Homeschooling, Unschooling Vs Deschooling

In a country like India where parents are obsessed with formal education, degrees and certificates, there exist another chunk of parents who are dissatisfied with the existing prevalent and restricted schooling structure.

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

For the longest time we know, the traditional school education system in India is based on various stages of learning and is familiarly known as the 10+2 pattern and is preferred by most parents. It has been implemented since the National Policy of 1966 and is in force in most Indian states today. In this schooling system, students are expected to enter school at the age of six and after ten years of schooling which is further divided into 3 stages (primary, upper primary and secondary). After this, two years of senior secondary education with streams of science, humanities, commerce or vocational curriculum can follow which qualify students for admission into universities. 

In a country like India where parents are obsessed with formal education, degrees and certificates, there exist another chunk of parents who are dissatisfied with the existing prevalent and restricted schooling structure and are shifting to a more evolved, dynamic and progressive approach of school education where the children follow their self-directed learning path. Parents may act as the instructor, follow a certain curriculum and give revision tests, this approach is known as Homeschooling. It is more than a type of schooling where it is student-driven and freedom to be involved in a wide range of activities, free from homework stress after school hours coupled with parents’ inputs and support. Most of the homeschoolers can take the IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) exams as private candidates usually following the CBSE or State Board Syllabus, or can opt to write the Class 10/12 examinations of the National Institute of Open Learning (NIOS), which gives students the option to get a degree or certificate and is conducted across the country. 

Various pedagogical counsellors suggest that the best way to deal with homeschoolers is to prepare certain conditions but not do much to control the outcomes, and letting it go. We are in the 21st century where the parents are taking charge and giving their kids forefront responsibility to do and pursue what they love. A subset of Homeschooling, there exists a small but growing community of ‘Unschoolers’ where the parents do not send their kids to school and kids chosen activities are their primary source of learning. These kids learn through their everyday life experiences and rather than spending their time in hour-long lectures, they are allowed to delve their time in activities he/she wishes to do, unlike other kids whose lives are controlled by school timetables and traditional parenting rules at home. Majority of jobs that exist right now may not exist in the next 10 years so in order to keep the students future-ready and promote life-long learning, now many parents across the world are shifting to unschooling which provides a real-world learning experience, fully trust in their kid’s capabilities and let the kids learn at their own pace and be the decision-makers of their careers. 

With formal schooling environment turning into a to self-directed and progressive approach, it is very important for the parents to make the transition from traditional schooling to the one which focuses on learner’s interests and curiosity, this is termed as ‘Deschooling’ invented by Illich Deschooling is important for all the families to have realistic expectations and mindset about their kids who are willingly starting to homeschool. Give them time, connect with them on a deeper level other than their studies through family games, watching educational documentaries and movies together, reading aloud etc, it is recommended for parents to deschool with the kids to help them understand their child’s weaknesses, strengths, likes and dislikes. This will help the parents understand and decide their way forward in terms of homeschooling curriculum, style to follow, keeping their child’s best interest and comfort in mind.  

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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homeschooling Unschooling Deschooling

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