Home schooling is not alien to our Hindu culture and society. It has been the first step to the outside world of vast education for the ancient royal heirs, scholars, poets, philosophers etc. Take for instance, the Pandavas – each of them was specialised in a unique field of interest under the watchful eyes of a Guru in the most relaxing and safest atmosphere known to any child namely their home. This is the basic essence of Homeschooling where you discover your child’s true strength and potential. Why would some of them want to revisit this ancient style of education for their children when the whole education system has undergone a sea of changes worldwide? Some of the prime deciding factors include
1. A strong belief that the current education system influenced by the western culture is not catering to their child’s individual requirements.
2. Special needs child who is not able to cope up with the others in the same age group.
3. An extra smart child who is way ahead of everybody in his age group and is ready for advanced learning in a specific area of interest.
4. The non availability of schools in the vicinity, in case of transfer to a remote location.
5. Living in a bad neighbourhood where exposure to gun culture, drug abuse, smoking, alcohol etc have become the way of life.
6. Any illness or personal trauma which limits the child from mingling with others to avoid any possible infections.
Advantages of Homeschooling
1. There is a greater flexibility of time and nobody understands your child like how you do. You know when your child will be alert and can schedule the lessons accordingly. This means there is no need to drag a sleepy / cranky kid to school first thing in the morning just because everybody else is doing it.
2. It brings the family closer as the one on one time with your child makes the bonding even stronger.
3. It is customised to suit the individual need of the child. We can decide on the things that might be needed for our child to develop his individuality without any peer pressure.
4. With no peer pressure or comparison with other children, the child learns in a very positive environment without being ridiculed achieving the ultimate goal of understanding the subjects better.
Drawbacks of Homeschooling
1. We can all teach our children when they are in the lower classes where all they need to learn is to have a basic understanding of things, do simple arithmetic and art projects. It gets challenging as they grow older. Not all of us can be teachers with a thorough knowledge in all the subjects.
2. The child may lack the much needed social skills to survive outside his small world. He may grow up to be an introvert and feel inadequate to face the real world.
3. The child will also be getting a partial perspective about the subject and may not grow beyond the educational capabilities of the teaching parent.
4. The child may question your judgement of homeschooling him, if he realises that he has missed out on growing up normally like his counterparts.
5. Too much time spent together could trigger the pull away factor that the child find excuses to avoid studies altogether.
What happens after Homeschooling
A child wanting to pursue his higher studies after being homeschooled, has to take the recognised Board exams to prove that he is ready for the next level of education. So eventually, one has to get back to the traditional schooling methods of learning sooner or later. The longer the homeschooling, the longer it will take for the child to readjust. I may be biased, but the benefits of the traditional schooling is definitely more than the limitations of the homeschooling options. In my humble opinion, this alternative homeschooling method can be seen as a safe choice temporarily till the time one is trying to resolve any bigger issues that may be preventing the child from going to the regular school.
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