Updated: 3 hours ago
I wanted to tell every parent who is considering Home Education for their child that it is a great choice.
And just like that - Home Education was made mandatory
Parents who couldn't send their children to school during the pandemic had Home Education dumped on them. It was unorganised and they were given set material that they had to teach their children, in classroom conditions.
This is not how Home Education works - so please, don't be turned off.
I decided to Home Educate my son in 2019 - two years before we were due to start - therefore I've had time to research, plan and organise. I've also spent the last couple of years orchestrating my life to get to where I am today, so I'm able to earn an income and effectively Home Educate my son, as of February this year.
I'm not saying you need years of preparation before you Home Educate - but you do need to have a plan.
When you choose to home educate - and it is done properly - it can be enjoyable, stress-free and fulfilling.
If you are considering Home Education, you probably have a ton of questions. And they are most definitely going to be the same questions every parent asks. So I've answered the top 6 for you. Here we go:
1. Can I Home Educate my child?
Yes. Yes you can.
Kids don’t have to go to school to get an education.
Wait .. what??
It's true. The Government states that "it's the parent's responsibly to educate their child, whether this is in school or at home".
Home Education is the default and you are opting to send your child to school, so you don't even have to let your Local Authority know.
(I speak from experience because I spent weeks trying to do the right thing and advise my Local Authority. No one was interested).
How amazing is that? Anyone can Home Educate their child with the Government's blessing.
Yay! So that's a nice and simple start to things.
2. What are my legal requirements to Home Educate?
Legally, children have to be in full-time education (not school) by the age of 5, so make sure you start Home Education by the time your child is 5.
Coolio. Cool. Cool beans!
3. What are my parental responsibilities to Home Educate?
Well, make sure that you do actually Home Educate your child. That's your key responsibility.
Other Government guidance says:
Your child should receive an efficient full time education suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have.
There is no guidance about what a 'suitable' education might be but it should prepare your child for life in a modern society and allow them to reach his or her full potential.
It should offer:
a broad and balanced curriculum
English, mathematics and information and communications technology (ICT)
opportunities for physical, social, spiritual and cultural development
The phrase "full time" can be interpreted differently, since your child's education at home is often on an individual basis. A suggestion of a minimum of three hours per day has been offered.
Great! Moving on ..
4. How do I Home Educate my Child?
Home Educating your child means you are now responsible and in control of your child's education.
(I consider it the ultimate in private education).
So, based on what you have read so far, free your mind and throw out the rule book because how you educate your child has many opportunities.
If you want:
You can download the national curriculum and all of the teaching materials that come with it
You can have a set timetable of subjects and work to term times
You can get a desk and a blackboard and teach your child between 9am - 3pm, with breaks in between
You can create your own list of topics that you want your child to learn
You can take each day as it comes and focus on whatever topic your child is interested in
You can teach whilst out on a bike ride or sat on the sofa, at times of the day that suit the both of you
This is an example of the flexibility - the point is, you decide.
Home Education conjures up a sad image of you sat with your child in a quiet room trying to teach them -anything. But where your child's education comes from can be a combination of:
games and activities
reading and writing
outside in the rain and shine
online learning and resources
one to one with a private tutor
It doesn't have to be all you and there's a ton of support out there.
Plus if you live in an area that has a good Home Education support network, they will often arrange meet ups, give you learning ideas, as well as negotiate a discounted rates with businesses that are quieter during the day because other children are at school.
5. How can I Home Educate and Run a Business?
Now you can see how flexible Home Education is - i.e. you decide what, when and where it will happen - you can make work with your business and vice versa.
It doesn’t have to be 3 hours everyday, one day you can do more, the next day you can do less. For example, if you spend a whole day teaching your child, you can take the next day off etc ..
It's all about planning your day - ensuring you have time to teach your child and time to do your work.
6. How will I Socialise my Child?
Yes. We've finally got to the main question.
So how does one Home Educate and not raise a total weirdo?
Well we aren't dogs and we don't need to be 'socialised'.
Children are naturally sociable beings of light and joy - it's only when we get older that we turn into grumpy assholes with our pet for a best friend.
So, unless you're hermit, your child will have lots of social interaction because they'll probably already have some friends from preschool, day centre, your neighbourhood and even extended family, so keep up the play dates.
Joining Home Education support groups in your area and enrolling your child into activities, hobbies and day clubs – such as sports, forest school, drama, scouts etc - is also good food for thought.
The Darker Side of Socialisation
Unfortunately when some people ask about socialising, they don't mean 'how will your child ever make any friends' - some people wonder how will your child be prepared for 'real life' if they don't experience bullying and harassment.
I know. I cant believe it either.
I have to categorially say NO ONE HAS EVER FAILED IN LIFE BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T BEEN BULLIED!
So Far, So Good ..
It has been a fab couple of months for us. I'm so proud of what we are achieving as a family and cannot wait to support my son on his educational journey in years to come.
I realise Home Education isn't for everyone, but then neither is school. So if you are considering Home Education for your child and have any further questions about it, please get in touch!
Big kisses xx