This week home schooling has been in the media. Those in Education can see that it is a growing area with many parents opting to remove their children from standarised schooling and educate them at home. However, is this safe and best for the child? There are a number of reasons as to why parents make this choice, for some it is due to the flexibility to teach their child what they wish; for others it is so they can travel more as a family; or it could even relate to their children’s needs and struggle at school.
Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England has made some bold statements in her home schooling report. Firstly she recognised that around 60,000 children are being taught at home at any one time. This is a considerable amount of children but this means that numerous parents are providing such a service. However, her report goes on to say that there are some concerns around how each of these children are ‘doing academically or even if they are safe.’ Her report goes on to talk about her concerns for pupils with Special Educational Needs and the provision or support they are receiving.
I can see that we need to protect our children; however, a large number of parents are doing an extremely good job of home educating. I have also known local authorities to check on home schooled children and work with parent where they feel the child is not making the progress close enough to their peers; or are not receiving sufficient education.
For those parents who have decided to home school their children this can a wonderful opportunity to teach a curriculum that interests their child. Allowing them to take them on trips and visits that bring learning to life; provide a broad and balanced curriculum from home; develop a love of learning through exploration and also meeting other like minded parents thus growing their own schooling relationships.
Nowadays there are many home schooling Facebook groups, blogs and Instagram pages providing opportunities to meet others and share ideas. Curriculum websites such as Twinkl and Maths Frame provide curriculum expectations and activities to help parents provide a broad and balanced curriculum. Furthermore, you can receive support and advice on the Government website; through your local authority and via charities such as Education Otherwise.
Some people that home school choose to use a qualified teacher/tutors to support and supplement their child’s education. Should you wish to do this it is imperative that you find a qualified teacher with an up to date DBS check, as they will understand the styles of learning and how best to teach each child and not just the curriculum standards.
At Growing Young Minds we believe in small group learning for children of the same age. This allows children to learn with and from peers and check they are meeting the ‘National Curriculum expectations’. Meeting the above criteria, we offer lessons during the day or alternatively children can join into our lessons from 4pm which would also help them meet a variety of different pupils.
Personally I really love the idea of creating an education around the child’s needs and interests as long as they are provided with the opportunities to develop their social skills and understanding of how to work in the world around them. Hopefully every children will go on to get a job, work with others and help develop our society; how they reach that stage can be moulded by you.