Are you considering home education for your child? Well if so read on; there are four areas that we will focus on:
2. De register
3. De school
So you have heard about this thing called home education, right? (or home education if you live here in the UK). Maybe you heard about it years ago, but you thought it was only for the rich or that it was outside of your reach. However, it now seems so close to something that you could do. So…should you?
1. Deciding to home educate your child/ren is a big decision and one not to be taken lightly. Although, I personally do not think it is a scary decision and find it exciting whenever I hear a new parent say they are going for it; it excites me. I do recognise that this may not be how everyone feels. To me, home education is one of the most natural things that we can do as parents but in some ways, it may seem unnatural as we are so used to the formal school method, child development and the order of how things usually go. You have a child and before their fifth birthday they go off to school! It’s the only way some of us know, well knew, until now! Home education is not a new methodology and has been around before formal schooling was introduced but the modern method began in around 1970 - but enough of that for now. If you want an alternate route to the one mentioned above then home education, just might be for you.
Well, first thing first, ask yourself? Do I have a desire to be with my children more? What are my reasons for wanting to home educate? Are my children happy at their current school? are they doing well at their current school? How will I educate them at home? These are just a few things to ask yourself and each question carries a different level of importance for different families. Once you have established your reasons for wanted to, let’s look at some other sensible reasons for home education such as; Can I afford to home educate? How will my work life change if I home educate? Please note home education can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it but still might mean a loss of change of an income, so this is an important area to weigh up the pros and cons. Remember, there is always a way! For inspiration; please watch this space as I will be talking about my financial journey in home education soon.
So you have thought it through and have decided to take the plunge and home educate your child. Congratulations...now what?
Well, now is the time to ‘de-register’ your child if they are already at school by writing a letter to your child's school, addressed to the headteacher telling them that you will be taking on the full responsibility for your child's education from now on. There are many sample letters online that you could download as a guide but here is one that you could use.
If your child has never been registered with a school, then you do not need to do anything. The Local Education Authority may still get in touch to see how you are providing your child with an education.
Hooray! So, you have removed your children from school! You have done it and you are now officially a home educator. Brilliant! So now what? How will you plan to meet their needs? Have you made the right choice?... Stop...breathe...and don’t panic! Take your time! Remember your child has spent a lot of time at school and things have now changed and de schooling is an important stage in this journey. Use this time to get suggestions from your child about the things that they’d like to do. Some children may want to get straight to work whilst others will enjoy getting to spend more time with you. This was how it worked in my household.
Here are some of the benefits:
4. De-schooling is where you take a break from formal academics. De schooling helps you to discover a variety of curriculum. De schooling helps you find out more about your child learning style. De schooling allows you to go to different places such as museums, theatres, art galleries, sports events, libraries etc. De schooling helps you network with other home educators. De schooling allows you to get creative, make and build things, play etc. De schooling allows you to get back to nature, visit parks, take picnics, draw things in the natural environment etc. De schooling allows you to get fit and healthy; visit sport centres, play football, go bike riding and more. De schooling allows you to spend time reading stories together. De schooling allows you to watch TV shows together. You could choose educational documentaries for example. De schooling allows you to catch up with family; visit grandparents, friends, aunties, uncle’s, cousin etc. De schooling gives you the opportunity to get house work done together and organise different household routines and boundaries.
Remember home education is an extension of what you already do at home but take the time out before jumping straight into a formal curriculum. It really is worth the time. As your children adjust to being at home with you more, you may notice things about them that you hadn’t picked up before, as you will be looking more closely at how they learn. This is an important step as it will steer the direction of your home education choices.
4. Now for the good stuff. Develop! You have thought about the curriculum or are getting close to deciding so well done to you. You may want to develop your own curriculum or buy into one. You may decide not to use a curriculum at all but try to have a clear goal in mind. Please watch this space as I will be making a vlog about the different methods soon and will post them here after that.