Posted by: fatherof11 | January 11, 2006

Homeschooling vs School at Home

Before I discuss why I think homeschooling is the only reasonable choice for newly adopted foreign children, I want to make a distinction. That is the distinction between homeschooling and doing school at home. As homeschooling has become more popular, many people have started homeschooling without having thought much about it. To them homeschooling means doing school at home.

The problem is that the standard classroom was designed for efficient education of large numbers of students. Because of this the approach to teaching has been tailored to insure that most students get an adequate education. Unfortunately, that often means that only a few students get the best education for themselves. Students at either end of the spectrum often end up losing out. The students at the higher end are hindered by the pace required to allow the majority to keep up, while the students at the lower end are left behind because they are not capable of keeping up with the same pace.

Also, different students have different ideal learning styles. The traditional classroom favors some while impeding others because they do not fit the preferred mode of education. In the end, each child has an ideal way in which they can learn. A mass production methodology cannot service all these children well.

The problem then with schooling at home is that it often does not fit the needs of the child. It also can be very difficult for the parent/teacher as the kids are typically spread out over a much wider academic range than the traditional classroom. With more than one or two kids, the traditional school method can be almost impossible to enact because the teacher has too many different subjects to teach to too many students.

Thus true homeschooling needs to be different that just doing traditional school at home. The curriculum and methodologies need to be tailored to the individual child. The child needs to be given the tools to learn and then trained to self direct his learn. This requires more work initially, but often shows long term benefit by providing a superior education, often with less work on the part of teacher.

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