What Is Homeschooling?
As the name suggests, homeschooling is when the child learns at home, under the guidance of parents, instead of a formal classroom environment. Parents who choose to homeschool their kids follow a less formal curriculum – often using daily life, nature, travels as their guide for daily lessons.
There are many reasons that parents choose to homeschool their children from dissatisfaction with the school teaching methods to want to give a more personalized one-on-one learning experience to their children. Often parents homeschool their children to give them instruction from a specific moral or religious point or to ensure protect their child from bullying, racism, and more. Sometimes parents opt for homeschooling so that their child can devote more time to non-academic interests such as pursuing sports, music, etc.
What Are The Advantages Of Homeschooling?
1. Innovative learning methodologies
Homeschooling allows parents to use innovative teaching methodologies. Instead of following a strict classroom styled format, parents can use ‘teachable moments’ all through the day – from a nature walk, a trip to the market, museum visits, online games, podcasts, roleplay etc. As a homeschooling family, parents have to flexibility to choose learning approaches based on the interest of the child – going as deep into the subject as the child wishes to.
2. No Academic Pressure
Since there is no fixed curriculum to follow, or exam to give homeschool parents can set a learning schedule so that there is no academic pressure on the child. Without the pressure, learning is more fun and shields the mental and emotional health of the child.
Homeschooling recognizes that every child is different. In a traditional school set-up with a large group of students and a single teacher, it is not always possible for the teacher to tailor lessons based on the learning goals and learning style of every student.
3. Personal Attention
On the other hand, homeschooling parents can customize lessons according to the particular interests of each student. The parents can vary their approach for each learning in terms of learning styles or expertise levels.
4. Academic Flexibility to choose curriculum
With homeschooling parents have the choice to choose any curriculum based on the interest of the child. The flexibility of homeschooling allows parents to try out different workbooks, curricula, and teaching approaches. This enables them to determine those that work best with each child.
5. Flexible Pace of Learning
Often, students experience a lot of frustration when forced to work at a pace they are not comfortable with. For easy topics, students can get bored with repetitive reviews and extra pages of practice. On the other hand, they can get upset when they cannot keep up with their peers.
With homeschooling, a child can go slower in the challenging subjects and can speed up on easy subjects. Homeschooling also allows students to learn more than they would in a regular classroom because if they excel at something, they can keep learning more at their own pace.
6. No peer pressure or fear of bullying
Homeschooling shields children from the pressures of racism, bullying, sexual stereotyping, over-sexualization, alcohol and drugs. It protects them from peer pressure and allows them to develop emotionally in an unthreatening environment until they are ready.
7. The choice to focus on other interests and pursue opportunities
Homeschooling allows for a flexible place and pace of learning. This is why students who learn from home have the time to pursue further studies in arts, sports, music – which is often sidelined in mainstream school.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Homeschooling?
1. Added pressure on parents
Homeschooling parents feel the pressure of teaching their children. They need to set aside time from their daily schedule, or perhaps even put aside career goals so that they can give their children the time and attention that homeschooling demands.
2. The student may feel isolated
Home educated children miss out on the opportunity to socialize with children from different backgrounds. As a result, they may feel disconnected and isolated from their peer. This is one of the main disadvantages of homeschooling.
3. Face Judgment From other parents who may not understand the concept
Since homeschooling is not a very common concept, other parents may not understand this mode of learning. Many times, parents may struggle against biases related to homeschooling, especially with society questioning their choice and if their children are learning anything.
4. Parental limitations
Teachers undergo years of training to equip themselves with the skills needed to impart education. Parents may lack the knowledge, the patience or the skills to teach their children. There will also be days when they cannot give attention to kids, thus hampering the learning journey.
5. Limited social skills
Students who are homeschooled do not get to learn conflict resolution skills or negotiation skills to the same extent as children attending regular schools. They are also limited in their worldviews and coping mechanisms.
6. No access to student enrichment facilities (library, lab, art studio)
One of the advantages of a traditional school system is the state-of-the-art computer labs, science labs, gymnasiums, school pools, art centres and libraries that a school has. On the other hand, a child who is homeschooled doesn’t have the convenience of these facilities – which are an essential part of a complete education.
7. May not be recognized by universities
Many colleges, universities and government regulations do not recognize homeschooling as a legitimate form of schooling. Colleges request schooling certificates when seeking admissions. This puts homeschooled students at a disadvantage.
Homeschooling or traditional schooling is a personal choice for each family. However, if you are confused about choosing between the two, a good option is online learning that takes place over the internet, but in the comfort of the home. Schools with online learning offer access to qualified teachers who are qualified to teach your students. One of the best features of online learning is the opportunity to collaborate with other students for assignments and projects–thus ensuring that the students are connected with peers at all times. Online learning is also recognized by learning boards and universities from across the world. Online learning not only allows students to unlearn unhindered, but it equips them with lifelong learning skills.
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