Homeschooling Methods: Advantages And Disadvantages
With the current situation we are in creating a ‘lock-down’ environment including schools, I am starting to question if homeschooling is going to be the new temporary normal?
So how do you go about homeschooling?
It is not a new solution. In recent years, homeschooling has been gaining popularity across the globe due to a number of 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
The recent lock-downs as a result of the Covid-19 virus have seen many schools being closed, 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 right away without further consultations. Different homeschooling programs have different features that depend on the child’s specific needs as well as the environment.
A large number of parents will go for homeschooling approaches that will replicate the school experience.
On the other hand, other parents will go for completely the reverse approaches for their children to get restrictive educational experiences.
Therefore, there’s no homeschooling method that can be termed superior since they all depend on the specific needs and goals and you will definitely need some additional survival training so to speak.
The major challenge faced by most parents is the homeschooling style or method to choose from below are some top homeschooling 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 where children put more emphasis on learning tools such as proper writing and grammar use in a repetitive manner.
– The logic stage where children widen their knowledge and skills to elementary learning they’ve done in the first stage.
– The rhetoric stage where children become independent by having their own opinions and some advanced debating techniques.
This approach majorly focuses on children’s reading and writing skills either through spoken or written content, as opposed to videos or pictures.
2. Waldorf method
This approach has unique elements that combine both 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 approach
Most people consider this approach due to the gentler education offered compared to schools. The founder was Charlotte Mason, a British educator who believed that every educator must teach basic writing, arithmetic, and reading skills to every child regardless of the background. This approach majorly focuses on field trips, nature walks, and short lessons. Additionally, this approach advocates children learning through exposure to nature as well as 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 are given the opportunity to learn it without any discrimination. Learning in this approach basically takes place as part of life. The term unschooling was brought about 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. In this homeschooling method, children are given a chance to make creative learning choices, although they’re given guidance on age-appropriate activities for each session. This makes children learn how to work individually and in groups in order to explore their knowledge and discover their maximum potential. The approach usually works well for younger children who can’t be exposed to heavy formal studies.
6. Radical unschooling approach
In this case, parents have the responsibility of ensuring that their children chase what they want whole heartedly. Children have complete freedom to determine what they like. Children are the decision-makers, and no restrictions in terms of bedtime, what they eat, how long they play, or watch TV, among others. Most societies have criticized this approach claiming that it’s not good due to its nature.
7. Traditional method
This is the default homeschooling style that most people think of 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 simply want to replicate what happens typically in schools, where children will begin learning as usual and get tested using exams. Typically, this method is relied on too much by the inexperienced homeschooling 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 think of starting it. Just like any other system, homeschooling has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages Of Homeschooling
a. It’s flexible
Flexibility is the primary reason why 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. This comes as a result of some parents choosing 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 that has 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 where 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 done in traditional schools. You’ll be able to take vacations during off seasons and even decide on which months to school depending on the climatic conditions. Also, there won’t to the issue of setting appointments, meaning that children will learn 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. In most cases, parents will give them some assignments to do in their own free time, which makes them accountable since they control what they do.
e. Relationship building
When your child is homeschooling, he or she will be present such that every milestone is well experienced. Your children won’t miss any pivotal moment since you’ll be spending a lot of 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.
a. Takes longer to adjust
It takes courage to change your children from the normal schooling system to the homeschooling system. The transition process can sometimes be stressful, especially when you think of the curriculum to choose and how to schedule activities in order of priority. Also, if your child has, for a long time, been in a traditional school, then the transition process might require a little more time before adapting to a homeschooling system. To change the mindset entirely requires time before customizing the learning environment.
b. Causes anxiety
Most parents who think about this idea usually have a certain strange feeling of whether they can actually do it or not. Most parents will feel overwhelmed by this task. During the first stages, parents have the feeling that they’re not doing it right, and the right amount.
c. Change in lifestyle
If you decide to take your children in the homeschooling route, then making difficult financial decisions won’t be negotiable. First, you’ll have to decide whether to change how you work and work from home and also increase your expenses. Although this might be financially challenging, you’ll have to adapt to that lifestyle.
This is potentially the main challenge for parents who homeschool their children. When compared to the normal schooling system, it slightly expensive, although it will depend on the curriculum that you choose for your children. The total expenses will, however, vary from one family to another.
5 Tips For Homeschooling
In conclusion, these 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.