Considering home education? Some facts and contacts.

Increasingly I’m getting contacted via twitter or my blog by people considering home education. It’s a perfectly legal alternative in the UK, although the exact legislation differs country by country. I’m in England and only know about the details of that country, please be careful to check the details where you live.

Here, we have deregistration on request. So if your child is a pupil at school, all you need to do is take in or send (but get signed for or a receipt) a letter stating that you are making alternative educational provisions, and you want your child’s name removed from the register. That’s it, you’re off and ready to go – it’s all up to you now.

Actually, it always was. But that’s by the by, now you’re wondering what to do next.

If special needs are a consideration for you, you might want to join the home ed special mailing list found here. There are slightly different regulations in place around deregistering if your child is in a special school, so do please check that out carefully. The list FAQs are a good place to start.

For children who’ve never been to school, you don’t need to make any special arrangements. If you’ve applied for a school place and accepted one, I *think* this may well mean your child is on a register, so it’s probably still a good idea to deregister. If you threw the letters out, you shouldn’t be down on anyone’s list so you just keep on keeping on. There’s an email group particularly for people with early years age children, over here at yahoo.

There are lots of local email groups and indeed real life groups around the country – many are based on yahoo. There are a number of national organisations as well, such as Home Education Advisory Service and Education Otherwise.

In terms of resources, the first thing that you need to know is that you don’t have to follow the national curriculum. So you don’t actually *need* curriculum resources. However, if you do want to cover various subject type areas, there are a number of ways to do it.

Core Knowledge have a nice tool for home educators of children in years 1 – 6. They’ve also produced a couple of resource books, I’ve reviewed the first here, and will be doing the second shortly.

There are various websites, such as woodlands junior school, which is fantastically informative. The BBC do a wide range of resources, for pre schoolers right up through the years. For Maths we use mathletics, although in the past we’ve used Singapore maths and we’re currently investigating Reading Eggs for Smallest, along with regular use of MagicTown. (Some of those cost money. I’m going to be doing some review roundup posts, I’ll post links here as and when I do them.)

The bottom line with home education is you can spend as much or as little as you want, do it with structure or without, follow your child or do school at home or mix and match from day to day. It’s up to you, your family and it’s fantastic journey. Enjoy.

If you’d like to see how other people do it, you can have a traipse round the blogring which has a variety of approaches.

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