As a Nigerian parent, what comes to your mind when the topic of homeschooling comes up? I know it is not an idea we generally give a second thought to as much as we consider the traditional school method.
I can tell you that as a parent, I had never considered homeschooling my children before now, but looking at our society today, we cannot ignore the rising change in education.
Although homeschooling is not a new act, it is a form of education, and it is recognized as much as the traditional schooling system. However, it has gained more recognition since the covid-19 pandemic outbreak. For me, buying into the idea of homeschooling wasn’t an issue due to the safety of my children. However, like every system, it has its advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s explore some of these advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of homeschooling
- You determine the curriculum
The general schooling curriculum guides you into what your children will learn example: numeric (math), English, science, etc. (depending on the grade your child is at the moment). These are the basics, however, homeschooling allows you to determine what other extra subjects your child will learn, and it helps you tailor the curriculum to your child’s strengths and interests.
- It provides a more personalized one-on-one learning
With homeschooling, you can focus on each child and adapt your teaching methods to each one’s best learning style.
- You get to protect your children from negative influences they may encounter outside your home.
You get to control what your children assimilate and what actually will have an influence on not just their learning, but their social interactions and anything that may pose as a threat to their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Disadvantages of homeschooling
- No major social interaction
This limits your children to interacting with you majorly; there is little or no socializing with children of the same age which is one challenge for homeschooled children. There is little or no opportunity to participate in team sports or extra-curricular activities. Here the children miss out on a large chunk of social interaction.
- It requires you to be with your kids 24/7
You will have little respite and less time for yourself or your spouse. However, some families don’t mind being together all the time.
- It consumes a lot of time, energy, and resources
If you are not a teacher by profession, you might need to exert more effort in learning about lesson preparation and teaching techniques. You will also have to continuously do research and adapt their teaching methods to make sure your kids receive the best standard of education. You need to prepare to be more patient and innovative in assisting a child who is a slow learner or who has special learning needs.
- It causes financial restraints
This means your spouse or you will have to either opt for a part-time job or not work at all so that one of you can guide your kids with their homeschooling. Considering that you need to buy books, computers, internet and other educational tools and activities, your list of expenses can get quite long.
In conclusion, as a parent, we want what is best for our children, and on this matter, I will say consider your options, be open to the possibilities, but also consider the cost before taking a major decision.