The provision and acquisition of education are phenomena that have been prioritized by many governments and institutions, and are, hence, viewed as the bridge to future success. Traditionally, this critical aspect of the human and societal development has been offered by the documented curriculum, physical institutions and human resources. However, just as the advent of technology has created an avenue for online learning, the adjustment to homeschool children has gained similar popularity. Homeschooling is a rapidly growing trend, as between the 1960s and 2010, the numbers had moved up from between 10,000 and 15,000 to 2 million students getting an education from their homes (Murphy & Mayborn, 2014). For families with children who suffer from different forms of mental disorders, homeschooling is no longer a choice but rather the one strategy that can enable them to administer the therapy these children need as well as grant them a chance to education. This is a challenging ordeal for parents since they have first to address the unique needs of the students before they offer them an education. Others must hire instructors, and this is often way off their budgets. It is therefore vital to critically unveil the challenges the parents, children and society undergo via homeschooling. The public schools are often underfunded due to homeschooling and hence resulting to resistance to this form of educating children. The parents also face challenges among them the difficulty to handle being parents and instructors the same time, the challenge of getting the program to subject the students under as well as the challenges the children faced by both going through the disorder as well as being isolated from the social aspect of education while they undertake homeschooling.
While it is the right of every parent to choose what is best for their children, the option of homeschooling significantly reduces the funding of public schools resulting in resistance for this form of education. Parents opt to seclude their children from the formalized schooling systems and hence provide them instructions within the home environment. To some, they do this due to their ideological reasons, and to others, it is pedagogical (Yin, Zakaria & Baharun, 2015). The former is a practice based on the religious beliefs of the parents, who feel that the school curriculum will fail to meet these beliefs, while the latter is an attempt to provide different instructions as opposed to those in the school setting (Cook, Bennett, Lane, & Mataras, 2013). Homeschooling has been received with different perspectives and reactions, and among the various impacts of these systems has been the withdrawal effect, the light-house effect and the competitive effects. The withdrawal effect entails the reduction of resources and facilities in public schools as a result of the reduced willingness and allegiance of paying taxes that lead to the financing of education (Murphy & Mayborn, 2014). Therefore, even though the idea might be towards the greater good of the child with a mental disorder, others might argue that the finances utilized for a single child could be put together and develop units that could accommodate these children under public school systems.
Homeschooling under ideal conditions usually yields better outcomes, but this is different from that conducted on students with mental disorders since the provision of therapy and education at the same time can be hectic to the care giver or the parent.
It is often challenging for a parent of the mentally ill child to maintain an entirely professional tone as an instructor and at the same time an entirely caring tone as the caregiver and as the parent (Jolly, Mathews, & Nester, 2012).
Programs for students with disabilities are often complex and in many cases, the barrier presented by the disorder might limit its efficacy and implementation (Zhao & Badzis, 2014).
The methodology, pedagogy, instruction level and efficacy of the program might be unclear or strange to the parent (Virban, 2017).
However, if conducted well, it yields exemplary results (Moreau, 2012)
The homeschooling setting is a closed one, and hence even though students are shielded from discrimination and bullying, are denied the aspect of social compatibility, and hence grow up as isolated individuals (Yin et al., 2015).
Education is a social aspect of one's life and therefore, embarking on it as an individual might be helpless and lonely.
Parents also face a phase of loneliness for the lack of familial support, as well as the isolation of abandoning the "normal" way of education
Cook K. B., Bennett K. E., Lane J. D., & Mataras T. K. (2013). Beyond the brick walls: homeschooling students with special needs. University of Georgia. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1061959.pdf
Jolly J. L., Mathews M. S. & Nester J. (2012). Homeschooling the Gifted: A Parent's Perspective. Gifted child quarterly. 57(2). Pp. 121-134 https://doi.org/10.1177/0016986212469999
Moreau K. (2012). Specific differences in the educational outcomes of those students who are home schooled vs. Students in a traditional school setting. Pp. 1-30. https://www.nmu.edu/education/sites/DrupalEducation/files/UserFiles/Moreau_Kathi_MP.pdf
Murphy J. & Mayborn F. W. (2014). The social and educational outcomes of homeschooling. Sociological spectrum. 34(3). Pp. 1-45. DOI: 10.1080/02732173.2014.895640
Virban K.A. (2017). The challenges, tensions and possibilities of homeschooling: An autoethnography of one educator's homeschooled journey. Electronic theses and dissertations. University of Windsor. Pp. 1-150. Retrieved from https://scholar.uwindsor.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=8306&context=etd
Yin L. C., Zakaria A. R. & Baharun H. (2015). Homeschooling; an alternative to mainstream .pp. 65-70. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309126591_HOMESCHOOLING_AN_ALTERNATIVE_TO_MAINSTREAM
Zhao, J. & Badzis, M. (2014). Parents' perspectives on homeschooling in Chinese mainland. International Proceedings of Economics Development & Research, 78(4), 17-21. Retrieved from http://www.ipedr.com/vol78/004-ICSEP2014-S00014.pdf
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