As an education choice, there have always been many benefits to homeschooling. During the unprecedented restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, these advantages are even more apparent! With many children having to learn outside the classroom (permanently or intermittently) in order to curb the spread of the virus, many parents are wondering if they should take their child’s education into their own hands. Choosing homeschooling over virtual or in-person classes is an increasing trend. 5.26% of the student population of Alberta are presently homeschooled, a 4% increase from last year.
What are the benefits of homeschooling during the pandemic?
There are a variety of advantages to homeschooling in these uncertain times, or any time for that matter!
- Flexibility: Homeschooling allows you to set your schedule and structure your day to suit your child(ren)’s needs. You decide when school begins, pauses and stops. You can even plan the school day around your work schedule. With many parents working from home, this flexibility is a great bonus!
- Individualized education: Every child is different! Homeschooling allows you to focus on your child’s interests, consider their skills and accommodate their learning style. You can tailor lessons to your child’s unique needs.
- Freedom: Many choices are open to the homeschooler. You can include practical skills, volunteering, artistic pursuits, traditional trades and/or religious teachings. Your child’s interests and passions can be taken into account. Parents are free to choose their child’s reading materials and are able to take full advantage of teachable moments (an event or experience which presents a good opportunity for learning about a particular aspect of life).
- Safety with limited COVID-19 restrictions: No need for a mask, physical barriers and/or social distancing. Less worries regarding high case numbers and vulnerable family members.
- Strong relationships: Increased time spent with your kids provides more opportunities for bonding, helping to build closer parent-child and sibling-to-sibling relationships. You can fill your day with discussion, exploration, learning and play!
- Family style learning: Tap into shared family memories to support learning (drawing pictures, writing stories, sequencing photos, interviewing, counting, comparing). Make the abstract concrete through the use of practical tasks.
- Less stress: Children who have struggled bullying from their peers at school are also able to find some respite and focus on their education outside of that environment.
- Real life socialization: A homeschooled child is less dependent upon peers. Rather than having to fit in, they develop a strong sense of self in a supportive environment, one in which they are consistently exposed to adult role models and a variety of age groups. This contributes to healthy social, emotional, and psychological development.
Through The Centre for Learning@HOME’s program offerings, students can receive a high-quality education, experiencing no disruptions to their learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, without the constant anxiety about whether they are expected in the classroom the next day. With the many options available for parent choice in homeschooling, students may be following a teacher-directed online or a parent-directed home education approach.
Feel more confident in your family’s education with the support of The Centre for Learning@Home. We’ve supported homeschooling families in Alberta for nearly thirty years, and encourage parents to set a curriculum that they and their children are comfortable with, with program planning assistance and funding available.
For students benefiting from structure, support, and accountability, an online program will include daily live instruction by Alberta-certificated teachers. For parents who desire more involvement in their child’s education, following a home education program is a great opportunity for you to build a deeper relationship with your child during the pandemic. Call us at (403) 938-4119 or our toll-free number 1-800-659-1945 to learn more about getting your family set up for homeschooling.