Tuesday, January 15, 2019

How to begin homeschooling in India – 6 Questions to ask yourself

About 10 months ago, we took the decision to homeschool our son. With a cutback on the school transport, excessive and sudden travel plans at our front and eventually, a posting to a small town with meager schooling options, homeschooling was a decision we entered into with trepidation.  But over the months, I’m getting used to being my son’s teacher and we’re finding our own groove to this homeschooling life.

Homeschooling in India - A beginner's guide
While I’m no expert in being a homeschooling parent, I can offer you tried and tested tips to help you make the transition to a homeschooling life, if that’s something you’re thinking about.

Here’s what you should think through, plan for and embrace as you start homeschooling:

Why are you homeschooling or thinking of doing so? 
For me the number one reason was my son, who wanted to be taught at home and secondly, the lack of logistical support in sending him to a school he enjoyed going to. And, now that we’re in a place that doesn’t have schools that teach in a hands-on way, the only option is to homeschool. Your reasons can be similar to or different than mine. But whatever are your reasons, be very clear on these because there will be times along this journey, when you will need your reasons to motivate you to go on.

Are you ready to dedicate a solid chunk of your time to homeschooling? 
In a homeschooling family, at least one parent needs to spend time teaching and doing activities with the child. Leaving the child home with a maid or delegating all the classes to a tutor, won’t really help in creating a nurturing homeschooling environment. It also defeats the purpose of taking the child out of the school system to homeschool.

Will homeschooling make you happy? 
This was the question that I was the most worried about. I realize that if the primary homeschooling parent is unhappy, then that will percolate down to the child and won’t make homeschooling a happy experience for both. What you also need to know is that you may not be happy about being a teacher-parent every single day, but if you can wing it on most days, then that’s a good start.

Are you willing to give homeschooling a try? 
Most parents find the prospect of homeschooling scary and downright difficult. From having the kid at home all day long to taking on the entire responsibility of a child’s educational career to wondering if homeschooling will make their kids less social/employable/amiable, parents worry about lots of things when it comes to deciding whether they want to homeschool or send them to school. If you give homeschooling a shot, you may still have some of these worries, but your willingness to try homeschooling must be more than your worry.

Will homeschooling make your child happy? 
Whether it’s going to school or being homeschooled, kids can take time to adjust to either. But if your child really enjoys going to school and may feel left out or too alone while being homeschooled, then do give it a good thought. My son, on the other hand, did not want to go to school and wanted to be taught at home, so this particular question was easy to answer.

Are you willing to take all the questions and prejudices in your stride? 
I must say that on the whole, with every passing year and more awareness about the homeschool option, there are fewer weird questions being asked. While people might be surprised about your decision to homeschool and might be quicker to judge your child, especially if he takes time to open up to new people, the tolerance for an alternative way of living and educating is increasing on the whole. 

That being said, you still get odd questions and comments when you’re a homeschooling parent. So, being prepared to field such questions/comments and explaining what you do to those who are genuinely curious about the homeschooling life, is definitely a part of the homeschooling journey.

If you’ve figured out the answers to these 6 questions and are ready to take the plunge into this eclectic homeschooling life, then wait for our next post about basics to begin with. (Sign-up for my posts by popping in your email id in the box).

What has been your homeschooling journey been like? Leave a comment below and connect with me via Facebook & Twitter (@ChandanaMilSpo / @4GGorgeousGreen )

1 comment:

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