What is Home Education or Homeschooling?
Home Education or Homeschooling is a choice made by many parents throughout the world to educate their children within their home environment. They do so for a variety of reasons including:
- Frustration with teaching standards
- Disruption in class
- Inadequate subject variety
- Safety concerns, including bullying or other harassment
- Lack of progress or underachievement at school
- Learning disabilities
- Medical reasons
- Travelling time
What are the pluses and minuses?
- The home environment is generally less noisy and pressured than that at school.
- Benefits of one-to-one time. Perhaps it will be easier to see the strengths and weaknesses. Some parents say that with homeschooling their child get a day’s worth of learning packed into two hours, without lacking learning or any downsides. The study time is just far more focussed. The rest of the time you can do what you want.
- Perhaps your child has unique talents, but struggles with other subjects. You can restore the balance and allow them to blossom by choosing subjects which suit your child and aim for success. Rather than struggling against their skills or taking pointless exams which they may never pursue in the future. If all working towards the same goals, you are more likely to know the best way to achieve them.
- You can get the best of both worlds. You always have the option to put your child back into school at some point. Some parents flex-school (which is part-time schooling and homeschooling) but you need to find a school which will agree to this.
- In the UK homeschooling is completely legal, as with many other countries in the world. But as a parent you do have a responsibility to educate your children. You can homeschool right the way through, but if you only transfer to homeschooling later on you write to the headteacher to de-register your child, which they cannot refuse. It is then up to the school to notify the relevant local authority. Education authorities may get involved to a greater or lesser degree. Some are supportive and helpful.
- As a parent you are more aware than a school of your child's capabilities. Follow the flow of your own child's interests and abilities, rather than that of a classroom. They will learn far more effectively.
- Learning can be paced more accurately to match these.
- You can make your own timetable. Parents can form a rota or shift system. Homeschooling works best if one parent is not in full-time employment. You don’t need to mimic an average school day. There are no set rules other than trying to keep in some part to the structure of the online courses. If your child reads about something new and is particularly interested in this, then delve deeper into that area at your own pace. Perhaps find extra library books on that topic. If your child is more alert or productive during certain hours of the day, focus your efforts on those hours rather than attempting to fight their natural work pattern.
- You can take breaks or trips as a family whenever suits you, without having to pay the high school holiday rates. Extend these trips or shorten them when you choose.
- You will have more control over the curriculum and teaching methods.
- Family bonds are often strengthened as you share views, ideas and thoughts. Children may be too shy in a classroom to ask a question, but one-to-one or amongst their own family they can feel more able to do so. Communication is key and the most important place is the home.
- No school run is necessary, as the learning takes place at home. The time gained may allow your child to pursue outside hobbies and interests. Help the environment whilst also cutting out wasted parts of your daily routine.
- You can get out of bed later, which is actually very healthy for children who are still growing due to their adrenalin system. An ideal hour to actually start working may be around 10am, but you can decide what works best in your own family.
- A concern for many parents is that they will be ultimately responsible for their child’s education. But, by working with Wolsey Hall Oxford, that responsibility is shared and you will always have someone on hand to help, whether it is your child’s Tutors, their Student Progress Manager or one of our Directors of Studies.
- Your child needs to be comfortable with being schooled at home for it to work effectively.
- You will want to find ways to provide a social life for your child, either with their existing friends or, perhaps, with other children being homeschooled nearby. At Wolsey Hall Oxford we focus on ways to share your feelings in private facebook groups which you can join, and also through our blog and other social media. We always endeavour to highlight your child's individual talents and share achievements. We also share events and programmes which may be interesting as extra-curricular activities. These are found on our blog.
To read more about what the Guardian published about the benefits of homeschooling, please click here.