Yesterday, The Times of India carried the front page headline, “Just 14 & homeschooled, he’s Delhi IIT-JEE topper”.
Imagine a boy of 14, having no exposure to regular schools, made his way to the top at such a young age.
The concept of Homeschooling is not a very familiar word in India. This concept is spreading but still not widespread in our country.
A little research showed that many parents in Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai have turned to homeschooling and stopped their children from going to regular schools.
Talking of homeschooling many thoughts crop up in the mind...the advantage and disadvantage of it. Before going into extended issues, let’s have an examination about home schooling.
In simple words Homeschooling is a choice by parents to provide Elementary to High School level education to their children at home.
Talking to the parents one can find how dissatisfied they are with the regular schooling system (both private and government schools). You can hear their complaints in simple words like; there is too much study pressure, heavy bags they have to carry everyday on the young shoulders, so much of home work, classrooms with a large number of students which denies personal attention to the child by the teacher, problem with the regular school transport, child deprived of getting admission into the desired school, influence by friends, etc. So many different issues bring the thought of Homeschooling to the mind of the parents. It is not an easy task as many decisive factors are involved in this venture.
In such circumstances, Homeschooling comes as a respite. In homeschooling the child studies at home under the guidance of the parent or teachers who come to teach them at home. Parents work out the day’s study schedule that works best for the child. There is flexibility in timings, set a learning schedule that allows the child to be comfortable with. Can be flexible with the curriculum by seeing what needs to be taught how and when. You are free to control by laying emphasis on the subjects that need more attention. And overall the child receives individual attention and the parent can see the child grow under personal supervision from day to day. As Homeschooling is flexible the child gets the scope to pick up other ideas and concepts the parent feel is right for the child. Above all this system helps the parent to know the child better at every level. There are web sites, support groups and books that can come as a help for those who are interested to know more about it.
Homeschooling brings with it the advantages but we cannot ignore the disadvantages. Homeschooling is a full-time job even if there is a tutor to teach the child. It needs lots of effort, preparation, dedication and concentration which may seem impossible at times for the parent with all the responsibility of the home. This is also very expensive affair while providing all the necessary resources for the growth and development of the child. Children tend to lack development of their social skills which is important for the growth of a child. So they should join some support groups or go to the park to play and mingle with other children. This system can leave behind the thought in the mind of the child that they are missing out something, social interaction becomes a must. For special children, this may be helpful. Homeschooling creates a lot of pressure and leave very little personal space for the parent. Before taking up Homeschooling for the child the parent must be sure that the child can be controlled at home and at the same time will be benefitted with the teaching he/she receives at home.
Homeschooling do miss out all activities that is there in a Regular school. That’s the vacuum the child is left with. But they do have a lot of freedom in other areas as compared with the school going children. If we are to consider thoughtfully, ask any parent and they would prefer their child to go to school to complete their curriculum. A school is said to be the Temple of Learning. Here the child has space to grow as an all rounder.
As of now Homeschooling is A Little Heard Word and can be a Risky Affair and I don’t think many parents will go with it. What’s in store in future for Homeschooling, only time can tell.