10 little known truths about home schooling

We used to feel people’s resistance come up like a prickly shield when we mentioned we home educated. It often provoked the response; ‘couldn’t possibly do that’!

But I think that attitude is changing with more and more parents considering home education as a real option as they become unhappier with schools’ provision. It often happens at this time of the year when their children, just started back in school, show dramatic changes in their behaviour and well-being due to the stress of it.

Right back when I started this blog I did a post outlining some little known facts about home education. So if you’re considering it yourself, I’m posting them here again in case you missed them:

– Most home educating families are just ordinary families trying to do the best for their kids. Most are not elite, or alternative, extremist or ignorant. They just needed an alternative to school which they feel is not right for their child or where their children were failing to thrive or reach their potential. For some, home educating changes academic failure into success. It changes nil self-esteem into confidence. And in some desperate cases it probably even saves lives.

– Learning can occur in a myriad of different ways not just the way they do it in school as thousands of home educators are now proving.

– Home educated children achieve good grades like other children do. They go to university, college, or into work like other children do. Their academic, social and personal skills are reputed to be in front of those of their school peers.

– Home educated children are not isolated. Most interact with a wide range of people, in a wide range of places, doing a broad range of activities. Some have far more life experience than those children in school. Most have mature social skills.

– Thousands of families turn to home education because schools fail to provide for their children’s needs, both academic and personal. In some cases this has been a life line for children who’ve suffered in school the kind of abuse that just would not be tolerated by adults in a workplace. Home educators are the parents who take initiative to do something about their children’s suffering rather than just ignoring it.

– Children who have been written off by the educational system or labelled as having ‘learning difficulties’ or ‘special needs’, for example, have gone on to achieve a good academic standard through home education.

– Home educating families have the same ordinary aspirations for their children to achieve and be happy as all parents. They come from all ranges of the social, educational, financial and cultural backgrounds that make up our society.

– Contrary to what most parents think, children learn in a multitude of different ways, not just in the conveyor belt style of the educational system. Home educating gives children the opportunity to learn in the way that suits them best, increasing their chances of success. This doesn’t necessarily mean academic cramming. It means acknowledgement of the myriad of alternative approaches there are to learning, to opportunities, to qualifications, to being educated, and making best use of them.

– In my experience as a home educator within a wide network of other home educators, and whilst researching for my book, I have never come across an incidence of abuse which sadly is the only time home educating ever gets talked about. However I saw plenty of cases of abuse when I worked in schools.

– Thousands and thousands of home educating families are now proof of how children can be educated successfully without school.

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24 thoughts on “10 little known truths about home schooling

  1. Thank you for this Ross. From an experienced home ed mum who is still plagued with doubts from time to time. I love reading your blog, I always find reassurance and encouragement here 🙂

  2. Pingback: Home Schooling: A Good Or Bad Idea? | Simply Senia

  3. Thank you for this post. However I decided to send Abby* to school. The reason being that I cant do it all. *Abby is 4 and has severe brain damage*.

    And no matter how much I do, she needs to be in a school with trained skilled staff willing to help her. Both me and my husband struggled with this decision. We both felt that we could teach Abby at home properly. But, the truth is we cannot.

    On the other hand, Anna will be taught at home. Unlike Abby, Anna is my NT(neurotypical) child and doesnt need to be in school. That doesnt mean she wont miss out and never get a opportunity to develop important talking skills- of course not. And, I dont want Anna in a school which focuses only on unimportant stuff like grades and levels. Or, treats learning as a competitive thing.

    • Thanks so much for leaving your comment. I completely understand where you’re coming from with this. You must have so many hard decisions to make and I feel for you. Another of our home schooling friends also had a handicapped child and while she home educated her eldest she too felt that the best place for this child was with his special school where he had provision that she just couldn’t give herself. Good luck and best wishes.

  4. Dear Ross, Just what I needed on a Monday morning. Always get excited when I see you’ve posted something new. Perfect pick me up. xxx

  5. Dear Ross I love your blog! Many years ago I pulled my youngest Son out of school when in 3rd grade, it was a very complicated situation involving bullies & Teachers who would not help. My Son was Home schooled from then on & he just started College on his own! He found himself a grant & set up his schedule & is making A’s ! I cannot accept any praise though because he did it on his own but he did thank me for pulling him out of School because he would have never gotten the opportunity to study what was most important to him & the bullies just got worse as the school years progressed. I am now raising my Granddaughter because my Daughter died in a car accident. My Granddaughter tried public school but was teased because her Mother died Jan 2012, needless to say we are Home Schooling once again. It is shocking how mean people can be but it is best to just move away from them & carry on. We are enjoying so many wonderful things (lessons) now & most of the time she doesn’t even know how much she is learning which is the key! Beautiful day to you all !!

  6. Great blog Ross! You have echoed everything I feel about education and home schooling.I started home schooling my son 2 years ago and we have not looked back.My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. I had never considered home education nor did I really understand what it entailed until I found myself in a situation where my son was being failed by his school and the system.He is autistic and had a statement of SEN before starting in reception class,however it proved to be a useless piece of paper and emotionally drowned.Now, he is happy,thriving socially and emotionally and achieving academically.

  7. Pingback: Home Education was the right choice | Chewigem

  8. Thanks for this post Ross, it is so true. We decided to home educate as both our boys were so unhappy at school for various reasons. This time of year always brings lots of questions about why they are not back at school and sometimes people respond very defensively about how great their child’s school is etc etc. But we haven’t done it to challenge people I just want my children to be happy and learn! But it’s hard to get that across in one simple sentence. I’m so glad I was brave enough to give home ed a try though, it’s the best decision I ever made : )

    • Lovely to have your comment Clare, thank you. It’s interesting how people feel the need to be defensive isn’t it! We had it too! It’s almost as if they’re trying to justify something they think deep down is not right! 😉 Best decision we ever made too! Have a great time home educating, it’s huge fun. xx

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