If you are parents and your heart aches when you see your little ones travel to distant schools with a big school bag with no time to play, then home-schooling is something that can lighten their burden. Instead of searching for schools, some couples in the twin cities have adopted the trend of home schooling which is quite common in western countries.
When the Vetanayagams shifted to India six years back with their five kids, they hoped to find some good school. But the various international schools and the overall Indian education system discouraged them from going ahead with the admissions. "The Indian education system is more content-based while we wanted a system that promoted understanding," says Shanti Vetanyagam, a home-maker.
Thus, whatever Shanti learnt in the US about home-schooling from the farmers in the New York came handy to her. "When I was working in New York as an engineer, we stayed in rural areas where the farmers' wives home-schooled their children. I liked the concept and used it to teach my children," she says.
If we think that these children miss a chance on socialising, building friendships and learning values of co-operation, then it is a wrong assumption. "My seven-year-old daughter values her friends more as she gets to meet them for a limited time for they are in school," says Rachana Gala, another home-maker who is also home-schooling her kid.
While most children and their parents struggle to decide career option once in standard 10th or 12th, these parents are already in sync with their children's inclination. For instance, Shanti knows that her son Jeevun (17) is more into electronics and is in the high school (12th standard), Ahnand is more interested in Maths, logic and English. While Karuna likes science, environment and animals, Keerthi is into fine arts and Nithya is an organizer.
"Jeevun is in one of the US umbrella school. After he clears his grades he will get an American school leaving certificate. It is a challenge for us to see him get admitted in the college and he copes with the college education system," she concludes.
What is homeschooling?
Home-schooling is the education of children at home, typically by parents rather than in other formal settings of public or private schools. There is no set curriculum and it is decided by the parent gauging the child's capacity to learn.
If the child is taught subjects and concepts from the second standard and he/she shows more ability, then they are also taught subjects from fourth standard or so.
Their study includes learning through puzzles, quizzes, reading, field trips etc. When the children enter the eighth grade (eighth standard) parents can get them admitted to one of the umbrella schools (distance learning ).