What is Home Ed? - this is my first blog post, but posting again for those who haven't read it
Asalaamualaykum wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakathu
I decided to Home Educate back in 2003 when I had my first child, and now teach all my five children at home, they have never been in the schooling system, not even nursery. There were many reasons which influenced my decision but the main was to enjoy watching my children learn, develop and bond with each other and I didn't feel I needed any external help. Now in 2017 I am happy I made those decisions and my eldest in now studying for her IGCSES. Home Education is on the rise and many people have asked me over the years many questions such as What is Home Ed all about? Where do I start? Which books should I buy? Do you need to be a teacher or have a degree yourself? So I have put this short article together so that Inshallah it may benefit someone.
What is Home Education?
Home Education is when children do not enter the school system at age 5 rather they are educated at home by parents or tutors. According to the 1996 Education Act in England and Wales, it is the parents (not the state) who are responsible for providing their children's education 'at school or otherwise' so long as the education is suitable for the age, ability and aptitude of each child. For more information about Home Education please visit http://www.educationotherwise.net/
Why do people Home Educate?
People choose to Home Educate for different reasons. Some children are taught at home due to bullying, illness or cannot attend their choice of school, others have been taught at home from the start and have never been in the school system.
How do I go about registering?
If a child has never been in the system then your Home Ed begins whenever you choose. You are not obliged to inform the local authority, it's your choice. If a child is at school and you wish to start Home educating then you need to write to the Head of the school to inform them of your decision. If the Local Authority are informed then you will receive a letter with a questionnaire about your decision to Home Educate and then once a year an inspector will ask if he can visit you. Some families agree to this and others do not. From my experience the inspector has been very helpful and enjoys looking at the children's work as well as giving us good feedback in the form of a report.
'The law says parents must ensure that any child of compulsory school age receives ‘efficient full-time education suitable to his/her age, aptitude and ability (and to any special educational needs he/she may have) either by attendance at school or otherwise’ (Education Act 1996, Section 7). This means that parents may decide that they would prefer to educate their child at home rather than send them to school.
If a parent wishes to remove their child from a school roll in order to home educate them, they must inform the school in writing. Parents have the right to do this and do not need permission from the school or local authority. If a parent informs you that they wish to home educate their child, you should remove them from the school roll from the date that you receive notification in writing, and contact this department straight away.
The exceptions to this are when a child is placed in a special school or is the subject of a school attendance order, when permission from the local authority is required. Please contact us before removing a child from your roll in these circumstances.
Once we receive notification that a child is being home educated, we will register them as such and make contact with the family and with the school in order to fulfil our duties with regard to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.' https://bso.bradford.gov.uk/Schools/CMSPage.aspx?mid=347
How do I Home Educate and what about exams?
All children learn in different ways. Some children will enjoy learning through workbooks and sit for long periods with pen and paper. Others, such as my boys for example, are not so keen. They enjoy more practical, hands on activities. This is fine. Follow your child's interests by starting projects and adapting lesson plans. If they are into Lego for example make comics, build structures. If they enjoy sports then get outside and teach maths through skipping the correct answer to a times table question. They do not have to be sat in a room at a table to learn. The world is their classroom!
When Home Educating you do not need to follow the National Curriculum as exams and tests are not obligatory. However, many Home Educators like to have some structure and buy a curriculum that's available on the market. When you have decided and bought your curriculum then you can begin teaching your child at home. I have seen many families buy books but then as they grow more confident in teaching their children and seeing how they learn, they easily find other ideas and projects to start. For those thinking about exams please check out the Home Ed Wiki here
Here are a few websites that may be useful.
http://www.schofieldandsims.co.uk/ - buy at tutor price
http://www.aweclub.co.uk/classes.html - discounts for Conquer Maths & Purple Mash
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