Learning hubs for home-schoolers? Parents discuss idea
We all thought our children should learn from daily experiences and decided to rent a place where they meet and learn. POORVA SULE , a parent at the meet
MUMBAI: On Sunday evening, more than 50 parents from the city, Thane and Navi Mumbai, who have decided to homeschool their children, met in Bandra to discuss the possibility of forming peer-learning centres for their wards.
This informal meeting comes after the state education department launched the Maharashtra State Open Schooling Board on January 10 that will let homeschooled children take up exams for Classes 5, 8, 10 and 12.
At the Sunday meeting, parents exchanged stories of homeschooling their children and the challenges involved.
Binal Joshi, 40, said she had already started a learning centre for home-schoolers with two other families in her neighbourhood in Thane.
“We are a group of parents who decided to ‘unschool’ our children — helping them learn without a curriculum or fixed structure. We decided to rent out a place where children can come anytime between 11am and 4pm every day to learn, play or participate in field visits,” Joshi said.
Like Joshi, Poorva Sule from Sion and six other parents have decided to stop formal schooling for their children from June this year.
“We all thought our children should learn from everyday experiences and thus decided to take the step. To help each other with this process, we decided to rent a place where our children can meet and learn from each other,” Sule said.
Some parents at the meet, however, opposed the idea of creating learning centres for home-schoolers. “The whole idea is to break structures. If we are going to have a ‘centre’ once again, it will again be a formalised set up where students would go at a certain time and would be expected to do certain things rather than learning freely,” said Amrutha Langs, a Dadar-based parent.
However, Sourav Dutta, one of the parents who organised the meet, said the point of them coming together was to discuss various views about homeschooling. “There are different models of doing it and parents can follow what suits them best,” he said.
As of January, 66 students had enrolled with the state’s open schooling board which plans to conduct its first examination in June.