A NEW FAD?
Homeschooling is here to stay … but homeschooling is nothing new! Many years ago it was in the home that children were taught many skills by their parents. In the year 1717 Prussia started the first compulsory Primary School where children sat at desks facing the all-knowing teacher who taught with chalk and talk. Sound familiar?
The new wave of the home-school movement started in the 1970s when John Holt, an educational theorist, argued against rote learning, which is learning by heart without understanding, which many can attest to experiencing. He persuaded parents to “un-school” their children and teach them at home. In his book, Life in Classrooms, Jackson says “For all the children some of the time, and for some other children all the time, the classroom resembles a cage from which there is no escape.”
WHO CAN HOMESCHOOL?
Educating a child at home can be done by a parent, a retired teacher, a tutor, or by a teacher online. However, it is mainly conducted by a parent and has become one of the fastest-growing movements in Education in many countries. According to Ray, in 2020 there were approximately 2.5 million home-schooled children across Grade K – 12 in the United States of America. Home-schooling is legal in many countries, the prevalent countries include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In South Africa, the Department of Basic Education states that “Home Education is a programme alternative to attending public or independent schools where a parent of a learner of compulsory school-going age may provide education for his/her own child/ren at home,” with the proviso being that the child is registered for Home Education with the Provincial Education Department, and the parent be responsible for certain regulations.
ADVANTAGES OF HOMESCHOOLING
The advantage, of homeschooling is that each child can be taught according to his Intelligences and based on his interests, talents, and preferred way of learning. No department dictates the pace of his learning and the child competes only against himself. In this way, self-confidence is not lost and a child has the space and time to master one concept before being bombarded with the next and then the next. In this way, learning is consolidated and no gaps are formed. Thus children can reach their potential as learning will become meaningful. The informal way of learning allows for flexible school times and learning is not something confined to a building with classrooms and certain hours.
Home-schooling your child far exceeds the benefits academically, socially, physically, and emotionally. Many a child is destroyed by careless words and actions of teachers and peers and bullying, peer pressure, and anxiety are very prevalent in our children today. Many parents see a potential drawback in the lack of social development but this is easily rectified by the many groups of home-schooled children coming together on many occasions and the home-school support groups. Children who enjoy sport can join specific clubs.