Opinion

OPINION: Home schooling is really what you make it

THERE have been a fair few theories and opinions flying about home schooling lately.

It comes off the back of a discussion being held in Bundaberg about schooling kids at home.

Some people have said it's the way to go - allowing studies to be tailored to children's needs and encouraging their natural curiosity without wasting time on getting to and from school.

Others have said it should be banned because it promotes social isolation.

I was home schooled with very minimal formal education, and the funniest part of it is people's shocked looks when they find out.

Home schooling is like anything else - it's what you make of it.

If you have a child at home, as it was in my case, and learning is encouraged not as "something you do at school" but as an ingrained part of life, then you don't miss out.

I had friends growing up, and some of them were home schooled too.

I didn't miss out there because there are many ways to make friends and in a lot of ways I got to communicate with all age groups rather than just peers. 

On the flip side, if you raised your kids at home and just got them to watch Home & Away all day maybe it wouldn't be such a good choice to home school.

When I was a kid people would often ask me two questions - "how do you learn anything?" and "how do you make friends?".

Social isolation isn't always about numbers - some kids could be at a school with a lot of fellow students but no friends - or many, or a home-schooled child could make a lot of friends through community involvement and other activities. 

I like to think I learnt a bit. I did choose to study Year 11 and 12 formally at home with no problems and then at university I was in the top percentage of students.

There is something nice about being encouraged to study what you're into as a child.

For me it was science and paleontology, and I am pretty sure I read more issues of National Geographic than anyone alive.

I probably couldn't have explored my love of that subject so much at school.

But for some kids and some parents, school is perfectly good too.

It just depends what fits your family and what works for you.

There's no right or wrong, just choices to suit your lifestyle.

Topics:  education, home schooling



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