Why Home-Ed.?

Why have we decided to home educate (H.E.)?

Our reasons to home educate, rather than to use traditional schooling, can be divided into 3 categories:

·        Learning
·        Social
·        Lifestyle and family

Why H.E. leads to a better learning experience

Hands on learning

Many of the advantages of learning at home are possible due to the one to one nature of H.E. Learning can be targeted to the childrens' needs in a way which would be impossible in the large classes found in the school system. In a classroom even the best teacher cannot focus solely on the individual; their needs, interests and skills. At best lessons are aimed at the average, often at the lowest level. Classrooms are the model of teachers teaching and children passively receiving learning. Conversely, learning that occurs mostly on a one to one basis can provide a shared experience where each individual, the child and the parent, has equal rights to contribute and decide the course that learning will take.

One to one learning allows the childrens' needs to be met, and the content of the learning to be relevant and interesting for that child, by:

  • Presenting learning in the child’s preferred learning style
  • Presenting learning at an appropriate level
  • Keeping an appropriate pace of learning
  • Providing rests and breaks when needed
  • Providing  repetition when needed
  • Providing challenge and extension when needed
  • Allowing children to stop when they have had enough
  • Allowing children to  carry on with a topic as long as they wish
  • Allowing children to follow tangents
  • Allowing children to take exams early or late
  • Learning with love
  • Being child led
  • Following the child’s interests
  • Allowing flexibility to follow interests without rigid plans
  • Enabling the learner to learn what they wish to learn not what they are told to learn (it is debatable that you can make someone learn something that they have no interest in anyway)
  • Encouraging learning  through conversation
  • Providing time to question
  • Giving permission to question
  • The ability to give instant feedback
  • Allowing more diversity than government prescribed curricula
  • Giving opportunity to specialise
  • Presenting a whole learning experience not a set of disjointed subject lessons
  • Learning through real life
  • Providing opportunities to learn life skills (e.g. how to keep house, cook, shop, manage money etc.)
  • Making learning relevant to real life
  • Providing play/discovery based learning
  • Providing book based learning
  • Having fun
  • Using physical skills
  • Using intellectual skills
  • Using research skills
  • Eliminating indoctrination
 Why H.E. leads to a better social experience

Who says home educated kids have no social life?

H.E. allows us as parents to provide a much more natural social experience for the children, one which reflects the true nature of society not he institutionalised version displayed in schools. Many of the undesirable social aspects of school, such as bullying, can be more easily managed, or even eliminated, as we will be both more aware of any problem, having close contact with the children daily, and be empowered to either remove the problem or remove the child from it. From our experiences, a great deal of time is spent/wasted controlling the unruly element of the class, further reducing the time actually spent teaching and therefore learning. Children will have ample opportunity to learn from others who are more experienced, and they will pick up family values.

H.E. provides a better social experience by:
  • Allowing the children to choose who to be social with
  • Allowing the children to choose when to be social
  • Having conversations without restriction
  • Allowing time to be quite/alone
  • Making it possible for the childrens' social circle to be more representative of real society in terms of different ages, genders, backgrounds and cultures.
  • Learning about real not institutionalised life
  • Providing learning from more experienced individuals not similarly inexperienced peers (e.g. children do not learn how to behave in a new situation from 30 other children of the same age who equally inexperienced, but from adults or others who have previous experience).
  • Adult (or other experienced individual) modelling of appropriate behaviour.
  • Modelling appropriate vocabulary.
  • Installing family values
  • The children being loved and respected
  • Providing loving relationships
  • Treating the children as an equals
  • Applying consistent discipline and rewards
  • Eliminating or dealing with undesirable behaviour as it occurs
  • Dealing with, or avoiding, disruptive relationships or bullying.
  • Providing a safe environment without fear.
Why H.E. leads to a better family lifestyle

Building family bonds

We didn’t become parents in order to hand our children over to strangers for the majority of the day. We enjoy being with our children, because nothing is more fascinating than watching your children learn. We believe the school routine destroys family life and does not cater for the physical and emotional needs of the child.

H.E. makes a strong family by
  • Allowing the Daddy to spend time with the children whilst doing shift work
  • Having a large amount of time together as a family
  • Allowing us to be more fully involved in the childrens' lives
  • Allowing time and contact to form strong family bonds
  • Doing activities together
  • Learning together
  • Sparking new interests in each other
H.E. caters the childrens' individual physical and emotional needs by:
  • Allowing sleep patterns and other body rhythms to run to their natural schedule
  • Providing rest and active periods when needed
  • Not forcing separation from us before the child is ready/old enough
  • Providing people (parents) who most value and love the children and their work
Other lifestyle advantages of H.E. include:
  • The family is not held to a routine devised by others who have not taken the needs of the family into consideration.
  • Ability to be flexible and change plans if family circumstances will benefit.
  • Time organisational freedom
  •  Freedom to travel and take holidays when it suits the family
  • Freedom to take day trips in quiet times
  • Arranging activities when the weather/seasons/days of the week are appropriate


  1. I think it is wonderful that some parents are willing to take on the challenge of their children education. I'm sure it is a rewarding experience and I agree with many of the points above. I love the idea that you want to spend so much time with your children and of course they will have a much better experience than a mainstream school.
    I can see that you are totally committed this and I wish you all the luck with it. I am a teacher in England and while I cannot offer anything like the interactive curriculum that you do, I try my best (33 kids, lots of issues). I think the home education system is only effective if the parents are as dedicated as you are, Many of the children I work with would have little or no education if left with their parents all day ("I don't have time to read with them at night, it takes too long!" - comment by a parent when asked to read with her child for 10 minutes once a week.)
    In these cases I think mainstream is a much better option, I may not have the time to spend with each individual but at least I want to spend time with them and plan learning so that the children can access it.

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks! I actually taught primary level in the UK so I know exactly what you mean. School is the best option for many, home education is the best option for many others. It's just a shame that lots of people don't know that the option exists or that many others are also doing it and that there is lots of support and social opportunity out there.

  3. Hello Helen,

    We still take an active interest in your blog! Been missing your links on FB. Is there a reason you've disapeared off it? I find your blog absolutely fascinating. Andrew (Banks)would home educate Emily if he didn't have to work but she does seem to like school - well mostly.

    How do you know which is the best option for the child school or home ed? Do some children do well in either?

    Helen (R)


  4. http://www.handsfreemama.com/ says in a better way than I can why I gave up FB!

    I guess the only way to see which option is best (if you are having doubts) is to try both. However if what you are doing is working well why change?