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What is Home Schooling? Benefits with Pros and Cons

Friday May 1, 2020

Home schooling is being commonly accepted as an educational alternative to conventional schools. And it is widely recognized as a valuable method of education for the benefit it offers.

If you look back into history, many of the countries followed variations of home schooling, before education among the public was made mandatory and important through laws.

The famous inventor Thomas Edison, author Louisa May Alcott, and President John Adams are among the great examples of homeschoolers who made an impact in society.

It is no wonder why many of parents have decided to go for a home schooling option even now.

However, just like any other system, there are some drawbacks to home schooling, as well.

Here let us have a look at the pros and cons of the system which will surely help those people who are confused about whether to choose it over the traditional setting.

What is Home Schooling?

Home schooling is a kind of learning where kids are trained outside of a regular school set up in which their parents or guardians are responsible for their supervision.

It is the discretion of the family to decide on what their kids should learn and the way it has to be taught.

However, they are supposed to follow government regulations if any that are applicable in a particular state or country.

To help out the parents who prefer their kids to study from home, many public K-12 schools are supporting the home schooling system as an option. Peer pressure is among the major worries for many school-going kids but home schooling comes to their rescue as they can learn at their own pace. However, kids will be in isolation from their peers which can be really challenging for those who prefer to be social.

How does Home Schooling Help?

In this education system, parents get an opportunity to build strong bonds with their kids. Moreover, they can take the flexibility to decide the schooling schedule and the curriculum for them.

As parents know their kids better, the system will enable them to demonstrate that education can be a fun episode.

Furthermore, kids can easily adapt to the preferred learning methods that are convenient and best.

Kids enrolled in public schools will have to follow a systematic schedule for learning whereas home schooling gives the great benefit of a flexible schedule that allows studying at the personally preferred pace.

One of the major drawbacks faced by kids studying in a large classroom in schools is the lack of individual attention which is very vital, particularly for weak students. However, in the home school concept, parents can give special attention to their kids and take extra efforts for the subjects they find hard to grasp.

Here are some other Important Benefits:

  • Easy access to other educational opportunities
  • The concept encourages a love for learning rather than seeing it as a schedule
  • They get a chance to learn self-discipline
  • Teens can work and save money
  • They are often entrepreneurially minded.
  • They become more capable at life skills like cleaning, cooking, and home maintenance

Pros

Experts in the field who support home schooling has pointed out that the portion that is usually covered in a week at a school can actually be covered in a few hours. So parents can finish off the subjects in the least possible time and provide enough rest for the kids, which is really important for healthy growth. At the same time, there are some students who need more than 1 week to study the same portion.

This makes it very clear that studying in one’s comfortable pace is the best benefit of home schooling.

Let us have a look at some other important pros of home schooling.

  • More Educational and Physical Flexibility:

The freedom of learning is above all the pros as kids can choose when to study, what to study, and how long to study.

Parents can teach different subjects depending on their maturity, ability, and interest levels.

What comes next is the physical freedom as kids are not bound to any schedules, school hours or restrictions. They can choose their free time and study time.

Also Read: What is Smart School? What is it’s benefiting?

  • More Scope for Individualized Instruction

Differentiated instruction is one of the main challenges faced by teachers in schools as not every kid has the same learning capacity.

That is another reason why home schooling is proving good as it provides the opportunity for individualized instruction. Parents can focus on the weak areas of kids and provide additional guidance if needed.

  • Stability during Difficult Times

There are many trying times in families when there is a new baby or someone passes away or if someone undergoes some serious illness.

It can even be a transition when you decide to shift to another place or country. A home schooling kid can easily manage these situations without affecting their learning.

  • More Emotional and Religious freedom

In home schooling, there is no room for peer pressure, competition, and bullies which is very common nowadays at school.

Especially, girls continue to thrive and their self-esteem remains intact. Moreover, parents can stay in peace as they get ample time to incorporate their spiritual beliefs in daily lives, which is otherwise a worrying factor for at least some of them.

  • Closer Family Relationships

Kids will get a chance to spend more quality time with their parents and siblings and this helps them to build strong bonds among the family.

As they will involve in-home chores together with learning and help each other during difficult times, they will rather grow up as family-centered individuals and not self-centered.

  • A Chance to Begin a Career Early

In a normal school system, every student has to wait until the schedule gets over to move to the next level of learning.

However, home schooling students can go up to higher levels if they have the capacity to do so much earlier. This actually gives them a chance to begin their career also well ahead of their counterparts.

Moreover, kids will easily develop an attitude to think independently that is going to be an asset when they take crucial roles in life.

Cons

Dealing with your kids 24/7 can be a headache for most of the parents, as a ‘me’ time is important for all of them.

Moreover, kids would love to spend quality time with peers of similar interests and they will surely miss such opportunities during homeschooling.

Here are a few more important cons that you have to come across with this system.

  • Homeschooling Can Be Expensive

When your kid goes up to higher classes, the overall expense will go beyond normal textbooks and teaching materials.

They will need a tablet or computer and even a microscope or other lab equipment to compete well with their counterparts who are regular school goers.

Moreover, a mother or father will have to compromise the income through jobs when they choose to sit at home to teach kids.

Also Read: Advantages and Disadvantages of Smart classes

  • Need for More Intentional Socialization

When Kids spend most of their time at home, they miss the opportunity to share some fun time with their peers at school.

Parents will have to take extra effort for intentional socialization.

Also there is a large tendency for kids to grow up as introverts and this may be really challenging when they take up responsible positions once they begin their career.

  • Record keeping can be Worrisome

Students will need proper records when they apply for graduations in colleges or when they appear in exams to pursue a career of their interest.

Parents who take less care about record-keeping throughout their education will suffer during these trying times. Proper record-keeping and wise strategies to track them on a regular basis is very important.

  • More Effort Needed to include Extracurricular Activities

Kids would get a lot of opportunities at school whether their interest is arts or sports.

However, things may not be very easy for a kid who does homeschooling.

They will have to find a similar group of students or other ventures who help out such kids and this will need extra time and everything will be at your expense.

  • It may turn out as an All-day affair

There are parents who decide on home schooling for kids but lack wise ideas to keep things going smoothly.

No proper and systematic approach will drag learning to the bedroom, kitchen, and dining table. The teaching and learning then become an all-day affair which is equally stressful for kids and parents.

In addition to time and financial restraints and limited team activities, one of the major drawbacks is the difficulty of facing questions when you live outside the norm.

How Home Schooling Will Change Public Education?

Unlike some rumors, home school is not going to replace the present public education system in the near future. The basic reason is that the families where both parents are working professionals are on the rise than ever before. However, homeschooling is surely making an impact in the present education and will continue to do so.

By going through some rough estimates, the students that are home schooling has gone beyond 1.2 million which is surprisingly more than the number of students who have joined the whole New York City public school system. The public bureaucracies had an upper hand on the education system for a long time and individuals and private groups are now on a broad movement to attempt to offer the same services through some serious effort.

We are also seeing a trend where homeschooling families and communities are relying on each other for assistance and this can turn out to ideas of building institutions similar to schools.

However, at least some home schooling families don’t refuse to ask any relevant help from public schools when needed, which gives a ray of hope for them.

It need some serious efforts from parents to take up this challenging role of teaching a range of subjects which was once thought of as doable only by specialized professionals.

Going with the trend, many home-schooling web sites are now in the limelight that helps parents with different ideas, strategies, and activities to make the phenomenon successful.

Parents are even given impressive assistance to get relevant teaching resources. They know about the programs that are ideal for their kids and even interact with parents with similar problems through chatbots.

Few Home schooling Ideas

In a traditional school system, kids will get a lot of free time when they can play with other kids or share similar interests. As such options are limited in a home schooling setup; kids can easily get bored in a matter of time. So it is really challenging for parents to come up with creative ideas and strategies to keep on motivating them.

  • ‘Home Ec’ Classes: This is an interesting area of home schooling when kids can be involved in daily chores like cooking and cleaning when they are taught about being responsible and safe. Include them in activities to learn how to spend money wisely and share the importance of attentiveness, patience, and situational awareness.
  • Get Moving while Learning: Some parents are trying strategies like learning while moving to avoid boredom. It can be a Lego puzzle, simple walking, swinging or even a light workout on the treadmill. Involving in light movements while learning has proved a good strategy for many kids.
  • Thank You Letters: Ask them to write a weekly letter addressing parents, an elderly relative, a friend or a maid to express their gratitude. This not only improves their love for others but their writing gets well and they will feel good when involving in such good deeds.
  • Invest Some Time for Ted-Ed: It is a great idea to invest considerable time with Ted-Ed once in a while. They offer lot of interesting educational videos and animations. You can even create personalized lessons by piercing different subject ideas and thoughts.
  • Creativity Resources and Worksheets: Go online where there are lot of websites that offer creative resources and worksheets to engage the home schooling kids. Parents can mix up these resources with the standard ones to bring in variety during learning.
  • Go Outdoors to Learn and Play: Don’t choose to sit inside the house all the time when you teach kids. Take them out once in a while, maybe to the lawn or to the nearest park where kids can interact with nature, play, and learn.
  • Read at a Local Library: It is good to take the kids to a local library where they can refer to additional resources if needed. Or they can go through some of the fairy tales or fiction and improve their reading skills.
  • Take a Field Trip to the Zoo: There is no better way than taking them to the zoo to teach them more about animals, the environment, and their habitats. They can even get a chance to learn some new vocabulary.

Parents who are planning to decide on home schooling option for their kids must actually look at both the benefits as well as the disadvantages of this system.

This would help them to set the right expectations and avoid unnecessary confusion on a later phase.

Making a better and informed decision as important as your choice can have a direct impact on the future of your kids and the way they grow up.

If you are planning to switch to a homeschooling option after continuing with a regular school set up, it is very important to ask the opinion of your kids before landing into a final decision.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Homeschooling is all about teaching their kids at home, without sending them to school.

The number of hours that should be spent to teach a kid will depend on the grade he is studying. But experts say that, on an average, children should learn for 3-4 hours a day, though it differs with various factors

Homeschooling is a good idea for the parents who have a lot of time to spare for their children, or those who want only to share their values to their children and don’t want them to share some other people’s values.

But on the other hand, it’s not that a good idea, as children will not learn social skills and they will have no idea of the issues happening around them.

Home schooling can be done by non-working parents sitting at home, and teaching them at home, without sending them to school.

Just like the two sides of a coin, homeschooling has its own merits and demerits when dealt in detail.

So far homeschooling has not been regulated by any certified authority in India. And so, there is no need to register for homeschooling. But if students want to go for higher education, they can go for IGCSE exam as a private candidate or can take grade 10 and grade 12 exams of NIOS.

Homeschooling can be done in steps like:

  • Identify a homeschool group near your locality
  • Understand the do’s and don’ts in home schooling
  • Figure out the learning style of your child
  • Subscribe for books for ‘How to do home schooling’ and understand it
  • Select the curriculum
  • Create an atmosphere to learn at home
  • Start teaching

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