All children have a right to an education, which is why it is legally compulsory for them to be educated; but you can choose how this happens. It does not have to be in a formal school setting and a lot of families choose to home school their children.
On this page
Why consider home schooling?
- Your child has had a negative experience at school such as bullying
- Your child struggles in the school environment or experienced behavioural/emotional issues which is impacting their education
- Your child has Special Education Needs (SEN) and you feel these will be best met within the home. Depending on where you live, you may need your Local Authority’s permission to home school your child if they have SEN and are in a special needs school.
- You do not want to follow a particular curriculum
- Personal preference and family values
Thinking about home schooling?
To give your child an education, you do not need to be a trained teacher, follow a specific curriculum or have specific facilities; you can make up your own timetables. Even so, it is important to ensure your child is educated to a level where they are literate and numerate according to their age, development and ability, and this takes into consideration any additional needs they may have.
To consider if this is the right option for you and your child, speaking to families who already home school could help you be clear about the level of commitment involved. Find out if there are any home schooling groups or networks in your area who can offer information, advice and local knowledge. If you use social media, there may be online groups that you can join where you can find out what has helped other parents who are home schooling their children. Your Local Authority may have a support team available to offer help and advice.
Our tips on home schooling
Have a structured routine - Having a routine is important and can give you all structure especially during the early days. Ensure that you include refreshment breaks and something that includes being active.
Creating a timetable - Encourage your children to contribute to their timetable so they feel they have input and some control over what they will be learning. Ensure that there are elements of active time, creativity, literacy and numeracy.
Get creative - Allow the children to learn at their own pace but also in their own way where possible. You can set them mini projects where they can learn about something specific and present their findings to you in a fun and creative way.
Be involved - Take an interest in what your child is studying and be engaged in the topics they are learning. This can be very motivating for them.
Marking your child's work - Ask someone who isn't a family member look over your child's work as this can encourage your child to do their best work and help with their progress.
Be clear about your legal obligations
Familiarising yourself of the regulations and guidance set by the Government is important and these will vary according to where you live in the UK.
It may help to chat to other parents on our forums to find out how they are dealing with this issue within their family life. You can also talk to us online via our live chat service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on our helpline on 0808 800 2222 to speak to trained family support worker.
Other organisations that can help
- Education Otherwise: Promoting and supporting the right of a parent or guardian to home educate their child should they wish to do so, in England and Wales
- Schoolhouse: Scotland’s national home education support charity
- Home Education Advisory Service: Dedicated to the provision of advice and practical support for families who wish to educate their children at home in preference to sending them to school
- Home Education in the UK: provides resources and information on home education
- Scope: information about home schooling when you child has SEN needs