Dwindling between providing the best of education to your child along with making them having fun at school. Disha Prashant takes you through the whirlwind of homeschooling and stories connected with it
An anonymous author has rightly said that unless you jump off the cliff you would never know that you can fly. Life is all about taking risk and overcoming hurdles with mind power. While we all know about Gurukuls – where children stayed away from their parents to seek extensive knowledge of Vedas, learn the art of war and analyse economical functioning, the times have, however, changed.
Parents are now gradually inducting the concept of homeschooling for kids. With a bunch of mixed reactions varying from safety of the child to providing personal attention to each child, the web of homeschooling is gradually making its presence feel in the world of education. Still in its nascent stages in India, this concept came into boom post rising cases of child abuse and other child-related cases happening in and around schools. To define it precisely, homeschooling is a concept in which children are provided education within their homes from certified teachers while they just need to attend school to appear for examinations.
Two sides of coin
Every distinct concept comes with its own encumbrance of pros and cons, feels Sunanda Shinde, retired school principal. “We as members of an institution feel that this concept has its positives and negatives. On one hand, we can say that kids will have personal attention when it comes to their academic needs. It also raises a point that this service could be availed only if you have one child as homeschooling fees might be high. For people with more than one kid, I feel that homeschooling is not a feasible option,” she says.
Speaking with a few parents brought to light the fear of child security in schools which is one of the prime reasons for rising demand for homeschooling. “If a bird refrains its baby from venturing out of the nest it would never learn to fly. Child security without a doubt is of utmost importance; however the risk is not much high as much as it has been hyped. There are millions of kids who go to school and even schools are trying their best to offer security services to the child. It is crucial for parents to understand that a child’s mental, physical and academic development will only take place when they mingle with other children for when two minds come together they create a new thing which eventually helps them build a bright future,” Shinde adds.
Anjali Nayak feels she is overprotective about her daughter but also says that that is the need of the hour. Anjali, a former teacher, has been homeschooling her daughter for the past three years. “Being mother of a daughter definitely means you need to be on your toes. I was always pro about the idea of sending my daughter to school; however, witnessing the latest happenings makes me cringe in fear. I have been homeschooling her for the past three years and have made her academically equivalent to other kids,” she says.
Walking on the other side of the bank is Vrishali Zare who feels that homeschooling will eventually make a child weak. “In school, kids from varied backgrounds come under one roof and there is exchange of knowledge. Also, kids are away from the comfort of their parents and tend to find solutions to their problems. Homeschooling as a concept is good; however it will habituate the child into living within the comfort cocoon. A school will help them break that weave and try and explore novel concepts,” she says.
“When you are a working parent investing time in a child’s schoolwork and other activities is quite difficult. We were not much in favour of hiring a tutor and hence decided on teaching the child at home by turn. We adjusted our office timings and are quite happy with how things are shaping up. We are able to give much more time to our child and can see academic development in him,” says Rupa Vaidyanathan, a working mother.
Homeschooling does not come cheap for it is all about investing humongous amount of energy and time into one child, feels M Girija, a professional tutor. “We are approached by parents for homeschooling their wards to ensure that the child seeks complete academic attention which is not possible in a class of approximately 50 students. Money investment in this profession differs from tutor to tutor and the experience in this field. Also, it depends upon the number of subjects to be taught to the child for many times parents hire us for subjects at which the students are finding it difficult to cope up with,” she says while adding, “We are prominently approached by working parents who cannot invest time in teaching their child and are in need for educational assistance. People are not yet open to the idea of homeschooling, however, we are gradually seeing this concept grow.”
Since this concept is in its incipient stage jumping down to conclusion will be too early, says Sheetal Rana, an online education counsellor. “The perks of being into this profession are that we deal with infinite parents and students and even tutors who have their own versions of changing the academic system. Homeschooling is quite popular in foreign countries. However, the school and tutors go on coalition. In India, the story is quite different. Here each side is vying to claim themselves to be the best. As a counsellor, we feel both the concepts in their respective places are perfect but must function in a manner that would not hamper each other. Homeschooling tutors must function in coordination with school while a child must also go to school for overall development,” she says.