Home schooling: getting started

It is the law that your child should be educated, but it is not the law that your child has to go to school.

home-schooling-flickr-300x200For one reason or another, you may find that your child isn’t happy at school. This can have a domino effect on the family, and stunt your child from learning. It could be that they are talented in one direction, such as creatively or musically, and find it difficult to fit in with the mainstream education system.

This is nothing to be embarrassed about. If your child is being bullied, this will be traumatic, and you may have nobody to turn to, or nobody who understands. This is when you might consider home schooling, also known as ‘education otherwise’.

With over-crowded schools, and siblings being forced to go to different schools, home education is now a popular option. In the United Kingdom in 2012 approximately 60,000 children were home educated. This figure represents 0.06%.

If you come to the decision within the family that home schooling is the way forward for you and your child, the first thing you will need to do is contact your local education authority to tell them what you intend doing. It would be a good idea to have in place a structured plan before you write to them.

What to include in your plan

  • A list of basic subjects that you will be covering, such as English, Maths and Science.
  • What you will be doing with your child to give them physical activities, such as swimming, playing on a recreation ground or walking.
  • How will they be interacting with children of their own age? For instance, have they got cousins or neighbours, or will they be joining in a Cubs or Brownies group, or library club?
  • Reasons why you feel that home education is the best way forward for you and your child.

home-schooling-2-flickr-300x198Getting started

Don’t worry if you’re not a qualified teacher. This isn’t a hurdle to block what might turn out to be the best thing you’ve ever done.

Firstly, rope in anyone who is willing to help. This may turn out to be nobody, but don’t be deterred. Talking it through with your child, helping them to realise that you want the best for them and asking them to work with you through the process, will be much easier for you both.

When you contact your local education authority, they will give you a syllabus as a guide. Be consistent with the lessons, join forums for other home educated children, and if appropriate, arrange for day trips. Sitting exams can be arranged at a local school or college.

Above all, have fun creating memories that will last forever.