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 'Homeschooling' (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. (Just glance to the left!) 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?

Home educated children often take fewer exams than those who go to school.

That's partly because their horizons are wider and partly because some exams aren't available to them. (See The Exam Trail for reasons and answers.)

On the positive side is the fact that many universities keep exams in proportion and recognise home education as a qualification in itself. They may see as much promise

in a home educated candidate with two A level passes as in 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!

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, family circumstances

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, 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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