Over the past few years, many parents and guardians have looked at unconventional teaching methods for their kids. The pandemic no doubt accelerated this trend, but many parents wanted to know about these nontraditional methods even before Covid-19 first appeared. Other parents point to school shootings as potential reasons to want to keep their children away from traditional public or private schools.
If you feel like this about your children, you should know that homeschooling, unschooling, and gameschooling all have unique benefits. We will talk about each of those in the following article. When you finish reading, you may feel like you want to try one of them if your child’s current education setup doesn’t work for you.
What is Homeschooling?
We’ll start by explaining each of these concepts, just in case you don’t know much about them yet. Homeschooling has existed for decades, and some parents like to teach their children this way because of religious beliefs or other reasons.
Simply put, if you homeschool your child, you develop a curriculum and teach them at home. Ideally, you want your kids to learn about history, math, science, and everything else that a traditional school teaches them. You’d hope that what you teach your children if you use this system will enable them to function well in society.
You also want them to attain an education that allows them to get a GED, symbolizing that they know enough to either get by in society or attend a university if they want to continue their learning into young adulthood.
You find many parents homeschooling their kids in America, but also in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and elsewhere. You might like this solution if you want to directly influence what your child does and doesn’t learn.
Of course, if you elect to go this route, you also have to take the time to teach your kids yourself. If you do not have the aptitude or time to do this, you might choose another teaching method. You can’t usually work full-time if you have to teach your child or children as well.
What is Unschooling?
You might not know the term “unschooling” yet, but this concept has been around for a while, and it’s becoming more popular as we progress further into the 21st century. Usually, with this method, you’re teaching a child at home, the same as you would with a homeschooling ideology. However, you’re avoiding traditional methods and grades.
Instead, you, as the child’s teacher, view school as a freeing activity. You see what interests your child, and you then try to formulate lessons based on that. Many times, you’ll go outside of a building like your house or apartment and try to use the natural world to teach lessons you feel will interest your pupil.
Unschooling teaches independence, and often, children will feel more engaged with it because you’re modeling a lesson plan directly from what the child likes, such as music, art, etc. Critics feel like some children who receive an unschooling education don’t learn fundamentals as well, such as math, language skills, etc. Also, they feel like the kids who learn this way might not do so well because they rarely have a set routine.
What is Gameschooling?
Much like unschooling, gameschooling’s popularity has surged in recent years. Many parents and kids like this method because it encourages fun interactions. You might use gameschooling as part of a homeschooling curriculum, though certain traditional institutions have tried incorporating it as well.
Games are this teaching form’s main basis. You teach your kids lessons that you structure as games, so they won’t feel bored when covering tedious subject matter.
You might create board games or card games that teach a particular skill, though some companies create video games now with the same basic educational concepts behind them. Many parents like gameschooling because it encourages technological interaction. If you want to teach your kids while also introducing them to technology, such as video game consoles, you might use this method.
These three methods allow parents to closely monitor their kids and teach them as they see fit. While each of the three styles we’ve mentioned feature different educational frameworks, they also share essentially the same drawbacks.
With each method, your kids presumably won’t interact with others their own age while they learn. That could lead to antisocial tendencies.
That’s why, if you do decide to go with one of these methods, you should probably arrange times and places where your child can interact with other kids their same age. That way, you can make sure they’re not feeling isolated or withdrawn.
Also, if you do want to try one of these methods, you’ll need to make sure you have the time and energy to follow through on lesson plans. Maybe, if you have a spouse or partner, they can work while you teach the kids. If you can’t survive on a single salary, you may have to scrap any of these three ideas and return your child or children to public school.
You’ll also need to ensure you have the materials in place to implement one of these methods. With homeschooling or unschooling, you probably won’t need to spend a lot of money on textbooks or similar teaching necessities. With gameschooling, though, you’ll likely need to buy the games and systems you’ll use to teach your child.
If you’ve got a special needs child, you might feel like using one of these three methods might work best for them. If you worry about enrolling your young one in traditional school for other reasons, you may also look at these options closely.
More parents look at alternate schooling methods more seriously now, and they’re not so unusual. Ultimately, you have to pick a teaching method that you feel will give your child the confidence and skills they need as they get ready to join the adult world in the not-too-distant future.