By Ghadeer Ghloum
KUWAIT: Homeschooling is an alternative to traditional education methods that involve sending a child to a public or private school. Homeschooling involves educating a child at home by a parent or a tutor instead of enrolling them in a formal school program. This approach allows parents to have more control over their child’s education and tailor their curriculum to their child’s individual needs. To look more into the pros and cons of homeschooling, Kuwait Times interviewed two local teachers and a parent to hear their opinions about this educational method.
Mohammad Al-Ansari, an English teacher at a public high school in Kuwait, told Kuwait Times: “I genuinely believe that proper learning can take place from the comfort of one’s home, given that a well-designed curriculum created by qualified teachers or parents is provided for the students.” One of the primary advantages of homeschooling is the flexibility it offers. Parents can design a curriculum that meets their child’s specific needs and interests, which can boost engagement and motivation. Homeschooling also allows for greater flexibility in scheduling, as a student does not have to adhere to the schedule of a traditional school day.
“The traditional school curriculum often underestimates students’ abilities and presents a simplified version of scientific concepts. High school students, for instance, are often capable of engaging with scientific papers and delving deeper into complex topics. By homeschooling, parents have the flexibility to provide more challenging and intellectually stimulating materials, allowing children to develop a deeper understanding of scientific principles,” Ansari added. Ghadeer Ghafour, also an English teacher at a private school in Kuwait, agreed with Ansari.
“There are many advantages of homeschooling. Besides flexibility, homeschooling is considered the best option for many families who want to maintain their family values. A homeschooled child is less likely to be affected by an outsider. Also, teaching your child at home will give you a chance to know your child better and build a closer relationship with them. Most importantly, homeschooling will reduce stress and anxiety. This is mainly because spending time with your family and siblings will encourage a strong relationship. Furthermore, homeschooling will allow siblings to exchange ideas and information, which encourages siblings to socialize more and that will result in good relations,” she told Kuwait Times.
Abeer, a teacher who is also a mother of three, concurred with Ghafour and Ansari. “A significant advantage of homeschooling is the ability to provide a safe learning environment for a child, where parents can choose what their child is exposed to and limit the amount of negative social influence that they might encounter in a traditional school environment. This can be particularly helpful for children who have experienced bullying, social anxiety or other types of negative experiences in traditional schools,” she said. Like everything else, homeschooling has a number of disadvantages that should be taken into consideration.
Ansari expressed his concerns, saying: “One concern that worries me most is lack of social interaction for homeschooled students. It’s utterly important for children to develop social skills, and unfortunately, it appears to me that homeschooling seems to have limitations in this aspect.” Therefore, Ansari sees that parents must proactively seek out opportunities for their child to interact with others, such as sports teams, clubs and other community activities in case they decide to homeschool their children.
“If homeschoolers could provide evidence of being involved in any extracurricular activities, in addition to their academic achievements, I would be more supportive of homeschooling. Extracurricular activities can be beneficial because they can aid in building social skills and meeting a lot of people who may be of benefit to you in the future, which is essential for success in both work and life overall,” Ansari added. Abeer highlighted the financial impact of homeschooling. “Parents who homeschool their children have to forego work opportunities to assist with their children’s education.
This results in a loss of income, which may be difficult for some families to manage financially,” she pointed out. In conclusion, homeschooling can be an excellent educational option for families who are willing to put in the time, effort and resources to make it work. By taking advantage of the privileges that homeschooling offers, parents can provide a unique educational experience for their children that adheres to their individual needs and interests.