A Year ago in December 2016, we decided to take our daughter out of school. At the time she was in Reception but had been in the school's nursery for the previous year. Since then many parents and future parents has enquired about why we chose to do this, how we done it and some just wanted some more information to make an informed decision.
So to answer your questions this blog should give you answers to the questions you may have, and if it does not please get in contact, I am happy to help.
There are many reasons why parents choose to homeschool or home educate as some prefer to say (same ting lol).
Some parents want that extra time with their children before they grow up and become adults. Some parents want to be in control of their child's education, some have had trouble with the school system for various reasons and have decided to make it happen themselves. Some were home schooled and want to do the same with their children. Others believe that their child benefits from being taught with less children in the 'classroom' with tailor made lessons to suit their child or might be religious implications.
We chose Home schooling because we simply do not agree with the direction that the schooling system is going in the UK and it is now or will be exposing our children to things that they have no place teaching. We also choose home schooling because we felt that it would benefit our child being taught one-on-one rather than one-on-thirty. Additionally we do not celebrate holidays such as Halloween, Christmas and although our child understands this and what these holidays are we did not want any confusion.
How do you go about homeschooling?
Starting home schooling is much easier than I thought initially. When We first considered it I was quite apprehensive and was not sure as it would mean I was in control of my child's education and people that questioned my competency (vocal or not) would be watching to see if it would actually work.
First I looked on the government's website www.direct.gov and found out that we were allowed to home school our child by law if we wanted to do this for 100% of the lessons, however if we decided that we wanted the school to teach any specific lessons they could refuse this request.
Secondly I checked what was taught on the national curriculum for my child's age and ensured that the compulsory lessons were taught. We also considered what other lessons we wanted to add to our home curriculum such as: Black History, Hebrew and Bible study.
Lastly I spoke to other families that home school and also looked at teaching resources that would help us such as Twinkle, The School Run and CGP work books and study resources.
How do you know what to teach?
As mentioned before it’s quite simple to check what to teach your child as a national requirement. You can check at www.direct,gov and see what your child should be learning at their age.
You also have the freedom to teach or get a tutor to teach other lessons such as a language, sport or an instrument.
How many hours do you teach for?
How long you teach your child for each day is entirely up to you, I would suggest a minimum of 3 hours. If you think about it when in school there are much more children which means your child isn't getting as much concentrated teaching as you would think, There are much more distractions in school and the day is broken up by play time breaks. However as they get older I feel the amount of time should increase especially with secondary education.
My child gets through her work very fast so I always try to make the work challenging otherwise we will get through the days work in an hour! Initially I used to add extra work to the day but realised the work I prepared for her was just a little bit too easy.
If your child like mine has a short attention span I would suggest short segments on each area you are working on or break it up with verbal teaching and discussions, independent work for example completing a work sheet and using multimedia such as video clips, images or even research online.
What about socialising?
This is the question I have been asked the most! I would have thought it would have been more focussed on the education part (lol).
We have a big family, my siblings and cousins have children, well most of them do, and although their children do go to school we see then often.
We have also decided to send our child to holiday clubs (during school holidays), a tutor group (Explore Learning) and to extra-curricular activities such as dance and piano lessons (there will be more soon).
Alongside all of that we go to church on the Sabbath and our child goes to the children's class and has friends there.
Many parents see socialising as a barrier to homeschooling but it does not need to be as you can get creative. Although some things can be costly, you can either make sacrifices or think of ways around it.
Many boroughs have home schooled children that get together which can be accessed via your local authorities website. Other options are looking for free activities for children in your area or simply going to your local parks or leisure centres and allowing your child to make friends that way.
If you really want this for your child you will think of something that works for your family.
How to you finance homeschooling?
When you make the decision to home school you will be liable for the cost of educational materials, exams (if you wish to take them) and anything else.
Teaching your child can be very demanding and some parents choose not to work and rely on the government or their partners. Other families decide to work around home schooling, or working part time would be the best suggestion.
If you want to get creative, working from home is also an option whether it be working for someone or starting your own business.
I personally work part-time and I have Tiny Blings, my partner also works full-time and has a business so we find a way to make it happen.
However you decide to support your family financially, your child's education should be put first so you do not compromise that.
What are the challenges?
It can be very demanding.
Your child may not respond as you would like.
It can be expensive depending on your requirements.
You can get distracted by day to day tasks.
You can lack motivation sometimes.
What are the benefits?
Being able to spend more time with your child.
Working at your child's pace and ability.
Tailor made education.
Additional subjects of your choice.
Seeing your child progress faster that they may have in mainstream school.
Going on holiday's during term time (cheaper!)
No school runs!!
Youtube Videos on subject areas