14/07/2009 18:19 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Tip Of The Day: Home Education's Not What You Expected

As you wave your children off to school on another summer day when they'd probably rather be at home, you may have wondered if home schooling is the answer. Or would that make them more isolated and learning less than they do in a traditional educational environment?

Journalist Deborah Durbin educates her three daughters, aged between six and 15, from home and is the author of Teach Yourself Home Education.

Here she highlights some facts about home education:

There are between 50 and 150,000 home-educated children in the UK
No one is sure exactly how many home-educated children are in the UK because many children have never been registered at a school, but it is estimated to be anywhere between 50 and 150,000.

Home education is legal in most countries
Home education is illegal in Germany, Brazil, Hong Kong and more recently the State of California, However, many parents get round this law by opening their own small, private schools.

You do not have to follow the National Curriculum
Many home-educators follow what is known as an autonomous or child-led form of learning. That is they don't follow the National Curriculum. The National Curriculum was set up by the government so that every State school in the country would learn exactly the same syllabus as every other State school. Private schools do not have to follow the NC because they are self-funding.

Home Schooling can cost as little or as much as you wish
Some people think that you have to be wealthy to give your children a private education. Home education can cost as much or as little as you wish. There is no government funding for home educated children, so if you are going to follow the National Curriculum it is up to you to fund the cost of workbooks, exam fees etc, but many home educators opt out of the National Curriculum in order to give their children a more interesting and diverse education.

Home Schooled children have better social skills
Many people assume that home schooled children suffer socially because they are not mixing with 30 other children in a classroom. This is just not true. Studies have shown that home schooled children are better equipped to mix with people of all ages, rather than just their own peer group.

Home Educated children excel better in tests and exams
A study conducted by Dr Paula Rothermel found that home schooled children fared better in national tests and exams than State school children. In a study for the National Home Education Research Institute it was found that over 74 of the general State schooled young adults. It has also been recorded that home schooled children take A Level and higher level exams as a much younger age

Teach Yourself Home Education by Deborah Durbin is available here from Amazon

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