“Equality has a body: free and compulsory education.” - Victor Hugo
Would you like to start teaching your children at home?
Perhaps you don’t know where to start... There are a lot of questions surrounding homeschooling and you need to know the advantages and disadvantages and how to do it before you even begin. Fortunately, you’re not the first person to try this so here’s our quick guide to help you with your decision.
School isn’t technically obligatory, but education is, which means you’re free to teach your children at home if you wish.
Just follow our guide!
The Advantages of Homeschooling
For many years, homeschooling has been an appealing option for more and more families. 2020 made that a reality for many parents and families who’d never even considered it. Before, they may have never even considered it an option.
Maybe the homeschooling during the pandemic has changed their minds. Of course, homeschooling was legal before the pandemic.
So why shift to it now?
What are the advantages of teaching your children from the comfort of your own home?
- It’s a good way to form a better relationship with your family. However, keep in mind that homeschooling is a full-time job which means most of the time spent with your children will be as their teacher. After school, they may not want to see more of you or you may be too tired for anything else. Of course, there are always weekends. With homeschooling, there’s still the chance to create a special bond with your children.
- You can keep on top of the child’s schooling. Whether they’re ahead or falling behind, you’ll know if you’re on the pace or not. You can adapt the teaching to each child. They will also have more opportunities to learn in different ways. In school, children should be taught in a way that’s right for them. Even adults need to learn in a way that works for them.
- You can respect the child’s routine. They won’t need to get up as early and you can teach them at a time that works for them. You can even schedule their lessons around a nap if this works better for them.
- Homeschooling also allows you to move or travel more easily as the school will come with you. You won’t need to wait for the school holidays to change schools.
- Your child won’t have to worry about competing with the other students in their class or getting in trouble for forgetting their homework as you’ll know exactly what work they’re supposed to be doing. You can still regularly check their learning, of course.
The Skills Needed for Homeschooling
Are you concerned about not having the skills required to teach your kids?
Perhaps you left school early.
Do you not feel up to it?
Don’t panic, there are many different approaches to teaching your children at home. Of course, it’ll be much easier if you are a teacher or a tutor, but it’s not obligatory.
- Homeschooling is different from typical schooling as you don’t need to follow the national curriculum or even the academic calendar. Your child just needs to receive a full-time education adapted to their level. How you provide this is often up to you.
- There are many online resources to help you with homeschooling.
- There are many different ways to learn: remote learning, distance learning, homeschooling, and unschooling, which focuses on what the learner wants to learn.
- To research things that you don’t know.
- To learn how to teach and use different teaching approaches.
- To be vigilant and patient.
- To know how to adapt to different situations.
- To organise. You’ll need to set goals and make sure the child achieves them throughout the year.
- To use teaching moments effectively.
Getting Started with Homeschooling
Would homeschooling be better for your child?
Children of all ages can benefit from homeschooling.
Homeschooling may be the right choice for SEN pupils and children who are having problems at school such as bullying.
Here is how to do it:
- It’s a good idea to notify the local authorities that you plan to home educate your child as there’ll be support and advice available.
- If your child is already in school, you’re not obliged to tell them or get permission to take them out of school, but it’s still a good idea to let them know to avoid misunderstandings.
- If your child is attending a special school, you will need to get permission from the local authority to remove them from the admission register.
- You’ll be guaranteeing that your child receives an efficient and suitable full-time education, but you’ll also be assuming the full financial responsibility for this. If at any point, you cannot provide a suitable education, you need to contact the local authority to secure a school place for your child to minimise the disruption.
A Typical Day of Homeschooling
It’s difficult to define a typical day of homeschooling as there are a lot of factors for you to consider according to your situation. There’s no single right way to do things.
The best way to teach your child is the way that works best for them and the family.
There are various situations a family might be homeschooling:
- Travelling the world
- Working part-time
- One parent is dedicating themselves to the children’s education
- Both parents are teaching the children
- The parents work from home or are self-employed
How you plan your typical day will depend on your situation, but one thing is for sure, you’ll have to experiment a bit to see what works.
As a general rule of thumb, the timetable for homeschooling won’t be as strict as in a school. With just one student, you can change the schedule on-the-fly to maximise their learning potential.
You might want to dedicate afternoons to rewarding activities like going to museums, exploring nature, or doing scientific experiments, etc. Technically, there’s no homework.
So will you be homeschooling your children?
Homeschooling requires that a child gets a full-time education, but this education doesn't necessarily need to be provided by the parents. Homeschooled children can get all or part of their education from one or several private tutors.
If you're interested in looking at private tutors to help provide your child with their education, consider searching for tutors on Superprof. There are many talented and experienced tutors ready to teach a variety of academic subjects, extracurricular activities, sports, and arts and crafts. Even if you're planning on doing all the teaching yourself, you could get a tutor to help you with planning lessons and the curriculum for homeschooling your child.
On Superprof, you can enjoy face-to-face tutoring, online tutoring, or even group tutoring. Each type of tutoring comes with pros and cons so think carefully about which methods will work best for you, your family, and, most importantly, your children.
A face-to-face tutor will often travel to the student's home to teach them one-on-one. They'll adapt the lessons to the student, what they need to learn, and how they learn best, ensuring that every minute of every session is spent as effectively as possible. Of course, this bespoke service comes at a price and face-to-face tutors will usually charge more than online tutors or tutors offering group tutorials.
If you travel around a lot or can't find any suitable tutors in your local area, you can always look for online tutoring. As long as you have a decent internet connection and computer, you can get help from tutors all over the world. This is particularly good for foreign languages as you can find native speakers, but it's also useful if your child is studying for UK exams but you're not currently in the country and need someone from the UK with expertise in GCSEs and A Levels, for example.
Finally, for those on a budget, group tutorials are an excellent option as you can share the cost of the tutor's time and expertise with the other attendees. If other parents are homeschooling their children and would like some extra help from a tutor, you could get your children together in a smaller class with a tutor and split the bill.
A lot of the tutors on Superprof offer the first lesson for free so make sure to try a few different options out before picking the tutor or tutors that are right for you and your family.