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What You Should Know About Homeschooling

what-you-should-know-about-homeschooling

Some understanding and thinking about "school at home"

One

If one day, you find that the children in grade one are disgusted with their study and school because of the large amount of homework. Their once curious and shining eyes have lost interest in everything.

If one day, the first day of junior high school children run home to tell you: I want to study at home, school all day is either homework or examination, I have no time to do what I like, I want to learn painting and programming.

At this point, would you like to offer your child another way of education? In fact, many parents in various countries are already trying.

Two

Recently, I saw a paper about a German family school (also known as "school at home") written very well, and summarized it with mind mapping.

Here is an overview:

Germany is one of the few Western countries that do not recognize the legal status of family school. It is stipulated by law that school-age children/juveniles must receive education at school. Unless otherwise, it is illegal to carry out family school education in Germany.

In spite of this, a wave of family school movement has been formed in Germany since the end of the 20th century. 

The reasons can be divided into two types: 

Religious motivation (that the knowledge or secular values delivered by schools are inconsistent with their own religious values) and 

Alternative education motivation (such as dissatisfaction with the current school system, strong autonomy of teaching at home, good effect; obstacles in the social integration of children, children are superior to others. 

The talent is not suitable for school education.

Because the family school has no legal status, German parents who choose family school education have to adopt various strategies to deal with the judicial dilemma.

The low tolerance of family school in Germany has its specific social, historical, and cultural reasons. In the long run, the legalization of family school in Germany should be the general trend, but in view of historical and cultural reasons, the realization process must belong.


Three

What is "home school"?

"Homeschooling" is still a new thing in most of the country, but internationally, there is a common English word "homeschooling", also known as home education and home school education. It is a unique way of education in the United States that began to sprout at the end of the 19th century. 

At that time, some middle-class families with strong economic strength and higher cultural quality, because they recognized the disadvantages of school education, such as procedural and mechanical, and for religious and security considerations, they were unwilling to send their children to school, so they chose their own way of educating their children at home. 

They lead their children to learn by themselves, pay more attention to children's personality, talent, and interests, and choose appropriate education methods and learning priorities on this basis.

Why do people choose to "go to school at home"?

Giving up the "welfare" of national compulsory education, taking great risks and paying more time, energy, and financial resources, why? From the research data of homeschooling in various countries, we can find that there are four main reasons for people to choose home school education.

1. Keeping watch on religious goals. 

This is mainly reflected in western countries. Many parents think that knowledge and values transmitted by school education are inconsistent with their own religious doctrines and that homeschooling can better preserve and inherit religious beliefs.

2. Disappointment with school education. 

This should be a common problem for all countries. School education usually embodies the national ideology transmits the core values of society and implements collective teaching, which inevitably fails to meet the individual needs of each student. 

Many parents do not agree with the school's educational philosophy and unified mechanical teaching methods. At the same time, the safety of the school environment, campus bullying, and other issues also make parents worry and distrust school education.


3. Hope for home school. 

Parents are dissatisfied with traditional school education and hope for home school education. According to the characteristics of their own children, adopt relatively free teaching and learning methods, pay attention to children's personalized learning interests, and provide relevant learning content. 

According to children's learning characteristics, flexible arrangement of the teaching plan, and progress. Unlike school education, parents can fully mobilize their children's life experience and establish a connection between knowledge and life. 

Of course, family school education needs all kinds of conditions from good hope to a reality.

4. Children's special needs. 

Some children have extraordinary intelligence and conventional school education can't meet the demand for knowledge; some children are hyperactive or have short concentration time, so they can't adapt to the school education with uniform action; some children have special talents such as music and sports, so they need to match the personalized schedule with rehearsal, training, and performance.

what-you-should-know-about-homeschooling


What is the status of "homeschooling" in various countries?

In the United States, "homeschooling" has experienced a development process from scratch, from small to large, from illegal to legal. Before the 1970s, "homeschooling" was considered illegal in most states of the United States, and had been "encircled" by the public administration. 

The only way for parents to implement the "homeschooling" program is to hide in Tibet. After a long time of social debate and the struggle of many families involved, the government gradually recognized the legitimacy of homeschooling. 

At present, family school education has gained legal status in 50 states of the United States and has become another important form of education besides public schools and private schools. 

The good planning structure of the American community provides necessary hardware guarantee, abundant learning resources, and social practice opportunities for family school students.

Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Denmark and Australia, have also experienced a similar development process. So far, home education has become a specific form of education parallel to school education, with a steady increase in the number, and national mutual aid and resource network system has been formed. 

In France, there are more than 10000 students who, under the guidance of their parents, choose to study at home or travel around the world. As long as you submit a request for instructions to the municipal government before the start of school every year, you can become a member of the "homeschooling group". 

The education management department sends professional inspectors to visit the children's learning environment and test the learning results every year. If the standards set by the education department are not met, parents must send their children to school. Germany is one of the few Western countries that do not recognize the legal status of homeschooling, as mentioned above.


The basic law of education in Japan clearly stipulates that the state and local governments should respect the autonomy of the family education and Japanese academic circles generally believe that if certain conditions are met, parents of children can refuse to send their children to public or private schools for compulsory education. 

Russia juxtaposes the family education form with the off-campus examinee system as the legal form of formal education. However, children who attend school at home must take part in the school examination. Those who pass the examination can continue to study at home; those who fail to pass the examination must go back to school (study in regular classes and make-up examinations or repeat grades).

The main reasons for choosing to go to school at home are "do not agree with the school's educational philosophy", "the progress of school teaching is too slow", "children are not fully respected in school", "children are tired of school life" and "religious belief reasons". 

Four of them are closely related to school and the most common reason is that they choose to go to school at home because of "not agree with the educational concept of school".

There are six main ways for children to learn at home, which are: 

  • Parents teach their children
  • Several parents help each other in teaching
  • Employ tutors to teach 
  • Hire tutors to teach with their parents 
  • Children self-study and 
  • Participate in social training institutions.

Among them, parents who adopt "parents teach children" and "children learn by themselves" are the most. Children's extracurricular activities from high too low are reading extracurricular books, doing housework, gathering friends, playing football and other sports activities as well as social and cultural activities.

So, what about homeschooling

According to the research of the report, the effectiveness of homeschooling was investigated from six aspects: 

  • Children's mathematics and calculation ability 
  • Writing and writing ability
  • Oral expression ability
  • Interpersonal communication ability 
  • Vision and knowledge and 
  • Self-care ability. 

The results show that parents think that children's ability to go to school at home is in the middle and upper levels. 

According to the average score of each ability from high to low, 
  • vision and knowledgeability 
  • oral expression ability 
  • writing and writing ability 
  • mathematics and calculation ability 
  • communication ability.

What about the future of homeschooling children? For the children after kindergarten graduation and compulsory education stage, most parents choose "continue to study at home". 

For the children's plans after high school graduation, most parents choose "to study abroad", followed by "take part in the college entrance examination and enter the University". 

Most parents are clear about their children's future plans, and one-third of them hold a wait-and-see attitude towards their children's future. A few parents are worried and do not know the future direction.

What are the information sharing channels for homeschooling? 

There are mainly three types: 

  • National mutual aid exchange (such as the first national homeschooling seminar sponsored by the 21st Century Institute of Education). 
  • Network (such as QQ group, homeschooling alliance network, etc.) and 
  • Local group activities such as homeschooling salon. 

According to the degree of common use and effectiveness, the order in the network. 
  • Local group activities 
  • National mutual aid exchange. 

Therefore, on the basis of abundant online communication activities, the organization, and the development of offline communication activities should be strengthened, especially the communication among multiple self-organization modes.


Parents' common puzzles and problems with school at home? 

  • Lack of mutual aid group activities
  • Unclear policies and regulations
  • Limited learning resources
  • Lack of professional guidance, difficult to implement
  • Difficult to choose teaching materials
  • Lack of economic strength and 
  • School and government intervention.

The most needed support and help for parents is: 

  • Regular mutual aid group activities
  • Domestic and foreign-related information sharing 
  • Professional guidance on teaching methods and textbook selection 
  • Expansion of educational resources 
  • Support of policies and regulations.

What is the future of homeschooling? According to the home schooling Research Report, 48.60% of parents are very optimistic about the future trend of homeschooling, believing that learning to learn at home is the choice of more and more families; 39.66% of parents are cautious about homeschooling and think it is only the choice of a small number of families; only 6.15% of parents are not optimistic about it and are worried about the status and 5.59% of parents choose "hard to explain".

what-you-should-know-about-homeschooling


Four

With regard to homeschooling, although different countries have their own characteristics, they all involve the discussion of several issues. 

Here's my opinion.

1. Legalization

The government and the public think that it is illegal to go to school at home, which is mainly based on the national compulsory education law. Because the "Compulsory Education Law" stipulates that parents or other guardians must make their children or guardians attend school on time and receive compulsory education for a specified number of years. 

If there are special circumstances that require postponement or exemption from admission, the application shall be submitted and approved by the local government. 

However, the implementation of "school at home" has not made school-age children enter the school on time and have not been approved by the local government.

However, we think about it a little bit. The compulsory education law stipulates that parents have the obligation to send their children of school age to receive compulsory education for a specified period of time. 

It is to ensure children's basic educational rights and is a policy introduced to popularize national education. Most of the parents who "go to school at home" do not mean not to send their children to school, but to enable their children to receive education better and faster. 

As long as the family has such educational resources and can let their children complete the teaching materials and courses prescribed by the state according to the requirements of the compulsory education law, the choice of family education the model does not conflict with the relevant laws. 

All children should be educated, but not necessarily in a particular way. As long as we can achieve the same purpose of education and achieve a certain standard of education quality, no matter what kind of education method and form is adopted, it is OK. 

Therefore, with the development of society, when people have higher requirements and better solutions to education, the state should not only rely on legal provisions to restrict parents and children's right to choose education, but should update the law to better protect children's education.

In addition, some countries regard family school as illegal because it may affect the state's control over education, or worry that religious groups may use it to affect social stability. 

In fact, many families do not choose family schools for religious reasons, they are not marginalized groups and they are not totally against the compulsory education system and have no intention of overthrowing the school system. They just hope that family school can exist legally as a supplement and alternative form of school education. 

This actually involves the degree of democratization of education in the country, as well as the consideration of collective interests and individual interests. How to ensure the "formal equality" of all school-age children/adolescents to receive an education with the same content, but also to ensure the "relative equality" oriented by teaching students according to their aptitude, so as to realize the optimization of the form and content of individual education.


2. Socialization

Both the bystanders and practitioners of homeschooling should question the impact of choosing the home school on children's socialization, because it is obvious that the children who go to school at home have different experiences from their peers at school. 

To separate children from their peers artificially and limit their normal communication with peers may cause certain psychological barriers to children and affect their early socialization.

In fact, it depends on whether the implementers of homeschooling have the consciousness to make up for and cultivate children's social development. Children receiving home school education do not mean that they are isolated from society. 

They can meet the needs of social interaction by participating in community activities, such as learning musical instruments, participating in teams or interest clubs, or through the interaction between "home schools", parents leading their children to participate in life practice and social public welfare activities. 

In fact, children in "home school" have more time to participate in social welfare activities, visit museums and carry out field trips because they don't have too much test pressure. They have more opportunities and richer ways to contact and participate in society than students in public schools.

In addition, in the current school education mode, the school cannot reproduce the real social environment. In fact, it is a pure peer environment created by human beings, which may not really have the function of promoting social integration. 

Therefore, there are many related researches advocating mixed-age teaching to promote students' Socialized cooperative learning. Many scholars believe that the learning environment of children who choose to go to school at home is closer to "real life" then the "artificial" environment of the school. 

On the contrary, there are many problems in the process of individual socialization of school students, such as unfair competition between students, the spread of bad information, campus bullying, etc. How to realize individual socialization reasonably is the key point to be considered in "school at home".


3. Learning effectiveness and quality assurance

According to relevant statistics and media reports, the effect of "learning at home" seems obvious. Family schools train children according to their aptitude and personality so that they can receive a better and more appropriate education. 

A lot of research shows that the performance of home school children is higher than the average level, and their autonomous learning ability is often stronger.

However, the doubters believe that the effectiveness of "learning at home" and how these children develop ultimately depend on future follow-up surveys and case studies.

For individual families, homeschooling is another possibility. As for the results and results, we can only pursue and make efforts in a good direction. Making a choice also means bearing the consequences of the choice, only because it is considered to be the best one in the range of choices, and there is no absolute criterion for judging it. 

For the country, it may adopt some qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure, which needs to be studied and tested for a long time.

I think the statement in the relevant report of the United States gives a very good explanation: in fact, it is too utilitarian to expect that family-school will surpass the regular school in all aspects, and that the children who expect to go to school at home are better than the students of regular school in all aspects. 

As a complementary form of public and private schools, family school opens another door for personalized education and provides another possibility for parents and students with different needs. 

Just as both public and private schools will come out of successful and less successful, happy, and less happy students, family school is also a prism, reflecting different faces. Whether to choose or not, parents need to make full use of their wisdom and practice.


4. Information communication and professional development

Due to the different development of homeschooling in different countries, the legal status, policy support, and social background are also different, so the information communication and professional development of family, schools are very different.

The overall environment in the United States encourages and supports homeschooling. The good planning structure of the American community provides necessary hardware guarantees, abundant learning resources, and social practice opportunities for family school students. 

Many home school associations have sprung up, and some school districts have set up a special home school guidance programs to appoint special teachers to help parents plan and check progress. 

Many museums have special activities for home schools. With the rapid development of the Internet, more and more home school websites emerge as the times require, covering some general information of home schools and providing home school courses. 

These websites provide a great convenience for home schools and their information sharing also provides a valuable reference and guidance for parents in the process of exploration.

At present, most of the country "homeschooling" is still in the small-scale practice stage, the main channel of information sharing is the network, and the local group activities and the national mutual aid exchange meetings are relatively few. 

The practitioners of "school at home" mainly communicate through the "homeschooling alliance" website, micro-blog and other network channels, lack of effective communication among self-organization, and there are few national industry forums and annual meetings, which makes effective communication difficult to form. 

It is suggested that the relevant self-organization organizations should start from the needs of students' growth, "go out" and "please come in", exchange what they have to do, and if necessary, establish a regular "visiting school" mechanism to exchange children's confusion in growth and learning, so that children can feel different forms of education and receive a rich and colorful education. 

In view of the current situation of home schooling in urgent need of professional guidance, it is suggested that home schooling practitioners should fully seek the advice and opinions of educational experts when forming their own training programs, educational models and curriculum systems. 

Make full use of social education resources such as museums, libraries, and art galleries; make use of the resource advantages of the community, and concentrate community forces to provide children with all aspects of practice and exercise Let children participate in a variety of social experience activities, so that children can fully integrate into the society.

what-you-should-know-about-homeschooling


Five

There are many defects in school education, which inevitably require reform. And change will not happen overnight. Moreover, it is difficult to realize individualized teaching for each child according to their aptitude. 

The family-school actually mobilizes family resources and time, which is an upgraded version of family education. Parents take the initiative to make sacrifice and dedication; the starting point is for their children, and objectively also brought social benefits, especially those pioneers.


How to change the family school from a beautiful ideal to reality needs to integrate various conditions. Children's growth needs parents' wisdom and ability, mutual assistance and communication in the community, community social resources, and national policy support. School at home is not suitable for every child, not every parent can do well.

However, I would like to pay tribute to all the parents who seek a better education for their children. They use courage, wisdom, and hard work to cultivate a happy learning soil for their children. May they go better and better on the road of exploration, and children's future needs more such pathfinders.



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