What is behind the popularity of home schooling?

Home schooling is becoming increasingly common as more parents recognise that students taught at home actually achieve greater results academically and socially. With one of the primary responsibilities being to educate their children, some parents also believe that this is not something that can be left in the hands of the state. According to certain home school experts, statistics back this up by showing that parents who home school their kids are doing a fantastic job.

Choosing to home school your child opens up new and exciting avenues for your child’s studies. The approach has earned a reputation as an ‘education that works,’ say Paul and Gena Suarez, publishers of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

The most recent estimates from local authorities put the number of home schooled children in the UK at more than 36,000 – a figure which has increased by 65% over the past six years. Across the Atlantic in the USA, there are around 2.3 million home schooled children according to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI). This figure, the Institute says, has increased at an estimated 2-8% per year for the past few years.

In New Zealand, there were more than 5,500 home schooled students according to the Ministry of Education website, Education Counts. In Australia, Dr Rebecca English from Queensland University of Technology’s Faculty of Education has said there were around 10,000 students registered to be home schooled country-wide.

The truth is that all these figures are likely to be underestimated as some home schooled children may have not been registered as attending school. They therefore will not count towards the official figures of children who were ‘removed’ from school in the first place.

Despite the success of home schooling, the thought of jumping in may be daunting to some parents, and rightfully so! There is after all a lot of apprehension stemming from the fact that parents may not know how home schooling actually works. This creates a number of assumptions and misconceptions around the practice.

Free from the oversight and regulations of the state, your home schooled children won’t be bound by strict curriculums, learning schedules or needless inspections during their studies.

While there is plenty of online material supporting the home schooler’s learning needs, setting up direct high quality teaching can be difficult. As a result, most parents teach their own children or hire a tutor to supplement their child’s studies.

According to Dr Brian Ray, president of NHERI, “multiple researchers and their studies find … the home educated to be developing as well or better socially, emotionally, and psychologically than institutionally schooled children and youth”.

With the proper input and support, gifted children who are home schooled will be encouraged to flourish – which can mean a brighter future for those who may have previously let down by institutionalised education which failed to meet their individual needs.

This is, what we think is, the greatest benefit of home schooling your children: you will be able to create a tailor-made education for your child – one that directly fits their learning needs. This flexibility lets you decide what, when, where and how your child learns. For instance, they can go outside to study the weather or take in culture at a local theatrical performance. This gives your child a well-rounded experience they cannot get in an institutionalised classroom in which 20 or 30 kids have to be looked after and taught at the same time.

Families often choose to enlist the help of outside tutors for their child’s home schooling for various reasons. For instance, some parents aren’t thoroughly satisfied with the inadequate performance of teachers at local schools. Others may want to provide additional challenge for children who are academically, athletically or artistically gifted. Some have realised that a busy teacher cannot cater for children with specific learning needs. Finally, some children find the typical school environment too stressful to learn properly and reach their full potential.

In these cases, hiring a professional tutor is a great support method for home schooled children. Most parents will admit that they can only cover the basic educational needs of their children while others may believe they have a ‘natural affinity’ with their child’s intelligence and capabilities. However as the child ages and has to cover more complex topics, gaps may be found in the parent’s knowledge. These can be filled by hiring a trained, specialist tutor.

The success of home schooling can be seen as generations of children taught at home study further at university, graduate, and find employment in the real world.

We believe children can find success in home schooling in the same way as they do at school. No matter who we are or may be, everyone needs to experience the joy or our own and each other’s experience. Once we have this, all we need are great teachers to light the way.

Author: Mrs Gillian Dixon BSc PGCE MBA, founder and director of Teachers To Your Home. Previously head of Trent College, independent HMC day and boarding school (2006-2014); deputy head, Cheadle Hulme Grammar School (2001-2006); housemistress, mathematics teacher (1993 – 2001). Lecturer and head of mathematics department, University of Zimbabwe, VSO Zimbabwe (1988 – 1993).

“Teachers To Your Home” was founded by a group of school leaders and teachers in Oxford in January 2015. It has now developed into a large and talented team of over 3,000 qualified teachers, who provide high quality home tuition right across the UK.

Teachers To Your Home

Tel: 01993 774549
Email: office@teacherstoyourhome.co.uk

Web: www.teacherstoyourhome.co.uk

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