending. Like another pedagogy, Home-schooling has its set of pros and cons: 

Some benefits of homeschooling are:

  • It allows you to determine the curriculum you want o teach the child and set a schedule as per your needs. 
  • You are free to adapt any teaching methods that suits your children the best. 
  • Children get to study and learn at their pace without worrying about being left behind than their peers, which is the case in m many classrooms. You can spend extra time on concepts that your child finds difficult and move ahead as per children's learning needs. 
  • You have complete freedom if you want to teach your child about religion or not. You can provide religious and ethical instruction for your children as desired. 
  • Shelter children from school violence, drugs, and other negative behaviours children in public schools frequently encounter 
  • Give one on one attention to the child. A classroom with many students and a single teacher may not provide that kind of attention and effort a single child gets from a single tutor. 
  • Assist and guide children during adolescence and other trying times as per child's comfort and pace. 
  • Since you have the freedom to teach as per your schedule, you can plan vacations without worrying about sessions. 

Some disadvantages to consider

  • Moving at a pace slower than the school instruction could be difficult and bring a lot of pressure upon you. 
  • It takes a lot of effort and hard work to be constantly adapted to be an effective teacher. 
  • Find out other people who homeschool and build your community to get ideas about solving difficult problems if they're unsure about the best course of action. 
  • Review numerous curriculum programs up to child's standards, find and work on the best suiting ones for children's learning needs. 

To know more about homeschooling, it'd be best to understand it from the experience of people doing it. In my research for this article, I came across stories of people who are practising it. Mint's post on the growing tribe of homeschoolers shares the story of Supriya Narang. She explains how home-schooling a way of life and not just an education movement.   

"It is a choice that families make to shun tradition and embark on a journey of experiential learning, centred around the belief that children can be self-aware. It is not dependent on any school methodology or pedagogy. It is self-motivated and student-driven, with lots of inputs and support from parents and chosen mentors". 

Watch out the videos below to understand the concept of home-schooling better: 

  1. Why IHomeschoolMy Kids by Mayim Bialik

 

  1. Homeschoolingor Whole Being Living: A TED Talk by Urmila Samson 

 

Additional Readings

Monday is for maths, Friday for farming. Meet the homeschoolers: a story of a couple homeschooling their child. They share their experience of homeschooling their child, pros, cons, challenges, and everything from the real-life experience of parents of a homeschooler kid. 

India home-schooling: A blog post compiling all crucial resources, communities, and key information on Home-schooling.    

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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