Homeschooling – Alternative Education Method

Santosh Gaikwad

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What (is homeschooling)?

Homeschooling, also known as home education, is the education of children inside the home. Home education is usually conducted by a parent or tutor. Many families that start out with a formal school structure at home often switch to less formal ways of imparting education outside of school.

In 2016, there were about 2.5 million home-schooled students in the United States. Some countries do not approve homeschooling hence you need to check the laws of land before you decide for homeschooling. Countries with the most prevalent home education movements include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Chile and the United States.

Why (do Parents/Students choose Homeschooling)?

There are spectrum of reasons many parents opt for homeschooling, some of them listed below.

The Unhurried homeschooler
Read: The Unhurried Homeschooler

Dissatisfaction with the local schools & school environment, the quality of academic instruction, the curriculum, and bullying as well as lack of faith in the school’s ability to cater to their child’s special needs.

2. Have greater control over what and how children are taught, to better cater for children’s individual aptitudes and abilities adequately
3. Take advantage of the efficiency of one-to-one instruction, which allows the child to spend more time on childhood activities, socializing, and non-academic learning.
4. Many parents are also influenced by alternative educational philosophies espoused by the likes of Susan Sutherland IsaacsCharlotte MasonJohn Holt, and Sir Kenneth Robinson, among others.
5. To focus on interests, many young athletes, actors, and musicians are taught at home to better accommodate their training and practice schedules.

How (homeschooling is done)?

A Little way of homeschooling
Read: A Little Way of Homeschooling

Homeschools use a wide variety of methods and materials. A student’s education may be customized to support his or her learning level, style, and interests. It is not uncommon for a student to experience more than one approach as the family discovers what works best as the students grow and their circumstances change.

Homeschooling has two basic categories: structured and unstructured.

Structured method tries to imitate the structure of the traditional school, personalizing the curriculum to fit the parents’ world view.
Unstructured method is any form of home education where parents do not construct a curriculum at all.

Following are different methods

Eclectic Approach is a method of language education for listening, speaking, reading and writing, which focuses on oral method of teaching, giving mother tongue equivalents while teaching, improving vocabulary using situation based activities.

Hands-on-Learning (Experiential learning) is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing”, this helps children excel in a particular field.

Knowledge is continuously gained through both personal and environmental experiences.

Montessori Method  is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori. She developed many of her ideas while working with mentally challenged children.

Her approach was characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.

Unschooling is method which emphasizes free, undirected play as a major component of children’s education. Students learn through their natural life experiences including play, household responsibilities, personal interests and curiosity, internships and work experience, travel, books, elective classes, family, mentors, and social interaction.

It encourages exploration of activities initiated by the children themselves, believing that the more personal learning is, the more meaningful, well-understood and therefore useful it is to the child. Courses may occasionally be taken.

Waldorf education emphasizes the role of imagination in learning, striving to integrate holistically the intellectual, practical, and artistic development of child.

A Thomas Jefferson Education method is based on the “Seven Keys of Great Teaching”, Classics, not Textbooks; Mentors, not Professors; Inspire, not require; Structure Time, not Content; Quality, not Conformity; Simplicity, not Complexity; and You, not them

Distance Learning/Education is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school. Distributed learning, e-learning, online learning, etc. are used roughly synonymously with distance education.

When (should/can we start Homeschooling)?

Before you begin, you need to be sure that homeschooling is really the right decision for you and your family. Make sure you understand the pros and cons of homeschooling. They will help you decide if you want to take the plunge!

There is no age limit to start Homeschooling, you can decide to homeschool right from beginning or even after going to formal school for few years.

Who (will teach my Child)?

As homeschooling is home education, there are no strict guidelines which need to be followed as a teacher. A Homeschool is a cooperative of families who homeschool their children. It provides an opportunity for children to learn from other parents who are more specialized in certain areas or subjects. Co-ops also provide social interaction for homeschooled children. They may take lessons together or go on field trips.

Parents play important role in teaching and guiding homeschool children, also parents can opt for home tutors to come at home and teach specific subjects to children, at the same time children can go out and pursue their hobbies by attending academies (like music, sports, dance, drama, singing, spirituality etc.) for part time.

A study conducted in 2008 found that 11,739 homeschooled students, on average, scored 37 percentile points above public school students on standardized achievement tests.

References and Success stories

Rising numbers of pupils home educated – Report BBC UK
Malvika Joshi – India – Mumbai
Homeschoolers success stories -USA
No school for these kids (and their parents approve) – India – Mumbai


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