“Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world.” - Maria Montessori
In the UK, education is compulsory but getting it in school isn’t, which is why you can choose to homeschool your children.
More and more families are worried about the schooling their children get from the government.
Why not consider the advantages of homeschooling your children?
Improving the Bond with Your Children
Many children spend over 30 hours a week at school, which is close to how much time you’d spend at a full-time job. That said, those who work full-time don’t tend to get home from work until much later than their kids.
This doesn’t leave you a lot of time with the family. The second you get home, you probably have tasks or chores to do, food to cook, etc. so when it comes to family time, it may be lacking in both quantity and quality and you may only get the weekends to spend proper time with your family.
It’s difficult to maintain solid relationships with your children when the time spent together often feels like chores. With homeschooling, you’ll spend all day with your children and have an opportunity to forge strong bonds with them. You’ll also get to spend memorable moments with them.
Teaching Children at the Right Pace
Teaching your children will allow you to teach them at a pace that’s right for them. There’s no pressure for them to learn at the same rate as the rest of the class, allowing them to focus fully on their learning.
They’ll also learn how to manage their own time as they don’t have to wait for slower children to finish activities or rush to keep up with the faster children.
Homeschoolers can regularly interact with the teacher if they have any concerns and they can also learn about things they’re passionate about. You can shift the focus towards the subjects that they prefer, making this kind of teaching more effective as if the child had a private tutor.
Homeschooling is also particularly useful for children who struggle with school as well as gifted students who could be held back by the slower pace of teaching at their school.
Homeschooled children can enjoy teaching that’s tailored to them as they don’t have to follow the national curriculum and can be taught in a way that works best for them. Of course, the parent has the legal requirement to properly educate their child and the law states that this is “efficient full-time education”.
Learning in Different Ways
More and more families are turning to homeschooling as the education their children receive in schools isn’t effective enough. Large classes of students of varying levels isn’t the most effective way to teach, after all.
Some parents have some very good reasons for teaching their children themselves.
The education system is what it is. Its goal is to offer as many children as possible an education. For the average child, this is fine, but most children are anything but average.
The way children are being taught may not work for your child and you may need to do things differently. Homeschooling can help you teach your children in different and more effective ways by trying things like museum trips, learning in the library, or even cultural experiences like going to the cinema, a concert, or the theatre.
As long as your child is receiving a suitable full-time education, you can essentially teach them however you see fit. They can often enjoy a more enriching education than they would at school.
Respecting the Child’s Biological Routine
Homeschooling can make it easier to respect their biological routine and both children and adults have them. Some are early-birds and others are night-owls and homeschooling can allow you to adapt to your child’s rhythm.
Perhaps it’s better to teach traditional classes in the morning and dedicate the afternoon to activities, games, and cultural experiences. They may learn more effectively if they have a break or nap in the middle of the day.
In any case, you don’t have to wake them up at the crack of dawn or get them ready for the school run. You’ll also be safe in the knowledge that they don’t have to travel across town on public transport. It’s an opportunity to save a lot of time.
Enjoying the Freedom of Homeschooling
Another advantage of homeschooling is the freedom and peace of mind that the whole family can enjoy. You don’t have to plan around the school holidays and can travel and move house without having to worry. This can also allow parents to move to new jobs without having to worry about their child’s schooling.
You can also take holidays during term time without having to worry about schooling. Travelling outside the school holidays is often cheaper and more enjoyable as you can go to new destinations for a longer time. Homeschooling can continue even when you’re on holiday or travelling, making it an enriching experience for your child.
Avoiding the Pressure of Regular Testing
Homeschooled children don’t need to be constantly tested and compared to their peers like those in regular school are. As you progress through schooling, it can feel like you’re constantly being evaluated and compared to your peers. Students are sometimes punished or at least shamed for poor performances.
You can still test children at home as it’s a useful tool to evaluate their learning. After all, you still have to provide them with an education and you need to be able to see that they’re learning. However, it doesn’t need to be through tests, exams, or by constantly comparing them to their classmates.
The Disadvantages of Homeschooling
Of course, there are pros and cons to homeschooling and while there are plenty of advantages, there are also disadvantages.
You’ll need to weigh them up before you make your decision:
- Teaching is a difficult job and you’ll need to learn how to do it effectively. You can always enlist the help of tutors if you’re struggling.
- Children run the risk of missing out on social interaction with other children. You need to make sure they have social activities as part of their learning. Extra-curricular activities are a good way for them to enjoy social interaction with children of the same age.
- The cost is greater. The parents assume the cost of educating their children. Furthermore, the parent teaching their child probably won’t be able to work. This means that they’ll rely on a single income.
- The child’s social life mightn’t be as enriching. They won’t have over 30 hours of schooling with other children of a similar age.
So what do you think?
Homeschooling requires that a child gets a full-time education, but this education doesn't necessarily need to be provided by the parents. Homeschooled children can get all or part of their education from one or several private tutors.
If you're interested in looking at private tutors to help provide your child with their education, consider searching for them on Superprof. There are many talented and experienced tutors ready to teach a variety of academic subjects, extracurricular activities, sports, and arts and crafts.
Even if you're planning on doing all the teaching yourself, you could get a tutor to help you with planning lessons and the curriculum for homeschooling your child.
A face-to-face tutor will often travel to the student's home to teach them one-on-one. They'll adapt the lessons to the student, what they need to learn, and how they learn best, ensuring that every minute of every session is spent as effectively as possible. Of course, this bespoke service comes at a price and face-to-face tutors will usually charge more than online tutors or tutors offering group tutorials.
If you travel around a lot or can't find any suitable tutors in your local area, you can always look for online tutoring. As long as you have a decent internet connection and computer, you can get help from tutors all over the world. This is particularly good for foreign languages as you can find native speakers, but it's also useful if your child is studying for UK exams but you're not currently in the country and need someone from the UK with expertise in GCSEs and A Levels, for example.
Finally, for those on a budget, group tutorials are an excellent option as you can share the cost of the tutor's time and expertise with the other attendees. If other parents are homeschooling their children and would like some extra help from a tutor, you could get your children together in a smaller class with a tutor and split the bill.
A lot of the tutors on Superprof offer the first lesson for free so make sure to try a few different options out before picking the tutor or tutors that are right for you and your family.