Homeschooling is also known as home based learning or home education. It can be defined as the education of children by their parents or by tutors at home, rather than in a private or public school. Homeschooling is gaining popularity in many countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, etc. It is gaining popularity, as it is a natural, experiential aspect of life taking place with the involvement of family members in daily living. In many countries, homeschooling is a legal option, where parents can provide their children a learning environment at home itself.
The main reasons why parents are getting motivated to home school their children include: providing moral or religious instruction, concern about traditional school environment like safety or drugs, and dissatisfaction with academic instruction at private and public schools. Other reasons include more flexibility in educational practices, family core stability for children having long chronic illnesses and learning disabilities, and for children of military families who move very frequently after every two years. However, as nothing is perfect in this world, homeschooling also has some advantages and disadvantages. Here is a description of some of them.
Pros of homeschooling
Homeschooling helps parents to understand their children better, observe their progress, and detect their problem areas easily. Homeschooling allows parents to spend quality time with their children, thus providing individual instruction and attention.
At home school, children learn at their pace. In addition, any kid having difficulties in a certain subject area or a slow learner kid can focus on that area without any pressure of other children learning faster. Parents work in accordance with their child in a way that they match their curriculum and teaching style with the child’s learning style. This helps the child in understanding the subject matter successfully and therefore, the child shows better results.
Homeschooling removes peer pressure on children, as there is no age classification. Here the children not only associate with children of their same age, but with children of different ages which helps them to decide on their own without any peer influence.
For the child’s learning process, activities that are outside the context of books are very essential. Small trips to the zoo, park, museum, participating in community or volunteer groups, active participation in special interest activities and classes, and even going out to fishing with mom and dad can be a great way of educating the child. In addition, this helps the child to socialize with different age level people and that too without any bully, unnatural clique or peer pressure.
Cons of homeschooling
Parents whose children are homeschooled have to put in much effort and time for preparing the lessons and teaching materials. They have to work hard to manage the child’s activities. Such parents do not have enough time for themselves, as kids are always at home. In other words, sometimes parent’s private life suffers because of homeschooling. This might even prove to be suffocating at times and hence, cannot work in certain families.
Children in a home based learning do not have many opportunities to develop friendships and inculcate bonding with peers. This might not be a problem for families, which supplement it by taking the kids out to play in the park or to attend ballet lessons, etc. However, it definitely requires an extra effort on the parents’ part.
A big disadvantage of home schooling is that the applications from home-schooled children for higher studies are not accepted by some colleges later on. Tax and cost is another con in this case. Homeschoolers are not exempted from school taxes in many countries. Until and unless there is a change in law, there is no other way out of it. In addition, if one has to hire a tutor, it would cost much higher than the school fees and travel expenses.
Whether to homeschool a child or not, totally depends on the parents. Homeschooling can be a very rewarding experience, but take a decision carefully after considering the pros and cons of this style of educating your child.