Contrary to popular belief, homeschooling is not a new concept. In fact, most people were homeschooled in the past. This is especially true for the wealthier echelons of society where private tutors were engaged to educate the children of a household. Institutionalised schools only became the norm in the 1900s.
In today’s context, homeschooling means children stay home to learn, usually taught by one or both parents at times that accommodate work commitments and activities. Independent learning centres do not count as homeschool. Sometimes, more qualified persons may be employed to teach more complex subjects, but this is usually for teenage homeschoolers who wish to prepare for college or such like.
In the 1980’s, the number of ‘modern’ homeschooling families in the US surged because the internet made learning a lot easier. Plus social problems in schools seemed more prevalent, probably due to the larger numbers of students per class. Bullying, drugs, unnecessary exposure to illness and other reasons prompted numerous families turn to homeschooling.
Today’s homeschooling families have innumerable resources to aid them on their educational journey. The internet offers a wealth of support, from homeschool networks and forums to syllabuses and teaching aids. Educational material can be found on art gallery websites to the National Geographic Kids online magazine. The Iditarod site has teacher resources and even YouTube hosts many educational videos to teach children things from their ABC’s to frog dissection.
There are many ways to homeschool. Some families choose to follow a syllabus which can be purchased online or second hand from homeschool forums. These range from the classical method, the Trivium which focuses on developing grammar, logic and rhetoric to the Unit Study approach, a more holistic method which calls for the teaching of all subjects from one central theme. Other methods include Unschooling and the Delayed Academic approach. The Eclectic Style which falls bang in the middle allows for the most personal and custom-made education to suit your child’s learning style. There are also religion centred approaches which are popular among Christians and Muslim families who wish for their children to have a strong foundation in their faith.
Whatever method you opt for, homeschooling is a great way to tailor an education for the needs, strengths and weakness of your child. It can also promote closeness within the family and remove your child for potentially negative influences at school which you would otherwise be helpless to protect them from.
As I keep getting asked to provide more information on ‘homeschool centers’, here is a post from April 2011 which deals with it.
I am not a homeschool centre. You cannot send me your children. They cannot enrol with me. I am not qualified to recommend any nor am I a directory of homeschool centres in PJ, Kajang, Ipoh etc. I am a mother doing her level best to let her children learn what they want to learn, when they want to learn, where they want to learn. I don’t use a syllabus and I don’t have a timetable.
Homeschooling is a personal choice for parents to take responsibility for their own children’s education. A homeschool centre (like any other one size fits all school), in my opinion would be anathema to this. While they are different to mainstream schools, they are still schools. If that is what you want for you child, that’s fine. But please understand the difference and realise that you are wasting your time asking me for help or advice.
See how short this post is? It’s because I don’t know much about the topic