There are two starting points when asking ‘I want to Home Educate, how do I start?’. Either your child has never been registered with a school so its likely they’re unknown to the local authority OR your child has been at school and you want out.
If your child has never been registered at a school then you don’t need to do anything. There is no benefit to informing the local authority so its best to stay quietly under the radar.
If your child has been registered at a school then you need to deregister them. There are different ways of doing this depending on where you are in the UK and what kind of school they’re registered at. Check out our deregistration pages for the different processes
Whatever your reason for Home Educating, if your child is compulsory school age you have to be providing a suitable full time education from the start BUT this doesn’t mean the education you’re providing needs to look like school work. We have a styles guide which takes you through the different ways you can home educate. You might see people talk about a “deschooling period” which is important when your child has left school. This is still a full time education but needs to focus on the child learning about themselves, their likes and dislikes, their passions and how to manage any anxieties that might have led to your decision to home educate. We recommend not using the term “deschooling” with the local authority. They don’t tend to understand how important it is!
Once you have made the decision to Home Educate and have deregistered (if appropriate) the next thing to do is relax and enjoy the journey! Take plenty of time to read through all of our website, you might think parts are not relevant, however they are. You should go out and jump in puddles, go and eat cake, visit grandma, go shopping, go on holiday (yay places will be quieter), spend time getting to know your child again and your child having the opportunity to figure out who they are and how they want to learn.
We know it’s difficult to believe education can be anything other then teacher/lesson, but it can be so much more, and so much more rewarding. So please, don’t rush in to recreating school at home, don’t try having lessons or timetables or being teacher, we have supported tens of thousands of families one to one, and a common theme, amongst those who decide Home Education isn’t for them… they didn’t deschool, they tried creating school at home and it caused upset and refusal to get involved, the child is unhappy and the parent is miserable. Home Education failed, except it didn’t, they didn’t fully grasp what Home Education can be. Please don’t fall in to that trap and read all of our website, written to help you. Of course, if eventually you decide a formal education is right for your child then go for it. Be prepared to adapt with whichever style you settle on.
There is a government consultation about proposed new EHE (England) guidance. We will be producing a guide ASAP to help you respond, so no need to rush in.
For now, have a read, BUT DO NOT PANIC ABOUT THE PROPOSED CHANGES: