No set hours, no travelling to and from school, no endless hours of rote learning… are you and your child ready to take up the homeschooling challenge?

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If so, these are a few wonderful differences you can begin to enjoy from the moment you decide to take your child’s education into your own, capable hands:

1. Homeschooling: The World is Your Classroom: Experts in alternative schooling have long said that learning should be fun and adventurous through activities such as ‘field trips’ into Nature, where children can discover the intricacies of Nature, her ecosystems and intricate interplay of flora and fauna, in person. One of the most oft-cited reasons for the popularity of homeschooling is, indeed, the opportunity it offers both parents and children to learn together in unique settings: a museum to learn about landmark artists; a backyard to make tools like balances or pendulums from discarded pieces of wood or other materials; a farm to learn about animals and their habits. Homeschooling makes the world a fun, exciting place you can learn from 24/7.

2. Education is catered to a child’s interests and needs: Educational theorist, Howard Gardner dedicated his life’s work to proving that we all have different learning styles and ways of processing information. Homeschooling parents often complain that one of the reasons they decided to exit the traditional schooling system was that their child was treated as ‘just another brick in the wall’. If your child learns best through song, the visual arts or writing, you can incorporate these skills into a plethora of subjects.

3. Socialising takes place with the persons you choose: One of parents’ biggest fears is usually bullying, which they can have no control of when their child is at school. Homeschooling parents and kids will tell you that they haven’t stopped socialising in the least; in fact, the homeschooling community is a tightly knit bunch that often study together, work together and play together. The only difference is, with homeschooling, you get to choose who your child interacts with, and when.

4. Children can reach academic goals at different ages than with the standard educational system: It is not uncommon for children as young as 13 or 14 to sit for their GCSEs when they are home-schooled, since progress is a more relevant consideration than age.

5. Homeschooling can form part of a new buzzword in the UK: Flexi-Schooling: Under the Flexi-Schooling programme, children are registered at school but only attend part-time, receiving the rest of their education at home. This can be a particularly good choice for kids who love team sports and it also allows children to enjoy access to resources they may not have at home. Whether or not a school agrees to flexi-schooling depends on the Head Teacher and possibly the local authorities, so you may find that some convincing on your part is required.

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Emma