Home Education Q & A
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Should I call it Home Education, Home Schooling - or what?

'Home Education' ('Home Ed' for short) sounds more British to me! Also, 'Homeschool' and 'Home Schooling' (with or without the gap between words) imply a more formal, schoolish approach, with timetabled lessons and that sort of thing. The term 'Home Education' is more inclusive.

I say 'home' but my partner says 'school' ... 


This can be a ticklish business!

Remind your partner that home education works wonders in the earliest years. It's fair to ask why school should ever intervene!


You and your partner may like to visit No More School!, and see why other parents choose home ed. You could even talk to some of them and get their ideas at first hand. Joining Facebook home education groups could be a good start.

Is home ed expensive?


While you're helping your children to learn you can't earn money,

and that can be a major problem!


Of course, you won't face the cost of the school commute and the ruinous cost of uniform. You'll also save by feeding yourself and your child(ren) together, rather than eating separately.


You'll want some outings so you'll still have to spend some money on travel, and you'll also need things like books and craft materials. At least you'll have your expenses under your own control.

Surely they need to take exams?

There's no compulsion to take exams but in this day and age it's probably wise.


With their wider horizons, home educating families tend to keep exams in proportion, so they often go in for fewer exams than schooled pupils do. (The Exam Trail explain how home schooling families make arrangements for their chosen exams.)


Many universities also keep exams in proportion and recognise home education as a qualification in itself. They may be as keen to take a home educated candidate with two A level passes as a schooled candidate with three. 


The prestigious University of Leeds is one which reaches out to home educated candidates. 

Do I need to set up a classroom and have a regular timetable?
No, don't try to imitate the routines of school. That said, you may quickly find that your week takes shape with various regular outings and activities.

My resident grandson has weekly music, French and Latin 'spots' at home, besides regular outside activities, so we do have a timetable pinned to the wall. Importantly, though, it grew as his home education grew. We didn't plan a timetable when we started out.


A dedicated learning room could be useful, but the photo shows how easily a Shakespeare scene can be played out in a living room! In any case, the concept of a dedicated learning room runs counter to the ideal of learning through living.


Can my son go back to school at any time?

Yes, he can. Home education is the best option for many youngsters but just the same can be said about school. Children, families and schools all change!

Swapping between the two modes of education is not at all unusual and most home educated children do have a taste of school - perhaps in infancy before starting home ed or at sixth form level after home education up to that point. To leave school, have a year or two of home education and then go back to school again is perfectly possible.

Are there any formalities to go through?


No, you don't need to register to home educate. There are no initial formalities. Just be sure that your child comes off the roll of any existing school. Tell them in writing that you mean to home educate and keep a copy. Once you start home educating you answer to no one.

I'm no Shakespeare. How can I possibly teach my children?


Learning alongside your children - whatever the subject - makes a really powerful partnership. Years of schooling often rob children of learning skills; home education means that they - and you - will learn to learn. Maybe you've a trade or skills or enthusiasm that you can share. A tutor could fill any gaps that worry you.

Do we have to follow the national curriculum?

Won't we get bored and run out of ideas?

No way! Just follow your youngster's enthusiasms (with one or two of your own thrown in). Before you know it, this topic-based learning will be spreading its eager tentacles in all directions!


Home education is only boring if life is boring. I know a home educating mother who took her daughter on a road trip round Britain. Those three months weren't boring in the slightest!

We can't all go adventuring but we can all enjoy a day on the beach or exploring the woods, followed by some time at home to sort what we've found - unless we're trapped in a stuffy classroom!

Surely they need to mix with other children?


In my experience, home educated children get on better with adults than schooled children and at least as well with other children.


There's a growing home ed community and most home educating families meet with one or two others on a friendly basis and possibly for lessons too. (They might pay a tutor for a weekly lesson or one of the parents might have a skill or knowledge to share.)


Some home ed families observe school holidays so their children can mix with friends from school.

The following pages may help you too ...

  Talented Youngsters  and how to help them

My Home Page  
(for more about me) 

I give personal help to families who are starting home ed or thinking about it.
As a teacher trainer turned home educating grandad I've seen both sides!
Where I can help I'm happy to do so free of charge.
Please drop me a line with your own questions!

Tony D Triggs

Thank you for contacting me. I'll get back to you as soon as possible
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