I’m preparing to homeschool my kid. I’ve read hundreds of articles, forums, and researchs. I’ve listened to tons of homeschool parents sharing their experiences. So these are questions and answers that I asked and answered to myself about homeschooling.
Question : Does homeschooling has only “advantage things”?
Answer : No. There are some challenging aspects those the homeschooling parents have to deal with. I, as a newcomer of this challenging experience have to be realistic and unbiased as much as possible. Even though, I might fall in a trap that make me overlook from any problem that I will meet in the future. The disadvantage things those I have to meet such as my kid and I have to stay together 24-7, I have to dedicate my time for my kid’s education, or it might cost me more than going to school.
Question : Is it expensive to homeschool?
Answer : It depends on the need of the child. It’s about the activities those the kid wants to do, practice, join in. If they want to work in a farm with parents so the cost of that activity might be zero because parents don’t need to pay anything. They already have tools, materials, equipment in their farm. But if they want to learn about electrical circuit, scientific experiments, or biological operation, it might cost much more money.
About sport, it can matter in some degrees. Riding horse, sailing boat, or playing golf might cost more money than playing soccer, basketball, or swimming.
A single mom that I met who homeschools her son told me that there is “a hidden expense” about her homeschooling. It’s because she homeschool her son so she has to abandon a chance to make money away.
Question : What are the tools for evaluation and assessment in homeschool? What is the difference about types, strengths, and weakness?
Answer : In schools, teachers have to evaluate hundreds of students in a semester. The best method for doing so is testing, especially by a multiple choices test. Multiple choices testing has its own strengths and weaknesses. Its strengths are objectivity, reliability, and it’s easy to make a test and score. However, its weakness are, it has limited ability to measure the critical thinking, creativity, or others deeper cognition. It is able to measure only the question in the test. It is lack of flexibility. It is hard to add questions to the test to match the objective of the evaluation.
Question : What is the method to evaluate and assess homeschooled kids along the path of studying?
Answer : The evaluation tools for homeschooling are, observing, talking (interviewing), testing (oral and paper), multiple choices test or open-ended test.
Question : Am I worrying about lacking of social skill of my kid from homeschooling?
Answer : No. A parent who has been homeschooling her kid for years told me her son could her son could have social skills from the real situation in his daily life. She said when she asked her son to go to a local grocery store near their house, he would meet a neighbor’s dog, the dog’s owner, or the grocery store’s owner. He would get a real experience or have an interaction to adults, to people who older than him. Those experiences give him more realistic that the interactions between students and teachers in schools.
About life skill of interaction to people in the same age with her son, she said he could meet friends when he join some after-school classes, group activities, or sport events such as swimming, soccer training, martial arts, or else, which is kids from schools will attend these classes.
Question : Is it difficult for doing paper works to register homeschooling?
Answer : I talked about registering homeschooling to the education government office with a homeschooled parent. She said the office require a proper curriculum for homeschooling in a certain grade of the kid. It doesn’t have to be a Thai curriculum. Parents cold set up their own curriculum by themselves. They could apply the curriculum from educational website, other homeschooled families or even write it by themselves.
Question Inspection and assessment from Education government staff, what’s it like?
Answer : For now in 2016, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, homeschooling has to be evaluated and assessed by Education government staff. However it’s not mandatory to take a standard test like O-Net. One of a homeschooled mom told me that the government staff could change the method of assessment from testing to interviewing, questionair, or observing. Parents also need to provide a homeschool curriculum, instruction, and evaluation and assessment tools.
I heard that some parents feel uncomfortable about letting their kids to be assessed by a multiple choices test, or even an open-ended test. They disagree about the content in the test because they think it doesn’t fair for kids to be evaluated about something they didn’t learn or study.
About me : My name is Ekkalak Kaewpoowat. I’m 100% Thai, but I’m trying to improve my English. So I’m sure it would be lots of mistakes about English in my articles. I was a mathematics teacher in Thailand for 12 years. I was a math private tutor in the US for 5 years. Now I’m a full-time homemaker and learning to raise my newborn daughter.