Home Schooling vs. Traditional Schooling
Home schooling refers to the education of a child or children (usually by a parent or private tutor) at home or a variety of places other than school. Traditional schooling, however, refers to education being done by teachers in a school environment.
These are the questions that I will attempt to answer in this blog.
Home schooling is quickly becoming a popular option for many parents in Trinidad and Tobago for a variety of reasons. However, is this type of education better in the sense of sound teaching methods? Do home-schooled children perform better than those schooled in the traditional school setting, and in addition, are their social skills as developed as those who attend traditional schools?
Home schooling your child can benefit your child in the following ways:
1. Parents or private tutors can extend their curriculum by participating in activities and educational trips involving the child / children being taught.
2. More time can be spent on exploring topics and themes, therefore allowing a deeper understanding of the theme or topic.
3. Parents can get their children involved in various activities (like music or sports) which would not only enhance their academic performance but also their ability to socialize.
4. Parents and private tutors have more control over the duration of time spent on a particular topic or theme based on how well the child responds
5. Parents and private tutors have a choice in the type of learning material the child is exposed to
6. Parents and children are able to spend more time together as a family unit.
7. One-on-one learning is common practice when a child is being home-schooled. A child is likely to receive a higher-quality learning experience through one-on-one learning as opposed to being in a group setting.
8. Parents can instill his or her religious values and beliefs without the worry of outside influences brought from the traditional school setting.
Whilst there are some benefits to home-schooling, there are, however, some disadvantages. These are as follows:
1. Poor social skills may be a disadvantage to home- schooling. There are fewer opportunities for the child to socialize while being home-schooled despite the efforts of the parents to provide opportunities for that to happen.
2. Home-schooling is a time-consuming process, as parents have to provide the learning material and the physical space for learning to take place. Additionally, they must possess the necessary resources (money, transport etc.) to transport their children to and from different places during various outdoor activities.
3. There are standardized tests children have to take which may prove challenging to those who have been home-schooled.
4. Parents must be able to monitor the child’s performance in comparison to children at his/her age level.
5. It may be a challenge for some to keep the child on a schedule due to periodic disruptions throughout the day.
6. Home schooling can be extremely expensive. Typically, one parent is appointed the task of teaching the child while the other parent manages the home schooling. This may limit the number of available resources, activities, etc.
Let us now look at the benefits to traditional schooling.
1. Traditional schooling allows for improved social skills as children interact with other children of his or her age and other adults.
2. In traditional schooling, it is easier for a parent to monitor the child’s performance in relation to other children who not only attend the same school but those who attend other schools.
3. Parents do not have to source appropriate learning materials and activities because their children will already be exposed to appropriate learning resources. Some schools may have activities such as music, physical education and other activities – either as co-curricular or extra-curricular. Once the child attends school regularly, he or she would be exposed to these activities, allowing for the development of various skills and talents.
4. Both parents can now work full-time enabling them to provide more, and better, opportunities for their child.
Some disadvantages to traditional schooling include:
1. Traditional schooling requires a schedule and as a result, there are specific dates and times for certain activities to be completed.
2. Traditional schooling can be an expensive option since parents are required to buy specific learning materials, uniforms, etc.
3. Although there is a common curriculum, all children may not be exposed to quality teaching because the school environment and other factors may vary.
4. There may be several disruptions to the teaching and learning process due to teacher absenteeism, varying learning styles and rates of learning, indiscipline among students, etc.
I have highlighted the benefits and disadvantages of both home schooling and traditional schooling and I cannot conclude that one is better than the other. Every parent, under the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago, is given the responsibility of choosing whether to educate his or her child through home-schooling or not. It is important however, to consider all factors before making such a decision since either decision would have long term effects for the child.
We hope that you found this article informative. Feel free to let us know whether you think home-schooling is better than traditional schooling, or vice versa.
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