Stay-at-Home Parents/education

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QUESTION: Hello,
Kindly help. I have a daughter 7 years old and studying 2nd class. I took a new house and I admitted my daughter to join a new school which is near to my house. She went for 2-3 months and now onwards she is not at all interested to go to school. Interestingly she is also not interested to go to her old school. She says that, she will learn by her own all classes. We are so worry...Please help us. If she is not going to school, how can she learn and how she will get grades or certificates. Please help

ANSWER: Hi Andhra,

I can relate to your problem because I am a teacher of English as a Second Language, and I have tutored more than one child whose challenges were not so much with English as a second language as they were with English, period. I had a student whose English was not bad but his parents were from another country and so their son was struggling with his school work. Finally it got so bad that he left school, so they hired me to tutor him. I managed to make quite a bit of progress with him but still it will be hard for him to re-integrate into the school system, I think, because when he was struggling with it he had some bad experiences with bullying and just feeling like he couldn't keep up.

It seems like the longer a child is out of school, the harder it is for them both psychologically and academically to return. This boy's mother is very worried about him, just as you are worried about your daughter, and I think there are some good reasons for that worry. In your part of the world especially it seems that academic achievement is quite important for success in all areas of life.

Can you daughter read, write and do basic math? Does she actually learn on her own? What kind of educational materials does she have access to? Was she having any problems in school that might explain why she is so reluctant to go back, i.e. bullying, struggling with one or more subjects, or some other reason(s)? All of these matter in how you deal with her. If you give me more information I may be able to give you more specific recommendations. Maybe she needs help from a tutor or family member in catching up in one or more subjects, in order to feel happy and comfortable in going back to school. Or maybe you simply need to insist. Here in North America we have truancy laws; I am not sure how much trouble your family could get into if your daughter doesn't attend school. In any case, I think it would be best if she could go back, and it is just a matter of figuring out how best to make that happen.

I hope this helps.

Take care,

-Stephanie

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Stephanie!
Many many thanks for your quick response.
My daughter can read, write basic math. In fact she loves math more than any.She told us...the present school is not quite good in terms of neatness of washrooms, friends and teacher way of explanation as well as punishments to other students. Apart from this, her old school timings are 8.30 am to 1.30 pm. However her present school timings are 8.30 am to 3. 30 pm. This is also she doesn't like. Because of these heavy timings, she is unable to complete home work in time. I mean up to 9.00 pm she is doing her school home work and sometimes she is not completing also.  Hence we realized to change her from this new school to old or any some other school. She is not interested to go to even old school. since we are living little far from our old school and 1 hr journey is required to reach school from my house. Unfortunately there is no school in near to my home which is running up to 1.30 pm like her old school. Finally, she decided to not go for any more school and she would like to learn everything from home, and she told me that to arrange home tutors for all subjects. My questions, if she is not attended the school, how she will get certifications. I am so worry...as well as my wife. Kindly help me.
Pleaseeeeeeeeee
High regards

Answer
Hi,

I did a little research on this question since laws and attitudes about educating children at home (homeschooling as it's known in North America) are different depending on which part of the world you live in.

Here are a couple of good articles:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/parenting/Is-home-sc
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeschooling_and_alternative_education_in_India

It seems that alternative education like what your daughter wants is not all that unusual in India, and if she did actually learn at home or at an alternative school she could go on to take the exams she would need to pass in order to get certifications, etc. So, it's not illegal, and could maybe even work well.

Here in Canada I knew a number of families who homeschooled their children. Some were nice, normal, intelligent, well-educated people who did a really good job of homeschooling their kids. They had the means to put in the time, effort and resources to homeschool their kids well. That is, they allocated hours to formal or semi-formal schooling every day and made sure their kids learned all the core academic skills they would need to make it in the real world when they grew up. Their children seemed bright, inquisitive, and happy, and probably went on to do just fine.

Other parents I know homeschooled their kids because they were very Christian and didn't want their kids "tainted" by regular contact with non-Chistian kids and teachings. These kids, in the opinion of us other parents, could end up seeming a little isolated or odd. But who knows, maybe they did fine in the long run.

The third category of families who tended to want to homeschool were the ones I'd call "new age" or "hippie". They tended to not want to conform to the mainstream for personal or philosophical reasons; they found it too challenging, or limiting, or what have you. Some of them were highly intelligent and thoughtful, others were just disorganized or maybe even lazy. They tended to struggle financially, as their kids probably would when they grew up.

It might be completely different in India, I don't know.

The bottom line is that if you do decide to homeschool you and your daughter could be perfectly successful. But do you or your wife have the time and educational resources to do this properly? I know that extended families are much more normal in India than here in Canada; do you have an older relative, maybe, who could be in charge of your daughter and her education during the day? Of course it's important that your daughter grow up properly socialized, too, so she'd need to be taken on "field trips" as we call them here or have regular opportunities to hang out with other kids. Maybe that's easier in India; here someone usually has to drive them somewhere.

Your daughter's reasons for not wanting to go to school might have some justification. Does she really have to study until 9 p.m. every night to keep up?? I have heard that in Asian countries the educational expectations can get a little crazy and even lead to suicide in some cases. On the other hand having to go to school until 3:30 every day is perfectly reasonable for a 7-year-old in my opinion; it's normal here.

So it all depends on you and whether homeschooling or alternative school (Montessori?) is an option for you. If not then you may have to have a firm talk with your daughter and tell her she has to go to school or she will be "left out" of life the way the 11-year-old I tutored probably will be. I hope all this helps and will give you the information you need to think and work this all through.

Oh, one other thing I should mention, is that tons of options are becoming available for online tutoring now. I know that wages in India are not high but you could check out sites like https://preply.com if there is no one at home that can teach your daughter or if her education needs to be supplemented. Also you should find out from the school system what sort of materials they could provide if your daughter really has the self-discipline to be in charge of her own education. 7 seems too young to me, but who knows, maybe it could work if she is so determined to stay out of school.

Good luck!

-Stephanie

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Stephanie

Expertise

I am a stay-at-home mom of two great kids under the age of four. But even good healthy kids can be a challenge at times. I can answer questions about crying, sleeplessness, general insecurity (on the part of both mom and kids!), potty training, co-sleeping, weaning and more. I am a member of La Leche League so I have access to plenty of information on breastfeeding and related problems. In more recent months we`ve had experience dealing with discipline and socialization skills as well. We all have rough patches with our kids, and days when we just think we`re too tired to cope--but sometimes just talking to someone else who`s been there can be enough to get us through. I`ve had plenty of good support, and now I`d like to pass some of that along.

Experience

I've been a mom for four years now. We regularly attend playgroups and La Leche League meetings. My son goes to a co-op playschool where I often help out. In the past I've worked as a volunteer for Big Sisters in schools helping kids with their reading and writing.

Organizations
La Leche League
Big Sisters

Publications
Birth Issues (published 4 times a year in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

Education/Credentials
B.A.

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