HAVING A STUDENT taking an hour or two to read at home after school or subjecting another to home schooling is nothing more than reinforcing the formal school learning process. Arguments against this can only be levelled if there is no moderation in the whole process.
As an adult, I have been absolutely convinced that idleness is the greatest enemy of humankind. You may be surprised that this enmity may be greater than that between us and the devil. Fighting idleness and being constructively engaged as a student is as good as conquering a Philistine Goliath of some sort.
It is, therefore, uncalled – for as it is inept for a student who leaves school at 2pm to stay redundant for hours more than the ones he/she spent in school on that day before going back the next day. It completely goes against the grain of academia and all the strands of perception.
In the same vein, there is no educational inconsistency with the fact that a student, after leaving school, takes a couple of hours or minutes to consult with a home based tutor before taking it easy.
Home based tutors who teach one or two students, in my opinion and concrete information, reinforce and polish what the students learn in school in classes of forty students or more in some cases where personalised attention can be almost elusive.
Effective learning is all about repetition. By repeating information and practicing, learning experiences are translated from mere knowledge to more enduring learning outcomes that are desirable.
This, however, should not be misconstrued to mean that all the free time is for books and learning. No. Clear knowledge of the nature and way of functioning of the human brain is very pivotal here.
Proper amounts of rest and physical exercises are important for physical and emotional health of students. Resting is crucial for brain functioning as it affects alertness, learning ability, memory, mood and behaviour.
Researchers at New York University (2010) found out that our memories are strengthened during periods of rest while we are awake.
After leaving school in the evening, students can take some time to rest and then embark on individual studies or tutoring sessions and then after which rest and wait for the next day.
Slow and average learners cannot cope with the very gifted learners if they cannot spend double the time the very bright students spend in learning.
Teachers in schools rarely give personal attention to students owing to their heavy teaching loads and the superfluity of out of class responsibilities that they are charged with. In institutions where the students - teacher ratio is not upheld, the result is disastrous. This is why slow and average students cannot do without extended learning in form of private tuitions and individual study at home.
On the other hand, homeschooling is fast gaining currency especially in the developed world. The reasons behind its growth and expansion are worth noting. Home schooling has been variously described but there seems to be an overlapping ideology of ‘unschooling’ as a lifestyle of learning.
The school environment can be too stressful for some students who do not ‘fit’ in school because of their unique learning styles and prevalence.
Learning at home is customized, it gives you the opportunity to associate with those you enjoy associating with rather than those you have to associate with and you have the opportunity to use the learning tools like cell phones that are not allowed in school.
All in all, learning is continuous and goal driven. Learning done in and out of school in a manner that does not negate the principles of education is as good as a cheque that you can take to the bank.