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Home Schooling in India

Want to give your children Gurukul education at home?

Homeschooling can be a great way to provide your child with a customized education. Traditional schooling or factory schooling as I usually call it had only one stated purpose i.e. to produce clerks for their English masters as outlined in T.B. Macaulay’s Minutes of Education. It worked to fulfill British goals but didn’t do any good for the natives i.e. Indians.

The current education infrastructure is not capable to adapt to the changing needs of the time. It produces people for the job and as we all know that in world economies going forward most of the jobs going forward doesn’t exist right now. So this system is preparing you for something that is already obsolete.

Homeschooling can be seen as a long-term solution for all the above-mentioned problems and more. So in this post, we will take a look at homeschooling in general and how can it be applied to the Indian context to meet the needs of Indian society. Let’s start with the basics first:

What is homeschooling?

Homeschooling means teaching your children at home rather than sending them to regular schools either private or public. Homeschooling children are taught with learning resources that are readily available in the market in the form of textbooks viz. NCERT or otherwise. In addition, homeschoolers have the option of free-form learning i.e. learning as life progress.

Homeschooling is a method of learning that takes place outside of the confines of traditional schooling and places parents/guardians in charge of their child’s overall development. However, when concerns about a rigid education system grew, other parents began experimenting with the idea as well.

In homeschooling, children learn through instructions provided by family members, real-life experience, or hired online or offline tutors. Homeschooling can be an ideal way to provide your child with a customized education that meets their unique needs and interests. In addition, homeschooling can provide families with a greater sense of control over their child’s education and the ability to instill their values and beliefs.

Homeschooling: A growing trend in India

India’s current education system as well as infrastructure is lacking, to say the least. For a long time, people didn’t have many options but to send their children to the same inefficient and severely lacking schools. But disruptions caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made everyone rethink about education.

In this scenario, homeschooling has emerged as a real contender in India. Covid-induced lockdowns, a plethora of innovative ideas of Edtech, and plenty of time at hand have strengthened the homeschooling argument over traditional schooling. The availability of resources and the contribution of various Edtech firms have added immensely to the popularity of Homeschooling in India.

But the real question is why is it growing and whether can you homeschool your kids too or whether is India ready for homeschooling.

The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly one of the main reasons why people like homeschooling more. But it is certainly not the only factor. India is seeing a slow yet steady growth rate of homeschooling in India. Before the pandemic, there were more than 50000 families mainly teachers and parents employed in the technology sector. And after the pandemic, the numbers are all set to grow even more. Rest assured the homeschooling trend is not a fad and it is here to stay.

Why should you Homeschool your kids?

There are many reasons why parents choose to homeschool their children. Some parents feel that the public school system is not meeting their child’s needs. They may feel that their child is not getting enough individual attention, or they may not like the teaching methods being used.

Other parents may have religious or philosophical reasons for wanting to home-school their children. They may want to instill their values in their children, or they may want to protect their children from the negative influences of their peers.

There are a few things to consider before deciding to homeschool your child. First, you will need to make sure that you are comfortable with the idea of being your child’s primary teacher. You will also need to make sure that you have the time and resources necessary to provide a quality education for your child. Finally, you will need to check with your state’s homeschooling laws to make sure that you comply.

Advantages of Homeschooling

There is a great deal of debate surrounding the topic of homeschooling, with some proponents arguing that it offers a more structured and individualized educational experience, while others argue that it can be more chaotic and less effective than traditional schooling. There are pros and cons to both approaches, and ultimately it is up to the parents and students to decide what type of educational setting is best for them.

Proponents of homeschooling argue that:

  1. Homeschooling allows for a more structured and individualized educational experience.
  2. It can be more flexible and tailored to the needs of the child.
  3. Homeschooling can be more intimate and allow for stronger bonds between parent and child.
  4. It teaches children to be more independent and self-motivated.
  5. It can allow for greater opportunities for creativity and exploration.
  6. It can provide a more nurturing and supportive environment.
  7. Homeschooling is always more affordable than traditional schooling but it does have costs associated.
  8. Homeschooling allows parents to be more involved in their child’s education.
  9. It can allow children to avoid negative peer pressure and bullying.
  10. Homeschooling allows children to learn at their own pace.

The disadvantage of Homeschooling

There are a few disadvantages to homeschooling as well. One is that parents may not be qualified to teach all subjects. Another is that homeschooling can be expensive because parents often have to purchase curriculum and materials. Finally, homeschooling can be time-consuming for parents because they have to plan lessons and teach all day.

So the main disadvantages of homeschooling can be outlined below:

  1. Lack of certified teachers
  2. In some cases, Increased expenses
  3. No readymade solution

But if you ask me, these are not disadvantages but advantages of homeschooling. Traditional schooling which I like to call factory schooling has everything bad going for them. The sheer inefficiency of the system should make your bells ringing not to mention the financials, bullying, etc.

How Do You Get Started with Homeschooling?

There is no single answer to this question as every family’s homeschooling journey will look different. But we would like to direct you in a direction that will

Main Boards for Homeschooling in India

With the widespread popularity of homeschooling in India, open education and learning have become more formalized to ensure that students learning through this form of education aren’t lacking in anything.

NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling)

The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) is an open learning board in India that provides a platform for students to continue learning through homeschooling. This board allows parents to homeschool their children and undertake major qualifications like class 10th and 12th exams. Students are required to register with the board and the certification earned through the exams conducted by it is equal to any other board in the nation. It offers education at different levels and emphasizes vocational learning along with formal education.

IGCSE

International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is an internationally accredited qualification for students studying under the homeschooling pattern. It is conducted at the 10th class level and has multiple phases to evaluate the learning of a child from the preliminary level to the advanced level. Candidates appear for the examination as private candidates and can earn a qualification that is valued worldwide.

Different Teaching methodology

Many methodologies are being followed by homeschoolers. Some of them we are going to discuss below

1. Unschooling

Unschooling is an educational method and philosophy that emphasizes learner-chosen activities as a primary means of learning. Unschooling students learn through their natural life experiences including play, household responsibilities, personal interests and curiosity, internships and work experience, travel, and social interactions. They are not restricted to a traditional school timetable or curriculum and may learn at any time of the day or night. The focus of unschooling is on learning rather than schooling.

2. Structured versus unstructured

There are two main types of homeschooling: structured and unstructured. Structured homeschooling follows a more traditional educational approach, with a set curriculum, lesson plans, and regular testing. Unstructured homeschooling is more flexible and often relies heavily on hands-on learning and real-world experiences. Both approaches have their pros and cons, and it’s important to find the right fit for your family.

3. Supported

In this type, homeschoolers can partner with a school, a program, or an accredited homeschool academy that supports them in their homeschooling endeavor. Everything from curriculum choice, to grade, to state laws can be supported through an accredited academy.

Distance learning Vs Home Schooling

There are several important differences between distance learning and homeschooling. For one, distance learning generally takes place in a more structured setting, with set class times and deadlines for assignments.

Homeschooling, on the other hand, allows for a more flexible schedule. Additionally, distance learning courses are often taught by credentialed teachers, while homeschooling is typically done by parents or guardians. Finally, distance learning courses generally follow a more traditional curriculum, while homeschooling can be customized to the individual needs of the student.

Online learning (eLearning) Vs Home Schooling

In the past, homeschooling was seen as an alternative to public education. Today, homeschooling is seen as an educational option on par with public school, private school, and online education. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here, we will compare and contrast online learning vs. homeschooling.

Advantages of online learning Vs Homeschooling

Online Learning:

  1. Students can learn at their own pace.
  2. Students can receive a customized education.
  3. Students can learn from anywhere in the world.

Homeschooling:

  1. Parents can tailor the curriculum to their child’s specific needs.
  2. Parents can control the learning environment.
  3. Parents can spend more time with their children.

Disadvantages of online learning Vs Homeschooling

Online Learning:

  1. Students can get distracted at home.
  2. Students may not have access to quality education.
  3. Students may not receive the social interaction they need.

Homeschooling:

  1. Parents may not be qualified to teach.
  2. Parents may not have the time to homeschool.
  3. Homeschooled children may not have the opportunity to socialize.

Homeschooling Curriculums

If you decide that homeschooling is the right option for your family, there are a few things you can do to make the transition as smooth as possible. First, take some time to research different home school curriculums to find one that is right for your child.

You can also join a local homeschooling support group to get advice and assistance from other parents who are homeschooling. Finally, make sure to keep communication open with your child’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other extended family members to ensure that they remain involved in your child’s life.

However, some steps are generally recommended for those considering homeschooling. These steps include:

1. Researching homeschooling: This step is important for both parents and children. It is important to make sure that you understand what homeschooling entails and whether or not it is the right fit for your family. There are many resources available online and in libraries that can help with this research.

2. Talking to other homeschoolers: This can be a great way to get first-hand information about what homeschooling is really like. There are many homeschooling groups and organizations that can help connect you with other families.

3. Developing a plan: Once you have decided that homeschooling is right for your family, you will need to develop a plan. This plan should include your goals for homeschooling, how you will go about teaching, and what type of curriculum you will use.

4. Finding resources: There are many resources available to homeschoolers, including online resources, homeschooling cooperatives, and homeschooling support groups.

5. Registering with the state: In most states, homeschoolers are required to register with the state. This process is generally simple and just requires filling out a few forms.

6. Getting started: Once you have completed all of the above steps, you are ready to start homeschooling!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is homeschooling allowed in India?

Homeschooling is not regulated in India but neither is it outright illegal. Students can opt for either taking IGCSE or NIOS exams for classes 10 and 12th which will provide them with the same opportunities as other regular school-attending students. In addition, homeschoolers always have the option to not take any tests at all.

More and more universities are accepting homeschoolers nowadays. Also, there are many less traditional careers like arts, music, etc. doesn’t require any degree at all.

How many hours are required to teach a child in homeschooling?

There are many modes of homeschooling. For a traditional type pattern, you are looking for somewhere around 4 to 6 hours a day. This is the easiest and most familiar one. You can always start with this pattern and slowly incorporate other elements of learning into it.

Is homeschooling a less expensive option?

Homeschooling can be as expensive or inexpensive of an endeavor as you want it to be. Homeschoolers do not have school infrastructure at their disposal. So you may need to buy some stuff that may be helpful in learning. But you don’t have to.

Is homeschooling more expensive than regular schooling?

In the case of homeschooling, there are no fixed expenses and depends mainly on what you want to teach your children. But that doesn’t mean homeschooling doesn’t incur any cost. You may need to buy charts, notebooks, books, tables, etc.

The beauty of homeschooling is that you don’t have to buy any of the above-mentioned supplies to start teaching. Just keep in mind that your child learns from everything around them. So try to be mindful or intentional about the environment they encounter. Supplies can be helpful sometimes but are not required.

Does CBSE or ICSE allow homeschooling?

CBSE or ICSE boards don’t allow private candidates to appear for board exams. But various state boards do allow private candidates to appear in exams.

In addition, NIOS and IGCSE are popular choices for most homeschoolers in India.

How many kids are homeschooled in India?

There are more than 50,000 families that do not send their children to school. These are, of course, pre-pandemic numbers which I am pretty sure have risen manifolds. But there is no official study that I can quote here.

Does MIT, Harvard, etc. accept homeschoolers?

MIT, Harvard, and other Ivy League universities in the USA accept homeschoolers. In recent years, they are giving preference to homeschoolers, actually.

How do homeschoolers socialize?

Homeschoolers are just like normal kids who go to play in the parks and places nearby. So this is nothing but a myth that homeschooling kids are not able to socialize.

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