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Day 284: To homeschool or not?


Image Courtesy: Google Images
Home schooling. It means teaching kids at home instead of sending them to a public or private school. Someone I know here in this town provides her three kids homeschooling. Her kids are 9, 7, and 4 years old and in between her job (flexible timing), she provides homeschooling to these kids. Initially I was confused about the way these kids would interact with others considering their stay at home for studies. However, the couple of times we have met them, I have always been floored by the older daughter's perceptive and honest attitude, mild demeanor of all the kids, intelligent and smart attitude. When we asked them how they get to interact with other kids, she replied that they are send to co-op school three days a week and the other days they are taught at home (for this year alone). In the past, they were just home schooled but they had regular meet ups with other home schooling moms and kids. As the kids are of different age group, the kids get to meet different age group kids and probably that helps them learn their social skills ( or so it seems).

Every system has its pros and cons. I think depending on the parents and the caliber of their children, one can decide on different school systems. In a family with multiple kids of similar age group, a homeschooling is similar to running a tuition center. However, the kids that go to private or public school are given the opportunity to handle the politics and emotions of a group of similar age group students, interact with teachers who are completely dedicated to that particular class of students, and of course, involved in a lot of team and group activities. Which of these is better is a question that rests with the parents.

The reason why public school system is not appreciated is because in a lot of places and schools, the system is really not good and does not provide the adequate support to students. It also does not really  customize and tailor to the needs of individual children. The problem with private school is that it is way too expensive to pay for a child's education and even when there is two income, the private school funding would be expensive enough to handle. These two issues are addressed in a homeschooling system.

Homeschooling is therefore much better in terms of offering slightly 'stress-free' environment for the kids and also provides much more attention to their individual strengths and weaknesses. The only catch here is that parents should be educated to an extent to be able to help with the subjects and it is also a two-parent (any family type) job and should not be a sole responsibility of just one. Homeschooling also works better when the child either is extremely intelligent or has some concentration issues. The homeschooling also has to be planned in such a way that there is scope for social interactions with other homeschoolers as social connections are easily understood and foundation is laid at a very young age. When parents want to try a different pedagogical means to educate their children, then homeschooling offers that leeway to be creative and provide the platform for their kids. It is also a flexible option and homeschooling for a few years initially and then giving them the opportunity to be in a private or public school is also possible. The only things that parents should follow is that they should follow an academic curriculum to help maintain the course and not get lost teaching the kids in flexible timing.

If given a personal choice to choose, based on this moment, I would prefer a private or a public school system (depending on the location) for my own kid/s. It is not because I do not appreciate homeschooling but it is because, at the moment I 'assume' that I would be in a job that will not provide me the flexibility and nor will it offer my husband that flexibility to be able to teach our kid/s between our schedule.

So, what's your take on it? 
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