Lessons learnt at home

Different Method

Lessons learnt at home

Bored of the traditional rote system of training followed in the Indian curriculum, some parents in the City are taking a proactive step to ensure that their children receive a holistic education. They have explored this option after sending their children to a traditional school for a couple of years. Not finding it suitable for their little ones, these parents have taken on the task of training them at home.

Rani Susan Iype, who home-schools her five children, says that after the eldest reached up to class four in a formal school, she decided to take over. “The problem was that the same subject is taught again and again. There was too much emphasis on scoring. I wanted the children to learn other things as well,” she explains. For the five children, their routine starts at 8.30 am when they begin their studies. While the older one continues with studies in the afternoon as well, the rest of them are involved in several activities.

“The children are involved in cooking and learning different instruments,” she says. They use a combination of Indian and foreign textbooks for their academics. 

George Mattackal, who home-schools three of his children, follows a similar pattern. “It provides for tailor-making education the way one wants it. It is also a well-rounded education. It includes value education as well,” he explains. One of his children follows a structured video programme which has texts and tests in all subjects. His eldest daughter, who has been home-schooled throughout, took the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and will be heading to a university in the United States to pursue journalism. With the children having a musical bent of mind, home-schooling has provided them the chance to tap these potentials to the fullest.

According to Maryann Daniels, an expat who home-schooled her children, the Indian system of education is very taxing. “The learning concept did not suit me. Through home-schooling, there were a lot of other things that could be inculcated. But it is a big step for Indian families,” she muses.

While the most common worry about home-schooling children is their social interaction, all the parents are quick to respond that these children in fact interact better than their peers, who go to a traditional school. “While most children interact with their own age group, these kids are exposed to different age-groups and interact better,” explains Maryann. 

According to Chetana Keni, a psychologist who runs Aurinko Academy, which follows the home-schooling system of learning, this concept gives the ‘space and time to learn’. “It helps in having a strong family bond as parents and children connect and interact regularly. It allows all-round development as we focus on all areas and not just academics. Children are also sheltered and safe from outside exposure and interferences,” she explains. However, she cautions anxious, unhappy, insecure and critical parents about home-schooling. “Home-schooling means you will have to know all subjects and be able to teach everything without passing on prejudices, at least in the primary classes. Many resources are required, including access to libraries, computers, public recreational spaces and similar aged children outside. These things, if not met, may give rise to an unhappy home-schooling experience,” she says.

Chetana clarifies that these children are more disciplined and know how to have a conversation with all age groups. “They know how to have intense conversations and inherently know how to learn from everyone around,” she says. Generally, at the class 10 level, these students can appear for National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS),
International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) or Scholastic
Assessment Test (SAT).

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