It’s not scary: 4 benefits of home education

Home education is becoming more popular with many families taking their children out of school or not sending them in the first place. Celebrities like Stacey Solomon and Nadia Sawahla have talked about their decisions to home educate their children and some BritMums members have home education blogs or talk about home education from time to time. Here, Kate Davis-Holmes from the Kate On Thin Ice blog talks about her experience of home education.

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Parents choose home education for different reasons. I took my daughter out of school after she was bullied. Visits to the school did not move things forward. When your daughter is full of self-loathing and threatening self-harm, you have to take action. Once she left school her younger brother quickly joined us on our home education journey. My other son remained in school and completed his GCSEs last year.

Although home education is talked about more, it remains mysterious and sometimes scary to those who do not have experience of it. In this article, I will share some of the key benefits of educating your children at home.

1. Mental wellbeing

We all want our children to be happy. So many home-educating parents including myself breathe a sigh of relief as they see their children liberated from the pressure they can face in school including bullying and testing. It is heart-breaking to see your child full of stress and anxiety. I saw my daughter become happy again in a matter of weeks once I took her out of school.

2. Diverse curriculum

Home-educating families are not restricted by the time and resource constraints of schools. Learning takes place in the home but also in the community. Many home educators team up for regular meetings and special events. There is a myth out there that home-educated children do not socialise when most have very full lives socialising with people of different ages and backgrounds. Home education can easily incorporate important life skills such as First Aid, pet care, cookery and money management. Home education is what you make it so you have lots of freedom and flexibility.

3. Learning together

There is a real joy in learning together. Sometimes I cover things with the children that I already know but so often I learn new things myself. There is also a pleasure in learning from them. Home education is a family adventure. I hope that by showing them I genuinely love learning, I will encourage them to be lifelong learners. It is lovely to snuggle up and giggle together whilst taking on new information and skills. Childhood and life itself is short and I love making magical memories with my children and seeing their special moments.

4. Tailored to the individual child

SEND issues are sometimes what leads families to home educate. I would argue that every child has individual needs and home education allows you to work with that individuality in a way that is harder in large classes at school. You can go at the child’s own pace. If they find something easy, you can move on and spend longer on the topics where they struggle. If you child shows a particular passion for something, you can harness that meaning they are so engaged with their learning.

Home education does come with its challenges but there is so much support out there for the days where you might wobble a bit about your decision. In an age where we can access information so easily, I want to ensure I put an emphasis on skills and values for my children. Right now they are happy, confident and keen learners and that will do for me.

Do you have experience of home education? Share your story below.

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About Kate Davis-Holmes

Kate Davis-Holmes is a writer and blogger. She is married with 3 children. After obtaining a law degree from Cambridge University, Kate spent 20 years working in local and national organisations. She has experience of project management. media relations, events organisation, advice-giving and the facilitation of learning groups. Kate’s interests include bargain-hunting, reading, travelling and cookery. She has a passion for helping good causes and seeing women get a fairer deal in society.

13 Comments

  1. 01 July 2018 / 10:51

    Lovely article. We home educate and it’s an amazing way of life. Like all families, we face challenges, mostly in the form of judgement. But with a supportive community and awesome kids, we can get through that hurdle and simply enjoy home ed life. Xxx

  2. 01 July 2018 / 10:52

    Fantastic post, I wish I had been taken out of school. Being dyslexic and needing extra this would have helped my along,

  3. 01 July 2018 / 11:11

    Brilliant article Kate! Thanks for sharing some of the many benefits of home education! I home ed my 10 year old daughter, totally agree with everything you have written. X

  4. 01 July 2018 / 11:16

    Very interesting article. I considered home education, and still wouldn’t rule it out. It’s mainly because other family members aren’t keen.
    I’m glad it’s still an option and it was nice to read that your son stayed in mainstream education while your daughter was home schooled. It shows that different things work for different children.

  5. 01 July 2018 / 11:29

    I know a few parents now who have taken their child out of school to home educate. My Daughter although still on the school register has a tutor come in twice a week, due to her health. A child should be happy, and if school is making them unhappy or they are not settling, us as parents have to look at other avenues, and home education is something that is becomming more and more popular, as schools have so many policies that they can not deal with issues of bullying properly. If my Daughter had not become ill, and she was unhappy I would home educate.

  6. 01 July 2018 / 13:05

    I love this post….so interesting and informative.

  7. 01 July 2018 / 13:12

    I’ve never considered home educating because I don’t think I know enough subjects to a high enough level. However I felt my child’s welfare was at stake then like you I would take her out of school. It’s encouraging to read that there is support out there, and success is possible even when you can’t possibly know it all. I’m glad to hear it’s gone well for you.

  8. 01 July 2018 / 22:38

    A great article. Home education can be such a benefit yet many don’t know it even exists as an option for them.

  9. 01 July 2018 / 23:56

    I think home educating is fabulous. Some children just can’t learn in conventional settings and also as you say in the situations where our children are being bullied and schools aren’t taking action then we should.

    Really interesting article thanks

  10. 02 July 2018 / 19:34

    I think a lot of people’s idea of what home education is and what is involved is quite outdated-my cousins children are home-schooled and they are thriving. They do loads of different of activities and regualy meet with other children so are well socialised too. Parents absolutely need to do what’s best for their kids 🙂

  11. 02 July 2018 / 20:28

    Loved reading this post as we have always considered home schooling our kids but decided not to in the end. There is so much more benefit in home schooling kids.

  12. Venetia Strangwayes-Booth
    06 July 2018 / 08:38

    Excellent article. I have been home educating my son for 4 years, having taken him out after he was being bullied. He is autistic and has SEN. He already has 2 GCSEs under his belt and is waiting to hear the results of 5 more. At the last parents evening we went to we were told he wouldn’t get any GCSEs. We have had fun but he is ready to go to sixth form now. It’s not an easy road but it saved my sons life and mental health.

  13. Susanna Matthan
    11 July 2018 / 13:14

    Parenting, like education, and home education in particular, is a delicious moveable feast. Becoming a mother 20+ years ago changed my world. Everything. As a teacher in an inner city, married to a teacher, we had some insight.

    So, we choose to home educate, all the way to 16. At 16 she chose to go p/t to 6th form. She’s now 2/3 if her way through university, alive, independent, innovative, working, thriving.

    We have a fantastic relationship. We value each other. We are incredibly proud of our womanchild, her relationships, friendships, character, capacity, self regulation, diversity, connections, community. All of it. We would not have had any of it if we’d forced her into a system that is squeezing the life out of our children. I say this as a specialist teacher working with children deemed to have ‘emotional, behavioural, social, emotional’ difficulties. They are all schooled. They are trapped and crushed.

    Our free spirited daughter has blessed our lives incredibly. Enabling her to dance, play, learn, be musical, live an enriched life is our gift to her. No one can steal that.

    Home education is NOT about knowledge alone. It’s about wisdom in parenting, and enabling our child to be their very best self, according to who they are. That’s it.