This week, we are having a visitor who is trying to decide whether to home educate her children or not. That is a scary choice to make, especially if it includes taking children out of school. I am really grateful to the people who have guided and helped us on our home education journey. I remember moving to England, knowing that we wanted to do this, but being rather unsure where to start. One of my first homeschooling friends was my brilliant friend June. I really was very lucky to meet June so early on in our journey, she introduced us to other home educators, helped us understand the legal side of things and always offered a listening ear and an informed opinion on all things concerning home education.
This week, when our visitor comes to see us, to watch us homeschool, I am hoping to be that kind of person.
I am sure our visitor will have many questions. One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is “Do you need any qualifications to homeschool?”
The answer to this question, at least here in the United Kingdom, is no. You do not need any qualifications to teach your little ones at home. The only thing you need is a love for learning, a thirst for adventure and the wish to follow your heart. I know this can seem daunting, and there are people who decide to at least study for a PGCE at university, which can be very beneficial if you feel that you are lacking the confidence to jump right in.
You are your child’s first teacher, the person who knows them best, and at home little ones can learn at their own pace, in their safe space, about things which interest them.
Another question we often hear is “Do you need to follow a curriculum?”
The answer to that question is really that it is entirely up to you. Some people follow the National Curriculum,
some people purchase one online, many do not follow any curriculum or simply use workbooks for English and Maths.
We write our own curriculum for geography, weekly themes and cooking and use workbooks for maths and English, but some of our closest friends are unschoolers.
There are many preconceptions about home education, but the truth is that you do not need to turn your home into a schoolhouse, you do not need to buy a lot books, though we do, anyway, you do not need to replicate school at home, and you most certainly do not need the patience of an angel.
It is really important to remember that, when you begin your homeschool journey, you are not starting with rocket science. As you teach your child, you both learn. Do not be worried if you were bad at maths as a child, because you will learn together, as a family.
This week I am hoping to help another family transition into home education successfully, it is an exciting step for them to be taking, and I am grateful to be a part of it.