‘Our Son is a Topper and an Author,’ says a couple who explains how to succeed at homeschooling

Meet the Mumbai-based Pardiwala family, who are homeschooling their two sons, ages 15 and 21. They discuss everything from difficulties, challenges, structure, daily routines, milestones, and learnings related to homeschooling

Homeschooling is a progressive trend that allows parents to educate their children at home rather of sending them to a typical public or private school. Families homeschool for a variety of reasons, including unhappiness with educational options, differing religious or educational views, and the perception that children are not advancing inside the standard school framework.

Shahen is a published author, a positive psychology coach, a screenwriter, and a public speaker at the age of 21. Shahen’s book, “Burnout No More,” was recently purchased by a prestigious Mumbai school, and he has been called to speak at numerous schools about the book’s topic of examination-induced stress. For someone so young, one may assume he established the objective of producing a book from the beginning. However, becoming a writer was never one of his boyhood ambitions. Like every other kid, his job objectives shifted as he progressed through tennis, dance, journalism, advertising, and coding.

The only difference was that he tried all of them before settling on his current career. He spent six months playing tennis, learning to code, enrolling in a dancing class, and interning at an advertising agency. Shahen had the freedom to fail and make mistakes without feeling rushed into his chosen career path, which he dubbed a “process of elimination.” When Shahen admits that he was homeschooled, many people are taken aback. In seventh grade, he decided to skip out. He later enrolled in a college, but quickly realised that formal education was not for him. Meanwhile, Shahaan, his younger brother, attended school till the second grade.

Shahen and Shahaan’s parents chose homeschooling due to neither economical constraints nor a learning problem. In fact, both of the brothers were top students in their classes. “What appealed to us the most was the freedom, discipline, and stress-free living. We didn’t want our sons to be characterised by their academic achievements, rankings, or studies. Learnings, setbacks, inventiveness, and life skills should be vital aspects for every child as they grow up,” stated the matriarch, Sonnal Pardiwala.

“The best part about homeschooling is having the freedom to go to the beach on a Wednesday afternoon,” Shahaan, who is in his final year of high school, says. Because I have more control over my schedule, I must be more conscious of how I use my time and energy. It doesn’t feel like studying is a chore.” Sonnal and her husband, Nozzer, both work as tutors. They discuss everything from difficulties, challenges, structure, daily routines, milestones, and learnings related to homeschooling.

Sonnal, a Surat native, was a trailblazer in her family in many ways. She worked hard to earn a master’s degree in psychology, and she was the first in her family to do so. She had an out-of-community love marriage during a time when it was frowned upon. It was therefore unsurprising that they chose to raise their children in an unconventional manner. Sonnal, who is proud of her academic credentials, recognises the irony.

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