According to a study conducted by the Fraser Institute, there is a surge in the number of families in Canada opting to home-school their kids. The study revealed that 21,662 Canadian children were enrolled as home school students in 2012. This marked a 29% increase over a five-year period. However, the study acknowledges that more students are not yet registered.
A gradual transition has been observed when it comes to the rationale for home-schooling kids. Earlier, the decision was based on ideology and religion. But now parents are opting for homeschooling due to more pragmatic reasons. All Canadian provinces require parents to notify the concerned bodies of their home-schooled kids, and the policy framers are trying to pay closer attention to this increase in number.
Families like the Millers, who love traveling, feel that when it comes to children’s education, their interest is better served by a program that is highly inclusive and outside of the traditional institutional setup. These extensive travellers believe that world-schooling helps elevate the principles of home-schooling by creating teachable concepts in new foreign environments. The kids perform real-world activities and school activities simultaneously.
As parents, the Millers curated their travel plans with more thoughtfulness by keeping in mind their child’s learning needs. It has to be a strategic plan towards providing the relevant learning tools in life.
Jennifer Sutherland-Miller, speaking to Global News, explained, “I’m a big supporter of public education as one way of educating kids, but it’s certainly not the only way,” she said. “We opted to take our kids out of school and do the job differently because we wanted so much more for them than was going to be available.”
She believes parents can generate a great study plan for the home-schooling kids by populating a course list relevant to the kid’s age and based on a few top school curriculums in the region. The family also should ensure the entire curriculum is covered within the stipulated time frame. Anything above and beyond this as a result of real-world experience is highly desirable.
Miller feels home-schooled students are in some way more prepared for higher studies than many of their peers. They develop the art of self-studying and scheduling the study plans. World-schooling helps connect to the diverse culture in a way that is more meaningful and impactful than any book or documentary.
However, there are particular challenges to home-schooling, too. Parents have to be wise to curate the home-schooling plans accordingly to ensure that the kids have no such issues if they reintegrate into the formal education system.
Alyson Schafer, who is a parenting expert and a family counsellor, thinks, world-schooling is an excellent opportunity, but it comes with some risk. She said, “You can’t replace the type of education that you’d get out experiencing the world with anything that would happen in the classroom. It provides a tremendous foundation for future learning.” She also emphasizes, “Not world-schooling doesn’t mean you aren’t a good parent.”