As we are currently facing this global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, children all over the world are home from school, many continuing their schooling online or with resources provided by their schools.
Will this remote learning change our perception of home education?
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Homeschooling blogs have gotten a surge of new traffic, and countless families have posted pictures on their social media accounts of their children at their kitchen tables surrounded by books on their “first day of homeschooling.”
These families are indeed getting a taste of home education in the sense that they are doing school at home surrounded by their family members, but there are definitely some key differences between homeschooling (as homeschoolers know it) and the kind of quarantine school at home that we are really all experiencing now.
This ordeal might give some families the confidence to continue homeschooling long-term, but it could also give other families a skewed view of what home education is really like under normal circumstances.
So what are the key differences between homeschooling and quarantine school at home?
Related Post: How to Start Homeschooling Your Child – In 5 Steps
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Differences Between Homeschooling and Quarantine School at Home
1. Confinement to Our Homes
People might have the impression that homeschooling is restrictive under the current confining circumstances.
In a normal homeschool setting, homeschoolers generally use the world around them as a rich source of educational opportunities for their children.
Travel, field trips, outings to the library, or even bringing schoolwork to a park or coffee shop are common practices as homeschoolers take the freedom to learn real-life skills in a variety of real-life settings.
Homeschoolers in normal circumstances really aren’t stuck at home all day, nor are they restricted by the walls around them.
2. Limited Interaction with Others
During lock-down, people are cut off from outside interaction, socializing outside the immediate family only by video or phone calling, or letter or message writing.
This form of “homeschooling” is truly isolating.
Homeschoolers under normal circumstances have the ability to connect with people in a variety of ways.
Their opportunities to build community may include spending time with others through a homeschool support group, participating in weekly co-op days so their children to learn in a group setting, going on field trips with others, doing sports and other extracurricular activities, attending homeschool conferences, spending time with friends and extended family members, volunteering, spending time at church, and so forth.
3. Not as Much Freedom
During this season of school closures, children are essentially being public- or private-schooled at home as they are learning remotely.
Homeschooling, on the other hand, offers families the unique opportunity to school their kids in whatever way best meets their needs.
Families must comply with their state’s homeschool law, but beyond that, the sky’s the limit.
Homeschool parents aren’t restricted to one methodology. They don’t have to use any certain textbooks or follow the public school system’s timeline or model of education.
4. Schooling with the Added Stress of a Difficult Season
Everyone goes through difficult seasons and homeschoolers are not exempt from schooling during challenging times or adjusting to the homeschooling lifestyle when they first begin.
However, this season is particularly challenging for many families who are doing their best to school at home.
An abrupt lifestyle change, isolation, a different family dynamic, health concerns, economic concerns, fear, and uncertainty are all added the equation.
This added stress and anxiety may make successful “homeschooling” feel out of reach and cause families to deem themselves incapable of homeschooling long-term.
In reality, though, many obstacles to successful homeschooling really can be overcome when a family decides that the homeschooling lifestyle is the right choice for them.
Only time will tell whether the public opinion of homeschooling is changed for the better or worse after this season of school closures has ended.
Our understanding of the discrepancies between true homeschooling and quarantine school at home will help us differentiate between the two.
I would be curious to know your thoughts below!