It goes without saying that 2020 has been a difficult and challenging year and with a 2nd Lockdown on the horizon things are not getting any easier. Coronavirus has changed the way we work, learn and live our lives. Since the first lockdown at the beginning of March, parents up and down the country were faced with the challenge of home schooling their children. Whilst many parents embraced this challenge, others felt lost and confused despite the support from schools. Many found out their children’s true potential and where they are at academically. More often than not they discovered that their children were struggling more than they realised and their wellbeing was being severely damaged.
COVID gave many parents the push they needed to home school their children on a more permanent basis. As a result, home education in the UK is on the rise. If you are considering homeschooling your children but are confused and not sure where to start I have answered 10 of most asked questions on social media.
TOP 10 MOST ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING
1. I have decided to home educate my children and I don’t know where to start
As much as home education is about distancing you and your children away from the world of school it is a good idea to have goals in mind and know what you want for your children’s education to guide their learning in the right direction. If you are planning to send your children to secondary school a few years down the line, will they need to sit the 11+ or 13+ entrance exams? Your home education journey will need to incorporate whatever your goals are. Once your children are deregistered, take it slowly, one day at a time. Your children will need to adjust to their new life and their new way of learning.
2. When is the best time to de-register my children?
In short you can deregister anytime. However, if you deregister before October half term It may be more difficult as schools may lose their funding for the year and headteachers are likely to discourage it. It is worth bearing in mind that if you deregister your child, there is no guarantee of getting their place back in the same school later on let alone in the same class.
3. Will I be facing problems with authorities for homeschooling?
No, if you are organised, doing everything they ask for and recording your children’s work there should be no problems. As an added note, you don’t have to invite them into your home if they request it, you can be in contact with them via email only.
4. How do I plan a day of learning?
How you home educate your children is up to you. Your day of learning will be personalised to what suits you and your family. It could be structured like a day of school or you might want to be more flexible. Just remember a classroom situation is very different, A maths lesson that takes 1 hour in a classroom can take 30 – 40 minutes at home. Home education is about your child and putting their needs first. Take time to understand how they learn. Expect each day to be different and expect to have some ups and downs particularly at the beginning but have some structure and involve your children in planning their learning.
5. I have heard about the idea of ‘unschooling’ but not sure what it is.
Unschooling is one of the many education methods used to homeschool children. It is an education philosophy that provides freedom from the education system and gives children more autonomy over their learning. Unschooling, also known as ‘natural learning’ or ‘independent learning’ is a process by which children learn through their own experiences and interests which inevitably lead to different subjects such as Science, History, Maths, English etc. It is a unique opportunity for families to do whatever makes sense for the growth and development of their children. It teaches children to think for themselves, make their own decisions, set their own goals, learn from anything from books, the internet, parents, museums, people etc.
6. How will I teach maths? Maths isn’t my strength.
You don’t have to be great at maths or any other subject to successfully teach your child, however you do need to use the National Curriculum or any other curriculum as a guide. Also, the more the five senses are engaged the better. Hands on learning, that is ‘learning by doing’ can be adapted to most learning styles. Manipulatives, i.e.: cubes, blocks or fraction strips, are the most common tools for hands on maths. Furthermore, maths is easier to grasp when applied to real world problems and everyday activities such as cooking and shopping. If you are really worried about teaching Maths or any other subject, there is the option of getting the help of a private tutor who will have the skills and knowledge required.
7. Where will I get the teaching materials from?
The internet is saturated. Twinkl, TES, White Rose Maths and Primary Resources are just a few sites that have fantastic printable resources on a wide range of subjects. Let’s not forget Amazon, Waterstones and WHSmith for a huge selection of workbooks on all subjects at different levels and for different purposes.
8. Will my children have good careers?
Your children can have any career they want. To have a good career, their education will need to be planned for accordingly. Your child’s interests and career aspirations will determine the subjects they will need to focus on. The basics for any career, however, is to have a minimum of 5 GCSEs in English, Maths, Science, a language and a fifth subject of their own choice. GCSE’s allow teenagers to do A ‘levels and eventually go onto university or do apprenticeships.
9. I am worried about my children missing their friends and the social aspect of school.
Your children can still see their friends after school, at the weekends and during the holidays. That said friendships change throughout life. Your children will make new friends. They can attend a variety of afterschool and weekend activities that meet their interests. Also, as parents you can get support from the many homeschooling groups set up on social media.
10. Do I have to follow the National Curriculum?
No, but It is a good idea to follow the National Curriculum or a curriculum of your choice as a guideline to help you understand where your child is at in their learning, what they need to learn and what they need to prepare for, i.e.: returning to school or sitting exams such as the 11+ or GCSEs.
I hope I have provided you with some useful information regarding homeschooling. For more in-depth support you can enlist our expertise. If you would like to arrange tuition for your child or would like advice on any aspect of your child’s education, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.