In November, I was busily filling in applications for primary schools for Pip. We’ll be finding out which have accepted her in March. But school is not the only option so, in the meantime, we’re considering an alternative.
Home education can sometimes get a bad name. Many people hear home education and make assumptions about mums who can’t let go and children who are over dependent on their parents with poor social skills. But the reality can be very different. Parents home educate for all kinds of reasons, from chronic illnesses in their children to simply believing that a better education could be offered at home compared to at the local schools. I am certainly considering it as an alternative if Pip is not accepted into one of the schools we like. However, I did have a few concerns so I’ve done some research to answer my queries:
What opportunities will there be for social interaction with other children?
There are lots of home education groups out there. In Cardiff, there’s New Foundations, a group where home educated children of all ages are welcomed and various educational sessions are held. It’s definitely somewhere we’d try attending. A quick google or a search of Facebook or Twitter will probably find a similar group somewhere near you.
Home education receives no funding in many areas, including Cardiff. How will we afford to give our child the best education possible at home?
There are actually many free resources that home educating parents can use. Websites such as the BBC website offer lots of useful information and teaching resources. I’ve already started using these to begin teaching Pip basic skills such as reading and writing so why not continue with this? There are also a wealth of learning opportunities outside of home. In Cardiff, the National Museum has free entry and run educational sessions every weekend during term time and Cardiff Story Musuem regularly runs family days with craft activities. The local library is an obvious and free resource of textbooks and storybooks.
How will I make sure that I’m teaching my child everything that she needs to know?
There’s plenty of information on the Welsh curriculum online here so that I can make sure we cover all of the subjects needed. However, in legal terms, there’s no need to stick to the curriculum but I think it would be a good guideline to follow.
My research has made me realise that home education could be a really positive alternative to school education. I’ve spoken with some home educating parents who are clearly very passionate about their children’s education – I really admire the commitment they’ve made and it’s brilliant to know that if I make it too, there’s a great support network available.
Is anyone else considering home educating for their child? Or perhaps you already home educate? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
As always, thanks for reading.