Home Education: What to do and think about first
It can be scary…
Making the decision to Home Educate can be daunting, but be assured that there is plenty of support out there!
Here’s our step by step guide on what to do:
We know there is a lot to read, but make sure you have read each of the below sections:
- Firstly read the rest of this page then:
- You will find answers to most of your questions in the FAQ
- Then read our pages on how to deregister
- How to communicate with the LA England and Wales
- How to communicate with the LA Scotland,
- Flowchart explaining the deregistration and LA contact process.
- Home Ed styles
- Stories from Home Educators
- Terminology you may be new to.
- Join your local Facebook group search for ‘Home Education *your town*’.
- And don’t forget to join our national support group.
- PLEASE READ THROUGH THE WHOLE SITE, it will ensure you know your legal duty, that of the LA and loads more helpful info.
We would like to point out that making the choice to Home Educate can be made at any time, it also doesn’t have to be a ‘forever’ decision.
The very first thing to do:
You may have no idea what to do first, throughout our website we try to explain everything you need to know.
Once you have made your decision to Home Educate, legally you need to deregister from school.
Make sure you check the process for deregistration for your part of the UK, or if your child is in a Special School.
If your child has never been to school then there’s no requirement (or benefit) to inform the LA.
You could have planned to Home Educate before the children were born, it could be a decision made when deciding on a school, or as a last resort due to bullying, or special needs not being met. Sometimes the school system just isn’t right for you or your child, and sometimes families choose to Home Educate because they like the idea of it. There is no right or wrong reason. It is a legal option, and one we can take at any time.
Now, this may seem pedantic, but terminology is important. In the UK the correct term is Home Education rather than Home Schooling. This is because Home Schooling happens when the child is still registered at school but receives an education at home via school/LA due to being ill or suspended for example. The correct terminology affects your searches for groups and resources as well as the response from professionals and others.
What should Home Education look like?
Home Educators are not expected to follow the curriculum, or to follow a school timetable, and Home Education quite often looks nothing like school.
There are so many options available to us, so many things to do and try, so many places to go, books to read, people to meet.
Whilst Home Education has to be provided from day one, we think the first few days (and even weeks) should include going for a walk, jumping in puddles, climbing a tree, shopping, eating cake, visiting grandma, making a blanket fort (even the teens love this) etc. Talk with your child. Find out what makes them tick (read more about deschooling).
Use the initial period to observe your child, work out how they learn best, is it through conversation, independent study, or being taught?
Most children (and parents) who have experienced school are used to being spoon fed the information, and do not, in fact, know how to learn.
You and your child may think that learning can only take place sat to the table and following a timetable, you will find this quickly goes wrong if it isn’t right for your child. So we are strong advocates of deschooling.
Deschooling is a term the government and Local Authorities misunderstand to mean no suitable education is taking place, this is the absolute opposite of what is happening, and will ensure a continued suitability to the education as you will be giving yourselves a strong starting point.