I can imagine how difficult it is life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have lost their job. The schools are closed, and these affect the children tremendously.
I was working with viruses, and I know how difficult it is to produce a safe and effective vaccine. I am predicting that the problem will remain for a few more years. At least one to two years. Unfortunately, up until the moment I write this post, the vaccine is still not available in the market.
COVID-19 and homeschooling
While previously some people said that there is no future for homeschooling, however, COVID-19 has shown that homeschooling is the future. Many have started making homeschooling as a business such as providing syllabus to the homeschooler and many more.
Unfortunately, many parents misunderstood the spirit of homeschooling. Some even bring the school system to their home! As a result, many children were reported stress. Maybe more pressure than the adults as the nature of a child is to play and socialise. Even more unfortunate, many parents decided to give gadget as a final solution.
This is a serious problem!
I feel it is my responsibility to share some of my experience as an academician who also practices homeschooling during this COVID-19 pandemic season.
We want our children to enjoy their childhood; in the meantime, we also want them to be ready for their future.
Homeschooling is not about bringing the school to our home.
Many of the parents thought that homeschooling is to bring the school into their home. They make a similarly tight schedule as what it used to be at school. Some have a program until dinner time. From one subject to another subject for a few hours. They are worried if the children might be left behind compared to their colleagues. Some of the parents still insist that their children must always be the best at all subject.
Dear parents, this is not homeschooling!
Homeschooling supposed to be enjoyed. Homeschooling is about to build a love for knowledge. Homeschooling also means self-directed learning. It means the children can learn from many sources, including nature, and the parent’s job is to be the mentor. To give necessary guidance so that the child can think and appreciate the knowledge.
Let me give an example of learning from nature in homeschooling. You know that your kids love everything about plants. What you can do is to provide her seeds and let she plant it herself. Jot down the details every day. Trigger her by asking her hypothesis. By doing that, she will develop many skills, including language, mathematics, biology and ethics.
How? While she is digging, she knows that it is a pressure that makes the spade get into the soil (physics). The plant needs water and sun (biology). The sunlight will give food through photosynthesis (biochemistry). Some plants produce legumes which are the habitat for microorganisms (microbiology). She also knows that there are germs on the soil (microbiology) so that she has to wash her hands after gardening (ethics).
As simple as that!
There is no fixed syllabus in homeschooling. It is an exploration.
I have four children, and all of them have different interest, strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, my wife and I always plan our education according to the interest and strength of the children. We believe exploring is the best way of learning. As a scientist, exploration allows me to learn a new dimension of knowledge. That is the same with homeschool. Allow the child and you to explore, and you will find the beauty of homeschooling.