Home educating is completely legal in the UK – education is compulsory, but sending your child to school is not.
If your child is already at school but you’ve made the decision to home educate all you need to do is write to the head teacher to let them know of your decision. It’s that simple! If your child isn’t at school you don’t need to do a thing. Your local authority will have someone assigned to help and support home educators if you feel you need that extra support. You can also find your local home educators Facebook group and start connecting with others in your area.
The brilliant thing about home educating is that you can explore what suits you, your family and your child best. It’s wise to remember that you do not have to recreate school at home. Educating comes in all shapes and sizes. If you’re baking, for example, you have an opportunity to combine science, maths, life skills and bonding time.
A simple trip to the park opens your eyes to the benefits of learning through play; kids learn to share, wait their turn and and to respect other kids which in turn builds their empathy. Playing on a swing for example improves their mental and physical development. Climbing on a climbing frame improves their self awareness and gives them a chance to listen to their body so it can adapt to its surroundings.
You may want to start off quite structured after you take them out of school but please don’t stress as you are their parent – you’re not trying to replace the teacher. You’re trying to do it differently to them and bringing the classroom structure into the home can lead to challenges all round. Be kind to yourself – it’s not easy home educating but it’s incredibly rewarding. Read books with your child you haven’t read before – learning together is incredibly enjoyable. Remind yourself that there are many flaws with our current education system which is why you are doing this. Connect with others in your area, help each other with lessons and childcare but most importantly have some fun with your children. That really is the best way they learn.
Resource links and Letter Templates
With so many people already home educating you never have to feel unsupported. Below are some great links you can use. Along with templates for deregistering and how to deal with unsupportive family members, Education Otherwise is a great website which has everything you need to know and more!