Homeschooling in India – Pros and Cons

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What makes more and more parents choose the option of homeschooling when there is an amazing increase in the number of schools in all the cities that offer a variety of boards and syllabi? If you are thinking on the same lines but are unsure if this is the best option or solution for your kid, then let us help you decide.

According to special educators learning in children happens through 3 mediums. Visual (by seeing), auditory (by listening) and kinesthetic (through physical activity). And each child has one dominant ability compared to the other 2 through which maximum learning takes place. While an average Indian school tries to balance the learning in kids by using all the 3 styles of teaching, there are kids who require additional attention and may not be able to grasp entirely what is being taught in school as the teacher student ratio in our country is a little unrealistic.Homeschooling hence appears to be a good option for these kids where they have the freedom to learn in the style/ channel they are most comfortable with.

Secondly, there are many children who wish to learn more about a particular subject but are generally curbed in school due to limited teaching time and syllabus. Or sometimes kids may not be interested in learning all the subjects being taught in school. Turning home into a learning space allows more flexibility in terms of subject, content, time and space.

Education or the learning process should not be restricted to only books and classrooms. Learning can happen anywhere and anytime. I have a friend who says that her son soaks in and internalizes a lot of knowledge and experience when they travel. Another acquaintance feels that being with parents, watching them how they conduct themselves and cope up with their daily issues also teaches kids a lot. And with the ocean of information open to kids through technology and books why should kids be restricted to only schools and textbooks and their sometimes insular perspective.

Well… all seems fine with homeschooling but how does one take care of the social development of the child? Every child needs to learn the basic skills of co-existing, compromise and comradery.

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Learning alone at his/her own pace in his/her way can condition the child to become a little self-centered and unable to function with people around him as he may be never used to them. Unless he/she belongs to a family who is very active socially, which is a little uncommon, the child may get accustomed to being a recluse and live in his/her own world of knowledge and thoughts.

Also if learning has to take place at home, maintaining a definite structure or time table may be a little challenging unless the parent achieves the extraordinary feat of being firm and disciplined most of the times. Kids tend to overstep boundaries with parents and are on a constant lookout for pushing things a little which they don’t usually with teachers.

And how does one manage to encourage kids who are studying at home, to learn and show interest in all the subjects like how they would in school in each period. There may be a possibility that a kid may be get so engrossed in one particular subject that he/she may not be interested in learning about other things which are important for a holistic development. Balancing the learning would be an issue for parents as well as kids while homeschooling.

I would like to end this debate by adding what psychologists have to say. According to them learning for kids takes place on an optimum level in school as well as at home. This is the middle path which helps achieve the balance that is required in learning, discipline and social development.It is crucial for parents and teachers to be on the same page and strive to facilitate the learning in the smoothest possible way.Parents can choose schools that match their ideologies and the government can pitch in here too by ensuing laws that restrict the amount of kids per class in all schools to ensure better attention from teachers and hence effective learning. Kids need to be with peers till the age of 15 to 16 years for healthy social development and attending school completes the picture on this front too.

Click here to read the story of a homeschooling mom and her experiences with her child…

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