With the current situation presented to us due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are still trying to adjust and function the best they can. One of the many effects of this pandemic can be starkly observed in the education system. There have always been efforts taken to reimagine and refurbish how education is disseminated. And one of the many shifts in the education structure comes through a unique concept of homeschooling. This article will look into the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling.
THE CONCEPT OF HOME SCHOOLING
Homeschooling or home education is where children get their primary education at home or any other place that is not a school or educational institution/organization. One can say that it is a more informal way of educating one’s children. The main aspect of homeschooling is that the parents are the ones in control of their children’s learning as well as their curriculum. In simple words, homeschooling is a non-traditional form of one-on-one learning.
There are different methods of homeschooling. Some parents make a personalized curriculum from different sources. Other methods include syllabus from local schools at home, there’s a hands-on learning method, or maybe even distance learning with online classes.
Let us now look into their pros and cons.
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ADVANTAGES OF HOMESCHOOLING
Greater Involvement of Parents
One of the many reasons why parents are choosing homeschooling is that it allows them to have greater involvement in their children’s education. They believe that they have a more in-depth understanding of what their children need and hence, are better equipped in providing them with the right learnings. This way children get continuous attention that caters to their requirements. Therefore, it works both ways. The children get the necessary education right in their homes. And the parents have the satisfaction of building stronger relationships with their offspring.
Control Over The Child’s Education
Parents have control over the curriculum and syllabus taught to the children. In the case of the traditional education system, the school authorities or the education board have a set curriculum that has to be followed by the students. But with homeschooling, you get to choose the subjects that have to be taught. There can be a combination of different teaching methods that does not restrict itself to textbook learning. For example, science centers, book fairs, private tuitions, art education, etc. are different educational opportunities. One could even argue that homeschooled children have the opportunity to obtain a diversified education.
When you have control over what your child is learning, there is more flexibility afforded as well. Children can work at their own pace, engage in activities that they are inclined towards, and even work on subjects that they are weaker in without pressure to perform well instantly.
Safe Learning Environment
We often hear about the toxic environment inside the school premises with children subjected to incessant bullying, teasing, racism, even physical fights with other children. Over one-third of youth globally experience bullying in school. This can have long-term negative effects on the children’s well-being and growth. However, with homeschooling, the child has a safe learning environment and can easily avoid these tense situations.
Children With Special Needs
Children who require additional assistance for reasons of physical, mental, or psychological disabilities are oftentimes homeschooled. Parents feel public schools are not adequately equipped to cater to the specific needs of their children. In addition to this, sometimes, children are unfairly labeled as needing special education. Therefore, homeschooling can help deal with these individual children’s abilities and attributes.
Another popular reason for homeschooling is to incorporate religious teachings into the curriculum. Many religious parents have objections to the secular nature of schools, especially public schools. Therefore, this way the parents can include specific religious education along with other subjects.
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DISADVANTAGES OF HOMESCHOOLING
Lesser Social Interaction
A major drawback of homeschooling is that children do not grow up among kids of their own age. They have a smaller circle of friends as they do not have daily interactions with other children. Meanwhile, in a school set up, children regularly interact with a large group of children. So homeschoolers go through a different path of socialization that may not be necessarily helpful for their overall development.
Not an Option for Everyone
Homeschooling requires a lot of investment from families and parents. This is not an accessible option for everyone. This is considering the fact that home education could mean more money goes into spending on educational resources and materials. As a result, other aspects of the family spending have to be reduced. Additionally, parents have to spend more time at home for the kids. So this means reduced work hours for the parents resulting in lesser income.
Illegal in Some Countries
Though homeschooling is an alternative way of education for many kids across the world, there are certain places that are not on board with the homeschooling system. For instance, countries like Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Costa Rica, etc. are places where public or private education is mandatory. Apart from this, many countries only allow homeschooling with regulated conditions. These include Canada, Colombia, Israel, Austria, Belgium, etc.
Time Management Issues For Parents
As mentioned above, apart from being the child’s parents, they have to double up as teachers, professors, private tutors as well. They plan the child’s schedule and take on round the clock responsibility. As a result, they have to sacrifice other aspects of their life including work and self-care. The additional responsibility can even increase their stress and fatigue levels.
Finding The Right Resources
With an unlimited supply of educational information online as well as offline, the right kind of resources can get buried under the irrelevant ones. Parents do not always have the right expertise or qualifications to sift through the resource materials to pick the best ones. They can hardly match the school boards and authorities who spend a lot of time and energy to curate the curriculum for the students.
Criticism From Others
Naturally, homeschooling has had its fair share of criticism. This mostly comes from teachers’ unions, professors, and school authorities. The general critical view of homeschooling is that it can create bias in impressionable children. Hence, it may not be a holistic form of education.
In conclusion, homeschooling definitely has both benefits and challenges related to it. However, it is important to note that homeschooling is not for everyone. It is a considerable commitment to undertake. So thorough research along with preparation is key.