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Homeschooling: A popular choice among parents now

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THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD KEYA Padalkar doesn’t go to school anymore. Instead of attending classes, Keya practices tabla everyday and reads up Marathi textbooks. Keya would have been in Class VIII now but it’s been three years since she pulled out of school to be homeschooled by her parents.

Like Keya’s parents, the option of homeschooling children has struck a chord with parents who are now looking at vocational training.

Last month when NGO Forum for Fairness in Education (FFE) held two workshops for parents on homeschooling, around 180 parents participated in total.

“With arbitrary hikes in school fees and school campuses becoming unsafe, parents are opting for grooming their children at home,” said Jayant Jain, president of FFE.

While there is no fixed approach in homeschooling, parents feel it relieves the child of the academic pressure.

“We don’t follow a fixed curriculum. Most of our teaching is experimental and is focused on nature and skills. She enjoys playing the tabla so we let her focus,” said Keya’s mother Jyoti, an agricultural engineer.

“More parents now want to homeschool their kids. This takes off the academic pressure and the children can focus on their creative inclinations,” said Hemali Gada, a member of Swashikshan, an association of parents who have chosen to homeschool their children. Hemali’s daughter had dropped out in the sixth standard.

“When my daughter began homeschooling, she became more creative and intuitive. I could immediately see the difference,” said Hemali.

After completing her boards from the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), she has now gone into junior college. Hemali said NIOS was more flexible and offered a plethora of courses to choose from.

Homeschooling in the United States constitutes the education of about 3.4% of U.S. students (approximately 2 million students). In the United States, the Supreme Court has ruled that parents have a fundamental right to direct the education of their children.The right to homeschool is not frequently questioned in court. But, the amount of state regulation and help that can or should be expected continues to be subject to legal debate.
United States Supreme Court precedent appears to favor educational choice, as long as states set standards.

Homeschooling laws can be divided into three categories:

  1. In some states, homeschooling requirements are based on its treatment as a type of private school (California, Indiana, Texas,[SUP][20][/SUP]). In those states, homeschools are generally required to comply with the same laws that apply to other (usually non-accredited) schools.
  2. In other states, homeschool requirements are based on the unique wording of the state's compulsory attendance statute without any specific reference to "homeschooling" (New Jersey, Maryland, for example). In those states, the requirements for homeschooling are set by the particular parameters of the compulsory attendance statute.
  3. In other states (Maine, New Hampshire, Iowa, for example) homeschool requirements are based on a statute or group of statutes that specifically applies to homeschooling, although statutes often refer to homeschooling using other nomenclature (in Virginia, for example, the statutory nomenclature is "home instruction"; in South Dakota, it is "alternative instruction"; in Iowa, it is "competent private instruction"). In these states, the requirements for homeschooling are set out in the relevant statutes.
While every state has some requirements, there is great diversity in the type, number, and level of burden imposed. No two states treat homeschooling in exactly the same way. Generally, the burden is less in states in category one above. Furthermore, many states offer more than one option for homeschooling with different requirements applying to each option.
Wish there was Home Schooling during our times. I would have opted for the same.

I learnt better when my dad taught me Mathematics and English language.

In school most teachers were ill-equipped technically and psychologically to educate students. Furthermore teachers were biases, showed favoritism, nepotism towards the brilliant ones. Only the children of elite parents shined.

In most cases, the intellectual capacity, wisdom, potentials, talents of many children were curbed. They would have sparkled had they undergone Home-School where there is no pressure, no tension, no conditioning of the mind, where there is freedom to learn at your own pace, will and pleasure!
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