The COVID-19 pandemic has led more than 1.2 billion children to stay out of school. To fill the education gap created, parents and schools are turning to online learning or home-based education. Online learning is mainly possible in areas that have supporting infrastructures like electricity, internet, and gadgets. Although homeschooling may have several benefits, homeschooling families face many challenges.
Time allocation and management
One of the challenges for homeschoolers is time management. While at home, children have some freedom to engage in other activities like martial arts, dance classes, swim lessons, and piano classes. These activities may eat up a lot of time at the expense of academic work. It is important to set priorities to avoid overscheduling and overcommitment, which can leave both children and parents burnt out.
Then a sudden change of roles
One of the biggest challenges with homeschooling is the sudden change from parent to teacher. In this case, the parent has to follow through with the children’s schoolwork, which can be a delicate balance for many families. Parents are forced to juggle parenting and teaching, which can be overwhelming to many.
With COVID-19 pandemic still ravaging several parts of the world, homeschooling is increasing, gaining wider recognition and greater acceptance.
There has been an increase in the number of parents homeschool their children due to COVID-19 pandemic. Several states in the US, like Washington, Utah, and Texas, are reporting a sharp spike in interested parents. According to J. Allen Weston, executive director of the National Home School Association, they have seen a big increase in calls and emails of inquiry for home-based schooling.
With fears of a second wave of outbreak mounting, many parents opt not to return their children to school and instead opt to homeschool. “A lot of parents were disillusioned with what they saw over the last 120 days,” said Luis Huerta, a professor of education and public policy at Teachers College at Columbia University.
Experts warn that the switch may require commitment and investment by parents in terms of skills they can offer. This will likely widen education inequalities as families have different abilities to provide to homeschool.