Homeschooling- the pros and the cons

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What is homeschooling?

Educating the children at home instead of sending them to formal schools is called homeschooling. It is in other words education imparted at home by the parents or a tutor who comes home to take lessons. The children do not go to any laos cambodia vietnam itinerary formal and certified institutions even for taking tests and examinations. The term homeschooling is essentially used in the US and in most other parts of the world including European Countries; it is referred to as “Home Education”.

The trend of educating the children at home has been very popular in the western countries and is now also spreading to other parts of the world particularly the European and the Middle Eastern countries.

Traditional education:

When talking about education in its most basic form, long ago there was nothing like formal schools. The children have always stayed back home and learnt from watching their parents do their job and after a certain age become an apprentice to them to learn a life skill.

However in the early 1800’s the formal education which was introduced brought along with it the need to have a precinct where children gathered to learn under one roof. Later, compulsory attendance and a common curriculum code were incorporated to bring about uniformity in education in a particular area.The concept of homeschooling in contrast to formal education has now come to mean not attending a school at all of any kind, whether it is public or a private school.

Here is an estimate:

Even though there is no accurate statistical record that can be used to determine the exact count of homeschoolers around the world, some regulatory bodies like the Homeschooler’s Association of the US put the figures roughly at 3% children across the globe are educated at home.

Reasons for adopting homeschooling:

Economic reasons:

The spiraling lifestyle cost along with the burden of educating many offspring of parents can put them into economic dilemma. They may not find it financially viable to meet their ends if all the children were to be formally educated. Therefore, some parents with more children prefer to educate their children at home in order to save money.

Dissatisfaction from formal schools:

 The parent may prefer homeschooling to formal education over concerns about the quality of education imparted at school and the quality of the environment at school. The parent may also not feel comfortable with the curriculum that is followed at the school. Some parents have converted their children into homeschoolers because they had special needs or they were bullied in school which left them psychologically maimed and weak.

The parents want to get involved in their child’s education:

This is a good idea to spend more quality time with the child. A good amount of time is spent by the children in school which leaves very little time for kids to bond with their family.

Parenting style:
Homeschooling could essentially be a parenting style and the parent chooses to follow it because he or she thinks it will be more beneficial to them in the long run.
No schools in the vicinity:
There may be no schools where the parents reside and to cut the travelling to almost half of  the city to get formally educated is way too much for some parents to ask.

Frequent travel:

If the family travels frequently out of the locality, then surely homeschooling is best for such kids. There may be a provision in some schools where they provide for gap years in order to continue from the same class where the kid left. But for avid travelers, homeschooling is a good option. Besides, travel teaches more than any formal curriculum can!

The advantages of homeschooling:

Safety of the child:

The child is safe from bullies, terrorist attacks or psychopaths out to kill anyone in their path.

Children with special needs:

Children with special needs like autism or children with ADD (attention Deficit Disorder) and hyperactive children can be trained well if homeschooling is done with the right emphasis on the growth of the child. The pressure is less on such children to perform plus there is also less of peer pressure.

Specific religious or moral education can be imparted:

If the parents are very particular that their children follow certain religious education then that can be imparted only from homes. Formal schools like to work in a secular fashion so as not to hurt anybody’s religious and cultural sentiments.

Bonding with the family:

The child gets a major part of his time to bond with his family and siblings. If he attends normal school the time with his family may get skewed.

Mentorship and apprenticeship:

When a child is educated from home, he does to learn and also watches his parents do their jobs. He also appreciates their efforts in imparting education to him. He may learn life skills quickly and even join the work force of his family faster than children who are educated at formal institutions.

Disadvantages of homeschooling:

It involves a lot of time and energy:

Homeschooling can put a lot of pressure on the parent who is informally educating the child. The parent may need to set aside quality time for preparing the study material and then have the energy to execute the plans.

Parents may have skewed viewpoints:

This may not be true every time, nevertheless certain concepts parents do tend to have a biased opinion and the child may just adopt the prejudiced viewpoint of the parent without going into the merits of the concept.

If there is no set curriculum, it is easy to lose focus:

Most homeschoolers follow some kind of curriculum. But parents who think that a curriculum is not needed and only age centric activities are required may quickly lose their focus.Advocates of formal education say discipline cannot be instilled at home because the parents do not like to carry the whip all day. Also they feel the child may turn out to be an introvert with little or no socializing with peers of his age.

Is homeschooling the right option?

This is a very subjective query. And the answer of course will vary from one family to another. If the parent is ready to dedicate the right amount of time and energy towards imparting of education then homeschooling may really be the answer for them. It depends on every member of the family and also essentially the environment of the home that will determine if homeschooling will be successful for them or not.