Is home education a better option for your children than attending school? Perhaps it is, and if so, this article may help you consolidate your thinking.
Here are seven benefits for anyone considering venturing into the unknown, possibly anxiety-fuelling, world of home education.
Home education allows an increased amount of flexibility when it comes to your children and their daily routine. Unless you want to, you don’t have to wake them up at seven o’clock, zoom through breakfast and yell orders to get them dressed into their school uniform, brush their teeth and do their hair. Of course, it’s still important to have a routine, but it doesn’t have to be quite as strict or rushed.
Home educating your child means that you have greater control over the things that influence your child. When your children are at school, no matter how much trust you have in their teachers and the wider school community, you can never be quite sure what they are being taught, aside from the curriculum that is being followed. You can decide which are the most important lessons to teach your child, such as compassion, empathy and courage.
- Bespoke education
It doesn’t matter how amazing a teacher and their team are, they can never give as much attention to your child or children as you can. Teaching a class of around thirty children is challenging and can never be precisely tailored to the needs of the individual. If that were the case, there’d be thirty micro-lessons happening simultaneously and the teacher would be rapidly heading for a nervous breakdown. It’s not expected nor should it be as it wouldn’t be sustainable. Being responsible for your children’s education means that you can go with what they need rather than tackling things like the Tudors, which might not be the right thing for your children at that exact moment in time.
Most schools in England offer daily English and maths lessons. While these are important subjects, you may find that actually, at a certain age, your children need more time carrying out physical activity through swimming lessons, for example. In that case, you could tip the balance and increase the amount of exercise on your timetable. If your child is struggling with their times tables, boost that and do an extra slot each day instead. You have the power to choose.
- Precious time together
The home education of your child can actually become precious family time. Being involved in their education every step of the way allows you to play a greater role in their holistic development. Plus, if you want to take a trip to the museum as a family, why not? Everyone can have fun and learn at the same time. Children who are home educated often relish the extra time they get to spend with their parents and siblings. There is a unique bond formed.
- Healthier environment
Schools can often be places where there is an overreliance on competition, whether it is self-imposed or promoted by the school staff. For example, simply sitting on the carpet during a maths input session, a child can feel as though they are failing if everyone around them puts their hands up quicker or completes a question before them on their mini-whiteboards. Confidence can be built more easily without the constant comparison to others of the same age.
- Reduced politics
We all know that education is highly politicised. In fact, the latest incarnation of the national curriculum itself is much debated given the re-inclusion of outdated learning expectations, such as Roman numerals and multiplying to 12 (which was only taught previously because of the pre-decimalisation system). Being able to follow your child’s interests and the things that you believe they need to know means that you can remove some aspect of politics from your lives. Avoiding the dreading regular testing could also be something that helps to make your mind up. From the Year 1 phonics screening to the new Year 4 multiplication check, there are many ways in which children are tested.
If you have the time, effort and money to home educate your child, it can certainly be a worthwhile experience for all involved. However, despite the benefits, it is worth chatting to other parents and your children, if they understand the implications, to assess if it’s the right choice for you. Good luck making a decision!