Welcome to our introductory series on Homeschooling where we are taking a look at the emergence of homeschooling. In the first of three articles, we will learn what Homeschooling is and what it achieves for parents and children alike.
So what is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is a progressive movement around the country and the world, in which parents choose to educate their children at home instead of sending them to a traditional public of private school.
The homeschooling movement began to grow in the 1970s when authors and researchers, such as John Holt and Dorothy Raymond Moore, started writing about educational reform. This is when they suggested homeschooling as an alternative educational option.
The family determines what is to be learned and how it is taught while following whatever government regulations apply in that state or country. Parents also have a wide range of curriculum, distance learning programs, and other educational resources to choose from if they decide to go down the homeschooling route. The movement also includes child-directed learning or unschooling.
At its core, the concept behind homeschooling is really quite simple: Parents accept total responsibility for the education of their children rather than transferring the bulk of this responsibility to an institution (usually a public or private school).
In practical terms, this means that the home becomes the centre of a child's education, rather than a school. Parents, who have a deep interest in their children based on love, become the primary educators for their children. Homeschool parents carefully guide their children through their mental, emotional, and physical development. These parents also choose the educational path for their children based on each child's personality and gifts.
Today, homeschooling is a widely accepted educational alternative as well as a valuable method of learning in its own right.
What are one's Reasons and Motivations for Homeschooling?
- To customise or individualise the curriculum and learning environment for each child.
- To accomplish more academically than in schools.
- To use pedagogical approaches other than those typical in institutional schools.
- To enhance family relationships between children and parents and among siblings.
- To provide guided and reasoned social interactions with youthful peers and adults.
- To provide a safer environment for children and youth, because of physical violence, drugs and alcohol, psychological abuse, racism, and improper and unhealthy sexuality associated with institutional schools.
- To teach and impart a particular set of values, beliefs, and worldview to children and youth.
- Homeschooling is about forming close relationships with people of many ages rather than only with people in the same class.
- It's an opportunity to develop a child’s moral character and personality, not just intellectual development.
- It can promote more freedom and flexibility in how the family lives.
- You can set your own schedules and plans rather than dancing to an institutional school’s tune.
- You can help children to learn how to think and act independently and not be driven by groups.
Parents include outside classes, tutors, field trips, sports and other various opportunities and experience that will enhance a child’s education.
Homeschooled children are simply able to enjoy activities that are not possible for children who go to a public or private school because of the limitations that are necessary to those institutions.
Six reasons why homeschooling could be the smartest way to teach children in the 21st century:
1. Personalised learning is a strong method of instruction
Learning at a speed and in a style that is most appropriate for each individual.
2. Students can learn more about what they really care about
Homeschoolers get to explore a range of topics that might not be offered until secondary school through an unstructured curriculum.
3. Social media gives children a way to form lasting friendships
Even though it may foster an unhealthy and even addictive relationship to technology, it does allow homeschools to meet up with other homeschools or those from traditional schools through apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.
4. Students don’t deal with cliques or bullying
Homeschools don’t have to deal with all the downsides of being around other children in what can be a toxic environment, however, it has been argued that these downsides are actually good for toughening up children.
5. Schooling isn’t set apart from the “real world”
Homeschool usually only takes place in the home for a fraction of the time. A great deal of learning happens in the community. These experience have the effect of maturing children much more quickly and cultivating “a trait of open-mindedness”.
6. Students may achieve more in the long run
Research suggests homeschooled children tend to do better on standardised testing and go on to study at 6th form or college.
Parents who want to homeschool their children can feel very daunted and lost to start with.
But, before you make the decision, you need to make sure it’s the right decision for both you and your family.
What are your goals? Who will be teaching your children? How will your days be organised? Some of these questions will help you decide whether or not you want to take the plunge, but in the second part of our series we will help you determine your suitability and readiness to start Homeschooling.