Why Some Families Choose to Home Educate blog by Gina Mark
The Mumpreneur Diaries,Guest Bloggers,Lifestyle

Why Some Families Choose to Home Educate

Before covid in 2020 we were all on the treadmill of life – working, school runs, racing to get tea sorted and get the kids to bed. I always dreaded school pick up, as I knew I would be collecting two girls who were overstimulated, grouchy and tired but with too much energy to relax after sitting at school for most of the day. I was that parent who always looked forward to the school holidays when they would be my fabulous girls again.

Then the schools closed, and I knew I would not send my girls back when they reopened. What I did not know is when you put your child into school nursery, you are choosing for them to educate your child, so in May of 2020 I wrote a letter to the school, explaining that I was going to take responsibility of my girls’ education, and we are living our best life.

Are home schooling and home education the same?

There is a big difference between home schooling and home education. Home schooling is what all the children did during lockdown, where the school was sending work home to complete. Home schooling can also be where a child learns from home but is enrolled in an online school, following some kind of national curriculum. Home education is when a child is being educated at home by their parents in a way the parent feels suits their needs and learning style.

National Curriculum or not?

We have lots of friends who home educate, our main circle is of seven families, and we all educate differently. We, for example follow a history curriculum which consists of four books each covering a time frame from ancient times through to World War two. We learn about a topic and then if that topic is in England, we travel, for example, when we did about Anglo Saxons, we visited Sutton Hoo and when we learned about the Vikings, we visited York. Now we are learning about the Plague, so we are visiting the Sick to Death Museum in Chester and the village of Eyam in the spring.

Others in our group follow topics and interests of their child, so every few weeks the topic will change, and the child will learn all they can about that area, like space, horses, war, Tudor England, and pirates. Others are science based which is where the child’s interest lies, and some are art and creative. And some do follow the National Curriculum.

Socialisation

One of the questions I get asked more than any other is how do I ensure my children socialise – with home education you have to find your own ways of socialising and you have to find your friends, for some families, this will be relatively easy (for example, I am the type of person who can chat to anyone and everyone, so my girls have always had friends as they are sociable kids too), however some families, may find this harder and have one or two friends who they stick with.

To find friends, it’s a good idea to go to groups in your local area, this way you start to recognise the same people, and this makes it easier to start a conversation. We are out and about so much with people that we have to schedule time at home.

We are very fortunate in our area that there is a huge home education community, so lots of organised activities are arranged by home educating parents. These can range from full workshops –Art and drama, Kingswood, Slimbridge or Bewilderwood to short activities of pizza making, short art sessions and fire station visits where the children get together after the learning session to play and socialise. 

I, myself organise trips for groups, such as Conkers, The Wild and Tamworth Castle. Then there are the event days which can be free, for example, Hampton Court has a home educators event day where we access it for free, in return for feedback on the day’s activities.

Watching the children all playing together and supporting each other in activities, is exactly how our community works. My oldest is 12 and she nurtures the younger children, can be the grown up when required but also still enjoys getting on with all the kids, her age and younger. Both my girls can talk to adults and children confidently.

GCES’S

The one fact I found amazing when we started home educating is that GCSE’s are not compulsory. They are optional and there are ways to succeed in life without them. If a home educating family decide that GCSE’s are for them, they can pay privately and sit the chosen ones at an exam centre and they can also attend a 14-16 provision if their local area has one.

We have a choice and my oldest daughter will attend our local college at 14 years old to complete her maths, English and an animal care qualification as her ideal role is to work with animals. Overall, home education suits our family, the flexibility, the experiences and the true friends but it definitely isn’t for everyone as it is hard work and is a life choice. However, for some it would never work as school suits their learning and personality, and that is also great.

Some resources to find out more about Home Education

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