A Rising trend in Homeschooling
Competition for school places has seen the number of children being homeschooled double in six years prompting concerns that youngsters are receiving the right education at the kitchen table. Yet done correctly and for a limited time, home education can be highly beneficial, with children receiving bespoke, one-to-one tuition that provides a supportive and liberating learning environment so they can for re-enter mainstream education better prepared and focused to succeed.
Waiting for your overly-subscribed school of choice to find a spot for your child isn’t the only reason for dipping out of the system. Some parents are unhappy with the strict rules, the tests, the targets and the ‘one box fits all’ attitude to mainstream education. Some children are deeply unhappy due to bullying or anxiety. It allows families who travel for work to stay together and, of course, learning at home means there are no penalties if you choose to take a holiday in term time.
Almost 30,000 children were homeschooled in the past year, fearing some school leaders to worry that many are getting a substandard education. For it to work, parents must use professional tutors who can provide a specialised personal curriculum with official, recorded and regulated assessments. Attention must be given to the non-academic side of schooling, so children don’t simply do their work and play in the garden or on the XBox but they mix with their peers and take part in social activities and trips. Homeschooling provides flexibility and is a good way of building study around your child’s interests. So, a budding biologist could take regular visits to their local park spotting birds and wildlife and collecting leaves for examination later.
Neil Carmichael, former chair of the Education Select Committee has told the Daily Telegraph that homeschooling is “fraught with difficulty” with “the lack of regulation” being a major concern. Certainly, the idea of a teenager emerging from years of being home educated with no experience of mixing with groups of children their own age is worrying. It works best when done for a limited time and with the support of education professionals. Parents cannot be left entirely to their own devices. Teaching is a profession not a hobby. Former Education Secretary Estelle Morris has now introduced a bill in the House of Lords urging that councils monitor the “educational, physical and emotional development” of homeschooled children and we welcome this. There must be a duty of care for these youngsters similar to the one we have in place for regular pupils.
We would only home tutor for two years and the aim would always be to get back into mainstream education. When it is used as a means to an end (to get into a particular school; to work towards a specific set of exams; to enable a child who is unhappy at school to step away and focus on their education for a while) as opposed to an alternative for school, home tutoring can be excellent. It can boost learning, increase a child’s confidence and put them well on the way for a successful career in education and beyond.
William Clarence Education is the leading education advisory and consultancy service in the UK. With an unrivalled reach into the UK Schooling and University network, we help and advise families from around the world to reach their maximum potential and gain access to the very best of British education.
William Clarence put the student’s needs and welfare at the centre of every programme of study we deliver with a focus on integrity and discretion. Services include UK School and University Placement, Residential Tutoring, Oxbridge Application, US College Admission and Homeschooling.
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