Twitter is littered with people frantically preparing for back to school. Shopping trips. Articles from businesses on how best to manage it. Preparing your small children for the start of their school journey. It’s all over the high street, back to school sales, uniform bundles and so on.
And a few quiet voices whisper that they are dreading it. That they don’t want to hand their tiny children over, or that their child is in tears daily at the thought of the return. And so I felt that I should point out, there is another way.
Home education is a perfectly legal alternative in this country. It’s a growing movement, though no one knows for sure how many home educators there are – if your child has never been to school there is no requirement for the local authority to know anything about their education. (You may read on local authority sites that you are advised to register. It’s not a legal requirement. You don’t have to have visits or get a curriculum approved, or have teaching qualifications, or submit your plans.)
There are lots of reasons to home educate, probably about as many as there are home educators. Some do it because they feel their young children aren’t ready for school at age 4. Some do it because they don’t like the system of assessment and testing. Others because their children have special needs – disabilities or illnesses that make mainstream schooling difficult to manage. And others because they want a greater degree of involvement and control over what is taught. There aren’t right or wrong reasons for it – if you think it suits your child(ren) and family and you want to do it, you can.
There’s a thriving home education community out there. Loads of local email groups, organising events and meetups for shared education or social activities. You don’t have to do it alone. You don’t have to make up all the lessons either (if you want to do it lesson style), you can buy a curriculum in a box, or a book like the core knowledge one I reviewed. There are a wealth of websites both British and American with a number of different approaches to education, early years and beyond.
The bottom line is, if you want to consider an alternative to school, there is another way. We home educators are out here, and happy to welcome you to our gang 🙂