Do you know many parents are exploring alternative methods to traditional schooling as they are not happy with it? They are even opting for alternative methods of education such as Montessori education, homeschooling and more which are more inclusive.
According to a case study published in 2023, many parents have shown dissatisfaction with traditional school teaching methods emerges as a key factor prompting parents to shift towards homeschooling
In this article, we’ll discuss more on homeschooling, how this is different from home education, and how to get govt certification when opting for it in India. So, stay tuned with us!
What is Homeschooling?
As discussed in our previous blog article, homeschooling is an educational approach. Here, parents take on the primary responsibility for their child’s education, unlike the traditional education system. In this method, parents conduct lessons and provide learning experiences within the confines of their home and surroundings.
The preference for this method has increased post-COVID due to the prolonged shutdown of the education system and the manner in which lessons were delivered through online sessions. It is preferred by many parents due to its flexibility and personalized curriculum based on the needs and interests of their children. They may follow a structured curriculum or opt for a more eclectic, interest-based approach when teaching their children.
Do you know? There are around 5 lakhs to 2.7 million children who are homeschooled in India every year.
What is Home Education?
Home education, on the other hand, is a broader term that refers to any type of education that takes place outside of a traditional school setting such as unschooling and online learning programs. It emphasizes on learning beyond the traditional classroom, embracing a diverse range of resources and methods to foster a holistic educational experience.
What is the Difference between Homeschooling and Home Education?
Let’s explore the key differences between homeschooling and home education in a tabular format:
|Parents take the lead in teaching at home.
|A broader term covering various home-based methods.
|Typically offers a flexible schedule and curriculum.
|Can be structured or unstructured, depending on the method.
|Can follow a formal curriculum or be more eclectic.
|Varied, ranging from traditional to alternative methods.
|Primarily centered around the home.
|May extend beyond the home, incorporating diverse learning environments.
|Regulations vary by region; some areas require adherence to specific standards.
|Regulations may differ based on the chosen method.
How to Homeschool your Child?
Homeschooling is like running your own school. Therefore, It is important to understand the efforts required before starting homeschooling your child. It requires careful planning and dedication. This easy step-by-step guide will ease this journey:
- Research Your Local Regulations: The first step before starting the homeschooling journey, you should familiarize yourself with the legal requirements in your area. In India, some regions/ states may have specific guidelines and reporting procedures that you need to follow. Below guide will help you more in this.
- Set Clear Educational Goals: Once you are familiar with regulations, define the educational objectives for each academic year for your child. Keep your child’s learning style, strengths, and weaknesses in mind while defining your goals.
- Select a Curriculum: After defining the educational goals, choose a curriculum, whether it is CBSE, Montessori, ICSE or any other curriculum that aligns with it. There are many pre-packaged curricula available online now a days or you can create a customized plan based on your child’s needs and interests.
- Establish a Routine: Routine is very important as you are guiding the whole learning process of your child. Therefore, it is very important to develop and follow a weekly schedule that incorporates a balance of age appropriate subjects and activities. Having a routine helps create a sense of structure and consistency for both you and your child.
- Create a Dedicated Learning Space: Designate a specific area in your home for learning activities. This space should be free from distractions and equipped with the necessary materials.
- Utilize Resources Beyond the Home: Explore community resources, libraries, museums, and educational programs to supplement your homeschooling curriculum. Real-world experiences enhance the learning process.
Do you know? A study in 2009 looked at how many homeschooled students finish college. It found that around 67% of homeschooled students graduate from the colleges they pick.
What are the Factors to Keep in Mind While Homeschooling?
Like we mentioned earlier that it is more like running a school at home, you need to take care of a few factors that may affect your child’s learning process:
- Provide opportunities for social interaction with peers through homeschooling groups, sports, and community activities. Addressing socialization ensures a well-rounded educational experience.
- Assessment and Feedback:
- Implement regular assessments to gauge your child’s progress. Consider seeking feedback from other homeschooling parents, joining forums, or engaging with educational professionals to ensure your child is meeting academic milestones.
- Be prepared to adjust your approach based on your child’s evolving needs. Flexibility is a key advantage of homeschooling, allowing you to adapt and modify your methods as necessary.
- Parental Support
- Build a support network with other homeschooling parents. Sharing experiences, resources, and advice can be invaluable in navigating the challenges of homeschooling.
How Much Does Homeschooling Cost in India?
The cost of homeschooling in India may depend on various factors such as financial problems, curriculum, number of children in the family and more. Let’s learn more about it:
- Curriculum: The cost of homeschooling depends on whether you go for a pre-packaged curriculum available online which may cost you a few hundreds to thousands of INR or low cost resources available such as videos, free lessons, library, and more.
- Learning Materials: You may need to purchase textbooks and workbooks depending on the chosen curriculum. Similarly, you might need supplementary materials, such as art materials, science kits, and educational games which can contribute to its cost.
- Educational Tools: In today’s scenario, there are a lot of available options on the methods to introduce the concepts to the child. Online programs and educational apps are one of them, but could incur additional costs.
- Other Activities: Learning of a child is not confined to academics but also involves nature, sports, art classes, or music lessons, or field trips, these can add to the overall cost.
- Tutoring or Co-Op Programs: Sometimes parents may feel exhaustive when teaching a few subjects and thus hire tutors, which can be an additional cost.
- Testing and Assessment: To compete in the later years, children require to go through standardized tests or professional educational assessments which may incur fees.
- Accreditation Programs: If parents choose to enroll their child in an accredited online program or use accredited curriculum, there may be associated costs.
We hope this section has given you a fair idea on how to calculate the cost of homeschooling your child. Now, let us understand how to make it affordable.
Based on a survey frequently cited in various homeschooling research, nearly half (49%) of parents think that their children would receive a superior education if they were homeschooled.
6 Proven Tips to Make Homeschooling Affordable
Homeschooling in India, like in many other places, can be made more affordable with thoughtful planning and resourcefulness. Here are six tips to help make homeschooling affordable in India:
Tip #1: Leverage Free Educational Resources
Utilize free online resources and platforms that offer educational content and courses for various subjects. Platforms like Khan Academy, Wisdomnest, NCERT, and other open educational resources (OER) can be valuable. You can also opt for public libraries that offer a wealth of free educational materials.
Tip #2: Explore Affordable Curriculum Options
There are many affordable curriculum options available these days, such as:
- NCERT Curriculum: The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in India provides free and affordable textbooks for various grades and subjects. Consider using NCERT materials as a basis for your curriculum.
- Open Source Curriculum: Explore open-source curricula available online, as they can provide a cost-effective alternative to commercial options.
- Montessori Curriculum: Explore Montessori curriculum that provides a plethora of resources/ lessons to help children learn the concepts while exploring.
Tip #3: Prioritize Essential Supplies
Identify key materials for homeschooling, focusing on basics like stationery, notebooks, and educational tools. You can also consider DIY your own materials using budget-friendly, natural, and recycled resources, aligning with Montessori principles of simplicity and natural elements.
Tip #4: Engage with Community Resources
Explore community programs, cultural events, and educational initiatives that offer discounted or free admission to homeschoolers.
Tip #5: Tap into Online Learning Opportunities
Take advantage of online courses and webinars that are often free or reasonably priced. Many platforms offer a variety of subjects suitable for different age groups.
Tip #6: Investigate Tax Benefits and Local Support
Investigate whether there are any tax benefits or deductions available for homeschooling expenses in your region. Some places provide financial incentives for homeschooling families. Also, be a part of online homeschooling communities to discuss the legal and educational guidance.
Important note: Be aware of any local regulations or policies that may affect your homeschooling journey. Understanding the legal framework can help you navigate the process more effectively.
What are the Different Bodies that Certify Homeschooling in India?
In the dynamic landscape of Indian education, homeschooling emerges as an unconventional yet increasingly acknowledged form of learning. While dedicated nationwide accreditation bodies exclusively for homeschooling may be absent, there exist guidelines and organizations parents can explore for certifying their homeschooling programs. Here’s an insight into these avenues:
National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS): Operated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) stands as an autonomous institution fostering a flexible and open learning system. Tailored for students to pursue academic courses at their own pace, NIOS exams offer homeschoolers an equivalent certification recognized by various boards.
State Education Boards: Homeschooling regulations in India exhibit variability from state to state. Some state education boards embrace alternative forms of education, including homeschooling. Parents are urged to acquaint themselves with the specific guidelines of their state’s education board, adhering to these parameters.
International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE): The Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) presents the IGCSE, a globally recognized qualification tailored for students aged 14 to 16. Many homeschooling families in India gravitate towards the IGCSE curriculum, covering a diverse array of subjects and offering a seamless pathway to higher education.
National Council for Open Schooling (NCOS): Functioning as an independent board of education under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the National Council for Open Schooling specializes in open and distance learning. For homeschooling families seeking an alternative to traditional schooling, NCOS emerges as a viable option.
International Baccalaureate (IB): The International Baccalaureate (IB) program, globally acclaimed, unfolds a challenging and comprehensive curriculum for students aged 3 to 19. Emphasizing critical thinking, research skills, and international-mindedness, homeschooling families in India may opt for the IB program to enrich their educational journey.
Association of Indian Universities (AIU): Although not directly engaged in homeschooling accreditation, the Association of Indian Universities assumes a crucial role in recognizing and equating qualifications acquired from diverse boards and universities. Homeschooling families can seek guidance from the AIU to validate their child’s educational qualifications.
For homeschooling parents in India, staying well-versed with the legal requirements in their respective states is paramount, as these regulations significantly influence the certification process.
Homeschooling is a viable educational option for many families as it provides alternatives to traditional schooling, allowing parents to take a hands-on approach to their child’s education. Before going for homeschooling do your own research about procedure cost to make sure that you are prepared for the challenges.