Homeschooling Neel in Mumbai

I decided yesterday that I want to explore alternative education opportunities (popularly known as Homeschooling) for my son Neel who is going to be two this year (He was born on 6 September 2008)

I will write sometime later as to why I decided to try out “homeschooling concept”

There are several questions which come to mind, considering the fact I don’t live in the US or UK but in Mumbai (India)

One of the good site I got through my search was Alternative Education in India.

Here is what the “definition” says on the site –

[ Home education means educating children at home (or elsewhere), without sending them to any school. It is taking the entire responsibility for your child’s education. It can enable them to learn in total freedom at their own pace. Home education is also referred to as ‘home schooling’ or ‘homeschooling’ though here, we prefer the term home education. Home education is a way of life. Home education not only provides for learning, but also enables enjoying the process together with the family. Home education does not fall into a specific pattern or style of learning for all of those engaged in it. It would be different for different home educating families because of the flexibility it allows, the pace at which the children concerned are able to learn and the of the many ways it can be practiced depending on the resources and the energies of the parents.Some famous people who were home-schooled are, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Florence Nightingale, Agatha Christie, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John Newton, Albert Einstein. etc.]

That’s good. But now to my surprise, I found through the above website that there are lot of alternative schools and learning co-operatives listed in India but hardly any in Mumbai. Many of other places (like Bangalore, Pune, Delhi) and States like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu are ahead in this.

What really is homeschooling? Is it just the freedom to do whatever we want ? Or is it following some methods at our pace? Are there institutions ? Exams ? How do you really do this?

As a first step, I joined the Yahoo Group – alt-ed-india · Alternative Education in India via the same site mentioned above. That’s a great place to start finding contacts of like minded people.

I went ahead and joined it and did a few things –

I put up a request email on the Yahoo group as well as to many Mumbai families saying the following –

[I am writing as a parent of my son (Master Neel) who is going to be 2 years old in September 2010. We were thinking today about the homeschooling concept and found your details on the web. Basically I would like to know the following–

  1. What are the methods of Home schooling you are following? When to start?
  2. Is there an agency with whom are you coordinating
  3. Where are you obtaining study materials from ? Are they books ? audio ? video?
  4. Is there a specific procedure you recommend for homeschooling?
  5. What about Government recognition of education? Which agency you are in touch with?
  6. What about tenth standard ? 12th standard exams, etc and further education. How will homeschool fit into that ?

There are many more questions. I am browsing a lot of material on the Internet and I see that there is lot of homeschooling related organisations & people in Pune, Bangalore, Tamilnadu, etc.

I am not finding much as regards to Mumbai.

I would be very grateful to you if you could guide me. ]

I received a couple of replies today and that has prompted me to go ahead an learn more about this unique concept and explore the earlier mentioned website in detail.There is an extensive FAQ section describing various methods involved as well as links to other sites.

I even came to know from an email reply that there is Google group called Pune Home Schoolers. Let us see if I get to join it. (Update – Just joined it. Thanks Vidyut Kale)

So that was most of my first day of introduction to this new homeschooling concept. I saw through couple of other sites too ( I guess US based) and some news articles too . I will try to write about them in my next post.

By this blog, I would love to connect / share info with like minded families as well as people/agencies who can help me.

Hope this journey is a fruitful one.

Image : Wikipedia article on Homeschooling

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27 thoughts on “Homeschooling Neel in Mumbai

  1. I have too off-late been exploring about the option of homeschooling. My son 2.5 yrs old does show signs of being a quick learner apart from having reasonably good visal and logical skills (in my opinion, shared by some others) .

    So a big thought has been – if I try to teach him at home at his pace, he might end up learning more, since i do think i can make it fun for him.

    However, he has been attending playschool, summer camps etc. and enjoys going. So much so that during the break he has been asking to go. No doubt he does end up learning stuff there as he comes back and sings new songs, shows us his craft proudly and talks about some other kids.

    While i am quite confident and think that homeschooling can do wonders, my son’s attachment to school makes me wonder if I should opt for it rt now…so a little confused.

    My only aim at homeschooling would be – will school slow down the pace of his learning at some point, putting him into the rat race…maybe that is the time i should move to homeschooling…..say sr. kg.

  2. Kids usually love to work in groups. They learn a lot watching others. With homeschooling it looks interesting in beginning. Its cute to see a kid draw a painting and write alphabets but he learns more while competing with others.

    I wish to have homeschooling for my kids (When i have them :D) but trying to figure out how to fill up that gap of companionship for them. They also would like to read write sing dance with kids who go to school. What can we do to in this case?

    I feel there should be regular get together so that the kids interact with each other. Maybe I am wrong but just a thought that came to my mind.

  3. Hello from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), an international organization based in the United States. We work to protect and advance the rights of parents to direct the education of their children. We are in the process of expanding the information that we have available on our website about international homeschooling (please see http://www.hslda.org/international).

    HSLDA is currently putting together a webpage for homeschooling in India. Would you be willing to let us post your blog and contact info on our India webpage, so that interested parties could contact you?

    If so, please email me directly at international@hslda.org. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Warmly,

    Brittany L. Paist
    International Assistant, Legal Department
    Home School Legal Defense Association
    One Patrick Henry Circle
    Purcellville, VA 20132 USA
    540.338.5600
    international@hslda.org
    http://www.hslda.org

    540.338.5600

  4. Uncovered your blog post via google the other day and absolutely find it irresistible. Continue the excellent work.

  5. Hi there,
    Stumbled upon ur block when I was dejectedly going through the websites reg homeschooling. I am sick and tired of schools with tall claims but zero deliverables. So I am thinking seriously abt homeschooling. But also I am scared whether I will isolate my son completely and make him live on an island. And when my son will compete with formally educated children in future, how much relevance will the alternative education certificate hold for studying further? So many confusions!!!
    How is ur son’s homeschooling going on? Hope ur doing well…
    Regards,
    Renu

  6. Dear all,

    Please call me on 9867583346 regarding homeschooling in Mumbai. I am keen to get together with like minded parents and start something.

    I have a few ideas that I’d like to share.

    Malathi

    • hi malathi

      this is binda from thane, mother of 6 yrs old son. We decided homeschooling for him, currently he is in 1st std. But we r not continuing next yr. onwards. i saw ur post dtd 25th 2010. R u homeschooling ur kid? Would like to talk more abt it. I would like to join such group, and connect with the same parents. my id is rbinda@rediffmail.com

      regards
      binda

  7. My daughter will be going to the 3rd standard from June 2011. We are in Mumbai. Can I homeschool her or is it only for a much younger age group? And what about the 10th std, will homeschooling be recognised?

  8. We are new transplants here in Mumbai from the US. My sons are 2003/4 born. I have of late been thinking of a plan B to homeschool. My sons are having a hard time adjusting to the culture of ‘street smart’ which I consider no values – this is in an international curriculum based school.

    I have decided to try it out these first 6 months and then start a home school program for a few years until we either go back or they can join in at a later time. I just can’t take the constant crying that they don’t want to go to school – the stress may not be worth it.

    We have done school work for a few months in the past and managed. Granted this was work that was provided by their last school while we were away for extended periods of time. It was a montessori school – which was excellent choice for us and to anyone wanting to try out a different approach..

    Please keep this post updated for mumbai contacts of existing home schoolers. I appreciate the help.

  9. my daughter is 4yrs old ,,i have home-schooled her for the past 2yrs,,mainly because we were constantly travelling,,but now she is desperate to go to a school and wants to interact with other children her age,,so far im satisfied with the knowledge she has.
    we have never pressurized her but made sure she gets her basics right.i have moved to pune and im in 2 minds abt putting her in a school here,,though she wishes otherwise…i will b glad to recieve comments/suggestions.

  10. Hi ,
    I heard abt this when I was in UK . The people over there easily adopt the concept of home schooling .It’s really easy over there.
    I have 2 kids now elder one is in grade 3 & younger one is 3 yrs old . Initially after coming back form UK I put my son in so called English medium school. Within those first 6 months I didn’t found any progress in my kid . We as a parent have to take a decision & we put him in Marathi Medium school . The school has it’s own syllabus without government grant . The education is very much practical based with parents help.
    Definitely because of Marathi medium initially I was really confused & wanted to start after school English training . Again there is no such option in Mumbai .Taking some help from different sites I started teaching at home . Today we are in Australia ( just for 7 months ) .We again put our kid in English school . We are really proud parents cos without any pressure our kid adopted English language .
    Now as i’m returning back he will be in his old school .This school gives him time for his own . We successfully avoided rat race. This is the option we accepted cos learning in child’s mother tongue boosts his knowledge acceptance but at the same time u can’t deny the importance of English .He is learning with his friends so that we able to maintain friendly-healthy competition among themselves . We thought it’s always better than staying alone at home .
    We know that education is not all abt books or syllabus , maths or science . But we definitely need to consider that for later education .
    So please wish us good luck with our experiment .

    Regards,
    Prachi.

  11. Hi my son is in the 9th std,he always hated school,though he is good at studies,he can not mingle with children of his age,he is highly sensitive and a introvert,with great difficulty he had madefriendsof his age in his class in andheri,but due to circumstances we had to shift to vashi,we have put himin a school but he is refusing to go to school, would be glad to receive comments

  12. shubhangi
    hi my son is Smit who is 4.5 yrs right now.
    now he is in jr kg but we r thinking about home schooling. we both r artist, my husband is an interior designer n im fine artist. i am writing articles on art, relation and education. doing various project with him at home. but from the heart we want him to get study in mother tongue which is marathi.
    i am interestead to have a contact with the like minded parents
    my no 9769371823…thane based
    email shubhachetan@gmail.com

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