Over the course of the past year, most school children have spent approximately one third of their education learning from home. For most children this has been a very new experience, and as both a father of a primary-aged child and a teacher, this is also a new way of teaching that I have had to adjust to.
However, there are some children who learn at home all day every day and have done so since well before the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of children taking home schooling in Gloucestershire is around 1,000, and this number is growing all the time. Which of course begs the question, why?
The answers of course are hugely varied and often down to individual circumstances, but there are undoubtably some children who can thrive with a more personalised, individual learning programme, away from a traditional classroom. Having done a good deal of home schooling myself over the past month I can see some of the advantages and disadvantages of this approach to learning, both of which would need to be weighed-up by any parent in-order to make a decision as to whether to follow this approach.
Advantages of Home Schooling
The advantages of home schooling, for the most part, appear quite obvious to me. The child is at home, where they generally feel most safe, and therefore most comfortable to learn. They are with people (parents / guardians / private tutor) with whom they trust completely and they can have individual attention to both support and challenge them every day.
Disadvantages of Home Schooling
Whilst the law states that children being home-schooled do not need to follow the national curriculum, they do need to be getting ‘a suitable education at home’, which needs to be full-time from the age of 5 (https://www.gov.uk/home-education) which in itself can be a very daunting prospect for anyone not from an educational background. A long-term learning programme does need to be devised for the child and delivered by someone with the skills and, importantly, the time to do so thoroughly and enthusiastically.
If you are already home schooling a child of primary-age, or are considering doing so, please get in touch with Gloucestershire Primary Tutors to see how we can help.