Schools around the world are currently offering distance learning programmes in response to closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many parents are now questioning whether their children should return to school this September for the start of the new academic year. The popularity of homeschooling has increased over the last few years, with the number of homeschoolers in the UK having doubled since 2018, and the current situation has resulted in a further surge of families investigating homeschooling as a viable alternative to the traditional schooling system.
Types of Programme
Homeschooling is often considered to be an educational programme delivered in the student’s home, by the student’s parents. However, the term is now commonly used to include any form of primary/secondary education that takes place outside of traditional schools. There are a number of different homeschooling programmes available which largely fall into one of two categories: distance learning, and personalised learning. Both of these programmes allow students to study from their homes, but there are differences in the way that each programme is delivered.
Distance learning – many parents will now be familiar with this style of homeschooling as it is currently being offered by schools across the globe, whilst lessons cannot take place on site. The school provides students with learning resources which include notes, reading lists, and recorded content. Contact time is usually low in these courses, and the students are expected to learn the majority of the content independently. Distance learning has been around long before schools started rolling out their programmes in March/April, and there are a number of well established programmes offered by various schools and universities worldwide.
Personalised learning - This is a programme delivered by an experienced team of educators, tailored to a student’s specific learning style, interests, and academic goals. Expert tutors deliver a bespoke curriculum which caters to the student’s strengths and weaknesses. These programmes have an established curriculum at their core (e.g. British – KS3, GCSE, A-Levels) and are adapted to the student’s interests to encourage curiosity and ensure the student is engaged. This is an evolution of the more traditional parent led homeschooling, which provides families and students with flexibility, and one-to-one attention, whilst ensuring lessons are delivered by subject experts.
If you would like to discuss how a personalised learning programme could be tailored to suit your needs please contact the Carfax Team on +971 4 438 5276, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is personalised learning for?
Students and their families are attracted to personalised learning programmes for a variety of reasons, from the increased flexibility in scheduling to the individualised pace of the course. We have organised personalised learning programmes to fit the busy schedules of high-performance athletes, altered the pace of programmes for those racing ahead as well as those falling behind, and have created programmes which can be regularly adapted for those suffering with medical conditions. Whilst there is no typical profile of a homeschooler, listed below are a few of the common reasons that students choose personalised programmes.
• Students looking to be extended beyond the curriculum
• Students who require additional support
• Students who would like to complete multiple years in a shorter time frame. (A-levels/GCSEs in 1 year)
• Students whose interests lie outside of the traditional curriculum and would like to take subjects not offered by schools.
• Students looking for increased flexibility in their timetables (e.g. require regular travel due to work or sports commitments)
• Students looking for a more personalised approach to education.
What are the advantages of a personalised learning programme?
The top reason given by parents for homeschooling their children in the UK was dissatisfaction with the education received in schools. With classroom teaching catering to up to 30 students at a time, teachers must “teach to the majority” in order to make the most efficient use of the time with their students. This can often leave students who need extra support intimidated and lost, and the students who quickly take in new information, bored and unchallenged. A personalised learning programme progresses at the pace students are comfortable with. The perfect middle ground ensures that the student is always learning and making progress, without the stress of not understanding or the frustration of wanting to move on.
Students often make strong bonds with their tutors, and this helps to build confidence and enables students to ask questions that they would have felt intimidated about asking in front of a class. Some of the best learning takes place whilst exploring a tangent which comes up as a result of a good question from a student, and should always be encouraged.
In addition to the flexible schedules that can be provided as part of a personalised learning programme, the school day can also be timed to coincide with students’ body clocks. Whilst a younger student might start a 9am, a 10am/11am start might be better suited to a teenager.
Students surveyed as part of a series of longitudinal studies on the development of homeschoolers said that they felt the best part about being homeschooled included the increased time with their family, the opportunity for extensive curricular enrichment, the flexibility especially in terms of the schedule, the individualized pace and programmes, the development of their own independence and confidence, as well as the superior education received.
If you are considering a personalised learning programme for your student, or would like to know more about the programmes available please contact the Carfax Team on +971 4 438 5276, or by emailing email@example.com