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Homeschooling in 2021 #co-schooling

Amidst the pandemic, the year 2020 has forced many parents to ‘Homeschool’ their children. In the US, according to the National Home Education Research Institute, there are now more than 2 million children being homeschooled. However, for most of us, there is no awareness regarding homeschooling. Let us educate ourselves on ‘Homeschooling’ as it has become a crucial part of our lives. The following article will guide you on:

  1.  What is homeschooling?
  2.  The Approaches
  3.  The resources required for homeschooling
  4.  Pros and Cons
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What is home schooling?

Greetings! I am Larrisa, an ECCE Educator and a Craft Enthusiast!

Let’s hop into getting to know about ‘Homeschooling’!

  • Homeschooling is learning outside the school environment i.e., public or private schools.
  • Parents educate/teach their children at home. It is customised to meet the child’s needs.
  • Homeschooling can be easily implemented in the ‘Early Year’s’ through fun activity!
  • It also goes beyond academic to meet the requirement of the value system that the parents want the child to grow with.
  • It is learning from rich resources available in one’s own community and environment.

As a parent, it could be very overwhelming to take the complete onus of your child’s education and thus lately we have seen a serge of co-schooling. Here, parents fill the gap by providing their child with enrich activities, field trips, vocational education that compliments the learning at school. Co-schooling also helps them to customise learning as per child’s interests which is not possible in schools with large no. of kids. For e.g. a math concept can be learned in different ways like visually, making a game out of it, compose a song with steps etc. This makes learning fun.

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Homeschooling Approaches

An approach is a method which leads to a way of teaching and learning!
Here are some Educational Approaches that can be used for Homeschooling.

Traditional Method
Parents use textbooks, workbooks, worksheets, and even tests to teach their children at home. This method is identical to the classroom approach.

Waldorf Education Method
Founded by Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher and teacher in the late 1800s. Waldorf method focuses on the whole child. This method stimulates the child’s mind, body, soul and also develops their character, compassion, creativity and imagination.

Interest – Led Learning Method
This method is also mentioned as unschooling where the child’s interests paves the way to the learning process. The parent observes and makes notes on what the child enjoys doing, where the child’s interest lies and what brings about curiosity in the child. Accordingly, the parent plans the learning of the child.

Montessori Method
Founded by an Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori in the early 20th century. This method gives the child hands-on experience along with freedom and choices within the learning environment. The parent is an observer and a facilitator that provides guidance and direction to the child’s developmental needs of learning.

Play-Based Method
This method uses ‘Play’ as a context for learning. It is child-centred. It focuses on unstructured play as well as unstructured time to play. This method enables the child to explore, experiment, discover, imagine and problem solve. The child’s self-confidence enhances.

“In homeschooling, parents can choose as well as blend different Educational Approaches for their child’s best learning experience! It also gives freedom to go beyond mainstream education.”

– Hemali Turakhia, Founder and CEO Jyppzer 

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Resources Required for Home Schooling

Parents need to-

Enjoy their children’s company, physical presence, energy, passion, creativity, imagination and curiosity!

Show dedication towards Homeschooling along with a deep desire to keep moving!

Advance one’s knowledge through various ‘Online Apps’, ‘Websites’, ‘FB & WhatsApp Groups’ and ‘Blogs’!

Currently in India, homeschoolers are not eligible to take ICSE, CBSE or IB exams as private candidate. However parents can take some topics/concepts from above boards if they feel it may benefit their children. e.g. we love the Life Skills concept from CBSE and STEAM based topics from IB. It helps develop the child holistically.

Everything we encounter in life has a good side and bad side. It is the same with homeschooling. Being aware and acknowledging the pros and cons can help is lessening emotional breakdown. In order to make you comfortable and to get started with ‘Homeschooling’ I am sharing some ‘Honest prespective’.

Pros of Homeschooling:

1. Flexibility: In homeschooling there’s no need to follow any ‘school hour’s’. The choice of curriculum for the child, learning hours, learning styles and topics can be scheduled according to ones’ family commitments and child’s interest.

2. Holistic Development: Due to flexibility in the curriculum selection, time and personal attention given; each developmental area such as emotional, cognitive, language, social, physical will be tapped in-dept which leads to the child’s holistic development.

3. Relationship Enhancement: Parent – child relationship enhances! Authentic daily interactions lead to depletion of destructive behaviours in the child!

4. Character building: Homeschooled children get to know themselves better, they are able to problem solve through trial and error, they become more self-reliant, courageous and are better able to endure.

5. Creative Socialization Techniques: A homeschooled child is able to socialize with people amongst all age groups. This increases their knowledge, communication and socialization skills. They are able to understand the world in a much better manner. They even gain a broader perspective about things and can understand another’s point of view. There are plenty of opportunities available to socialize such as homeschool support groups, planned field trips, sports programs, recreational activities in groups, etc.

6. Varied Opportunities: As there is no restriction on time; a homeschool child can pursue various hobby classes like arts & crafts, dance, drama, pottery, sewing, music lessons, robotics group, etc. They can advance in any of these skills and take it up as a career path.

7. Enhanced Self – esteem: Freedom in thoughts and expression of ideas, parental involvement, socialization with different set of people, positive reinforcement and constant encouragement increases the child’s self- worth and self- esteem!

Cons Of Homeschooling:

1. Expensive: Homeschooling is slightly on an expensive side where one parent may have to quit their full-time job or find some work from home options. The expense is also based on the chosen curriculum. But, not to worry as there are free homeschool materials available in your local library! Homeschooling experiences varies from family to family.

2. Lifestyle Change: Juggling between managing the home to creating a disciplined study routine can cause chaos. This often leads to making sacrifices with one’s lifestyle.

3. Confusion in Roles: It gets confusing to play the role of a parent and a teacher as there is no formal study area. Also, a parent can end up mothering the child instead of being a facilitator / teacher. This happens subconsciously.

4. Emotionally Draining: Carving out time for oneself as a parent could be a struggle. As most of the time goes in planning the study schedule, worksheets, activities for the child. This causes an emotional drain in the parent.

5. High on Criticisms: Due to lack of awareness on homeschooling; ‘criticisms’ on those who homeschool becomes evident. ‘Living outside the box’ has always been a challenge and many negative comments are offered freely to those who choose a more creative and authentic path.

The internet is a huge space to find more information and it is easily accessible by all. 

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