I chanced upon an article on homeschooling. It triggered an inquisitiveness auto-response in me and I read up a host of articles on internet about it. Really interesting, actually really really interesting!
As the name suggests, it is schooling of the child at home, completely. You have an informal setup at home, set aside some hours for study or curriculum-related learning and the rest of the hours in the day are all for fun. This fun time includes the self-discovery mode at a pace set up by the child himself besides obviously including the story-telling sessions and the other activities that aid learning.
I personally think that it is a phenomenal approach to learning, helps completely do away with rote learning and lets the child think of what he wants or at least likes to do. As everything else in the world, this teaching methodology or practice also has its own pros and cons. Here are some of them that will have you weighing the merits vis-à-vis demerits and help you decide whether it could be the type of learning mechanism you want for your child.
At a basic level, it sounds pretty good as the child stays in secure home environment and would have undivided attention of the mentor. This ‘at home’ environment would obviously foster strengths like confidence, self motivation and self reliance. The child will be able to realize its own potential as he will have ample time to pursue a single activity with all his heart and soul into it rather than sticking to a little bit of each subject and sport. Since the child would be able to stay focused on the activities that he enjoys the most, it might ensure that at a later stage he would become master of at least one of those activities.
Studying at home will help in doing away with the pressure caused by the long hours of schooling, thereby relaxing the child.
Or Not to be
A structured learning environment has its own benefits; peer interaction being the foremost that adds to the entire experience of learning. Though you can ensure some bit of peer interaction but the opportunity a child has in school is unparallel. Also, a sense of competition that helps a child better himself also may not get developed to its full potential due to absence of any real threat to the child’s supremacy in his chosen field of interest.
At an elementary stage a child may like to do a particular activity that he thinks he really enjoys, but he may not be able to sustain the level of interest which would give him a professional thrust.
You have to finally take tests/exams to be able to do the regular jobs that require a minimum threshold qualification. Some countries, if not encourage this practice; at least have nothing against it but some countries completely thrash it by attaching an illegal tag to it.
As a parent, when you decide on homeschooling, you would be completely bound by the child and the child by you. In a manner of speaking, you would not have really cut the umbilical cord of the child as you would be limiting the exposure of the child in quite a few spheres. The limited interaction of the child with children his age may make him shy or a less socially-initiated person. Think of all these aspects and decide if you want to take the plunge!