Chances are you must have considered homeschooling your kids, or you know someone who is doing that. And it is not a mere coincidence, statistics reveal that there are over 2.3 million homeschooled children in the USA alone.
Homeschooling (or home education) is a practice where children get their formal education at their home instead of schools. They are taught by their parents or tutors. The number of home-educated children (or homeschoolers) is continuously growing at an estimated 2% to 8% per annum over the past few years.
While the notion of homeschooling vs traditional schooling is debatable, an increasing number of families are considering homeschooling as an option.
However, there are certain myths around homeschooling and we’re here to bust these myths to help you put the right foot forward:
Homeschooling is repetitive and boring
No. Homeschooling can be life-altering, for you and the child. It is a big responsibility. You get a chance to relive your life while helping them discover theirs. The road is full of fun challenges, enlightening experiences, and adventure. It is you and the kid taking on the world.
Homeschooling limits learning
Children love learning new things. One has to try very hard to take that away from them. In fact, it is in our genes to learn and to adapt. Studies show that homeschooling offers flexible schedules for kids to spend time “exploring” different aspects of life including personality development, social conduct, etc. besides regular study. Homeschooling gives kids a chance to “investigate” their fascinations and discover their passions.
Only parents who are qualified teachers can do this
Research suggests that neither parents qualification nor household income has any influence on the child’s academic achievements. You need not be a certified teacher to homeschool your child. You just have to check with your local governing body (community center) to fill some paperwork (when necessary).
Homeschooled kids perform academically poorer
Typically, homeschooled kids score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic tests. Similar results are very common with SATs and ACTs for college admissions. One of the prominent reasons (in our opinion) is that homeschooling gives you a chance to provide tailored teaching experience for your child with lots of hands-on activities. (Yes, we know you will go an extra mile to make learning fruitful and fun for them.)
Homeschooling is a lonely road
There are tons of other parents who are homeschooling their kids. They all help each other via volunteer non-profit organizations (HSLDRA), online groups and forums, regular meetups, and co-op activities like museum visits, zoo trips, etc. Kids never lack socialization as they interact with other kids and share their knowledge and experiences on a daily basis. Homeschooling community is bigger and better organized than what most of us know.
Homeschooling makes kids socially awkward
Home-educated children do well on measures of social skills, emotional intelligence, and psychological well being. When children were questioned on topics related to self-esteem, self-regulation, peer play, leadership, family cohesion, and care for the community for various studies, their answers were promising. Studies also found evidence of a strong sense of autonomy in homeschooled kids.
The real world could be challenging
Even as adults, home-educated children go on to do some amazing work. The “real world” is just as bright for them like it is for everyone else. Colleges are increasingly welcoming homeschooled students. Of course, they stand out among others. And their involvement in social activities and community causes is profound.
We must not ignore the fact that with the pacing development in ed tech like game-based learning, education need not be traditional anymore.
Technology can enable immersive hybrid educational curriculums where students can educate themselves on the go. Students can learn anything they like from their parents, teachers, tutors, friends, and the community.
The choice between homeschooling and traditional schooling is highly subjective. There is no one who understands your kids better than you. You give them the best, and they shine.
( Mr. Vivek Goyal is the co-founder and CEO of PlayShifu)