What’s the best school in Dar? Which program would be ideal for my child? Is my child getting a proper education? Such questions are all too common in the parent community, not only in Dar es Salaam, but worldwide wherever there is choice. Asking these questions is a good thing. It shows we as parents and guardians have a vested interested in our children’s future. But who are we consulting? And how do we know “they” are giving us the information we need to make sound decisions? Who we ask is perhaps even more important than the queries themselves.
The field of education is ever-evolving with the rise of technology. From the body of content being taught to the methodology of instruction, students today are quite literally functioning in a world entirely different than their parents. It’s no wonder we have so many questions.
Learning models come in all shapes and sizes with curricula ranging from the rigid and standardized IGCSE to the more inquiry-based approach of the IB and nearly everything in-between. This “in-between” is thankfully giving way to more depth and yielding positive results, leaving parents with more options, and, ultimately more questions. One of the biggest trends making waves in the market is that of homeschooling.
What seemed to have begun as a popular faith-based or counter-culture alternative, is steadily finding itself more central in the mainstream of learning options. According to the American National Center for Education, “from 1999 to 2003 the number of home-schooled children increased from around 850,000 to roughly 1.1 million, a 29 percent jump in four years.” And this trend is spanning the globe. The Home Education Research Institute
maintains that home-based learning is growing in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
One of the most attractive benefit of homeschooling is the freedom it gives students and their families to choose the type of education they want and the pace at which to move. Regardless of how student-led a mainstream school may be, catering to traditional class sizes within a set school calendar may prevent students from extracting the fullest value from their lessons.
Homeschooling is also cost-effective. Think about how much you’re saving when you don’t have to think about uniforms, extra tutoring, and other standard overhead costs that are typically passed on to parents.
Of course the biggest advantage to homeschooling is 1-1 learning. Our homeschool students foster independence through fully customized instruction (link to homeschool page) aimed at their own learning style across all subjects. Lessons can be as visual or as hands-on as necessary for students to maximize their engagement, build knowledge, and have an easier time doing so. What’s more, receiving personalized attention during the day eliminates the need of paying for additional support after school. Kids are granted the time “to be kids” much like we reminisce about our school days.