Many parents discovering benefits of homeschooling

They are not happy with their children spending long hours in front of laptop screens
Last Updated 27 August 2021, 19:01 IST

With online classes continuing into a second year in Bengaluru schools, many parents are switching to homeschooling for their children.

Prachi Pendurkar, mother of six-year-old twins Vibha and Viaan, and her husband Tejas are teaching to a schedule. Their lessons cover languages such as Kannada, Spanish, English, Hindi, and Marathi. Her children also learn yoga, karate, skating, cooking, communication, reading, and money management.

“We tried online classes for a few months and decided it was not for our children. The classes became a catch-up game… we had to keep track of how much they had understood and then again explain things to them if they had not,” she says.

This was time-consuming and stressful. But now, they don’t have to deal with deadlines and anxiety, she says.

Prachi and family moved from Bellandur to Chikka Tirupati, a little temple town 30 km from Bengaluru. She teaches her children in the lap of nature. “We have NCERT curriculum books, and we might move to National Institute of Open Schooling exams depending on how things evolve for us,” she says.

Jyothi K and her techie-husband Mahesh P, residents of JP Nagar, decided to home-school six-year-old Dhanvika. They were unhappy with the long hours she was spending in front of a screen.

“We enrolled her in an alternative school in 2018 and continued till February 2020. Classes are necessary for communication and socialisation, but they stopped when the pandemic broke out,” Jyothi says.

The couple didn’t want their child to be dependent on mobile phones and tablets for learning. “Dhanvika’s schedule now includes gardening and reading books,” she says.

Marian Shirley Paul, biology teacher with Jyoti Nivas PU College, has hired a tutor for her four-year-old son Dillon. “He wasn’t able to concentrate during online classes, and soon the classes turned into sessions for parents,” she says.

Sindhu Karthick, a tutor who lives in Shirley’s apartment complex in HBR Layout, says she gives individual attention to Dillon. “He is able to complete tasks and concentrate better. Offline classes also instil a sense of discipline,” Shirley adds.

Balancing act

HR professional Ranjani Srinivasan has also found a tutor for her three-year-old daughter Advitha.

“It is a combination of physical classes and online classes. The tutor also guides me on how drawing, craft, and other activities can be done with her,” she says.

Melisha Noronha and Vinod Lobo, residents of Electronics City, always wanted to try homeschooling. Their sons, seven-year-old Niall and three-year-old Nigel, now follow a schedule that includes beekeeping, gardening, cooking, personal hygiene, and the arts.

Melisha teaches them mathematics in an experiential way. “We didn’t want children to do schooling online, and it seemed to be the right time to switch,” she says.

When classes are online...

Child psychiatrist Dr Ruchi Gupta says online classes do not work for young children. “Children do not have the attention span to stare at a screen and learn. In school, a child is exposed to peers, and learns social interaction and communication,” she says.

Language skills are also affected when physical classes are not held. A child might not be able to grasp non-verbal cues and understand tone and volume, she says.

(Published 27 August 2021, 17:34 IST)

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