I Dont Advocate Home-schooling, But Schools In India Leave No Choice!

A homeschooled girl thankful to have the opportunity to experience another form of schooling and learn the things that only a few people get a chance to at this age.

Homeschooling helped to look at the world from a different perspective.

There are some questions that I get repeatedly asked, 'Is homeschooling another form of education?' Yes. 'Do you have to go to an institution for it?' No. 'Is it better than school?' Mostly! 'Do you get more Me time?' Yes. 'Do you socialize?' Less than usual. 'Can you go to college if you get home schooled?' Yes. 'Do home schooled kids just laze around?' Definitely not. 'Is it easy?' No. The questions that don’t get asked is, 'Does it allow free thinking?' Yes. 'Does it broaden my perspectives?' Yes, 'Does it help in developing other faculties that really matter to me?' Yes.

Let me tell you a little about myself; I’m Nandini Dhawan, 14 years old and I’ve been getting homeschooled on and off for many years. Homeschooling is one of the best decisions that me and my parents have made because now that I think back, when I did go to school I wasn’t getting the right knowledge and skills. Today, I have more time to myself, I can do some free thinking, develop my right side and left side of brains and learn and do things that I actually like.. Despite all of this, there are some things I miss about going to school like socializing. Although I never really had a big group of friends, I miss the interaction with people my age. It’s hard to spend the most amount of time with your parents and family but there’s also an advantage to it: you understand real problems, grow faster and it prepares you for what’s to come in the future.

So what exactly is the problem with schools and education system? Is it every student sitting in one class room and wearing the same uniforms or is it studying the same subjects and following the same routines or the fact that people are paying lakhs to make their children a part of this negligent and commercial system? There is no individuality and intellect in most of the students that we come across. Most of the girls and boys my age don’t understand the real issues around us, have a weak emotional quotient and talk about very very basic things. That’s because Schools have become a robot manufacturing industry! I still don’t know why there hasn’t been even a slight change in schools since 1837. According to me, subjects need to be broken down into parts, there needs to be free flowing learning and the extra curricular’s need to be more meaningful (not everyone needs to do everything!) in shorter school hours. Students should get to choose where and how they want to study; whether it’s in a classroom or cafeteria, while listening to music or studying biology from the nature, taking surveys and getting people’s perspectives on topics and not be governed by any authority about anything that’s pointless. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be any discipline, but everybody is different and diverse. The whole idea of long school hours is meaningless for me. Why should you have to learn subjects, take part in all activities everyday and then come home and go for tuitions, classes or project work! What is the whole purpose of going to school then, and if its only to study a little, then let me schools only do that, instead of becoming fancy malls!

I remember a lot of stories from school that I think about even now. Some remind me of how fun school was and some remind me of how pointless everything was. I still don’t know the relevance of march past every year because if it was to discipline children, I think they are already doing that by waking us up at 6 am and dressing us up in uniforms everyday. Bollywood songs were not allowed in our school, for absolutely no reason! By teaching us not to talk back even if we are right just teaches us to not stand up for what we believe in, which trust me, will never help us in the future. I don’t want this article to be ‘Why I hate school’ so let me share a few things that I miss about school. Annual days, sports days and field trips were the best part about schools because a group of kids come together, forget about everything and enjoy. I miss competitions, assemblies, making fun of teachers, cribbing about school lunch, talking about guys, playing truth or dare and passing notes. That’s why when asked “Is homeschooling easy?” I say no, not only because you have to focus more on studying but also because you have to cut out a lot of things.

I am very thankful to have the opportunity to experience another form of schooling and learn the things that only a few people get a chance to at this age from my parents through Orion. The projects that I do at home including diversity and inclusion, malnutrition, natural healing, upcycling, safe water and refugee crisis etc have helped me look at the world from a different perspective. This is what the core of schools should be- that everyone starts contributing back to society, nation for us to be better citizens of the world.

My request to schools is to elevate and to the society, please try something new. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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