A Guide to what Home Education is, could be and definitely is
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 .
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 ,
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
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 .
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.
Be a teacher
Stay at home all the time
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
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.
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, homeschooled children do perform better in standardised tests, often
working at least one year above their school peers , but not all home educated kids are geniuses. Most, in terms of their IQ at least, are
Have a stupid or delinquent child
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
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
homeschooling families are living off one-income, whilst the other parent stays
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
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.
What is homeschooling then?
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.)
it and NEED it to be.
Next in this series of articles:
‘Homeschooling: Is it really for me? The ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES of home education.’
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Peace and Love.