When home is transformed as a school, will learning still be maximized?
Last week, we talked about the pros and cons of online learning and how middle class parents are adopting to this new educational system. This week, we look at homeschooling, another form of education that many middle class families opted to adopt during the pandemic.
Worried about their kid’s safety and health, Mommy Kenna and Daddy Reggie enrolled their 10 year old daughter to homeschooling this year. A first for the family.
I always thought that parents would assume the role of teachers in a homeschool setup so it is a no-no for mommies like me who are on full-time work. Aside for being poor in Mathematics, I also do not have the patience to teach kids.
But it turns out, homeschooling has evolved over the years. This, I learned from Mommy Kenna who said that each student has an assigned supervisor which her daughter can consult with anytime she does not understand a particular lesson. In short, online teachers manage the student’s studies from afar within a structured curriculum.
Homeschool modules are designed to allow students to learn at their own pace. Mommy Kenna said that they received printed modules, similar to books used in traditional schools, which will serve as a guide for day-to-day learning.
An added bonus of homeschooling is its cheaper tuition fees. Coming from an exclusive school which charged more than P100,000 annually for tuition fees alone, Mommy Kenna said they only paid less than half of this amount for homeschooling. They also did not have to invest in a separate laptop which is required now in traditional private schools that have shifted online. Her daughter only uses an old tablet computer to read materials online.
This learning setup is a blended online and homeschooling setup. The homeschooling I have been familiar with for many decades has been the parents-as-teachers setup since one of my best friends since high school has embraced this learning system for her son.
Mommy Jenny has been homeschooling her son since he started school more than 10 years ago. Her husband has always been on a work-from-home arrangement which allowed him to assume the teacher-role for their son. Mommy Jenny’s work is also flexible which allows her to teach her son.
Learning at his own pace with no distractions was Mommy Jenny’s primary consideration when she enrolled her son in homeschooling. For her, a controlled environment prevents her son from being influenced with bad habits. At home, there is absolutely no bullying.
Based on Mommy Jenny’s experience, teaching a homeschooler has never been a problem since information materials are accessible online anytime, anywhere. For more difficult lessons, her son consults his cousins who are on the same grade level for lessons that he cannot understand. To complement his homeschooling, Mommy Jenny enrols her son in Kumon for weekly sessions in English and Math proficiency. Based on assessments, her son’s proficiency in Mathematics is higher than his grade level.
On costs of homeschooling, Mommy Jenny attests that it is way cheaper than traditional schools since they only pay an admission fee. The books are also cheaper.
<strong>Pros and Cons</strong>
Naturally, any learning system – whether traditional, homeschooling, or blended learning – has challenges.
The usual concern with homeschoolers is the lack of socialization opportunities. Since they are almost always at home, how will they learn how to interact with other people? The values of teamwork and ability to adapt to different environments are life skills that one learns in school.
With the enhancements in the homeschooling program, it now has a built-in peer group for parents to interact. They could arrange a schedule for their kids to meet, albeit online for now, due to the pandemic. In the past, parents of homeschoolers do field trips or camping together.
Homeschoolers learn real-world skills from their parents. Mommy Kenna, for example, sells cakes online. When her daughter helps in the kitchen, she learns Mathematics by measuring ingredients for baking. As a bonus, she also learns her Mom’s entrepreneurial skills.
Since the lockdown, homes have been transformed as offices, bakeries, stores, and the like. I have friends who continue to earn from their online selling with products straight from their kitchens.
Now, homes will be transformed as schools. There will always be problems in this new setup. But middle class parents are naturally creative, innovative, and resilient when it involves their children. Learning will continue in whatever means because we value education.