What are the effects of homeschooling on children? (Or what are the social effects?)
Homeschooling is the mode of teaching children at home under parental guidance and support. This form of educating children could ensure that children enjoy the benefits of the home environment which might be conducive to their development as well as remain under the safety of parental care. However, there is the risk of lackadaisical behaviour among children due to not getting exposed to the school environment and the challenges that go with it.
A man is a social animal. Society plays a major role in shaping up the character of any individual and also their outlook towards others. Children are required to be guided by proper means to attain both physical and mental development, starting from early childhood. Schools provide a conducive environment, not only for the physical development of children in the form of involvement in sports and other activities but also social enhancement by moving with peer group as well as intellectual growth through participation in academic activities which are designed keeping in mind the age group of children. They also grow under the care of knowledgeable teachers and supervisors. Both academic and extra-curricular activities are given equal importance in schools with moral values being imbibed right from a young age. It ensures that children achieve complete independence once they reach the end of school and are prepared to face society as they would have acquired the needed skills.
On the other hand, the concept of homeschooling is gaining popularity not only because of the idea of safety (Pride, 2016) which is the priority of parents but also due to the formation of homeschooled children into groups when they can interact with their peer groups.
Debating on the effects on society that such homeschooling could bring about. It may lead to children who only excel in academics with no skills in sports or any other extra-curricular activities and lesser chances of interacting with the public. As they seldom know the world around them, other than their immediate environment, which might include their parents, siblings, neighbours and friends. When they are exposed to the vagaries of society at a later age, when they seek employment or opt for business proposals, they are bound for a rude shock and might think it a great feat to achieve their dreams in the vast world of competition.
Children who have homeschooled also would lose the opportunity of moving with a large group of peers which would make them more narrow-minded individuals who develop the mindset of their parents in viewing the world rather than have their independent thoughts and principles. They seem to be more dependent on adult support throughout their lives.
Parents are burdened more with the responsibility of having children at home all the 24 hours a day, which would lead to mental tension and stress. They should also ensure that either of the parents is at home to meet the needs of the children rather than have the pleasure of working outside the home. They should either go for a family business or take up home-based jobs. They cannot go out their frustration on children.
However, there is the positive aspect of anything, and so homeschooling too. Homeschooled children are known to learn social skills through their parents. Most parents require their children to learn social graces from adults rather than from peers (Homeschool.com, 2016). Also, the formation of groups of homeschooled children has nowadays enhanced the opportunity for these children is to interact with like-minded children and also ensures that parental pressure is not exerted to a greater extent.
Homeschooling develops mutual trust between children and parents. Children are made to learn at their pace which makes them better adapt to situations in life than when inflicting a time-frame for most of their tasks which are the norm in schools. This method of teaching also develops the inner hunger in children to discover new things and learn in the natural environment of their home. They experiment with new things each day and progress better.
In school, children are made to sit for long hours listening to the lectures of their teachers, while those who are in homeschooling can relax as and when they feel like which would refresh their minds. Moreover, there is individual attention on children at home which makes them strong and determined individuals who would work hard to achieve their target. The teaching time is also flexible at home compared to the fixed hours in school which tends to make the children feel tired.
The family could organise field activities once in the week for the children. So bonding between parents and children becomes better. Also, the academic preferences of children can be well known to the parents through personal experience rather than through a mediator, who seems to be the teacher or counsellor at school.
The onus of deciding either in favour of homeschooling or sending children to school lies with the parents. It depends on their view of society and what they could contribute towards making their children better individuals.