In my last post, I wrote about bullying in schools. There was a short clip taken from the Channel 7 News on Sunday 12 August 2018. A parent is so worried about her son’s safety that she has started homeschooling him. More and more parents are doing the same. There has been a 90% increase in students registered for homeschooling in the past 6 years.
Here is the short edited version again:
In the news the following week, there was an even more horrifying article about an 11-year-old girl who was hung from a tree with a skipping rope by another child. While this seems to be an extreme case of bullying, are you also worried about your child’s safety in school? Are you in the same predicament?
Here are some reasons some parents gave for homeschooling their children:
- having a safer learning environment
- the traditional schools do not cater well for the individual. Homeschooling allows parents to focus on their child’s needs; there is flexibility in learning; some parents who have a child with a disability feel that they are not being supported by the public system.
- children are pressured to do well in exams; each pupil is compared to their peers based on how they perform on standardised tests; the desire to learn is externally motivated.
- children learn how to interact socially with mixed-aged people, whether in the community or through extended family members and friends
On the other hand, the arguments against homeschooling are
- it isolates children.
- children are usually taught by someone who is not trained to teach.
- it can limit educational attainment.
But the research on homeschooling is neutral; the findings neither confirm nor disprove any such claims. The gist of it is, homeschooled children appear to do neither worse nor better than those who attend regular school. Children who are homeschooled do not appear to miss out on interactions with other children. For example, Home Education WA has Online Social Networking Groups which parents can join for a whole heap of physical activities near them.
In making the decision whether to homeschool your child or not, here are a few questions you should ask:
- Is my child’s safety at risk in school?
- Is my child’s suited to homeschooling?
- Are YOU up to it?
We will deal with each of these considerations in the upcoming articles. The final decision is up to you.