By Rahila Ovais

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According to a new study from the Fraser Institute, a growing number of Canadian families are choosing to home-school their children.  21,662 Canadian children were registered as home-schooled students in 2012, an increase of 29 percent over a five-year period; however there might be more kids who are home-schooled but not officially registered.

Personally, I feel that our kids need to equally and actively integrate in the main-stream society we will live in. This means raising strong-willed kids who value their religious and moral principles enough to not give in to peer pressure.  Sending our children to an Islamic private school does not mean we have done our part in raising righteous Muslims. Whichever method of schooling we may choose, as a parent, we must continue teaching our religious, moral and ethical values at home. And let’s not forget, children do not learn what we tell them, they learn what we do.

Are you considering best options for choosing a school system for your preschooler? Then read on…

Home School

Pros

Nothing can beat the convenience of learning at home, no commute to school and less peer pressure. Children get individual attention and parents have freedom to customize learning to their child’s interests and learning level giving them more opportunity to focus on family and religious values.

Cons

It takes a lot of discipline to home school.  Not to mention the parent’s sacrifice of their time and their career. Home-schooling comes with a number of limitations such as;

  • Limited exposure to social connections, less opportunities to form peer relationships.

  • Limited extra-curricular opportunities, access to school clubs and teams, etc.

  • Limited access to resources available at schools including equipment, libraries, etc.

Education is also limited to parents’ knowledge and research abilities.  Constant interaction with family members may seem overwhelming.

Public School

Pros

Reputable schools are better recognized by higher educational institutions. Vast assortments of resources are available at schools including equipment, libraries, school clubs and teams.  Exposure to variety of different teachers over the years teaches kids other interpersonal skills.

Cons

A major concern is the large class sizes at public schools which also brings too much peer pressure or socialization. This can also have a conflict with religious and moral values. Public schools have “One size fits all” approach which means kids do not get the individual customized learning as in home school. Although, public schools also offer Individual Education programs (IEP) to combat this issue.

Private School

Pros

Enrolling your kids in a private school may give parents additional involvement in their children’s education than public schools. There are a variety of alternatives to choose from, such as all girls’/ boys’ schools, boarding schools, Montessori, Religious schools, schools with gifted programs, and schools for troubled teens. Each of these offers a specific focus on your child’s individual needs.

Most private schools offer smaller class sizes and discipline and homework are top priorities. Many schools offer IB, AP and international exchange programs, further enhancing your child’s education and opening doors to more opportunities. Private schools offer prestige and are highly regarded by higher education institutions around the world.

Cons

The leading apprehension when considering a private school is the cost of a private education which often requires a significant financial commitment from parents, ranging from $5,000 to $40,000 per year (boarding schools are most costly). However, financial aid is available at many schools in the form of loans or tuition relief.

What experiences do you have with the different types of schools? Which would you suggest and why?

 

About the Author:

Rahila Ovais is a mother to four ranging from 20 to 5 years old. She’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago. She is also a very opinionated person who has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself. You can follow her on Facebook: HijabiMommy.