Homeschooling is a form of education that involves parents taking an active role in educating their children at home. This could be done by the parent, a tutor, or any other person who has the capacity to give quality education to the child or children to be homeschooled. Nigeria is a developing country by development standards and the state of education in the country falls short of the optimum global standards. 

Primary education is free in Nigeria, but a large number of children remain out of school. According to UNICEF, 10.5 million children aged 5-14 years are not in school and 61 percent of 6-11 year olds regularly attend schools. Despite the many challenges that education in Nigeria faces, citizens still staunchly believe in getting an education the traditional way. The concept of homeschooling remains alien to the average Nigerian. Although it gained traction during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a lot of people still don’t understand how to really Homeschool.

A handful of Nigerians are becoming open to the idea of homeschooling and advocates for the movement have sprung up in recent times. Nigerian parents who seek to try out homeschooling for whatever reason can follow these steps:

Prepare psychologically with your child: If you are going to personally homeschool your children, you'd need to adequately prep yourself mentally and emotionally. It can be draining and breakdowns are inevitable. For a child who has been accustomed to a traditional school setting, homeschooling will be a new ball game. This can be mentally disruptive for the child involved. It's best the change comes slow and steady, to avoid disorientation and cognitive dissonance. This is called Deschooling. It is important to take it one step at a time. 

Understand the laws: Homeschooling is neither legal nor illegal in Nigeria. It hasn't gained traction among the Nigerian populace yet. There are no rules governing it. However, it is still important to know how the law around education in Nigeria works. 

Choose a homeschooling method: While homeschooling, some families might choose to implement the curriculum-free type of education. Some families can also choose to adopt different teaching methods or philosophies including classical education, Montessori method, Charlotte Mason education, thematic approach, or school at home. It's best practice to pick a method that will effectively enhance your child's learning experience.

Create a Budget: Schooling at home has its own costs. It can be cheaper than sending your child to a traditional school and it can also be more expensive depending on the method of homeschooling you use. What will be different is that you don’t have to bring a bulk of the money at once, you can space what you purchase per time. You will make an initial investment which would go into getting resources for the learning of the child involved. Books, visual aids, technology, subscriptions, etc. are some of the other things you will spend on. Find a list of what you might need for your homeschooled child. Make estimations and come up with a final budget. 

Set up a conducive learning area: Effective learning requires a conducive environment. From the dining area in your home to a dedicated homeschool room, you can create a learning area. Ensure the space has good ventilation and maximum lighting. You would want to create a space that feels like their own with better access to their learning resources.

Plan the homeschool calendar: A typical Nigerian school calendar has 3 terms or semesters. Since homeschooling focuses on individualized learning, a calendar that accommodates the child's needs should be created. You can make each term long enough to be on par with your child's learning speed or run with the status quo.

Develop a curriculum: Curriculums help to plan your child's learning experience and progress. Nigeria runs the 6-3-3-4 education system— 6 years for primary education, 3 years for junior secondary education, 3 years for senior secondary education, and 4 years in university. The National Education Research and Development Council (NERDC), is in charge of curriculums for primary and secondary education. They stipulate subjects that should be taken by the pupils or students during the course of their schooling. You can get a copy of the latest curriculum from them or develop yours. If you choose to go with yours, ensure it caters effectively to everything your child should know. One of the beauties of homeschooling is the flexibility it offers and you have the freedom to choose the curriculum you use for your child(ren's) education. 

Observation & Evaluation: Observation and evaluation are important in your homeschooling journey, especially from preschool years to high school. You can start by observing what your child is learning and measuring progress as they grow older. An evaluation can be done by you or an external party. This provides feedback on how well your child is progressing.

Extracurricular activities: Extracurricular activities afford the child the opportunity to have additional learning experiences that go beyond the walls of organized learning. Developing a hobby, sports, a road trip, an excursion, games day, sightseeing, and fairs are all activities that offer extracurricular experience. You can always choose activities that align with your budget and create convenient timelines to execute them.

Take breaks: It is very natural to feel exhausted after a long stretch of activities. The comfort homeschooling offers doesn't diminish the need for learning breaks. You or your child's tutor can take breaks when the child feels worn out. Alternatively, break timelines could be set.

The prompt to take the homeschooling path could be from a variety of reasons. You should always consider why you have to do it for your child in the first place and always ensure that you go back to your "why" when things are not going as you expect them to go because while Homeschooling might be the road less traveled it doesn't mean it's the easier way out.

We offer free 30-minute consultations if you are new to homeschooling and you need clarity but if you need more than clarity and more hand holding we have more consultation offers for you here.