So theres the statement that I’ve read and heard more than any other in the last few weeks. So I thought I would address it in one go.
Firstly, hello and welcome to the world of home ed. The world that you are entering is not the same as the home schooling in isolation that you have been experiencing lately. Its vastly different. Though elements such as your own time schedule, natural rhythms, reduced anxiety, lack of bullying etc that has perhaps led to this decision will probably remain.
Home ed offers opportunities to learn about so many different things, in so many different ways. There are meet ups, work shops, trips out, online resources, discounts codes, courses and a whole shed load of advice!You will come across families who are incredibly structured following curriculums, and families who radically unschool and totally follow their childrens lead, and everything in between. So advice will vary, so allow yourself room to explore these different approaches. The truth is, that home ed is as unique as every family, and looks different for each individual. So you very much get to carve a path that works for your family.
Be flexible to the idea that your child may not learn best how you expect them too. Their interests may ebb and motivation may wane. These things happen. You may find that what worked for a while stops working, that’s ok too. Basically, it’s fine to be flexible and to shake things up. And there are so many resources available to you for minimal expense. Library, internet, games, tv, museums, galleries, zoos, farms, national trust, heritage sites….. the lost gos on.
It’s great to focus on a subject and follow where that leads. You may have planned to take the A road straight to the end of vikings and find your child turns off down a B road of dragons, mythical creatures or boat construction and ends up at the titanic! You get the idea? Trust that your child is learning, they are learning how to learn. Allow them time to discover how enjoyable learning can be!
Join your local home ed groups, attend some social get togethers. Home ed does not have to take place at home and building that social network will benefit you as well as them. Talk to other home ed parents, get that support system in place.
Dont rush into buying workbooks and resources. There may well be discount codes available, and you may not even use them. Take some time to explore the different option and for your child to discover their own interests to pursue. In the meantime it’s ok to focus on life skills and emotional wellbeing. Enjoy some time together, bake, play games, visit your favourite places and explore without the crowds. We have enjoyed fantastic and eye opening trips over the years and been able to speak to staff and really get a bigger picture of where we are visiting.
Trust in a childs natural curiosity. Remember, they learnt to walk, to eat, to talk etc……. children are built to learn!
Dont panic. You dont have to follow the national curriculum. You dont have to follow a 9 till 3 timetable. And despite this exams are still highly achievable. And you will be able to access help, support and advice about these when you need it. There is no point worrying about this too early, because things change year by year. But rest assured that your child wont have to spend 2 yrs studying for 9 subjects (unless they absolutely want to!) There is also, no actual age where exams are mandatory. Your child can sit them when ready. Older, younger, they can stagger subjects across several years. GCSE is NOT the only option! Arts awards, crest awards, iGCSE, functional skills etc, again, the list goes on. There are many equivalent level qualifications to explore. College and / or University is still on the cards if that is on your childs plan.
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