Considering Home Education

Home education seems to be a topic that comes up again and again, with more and more people doing it. Note it isn’t referred to as home schooling as actually the point generally is that schooling isn’t beneficial for children and it is more about providing the right education for the individual child or children.

Books and cup with straw
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Reasons for Considering Home Education

There are many reasons people come to decide to home educate – although not all of them seem to have much choice. From not enough school places, to bullying, anxiety, to not agreeing with the system and so on. Some never send their children to school in the first place, some pull them out, and some even go back in. School is an opt in choice and can be done at any age.

I myself have been toying with home educating my youngest two boys more and more. They both have very different needs that I am unsure the school education system in primary school is able to provide them with. One is very bright and, I feel, held back by the new curriculum. The fact that children don’t seem to be set by ability and are just lumped together all trying to learn the same thing at the same time. My son told me that he has to sit tests that last for 20 minutes and he spends 15 of those minutes just sitting there bored because he has finished.

girl working at her desk
Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash

I guess I am not in the classroom to judge – but from what I see there’s a lot of behaviour issues to deal with and the bright ones who want to learn aren’t getting to learn as much as they would like to. Plus not all teachers or the teaching assistants are able to teach at what I would consider a good level (for instance there was a supply teacher who my son told me the class corrected them on their use of there, their and they’re!)

Then my youngest has special needs and Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). Trouble is I do not feel that he is treated as an individual (who has the time and money right) and he works hard and is progressing well. Although again see above about who is teaching him – he’s behind developmentally so it isn’t as easy for him to notice the mistakes he is being taught (such as I have noticed with spelling). I am not happy that they will not listen to me and are ignoring his sensory needs (saying they do not exist even though he is spinning around in front of them!!) But with home education there is a concern that without peers to bench mark himself against he wont have that competitive edge to strive to be the best he can be, and will just compare himself against his brother. I am not happy that the curriculum means that each year group just learn whatever it is for that term and move on. He still can’t tell the time or confidently ride a bike but is doing decimals and fractions – I just feel it is wrong.

bike riding
Photo by Clark Young on Unsplash

I am just not comfortable with so many things that go with school – my children not drinking enough; doing PE in school shoes; being unable to go to the toilet without having to miss playtime the next break; being punished for other people’s behaviour, including being shouted at when they haven’t actually done anything wrong; being forced to read for set amounts of time with books they do not enjoy; I guess I could go on. One of the worst things is not being allowed their individuality. There was an amazing boy who used to be in their class who is very talented in sports and the arts, but does not seem to learn well by just sitting still and doing maths and English – I just don’t feel they found the methods right for him; praised him enough for his talents and generally let him be his awesome self. With my own sons there was an issue with the male teacher who commented so much on my son’s long hair that he ended up getting it cut. He instantly regretted it and regrew it (and the teacher left) but really I do not think this is the right behaviour from a trusted adult.

Then I stop and think about how things could be different if we home educated. All that extra time not having to iron uniform, fill in reading records, trips backwards and forwards to the school and most importantly making learning fun. I can tailor the days to their needs at the time – whether that be their attention being right, sensory needs, and interests. I can see the real benefit of doing a forest school session in the actual forest – as opposed to out in the school playground too.

child exploring nature
Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

Making a Decision about Home Education

Making a decision to home educate is a big one which could totally affect the children’s future and therefore it is one that I have put a lot of thought into. I spoke to lots of home educators, enrolled my boys with Maths and English tutors, joined lots of Facebook groups, read blog posts and talked and talked and talked about it.

My biggest concern was what if I failed at it? What if I couldn’t cope with never getting that “break” that school gives; what if I couldn’t get them to learn – and ended up ruining their lives? I suffer with my mental health and often need to nap in the afternoon, as well as finding time for myself and attending events. I would really have to put my children first. And that is what really makes me push for wanting to home educate – because surely putting my children first should be priority! They are only little for such a short while and could actually be really beneficially to their futures.

woman lying on a table with her head hanging off
Photo by Pim Chu on Unsplash

In the short term if I really couldn’t cope then I could put them back into the education system. The problem with the first son is that we do want him to go back into the system to go to grammar school – what if pulling him out ruined his chances of this? And with the second it may mean he falls behind again and/or we may struggle to get his EHCP reinstated to help him if he needed to go back into the school education system.

 The Social Aspect of Home Educating

Contrary to popular belief home education is very social. In fact the opportunities sound great and one of the reasons for Home Education. After joining a few Facebook groups and speaking to people locally it turns out there’s loads of people that do it and they meet up and do great activities together. This keeps costs down as well as giving the social aspect to home education. The best thing is no-one will just be playing up as their parents will be there – or if you do not like a mix you can just stop going and find people you do gel with.

3children playfully running across a field
Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

On the other hand he has struggled to make friends and is rarely invited to parties and it’s a worry that he may also struggle with home educated children, when he has finally made some in the school environment. I did read an article about school friends not being real friends, and any that are real will make the effort once the child is being home educated. Also home education would lack that independence away from parents. Our youngest does not have much of that because he cannot play out on his own extra, and would be due to go on PGL next year (although he says he knows and doesn’t want to go anyway, see above re friends though).

Home Education Blog Posts:

There are many blog posts showing what their days/months look like and plenty of resources – I will most likely share those at a later date but I wanted this post to be about making the decision to Home Educate.

If you have any opinions, resources or even questions then please do share below.

48 thoughts on “Considering Home Education”

  1. Good luck with whatever you decide! I’m sorry to read that your boys’ school isn’t meeting their needs. I was frustrated with the new curriculum too because it doesn’t allow more able children to learn more and move more quickly, but we only really had to deal with it for a year or two. But I know for a fact my daughter couldn’t have passed the grammar school test without extra help because the test expects them to know things which haven’t been covered by the curriculum.
    Only you and your boys know if it’s right for all of you, but at least you know you can always send them back to school if you or they decide that is what is right for them. x

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  2. These are some great views about home education. I’m sorry to read that your boys’ school isn’t meeting their needs. Good luck!

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  3. This is such a great post. Homeschooling works really well for some families, but there’s a lot to consider. I think it ultimately boils down to an individual choice about what’s right for the child.

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  4. It’s such a big decision isn’t it? Slightly less of a decision for us because the girls’ school is amazing and suits them down to the ground, but we are definitely going to home ed for a year because we want to travel. We have a few years to wait yet but I will definitely be reading these blogs when we do start.
    Nat.x

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  5. Thank you for writing this article. The graphic under “making a decision about home education” is sooooo how I feel right now! I definitely do want to home school. I’ve worked in education before and didn’t like several things about it. My biggest concern is the social aspect. Luckily, I have a group of friends who want to home school as well so he wouldn’t be alone. I also plan to sign him up for local sports, groups, religious weekend events, library story times, and to stay consistent with local events that I attend so he can get used to groups of other kids. Also, thanks for listing other blogs we can read on the subject! Very helpful!

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  6. It is such a big choice to make, I’m not a parent but from my own school days I would most definitely say some people are going to thrive more in home schooling, where they can learn how they do best, rather than how the school says people should learn.

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  7. I don’t have kids so this isn’t something I’ve thought much about, but you clearly have! I wouldn’t let the fear of failure stop you from doing right by your kids if you do decide to home school.

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  8. We went the route of homeschooling last year. The public school system where I live is not very good. I don’t regret my decision at all. My daughter actually asked to be homeschooled and she is very happy.

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  9. As a public school teacher, I believe that home schooling (much like traditional schooling) has its pros and cons, but parents have the right to make the important decisions that they believe are best for their children and what best meets their needs.

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  10. As I’ve said along, it’s a big decision that doesn’t work for everyone. That said, if it works and fits it’s far better than any schooled set up. I think there’s so many different aspects to consider and go with that each is individual to the family. The best thing for me is the support of both online and fellow home edders as well as local groups. Best of luck with it and shout if you need help. Thanks for the tag and mention too

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  11. Good post! Thank you for sharing right now my 2 year old stays at home just because of the germs in daycare and not sure how much he really learns it’s like a huge babysitting area! My 6 year old however goes to school and if I could stay home and have him go to school at home trust me I would, but it would be hard on my husband to have both of them home and manage teaching. I love this and hope one day I can homeschool

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  12. I admire parents who home school their kids. Planning lesson plans and activities is not that easy. I think if you can do it and you’re able to educate them more at home than what they’re learning in school, then this is definitely something to consider.

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  13. I go back and forth with wanting to home school or keep them in the school system. My boys are not typical boys. They will be bullied at some point in their lives because I’ve taught them that mochoism isn’t who they have to be. I’m worried once they get to high school. Right now they seem okay. My oldest also has ADHD and is suffering a bit academically. He’s very smart and can resight so much American history and things about science I have to ask him to stop talking…but he fails tests. Why is he failing tests? He knows this stuff.

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  14. Home schooling is not something I’ve ever considered but I have friends who do it and love it! With the scary world we live in, I can’t say I won’t ever change my mind about it, but for now, my girls are happy at their schools.

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  15. I am definitely considering it with my 7 yr old. She has struggled with anxiety at school and getting frustrated. I think for her mental health it would be better if we do homeschool next year. Her older brother, however, does not want to do it. He’s entering high school and can’t wait to finally be on the marching band and be on the high school tennis team.

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  16. It can be hard to make choices like this but every family has something different that works for them. Finding what works for each of us can be difficult but learning from others I always helpful.

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  17. This post has really made me think Joy. My kids started their education in Denmark, then on to Munich as you know. They have only been in the UK system for a year, and whilst still in an international school (and a really nice one at that), it’s really easy to see that there’s a completely different attitude to education here. It’s almost like all the fun is sucked out of it. I have told my husband we will be abroad again before my youngest starts school properly… 😀

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  18. Good luck with whatever you decide. I can imagine this is such a difficult decision. I have always been happy with the Scottish education system. But, if they are not happy and you don’t feel it’s right for them and you can do it, you are making the right decision. Hugs xx

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  19. I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer to this topic. It truly depends on the child, the family circumstances and quite frankly in this day and age, your location. But I full heartedly believe that even if you choose private or public education for your child, it should never end there. That hands on learning with family is vital in true development.

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  20. I think if I had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom, I’d totally do homeschooling. Unfortunately I have to work though, and I don’t think my partner (who is a stay at home dad) is as up to it as I would be.

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  21. I think the personality of the kid and their learning style have a lot to do with how effective homeschooling would be. The best situation is where the kids and parents enjoy it, so I think the stars have to align for it to make sense.

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  22. My son asked me once (in 2nd grade), if he could stay home and I’d “do that thing where I teach him.” I told him it wasn’t one of my spiritual gifts haha! I know a lot of homeschool families, tho, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with doing whatever you decide 🙂

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  23. Very informative post and I learned something about home education. It is not for everyone but I am sure a lot of families are very successful of using this route. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. Great post! It is a big decision and has its pros and cons. You have to do what is best for your children. It might be great for one child and not work for the other.

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  25. This post is packed full of information for parents. Every family is different and each child has unique needs. My nine year old daughter goes to a charter school and is thriving but moving from a public school was a decision we struggled with for two years before we finally made the decision.

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  26. I have considered home ed with Tilly, the school system is failing all of the kids these days and its not their fault. They are not getting the money needed from the government. But as Tilly has dyslexia, she is better in school because she has access to senco

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  27. There are so many different options for education. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain homeschooling benefits.

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  28. It’s a lot to think about, especially if school are not meeting your children sensory and learning needs. It’s difficult too because one size doesn’t fit all in schools.
    I visit schools on a regular basis and find that children who get support at home and at school do better than those who don’t.
    However if you can give the 100% at home then your children will thrive too!

    Kay xx
    http://www.mummywho.com

    Reply

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