Yuan Honglin, a citizen of East China, was once called to the school by his 3-year-old daughter’s teacher. The teacher said that his daughter Xiaoyi does not interact much with other children and might need some psychological help. Yuan was in distress and he felt sceptical, he finally decided to take Xiaoyi out of school and to teach her himself, which made him one of the foremost homeschooling advocates in China. Yuan was scared that keeping his daughter away from her peers would only exacerbate her anxiety and to prevent this, he started free home-based classes that other children could also join. It has been more than 14 years now and those home-based classes have turned into a small but popular school. Xiaoyi is 18 years old now and is an independent and confident girl.
On the flip side, China has a Law on compulsory education which states that it is compulsory for all the children aged 6 and above to attend school for nine years.
Homeschooling in China
Considering the many misgivings pertaining to the rigid and ancient learning environment of conventional schooling, many parents are opting for homeschooling in China. There has been a 30% annual increase in parent’s interest in alternative education between 2003 and 2017, as stated by the 21st Century Education Research Institute. Some parents are strongly opposed to the education system, some feel that in a classroom the pace of lessons is too slow, some say that the kids are not respected in the schools and the rest reported that their kids were sick of traditional school life, so they want to teach their children themselves. By February 2017, around 50,000 people in China are trying to embrace homeschooling for their children.
Yuan speaks in favor of homeschooling in China and he believes that every parent deserves to choose the best for their child.