Saturday 23 June 2018

Home Ed - What's The Story?

Recently I've become more and more aware of the amount of people that have chose to home educate their children. Whether it be in person or online there are certainly more people home educating than I first thought.

As our son's first year at school approaches, like many parents, I'm concerned about what school life may hold for him. If it doesn't workout for him, I don't know really know much about home educating.

Close up of crayons with a child drawing the background

So, I asked a selection of fellow bloggers why they home educate, what their experiences were and the pros and cons of being in charge of their child's education. 

Welcome Jade @ The Blog Assistant, Katie @ Living Life Our Way and David and Donetta @ David and Donetta!!

First, how many children do you home educate?

Jade - I home educate two children, but one is under 5 so she is doing preschool activities at home.

David and Donetta - We home educate one of our three children, our 5 year old son.

Katie - One. 10 year daughter. 

Did you home educate from Reception age?

Jade - Yes, our eldest has never been to school.

David and Donetta - We've always home educated.

Katie - Since pre-school.

What lead you to home educate?

Jade - Honestly, I have no faith in the school system. As a child I was bullied at school, abused at home and sexually abused when out of the house. The school knew about the bullying and sexual abuse but refused to do anything (even with proof). Because of all this I didn't get the grades needed and ended up learning myself as an adult. As an adult I've worked in childcare for many years, across schools, nurseries and out of school care. I've come across many children who are suffering abuse or who's parents are crying out for help and support, yet I've never been able to get them the support needed. I couldn't put my children into a system that doesn't have the capabilities of protecting them. As I taught myself after school ended, I really believe in following your passion and learning for yourself, I know the power of home education and what it can do for my children.

David and Donetta - We researched home education for 12 months in the year leading up to Corben being due to start school and have never looked back. The education system is a one size fits all outdated and broken system, so we looked elsewhere and couldn't be happier!

Katie As an ex teacher and SENCo, I realised very quickly that the school system would not be a good fit for her individual needs personally. 

What are the positives of home educating?

Jade - Letting my children follow their dreams, spending more precious time with them and protecting them for longer. We also have massive freedom to travel whenever we like. 

David and Donetta - There are so many positives to home education. The biggest positives for us is that we can learn how Corben learns best and tailor his education to suit him best. Home education allows our family much more freedom to pursue any topic or avenue we wish. There's no set curriculum filled with boring and pointless information. I believe that children learn best when they're engaged and have a genuine interest in their topic and home education offers this.

Katie - Freedom and flexibility. Individualised learning tailored to her.

What are the negatives of home educating?

Jade - The emotions that can come with worrying about their education because you want to do the best.

David and Donetta - I guess the negatives could be the pressure and hard work we as parents now have. We're 100% accountable for our child's education and along with this comes much hard work. There's a lot of learning for us as well as Corben, there's lots of planning but if I'm honest I love it all. It's a privilege to witness that penny dropping when something clicks and it's a huge family decision that for us has benefited everyone in our household.

Katie - Lack of time to myself.

What activities do you do to cover the social aspects of schooling? Are you part of home ed groups?

Jade - We are part of a few home ed groups and our children attend groups for non home educated children too. When I was at school I was told 'you're not here to socialise, you're here to learn', so we would have a 30 minute playtime to socialise with people who were the same age and from the same area as us. My girls talk to people of all ages and from all walks of life, socialisation isn't something that's planned in particular, it's something that happens every single day.

David and Donetta - The social side of home education is the number one question we're always asked. Once you're into the home educating community and have begun home educating, the social side of things is the least of your worries. There's activities in and around our area every single day of the week that we can pick and choose from. There's often bigger events such as camping, day trips and holidays too. The home education community is much bigger than you think and it's like a new world has opened on our doorstep.

Katie - There is a very active and supportive local home ed community with a wide range of groups and activities for us to choose from! 

What resources do you use to plan your child's learning?

Jade - At present I have a sunscription to Twinkl (free from the brand) but I paid for it in the past because I love it. Google is our best friend. We have annual passes to local museums, cathedrals and a rail card because we love to explore.

David and Donetta - We're part of several home education groups, filled with many knowledge people that are always happy to answer questions and lend a helping hand. The internet is the No.1 resource to learn anything for anyone nowadays. I don't really see any excuse for anyone not being able to teach themselves or their children anything when we have the internet readily available. To be more specific we use Twinkl quite often for materials on different subjects. There's Reading Eggs and YouTube have an array of educational channels that we love to watch.

Katie - We use loads of different resources but right now we particularly love Carol Vorderman maths workbooks and Kiwico subscription boxes for STEAM and art. We have just taken out a subscription for Teach It so we will be getting some of our resources from that. We also used Twinkl alot until now. But really the world is one big resource!

What's your No.1 tip for those considering home education?

Jade - Trust your instincts. You taught them how to talk, walk, to eat, you teach them how to cross roads and handle money, you can teach them the world.

David and Donetta - My No.1 tip would be to do your own research. Research for as long as it takes to come to a decision that will benefit your family and your family alone. It's definitely a lifestle choice that will effect the entire household so you all have to buy in. Talk to people with the home ed community, look for local groups and ask all the questions you have. Talk to people within the education system too. We spoke with several teachers and it was a real eye opener. Ultimately, make the decision that's best for your family.

Katie - Seek out your local home ed network for support. Take your time to find your groove, and don't panic if it doesn't all fall into place immediately!

Katie also did a guest post on another blog about home ed, which you can read here

Thank you to all the bloggers that contributed!

Have you considered home ed? Let me know if the comments!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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