So here we are at the end of this series on “Why Do We Homeschool?” and this one answers some of the BIG QUESTIONS as well as some that didn’t seem to fit elsewhere.
How much involvement do outside bodies (local council/government/etc) need to have? Do you have inspections or have to report to anyone?
In the UK, every borough has differing levels of involvement and attitudes towards homeschooling. It very much depends on which government is in power at the time and whether they are pro or anti home education. Outside bodies don’t NEED to have any involvement but there are often calls to change this as there have been some awful cases of neglect reported in recent years. They are the result of poor parenting rather than choice to home school and so we are still free to educate our children as we see fit without inspections or reports, at least for now. A majority of questions were surrounding this hot topic!
What if your kid wants to learn something that is outside your sphere of knowledge? How do you teach subjects that you don’t know/aren’t good at/never studied yourself? How does it work when they are older and when teaching gets more complex or challenging? How will you teach your teenagers their GCSE’s in all those subjects so that they can excel? In secondary school they have specialist teachers for each subject. How do you train yourself to be a specialist in each subject? At what point do you acknowledge your limitations (unless of course you are one of those people who are good at every subject) and get a personal tutor at home to teach them or at what point, if any, would you send them to secondary school? Do they still take exams or another form of assessment?
LM: Good questions! Every homeschool parent and child has to work these ones out. Of course we cannot provide a fully comprehensive all round scope of education by ourselves, so we’ve tentatively said, as long as employers can see that they can read and write, we’ll help them all to get maths and english GCSE, and maybe a science one as their core subjects.
It’s totally possible to teach GCSEs from home, particularly if you covered the subject as a child yourself. There is no shortage of material such as free resources, past papers, and study guides. It just takes some swotting up in a subject before you teach as a parent. Sometimes a few of us homeschoolers club together to give our children small group tuition.
Where they’re interested in something out of your depth you pray for God to provide opportunities/experiences/tuition and normally He does. PM: Our job is to make sure our children are educated, not that we do 100% of the tuition ourselves. LM: When I panic and think #ohmygoshamifailingmychildren I remember that Jesus never took one GCSE but completely changed the world, He never did drama class or extra courses in psychology or political science but had to completely rely on His Father for what He needed. Will they still reach their full potential? I still believe so, just not taking the usual route and timescale you’d expect. PM: The typical route of GSCE, A-Levels,Degree = “High Paying Job For Life”is a myth. There are often other routes to achieve your end goals, so investigate them! Consider how much of your education you use on a day to day basis
LM: Also, taking less subjects means their time can be more tailored to what the children actually enjoy and have an inclination towards. At the moment mine are hard at work studying Snapchat, Instagram and ooVoo! Keeping in touch with their friends is all-important right now while we’re 3000 miles away.
For children/parents who feel they must finish school with 9-11 GCSE’s they can always be enrolled in Secondary school from around year 9-10. I think that’s the most common option. We’re hoping our eldest will go to the local college that now accepts 15 year olds to take a few important GCSEs. Also looking at apprenticeships and work experience this year as no-one is really sure what they want to excel in yet.
Sorry for the ramble, but I hope this makes some sense.
What happens when they get to Uni age? Or can you homeschool to degree level? What are the older kids thinking about university? What would they like to study?
LM: You can home educate to whatever level you like if you love your subject and can make the time. In the UK the legal obligation is from 5-16 so we have one more year to go with our oldest…just 6 more to go, by the grace of God!
PM: One would like to study painting and drawing and acting, one doesn’t know if they want to go to university, but might do an apprenticeship or something as they are aware that isn’t the only route to success, and one has no idea at all!
Thanks for waiting a bit longer for this weeks post. And thanks again for asking such great questions and reading until the end of the series. For easy access, here are the links for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and the bonus blog, Part 5
The next few posts will probably be on the challenges of technology 😐.
As always please share and ask any more questions in the comments.
Until next week