Homeschooling, as its name implies, is the act of opting out of public or private school education, and choosing to educate children at home, instead. It is legally sanctioned in most developed countries, with over one million children being home-schooled in the United States, alone.
Homeschooling, has its own unique merits and demerits, depending on one’s priorities, values and circumstances. One of the main reasons, parents or guardians opt to engage in homeschooling is the fact that they feel the standard of education provided by mainstream colleges and institutions, falls short of what is thought (by them) to be optimal. A less than desirable school environment, difficulty in commute, religious considerations and moral objections to certain teachings, also contribute to the popularity of homeschooling. Differently-abled children, or kids under the school going age, also benefit from homeschooling, sometimes.
However, homeschooling is not without its flip side. Ironically, inadequate standards of academic quality, makes homeschooling defy the very purpose it is generally intended for. Lack of socialization skills and the loss of opportunity to interact with those of different races and religions, sometimes sets the stage for religious extremism and intolerance, too. It also shields children from mainstream society for the most part, making their transition from child to well-balanced adult more difficult than it need be, in certain instances. At its worst, homeschooling can sometimes result in unmonitored instances of child abuse; rare, though this might be.
Sometimes, parents opt to undertake homeschooling, themselves; whilst in other instances tutors are called upon to provide the necessary education to home-schooled students. Whichever method is chosen, it is always prudent for the educator to keep abreast of subject matter and be open to continuous learning. Wide knowledge, the love of teaching, patience, and the ability to make lessons interesting, irrespective of the subject at hand; are all hallmarks of a good teacher.
The internet is a veritable source of information and it offers numerous tips and advice on how to make homeschooling a success, for the most part, at least. The proposed curriculum, recommended courses of study for each age group, online tests and games to make lessons interesting, can all be found via the Web, with minimal difficulty. Worksheets, projects and forms, all of which relate to homeschooling, can also be downloaded, with relative ease. Homeschool communities which have discussion forums that address relevant issues, can also be found through the Internet, and this is said to have been a boon, to many.
Homeschooling can indeed, be beneficial in certain instances. However, it does have its own set of drawbacks, too. Therefore, it is always prudent to weigh the pros and cons of each such alternative, prior to engaging in a concrete decision; as it is a child’s future that is under consideration here.