Homeschooling - yes or no?

The news of schools being shut down till the end of the month came as a shocker on the 14th of March. While this left many teachers (and parents) jolted, students rejoiced about the holidays. No one knew how far this would go. The unprecedented pandemic has made the education industry take a paradigm shift. It has also made many parents consider homeschooling.

While many are still adjusting to the new equilibrium of learning, the news of the ban on e-learning for primary and pre-primary students dropped like a bomb. Even though the ban was taken to avoid longer screen time for children, it brings a host of other problems with it for students and parents.

A long-term ban can lead to an enormous learning gap in students. Many educators will agree that a learning gap created at such young ages can create larger deficits in learning in middle and high school.  All of this is making many parents rethink their approach to education for their kids. Many are now seriously considering homeschooling. 

Homeschooling to the rescue

Homeschooling is a way to truly take your child’s education into your own hands. This has become a prevalent trend among millennial parents. Earlier resorted to when parents moved a lot or to support the learning of a special child, it has now shot into the limelight as a lifestyle. The pandemic has already caused a massive shift to remote learning and there is rapid digitization in the education sector as well. Due to these factors, homeschooling is growing in popularity and becoming an attractive alternative for many families.

Why Homeschooling?

Individualised Learning

Individualized or personalized learning plays an integral role in a child’s personality development. Homeschooling enables the child to learn at his/her own pace and helps them pursue their particular or specific interests. You can discover hidden talents, hone in on them, and help your child pursue these. When you are closely working with the child’s learning, you can easily identify their flair and interest for a subject and can invest time on it to help them ace it. 

Fostering Independence

Homeschooling is one of the best ways to nurture self-reliance among kids. One of the most valuable life-skills is independence.  In fact, self-learning and independence are intertwined. In homeschooling, the freedom to teach your children at their pace and according to what you deem crucial, and not complying with the rigid guidelines of the school system makes it an effective way to foster independence.

Detailed Learning

When a teacher teaches a class, she cannot invest an ample amount of time on a single child but homeschooling ensures that a child receives a lot of attention and hence, learns in detail. Every student’s learning pace is different and homeschooling provides them the opportunity to learn at their own pace. Furthermore, your child might take extra time to learn certain concepts and homeschooling enables them to invest that amount of time in learning  without lagging behind. This may otherwise not be possible in a traditional school system that follows a strict schedule.

 No Fear of Embarrassment

While learning in a group in a group has many benefits, there’s also peer pressure. A lot of times, a child might hesitate to participate in a class activity only due to fear of being wrong and later being teased or ridiculed for the same. This often impacts the child and leads to the development of anxiety. In homeschooling, there is no such fear. Children learn in the complete comfort of home.

So, Is It Right for You and Your Children?

Homeschooling is not just a mere form of learning but a lifestyle change. The adoption of homeschooling has been a debatable issue for a long time now. While it has many benefits, it also has many criticisms leveled against it.

What are the Drawbacks?

It is a known fact that homeschooling is not for everyone, despite its unique advantages. Here are a few points that you need to pay heed to before jumping into homeschooling.

Managing Multiple Roles

Homeschooling can be extremely burdensome for parents who have to manage both roles of a teacher and an administrator, in addition to all the typical parenting and familial roles. As a parent, you have to plan school-time and activities and handle the administrative work of being a teacher, which leaves less time for yourself. Thus, there is a potential for more stress and fatigue as a result of managing multiple roles and being around your children all day long. It becomes tougher when children become restless and misbehave. If you do not have a good endurance level, remaining patient when children struggle with learning might leave you disgruntled with the choice you made.

Lack of Socialization

Many children who were homeschooled report having a smaller circle of friends, which means less peer interactions. The importance of peer interactions and socialization in children’s development is critical so this is an important point to consider. This could leave your child at a slight disadvantage to learn certain important life skills that children typically acquire from peers such as listening, sharing, turn-taking, decision making, teamwork, leadership skills and even, the ability to deal with rejection and failure.

Financial Crunch

Dedicating time to homeschooling can make it difficult for you to manage if you are a working parent. In order to invest time in your child, you have to sacrifice your working hours which could mean a loss of income.

Lack of Recognition

Homeschooling means less structure when compared to a traditional school system. Thus, the recognition of the achievements of your child is limited to just family. Children could potentially lose out on opportunities to participate in public-facing events and competitions, which are a great motivator for student’s learning and the development of life skills.

Well, whether homeschooling is the right way to educate your child or not depends on a lot of factors and can even change from one year to the next. You don’t have to be an ardent supporter of homeschooling to adapt to it as you don’t have to see it as a permanent solution but only a temporary solution for the current time of crisis.

However, even as a temporary solution, implementing a homeschooling lifestyle is not going to be a cakewalk as it comes with a lot of responsibilities.

To know more about if homeschooling is actually right for you and your child, sign up for an informative session on the same.