Homeschooling vs schooling at home – it’s the same thing, isn’t it?

No, and I am not embarrassed to admit that it did take me quite a while to fully understand this. Homeschooling has become a viable option for many parents seeking to expand and improve their child’s educational experience, especially since the beginning of Covid-19 in 2020. It

During 2020, many schools shut their doors, lessons were moved online, and schooling continued virtually. And that is homeschooling. The end.

Or is it?

No – in fact, that is simply schooling at home. It’s the same syllabus, the same notes, classes, teachers, homework, etc that your child would get if they were sitting in their classroom in the school building. Covid-19 just moved schooling to the home environment and children continued to learn what was set up in the annual government syllabus.

Girl on her bed doing school work on her laptop

The great thing about all of this though, is that businesses closed their doors as countries went into lockdown and many parents began working from home (and now in January 2022 most are still working from home and seem to be dreading the day when they have to go back to the office!)

And don’t be fooled, many women were able to START and GROW their own businesses and today continue working from home and can be with their children!

But the move to homeschooling grew exponentially in 2020 – many people have called it ‘the homeschooling movement‘ and it will be interesting in a few years to see what has happened and if it has continued to grow.

The public and private school systems are limited, for practical reasons, as to how far they can go to meet a particular child’s educational needs.

Let’s say there are 30 children in a class. There is no way that one class teacher would be able to take the interests of each child and teach them and nurture these interests throughout the year. It can’t happen at school.

But it can happen at home!

The entire homeschooling process is geared towards your child in a one-on-one manner. You can create a particular curriculum suited to your child, and teach in a way that works best for him or her. It is for these reasons, not to mention the economic benefits when you consider the costs associated with private schools, that many parents choose to homeschool their children.

Planning for Your Homeschooling

When you decide to homeschool your children, you’re going to have to come up with a plan for how the subject matter is going to be taught, and a system to execute that plan.

It’s not that easy. Unless perhaps you are or were a teacher.

An important distinction you should make yourself aware of is a philosophical one of “homeschooling” vs “schooling at home.”

The latter method is overly simplistic and doesn’t take advantage of the benefits that homeschooling can truly offer. While every parent is justifiably concerned about creating a disciplined academic environment, if you simply “teach at home” both you and your child will be missing out.

When Home and School Become One

As a teaching philosophy, it’s important to think of the process as “homeschooling” — this means that “home” and “school” become one: it’s not simply a case of school being conducted in a home environment.

So instead of creating regimented lessons at set times – instead of your children sitting stiffly at a table while you give them lessons – be always ready to use the flexibility of homeschooling to your advantage.

If your child has a question about a particular subject in biology, take him outside and show him nature at work. Get some specimens from your local butcher. Go down to the petting zoo. If he’s interested in a certain aspect of history, take him to the museum.

No More Regimented Systems

You can actually be CREATIVE!

One of the greatest things about homeschooling is that it doesn’t have to be a regimented system: a day of learning that runs from 08h00 – 16h00, Monday to Friday.

When homeschooling is properly implemented, your child is always learning, and quite frankly, you’ll most probably be surprised at how much they learn.

During a unit on Shakespeare for example, maybe you’ll decide to take him to a performance of the play on the weekend. If your child is interested in computers, allow them to use their computer for a research project.

Although in some ways you do need a certain regimen when homeschooling, realize that your child’s education doesn’t have to end when you are finished for the day.

Incorporating other educational activities into your daily home life will both expand your child’s education and make it more engaging.

Think of a ‘simple’ household task, like grocery shopping. This includes:
* Looking what is needed
* Making a list
* Having a budget
* Shopping
* Paying and waiting for change (if paying by cash), and waiting for the receipt
* Learning why you might need to keep the receipt
* Unpacking and storage (what goes into the freezer, fridge, cupboard, and why)

This might seem mundane to you, but include your children in this.

girl-shopping-with-her-mom-in-grocery-store

I was very surprised when my 12-year-old was nervous to pay with my debit card incase it didn’t go through. I was with her and showed her what to do if that ever happened. Who knew?

Most children learn better in settings that they are comfortable in, and what setting is more comfortable than the home?

So if your child wants to hear his math lesson while sitting on the couch, let him.

If he wants to watch a movie in the evening, direct him to an educational one.

Try blurring, as much as possible, the line between “home” and “schooling” when homeschooling your children.

They will benefit from a much more valuable educational experience than could be offered from the public or private school systems.

These opinions are my own.