When Pali came back from the US, deserted and heart broken, she had only solace in her eight year son Ved. Pali was fighting her battle with the family for a few years and finally terminated her relation with Rishi’s father for life. It wasn’t easy for her but what became more difficult is to ensure a good future for her child. India has grown since she had left after her . People are more open, more accepting and more vocal. It seemed, it wouldn’t be difficult for Pali to live single in the small flat that she had from her parents. The challenge came when she had to look for the schools for her son. No school was readily accepting the child who came in between the session. A countable few who did wanted a huge donation. After days of pleading every possible school she knew of, Pali decided to take it no more.
Homeschooling is a common concept in the US. With so many resources, and community you are never alone if you are homeschooling your child. In India, it might sound a new concept but who can forget the likes of Rabindranath Tagore and Shri Aurobindo who were homeschooled and propagated the true concept of homeschooling!
Pali decided to homeschool her son. She had had a Montessori training after she got her degree in Major. Even though, that would mean nothing, but she decided to pull up her socks to go about the possible ways to educate her son with the best kind of resources while still at home. She had a few basics to be answered before that though.
There is no separate syllabus for homeschooling children. The parents solely decide on that. Some follow board syllabus and others design their own curriculum by referring to syllabi of different boards.
In 2009, a new education law was passed that mandated compulsory school attendance. This law (Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009 – RTE) did not address home education options, or alternative forms of education. The RTE was designed to assure that the poor children would not be deprived of an education. But at the same time it did not intent to force school attendance when parents want to homeschool their children.
On reaching Class 10, or whenever the parents feel their children are ready, can take the board exam privately by registering with the National Institute of Open Schooling or International General Certificate of Secondary Education. The degree is acceptable all over the world.
The cost of homeschooling varies on what and how the child learns. At times it may exceed the expense of regular schools. Apart from routine requirements like books, CDs, learning and fun kits, one also needs to pay for extra classes as and when required.
After getting into it, Pali had only one area of concern – Rishi’s social networking skills. So, she decided to join the homeschoolers community both online and offline. She also got her son enrolled for the guitar classes, something he had great interest in. She decided to work harder and worked on the possible flaws of the board curriculum that crammed the children. She went for her own that was more stretchable, practical oriented and fun to learn.
And, Pali never looked back after that.