Is Home Schooling the Guide to a Brighter Future?

Educationists are not thrilled at parents opting to school their kids at home.

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No exams, study when you want, and on days you don’t feel like it pick something else you want to do! That’s home schooling for you. In a bid to enable their children to explore their interests and strengths, many Indian parents are now opting to home school their children.

The whole education system is about churning out graduates who can then work at some place. They are not churning out entrepreneurs, independent people. For each parent their child is unique, so I thought why not take that thought further, why not try to make him one of the select few?
Shilpa Parulekar Phadnis, parent

Shilpa’s son, 12-year-old Ahaan prefers focusing on Maths, Science and Coding – his favourite subjects. But reading out of textbooks isn’t the only activity in his schedule.

My schedule is usually unstructured. I wake up in the morning, brush and then eat and by 9-10am I’m ready to start studying. We finish studying by 12-12:30pm. After that I usually play with electrical kits and then head out to play with my friends.
Ahaan Phadnis
Ahaan Phadnis and his mother during study time. 
Ahaan Phadnis and his mother during study time. 
(Photo: The Quint)

To gauge where he stands among peers, Ahaan participates in Olympiads. He even won the UNESCO Youth Multimedia Contest this year.

Our ultimate goal for the children was that they should become self-learners. At the end of the day, I want them to be able to read their books, choose what interests them and what they want to pursue. We will be along with them.
Sonnal Pardiwala, parent

The Pardiwalas have been home schooling their sons, Shahen (16) and Shahaan (11), for four years now. While 16-year-old Shahen studied in a formal school till the 7th standard, he had no trouble adapting to home schooling.

After 7th, I had a lot of time to explore the courses that I wanted to do. I did a course in television anchoring, I started blogging about our home schooling journey, I discovered my passion for writing and reading and public speaking, but the most important thing that I have pursued is our Youtube channel – Blogimly. 
Shahen Pardiwala

While educationists do accept that home schooling helps a child learn in their own pace, they are however sceptic about parents of home schoolers being able to provide a holistic education to the child.

Nowadays all flagship schools believe in holistic education. How will a parent provide education that is socially, emotionally, holistically very stable for the child? Is the parent equipped for that? We have trained teachers and councillors on board, we have the works in the school. What about the home?
Zeenat Bhojabhoy, Principal, Jamnabai Narsee School

While tests are not a priority for home schoolers, certain forms of assessment do play a key role in the process. 11-year-old Shahaan’s parents draw up question papers for him often to evaluate his understanding of the different subjects. Shahaan’s brother, Shahen Pardiwala too appeared for his 10th standard board exam, scoring 93.6 percent.

I had an option to give my 10th grade from IGCSE or the Maharashtra state board that also offers private candidature. I chose the state board. So technically, I gave my 10th one year earlier. 
Shahen Pardiwala

“We do assessments and make papers for them. We draw up papers for languages and for creative writing, we mostly ask them to come up with incidents, views and make up stories out of 5-6 words” said Sonnal Pardiwala.

The home schoolers we came across are working professionals who often take their children along as they go to work, keeping them engaged. But educationists caution that for home schooling to work, parents must be available to their child at all times.

Professionals who work from home prefer home schooling, but if both the parents are working and have a 9 to 5 job, who are the kids left with? Domestic help. Even if they are left with their grandparents, will the grandparents be able to satisfy all the needs of the child? Then home schooling will be a total failure.
Zeenat Bhojabhoy, Principal, Jamnabai Narsee School

Cameraperson: Yashpal Singh and Sanjoy Deb

Video Editor: Veeru Mohan

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