Not back to school

As August moves on, the bank holiday draws near along with the passing of the children’s summer holiday. And the time of going back to school looms large.

For some families I know the arrival of the new term brings welcome relief all round. But for others its approach brings much dread and it is a time when families look again at the possibility of home education.

Many parents just dismiss the idea of home schooling as being as impossible for them as a celebrity lifestyle. I thought that too! Twelve years on with the children growing and going I know there’s nothing about home learning a committed parent, who is willing to find out, cannot do. Maybe you think that you couldn’t do it because you’re not teachers, or you think you don’t know enough, or perhaps think that education is just too complicated for someone like you to be able to do. Many parents who have successfully home educated thought that at the start too!

But actually many, many more parents than probably realise it would be able to successfully home educate because, if truth be told, being a teacher is not necessary, knowing everything is not necessary, and learning isn’t that complicated. It’s just that the education system has conned most of us into believing otherwise.

The most important things you need to successfully home school are:

  • A good relationship with your child
  • To be willing to make the sacrifice of time and energy
  • To be able to do some research
  • And to keep your mind open to possibilities

If you can manage the above the rest will follow naturally – like with parenting, you will learn it.

Most parents have already been ‘educating’ their child pre-school without noticing, through talking and demonstration, guidance and play. After all, children learn the use of language just by being with their parents. They learn how to do so many things simply through parental guidance; walk, talk, tie their laces, get dressed, use the technology, communicate, use tools and utensils, interact, draw and create. Home education is really just an extension of that and is nothing that a willing, committed parent cannot do if they can get past the initial wobble in confidence! Like with most things family; you have to trust. Now though, there are reassuring numbers of families proving that trusting comes to fruition.

There is more information about home education dotted around this website and others listed. And everything you’d need to help you make the decision, get started and develop your child’s education is in my book ‘Learning without School. Home Education’. (see the page)

But what I wanted to say here is; if the start of the new school term holds dread for either you or your child, whatever year they’re at, do give home education some thought because it doesn’t have to be like that.

Home schooling really is a workable and successful alternative. Thousands of families for whom school just does not work are now choosing to do it.


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