Increasing numbers of parents and carers in the UK are making the decision to educate their children at home. Various reasons are sited, including not getting into a preferred school, crowded classrooms and bullying.
As far as England and Wales are concerned, section seven of the 1996 Education Act states the following:
The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable—
a: to his age, ability and aptitude, and b: to any special educational needs he may have,
either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
It is perfectly legal for the said education to take place in the home, plus there is no requirement to follow the National Curriculum or for the child to sit exams. Of course if your child wishes to attend university, it would be easier if they had at least two A-levels.
One of the advantages of home schooling is that you can design a curriculum around your child, capturing their interest and capitalising on particular skills, while progressing at a pace that’s right for them. To see what’s being taught in schools and to assist with planning, visit the National Curriculum pages.
Fortunately, there are plenty of websites that can supply all your long, medium and short-term planning but most of these cost. The Home Education Centre has a page of useful resources here, many of which are free. You may decide to opt for a qualified tutor in some areas, if you feel your child will benefit. Your computer opens up a wealth of useful, free material, as will your nearest library. You won’t need a state-of-the-art smart board but you will need some sort of flip chart. An ideal A1 easel that is also a dry wipe board and magnetic can be found at Adboards. If you’re feeling isolated, Yahoo home schooling groups are great, as you can meet locally and swap ideas, while the children get to socialise.
Not only can you alter the curriculum to suit your child, there are other pluses, such as taking holidays outside of term time, which can save thousands. You also save on not having to buy school uniforms, which should help to offset the equipment costs. You can start the school day earlier or finish later, changing this as required. They won’t need to be driven to school either, reducing your carbon footprint.
Many parents and carers are concerned that their children won’t develop social skills or learn to work as a team, if they’re home schooled. The aforementioned Yahoo groups can help with this, as can after school activities such as sports lessons or Scouts.
Although it would mean a huge undertaking on your part, ask yourself if your child would reap the rewards of being home schooled.