Homeschooling as a method of education is becoming increasingly popular. Approximately 2 million U.S. students have opted for homeschooling in the last couple of years. There have been several factors motivating parents to become more vigilant towards making this decision. But what are these motivators? Here is a comparison between the pros and cons of making this vital decision for your child, beginning with the pros.
1. Individual Attention
In public or private schools a classroom usually consists of around thirty students. A teacher is therefore unable to give proper attention to each and every student. Since every child may have different needs, he/she is unable to obtain the optimum level of education. This is where homeschooling works since the child gets the desired amount of attention and assistance s/he is able to understand a concept at their preferred pace with utmost satisfaction. Even a parent can examine both, strong and weak spots of the student to provide extra time to the weak ones without worrying about the timetable. Since the child is not supposed to be patient with others’ pace of learning, s/he is less likely to get frustrated or impatient with respect to studies.
2. School Environment
Parents are often seen dissatisfied with the school environment due to peer pressure, bullying, performance pressures, etc. Teachers are often unable to control such issues beyond a certain level. Due to the multiple distractions available, even the quality of education and instruction declines. Families must be aware of the psychological and emotional impact such pressures can have on a developing child. Homeschooling allows a parent to control the quality of exposure and prevent any sort of negative influences on their child. Sometimes parents prefer to provide a nontraditional approach towards education, which they can accomplish through homeschooling and moral education.
3. Special Needs
Children that have special needs or a mental or physical disability, often find it extremely difficult to adjust in the mainstream education system of a public or private school. They do not get any special attention from the teachers and neither are they able to make the most of the benefits offered by facilities available in the school. Parents might be in transferable jobs and prone to moving constantly, this might make it wearisome for the child to adjust. All these circumstances demand special attention which a child can only get through homeschooling. This is because it is not just the pace of education that a person will have to adjust to, the quality and type of education also matters. Sometimes these kids require a different syllabus, one that is more simplified or adopts alternative methods of imparting knowledge. Schools might be unwilling to make such special arrangements or alter their methods of teaching.
4. A Strong Equation Between Parent And Child
Homeschooling builds a strong relationship between a parent and a child. A parent is able to impart education in a method comfortable with their preferences and values. They can gladly play a direct role in the development of their child. They can also use family vacations and trips as a part of their curriculum in furthering the family bond. A parent is able to understand the requirements of their child better and work with them accordingly. The child also feels free to express what they truly feel whereas, in a school environment, the child may feel s/he has no voice of their own or may get lost in the crowd.
5. Educational System
Parents are increasingly becoming dissatisfied with the educational system since it is not developing as per the changing requirements and circumstances of the world. What the parents want their children to learn might be different from what the school aims at teaching. Several times even the children feel that their chapters might not benefit them anytime in their lives and some practical knowledge would have benefited them more. Therefore, homeschooling provides both the child and the parent to work out a system that is most advantageous for learning. The syllabus can be framed mutually which is more likely to improve the understanding and satisfaction in their relationship.
To attain a more complete understanding of the concept, it also important to look at the cons of homeschooling.
Homeschooling might not be able to provide opportunities for the child to develop attributes of teamwork, sharing, and acceptance. Schools often through projects or group activities inculcate such qualities in students. They understand how to divide responsibilities, accept each others’ views, and engage in healthy competition. However, if efforts are taken by the parent then opportunities can be developed with other kids of homeschooling to form a network and engage in such activities.
2. Additional Responsibility
In addition to performing the responsibilities of a caretaker, a parent also becomes a teacher or educator. This requires a lot of extra attention and time on a parent’s part since it is not easy to ensure that you are imparting the right kind of knowledge to your child. Homeschooling should not end up becoming a burden on the family. If a parent is certain s/he can manage the schedule well without compromising the quality of education, only then they should consider the option.
3. Less Structured
Schools often follow a fixed timetable and schedule. This allows timely submissions and proper order and functioning within the system. Homeschooling is less rigid and might lack a certain structure. Therefore the child might not take it seriously and it can become difficult for him or her to adjust to the work environment in the future. Parents should ensure that they conduct regular tests to check if their child is learning properly and they must also give positive reinforcements when they perform well to increase the self-esteem and encourage their kids to work harder.
The effect and result of homeschooling differ from child to child. Parents should be prepared, well read, and all the pros and cons should be considered by the family before opting for this method of education.