Will the education of today be the education of tomorrow? Educators must reflect upon current practices and policies and identify ways to transform education to address a myriad of challenges in an increasingly complex world. If we are to prepare pre-primary and primary-aged children for their future, we can no longer rely on traditional education models. When we make rethinking education an ongoing part of our improvement process, we allow for changes to take place that supports dynamic new ways to design and deliver quality teaching and learning.
Kids who are homeschooled have the same access to online learning, friendships, and extracurricular activities as the typical traditional school student — but without many of the drawbacks, like standardized lesson plans and bullying to name a few.
Here are a handful of reasons homeschooling makes sense in 2021.
Personalized learning is a strong method of instruction.
The core idea of homeschooling is the idea that kids need to learn at the speed, and in the style, most appropriate for them. In the education world, enthusiasts call the approach “personalized learning.” Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are big fans of personalized learning since it tends to use technology as a way to tailor lesson plans to students. Personalized learning is an educational approach that aims to customize learning for each student’s strengths, needs, skills, and interests. Each student gets a learning plan that’s based on what they know and how they learn best.
Students can learn more about what they care about.
Without formal curricula to guide their education, homeschoolers get the chance to explore a range of topics that might not be normally offered until high school or university. They can study psychology in Grade six, or finance in Grade 9. While many homeschool families focus on English, math, science, and history, education is by no means limited just to those subjects. Flexible time and the opportunity to work at ones’ own pace allow homeschoolers to put their focus on the subjects that interest them most.
Social media gives kids a way to form lasting friendships.
The most common misconception about homeschoolers is that they lack socialization. Before the internet, there was some truth to the stereotype. But today’s students have just as much opportunity to see kids their own age as those in private or public schools, and often without as much distraction. Homeschoolers still use apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook — which may foster unhealthy and even addictive relationships to tech — but also allow them to meet up with other homeschoolers or those from traditional schools.
Students need not deal with cliques or bullying. Homeschoolers don’t deal with all the downsides of being around kids in a toxic school environment. Plenty of critics argue these downsides are good for toughening kids up, but kids who have experienced bullying first-hand more often face symptoms of depression and anxiety, do worse in class, and show up to school less frequently. Homeschooled kids can learn in a more harmonious and trusting environment.
Schooling isn’t set apart from the “real world.”
Contrary to the name, homeschooling takes place in an actual home only a fraction of the time. A great deal of instruction happens in the ‘outside world’ in real-life situations and amongst peers of varying ages and backgrounds. These experiences have the effect of maturing kids much more quickly and cultivating a trait of open-mindedness. Since kids spend more time around adults in the “real world,” they rarely come to see school as set apart from other aspects of life. Students may achieve more in the long run.
Homeschooling makes sense from an achievement point of view. Research suggests homeschooled children tend to do better on standardized tests stick around longer in university, and do better once they’re enrolled.
The world is changing around us and education needs to evolve at the same pace. We need to prepare our children to be independent, be problem-solvers, and to be able to adapt to their changing environment.