A rising number of parents are opting to take their kids out of school to teach them at home instead. In the UK right now, there are estimated to be 150,000 children receiving a home education, and this figure’s expected to rise by around 3% every year.
It’s no wonder that so many mums and dads are taking this step. Home schooling can be a great option if your youngsters are bored or unhappy in mainstream education, they are falling behind their classmates, they’re not reaching their full potential or you can’t find a suitable school in your area.
However, the prospect of teaching your kids at home can be a daunting one. After all, their futures are at stake, and you might lack experience. The good news is, help is at hand. This brief guide covers some of the basics that you’ll need to know.
Understand the law
First and foremost, make sure you know the law. You’re perfectly entitled to teach your children at home, but if you’re taking your youngster out of school, you’ll need to write to the head teacher. You can ask the school to teach your kids part-time, but it doesn’t have to accept your request. Bear in mind that if you take this route, you’re required to ensure your children receive a full-time education from the age of five. However, you’re not obliged to follow the national curriculum.
Make the most of online resources
All teachers, professional and otherwise, need the right resources. If you’re about to start home schooling your kids, the amount of material you require could seem overwhelming. However, there’s a simple way to ensure you have everything you need. Whether you’re after materials for Key Stage 3, GCSE or A level courses, you can turn to distance learning course providers. This is by far the easiest way to get hold of all the information you need, and it can make structuring your lessons simple. With these resources at your disposal, you’ll know you’re covering the right ground to help your children pass their exams.
Create a designated learning space
Another top tip is to create a designated learning space for your classes. This should be away from distractions like the TV and computer games. By setting up an area for your lessons, you should find it’s easier to get your children to concentrate. It will help to put them in the right frame of mind to study. Your home classroom must have comfy chairs and a desk or table, and it should feature all the equipment and stationery you’ll need to work through your lessons.
Stick to a routine
On a related point, try to stick to a routine. It can be a challenge to motivate kids to study, but getting them used to working between certain hours each day will help with this. There’s room for a little spontaneity, but don’t let your little ones fall into lazy habits.
Home schooling can be highly rewarding, but there’s no denying the fact it can be a challenge at times too. You might frequently find yourself questioning your methods and progress. To help you keep things in perspective and to ensure you stay on the right track, take advantage of the support on offer over the web. There are plenty of groups and forums to read and take part in, and finding out about other people’s experiences could give you a major confidence boost.