Reasons to Home Educate
There are lots of reasons to choose to educate at home. School is becoming a more and more pressured experience for children; socially due to class group numbers and also academically due to testing. Teachers are being continually stretched and change is needed. Schools are doing the best they can with the limited resources assigned to them. Above and beyond all this, nobody knows your child better than you, and you are able to provide an education that suits your child individually. Imagine having the time to invest in their interests, listen to their thoughts, and answer their questions. Imagine them feeling able to openly share their opinion without fear of the embarrassment of being wrong or having to vie for a place among 29 other voices.
Home Ed and Regulations
U.K. law is that every child deserves an education but you can decide how that education is delivered and therefore you can choose to educate your child at home. I received a letter from my LEA explaining this is more detail. It says: 'There are no set guidelines as to what subjects a pupil who is electively home educated should be taught...home educating parents may wish to provide an education...either in a formal and structured manner...or in an informal manner which is responsive to the developing needs of the child.' Which I found very useful actually and it goes on to list quite a few things I will not be required to do such as follow the national curriculum, mark work or make extensive lesson plans. Fundamentally it suggests that the parent knows their child best, and so can choose how to educate.
But I'm not a trained teacher I hear you cry. This is often a top concern for many parents considering home education. Rest assured there are many different ways to learn and you don't have to be a trained teacher to facilitate your child's learning. In fact, you have been doing it all their lives already! One of the first activities often set to 1st year uni students is finding their own personal learning style. Answer a few questions on a psychometric test to find out if you learn better through watching somebody do something, by writing about the process of how to do something, by doing the new skill yourself or a mixture of these. There are personality tests which can give you an idea of a person's dominating characteristics (leader, creative, for example) which in turn can help decipher how that person may best learn a new skill or new information. Why wait until university to invidualise your child's learning? As a parent you do not need quizzes or personality testing to understand how your child learns best, you probably already know, and if you don't it won't take long for you to notice it. From that point you can really encourage your child and bring them on.
Ways to Learn
Learning is much easier when it's about something that interests you, or that you have a reason to learn. Turn to YouTube for a video on how to fix a blocked shower drain and I bet you learn how to unblock it quite quickly. The same logic applies to maths or any other subject. If you have a reason to learn something, it's amazing how easy it is to learn. The same for learning style, you may find it easier to follow a hair tutorial on YouTube than to try to follow it from a wordy text for example.
Children are amazing at learning. They really have it down to a fine art. They are made to learn, and you are equipped to educate them.
This article first appeared on https://www.thehippychristianmum.com
(Although the terms 'your child' and 'home educating parents' are used, this article refers to anyone who wishes to home educate, carer, auntie, grandparent or otherwise.)