A Guide to what Home Education is, could be and definitely is
not!

 
 

Home education is on the rise! However many people in the UK still do not realise that homeschooling is an valid and legal option for the education of their children. Many naively think they know what it is, but they really don’t! In this article I will outline what home education is, what it could be and what it definitely is not!

 

 

To homeschool in the UK is an extraordinary thing!  In 2007, it was estimated that only 34,000
students are being home educated in the UK [1].
Whilst it is almost certain that this figure has increased since then, compared
to the massive home-ed movement in the United States, where there were
1,770,000 children being educated at home in 2013 [2],
homeschooling in this country is still in its infancy.

I get so many messages and emails from Muslim women, who are considering homeschooling, but have been ‘put off’ by misconceptions and false ideas of what it entails, often assuming that it would be much harder than it truly is. So to discover what homeschooling really is, we will begin this article by looking at what it is NOT and those things that ‘put people off’!

 
 

To homeschool you have to….

 

Recreate school at home

 
This is something that almost all new homeeducators do at
the beginning, calling upon their memories of school and how ‘teaching’ was
done.  Whilst this may work for some, it
is definitely not a requirement. You do not need to structure your day like
that at school, stand at the front of the class lecturing, create a classroom
in your home, and you don’t even need to follow the National Curriculum [3].
If you want to mimic the school environment you can, but if you want to do your
‘own thing’ with your children, you are free to do so. Remember, you chose not
to not send your child to school for a reason, so think twice before you turn
your home into one.
Homeschooling Getting Started

 

Be a teacher

 
There is a preconceived notion among many that only a teacher knows how to teach ‘properly.’
 
Think about this.
 
Whilst a teacher may know how to manage a class of thirty-five kids without it descending into anarchy, who knows your child better? Who knows how she learns best? Who knows what motivates her and what she is interested in? Who would put that child’s interest above and beyond her own?
You, as a parent, can be the best and only teacher your child will ever need. Of course, it will require a little effort on your part, but it certainly doesn’t mean you need to go out and start a teacher training course!
 

Stay at home all the time

 
Certainly, in my situation, nothing could be further from the
truth. Home educators seem to have this uncanny ability to make anything and
everything a ‘learning opportunity!’ You do not need to be sitting at a desk
with a textbook to be learning. In fact sometimes the best and most lasting
lessons are those seen and done in the ‘real world.’Furthermore, because you
are in control of how you plan the ‘school day’, you can take educational trips
whenever you want. If the sun is shining you can pack up your Maths books and
take them to the park, or instead of learning about coastal processes and wave
erosion from a dry textbook, you can pack up the car and head to the beach.
What better way to learn about the natural world, than to experience it first
hand; a trip to the woods, a walk in the countryside. The world is your
classroom!
 
Homeschooling on the go

Depending where you live in the country, there are also many
sporting and musical groups for children of all ages that homeschoolers can
make the most of, and many of these are free.

 
Since you are working one-to-one whith your child, the
material you need to study each day takes considerably less time that if they
were at school. At school they have to share the teacher’s attention with thirty other students, waste time with assemblies, standing in lines, and other ‘busy
work’. All of which are not for the benefit of the individual student, but rather
for ‘classroom management.’ So, with all this extra free time, there is plenty
of opportunity to go out and about, visiting National trust properties, going
rock climbing, learning to swim and pursue any other interest or talent  your child may have.
 

Have a gifted child

 
 
Yes it is true, some homeschooled children are geniuses! And
yes, homeschooled children do perform better in standardised tests, often
working at least one year above their school peers [4], but not all home educated kids are geniuses. Most, in terms of their IQ at least, are
pretty ‘normal.’
 

Have a stupid or delinquent child

 
Some people, particularly those of an older generation, will
make the assumption that you homeschool because your child got expelled from
school for bad grades or bad behaviour. I cannot deny, that this may be the
case for a few families, but like I said before, most homeschooled children are pretty ‘normal.’
 

Be a highly religious/ new-age type

 
A growing number of families who practice their faith,
whatever that may be, are choosing to home educate due to concerns over the
moral upbringing school offers, or fails to offer, their children and the
potential harm the school environment could do to their character and faith. In
the UK a large proportion of homeschoolers are from religious families. However there has been a massive increase in numbers who have no particular religious
affiliation, many of whom are professional middle-class families, disenchanted
by the education that mainstream schools offer.
 

You need to be wealthy

 
Nothing could further from the truth. In fact most
homeschooling families are living off one-income, whilst the other parent stays
home full-time.
 
Whilst I am the first to admit that I have an unhealthy
addiction to all things ‘educational’ and must be Amazon’s best customer, none
of these things essential to provide your child with a wholesome,
well-rounded education.There are so many curriculum, books, computer
programmes, educational toys, craft kits etc. that are marketed at mums and
dads like us. Remember, most of them are money making ventures, and whilst there
may be some merit in their products, they are NOT necessary for your
homeschool.
 
All you really needs are pens, paper, a library card and
maybe an internet connection. As the children get older you can borrow and swap
books with other homeschoolers, and even share teaching responsibility (called
a co-op) for certain subjects with other mums. It is not the money you have that determines how well your child
does, but the time that you give him.
 

 

Homeschool quote

 

What is homeschooling then?

 
 
It is anything you want it to be! That’s the great thing
about this form of education. You can make it into whatever you wish. You can cater to your family and child’s needs and interests. You can adapt it to your own education
philosophy or integrate your religious teachings into everyday classes. If you
choose to create a traditional classroom in your dining room, you can. If you
want to provide Montessori resources, you can. Many people travel the world,
whilst  their children learn on the
go.  Some prioritise religious teachings,
whilst others organise their day to allow their children time to excel in sporting or musical talents. Others choose unschooling or project-based learning or
classical education. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what all these terms mean…you
soon will! What matters is that you want to homeschool and you are taking the first-steps.)
 
The key thing here is that homeschooling can be whatever you WANT
it and NEED it to be.
 

Next in this series of articles:

PART 2:
‘Homeschooling: Is it really for me? The ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES of home education.’

 

To make sure you don’t miss the next in the series, please Subscribe to my blog, or follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.If you have any specific questions, please leave them for me in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them insha’Allah. Thanks for reading!

Peace and Love.

Muslim Homeschool

 

 
 
 
 
 

References:

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4 Comments on What is HOMESCHOOLING?

  1. anakjempolan
    28/06/2015 at 9:49 am (5 years ago)

    Assalamualaikum sister… Thanks for sharing. I love this post and waiting for the next. Im doing homeeducation for my 4yo and sometimes i feel doubt to do homeschooling… Your post encourage me insyaAllah..

    Reply
    • Gemma
      29/06/2015 at 8:26 pm (5 years ago)

      Walaykum assalaam. Thank you for your kind comments. We all have moments when we doubt ourselves, but I'm so glad you found my post encouraging. Thank you for your support. Please remember us in your duaas

      Reply
  2. Sarah
    03/09/2017 at 6:04 pm (3 years ago)

    So pleased I have come across your youtube channel and blog. My little boy is 3 and I’m considering home schooling for various reasons and its great to find a UK based resource. So helpful! Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Gemma Somauroo
      03/09/2017 at 9:29 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank Sarah! I’m thrilled to have you here 🙂

      Reply

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