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Homeschooling Pros and Cons

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According to Wikipaedia, homeschooling (also called home education or home learning) is the education of children at home, typically by parents but sometimes by tutors, rather than in the formal settings of public or private school.

More and more parents around the world are choosing to home school their children for a variety of reasons. Here are some of them.

  • School classes are too large.
  • Study material is offensive due to religious, cultural or other differences.
  • Drugs, gangsterism, bullying, and sexual promiscuity is rife in schools.
  • Learning difficulties or special needs are not always catered for in school.
  • Homeschooled kids can dress, act and think the way they want, without worrying about being ridiculed or needing to "fit in."

In South Africa, public confidence in the education system is rapidly deteriorating, therefore more and more parents are choosing to homeschool. Homeschooling in South Africa is estimated to be growing at a rate of 20% per year.

There are some positive reasons to consider homeschooling too, such as

  • You may want to discipline and train your children yourself according to your faith and/or instil your own values into them.
  • You may want your children to travel with you if you have a job that requires being transferred for long periods of time to other countries.
  • Homeschooled kids have a reputation for being self-directed learners and reliable employees when they grow up.

On the downside, discipline may become an issue as your kids look at you as the parent and not the teacher. The lack of social interaction may cause kids to become shy when around others and the laid-back environment at home may make it difficult for kids to adjust to school hours. Kids usually also lose out on team sports. In some cases, one parent may have to give up work when choosing to homeschool.

One should bear in mind that there are many methods of homeschooling and different curriculums available and one need to find those that fit in with one’s family. There are also support groups that offer encouragement and help along the way. They can help with choosing a curriculum, record keeping, meeting applicable laws, and providing opportunities and activities for one’s children.

Home schooling gives children the opportunity to learn about the world from their homes. It also gives parents the chance to develop special bonds with their kids. However, it is not for everyone. It can take up a lot of the parent’s time and if you don't enjoy being with your kids all the time, then homeschooling is not for you.

Specially written for www.babiesonline.co.za by Sara Essop

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