A bunch of questions about homeschooling answered by Dr Aishwarya who is homeschooling her kids. This blog is about her experiences and perspective about homeschooling.
1. What made you take the decision of homeschooling?
I am from an educational profession and I feel we are still following age old methods of teaching and there is no room for creativity. The reason is pre framed system and how all students should go through it irrespective of the fact that each child has different capacity, interest levels, intelligence etc.
2. How do you educate yourself regarding homeschooling curriculum?
There is no fixed curriculum as such. The learning is led by the kid. If the child shows particular interest on a subject just lead them towards it.
3. Can working parents manage this commitment? Did you face any challenges?
The time need not be from 9-3 or Monday to Friday. Parents can spend quality time with them whenever possible help them to learn. Now that there are lots of learning aids to enhance their ability using technology.
4. Do you think homeschooling can make a kid introvert due to less interactions with his/her age groups?
A homeschooler gets the opportunity to interact with all the age group while a school kid may be restricted only to his or her class. And about being an introvert or an extrovert is a personality trait that has nothing to do with any form of schooling.
5. We are constantly in a system of ranking and grading all activities. Did you at any point felt the need to know how your kid is performing comparatively?
I believe a kid should not be rated or given any ranks. Because each kid has an individual talent and creativity which cannot be measured in any yardstick. Assessment can be utilized to enhance the skills, but this should not be done at an early age.
You can’t compare your kid with another person. The way they are bought up, their environment, their brain, nervous system, knowledge, interest, talent everything will be different. Each individual is a unique human being. You can’t compare with anyone else. You can evaluate your kids growth by analyzing their own progress over time.
6. Do you set any syllabus for her studies? Do you set goals for your kid?
No. I don’t think there is any age limit for studies. As I told you a child cannot be put into a framework or box. You cannot say a child should know only these at a particular age. For e.g. a child might be proficient in math and average in rest of the subject i.e. he/she can learn 3rd std math while in 1st std but can only learn 1st std. science in 1st std which says that the child is little ahead in math. You can evaluate your child’s proficiency in a particular subject and can work on those subject.
7. How do you assess her skills? Do you seek any education expert advice?
Assessment of skill need not be educational at all. As a parent we have a feeling that we should assess them in terms of education. NO. They may be very skilled footballer, hairdresser, singer or good in math, anything. So, what I feel is instead of rushing them and putting all the syllabus in their head at a very young age, instead of putting pressure we should take time and observe in which they are proficient. If they are proficient in certain thing that will be shown out. For e.g. If a child is physically very active and loves to jump around you can observe it, see that the child will not sit in a place. Child will be very athletic. Notice it. You should just have the eyes and acceptance to notice it. That’s it.
8. How will they write public exams like 10th and 12th? Do all boards accept home schooled kids?
If you are really scared and feel like you should have a 10th certificate, we always have MHRD, Ministry of human resource &development. They have a syllabus called ’NIOS’ National institute of Open schooling where you can start writing from 5th, 8th, 10th.It is a platform for home schoolers. There is no age limit. Once you feel your child is prepared you can go register and write. For more information you can log on to MHRD website.
9. Did your kid ever ask of going to school? If yes, how did you explain about it?
I have taken them to a lot of schools. They love to sit without any interference. The moment it is interfered, they don’t feel good about it. So they never asked me to put them in a school. They never complained. May be if they grow up little bit and insist on going to a school then I will put them in an educational center
10. Are there any groups/organizations which provide supports and provide more knowledge about home schooling?
We have a virtual group for parents. We meet often and discuss about latest updates.
11. Which one tip/advise do you wish to give a parent who wants to enroll their kid in homeschooling?
If you take the current scenario, due to corona virus impact most of us are working from home. We would not have thought about a situation that will make us work from home this is an example of a revolution. In future, Education institutions and policy makers will try to understand that learning can be done anywhere.
Now the advice is if you feel that the current educational system is not supporting your kid’s development,then you can consider homeschooling. Homeschooling will be accepted as a parallel form of schooling like how we accepted CBSE and other syllabus. Also virtual classroom are going to be a reality that will bring a wide choice for the kid to choose their teacher. It is always good if we embrace the future accept the changes even if you are not ready for homeschooling