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Home Schooling Mail to Me   

Introduction:


Jay Vasavada is a known name in Gujarati household as a youthful columnist, recreational film reviewer, inspiring public speaker and a nice personality.

There are another two names Dhaivat Shukla and Jajvalya Shukla, both are brothers. They are noted musicians and aesthetes.

What these youth icons have in common?

They were all home-schooled. In case of jay vasavada, hi s mother was the prime motivator whereas in case of Shukla Brothers, their father - a noted poet Rajendra Shukla - was the inspiration. Kavi Rajendra Shukla and his wife (Nayana Jani, a poetess too) allowed their children to learn without using any kind of formal known methods - schooling, exams, degrees, certificates etc.

So homeschooling is a known concept which has been practiced in Gujarat and India for many decades. Earlier children of royal families and then of feudal families were homeschooled to keep them away from mingling with ordinary children.

However, in recent times, the concept of homeschooling is in for different reasons


A BRIEF HISTORY OF HOMESCHOOLING

Is homeschooling a new fad? Are parents doing it just because it is the stylish thing to do? Well, if that were the case, we would have a hard time explaining how people such as Jay Vasavada and Dhaivat and Jajvalya Shukla came to be homeschooled.

Parents have become so convinced that educators
know what is best for children that they forget that
they themselves are really the experts.

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN,

Indeed, homeschooling, in some form or another, has been around for many centuries. While some children were given the opportunity to study with great philosophers, most learned life skills from their parents. Just as a parent teaches a child to walk and talk, the parent from centuries ago also taught the child to cipher, build, and create the tools necessary for day-to-day living.

Children learned history from listening to stories being repeated by their older relatives. Today, we call that practice "oral history." Extended-family members may have taught the children specialized tasks, such as sewing or hunting, if that knowledge was not within the realm of one of the child parents.

It is only in recent history that nuclear families have been isolated from their extended-family members, and this dynamic, in part, has changed the face of education.

WHY HOMESCHOOL?

Most parents spend at least a portion of their time educating their children at home - even those who enrol their children in conventional or public schools. Common is the snapshot of a preschooler perched upon a loved ones lap for story time. For Kavi Rajendra Shukla the reasons were quite obvious and absolutely defined. He states these reasons in following words on his official website.

The reasons for homeschooling Dhaivat and Jajavlya are:

  1. Learning is a basic instinct, it should be preserved (all the young in nature are seen to have this instinct)
  2. Instinctive self learning can only bring out the joy of the process of learning. (forceful inputs in the name of teaching can be harmful)
  3. Conformity of one's being should come from within and not from outside (this means no comparison leading to elimination of process of evaluation and examination by outside agencies)
  4. uniqueness of every child (should be nurtured and cultivated leading to having a unique curriculum for each one)

Why Do Families Decide to Homeschool?

Why are these families choosing homeschooling rather than the conventional classroom? Some of the most common reasons cited for homeschooling include:

  • Lack of Confidence in the Educational System

  • Religious or Spiritual Beliefs

  • Special Needs

A child with special needs - whether those needs are specific to learning style, development level, or overall physical health - may thrive in the homeschool atmosphere.

Parenting Philosophy/Morals and Values

Private Schooling Options Were Unattainable or Unaffordable

This reminds me of recent ad campaign of Idea Mobile Service that plays on the idea of inaccessibility of schools in remote and rural areas.

For some the reason is economic. Inability to afford private or parochial school tuitions prompts some families to choose to homeschool. Other parents choose homeschooling because their children are not accepted at private schools.

Other Reasons

There were a variety of other reasons mentioned for homeschooling children. These reasons ranged from a parents career to transportation and convenience, as well as children's behaviour problems at school.

Also, growing concern over school safety has led some parents to homeschooling. These reasons made up a much smaller percentage of the reasons cited.

The Challenges of Homeschooling

While there are many benefits to homeschooling, including a strengthened relationship between parent and child as well as a tailored educational process, there are certainly some negatives that should be discussed.

  1. Your children will not be properly socialized. Homeschooled children spend too much time interacting with (usually) one adultand do not learn the nuances of socializing with their peers that conventional schooling teaches them.

    Because homeschooled children do not spend large amounts of time with children of similar maturity and age levels, there can be a tendency for a homeschooled child to become uncomfortable when faced with peer pressure situations.

  2. How are you going to teach a subject such as algebra if you never mastered it in school (or you have forgotten key principles)?
  3. Your child has special needs that should be left to professional educators.
  4. You will have to quit your job because teaching is a full-time job.
mindfiesta

Further doubts:

As you embark on your homeschooling program, take some time out to review the following questions, review your answers, and reflect on your own situation.

  1. Am I qualified to homeschool my child?
  2. What if my child does not want to learn from me?
  3. Is homeschooling legal where I live?
  4. Will I have the time to homeschool?
  5. How will I socialize my child?
  6. How will I teach my child a subject with which I am unfamiliar?,
  7. How will I know that this is the right path for my family?
  8. Can we afford homeschooling?
  9. How do I prove what my child has learned?
  10. Will it work?

The Advantages of Homeschooling:

    1. Because children who are homeschooled do have a fair amount of nonschool time, they also have time to go to the library, enjoy the park, e-mail their pen pals, or to talk on the telephone. There are plenty of opportunities for them to socialize with their peers.
    Also, consider the structured socialization that is forced upon children in the school setting. Often children become accustomed to only socializing with those children with whom it is convenient to socialize, not those to whom they would gravitate naturally if given the opportunity.

    2. Being a prepared homeschooler allows you to make decisions about how to teach a specialized or advanced subject in which you may not be proficient. The teaching parent can study the subject prior to teaching it, thereby not only teaching the child but learning a new skill along the way. Remember that you can also enlist the help of a tutor, friend, or fellow homeschooling parent who is proficient in that subject. (Homeschooling parents often "swap skills" - your child goes to their house for math; their child comes over to your place for Spanish.)
    Fortunately, in todays information age, there are a myriad of resources available such as online courses or video instruction.

    3. Who better to cater to a childs special needs than the person who has the closest interaction with him? Unfortunately, and through no fault of their own, most public school teachers do not have the luxury of forging a one-on-one relationship with a student in a classroom with up to twenty students. Often, by the time a teacher finds the methods that really click with a student with special needs, it is time for that student to move on to the next grade level. In the homeschooling environment, a parent can tailor a childs educational experience to fit the childs needs.

    4.Actually, you dont have to quit your job. There are many families that have chosen to homeschool, and not by a long shot are all of them stay-at-home moms. Within the homeschooling population, you will find working parents, single parents, fathers, grandparents, and of course, stay-at-home moms. Because homeschooling is so flexible, you can keep your job, if you choose, while teaching your children during your hours at home.

    In some dual-parent households, both parents work half time or three-quarters time. In some cases, the logistics are addressed by telecommuting to work. And, in the age of self-employment in so many careers, many moms and dads work from a home-based office. They can write reports while their child writes a research paper, call clients while their child takes a spelling quiz, or conduct meetings while their child is at Cub Scouts.

    REFERENCE

    Web:
    www.wikipedia.org
    www.associatedcontent.com
    www.rajendrashukla.com
    www.christianlogic.com

    Books:
    Brainerd, Sobanski, and Winegardner, Basic Skills of Homeschooling, Learning Express Press (New York)

    Editorial Team,
    Mindfiesta