Home-schooling in the UK is on the rise, with numerous parents opting to take on the responsibility of educating their children.
With more youngsters spending time at home as a result of the pandemic over the last 18 months too, the experience may have convinced you to try education at home.
You may feel your local schools are not supporting your child as required, perhaps you think home-schooling may push them to achieve their potential, or maybe your child has additional needs that could be better catered for outside of school.
But if you are thinking about the prospect of home-schooling for your child ahead of the next school year, what do you need to consider?
Estimates suggest around 100,000 children were home-schooled in 2019, nearly double the figure from three years earlier.
The total is rising year-on-year too, yet it still only accounts for less than 1% of the school age population in England and Wales.
Parents are entitled to educate their children at home and there is freedom over what is taught, although it is recommended that you should broadly follow the national curriculum, and definitely cover core subjects such as maths, English and science.
Home-schooling can therefore be viewed as a means of providing a fulfilling education, while also tending to deliver improved academic outcomes.
There are several reasons to consider home-schooling, including the idea that the home provides a calmer and less pressured environment in which to learn.
On top of this, you can also work around when your child learns best and is most productive, as there’s plenty of choice around when and how they learn, enabling them to go at their own pace.
The flexibility around the curriculum also enables parents to focus on areas that their children most enjoy, enabling them to get the most out of their learning.
There also tends to be fewer distractions in the home environment, compared to the classroom, while children can always return to the school system at a later date if you feel it is right for them.
An added bonus comes with the removal of the school run, which frees up time for your child to enjoy other hobbies and activities.
Lastly, there’s the academic outcomes that are associated with home-schooling – youngsters that learn at home tend to score around 30% above the national average compared to public school pupils.
Exams can be organised through schools and exam centres, and most academic subjects have options designed for children who are home-schooled.
These entries do have associated costs, but other costs are limited if you wish to do a lot of the teaching yourself.
A common concern among parents with home-schooling can be a reduction in social interaction for your child, but there are plenty of support options and different groups which can provide guidance.
An alternative for home-schooling is to use a tutor to help shape what is being learnt, as this can ensure that your child will follow the key elements of the curriculum.
From several short sessions a week to more intensive options, a tutor can provide guidance and planning, enabling your child to learn within the comfort of home.