The tumultuous last year has entirely changed our perspective towards education. Whiteboards are replaced by screens, catching up with friends at lunch hour by social distancing & safety masks, and outdoor playtime in the Sun with other kids by indoor quarrels with siblings for the X-box controller.
As the world fights back this unprecedented pandemic and figures its way forward, shutting of physical schools has worried parents exploring other options of education. Scoring high on safety and affordability, Homeschooling has emerged as a top choice for many American families. The U.S. Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey says that the number of families in the country opting for Homeschooling at the start of the 2020-2021 school year has more than doubled compared to the previous year.
However, many American parents are still in the dark about Homeschooling and have a ton of doubts. The experts at Cuemath, a Google for Education partner and the world's leading online Math platform, answer their most frequently asked questions.
What is Homeschooling?
It is the educating of children at home instead of going to a physical school. It is a customizable way for children to learn in a flexible schedule that suits their personal requirements best. The kids have the freedom to choose how much time they spend on a particular topic according to their individual needs. Unlike a classroom with the divided attention of a single teacher bidding to finish the syllabus and teaching at the average intellect of the group, homeschooled students decide their own pace to learn.
Why should I choose Homeschooling?
There are different reasons for different people, but the four most compelling ones are:
Family time is always a top priority, and time spent together is the best relationship-builder.
Academic brilliance- A loving home, free of peer pressure, and rich in books & culture, is the least stressful and ideal learning environment for children.
Safety- Home is the ideal place in the present times and provides a safe environment, away from potentially bullying peers at physical school.
Adaptability- Homeschooling families have the freedom to respond together to life situations, such as illness, care of the aged in the family, or even travel opportunities. At the same time, learning continues to happen every day.
How much does it cost?
Homeschooling costs vary from family to family, depending on the resources they use. All-in-one options are slightly more expensive but also more efficient as compared to piecing together subjects from various resources. Either way, the overall cost incurred for Homeschooling a kid is significantly lower than for a kid who goes to a public or private school.
Is it legal?
Homeschooling is recognized as a legal form of education in all 50 states of the U.S.A. A homeschool diploma issued by the parent is a valid and legal document. There are, in fact, only a few places in the world where it's illegal, so it is advised to check compliance with local laws before starting.
Would my kid fall behind public or private school kids?
Quite the opposite. According to HSLDA, homeschooled kids score higher (15% to 30%) than kids of a public school on standardized academic tests. Also, every 4th homeschool kid enrolls in at least one, if not more, grades above his/her age level.
What about kids' socialization?
Homeschooled kids live in the real world, not the artificial one created by the traditional school's classroom. With the flexibility of schedule, the opportunities to interact with others, peers or not, are plenty. Whether it is going out with parents, running errands, or interacting at parks, pools, and libraries, homeschooled children get all the interaction their parents choose to arrange.
"There is no school equivalent to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent."
I have a busy life. How would I stand my kids all day?
Kids are under numerous restrictions all day at a typical school where they are constantly told to be quiet, stop fidgeting, stop talking and concentrate. They need permission even to go to the bathroom. No wonder the moment these restrictions are lifted, these exhausted and stressed children are ready to explode at home.
In contrast, homeschooled kids are free to change positions, move around, and take a bathroom break whenever they want. They can munch a snack or gulp down a smoothie whenever hungry. This freedom results in calmer and less troublesome children. The little tiffs and challenges that come up are parenting issues and can be resolved quickly.
I have no idea what to teach them. What can I do?
Confident at teaching manners and hygiene, parents often doubt their ability to teach math or a language. However, parents need help to figure out what to teach and ensure that the basics are not missed. For this, guidance is available. The experienced teachers at Cuemath offer personalized learning plans for each kid, ensuring their success is in sync with their unlimited potential.
Do I need a college degree to teach my children?
No. You don't need any education degree or teacher certification to homeschool your kid. In fact, many former teachers who homeschool their kids complain that their training and experience are often a hindrance to taking full benefits of Homeschooling.
Can I both work and homeschool?
One has to find a balance. With both parents working, many families have children do school in the evenings or early mornings when at least one is home. Many prefer a few hours in the evenings on weekdays and longer hours on weekends.
Are you thinking about Homeschooling? The good thing is, you aren't alone. Join the growing number of parents putting their trust in Cuemath and propel your child to future success. Cuemath conducts Live Online Math classes.
-By Abhishek Deswal
Abhishek is an engineer with a math-focus outlook on life. Through his writing at Cuemath, he puts forward his belief that life makes more sense when seen through numbers. A former analytics professional, he enjoys theatre, football, and long runs.