By Wanambwa M. Rogers
According to Wikipedia, Homeschooling, also known as home education is the education of children at home or a variety of places other than school. Home education is usually conducted by a parent or tutor or online teacher. Many families use less formal ways of educating. “Homeschooling” is the term commonly used in North America, whereas “home education” is commonly used in the United Kingdom, Europe, and in many Commonwealth countries.
According to an article by Mariam Issimdar that appeared in BBC news on 25th April 2018, homeschooling in the UK increased by 40% over three years. Across the UK 48,000 children were being home-educated in 2016-17, up from about 34,000 in 2014-15.
In the US, homeschooling has seen a steady increase over the years from just 850,000 children being homeschooled in 1999 to over 1.77million by 2012. This figure has since grown.
The above figures are from the National Center for Education Statistics of United States Department of Education.
So why would parents want to homeschool their children?
1) Most parents who offered a reason for homeschooling blamed “dissatisfaction with the school environment”
2) Lack of school choice, unmet special educational needs and the “rigour and limits” of the current school curriculum
3) Kids should love studying and this can only be done by letting them study things in the field of their interest.
4) Life is about relationships and nowadays parents and their children never seem to get enough Tim together. Homeschooling helps to build these relationships.
5) Children need to believe that they have potential but this is increasingly being destroyed in regular school goers because of many factors. Bullying being top factor.
6) Kids should be learning things that actually matter and the current school curriculum doesn’t cover this.
7) Homeschooling helps strengthen children’s faith
8) No time wastage because children study only those things deemed relevant for them.
9) Affordability: Although this may contended, it is believed this form of education is generally cheaper.
These and many others and some of the reasons for homeschooling. However, homeschooling also has some demerits, and these are:
a) Absence of Certified Educational Professionals: This is obviously a huge problem.
b) Special Needs May Not be Met: Children and parents with special needs may find a handing this since the parents may not know how to handle them.
c) Homeschool Burnout: As it is, the parent may become tired of this process s8nice they are burdened with other priorities. Same applies to the child that stays in the same environment for years.
d) Shifting Priorities: These may be on the side of both the parent and the child. It brings in conflicts between the two parties.
e) High Costs: Although in other countries like Canada it may be a way to lessen costs, in Uganda it may turn out to be incredibly expensive to maintain the curriculum and all required expenses.
f) Social pressure: This is from the society in which one lives that may not understand that whole concept of ‘homeschooling’ especially here in Uganda.
In Uganda, homeschooling is catching up fast and many people are getting to know that it actually also an option and can be dome efficiently, and sustainably. Although it was a relatively new phenomenon for this generation, we all know that our ancestors used to home school thier children and inculcated whatever discipline and knowledge they into their children from home and other places.
By looking at other countries and how they managed to deal with homeschooling in the 21st century, we can ably create an environment where homeschooling is no longer a strange thing but another way of educating our children. This is why I dedicated more of this article at looking other countries and the known advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling.