The Benefits of Home-schooling
Updated: Mar 12, 2020
Home-schooling, has often been seen as an exception and a slightly quirky choice to make for educating your child. However, this perception is rapidly changing as families across the world embrace this style of education. There are many reasons why a family may consider choosing to educate their children at home. Here, we look at why families might choose to do this, examine some of the main benefits, look at some of the challenges involved and answer some of the questions we regularly get asked on this topic.
Why do families choose to home-school their children?
At Carfax we have worked with many families who have chosen this education route and each one has a different reason for doing so.
Some want the flexibility of not being committed to term dates and long school days; for families who travel extensively or expat families who cannot access their national curriculum, it can be an ideal solution. Others may have a child who is pursuing a passion, such as becoming a professional tennis player or training as a stage performer, and need to fit the rest of their education in around their other commitments.
Home-schooling can be a perfect solution for students who are having to take time out for health reasons or for those who find the challenges of a school environment too overwhelming or have special educational needs.
For some it is a question of cost. With several children, school fees can be quite prohibitive and whilst home-schooling is not always a cheaper option it may provide other benefits.
More and more we are seeing families with young children wanting to reclaim some of their childhood with a more individualised approach and a fun and interactive way of learning in their own surroundings. No school runs, no time spent in lessons that are not relevant for them later on, and an opportunity to spark their curiosity in different ways.
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What are the benefits of home-schooling?
There can be many advantages of choosing home-schooling as an education journey. Key amongst these is the flexibility it provides. Families are free to set their own agenda; if your child is a morning bird then you can have completed most of the lessons in the peak concentration period but working with a teenager means they may be better suited to a later start time.
For many it provides an opportunity to tailor the education to the child’s academic needs. If a child is struggling with a topic, in class they may get left behind, however, with home-schooling and one to one tuition, a helping hand is readily available. This enables children to progress at their own speed, meaning they can spend longer on some areas and speed through topics they grasp quickly. We often hear our home-schooling students say they have learnt more in an hour of one to one time than a week in large school class!
Home-schooling also gives children a chance to access learning in lots of different ways. A science lesson can take place outside or in a local museum, a geography lesson can take place on the beach. Children can be empowered to find their best learning style whether this is visual, kinaesthetic or oral; a home-schooling programme can be delivered in the way a child learns.
A further, benefit is the confidence it can give your child. In a classroom setting, children can avoid answering questions but in a one-to-one setting, they can voice their opinions and discuss them freely. And for children who may feel uncomfortable or challenged by a question they will often surprise themselves by getting it right gaining confidence in the process.
What are the challenges of Home Schooling?
Home-tuition can essentially be a full time job. A great deal of time and resources need to be invested into your child's home-schooling. This can be very demanding on family life and therefore many families chose to have some tutor support.
Time management is key to making a success of home-schooling, with everyone having clear expectations of the time commitment involved to keep pace with the curriculum. Whilst keeping a strict routine can be a challenge, it is important, for there to be some sort of routine and structure and sometimes this can be hard to manage in a busy home.
Home-schooling can be tough sometimes, as can going to school, so children may require lots of encouragement and support to keep going when they are having a down day.
It is important to make sure that home-schoolers do not become isolated from their peer group and that they continue to develop their social skills. Parents need to make sure they still take part in sport or drama or other activities that encourage them to mix others. But beware of over-scheduling, just because the child is not in school it does not mean they haven’t got lots of academic activities to do!
Frequently asked Questions
Will there be issues later when it comes to getting my child into higher education?
Home-schooling is very normal in most parts of the world so universities are happy to accept home-schoolers and value the independent learning skills they bring to studying. In Dubai the KHDA recognise home-schooling, so there are no problems gaining admission to higher education institutes here.
Is it very expensive?
With rising school fees, home-schooling can become a cost-effective and affordable means of education, especially when you take into consideration other auxiliary costs. For a similar price, the educational value in home-schooling is more worthwhile as you are receiving a tailored, bespoke education which will be focussed solely on your child’s education journey.
Can my child still take public exams?
As long as they have covered the curriculum then it is no problem for home-schoolers to be entered as private candidates for school leaving exams such as IGCSE’s and A Levels. Many families choose to follow an accredited programme so that they can do this and also so that the children can re-enter the formal school system at a later date if they wish to.
How does home-schooling work in Dubai?
Dubai offers both government-supported home-schooling and private home-schooling. The government-supported learning is for children aged 7-12 who have missed their early year’s education, but this has no official classes and simply provides books for children to work from. Private home-schooling though, has become by far the most popular delivery in Dubai.
How does Private home-schooling work?
There are many delivery methods for home schooling. Whilst some families chose to home-school their own child this takes a lot of dedication and is not something to be undertaken lightly. The more popular option is to join a tuition centre and receive home-schooling from trained tutors. The tutors come to your house and teach your child an agreed curriculum at agreed times, and set assignments which ensure your child receive the necessary specifications. These tutors are all trained and understand how to best tailor lessons to suit your child’s needs and wants and can be there to encourage them when the going gets tough!
Before setting out on the home-schooling journey, you should consider all the variables and factors involved. It is an incredibly personal decision and one which you need to make as a family. Whilst home-schooling is not always the correct choice for every child, for many, personalised learning can help them develop and grow.