Education has always been an important aspect of growth for the children and imparting knowledge and education through schools is the process followed by all. Adding to it, homeschooling and unschooling are the unconventional methods of learning. These two less traveled paths of schooling which are quite popular in foreign countries have been gaining ground in India as well.
Homeschooling: A way similar to that of the traditional way of schooling with the difference of parents taking up the role of teachers and instead of school, the child gets to learn at the comfort of their home.
Unschooling: This is a subpart of homeschooling where children get hold of the decision of what, why, when and how they want to learn along with their parents being their guide and support rather than the controlling authority.
Parents have started to support these ideas as they have found the traditional method to be consisting of limited knowledge and burdening for the children. They focus only on the prescribed curriculum and restrict it only to the content in the books. These reasons have led them to prefer homeschooling and unschooling over conventional schooling for their kids.
Benefits of homeschooling and unschooling:
- Children, at their young age, don’t have to start adjusting to the new surroundings as they get to learn in their own comfort zones.
- There is no age limit to start and complete their educational levels.
- The child gets to learn at their own pace with no pressure and comparison to be faced.
- Unschooling helps in promoting practical knowledge than the usual theoretical rote learning.
- The sense of taking initiative is developed.
- Creative and unique thinking is encouraged.
- The child gets to focus more on fields and areas of interest.
- Parents and children get to spend more time together.
Basics on how to homeschool children:
- Some parents like to follow a structured pattern of the curriculum while others depend on the child's gradual instincts of learning.
- Kids' curiosity acts as a powerful weapon here because, through such questions asked by them, the parents can get to know in what areas is the child taking an interest.
- Exposure to things around them like games, magazines, watching informative shows with them. This will help them explore new areas.
- Engaging kids in co-curricular activities can be a good option to identify their skills and talents.
- As the child grows and different subjects are introduced to them, online quizzes can be of great help in encouraging them to challenge their minds by solving the questions.
- Get involved in online workshops for such students available in homeschooling support groups.
- Lastly, be patient with the kids as they won’t grasp everything in one go. It will take them some time to get used to these techniques.
Some frequently asked questions about these methods are mentioned below.
Q1. Do these methods end up lacking social interaction in children?
No, firstly because social interaction doesn’t only limit in the areas of education. The child certainly tends to interact with other kids during their playtime and hang out with friends, siblings and cousins.
Secondly, there have been several online platforms where all the un-schoolers and homeschoolers get to interact with each other and parents also get to learn what new ways others adapt for their children in these ways of schooling.
Q2. Do colleges and universities take in such admissions?
This question pops up in the minds of most of the parents thinking about the future aspects of their child.
In foreign countries colleges just require a proper transcript before admitting students and in India, there are colleges and universities who do take up such students. For such students, the National Institute of Open Schooling is a good option that offers to conduct the secondary and senior secondary level examinations.
The best example where talent surpassed marks is of Malvika Raj Joshi who made it to MIT without having a formal high school certificate and was given a scholarship by the same institute to complete her B.Sc. She has been an un-schooler and medal winner thrice in Olympiads. This college offers opportunities to the children who win in Olympiads to complete their education in specific subjects. She also got into CMI for her M.Sc. course.
In the current pandemic situation, there are several parents who are not willing to send their children to school even after they are reopened and have been considering homeschooling as a better option.
Schools are just a means to lead children into the real world, while education and knowledge remain to be the primary factor. So why not consider alternatives which give the upcoming generation a chance to explore the world and adapt knowledge in some new ways.
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