Interview with Kamala Mukunda, an educational psychologist, teacher at the Centre for Learning outside Bangalore and author of What Did You Ask at School Today?
What are the advantages of homeschooling?
Through homeschooling parents can give their children an opportunity to study at their own pace. Learning in a group of 10 to 20 children is healthy. Most schools do not offer this option. Competitive learning, constant comparison, anxiety and stress are extremely unhealthy for a child’s growth.
In addition to frustration with the current system, which emphasises rote-learning, the fact that there aren’t many alternative schools pushes them to take this step.
What are the disadvantages?
Teaching is a difficult task. Not every parent can play the role of a teacher. Apart from being exposed to a variety of subjects at school, children also learn to grow up amongst friends. Community-based learning and solving problems with peers is extremely important for a child to build essential social skills.
Schools offer children these opportunities.
What advise would you give to homeschooling parents?
Alternative schools can be an alternative. Homeschooling is a full-time job. Parents need to practically assess whether they can take on this responsibility. They also need to make efforts to introduce children to a social circle. It’s much easier these days, though.
Youngsters are connected through the internet and social networking.