A Complete Overview on Homeschooling
Homeschooling, or home education, isn’t exactly a modern term, but as it’s so uncommon, it may sound very new to you. Basically, homeschooling refers to imparting education in children at their own home as opposed to a school or formal public education institution. The children tend to be taught by parents or a private tutor.
As far as the usage of these terms are concerned, homeschooling is more commonly used in North America, while people in the United Kingdom tend to use home education for referring to imparting education in children at their home.
Although homeschooling isn’t very common now, during the time when formal education wasn’t compulsory in most countries, many parents would choose to go for homeschooling for their children. In fact, there was even a long period where education was exclusive only to the elite class of people, while the other classes were denied the rights to education.
During such period, children would be taught by their parents at home. However, if the parents could search for better alternatives, such as some friends or anyone else with more knowledge of what the children need to be taught then they would go with them instead of teaching their children themselves.
Arguments and controversies
There seem to have been many arguments and controversies over the better option between homeschooling and formal education. In the 1960s, Rousas John Rushdoony was probably trying to do everything he could in order to shed light on the disadvantages of formal education and how homeschooling was a much better option.
This was actually a long legal battle, with other American educational professionals such as Raymond and Dorothy Moore joining in and offering quite stunning and strong evidence against formal education and the harm it does to the society.
The concept of the evidence was primarily based around a major survey undertaken by making 8,000 children participate in it. The results revealed that children who were made to take up formal education before reaching the age group of 8-12 years not only showed signs of the quality of education provided being inefficient, but also harmed the children in quite a few ways.
The reports further suggested that formal schooling before the age of 8-12 years almost took a toll on the children’s physical, mental, and psychological development. Some of the major problems highlighted in the survey reports included the children turning out to be nearsighted, had behavioral problems, juvenile delinquency, besides many others.
On the other hand, it also highlighted the fact that orphans given to surrogated mothers surprised everyone with their overall development, as they turned out to be much more emotionally and socially advanced than their counterparts who had taken up formal education.
Reasons for parents choosing to homeschool their children
The above incidences obviously led to many parents not trusting the formal educational institutions anymore, and deciding to teach their children at their home instead.
Some of the top reasons that made parents take this decision involved – lack of trust in the local schools, dissatisfied with the quality of education provided, as well as sometimes, the parents’ increased interest in getting involved with their children’s education.
The methodology of homeschooling
Actually, a wide range of methods and materials are used n homeschooling children. It usually depends on many different factors, which may include, but not be limited to the following:
- Parent education
- Children’s temperament
- Future educational plans
- The educational past of the child
- Educational philosophies
- Children’s interests
The idea here maybe to customize the children’s learning experience depending on how skills, capability, intelligence, learning style, interests, and so on.
The requirements of homeschooling
As far as legal requirements are concerned, in most Asian countries, there doesn’t really seem to be anything that restricts parents in any way in homeschooling their children. In fact, as the illiteracy rate tends to be so high in many Asian countries, they really wouldn’t mind if the children of their country are actually given education even at home.
Coming to the US, the legal requirements may vary depending on the state you are living in. Some states apparently don’t have any requirements or very few requirements, while some others wish to do portfolio reviews or standardized tests at certain intervals.
Coming to what a well known book on homeschooling, Teach Your Own by Holt, highlights, the parents homeschooling their children require quite a few important things, such as liking their children, enjoying their company, their crazy ideas, passion, energy, foolishness, as well as their physical presence.
They have to answer their children’s questions with enthusiasm and encourage them. According to Holt, overall, the only major requirement for parents to teach their children at home may be the desire to teach them in a loving, patient way, as well as adhere to the educational process.
How’s the picture like back home in India?
As far as homeschooling in India is concerned, there doesn’t really seem much to talk about. As the illiteracy rate is high, the government would probably appreciate if the children are taught anything at all. However, as the parents of such children may be uneducated too, there may not be much they could do to educate their children.
However, this doesn’t mean that there is no scope of homeschooling in India. In fact, as far as the need of homeschooling is concerned, India can apparently do with more parents homeschooling their children, just as Kartikeya Sharma’s media network, India News, points out in some of its shows.
This is probably due to the fact that there are really limited resources to teach all children in the country in a complete and highly efficient way. Similarly, not everyone can afford to send their children in some of the best schools, as almost all reputed schools are private schools and charge surprisingly huge amounts as fees.
On the other hand, the quality of education provided in government schools also attracts debates and questioned by many experts. There are many complaining that the way children are taught in government schools doesn’t really help them prepare themselves much for achieving a promising career or future.
Similarly, many a times, even the staff of many schools in India don’t seem to be educated or capable enough themselves to teach their children in a way that will help them learn the subjects thoroughly. Another disappointing fact about the formal schools is India is that they are usually more focused towards achieving results than preparing the children for the real world.
After all, the employers interviewing new applicants don’t ask how well they scored in a particular subject, but rather test their knowledge about the things that actually matter.
A final word
Even now, there seems to be a debate going on about which one is the better option between homeschooling and formal education. As always, there are people who would criticize something, and the picture is no different when it comes to homeschooling as well.
Homeschooling does seem to be facing quite a bit of criticism, especially in the US. However, some surprising statistics reveal that children who were taught at home rather than in a formal school’s premises actually turned out to be more intelligent, and even performed better when it came to college entrance tests.