Friday, October 12, 2007

Is home schooling better than formal education?

Home schooling is somewhat still a revolutionary thing in the part of the world that I am living in. I have been personally brought up through the formal education way which consists of 2 years of kindergarten, 6 years of primary school and 5 compulsory years of secondary school. Nevertheless, there have been more and more exposure or perhaps I should say more choices available now with computers and Internet at the tip of one's fingers. The Internet can be the gateway to knowledge that is.

Being a private or personal tutor to students for more than a decade now, I would say that most kids need personal attention rather than a classroom setting. Many parents were complaining that their children are neglected in their studies and they cannot cope nor catch up with the syllabus or rather parents most were actually more worried that their children are "learning" undesirable traits from peers instead of the teacher. Then there is also the fear of the child's safety which is a real concern these days, with sexual predators and kidnappers out there.

Sometimes, parents choose home schooling for educational rather than ideological reasons. They are fed up with overcrowded classrooms, low academic standards, and safety problems prevalent in many public schools. Disappointed by the often lackluster results of institutional teaching, they believe that they can help their children more by giving the one-on-one attention that home schooling makes possible.

Home schooling also makes it possible to integrate the family's daily activity in the child's education. Instead of using textbooks only, daily experiences such as shopping and checkbook balancing, for example, can help their students comprehend money management, while home repairs make for an excellent primer in measurement. This way the child can see the practicality of the lessons learned.

Do parents need high credentials to qualify as good teachers? . “Parents need not know all the answers in order to encourage their children to seek after answers to their own questions,” says the book Home Schooling—Answering Questions. Children can be directed to appropriate source materials. Parents and children can learn together. And where advanced training or expertise is required, private tutors can be hired on a part-time basis.

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