Mrs Oluuseun Toluhi, Nigeria District Representative, The European Academy of Christian Homeschooling, says most children harness their potentialities more when not working under strict learning conditions.
Toluhi expressed the view in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja.
She said people had different abilities, strengths and interests and as such learning should not be stereotype.
Toluhi said homeschooling provided the best environment for children to harness their potential under conducive environments.
She described homeschooling as a progressive movement around the country and the world in which parents chose to educate their children at home instead of sending them to traditional public or private schools.
Toluhi, a homeschooling parent, said it entailed the child learning all subjects at home under the supervision of an adult who could either be a tutor or a parent.
She said in many developed countries, homeschooling was a legal alternative to public and private schooling.
“A child’s strengths and weaknesses are more clearly revealed in homeschooling.
‘’We take everything at the child’s pace; learning to read at any age without undue pressure works out just fine when homeschooled.
“A child does not have to wait for everyone as it happens in the traditional school class to be on chapter three of a subject, before he works on chapter three; they can continue to study as far as they can.
“Besides, the child is exposed to more extracurricular activities than when in the traditional school and has more time and opportunities to learn much more than the school taught subjects.”
Toluhi said some advantages of homeschooling included parents spending lots of time with their children and getting to know them.
She said such situation was an opportunity for character training.
“Instead of dropping a child off in school or with the bus and welcoming them home eight hours later, the child learns with no stress, enjoys making and having lunch at home, cuddling over a science lesson or phonics lesson.
“Families can travel whenever they want; travelling is another opportunity to learn new things”, she said.
Toluhi added that children who were homeschooled had no fear of being bullied or peer pressured and not exposed to infections and viruses common in the traditional school environment.
She said families chose to homeschool their children because of dissatisfaction with the educational options available, different religious beliefs or educational philosophies.
She said another reason parents chose that their children be homeschooled was the belief that children were not progressing within the traditional school structure.
Toluhi said there were various homeschooling curricula available; some child-centred and others which required the tutor or parent to be learned in the taught subject.
She explained that an adult who could read, understand and pass the equivalent of the Nigerian Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination could be a tutor.
She advised that homeschooling should be done with a curriculum that was structured and well adapted to succeed within the home environment or a curriculum subject to the supervision of a curriculum provider.
According to her, this is necessary in order to have uniformity in the results, especially with regard to graduates produced at the end of the day.
Toluhi said homeschooling had its challenges as many people thought the child would lack confidence, not be able to adapt well in the university and not function well socially.
”Critics of homeschooling claim that students lack necessary social skills but studies have found that 98 per cent homeschooled students participated in two or more activities outside the home,” Toluhi said.
She said the cost implication of home schooling was relative to many factors.
“The curriculum is quite affordable as it is not a profit making venture (and providers) work in pursuit of eternal values and development of the total child.
“While we do not spend more than a minimum fraction of the cost of the best schools around, no amount of money is too much to spend in educating our children,’’ she said. ”
Toluhi said homeschooling was not popular in Nigeria because of the lack of information on what it was about.
She added that there was the mindset that traditional schools were the only ones with the mandate to educate children.
According to her, there is also the belief that children must mix with other children to be sociable while overlooking the painful effects of negative peer pressure.
“However, if parents are adequately informed and husbands can support their wives or vice versa, bills will reduce.