Being a mommy blogger since 2015, homeschooling is not new to me because of the mommy blogger friends I met who chose to homeschool. I followed several homeschooling mommy bloggers as well who share their daily schedules and struggles through their blogs. Hearing their stories, I kind of imagine how tiring, yet fulfilling homeschooling is. When Louise was in Grade 1, I opened the homeschool idea to my husband but my reasons were not that convincing for him, even for me. The fact that I just hate waking up early and spending too much time on the road driving for my kids, all these were just shallow reasons for us. We ignored all the benefits of homeschooling, and just moved on, trusting more the brick and mortar schools of our two girls.
Then coronavirus came and has spread to almost every country, vaccine is not yet available. Schools are closing, children are required to stay at home, parents are now considering homeschooling and homebased/online learning for their kids. These two methods of learning are commonly used interchangeably but actually, they are not the same. In homeschooling, the parents are the full-time instructors, they can decide what curriculum to use, almost everything depends on them, even the chosen schedules. As for homebased learning, the schedules and lessons of students are managed by their online teachers. Now, the latter might be the most convenient method of learning for some parents but for me, it’s homeschooling and here’s why:
1. Freedom to Choose a Schedule – I hate this pandemic but I see some advantages of the new normal – no more traffic and waking up early for both students and parents. But with homebased learning, we might need to say hello again to earlier wake-up schedule because we need to follow the school’s routine. If this isn’t the case, well, I imagine there will be video calls or scheduled online discussion with teachers from which my daughter will need my guidance and assistance to attend to and stay focused. This is fine by me, only if I don’t have work. But I’m working full-time at home, there’s no way I can assist my child everyday, following the school’s schedule, leaving me behind with my shift and possibly missing my deadlines. With homeschooling, I CAN DECIDE for our learning routine and subjects to tackle in a day. It doesn’t matter if we’ll have some of our lessons at night or even during weekends, as long as we finish the weekly/monthly/quarterly targets, it will be OK.
2. No Unnecessary Duplication of Effort – With Homebased learning, my daughter will have her teachers but this doesn’t mean I am free from all the pressures of teaching her. Every day, I would still need to check their daily lessons with her, tutor her just like the old days, possibly more effort during this time because I can’t assure my kid to be fully focused while listening to the online discussion. In the end, who knows, it’s still up to me and we’re following the school’s schedule for nothing…
3. Budget – I thank God every day that me and my husband are working in digital marketing companies that enable us to work from home. Our continuous income might still enable us to afford for private schools but I no longer think the price is right considering more responsibilities are now given to parents. I can’t pay the same amount while I am left with more stressed. Getting a homeschool provider is still expensive but it’s still cheaper than having my child enrolled in her previous school. Of course there are public schools which are way cheaper but as long as our income isn’t affected, it’s not part of our option for now.
4. Support from Experienced Coaches – Homeschool providers provide coaching for parents, they’re more proactive and can be easily reached online. They can provide tips and support that I might not get from other sources because they have experienced homeschooling struggles and success for many years. Yes, there are helpful articles online but having a chat discussion with a coach can make a big difference, especially for a soon-to-be homeschool mom like me.
5. Less Pressure – Homeschooling is NOT EASY. But the fact that I can adjust the learning method and schedule based on my child’s preference and mood, it’s a better option for me than following a private school’s hectic deadlines and demands. If my child is having difficulty with one topic, at least we’re free to move our topic schedules to discuss more the difficult ones.
The reasons mentioned above may not be applicable to many parents, I know for a fact that each family faces different situation right now. But if we’re on the same page, and you’re still confused whether to homeschool or do homebased learning, then I hope I am able to help you here. By the way, I decided to enroll only Louise for now and independently homeschool my 4-year-old Martina to save money and to lessen the pressure in our household as we gradually adjust to homeschooling. She isn’t qualified this year to get a Learner’s Reference Number (LRN) anyway because of her level and age.