Hurdles of homeschooling

Hurdles of homeschooling

Home schools have caught the attention of many families who believe that conventional schools aren’t for their children. But is it as easy as it sounds, contemplates Mohan Das

Homeschooling is not simply about parents or private tutors  by-passing formal education. It is not just another passing fad too. It is a new trend that has caught the attention of many in a big way and is here to stay.

So what kind os hurdles can parents expect to face when they start homeschooling their children? Here are some of them: Homeschooling is all about responsibility.

As parents, you are responsible for your child’s prospects. But for many,  just a sniff of the responsibilities involved to nurture a child’s early mental and spiritual development can be overpowering. It is enough to make some of the bravest of parents to grab an application of the nearest school. Most Indians stumble at this juncture as they fail to understand the responsibilities involved.

The second hurdle is objective. In any venture, the objective must be clearly outlined so that its eventual success or failure can be determined. Children in formal education are spared the need for having an individual objective as their success is defined in very a simple and narrow way – a good score in exams.

Many think these good scores are enough to make the child self-sufficient. But without a clear objective, homeschooling can slip into futility defeating its very purpose.
At the same time, homeschooling cannot and must not have standard objectives that are the norm at most of the conventional schools.

It should not be used to debunk formal education or even administered to contrast with it.

Such approaches may separate homeschooled children from their formally-schooled counterparts and create a wide gap in mentalities.

In general, homeschooling must be pursued for what it is, for providing something better than formal schooling especially by the middle-class families who simply cannot imagine attempting homeschooling without clear objectives.

Maintaining seriousness
The third hurdle is professionalism. Homeschooling is not meant to take away the labour and rigour involved in study. It is also not an easy escape from reality or hard work.

Parents must ensure that their children work just as hard as their school counterparts by filling their days with lessons, assignments and sufficient “homework”. Therefore, a schedule that is just as tight (but not strict) as a school schedule is vital for success.

Homeschooling shouldn’t affect the child’s discipline. Mothers may have to be just as persuasive as the best of teachers. Another factor to remember is accountability.

Children tend to take it easy with their studies when they are at home. You have to ensure they stick to the planned deadlines and schedules and not take the curriculum for granted.

The fourth hurdle is the time-limit of homeschooling. There can be homeschooling beyond high-school particularly for those who want to pursue science. But it can be extremely difficult as laboratories cannot be installed in homes or even afforded. Also, homeschooling cannot provide the exposure that institutional libraries do.

It is true that some of the greatest men and women in the world were homeschooled. But most of these were people who found success in non-technical fields such as literature or arts. Yes, some turned out be great scientists too. But those were the days when experimental science was still at its nascent stage and not much technical expertise was required.

Homeschooling can run in to the risk of becoming “gated schooling.” The main purpose of education which is exposure to social living irrespective of one’s background can be lost. Gated schooling can be quite disastrous to children who may grow up thinking the world of themselves, making them quite unfit for socially productive adult life. This type of schooling is notorious for its usage by religious bigots  to brainwash children, instilling in them a superiority of purity making them unfit for a globalised world. Since it’s a thin line between gated and proper homeschooling, you have to tread carefully.

Education is not just about landing a lucrative job but it is a ticket to a happy and progressive life. A person can be a brilliant professional and an expert in his field of work but may have a poor record in terms of how he treats his peers and subordinates.

Homeschooling is a risky yet incredibly rewarding concept that demands intensive dedication and commitment from both the parents and children. Keep these hurdles in mind before you embark on the arduous journey of homeschooling.

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