Homeschooling worldwide: The rise of homeschooling

Homeschooling worldwide witnessed a spike as the Covid-19 pandemic shut schools for months. Over 300 million children began homeschooling worldwide in March 2020.

Keep reading to understand this growth in the number of homeschoolers.

With the development of online learning programs and other digital tools, access to high-quality homeschooling has become more feasible than ever before. Through homeschooling, parents take charge of their children’s education. Today, there is an assortment of curriculum options and learning pathways for homeschooling worldwide. New-age homeschooling involves spending more time outside the house and learning from educators in the community. It also includes hands-on learning through learning centres, art studios, museums, and hybrid homeschooling networks.

Many studies conducted on homeschooling worldwide have shown that homeschoolers perform better than their traditionally schooled peers. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, we need a learning model suitable for the current innovation era and not the industrial age. Curiosity, creativity, innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit define human nature and set us apart from artificial intelligence. However, conventional schooling often undermines these qualities by preferring obedience and conformity over imagination and originality. Learning outside of the traditional schooling system can nurture key human differences and prepare young people to create a dynamic workforce through continuous learning and reskilling.

Often, disasters lead to massive institutional changes causing systemic shocks which can trigger a fresh perspective on existing norms and power structures. For example, as the pandemic brought the world to a standstill, the question arose whether learning and education were only limited to a four-walled classroom. Why can’t there be a better way to continue learning? Since the pandemic accelerated the growth of homeschooling worldwide, many families realised that learning outside of the traditional school benefited their children. Many have thought about homeschooling and other alternatives as long-term options. They may realise that education without traditional schools is an opportunity rather than a crisis. In unprecedented environments such as the Covid-19 pandemic, families actively seek solutions that fulfil health and safety needs while catering to children’s learning and socio-emotional needs.

Parents are opting for homeschooling worldwide because they want to customise education as per their child’s needs. They determine what and how to teach and whether to follow a set curriculum. There is growing research on the rising prevalence of homeschooling in India. While there is not enough data on the number of homeschooled children in India, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru are home to most of the homeschooling communities in the country. Unlike homeschooling worldwide, the concept initially catered to specially-abled children who needed care and supervision in India. Another significant concern was the stringent education system in India and other reasons, including child abuse, bullying, or children wanting to build careers outside of academics. Homeschooling worldwide takes account of children’s unique needs. Education methods should be altered according to children’s capabilities and not the other way around.

Homeschooling worldwide received a boost in popularity due to the growth of edtech companies that cater to various education boards. Homeschooling doesn’t restrict children to curricula. They can instead study what they find interesting. Parents of homeschooled children foster the curiosity and creativity of their children. Hence, homeschooled kids imbibe principles that enable them to do well in higher education. The increasing acceptance of individuality in India has convinced parents that there will be a surge in homeschooling. In India, homeschooled children have to take the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) examinations to be eligible for higher education. Birla Brainiacs is a leading online learning platform with hybrid homeschooling that offers a curriculum suited for various education boards.