Now that another academic year is upon us, I know may of you read this blog site and so I was hoping I could write about homeschooling, what I have read about it, the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself or your child which education style best suits them or your needs as a parent/ guardian or care taker.
Homeschooling also known as “Home Education”, according to “Wikipedia” is the education of children at home or a variety of places, other than school. Home schooling is usually conducted by a parent, tutor, an online teacher, or a privately hired teacher. More parents are now opting to have their children homeschooled instead of taking them to traditional or private schools. Families choose to homeschool for various reason ranging from the high cost expenses involved in normal schooling, different religious beliefs or educational philosophies, belief that children are not progressing within the traditional school structure and overall general dissatisfaction with the educational options available.
The Home-schooling movement emerged in the 1970s, when it was considered a fringe pursuit. Today, it is the fastest rising and growing education style and has seen a growth of over 40% in the UK, is currently being carried out in the US, Australia and now being taken up by some parts of Africa and Uganda. The “National Centre for Education Statistics” found that the number of homeschooled students doubled and surpassed the 850,000 in the year 1999 to over 1,690,000 in 2016, meaning that the percentage of homeschooled students increased from 1.7% to 3.3 percent in that same time period. The average homeschooling age is between ages five and seventeen.
Here are the various reasons most parents gave for having their children homeschooled.
Some do it for religious reasons, with geographical and financial reasons stopping such families from accessing suitable private schools. Some say their children have specific educational needs (SEN), and feel most schools are failing their children.
Many parents argue that normal school is very oppressive, with their children having to struggle with exams, timetables, beating school deadlines, and the worst of them all, having their children have to dress in school uniforms daily and having to keep-up with the school’s rules and regulations. Others choose, homeschooling for their children for cultural reasons. Some also do this because some of their children may have some disorders such as social anxiety, health complications that do not allow their children to be engaged in a place with some many, and we all know how crowded normal schools can be (despite some schools having a very small population of students). Whereas some parents do so because they consider their children to be smarter than they think and that traditional or private school may retard their child’s intellectual growth, so they resort to homeschooling since they are able to teach them what they “need” unlike normal schooling where students are taught the same thing, all basing off a curriculum regardless of a child’s capability. On the other hand, homeschooled children are less likely to suffer from some ordinary school problems like bullies, conflict, fights, unhealthy competition, demoralization such as comparing themselves to other kids who might seem to be wiser, coming from wealthier backgrounds, more charming or good looking since in their case they are their own competition and comparison. Many parents do not find it natural for a child to be seated at a desk all day with exposure to fluorescent lights, computer screens, white boards, apparatus day in day out and do argue that it is better if such wasn’t the daily school routine their children have to go through, and instead a break in between the study periods for their children to go play in the woods, build dens, have something to be excited about and simple relax and be kids since the daily classroom routines prove to be monotonous and with time make them lose interest in studying. Another pro about homeschooling is that parents get to spend more time with their children, strengthen the bond between them, get to provide religious and ethical instructions to their children. Their children are also free of the peer pressure and influence like it happens in normal school therefore there are less chances of their child doing things like narcotics and abusing drugs since they are under their parents watch and surveillance.
Well as homeschooling is a great innovation, it comes along with some cons (disadvantages) and they include the following;
It denies the homeschooled child opportunities of interacting and communicating with other kids from different backgrounds since they are usually limited geographically and socially. Homeschooling could also be costly in terms of finances for the case scenario where if one parent decides to homeschool their child instead of working, it could reduce on the family’s income sources. Homeschooled children also find it very hard to adjust once they are eventually sent out into communities such as work places or even hangouts since they are less groomed socially and are used to being their own company and their teacher’s or parent’s and are also so much acquainted to their usual routines. Homeschooling is also a very expensive option more so when you are to outsource a tutor to teach your child. This is because it costs not less than £100 to hire a private tutor to teach the child. Another issue of concern could be the mannerism and moral values your child could learn from this person since most of the times they interact a lot with them, so it is very or less likely that your child might adopt some of the behavior of their tutor. Parents who are having their children homeschooled frequently face a challenge of having to explain their reasons for having for homeschooling their children to their mates, friends and relatives who might be sympathetic or irritating at times.
However, for a student to succeed wile being homeschooled, they do need the right support from parents- both emotionally and in terms of time in order to succeed academically. Therefore, a parent who is not well prepared or is unwilling to make the commitment to be an effective teacher should avoid.
Share your views on homeschooling in the comments section below. Or better still Tweet me your thoughts via @Mugibson. Till then.