Home schooling was the norm before the establishment of the public and private schools; children were taught at home by their parents or in a small community classroom by a local scholar. In current times, getting education at home has become a very popular trend again. In developed countries, home education has become an alternative to formal established education. To such an extent has this practice been accepted that it is now, in most places, a legal alternative to school institutions for the public.
A number of advantages have been cited in favor of home schooling rather than public school attendance. It has been shown that personality and moral development is at a higher level with home schooling. In addition some parents object to the lax environment of public schools. Because of the big population, it is sometimes impossible to strictly control the activities of students in large educational institutions. Home schooling is also preferable in isolated environments and is great for families who are constantly traveling.
There three main methodologies are applied to home schooling:
1. The unit study method approaches several subjects, whether history, math, English or science in the light of the central subject theme of that unit. For instance, a unit study of Ancient Rome might provide lessons in the social structure of ancient Rome, as well as exploring the history of the place, the language and customs, the interaction of other cultures, the food and the religion.
This method is adapted to multi-grade level teaching since the central topic may be taken up with a view to the learning level of the student. It is claimed that 45 percent retention is obtained by this method.
2. The “school-in-a box” or “all-in-one” method puts together lessons about many
subjects in a package containing the material for one-year’s worth of lessons. Obviously this method is ideal for families living in far-flung areas. The lessons are much standardized and formal tests are given to allow the student the chance to earn an accredited certificate of completion.
3. Online Schools are also becoming popular today. Middle aged people who want to get back, as it were, to school, often opt to take online schooling. This method of home schooling offers the students a greater variety of courses to study, provides online tests, tutoring and occupational therapy. They have teachers who are specialists in their field of learning and the student gets more flexibility for schedules. This option is favored by disabled people, or elderly students.
In the light of the advancing technology, it will not be surprising if, in the near future, conventional schools will be replaced by online home schooling, or some other small community schooling which uses technology to bring a wealth of educational information to student who are administered by one master teacher. Of all the options for studying at home, online home schooling offers the greatest adjust ability in terms of subject matter and school access.