Friday, May 8, 2020

Opinions & Questions Every Homeschooling Parent Needs To Be Prepared For

All of a sudden, everyone is talking about how difficult it is to homeschool and seeking out long-term homeschoolers for tips and tricks to crack the teach-at-home code! 

From being “THAT LADY WHO DOESN’T SEND HER SON TO SCHOOL”, I seem to have transformed overnight to that mom who knows a few things about homeschooling! Ha! 

Boy making science toys in his homeschool
N in his homegrown "workshop" making sci toys

I wonder if more parents will continue homeschooling their children, even after the Corona scare dies down. I wonder if this new understanding and empathy for the homeschooling life will continue or once the kids are back in school, homeschooling will just be another “dicey choice” that only some parents, like me, make. 

Here are the general (wrong) impressions folks have had about us homeschooling our son (and I bet all homeschooling parents face some versions of this):

Is homeschooling even an option?” And “So, when does he get back to school?”
While homeschooling is not so uncommon in bigger cities in India, in the military community, I’m yet to meet another homeschooling family. In the defence services, homeschooling is unheard of and most people fall from the sky when we mention that the kiddo does school at home. 

You must try enrolling him in the local school - I mean how long can you homeschool!”
Umm…maybe till he goes off to college? Sounds good? 
Often when families choose to homeschool, they would have explored the go-to-school option first and found a reason not to pursue it. But just because our method of education is non-traditional, we’re asked all these weird questions by well-meaning people. So when folks nudge and cajole me to send my son to school, it kind of annoying because hey, am I telling anyone to keep their kid at home?

Hmm, so when are you enrolling him in school? Hmm?” I’ve had people get after me at parties about when I will finally see some sense and put my kid where he belongs - in a classroom with 40 other kids, mugging up his text, copying what the teacher writes on the blackboard and swotting up some more when he comes home. They feel entitled to an answer and a commitment from me. As if, if they don’t butt in, I might just be ruining my son’s future ;-).

N with his art and craft projects done in his homeschool
N with his art & craft homeschool projects

How do you manage to keep him at home?” With a ball and chain. Kidding! Often homeschooling is a decision made by the entire family i.e. the parents and the child. Most homeschooling families I know or have read of are in it because their children wanted to give it a shot just as much as the parents. In our case, my son was even more keen on the homeschooling option than us. Believe me, it is a tad difficult to chain a kid to the dining chair and force him to be homeschooled!

What about socialising?” And “Oh, no wonder he takes time with people because he is homeschooled.”

I’ve seen tonnes of children who don’t wish people, don’t crack a smile when smiled at, don’t answer a question you just asked and throw tantrums just because. But if they’re going to school, then they’re just being normal kids. But dare my son do any of this and people are quick to label him as “unsocial because he is homeschooled”. People feel the need to see proof of how social or unsocial a homeschooled child is. 

But what people forget to notice is that most homeschooled kids can play or interact with people of any age groups and social strata. They are not bound my pre-conceived notions of “I will only play with children who are in my class or age bracket” or “He/She is too small or big for me to play with”. Socialising is not something restricted to a classroom; when you look around you see that our everyday lives are filled with opportunities to meet new people and make connections with those already in them. Especially in the military set up, where there are plenty of events to get people together.

How will he give his exams?”

A genuine question, no doubt. But be rest assured, if a homeschooling parent is in it for the long haul, they have researched this and there is a legal way. Homeschooled children in India, give their 10th Boards exam through NIOS. 

It’s been a long post, but then the list of comments we encounter as Indian homeschoolers are just as long and umm, interesting

So, here’s to a happy homeschooling life! And to those homeschooling during the lockdown - make the most of this time. There really is something very enriching and fulfilling about being part of your child’s educational journey!

I've got short video tips and resources for homeschooling parents and #workathomeparents at my YouTube Channel. See, share & subscribe: HERE.

NOTE: Feel free to join me for my 30-minute FREE Facebook Live workshop on "Make Homeschooling Fun". Details below. Please WhatsApp me to sign up for this workshop.

#homeschooling #homeschoolinindia #teachathome #homeschoolmom #militaryhomeschooling #Indianhomeschool #hopmeschooledkid #freeworkshop #homeschoolingworkshop 

1 comment:

  1. Hi...nice write up. I m also homeschooling my son for the last one and a half year. We are now enjoying it and not taking it very seriously as to finish a particular lesson in a day. He is now 5.8 years.Our major part goes in art and craft, painting,story making and story reading. Hard core academics is just 1 hour that too 4-5 days a week. Your posts are informative.Its always good to hear from people sailing in the same boat.


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