Home schooling vs. traditional schooling in Nigeria, this was a conversation we had on our community @LagosMums recently. Homeschooling refers to the education of a child at home either by a parent or tutor while traditional schooling refers to the conventional school setting complete with teachers, boards and classmates. There are a few families that are homeschooling their children in Nigeria. There are others that would desire homeschooling but unsure of how to go about it.
Do people actually home school their children?
These would probably be some of the questions foremost on the minds of some readers. The closest idea some have of what homeschooling might entail was of governesses and their young aristocratic charges in some historical novel or movie classic like ‘Sound of Music’ and ‘The King and I’.
Home schooling is actually a thing, some Universities abroad actually even look out for home schooled college students as research has stated that home schooled children achieve levels of academic achievement similar to or higher than their traditionally schooled peers.
So we threw this question on social media and some of our Instagram followers were able to shed more light on their feelings about the subject, even referencing families in Nigeria who they know are homeschooling successfully! More specifically, moms shared reasons they would consider it or not venture near it.
@afrodagg says: Certain things happening in the country (most countries) from age 0-3 most kids don’t know how to tell what they go through in the crèche or classroom when something goes wrong how exactly do I know what happened? I would love to teach my child some basic information on certain things myself before letting him out to school.
Both methods have their pros and cons and their effectiveness depends on how best it is suited to the child’s needs. As IG user @asyianfashion puts it: ‘If I had the skills, patience and withal I would consider it. I’ve met a few Mums and kids who are in this category and it was quite an eye opener. To balance the social aspect, tolerance towards others and those other things that matter I would strike up a balance somehow’.
Why would you compare home schooling to traditional schooling?
Some of the obvious advantages of homeschooling are that the child would be a beneficiary of child-centered learning where he would learn at his own pace instead of at a classroom pace which might be too fast or slow for him. It might be a better option for gifted kids restricted by laws like age stipulations. Some parents prefer it as it gives them the opportunity to instil the values they want in their children.
Take the case of UK-based 10 year old Nigerian Esther Okade (feel free to research her story) who in 2015 went on to enroll to study Maths in a UK university, taking advanced Maths courses and excelling at them. How she got to that stage? She was home schooled from the age of three, by her mathematician mum, Efe. READ: [Stay Home Vs Working Mum]
Traditional schools too are what majority of us came from and we turned out fine. We have very good schools which are holding their own against international standards. However, we still have those schools which recommend textbooks that teach children that the function of the head is to ‘carry load’ (in this 21st century!).
How affordable is home schooling?
Homeschooling is not an alternative or way to avoid the ever-increasing Lagos school fees life. Rather, it is expensive and requires dedication, discipline, and access to quality materials. Parents of home schooled children need to have access to a wide array of homeschooling resources. Some of these include standard curriculum, books, computer, teaching materials, excursions or trips. It’s not about going to raid Yaba bookshops and doing ‘lesson’ at home. READ: [Cost of Education, is it Expensive?]
Certainly homeschooling might seem intimidating as indicated in the concerns and comments by these mums:
@theoluchukwu: ‘Will the child take it serious seeing that he is at home with his mum?? Would love to.. buh am weighing in’
@sotariahomes: ‘I like this but how do I get the resources for homeschooling in Nigeria’
Mums like @alani_oceaniia, would love to home school, but is restricted by laws, ‘would love to home school my daughter but it’s not allowed in Germany. Might move back to the islands where it’s possible”
Whether home schooling or traditional schooling, what is most important is our children and ensuring they get quality education.
What is your preferred method of education, and why? Would you consider home schooling your child(ren), sticking to the traditional option or a combination of both? Let us know in the comment boxes below.