As regular readers of our site will know, we are big on home education. Admittedly, it’s not for everybody, and there are those people who think the benefits of mainstream education outweigh homeschooling. That’s fine. Choice matters and you might prefer to pick a school near you, or one of the independent schools on Educators, despite tuition fees. In both cases, however, you may be rejected, as competition for school places is fierce. Alternatively, you can cut through all the hassle and consider educating your child at home. You will need to be a stay-at-home parent, as it wouldn’t really work otherwise (duh) but there are benefits. Here are just a few of them.
You can still follow the National Curriculum
Your kids can still learn what other children are learning in the National Curriculum. Therefore, they are still eligible to take all the usual qualifications mainstream school’s offer. However, you don’t have to follow the Curriculum. By law, the Education Act states parents can choose the method of teaching, and this includes content. Ultimately it’s up to you, but can pick and choose elements from the Curriculum, even if you don’t want to follow it in its entirety.
Your days are flexible
Essentially, the way you run the day is down to you. You don’t have to adhere to the 9 am start, and you can finish whenever it seems appropriate. There’s no need for those infernal school runs, trying to find a parking space, and queuing at school gates in the cold. You don’t need to book days off for holidays, which means you won’t be fined for taking an off-season break. You can work with your partner on a rota basis, taking turns to educate should other matters need attending to. In short, your day is your own to run as you please, and timetables can go out of the window if that is what you prefer.
Learning is child-led
We all learn differently, and education at home allows you to work at your child’s pace, without them having to keep up with the other kids in the class. You know your child better than any teacher, and you can adapt your style of learning to their specific learning style. There are elements of the curriculum where children learn stuff that barely interests them, so you can tailor your child’s learning to the things they are into. The Government may dictate mainstream schoolers learn about quadratic equations, but if it’s unlikely your child is ever going to need that education, ditch it and do something that makes more sense to their life and choices.
Your child can still socialise
One of the supposed negatives of homeschooling is the lack of socialisation. This is fair, to a point, but your child can still make friends. If you know other homeschooling parents, you can team up occasionally and integrate your children’s day with others. Venues such as The Deep in Hull have an annual Home Educators Day where you can meet other parents, and your kids can interact with their peers. There will still be clubs and hobbies your child can partake in where socialising can take place. Yes, mainstream schoolers do meet a lot more children, but they also meet a lot of negative influencers, with peer pressure and bullying, so at least your child can meet like-minded people away from that toxic atmosphere.
As we said, home schooling isn’t for everybody, and your child may wish to enter mainstream. However, you can mix things up a little. At the discretion of the headteacher, your child may be allowed to stay at school part-time and work at home the rest of the week. Alternatively, you can educate your child at home during their early years, and send them to school when they hit high-school age. It’s up to you and your child, so do whatever you think is best for your family.