After the outbreak of COVID-19, many parents are scared to send their children back to school.
Are you one of those parents?
Your worries regarding sending your child back to school after this pandemic are quite obvious. But can we wait till the situations become normal again?
Well, you don’t have to! The world has no idea how long we will have to deal with this virus and parents don’t want their child’s learning time to be compromised.
Homeschooling is the answer to all your anxieties.
Homeschooling, as the name indicates, is bringing the purpose of school to your home for your child. This concept has gained consensus in the last few decades due to the advantages it offers to the parents and children.
Homeschooling is likely to gain more support from the parent community after the current pandemic situation but you cannot just transit to this concept overnight. Before you shift from traditional public and private schools to homeschool, you need to make a few preparations.
What is Homeschooling?
Before you introduce the idea of homeschooling get your notions about a homeschool clear. This is the first step towards making a change.
Homeschooling is an educational reform where you school your child at your home. You do not require any educational degrees and diplomas to teach your child in this system and there is no rigid curriculum.
It is you who decides the curriculum and tenure of the same for your child.
Your child does not have to go through a pre-decided assessment format. You can decide how to assess your child based on his abilities and learning.
Your decision to homeschool your child will require major lifestyle changes in you and your child. In a homeschool, a parent plays the dual role of a guardian and administrator.
A parent undertakes the responsibility of grooming a child as a guardian as well as fostering his academic development.
Unlike a conventional traditional school, you will no longer have a teacher to rely on for your child’s scholastic progress. You are responsible for his social, cultural, and overall development.
Homeschool v/s Traditional schools
If you have made your mind to transit to homeschool, you need to know the differences that you will come across with this change.
- In a homeschool, you don’t have to rush with the syllabus and there is no homework. A child does not have to plan his life around the school hours.
- There is no fear of ragging and teasing in a homeschool. Besides this, your child will have no peer pressure.
- Homeschooling poses time and financial challenges before parents that are otherwise absent in a traditional school.
- In a homeschool, socialization is not the same as in a traditional school where your child meets at least a dozen other children and teachers every day.
- Homeschooling is not always studying in the four walls of a home. You can take your child to field trips and can call in experts to take lessons on topics where you lack.
These are a few changes that you as a parent will have to stay prepared for before you initiate the process of homeschooling your ward.
Pros of Homeschooling
- A child spends more time with the parent in homeschool than in a traditional school. This strengthens the bond between a parent and a child. A parent gets to participate more in the development of his child and thus he can influence it much more in this setup.
- Conventional schools have rigid curriculums that are the same for all the children irrespective of their interests and capabilities. Homeschooling allows a parent to customize the learning for his child. You can decide what to teach your child and techniques that should be used.
- Children are subject to an ever-growing competition and peer pressure in conventional schools. This is not the case in a Homeschool. The child in a homeschool competes only against himself and his aim is to perform better than his last performance. This is a positive development.
- Peer pressure in traditional schools can sometimes drive a child on the wrong path. They may indulge in activities that they are not supposed to. You can avoid such circumstances in a Homeschool.
- In a Homeschool, a parent can pay attention to the areas where a child lacks and can quickly get done with topics where the child is good. This flexibility is not available in traditional schools.
- A parent can impart social, moral, and cultural values very well in a Homeschool set up while integrating them with the lessons of their academic curriculum. This boosts the scholastic as well as the moral development of a child much more effectively than a traditional school.
Cons of Homeschooling
- A parent has to manage his time very effectively. Homeschooling is a challenge for working parents. A parent has dual responsibilities and thus he requires more time to manage both of them. But unfortunately, all of us have just 24 hours in a day.
- Unlike traditional schools that have qualified teachers, homeschooling does not have masters of the subject. You may be good at math but lack in language and that’s where your child may have to suffer.
- Homeschooling brings a lot of financial obligations. There is an increased cost of bringing in resources and replenishing them as and when required. Also, there are a lot of notional costs that you’ll have to bear if you decide to homeschool your child.
- A parent has to excel at motivating the child constantly through innovative ways which can be tiring at times.
- Socializing is different in a homeschool. In contrast to a traditional school, where children find many playmates and friends to spend time with, in a Homeschool you have to make arrangements for his entertainment and playtime.
How to Start Homeschooling?
After analyzing all the pros and cons of Homeschooling, if you wish to bring a transition to your child’s schooling system, here are the steps that you as an informed parent must take.
Step 1: Research
Get your facts clear about Homeschooling before you initiate. Find out about the existing legal framework and laws in your state.
Write an application to withdraw your child out of his existing school. This is a prerequisite in every state. Other compliances may vary.
Make sure you adhere to the legal requirements to avoid any complications in the future. After you are legally compliant, prepare yourself mentally to take the responsibilities of being a teacher simultaneously with a parent.
Step 2: Take a look at the alternatives
Before you make a binding choice, explore as much as you can. Talk to parents who are already homeschooling their children or the ones who are aspiring to go for it.
Find out varying curriculums and approaches that are available to you. Analyze the pros and cons and use the experience of people to start with.
Step 3: Choose a curriculum
Instead of researching “What Homeschool curriculum is best?”, explore “What Homeschool curriculum best suits you and your child?”
You, your child, and your requirements are fundamental parameters that decide your choice of curriculum.
While you explore the best curriculum, you will find a range of competing policies and constraints. There are ample alternatives available to a formal curriculum system.
There are many to choose from but make sure to research well regarding their instructions, the resources they require, and the cost it provides for.
Step 4: Customise your Homeschool
That’s indeed the biggest advantage of this system. There is no strict route that you have to take to make your homeschool work.
Determine your results, resources in your hand, and your child’s requirements and accordingly decide on your style.
Reminder- Homeschooling is not a school.
Do not mistake a homeschool as a private or public school. The idea is not to replicate the outdoor school system at home.
There are no classrooms, no fixed time tables, and no subject teachers. The world is your child’s classroom. Nothing is confined to his desk and notebooks.
The concept of Homeschool should be taken as an opportunity to eradicate the loopholes in the existing education system. With flexible and innovative learning, Homeschools can make a huge difference in a child’s learning style.
The aim is not just teaching, it is educating a child. The ultimate goal is to make a child self-reliant for his learning. You might have to fight for the change but if implemented effectively, the results are noteworthy.
Start making use of the time you have to introduce the changes. Gradually you and your child will get accustomed to the new system and learning will become more fun.
Make use of every possible thing around you to facilitate your child’s learning.
Explore, innovate, and change for the best!
Share your ideas about Homeschooling in the section below.