Homeschooling, education otherwise, individual tuition, or home school is a form of education where parents undertakes the responsibility for their children’s education. Many different forms exist.
Most common is that parents (especially for the older students) serve more as mentors than as a teacher. Knowledge and skills can be obtained in the most diverse ways and from a variety of formal and informal contexts.
Homeschooling can be full-time, part-time, combined with distance learning for short periods and for the whole school.
Before the introduction of compulsory schooling or public school, most children and youth receive education in home from parents or other close relatives. For a small elite homeschooling was conducted with the help of a private tutor. When a public school was introduced in the Western world, the importance of homeschooling gradually decreased.
During the latter half of the 1900s, a modern form of homeschooling has emerged as an alternative to schooling, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries. In these countries, educational considerations (such as introduced by John Caldwell Holt, Raymond and Dorothy Moore, Harold Bennett, John Taylor Gatto, and Ivan Illich) and other philosophical reasons (e.g., religiously motivated rejection of certain elements of the state curriculum) played pivotal role.
Countries like USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and England have a permissive attitude toward homeschooling and in some cases supported homeschooling with state resources. In the U.S., currently 2 million children are educated without attending school. Homeschooled youngsters are welcomed in universities, including the prestigious universities of Yale, Stanford, and Harvard.
In most European countries, homeschooling is a legal opportunity, which is often unknown by both parents and representatives of the education system. In some countries, such as Ireland, Italy, and Spain, the right to homeschooling is in the constitution. In England there were about 160 000 children in homeschooling in 2004, in France over 20 000 children, while the Scandinavian countries have a few hundred children per country educated via homeschooling.
In the modern homeschooling, a great variety of methods and materials are used. Varieties of educational philosophical approaches also exist.
Inspiration comes sometimes from renowned teachers such as Montessori, Steiner, and Freinet, but just as often parents uses their own education, or work in a similar manner as in ordinary school.
Training is often individualized, sometimes thematic, interdisciplinary, sometimes inspired by the theory of multiple intelligences, sometimes on the basis of everyday life in the local community and sometimes inspired by John Holt’s term “unschooling” or “natural learning” where the child’s curiosity and learning activities that everyday life provides the starting point. Most common is that such education is eclectic; it combines methods and materials freely customized for needs.
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