Convincing your children to wake up, get ready and leave the comfort of their homes to go to school and face the classroom teaching environment, is a dreaded task for most parents. They must struggle to coax and convince a crying and nagging child to go to school every morning. The majority of parents would happily choose to do away with this daily battle if they could.
Their child’s education is a first priority for most parents, but this begs the question: is traditional schooling the only medium for imparting knowledge to a child? Home is a child’s first school and parents are their first teachers. The home is considered one of the best places for educating a child due to familiarity and a controllable environment.
Many great thinkers of the world have spoken about their dislike of traditional schooling in classrooms because it displaces the child from his or her natural surroundings and confines the child in order to educate them. Free thinkers thus vote instead for homeschooling under parental guidance where the child learns everything without having to be forcefully sent to a classroom. Homeschooling has become a modern alternative to traditional schools. While this option involves making a tough decision, it is not an impossible one.
Benefits of choosing homeschooling
As Albert Einstein has said, "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of minds to think." This goal of education can be achieved even at home and homeschooling is therefore legal in many countries. There may be several reasons why parents may not feel comfortable sending their children to school and they are completely right in choosing not to.
Homeschooling won't deprive your child of an education if compared to his or her age group studying in schools. Online homeschooling is yet another modern alternative where the class reaches the home of the child instead. Even though homeschooling is considered these days as an alternative, it was once the primary means of education in all households. World-famous personalities like Abraham Lincoln, Virginia Woolf, Rabindranath Tagore and Mozart were homeschooled. So never think your child will lose out on anything if they are schooled at home.
Some of the benefits of homeschooling as opposed to traditional schooling are:
1. Face-to-face teaching
This is the biggest benefit of homeschooling: your child gets complete, undivided attention throughout the phase of teaching. Face-to-face teaching allows the child to receive individual attention which is not possible in traditional classrooms, where the child often has to share the classroom with many other students, all of whom have diverse needs.
Sending your child to school means rushing about every morning to get them ready and to drop them off at school on time. Homeschooling gives you the freedom to fix your own schedule and keep it flexible too. If you are busy in the morning, you can arrange to teach your child in the evening. Your schedule is entirely up to you to decide. If you choose online homeschooling, the benefits are that your child’s homeschooling structure is supported by teachers who can be accessed immediately.
3. Eliminates unnecessary competition among peers
Even though studying in a school develops peer groups and teaches a child to socialise, at the same time, it can give birth to unnecessary negative competition. The race for grades can develop negative attitude towards knowledge and the immense pressure to perform can affect students’ mental health and social values. Homeschooling eliminates this kind of intense negative pressure and lets children focus upon their subjects rather than their grades. In this way, they can develop an in-depth knowledge of their subjects as well as an appreciation for them.
4. Control over the matter
Homeschooling gives you the freedom and opportunity to teach your child the way you want to teach. There thus remains no scope for dissatisfaction about the way in which your child is being taught by someone else. You can focus on specific methods of teaching or the subjects your child is weak in. Online homeschooling lessons allow you to pick and choose what you wish to teach your child, thereby incorporating them into a larger teaching scheme. You can also fix the duration of their study to give core attention to areas in which they are weak. In short, the lessons you provide your child are tailor-made according to your vision and your knowledge of their personality.
5. Saves time
Homeschooling saves the time you would normally have to spend every morning in getting your child ready and dropping them off at school. You can better invest that time in online homeschooling for your child, where they can be helped by pre-planned, self-guided lessons that allow them to learn independently. In the long run, it can be far more efficient to opt for this kind of learning.
6. Parent-child bonding
Most importantly, the parent-child bond can be strengthened through homeschooling. Since the child’s primary teachers are their parents, they get to spend quality family time with the people who care most about them.
Even in online homeschooling, parents will spend time helping their children with the online tutoring they receive, and this creates personal bonds that are positively nurtured through education. Education that fosters a personal touch and an emotional bond is the most humane and creates the best individuals. It saves students from becoming too mechanical and competition-oriented, unlike those who are put under immense pressure to perform and who thus detach themselves from everything around them in order to secure a first position.
7. Safe learning environment
It would be wrong to call the entire world unsafe but parents who are in any doubt about the safety of their children in schools could consider the alternative option of homeschooling. Students generally feel safe and comfortable in their homes with online homeschooling lessons. It keeps them away from issues like bullying and negative company which may adversely affect or influence them. Even though these issues do not occur in every school, online homeschooling still remains a better option to parents who worry about the safety of their children.
8. Less pressure on parents
It may sound somewhat surprising, but homeschooling can actually lessen some of the pressure on parents. On the one hand, it is true that homeschooling requires parents to be at home with the child all the time and focus on their education, which can be quite time consuming. But on the other hand, it lessens the unnecessary pressure put on parents to assist with deadline-driven projects, tests, homework and assignments. Daily homework submissions and weekly project deadlines invariably create pressure on parents who need to help their children with this work under a time constraint. In the case of homeschooling, you can assist your children in creative project work at your own convenience and make the learning process creative and fun, instead of pressurized. Working parents always have the convenience of opting for self-help online homeschooling lessons which further lessens the pressure on them.
9. Focus on child’s talents
Traditional schools tend to make students only focus on their studies and academic ranking. This subdues the talents a child may have within them and there may be no opportunity for that talent to be discovered or developed. Homeschooling gives students and parents the opportunity to focus on the inherent talents of the child and nurture them as well. For instance, a child who is musically-oriented can be given music classes through online homeschooling alongside their academic lessons, and at an hour convenient to them. This will widen the child’s education and make it a more progressive experience.
10. Increases personal interaction of introvert children
Another great benefit of online homeschooling is that it offers the chance for introverted children to interact directly with their teachers. Traditional schooling methods often ignore the needs and questions of introverted children who may be too shy to speak up in class for fear of being ridiculed by others. In online homeschooling, the child is exposed to face-to-face teaching where they may not feel as shy or intimidated to speak up. This can increase their confidence to talk about their areas of doubt and thus gain a better understanding of the subject being studied.
11. Addresses the diverse needs of children
Another very important aspect of homeschooling is that it addresses the specific needs of the child. A school consists of students from different backgrounds and with different educational needs. Sometimes, children find it difficult to keep up in schools because of their special needs – different learning styles etc... Homeschooling lets parents take care of their children according to what is best for them and select the methods of teaching most beneficial for their child.
Both traditional schooling and homeschooling have their advantages and disadvantages, and either side may be argued with a biased tone.
If homeschooling is done correctly there are: academic, safety, flexibility and exposure advantages over traditional schooling. With traditional schooling, it’s having the advantage of continuous social development with peers. That said, homeschooling families tend to enroll their children in sporting centers which largely eliminates that advantage and allows children to consistently mingle with new friends and not the same cohort.
When all of the above factors are taken into consideration, and as homeschooling gains significant popularity, it would not be surprising if homeschooling becomes the new schooling.