For many parents, the daily routine of convincing their children to wake up, get ready and leave the comfort of their homes to go to school, is a dreaded task. The majority of parents would happily choose to do away with this daily battle if they could.
Their child’s education is the first priority for most parents, and more and more families are starting to question which schooling model and learning environment is best suited to their unique child.
A home is a child’s first school and parents are their first teachers. Many homeschooling parents believe that their home is the best place for educating a child due to the familiarity and controllable environment.
Many great thinkers of the world have promoted the concept of homeschooling as they believe that a traditional classroom environment displaces the child from his or her natural surroundings and confines the child in order to educate them. For these reasons and more, homeschooling has become a popular modern alternative to traditional schools.
Benefits of choosing homeschooling
As Albert Einstein said, "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of minds to think." This goal of education can be achieved through homeschooling and is therefore legal in many countries. There may be several reasons why parents opt to provide their children with a more personalised approach to their education through homeschooling.
Many parents who are ignorant of the benefits of homeschooling may believe that this method of schooling may deprive their child of receiving an internationally accredited education or that their child may lack in areas of socialisation, when in fact, this is very far from the truth.
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 all homeschooled. So never think your child will lose out on anything if they are schooled at home.
Some of the benefits of homeschooling include:
1. One-on-one teaching
This is the biggest benefit of homeschooling: your child gets complete, undivided attention throughout the phase of teaching. One-on-one 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. It also means that you can finally take that family holiday without the guilt of racking up days absent or missing out on key topics.
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 a negative attitude toward learning 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 on 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
Christopher Oosthuizen, CambriLearn Student & Mensa member says, “I like to be taught how to think, and not what to think.” Homeschooling gives you the freedom and flexibility 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 is a noticeably more efficient way of schooling. There is far less time wasted on mundane routines, like assemblies and drive time etc. This means that you can better invest that time in actual learning and teaching for your child, where they can be helped by pre-planned, self-guided lessons that allow them to learn independently. In the long run, your daily routine can be far better optimised with this kind of learning.
6. Parent-child bonding
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 well-rounded 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 “first in class”.
7. Safe learning environment
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 for 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 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, assignments and compulsory extra-mural activities.
Daily homework submissions and weekly project deadlines invariably create pressure on parents who need to help their children with this work under time constraints. 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 pressurised. Working parents also have the convenience of opting for self-help online homeschooling lessons which further reduces 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, with different educational needs. Sometimes, children find it difficult to keep up in a large group environment because of their unique learning styles or needs. Homeschooling lets parents select the methods of teaching most beneficial for their children.
Both traditional schooling and homeschooling have their advantages and disadvantages. The important thing to consider is which education model is best suited to the child’s unique needs. Every child is different and absorbs information differently, at a different pace. Homeschooling provides parents with the opportunity to personalise their child’s education to their unique needs. This helps instil a child’s love for learning – throughout their schooling career.
If homeschooling is done correctly there are academic, safety, flexibility and exposure advantages over traditional schooling. Whilst some parents may have their concerns about the lack of socialisation and peer-to-peer engagement when homeschooling, many homeschooling families tend to enrol their children in sporting centres which largely eliminates that concern 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 future of schooling.
Is homeschooling the right fit for your child?
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