Welcome to our homeschooling page for information and links for anything to do with teaching your child and developing their learning
Why do parents make the decision to home-school their children?
There are so many reasons that people decide to take their children out of school and start to teach them at home.
Beginning to home educate your child can be scary. There are a lot of things to think about like 'Will my child become isolated with no friends?', How will I be able to help them learn?', 'Will I be breaking the law?' 'How will my child cope? and many more questions. But for some children it can be the right decision to make.
You will have so much to think about from working out what kind of homeschooling do you want, how will you teach your child, how will you find the resources you need and will it be the best thing for your child. It is a leap into the unknown and a journey that you can both share and learn through together. If you do decide to take this step, then your confidence will grow along with the confidence of your child.
So how do you actually get the ball rolling?
You have to de-register your child from school, and how you do this will depend on where you live. In some areas, this is done by simply writing to the headteacher and stating that you would like your child to be de-registered because you are homeschooling them from this date. In other areas, this might be slightly different.
It also becomes more complicated if your child is disabled or has special educational needs and has a SEND document.
In all cases, it is best to check you local areas rules on homeschooling by looking at your borough's website.
If you are on a waiting list for a school then you will need to inform the local LA to inform them of your intentions. There is a lot of advice on just how to do this on some really good facebook pages and the internet in general. You can even print out a sample letter that you can take into school.
What kind of homeschooling will it be?
Structured learning or Traditional learning - is a more formal approach. This way you will use a timetable for lessons and curriculum of subjects. This might be a good approach if you think you might be planning to send your child back to school at some point. In this way, they will still be familiar with this style of learning. It might also help with children that need more structure in the day or if you have planned a timetable of clubs that you want your child to join. Some children enjoy this kind of learning as it gives them anchor points to hold onto.
Semi-Structured learning - similar to structured learning, but it might just be structured for Literacy and Numeracy and for a set time each day. Some children need some sort of structure in the day to help them, even if it is only a short time in the morning that is structured. This leaves the rest of the day to follow other interest.
Project-Based learning - The learning can be divided up into more holistic projects rather than subjects. Using a theme such as “The Ancient Egyptians”, children explore lots of different aspects of learning through a specific focus. Starting with a mind-map (see blog post) of ideas allows you to explore lots of different learning areas including Literacy and Numeracy. Use of Lapbooks for topics is a very good way to encourage reluctant writers. You also have a chance in this type of learning to include more hands-on activities such as making food dishes, dressing up and making costumes, visiting sites and museums, artwork and design and technology and so much more all around the subject.
Religious learning - Most often Christian or Muslim families, these home educating families purchase a homeschool curriculum that encompasses learning about their chosen religion; this may include scriptural and moral education too.
Charlotte Mason learning - Developed in England in the 19th century, this method encourages children to focus fully on their task as long as they are developmentally capable of, and to prioritise love of learning over facts. The arts and nature are big players in a Charlotte Mason home educating family household.
Autonomous learning is flexible. It more about following your child's interest. It allows them to decide when and what they want to learn. This approach could work well with older children. You are the facilitator rather than a teacher, providing the opportunities, experiences and resources your child needs to follow their interests. If your child didn’t respond well to the structured school system and is self-motivated, this could work well depending on their age. It is underpinned by the ideas that children do not need a set curriculum or to study a particular topic or subject but learn by rich environments around them.
Worldschooling - Home educating families who use travel as a primary method of education. Good homeschoolers using this method will ensure that their children are exposed to new and exciting adventures.
We follow a semi-structured style with Literacy and Numeracy followed 4 sometimes 5 days a week, usually in the morning. In the afternoon we follow a project style of leaning. We also have two dedicated Science lessons each week. As well as trips out.
Whatever style you choose it will have to suit the needs of your child. You might not know at first what style that will be or it might be that your style will change over time.