The education sector has seen the worst disruption in centuries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has affected around 1.6 billion students in over 190 countries and across all continents. Additionally, it has impacted 94% of the global student population. Surprisingly, 99% of them belong to low and lower-middle-income countries. It will be a more significant challenge for them to get back on the regular track due to severe economic crises.
In such a scenario, people have explored different options to keep their children in touch with education. Families have hired private teachers, students took up online degrees, and some shifted toward MOOCs (massive open online courses). However, homeschooling has gained tremendous popularity among all. People have adapted homeschooling to prevent education crises from further exacerbating. It is an efficient means of continuing a child’s education while staying safe at home.
American taxpayers saved at least $32 billion during the public-school year of 2019-20. The main reason was decreased expenditure on public schooling as students took up homeschooling. Along with such financial benefits, homeschooling also serves a moral purpose. It inhibits social evils from breeding within a society, already struggling with socioeconomic issues in the wake of a pandemic. Modernization and globalization have almost erased the traditional benefits of homeschooling. However, this pandemic has brought them back again in the mainstream and relived the significance of homeschooling.
1. Increased Individualized Counseling
Undoubtedly, the most significant advantage of homeschooling amid this pandemic is the increased individual counseling for children. Usually, parents get a bit ignorant of the counseling needs of their children. They tend to rely solely on teachers for almost all types of counsel a child needs. This pandemic has provided them an excellent chance to observe their kids closely and identify their counseling needs. Parents have developed a closer insight to communicate individualized counsel that complements their children’s needs.
Homeschooling has provided parents the necessary insight into their child’s academic life as well. They can offer comprehensive academic, social, and emotional counsel to their children. Undeniably, parents can provide the right counsel than anyone else. This pandemic has revitalized counseling programs to new levels of significance. A sudden increase in enrollment in the online master of counseling programs during the pandemic makes it further evident. Now more than ever, the field of counseling is growing exponentially due to rising demand.
2. Relationship Building
Increasing exhaustion, social isolation, arduous lockdowns, economic crises, and a never-ending list of other challenges that the pandemic brought. What should be the priority of parents in such a situation? It should certainly be to develop character strength in their children to face these testing times. Homeschooling has presented an ideal context for parents to develop emotional resilience in their children.
Relationship building is not limited to just a parent-child interaction. Parents can also motivate community welfare and prevent social stigma through homeschooling. According to the research report of Global Biosecurity, social stigma and unsolicited rumors have also contributed to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents can certainly work on the social ethics of their children while homeschooling.
3. Increased Acceptance of Technology in education
According to the TALIS (Teaching and Learning International Survey), technology should constitute a healthy part of a learning environment. Using the right mode of technology at the right time, teachers can co-create knowledge for their students. The role of teaching can certainly elevate to higher levels of educational interactions. Unfortunately, the education sector has not prominently accepted technology for quite some time – especially in developing countries.
Homeschooling will require assistance from technological input. Students will need digital platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, GoReact, and Pear Deck to interact with scholarly individuals. It will increase the overall technology acceptance rate in education. We can expect that this trend will make its way from homeschooling into the mass education system soon. It will uplift the entire education quality.
4. Personalization in Education
Homeschooling has provided width for students to learn what they want to. They can explore different academic fields without any negative peer pressure. Parents can follow education plans for students based on a curriculum that they find most interesting. The contemporary inclination toward an Emergent Curriculum that meets individual student needs received even more attention.
The entire education sector has started to focus on creating tailor-made curriculums. They will be precisely directed more consciously toward the needs of particular students or groups of learners. The deficit of a dynamic skill set has become prominent more than ever in this pandemic. Now there is a dire need to provide training to learners befitting their nature. Such academic customization might not be possible on a mass level. However, homeschooling offers the maximum flexibility to exercise such extent of educational personalization.
5. Focus on Knowledge Instead of Grades
Homeschooling removes one of the leading stressors of the traditional education system. That is the pressure of scoring good grades. Evidently, in most education institutes, knowledge’s intrinsic value has dramatically reduced due to the focus on higher grades. Students now study to pass exams and not for the sake of learning.
Parents can reinforce the learning attitude in their children through homeschooling. However, a classroom-type competition and proper check and balance are also needed. A fantastic concept that has emerged amid COVID-19 is Pandemic Pods. They are turning out to be an effective private homeschool-like alternative. Two or more families put all their children in one home where parents or sometimes a professional tutor teaches them collectively. As per a monthly public opinion survey by Forbes, 33% of American parents already had their children in a pod by August 2020. It has proven to be a prolific move to perpetuate educational activities despite COVID-19.
COVID-19 pandemic has loitered into another school year. Yet, we don’t know for how long it will remain a part of our life. The breakneck pace of life has already disrupted human development. In such a scenario, if we neglect our children’s development, there will be very little room to catch up later on. Therefore, we must switch to other alternatives to continue the educational journey of our children. Homeschooling offers the best choice among potential options. It will keep our children safe and provide them the necessary social, ethical, and academic development. It entails a wide array of development avenues through personal counsel, educational customization, strengthening relationships with children, and valuing knowledge.