Some parents have the preconceived idea that home schooling isn’t an adequate form of education for many reasons.
Some parents have the preconceived idea that home schooling isn’t an adequate form of education for many reasons. Perhaps they think that a qualified teacher is the best person to educate children? Maybe they imagine a home schooled child to be lonely, having no friends and becoming increasingly depressed?
Some parents also believe that home educators have ‘something to hide’ by not sending their child to school and keeping them at home. Many more reasons may exist, but it is apparent that home education has a bad stigma attached to it.
Opportunities to socialise
“I’m always surprised when people are concerned about ‘socialisation’. Because it assumes that schools are the best place to become ‘social’ and I dispute that! Plus it’s assumed that children only ever find friends inside those school gates, also untrue” says Ross Mounty, who (literally) wrote the book on home education called ‘Learning without school.’
Many don’t know that home-educated children have vast opportunities to socialise. Groups of home educators in each borough meet up regularly and their children form strong and long-lasting friendships. Parents can exchange tips, ideas and techniques on how to improve their own practices.
A definite positive to this arrangement is that parents have more control over their child’s social life. Some may call this a form of snobbery, but when my own daughter was in school I said countless times “make nice friends, don’t waste your time on people who will get you into trouble”. I am sure that many parents of school and home-educated children alike have had this conversation at least once with their child.
“This way I can prevent my daughter being peer pressured and select who she befriends. I want my daughter to have good friends and positive influences because peer pressure stops children from learning,” says Helen, a home educator from Havering.
A tailored learning experience
It is clear that home educators have the ability and benefit of being selective. They have more ability to guide their children towards positive influences, rather than crossing their fingers and hoping for the best. That’s not saying that parents of school educated children don’t, but as we all know, once your child goes through those school gates – you know hardly anything about what they’re doing and who they are mixing with.
“I feel home education provides a much more rounded, real life learning experience. It is often claimed that schools provide children with a setting to learn vital skills about adult life, but what is more appropriate, a world education or actually learning out in the world itself, rather than from books and classrooms?” says Didi, a home educator from Havering.
Let’s face the facts. Granted, a school teacher is a qualified teacher that is capable of teaching your child and giving them an education. However a school teacher can have up to 30 children to teach in a classroom.
“My child is learning at a much higher level than his peers. I’m teaching him extra subjects such as Latin, French, German and Spanish. I can teach him a wider variety of subjects than what his old school had to offer,” says a home educator from Tower Hamlets, who wishes to remain anonymous.
If all the children in a class room were at the same stage of learning, level of understanding and like-mindedness and none of them disrupted a single lesson, it would, of course, be the ideal arrangement for any child. But in reality, this situation doesn’t exist.
If your child is bright, or is yearning to learn, your child has up to 30 children to contend with to get that teachers 100 per cent support and attention throughout that lesson. Often children disrupt the lesson, some may need extra help understanding the lesson more than others and whether your child is the one that needs extra help or understands the lesson and wants to learn more, they will suffer by being held back by their peers and not reach their full potential as a result of it.
Home education enables you to go at your child’s pace, where as school only allows your child to move at one single set pace.
The number of parents deciding to home school their children is rising considerably. The figure has risen up by 80% this year alone. In no way does this article suggest that parents of school-educated children don’t do the best by their children. Rather, it is suggesting that the home education route is worth considering, especially given the worrying SATS/GCSE results that children are leaving school with these days.
Some home-educated children are reaching their potential far earlier, passing their GCSE’s aged 12 and going on to study for a degree.
What do you think? Do the benefits of home-schooling outweigh the disadvantages? Could it be the future of children’s education? Have your say in the comments section below.
Image: jimmiehomeschoolmom / Flickr