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–
- What are the methods of Home schooling you are following? When to start?
- Is there an agency with whom are you coordinating
- Where are you obtaining study materials from ? Are they books ? audio ? video?
- Is there a specific procedure you recommend for homeschooling?
- What about Government recognition of education? Which agency you are in touch with?
- 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.