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Monday, 30 August 2021

For some, homeschooling could be here to stay

Some kids may keep attending school in their living rooms for good: Though the majority of parents we’ve spoken to are dying to get their kids back off the couch and out of the house for a few hours a day, a minority have gotten a taste for homeschooling and could be planning on continuing to learn from home.

The government has been pushing to get kids back into classrooms this fall, with Education Minister Tarek Shawky stressing that this school year won’t be held remotely, Al-Watan reports. Further details on precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the students and staff at schools will be announced in the last week of September, before public schools begin their academic year.

Does Egypt even recognize homeschooling? Although Egypt doesn’t strictly recognize homeschooling, children can be enrolled in a school that permits them to be homeschooled, as long as they sit their exams at the school.

Is homeschooling helpful? Even though homeschooling is a major lifestyle change, it protects young and easily impressionable children from peer pressure and bullying, which has a positive effect on the child’s academic performance and their self-esteem. Being homeschooled protects children from having their values defined by their peers, and shields them from social ridicule or bullying. Children might not have as many daily interactions with their peers when they’re homeschooled, communities can begin to plan activities for the children, which offers more opportunities to interact with their peers.

But how will the kids develop social skills? Much research on homeschooling (pdf) finds that homeschooled children score at least as high as their conventionally schooled peers in terms of their abilities. Homeschooled kids actually tend to have better relationships with their parents and other adults, and were found to be less likely to act selfishly, and more emotionally stable as adolescents.

But homeschooling isn’t just about following an online curriculum at home. Other than the significant time investment that may not be possible if both parents have full-time jobs, homeschooling also entails a number of activities, such as museum/ library visits that are essential to developing a child’s analytical capacity and cultural exposure.

If you’re looking to homeschool your child in Egypt, the Launch Egypt organization, which has partnered up with the United States and offers a California state curriculum, is worth checking out. Likewise, Genius Kids Community brings together the benefits of homeschooling and community learning. There are many other resources for online homeschooling, including Khan Academy, which is one of the most popular online learning resources. If you’d like to connect with other Egyptians who are homeschooling their kids, check out the Facebook group ‘Home Schooling in Egypt’.

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