“The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.”
David O. McKay
But what about the other lessons – math, literature, physics, chemistry, biology, etc.? Could they be taught without visiting a school? Statistics say about the growing popularity of homeschooling. Most often, the parents transferred their children to homeschooling, being dissatisfied with the level of education, which is given the child at school, to protect the child from physical and mental abuse at school, not wanting to let the strangers to educate children and deciding to bear full responsibility for the upbringing and education of their child.
Before making such an important decision, parents have to weigh all the “pros” and “cons”: obvious advantages of homeschooling and some of the pitfalls that may hinder the educational process in the family.
Advantages of homeschooling are:
- The most effective learning of the program. Individual programs allow taking into account the level of the child’s skills and abilities, adjusting to the pace of the child for learning materials, to the durations of classes and their schedule, choosing a variety of approaches to learning (game form, the use of the PC powers, tours, etc.).
- The higher quality of knowledge, high academic performance.
- Development of the individual child’s way of thinking, without the influence of stereotypes.
- Active cognitive activity, desire for new knowledge and learning with a pleasure.
- Development of life skills, increased responsibility promotes the earlier maturation of the individual.
- More time and opportunity for the creative development of the child and the development of his unique abilities.
- Training on individual schedule, including child’s biological clock that allows avoiding unnecessary stress. Children at home schooling rarely get sick.
- The higher quality of communication with parents, trust and strong family connections.
- The absence of bad influences in undesirable company.
- No conflicts with teachers and classmates.
- Education in the usual for the family traditions, which is especially important, if the family belongs to an ethnic minority or religious community.
It seems very attractive to transfer child into homeschooling, but just read about pitfalls. They are:
- Lack of communication with peers. It means that the inadequate socialization, shyness, reticence and unwillingness to communicate can appear. But the problem is mostly contrived: child communicates with its neighbors, with peers from hobbies’ classes and friends of different ages. Thus, he chooses with whom he is interested to chat and be friends. The school does not provide such a choice. Not all of classmates with whom child will face every day for many years, nice and pleasant to talk to.
- Lack of communication skills and team work that are important for further studies and work.
- Lack of discipline. For further education and work skills to learn and work by schedule, in different tempos and adapt to external conditions can be an important factor. While homeschooling the development of these skills of a child depends on the production of education process by parents, on the requirements of the parents to the child.
- Homeschooling requires discipline from parents. The person who made a decision about homeschooling must be very responsible and organized, because execution, control and responsibility for the process fall on him. He/she should foster the responsibility and organization to the child.
- Homeschooling requires maximum involvement in process of one of the parents. Especially a lot of time and attention from the parents is required for a transition period from school to homeschooling, which can take half a year. Perhaps for a while an adult, who will teach a child at home, will have to give up work. It all depends on the child’s age, level of training and ability.
- The educative level of parents. For parents, who teach a child at home, not the level of their training in the school program or the presence of teacher education are necessary, but also the desire to grow with the child, the love and attention to him, and infinite patience. The help of teachers on subjects is always can be taken. Textbooks and teaching aids can help brush up the curriculum. The main thing is the desire and enthusiasm.
- The high cost of homeschooling. Services of private teachers and tutors will cost a lot. It is better to determine when and how much of the help from expert may be needed in order to avoid neglected expenses. Although it is quite possible to do on their own. Manuals, available to schools, are not always available for pupils, studying at home. Additional costs for the purchase of the most important of them are inevitable. But in many cases, Internet resources can help.
Innovative approaches to the education and upbringing in a number of modern schools solve all the problems, because of which the majority of parents transferred their children to homeschooling. But such schools, unfortunately, are not available to everyone because of their small number, or the high cost of education.
The last word always belongs to the parents, only they decide (of course, with the wishes of the child), will the child receive a secondary education or not. They know the particular needs and abilities of the child. Health-minded responsible parents will be able to make the right decision that will benefit their child and help him to grow self-sufficient, fully developed personality, keep individuality and feel comfortably in society.