All you need to know about homeschooling
Is it possible to master the school material without leaving home? Absolutely! One of the methods which is currently becoming a trend is homeschooling. What is homeschooling and why are parents increasingly opting for this type of education?
What is homeschooling?
Although homeschooling is becoming more and more popular, it is not at all an invention of our times. It flourished as early as in the 19th century. At that time, the wealthiest families hired the so-called governesses. It was in the hands of those people that parents entrusted the education of their children.
Of course, homeschooling does not only mean lessons under the supervision of a qualified person employed for this purpose. Parents or other family members could be teachers as well. Nowadays it is rather mothers and fathers who become teachers for their children. Let us only mention that this kind of education is legally permitted in Poland since 1991, yet under certain conditions.
What should we bear in mind starting homeschooling?
Although it is families with higher education and pedagogical preparation who undertake homeschooling in Poland, in fact no particular qualifications are needed for the transition to this type of education. This is why parents do not have to complete any specialized studies or courses or apply for any certificates. Anyone can teach at home.
If we have already decided to start homeschooling, we should go to the headmaster first. Under the new law, the school must be located in the same province where the child lives. Another requirement is to obtain a positive opinion from the pedagogical-psychological clinic. Then the parents sign special statements. They express, among other things, their acceptance of the obligation to teach the child and confirm that they are familiar with the relevant legal regulations.
The pros and cons of homeschooling
It is worth considering the pros and cons before deciding to start homeschooling. Its undoubted advantages include individual approach, control over the process of acquiring knowledge or the possibility of devoting more time to the child. Parents, observing their children's progress, can decide to use non-traditional methods which offer some variety in the sometimes tedious process of teaching.
Opponents of homeschooling will certainly point to the child's limited interaction with his or her peers or the need to sacrifice the professional life of one of the parents. On the other hand, there are times when a difficult school atmosphere or negative relationships with other students can adversely affect the child's progress in school. Additionally, homeschooling means more free time. This is because it does not require organizing lessons hour by hour, as is the case at school, as well as spending another few hours a day on homework.
Homeschooling and formalities
Who can teach at home? According to the Polish law - parents or legal guardians of a child aged 6 to 18 years. However, a number of requirements must be met before starting homeschooling. In addition to the above mentioned consent of the headmaster and an opinion from the psychological-educational counseling center, one should also submit a self-prepared statement. In it, the child's parent or guardian expresses that he or she is able to provide the child with the conditions necessary for the realization of the core curriculum at a specific stage of education. In addition, he or she prepares a statement in which they ensure that the child will take the annual qualification exams. Applicants for homeschooling must also express legal awareness of their decision.
The documents can be submitted any time to the educational institution of your choice in the province where your child lives – preferably to the school your child is currently attending or has only been admitted to. Applying for homeschooling is free of charge and the documents should not take longer than 30 days to process.
Homeschooling support - where to find ideas?
Although children learning at home have difficulty in accessing typical school-based learning materials, they actually have a wide range of other options. Much depends on the creativity of the parent or guardian who can start self-development in this respect. They can use their own ideas, publications available in the press, the Internet or public libraries.
There are also online educational platforms supporting homeschooling which are increasingly appreciated by parents because they not only provide innovative ideas, but also invaluable help in preparing children to important exams. Some institutions, such as Academy International, provide not only extended teaching, especially in foreign languages, but also additional activities, excursions or swimming pool classes. The innovation of this facility is to go beyond traditional teaching and traditional homeschooling. This makes classes more interesting and makes it easier for children to acquire more knowledge.
The number of children taught at home is increasing from year to year. A few years ago there were several thousand of them in Poland and the trend has not waned - more and more parents are considering homeschooling. That is why, it is certainly worth focusing on the quality and efficiency of homeschooling in order to bring the expected results.