Home schooling is an alternative to the traditional private or public school system of education.It simply means education of children at home by their parents.
Home schooling is becoming popular in developed countries, as a lot of parents in these countries are withdrawing their children from school to be homeschooled. While it’s legal in some countries it’s illegal in others.
Parents choose to homeschool their children for different reasons ranging from religious reasons, limited access to quality education for their children, nature of work, needs of the child etc
Home schooling is not a new development in our school system, it is the way most people were educated before the traditional school system was established, even in our traditional Nigerian setting, parents though not literate in western education also taught their children a lot of values, life lessons and skills by themselves at home.
Is it possible to homeschool you child in Nigeria ?
Yes of course, it is.
However, with the Nigerian class mentality and show off lifestyle coupled with the fact that one major determinant of how wealthy you are in Nigeria depends on the kind of school your child attends, it will take well informed, well trained Nigerian parents and for exceptional reasons to choose homeschooling over the traditional private or public school system because it is a concept that is yet to be fully introduced or practiced in Nigeria.
Nevertheless, home schooling is not prohibited by any law and therefore can be practiced.
Generally, people view home schooled children as socially isolated, however whether this is true or not we will find out!
Is Homeschooling a good option for your child?
One major duty every parents owe their child is the duty to make good decisions in the best interest of the child until they come of age. Every child deserves the best. Whether or not homeschooling is good for your child depends on your child’s needs , and your mental readiness to go extra miles in giving your child the best!
Advantages of homeschooling in Nigeria
- Bonding : This is one great advantage homeschooling have over the traditional school system. You get the chance to spend a lot of time with your child while they are still young and living with you, you get to create a lot of memories together and also discover their unique qualities , know what their strength and weaknesses are . It also helps you to become an integral part of your child’s learning journey, while also giving your child enough time to bond with other members of the family.
- Flexibility : You have the liberty to choose your child’s learning style, learning schedule , activities you want your child to be involved in , all in accordance with your child’s needs and understanding.
- Quality Education: If you are knowledgeable in the subjects that your child ought to take, then it’s an added advantage, because your rest assured your child is learning from the best. The traditional School setting involves one teacher teaching over twenty pupils , as a result of which not every child will be able to learn at the same pace. The slow learners are always left behind or tagged dull brains. However, homeschooling will help your child to learn at their own pace.
- Peer Pressure: In the traditional school system, where there are children from different backgrounds and with different learning abilities. Some children are termed the intelligent ones, the most preferred and all of that, making other children to think less of themselves. However, this is not obtainable in home schools which have been proven to help children develop self confidence and self esteem.
- Quality child care: Who else can take care of your child better than you? A lot of parents have lost their children to acts of bullying by their fellow school children or teachers, this is not obtainable with home schooling, because you get to spend time with your child and take care of them yourself or have other take care of them under your watch.
- Life’s lessons : It is not news that a lot of life’s lessons essential for the actualisation of a child’s full potentials are not taught in schools. You will have the time to teach your child all there is to know.
- Safety : In Nigeria there has been incidents of kidnapping of school children, recently in Abuja a lot of schools were forced to stop school activities because of insecurity, this is a tangible reason to homeschool your child if you are in any of the affected areas.
Disadvantages of homeschooling in Nigeria
- Familiarity : It depends on how you manage your relationship with your child, this means that you have to strike a balance; you do not need to be too strict with your child as it can hinder your child’s learning. On the other hand you do not have to be too lenient. When there is a lack of balance and discipline, your child may not pay attention or may not carry out assigned task and this will definitely have a negative effect on the child’s learning.
- Responsibility: Homeschooling comes with a whole lot of responsibilities, and a lot of sacrifices need to be made to achieve the best . One can not handle a 9 – 5 job while homeschooling, you might have to spend more time researching on materials and teaching styles that you end up not having enough time for yourself.
- Knowledge and training : In order to ensure that your child is getting quality education you have to be knowledgeable in the necessary subjects your child is taking and if not knowledgeable be ready to learn, unlearn and keep learning.
- Societal pressure: The society especially in Nigeria has not fully understood the concept of home schooling. Therefore, they will either assume that you can not afford to train your child in school or that your child will not be academically sound or that your isolating your child socially. There will be constant need to explain your reasons for choosing to homeschool and pressures to conform to the widely acceptable norm.
The traditional school system has produced a lot of great personalities likewise the homeschooling system, great personalities like;
- Thomas Edison the inventor of the first commercially available incandescent light bulb was home schooled by his mother who was a school teacher , as he was considered a difficult child at the public school.
- Agatha Christie a renowned author of Mystery novels was home schooled by her father
- The Williams sisters, Serena and Venus Williams multiple tennis champions and Olympic gold medalists, were homeschooled by their parents from elementary school through high school
- Theodore Roosevelt Jr., the 26th President of America, who was described as a weak and asthmatic child, was homeschooled by his mother.
- Sandra Day O’Connor, Associate Justice of U.S Supreme Court, was homeschooled by her mother who was a teacher
Prior to now, a lot of early presidents, scientists, writers, musicians, artists , inventors were at some point in their life were homeschooled.
Needs of the child versus societal pressure to conform with the norm
The needs of the child will always take precedent over any other reasons why you choose to either opt for homeschooling or the traditional schooling system, which ever you choose should not be based simply on the expectations of the society.
Homeschooling is for you if:
- If your child is a slow learner, this does not mean they are not intelligent, it only means they learn at their own pace) or is having trouble picking up in school
- If your child has any other learning challenges, health challenges or is a special need child and you have not been able to find a school to meet their needs within your budget
- If the traditional school system is not something you can afford at the moment.
What happens to the areas you are not knowledgeable about?
You can employ private tutors to help out if necessary. There are plethora of online classes you can access. Recently, there are groups of homeschoolers, a whole networking community where homeschooling parents come together to share ideas and help each other online and offline as well.
Homeschooling is a great choice to be made, once the parents are ready for the great commitment ahead. Homeschooled children are not socially isolated as there are lots of avenue through which they can be able to socialise with other children, through the church, through family outings , associating with children from their neighborhood etc.
READ ALSO: Parents’ Corner: 6 Tips To Support Your Child’s Homeschooling