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Learning at Home – Is Home-Schooling Right for your Child?

Many parents have thought from time to time about home educating their child. With it seemingly becoming more difficult to secure a place in the school of your choice for your child and the situation set to worsen as the school age population grows – many parents see home schooling as the better alternative to a traditional school education. So, if you are new to the world of home schooling and would like to explore further, these are a few common questions that parents may have before embarking upon it further…

Learning at Home - Is Home-Schooling Right for your Child

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What if my child is currently in school full-time?

If your child is already in school, you must write to the head teacher to notify the school that you are taking your child out and that you intend to educate them from home – the head teacher must accept this by law.

Do I need to be a qualified teacher, or are there certain qualifications that I need?

No, there are no qualifications needed to home school a child, and children whose parents are qualified teachers perform no better than children who are not.

Who do I go to for help and guidance?

You can get help with your child’s education from your local council – the council may want to check in initially when you first withdraw your child from school, and may have an informal discussion with you on how you intend to progress. If they feel that your child should be taught in school, they can serve a school attendance order.

What do I need to prepare?

There are some great websites online to help parents educating children at home, and offering support and suggestions for subjects, to ensure that the child gets a well-rounded education. Get in touch with your local sports centre and see if they offer anything to support your child’s physical education, and of course the local library is another great resource. Some parents like to have a separate space for education within their own home. This is a good idea if you are going to be educating a few children – having a ‘learning space’ separate from the home environment can be helpful, especially if your home is crowded already – http://www.educationspaces.co.uk/ offer modular school buildings that are ideal for this purpose, or if you have a little-used room or garage, maybe convert that to a classroom area.

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How closely do I need to follow the National Curriculum?

Only state schools need to follow the guidelines set by the National Curriculum. If you do want to follow it, the DfES website has details that you can download. You do not have to follow it though – it is up to you when, what and how your child studies, allowing you to cater to your child’s own needs and allow them to explore areas more deeply which they have an interest in. As long as you are providing your child with a well-rounded education, there are no strict guidelines on learning.

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