When kids learn or read subjects taught in school from parents or tutors who come to the house, it's called homeschooling. Home-schooling can be for a single kid or he/she may learn with brothers, sisters, or kids from their neighborhood. Kids are educated just like in a school but the only thing is their parents are in charge of their education, thus making homeschooling a very feasible and convenient option.
People choose to opt for homeschooling for many different reasons. In Some cases, a kid might have some health issues and can't go to school regularly. But in most cases, kids are under the homeschooling curriculum because some parents feel that they can give their child a better education than the school. People might also choose to homeschool because they can include religious values in their child's education, which isn't taught in schools.
But kids shouldn’t choose homeschooling just to escape from school or problems there, such as bullying. Kids must be taught to find solutions to their problems rather than escaping from them.
In general, children learn through play and life. It is the most effortless and natural process of learning. But as a homeschool parent, taking it to the next stage and making those natural experiences an intentional learning effort all become a daily part of the homeschooling adventure. Homeschooling is actually a life-long learning process!
Homeschooling in India
Homeschooling, an alternative approach to education, is a way of learning outside the defined parameters of school education and puts the parents/guardians in charge of their child’s all-round development. What and how to teach is determined by the parents who might not follow the curriculum of any education board.
Reliable research on homeschooling, its rising prevalence or outcomes is sparse. While there are no estimates of the number of homeschooled children in India, the cities of Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad seem to have most of the homeschooling communities.
In India, there is not much scope regarding home-schooling. The government of India has an RTE Act (Right to education) which states that compulsory education must be provided to every kid of age 7 – 14. However, there is no clear fact regarding homeschooling in India. This, in turn, has forced some parents to ask for clarifications or even file petitions to get their stance cleared regarding home-schooling.
The government of India has been quite differing on the home-schooling option as they have not taken action against parents who don’t prefer sending their wards to school and also they have stated in the past that parents who are dissatisfied with the schooling system can choose to homeschool as a teaching option.
Requirements for Homeschooling Kids
Legal requirements for homeschooling vary from place to place. Some countries have few or no requirements; others ask for some reviews or tests at certain intervals.
But the most important thing parents need to understand before opting for homeschooling their children is to like their kids, enjoy their company, physical presence, energy level, foolishness, and passion. They have to enjoy all their silly questions and talk. Parents must enjoy equally trying to answer those questions. The only requirement for the majority of the parents is the desire to do so along with a dedication to the educational process and by framing in a proper homeschooling curriculum.
Homeschoolers need the support of each other. There will be times when everything feels questionable and moments when quitting looks like the best option. But supporting each other to encourage, give advice, and offer a shoulder to cry on is what often makes all the difference! It feels great to know that we are there for each other! You will make mistakes. Every homeschool parent does, but the point is to learn from the mistakes that are made and get better each time.
How to Get Started with Homeschooling?
Parents do not need an educational degree to homeschool their kids. People with young kids who have never attended any kind of school can begin their homeschooling education program at home when their child turns appropriate school age. At that time kids will start bonding with the learning.
But for kids who are already going to school and now decide to quit and are opting for homeschooling, the process is slightly different. They must first write a letter of withdrawal to the school principal. The letter should describe the intent to remove a child from school to begin homeschooling. After the notification, they continue to follow their district's specific guidelines.
Many new homeschoolers don’t know how long they should spend on homeschooling. It's very important for them to have a specific homeschooling program and curriculum set in their minds. It is different for each kid. The best way is to set some goals and then find some innovative ways to achieve those goals. The time it takes to achieve those goals may be different from day to day and week to week and from task to task. So, each kid has a different homeschooling pattern and schedule depending on the time he takes to learn something. Time constraints are not important as long as there is growth and learning.
Homeschooling can be continued till the student graduates and enters college. Families also choose to homeschool throughout their children's education. Some may do it only for a few years before transferring their kids back into a school. Many colleges are beginning to take note of homeschooling’s popularity.
Making a schedule for Homeschooling
Parents organize the days in whatever way works best for the kids. Many children begin their schooling early in the morning, as in a traditional school, but some opt to make less difference between learning at home and school. They prefer to follow the child's enthusiasm to see where it leads; this becomes part of the school day as well, making the process of homeschooling very flexible.
Most of us are familiar only with the education system of textbooks, desks in rows, and standard tests and exam patterns. There is a wide range of educational methods which include Waldorf, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, classical, leadership education, interest-led learning, unit study, and more. Homeschoolers have the liberty to combine ideas that best meet their children's needs.
Another freedom that homeschooling offers is that they can prepare the structure of their entire year. Some parents follow the school calendar, some school year-round, and others take breaks during specific occasions when they need breaks and form their own homeschooling curriculum.
Parents can both work and homeschool! There are many ways to home-school freely and inexpensively. Parents can plan some amazingly creative ways to bring both work and home-school together! The entire family will experience a new level of learning and working together!
Planning a Curriculum for Homeschooling
A wide variety of curriculum and resources are available with the rapid increase in the number of homeschoolers. There are a lot of instructions available on learning approaches, the amount of time a homeschool teacher should devote to daily instruction, and so on.
Subjects taught include the typical standards followed in a school program as well as those that maximize the child’s interest. Homeschooling personalizes education so that we can discover the individual talents of each child, rather than standardizing education. It helps to put students in an environment where they can naturally discover their true passion and learn more. In home-schooling parents provide an atmosphere with a customized method of instruction that matches their child's unique ability, interests, and learning style.
Many homeschooling curricula often combine certain subjects that are not necessarily graded or age-specific, such as history, literature, and the arts. Like children of various ages can study the same historical time period together, and then be given assignments and tests that reflect specific age and ability. For other subjects like math and reading, parents tutor each child one-on-one to meet the student's individual needs. Depending on each child's age, the students can work on their assignments.
Resources for Homeschooling
Many people are worried about the difficult courses of homeschooling. There are several high-quality advanced homeschooling resources available. There are different options for every course at every grade level. From the online curriculum to homeschool co-ops, they can easily outsource the courses they don’t feel confident in teaching. Homeschooling is an adventure that brings learning for the entire family.
In addition to forming co-ops, in which homeschoolers group together to have classes, there are social events such as lectures, field trips, art classes, music instruction, sports, and playdates which are all included in the homeschooling curriculum.
There are many ways to homeschool kids, but homeschooling is different for each family. Most often the parent takes time to decide how they would like to homeschool their kids and what method might be suitable for them. Parents explore and discover ways to initiate curiosity for learning in kids. But if parents temporarily want to homeschool kids then they can implement the simplest and straightforward approach.
Different homeschoolers consider different types of methods for home-schooling. It's difficult for parents to fit within the confines of one specific educational philosophy because homeschooling offers flexibility for parents to choose and blend different methods according to their children's needs in each stage of development. Below are 8 common methods that can be considered for homeschooling. People can choose any one of these that best suits their children’s education or can also combine different methods.
1. Traditional Homeschooling Method
Traditional homeschooling is similar to classroom learning. Parents use textbooks, workbooks, and assessments to teach and keep track of their children's progress. Parents have a dedicated room in their home for teaching. Some kids love doing worksheets, and this method works well for them. But if you're taking on the responsibility of teaching your children under the concept of homeschooling, you may want to experiment with a few other methods first, as one of homeschooling's main benefits is it gives parents the freedom to think different ways of learning.
2. Classical Homeschooling Education Method
Classical homeschoolers lay a foundation of their children's education on 3 distinct stages of learning. Each stage has its own importance and focus. Languages like Greek and Latin, subjects like literature and philosophy, form the base of this method. Children start with learning Grammar in this stage. In this learning of facts and figures form the main homeschooling curriculum the main role. After the 5th Grade, kids enter the second stage Logic Stage. This begins when they can more fully understand the difference between events and the concept of cause and effect. During their teenage, they enter the final stage, Rhetoric Stage. Here they focus on expressing their own original thoughts and ideas, both orally and in writing, about what they're studying under homeschooling.
3. Charlotte Mason Method of Homeschooling
Charlotte Mason developed a unique approach to school education in the late 1800s in Britain. She made her students read the Original books written by some noted Authors and refused to give her students textbooks. This helped the children become familiar with great thoughts and they started thinking for themselves. This improved their physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual growth which was the sole objective of education. She emphasized nature study, some short academic lessons in their early years. Later on started with art and music study, and narration.
4. Waldorf Education Method
This method was founded by Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, and teacher in the late 1800s. This method takes an integrated approach to education. It helps develop a child's mind and character, compassion, and creativity. Academic subjects such as math and reading include drawing or painting. Teachers combine storytelling, nature study, and handwork like knitting and woodworking in their curriculum. The concept of Waldorf education has led to one of the most popular private school teachings in the world.
5. Interest-Led Learning Method
Parents who take up interest-led learning, also refer to this as unschooling. They let their children's personal goals and interests form the grounds of their education. This method came in when John Holt, an experienced classroom teacher, found the traditional school system annoying. In the 1970s he became a pioneer of homeschooling. His approach tells that children do not need to be shown how to do or how to do, to make them learn better. They will understand the importance of themselves and others if they enough access to the world. They can make a better path for themselves into that world than anyone else could make for them.
6. Leadership Education Method
This method is also known as Thomas Jefferson Education. He believed that children learn differently at different stages of their life. The method leads students through three distinct steps of learning: Core, Love of Learning, and Scholar. The key roles of the curriculum are classic books, mentors, and some innovation from the parent-teacher method. The Core phase stays until the age of 8 and focuses only on play and family relationships rather than academic development. Children then move on to the Love of Learning phase and start learning according to their own interests. The Scholar phase begins at age 12, where most of a student's traditional book and academic learning takes place.
7. Unit Study Homeschooling Method
This method is common during the elementary years of kids. Parents who use this approach for homeschooling take a subject of their child’s interest and include it into a variety of academic domains. For example, if a child who eats, sleeps, and breathes trains would read books about trains, delve into the history of trains, and use miniature trains as manipulative when learning math concepts. Handwriting tests, Arts and crafts are integrated into their topics. This method requires more preparation time compared to other homeschooling methods. This best suits the parents who enjoy doing hands-on work.
8. Montessori Homeschooling Method
An Italian physician named Maria Montessori developed this method in the early 1900s. This method has resulted in popular private school development. It focuses mainly on hands-on experience and gives the students freedom to choose their learning environment. In a homeschooling environment, the Montessori parent-teacher first observes the development of a child, their way of learning and then gradually guides them. In this method, the instructions given by the teacher are just a hint or a touch which is enough to give a start to the child. The rest of development takes by itself.
Advantages of Homeschooling :
- Parents can create a unique curriculum and flexible schooling schedule for their kids while they are under homeschooling.
- Parents teach their children and make education a fun-filled activity.
- Parents create strong bonds with their children during homeschooling.
- Best teaching methods can be adapted that suit their children under homeschooling
- Children can spend extra time on difficult concepts and move ahead after mastering the subject or concept rather than hurrying to complete the course.
- Religious and ethical values can be taught to children which may help them to get out in their communities more than other kids.
- Children are protected from violence, drugs, and other negative violence encountered in schools.
- Children have a personal interaction with teachers which is not possible in large classrooms. They can keep learning more at their own pace.
- Acting as a one-on-one tutor, the parent-teacher constantly observes the children as they learn. This direct observation allows a parent to keep track of a child's proficiency in or struggles.
- Under homeschooling children get enough time to develop the special talents they possess.
- Families enjoy spending more time with their kids.
- Parents are always available to assist their children during adolescence and other trying times.
- Homeschoolers can take a vacation any time compared to the regular schools.
- In many ways, homeschooling lessens the need for homework often given by schools.
Disadvantages of Homeschooling :
- Parents have to be around their children all day long which can be difficult at times.
- They have to frequently explain their decision of homeschooling not only to their children but also to friends and relatives.
- Parents have to remain patient and restrain anger when children struggle with homeschool learning.
- Homeschoolers need to effectively handle the difficulties of kids moving at a slower pace.
- Parents may have to spend large amounts of money on books and other learning materials compared to normal schools because they have to be more creative.
- They need to constantly motivate their children and themselves which might make homeschooling a tedious procedure
- Socialize with other homeschoolers to get ideas about solving difficult problems if they're unsure about something.
- A lot of time is spent on reviewing various homeschooling curriculum programs to best suit their children's learning needs
- Parents also need to spend some time finding friends for their children to play with so that they don’t feel cut off from kids of their age or feel like they spend too much time with their families. All kids need to have friends and be around other children.
Parents nowadays are more educated than before. They hold the capability to teach their kids the values and lessons which are taught at school. With this, the idea of educating children at home has also gained more speed. And, this is what homeschooling is all about, teaching kids at home rather than sending them to any educational institution.
The origin of homeschooling education has its roots back to the time when there were no education laws and parents used to educate their children at home itself.
Homeschooling can be very stressful, but it's also rewarding. However, homeschooling is not for every parent, and parents who not willing or prepared to commit to being an effective teacher should avoid it.
Homeschooled kids aren’t any different from other boys or girls who go to a school. Kids who learn at home can grow up to go to college and follow their dreams, just like other kids who graduate from a regular high school.