Home Schooling Methods: Advantages And Disadvantages
With the current situation in creating a ‘lock-down’ environment, including schools, I question whether home schooling will be the new temporary normal.
In recent years, homeschooling has been gaining popularity across the globe due to some other reasons, as follows:
– Lack of the required educational needs from schools
– Flexibility for children to follow their passion
– Bullying in schools
– School safety concerns
– The desire to live a unique life
So therefore, it may be safe to assume we have a head start. And with many ways and ideas on how to tackle this situation.
The recent lockdowns due to COVID-19 have closed many schools, and children go home for fear of infection with the deadly virus. This has further triggered many parents to consider homeschooling as an alternative means of their children’s learning as usual.
Due to these reasons, some parents are making the decision immediately without further consultation. Different home-schooling programs have different features that depend on the child’s specific needs and environment.
Many parents will go for home-schooling approaches that will replicate the school experience.
On the other hand, other parents will go for the reverse approach for their children to get restrictive educational experiences.
Therefore, no homeschooling method can be termed superior since they all depend on the specific needs and goals, and you will need some additional survival training, so to speak.
Home Schooling Techniques
The major challenge faced by most parents is the home-schooling style or method to choose from below are some top home-schooling methods that parents can choose for their kids:
1. Classical method
This approach has 3 stages, which depend on the natural child’s brain growth. The three stages are:
– The grammar stage is where children emphasize learning tools such as proper writing and grammar use in a repetitive manner.
– The logic stage is where children widen their knowledge and skills to elementary learning they’ve done in the first stage.
– The rhetoric stage is where children become independent by having their own opinions and some advanced debating techniques.
This approach focuses on children’s reading and writing skills through spoken or written content, as opposed to videos or pictures.
2. Waldorf method
This approach has unique elements combining creative play and a monthly learning theme, also known as the Main Lesson. Children who use this approach are usually open-minded and well-behaved. Due to this, this approach has gained a lot of popularity among many parents across the globe. Some of the elements of this approach include:
– Playing with natural materials
– Restriction on the early use of technology
– Encouragement to have hands-on skills
3. Charlotte Mason’s approach
Most people consider this approach due to the gentler education offered than schools. The founder was Charlotte Mason, a British educator who believed that every educator must teach every child basic writing, arithmetic, and reading skills regardless of background.
This approach focuses on field trips, nature walks, and short lessons. Additionally, this approach advocates for children learning through exposure to nature and living books. The approach also exposes children to real-life situations through interaction, which makes them happy.
Parents should also take the initiative to test their children in a non-confrontational way, such as reading a passage to children and then telling them to narrate back what they’ve heard in different words.
4. Unschooling approach
In simple terms, unschooling means learning through daily experiences. It’s among the great ways of promoting interest-based education. Children who express interest in something can learn it without any discrimination. Learning in this approach takes place as part of life. The term unschooling was introduced by John Holt, who was against the normal schooling system due to its rigidity.
5. Montessori method
It’s similar to a hands-on approach to learning. It usually involves collaborative play and self-directed activity. Children can make creative learning choices in this home-schooling method, although they’re given guidance on age-appropriate activities for each session. This teaches children how to work individually and in groups to explore their knowledge and reach their maximum potential. The approach usually works well for younger children not exposed to heavy formal studies.
6. Radical unschooling approach
In this case, parents are responsible for ensuring their children wholeheartedly chase what they want. Children have complete freedom to determine what they like. Children are the decision-makers, and no restrictions in terms of bedtime, what they eat, or how long they play or watch TV, among others. Most societies have criticized this approach, claiming it’s not good due to its nature.
7. Traditional method
Most people think of This default homeschooling style after hearing children are homeschooling. It’s a method that almost resembles the school, only that the environment, in this case, is different. Most parents who begin homeschooling online for their children want to replicate what typically happens in schools, where children will begin learning as usual and get tested using exams. Typically, this method is relied on too much by inexperienced home-schooling parents.
These are some top homeschooling methods. Others include natural learning, multiple intelligence, and eclectic home education. All homeschooling requirements must be met before parents can even consider starting it. Like any other system, homeschooling has advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages Of Home Schooling
a. It’s flexible
Flexibility is the primary reason most parents like their children’s homeschooling. This system allows parents to choose the curriculum to be undertaken by their children, which further gives freedom on the subject and style of teaching.
Children with certain interests are given a chance to develop their skills in particular areas. Some parents choose to incorporate certain value systems into their children.
On the other hand, a more customized approach will be required for children with special needs.
b. Effective learning
Homeschooling enables effective learning since there are minimal distractions compared to a classroom with twenty or thirty children. You’ll be able to move quickly through learning materials and also slow down the pace whenever there’s a need to do it. Education quality is likely to increase when children learn in such an environment. Additionally, there will be no time wastage.
c. Free time
Homeschooling doesn’t force both the parent and child to stick to certain routine practices as in traditional schools. Depending on the climatic conditions, you can take vacations during off seasons and even decide which months to school. Also, there won’t to the issue of setting appointments, meaning that children will learn at any time that suits them.
d. Maturity and independence
Homeschooled children have the knowledge and skills in their hands. They’re also responsible since they know what is required of them. Parents usually give them assignments to do in their free time, making them accountable since they control what they do.
e. Relationship building
When your child is home-schooling, he or she will be present such that every milestone is well experienced. Your children won’t miss any pivotal moment since you’ll spend much time together. This will make the bond between you and your children much stronger.
f. Great social life
Most people tend to think that homeschooling makes children less social. However, the truth is that apart from learning, children have sports programs, field trips, and support groups, which offer huge opportunities for them to interact with other children freely. Your children also won’t be bullied.
Home Schooling Disadvantages
a. Takes longer to adjust
Changing your children from normal schooling to the homeschooling system takes courage. The transition process can sometimes be stressful, especially when considering the curriculum to choose and how to schedule activities in order of priority.
Also, if your child has been in a traditional school for a long time, the transition process might require a little more time before adapting to a homeschooling system. Changing the mindset entirely requires time before customizing the learning environment.
b. Causes Anxiety
Most parents who think about this idea usually have a strange feeling about whether they can do it. Most parents will feel overwhelmed by this task. During the first stages, parents feel that they’re not doing it right and the right amount.
c. Change in lifestyle
Making difficult financial decisions won’t be negotiable if you take your children on the homeschooling route. First, you’ll have to decide whether to change how you work and work from home and increase your expenses. Although this might be financially challenging, you must adapt to that lifestyle.
This is potentially the main challenge for parents who homeschool their children. Compared to the normal schooling system, it is slightly expensive, although it will depend on the curriculum you choose for your children. The total expenses will, however, vary from one family to another.
Tips For Home Schooling
In conclusion, there are some advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling. Depending on the side that weighs much or your child’s needs, you can choose to go after the system or not.
The bottom line is that although homeschooling parents can sometimes get stressed, it may also be rewarding to their children in one way or the other.