Have you ever wondered whether you should start home schooling for your child or not?
Have you heard your friends saying that they are home schooling their children?
Did you every want to home-school your child or are you home schooling your child?
To know the answers to all your dilemmas let us know in detail what are the advantages and disadvantages of home schooling over normal school.
What exactly is home schooling?
Home schooling is when a parent takes 100% charge of their child’s education at home. The child need not go out to a public or private school and the education is imparted to the child at home by the parents or tutor.
Home schooling is legal in India for decades, and the child can appear for higher exams. The control of their education is completely in the parent’s hands without the involvement of any outsider.
Pros of Home Schooling
There are a lot of pros of home schooling:
We have seen children getting up early, eating in a hurry, getting dressed, and running to catch the school bus. So are the parents. There is a hectic schedule and environment every morning. But when it comes to home schooling, there is a relaxed schedule and the child can do everything at her own pace. There is no need to hurry, no need for running behind the child, and no need to prepare the lunch box for the child.
You can start teaching the child at your convivence at your time. You can fix the timing depending on the child’s sleeping pattern. The child will be comfortable, and so will the parents.
The parent is the controller of the child’s education
The parent is in charge of the child’s education. You need not follow a set curriculum. You can give more practical knowledge to your child if you want. It all depends on the parent as there are no rules. You can buy your books, start your subjects, and add or omit different languages, as per your choice.
All the focus is on your child. There is no class or group of children. You can give your 100% attention to your child. The child doesn’t have to wait for her turn and can ask anything at any time. Individual learning can help the child learn better in less time.
No exam Stress
There is no stress of exams in home schooling, as there are no exams. So children stay more relaxed and learn at their own pace. There is no fixed time in which you need to finish up something as the exams are approaching, so there is no stress.
A child who is being home schooled has no one to compete with. So, there is no scare of competition. The child has to compete with just herself, and learn and do better than the previous day.
You can plan your vacations without any permissions or schedules
When you are home schooling your child, you need not worry about attending school, taking leaves, signing leave forms, etc. You can go whenever you want to. You need not ask anyone. You can carry the books, or impart practical knowledge on your vacation. So, you can have a lovely vacation for as long as you want.
Better family bonding
When you are always with your child, you tend to bond with the child better. You can spend 24 hours together. It depends on the parent whether or not the parent likes that. So, it becomes an individual preference.
Better learning opportunities
When a child is home schooled, she doesn’t need to follow a fixed curriculum. So, you can take the child to the museum, for exhibitions and teach the child whatever you want to teach. You can buy different books for the child, which might not be in the school curriculum. You can also teach the child more about what she is interested in.
Getting bullied and being a bully is the worst part of school life. If the child is always at home there are no chances that the child will get bullied. So, the child is altogether being saved.
There is no competition, so the child is self-motivated. The child will learn to compete only with herself and no one else. The child will try doing things better than the last time.
Cons of Home Schooling
Change in Family Lifestyle
Home schooling a child is a big responsibility. One of the parents should always be with the child. Whether you appoint a tutor or teach the child yourself, you will have to have a constant look at what the child is doing. You have to change the lifestyle according to the child. You might also have to quit your own job.
When you stay with the child 24/7 you might have to quit your job and that might raise financial difficulties. If you are planning to buy equipment to teach the child which is available at a normal school, again you will have to spend a lot of money.
Difficulty in Socializing
The child who is always at home might find it difficult to socialize with people when they go out. The other option is visiting parks with your child in the evening or organizing play dates so that the child learns to socialize. But this is not possible to do for all the parents. So, sending a child to school is the best way to help the child to learn socialize.
Lack of Proper Facilities
You can not provide your child with all the facilities that a school can provide. The science lab, the computer lab, the library, playgrounds and so much more are available at school which you can not provide at home to your child. So, going to school rather than home schooling would be helping the child in using the facilities better.
Difficulty in forming a fixed routine
When the child goes to a normal school the timing for everything is fixed. But when the child is home schooled, it is very difficult to set a proper schedule. You might take time off in between due to any reason, which will not help in forming a fixed routine. So, getting up in the morning and going to school in hurry might look a little tedious, but it helps in keeping the child in proper discipline.
Hectic for Parents
It is very hectic for the parents to always be around the child. How much ever you love your child, you need a break from them. You need to have some me time or time with adults. Home schooling a child can take a toll on the health of the parent who is always at home with the child. So, normal schooling can be better for the parent’s mental health.
When you have no competition you have less will to do something. Yes competing only with yourself is a good thing, but the child would never know what the other kids are capable of and where she stands when she will go out in the world. Later in life when she enters the competitive world she might find it a little difficult.
Who prefers Home Schooling?
Home schooling is mainly preferred by parents who live in areas where the schools are not that good or there are no schools nearby. It is also preferred by parents who get their transfer frequently or are on the road most often and are explorers.
These parents find it difficult to change their child’s school again and again and too frequently. So, they prefer home schooling their children, where they can be in charge. But home schooling can be done by anyone, who feels it is better than normal schooling for their child.
What should you prefer?
You need to read all the pros and cons of home schooling, discuss it with your spouse and then decide whether you want your child to be home schooled or not. Proper research should be done before taking any decision. The following points should be noted:
- You should take into account your availability for your child. A decision should be made about who will be staying at home with the kid the whole time while the child is home schooled.
- You should discuss your finances as you might not be able to work, as the child will be with you the whole time.
- You need to look into your mental health, as you need to spend 24 hours every day with your child.
- You should be able to research and teach your child the age-appropriate content, buy the books accordingly, and help the child understand things with the minimum resources.
What do I prefer?
I prefer normal schooling to home schooling. My reasons:
- No matter what the studies show, I feel socializing is a task for kids who are home all the time. My daughter was completely at home for 1.5 years during Covid, as we were super scared to take her out due to the consequences of the disease and our profession. She found it extremely difficult to socialize, make friends, and talk to others when we started taking her out after Covid.
It took her a long time to finally start talking to others in the park, or social gatherings compared to the other kids, who were not so much bonded to the 4 walls during covid. She was always hiding in my lap, scared and reluctant to talk to anyone. Send her to school changed her completely and she is a well-adjusted kid now.
- I should be available for her 24 hours if she is home schooled. Yes, motherhood is rewarding, but it is hectic and stressful too. So, I need a break for myself, to have a better mental health, to be there for my daughter for the rest of the day.
- Being working neither me nor my husband can stay at home with her all the time and leave work. But yes, we have done our best that one of us is always there with her after school, so we have a great bonding.
- I feel a healthy and fair competition is a must to boost a child’s morale. She stays motivated and performs better when appreciated by her teachers. She feels good about herself when she gets a medal. So, competition is a must.
- A school provides all the facilities like labs, and art and music rooms, which is important for the child to learn different things.
- A school has qualified teachers who know how to teach, how to correct when the child is wrong, and how to find talent in the child. Sometimes, we parents get soft on the child and the child might lose the discipline.
So, it is totally up to you which method of schooling you would prefer for your child. No societal pressure or thoughts of others should pressurize you for any of the two. It is your child and you know the best for him or her.