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In the midst of inter results goof-up, is homeschooling a better option?

With Telangana Intermediate results fiasco claiming nearly 25 precious lives and exposing the loopholes in education system and the lack of focussed learning, many parents are willing to look at homeschooling as an option for their kids. Families choose the homeschooling option due to dissatisfaction with educational opportunities available, different educational philosophies or that their kids are not progressing with the traditional school structure. Homeschooling parents believe that every kid has a different learning pace and that they can be more responsive to a child’s individual needs and interests. 
 
According to Anupama Thakkar, a homeschooling parent, their family took a combined decision to homeschool their child, Nihar Thakkar, who himself came up with the idea after finishing his 4th grade and discussed it with his parents. “My husband began questioning the norms of the society. In his mind, home-learning as well call it, was the most natural extension of it. Nihar was clear that he didn’t want any curriculum at home,” she adds. Anupama’s family also travelled to different places and cities, learning about history, geography and culture, experiencing different people through their interactions to diversify their child’s explorations. 
 
Reflecting on his home-learning experience, Nihar says: “It is really important that your parents support home-learning. You have to be together and work on it, together. Another important thing I’ve learnt is that when things get hard, we cannot give up on it.” This 15-year-old is a student entrepreneur, working with a French start-up on drones and is also interning with IISc in Bangalore. 
 
However, education experts believe that ‘unschooling’ doesn’t have to be the only option for activity-based learning. School education can also be supportive of a child’s individual needs where teachers need to re-define learning, prepare students for the future and teach children to live happily. This lack of support and foresight from school managements about the needs of kids, the need to develop life skills and sustain themselves for the future is the reason why most kids feel neglected. The most important requirement is to strike the balance between academics and activity-based learning. 
 
“Parents must be oriented to teach kids to be responsible. It could happen at home through house-keeping activity or any physical activity, self-care or environmental care, where the child has a choice to be happy or enjoys being engaged in it. When kids become involved in any activity they like, they become responsible and open up to parents. So, we need to create such opportunities for them at home,” says John Hemanth Kumar, Educational Psychologist and Montessori Director, The Neurons Hyderabad. 
 
Apart from this, home-tutoring also can be a great way for children to open up to the tutors if trust is built. After school home-tutoring is the most common phenomenon where parents wants special care for their child to do well in academics. 
 
“Such a one-on-one exercise helps tutors perceive a child’s level of understanding, his or her weaknesses and guide accordingly. In group learning system such as a school environment, a child could have inferiority complex or just be shy and hence, may not question even if he or she has doubts. Such issues can be addressed with home-tutoring. The tutor not only gets to spend time with the child but also shows empathy by building trust. This personal attention generally creates a positive environment for the child to open up if he or she is facing an issue or is feeling dejected. That way, we get to understand them better and boost their learning and mental health,” explains V. Venkat, Director of City Home Tuitions. 
 
He adds that the Telangana inter results goof-up could actually boost the need for homeschooling among urban parents whose credibility in traditional schooling system is fading.

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