1. Home Education or Homeschooling
How to get started with teaching your child at home? Have you ever come across the term Home Education? Homeschooling is known by so many people now, since families globally have started to teach their children at home when the worldwide health crisis became severe in spring 2020. As of end of April 2020, more than 90% of the world’s school-aged children are being homeschooled. So, if this is you – you’re not alone. Read on.
First of all, what is making home education different from homeschooling? Actually, there’s no difference.
2. What is Home Education?
Home education is just the British term for homeschooling. That’s about it. And ‘homeschooling’ is about parents teaching their children at home. Parents being in charge of their children’s education. Parents being held responsible, at times.
The official website of the UK government defines what they understand on home education. It’s easy: Teaching your kid at home instead of sending it to a school. So, home education in the UK is understood as what in the US is called ‘homeschooling’. For an official British representation of home education go here. You’ll find lots of information on what is specific with the British home education system, lots of resources, legal advice, and a resource to connect with other home education families in the UK. A British newspaper even dedicated a polarizing essay on homeschooling in the UK in 2018 as being a more individual way to teaching children.
Families who’d like to start with home education sometimes feel a lot of insecurity. As for the United Kingdom there’s a great resource here to help you find an accredited institution. So you may homeschool your child any way you want to as long as you – usually it’s widely understood that you meet at least some standards, as defined in a nation’s Common Core. Find more on different styles in home education when you subscribe and get access to the unique content.
Alternatively, you may homeschool with an institution to guide you in your first years of home education. If the institution is accredited it means it has passed a process successfully, in which it proofed to provide standardized material, books, lessons and even degrees.
However, another more in-depht article was published by non-profit Infed, an educational organisation with a 25-years’ tradition. In the article they digged into some research on home education, where the idea of informal learning is stressed. ‘Informal’ as far as processes, assessing, and more.
3. Home Education in the UK and Internationally
First of all, if you’re looking for YOUR country, which is not the UK, check the international list and find the legal status of homeschooling in your place.
In the UK, there are slight difference between the four states. Go directly to the information of a homeschool association to learn about each state:
There’s an interesting option to home education in the UK, which is called Flexi Schooling. It’s described as an arrangement between parents and a school, where a child learns in the institution as well as under supervision of the parents. It’s a unique model, where the child has legally entered the formal education system. However, it’s not educated in a classroom really. In some countries, such an option is only possible with children that have special education needs. Subscribe to on how to deal with certain areas of special education needs.
Home Education varies within countries and regions globally. Some laws allow for teaching your child at home right away. In other countries the family needs to have passed an admission process of an online school, as some officially recognized institution behind the family’s homeschooling. This is especially important when home education is supervised by a school agency.
In Germany, homeschooling is illegal – with exception to the school lockdown due to COVID-19 in spring 2020, midst of March through midst of May. An official release by the ‘Bundestag’ is found here. It’s from 2009, saying on page 13 that as of the year 1919, right after World War I, compulsory education was introduced in Germany. In that publishing it’s assumed that this was the initial year to not allow for the alternative of homeschooling anymore.
There’s an interesting post on this by a guest author on the Goethe-Institut’s website. You may also switch to a related post if you want to learn more on the free language level tests of the institut. If you’re interested in Germany’s formal education system in comparison with the American one you may start with part 1 of a series, by the way.
Let’s get back to homeschooling regulations internationally. There are also those countries that neither actually have any clear regulation towards home education, which also includes that it’s neither forbidden. In these countries or regions homeschooling can indeed be done with lots of freedom. However, only after the COVID-19 crisis alternative forms of education have become better accepted in society. However, usually parents have to follow certain procedures to run their homeschool correctly before any government.
Learn more on the legal obligations for home education in your place. Just click on the country represented in the map and get your result for the compulsory attendance age as well as the legal status of home education in your place.
4. How to Homeschool – Deciding on Your Goals
Degree. Do you plan to homeschool ‘to the end’? Have you already looked beyond home education into your kid’s possible adult life? What kind of career do you think he or she is able to embrace? Answering those questions will likely lead you to the kind of degree you should be aiming at for your child. In average, countries offer three kinds of degrees, independently whether they allow for home education or not. A basic degree, which is CSE in the US, a mid-level degree, which is GCSE, and an advanced degree, A-Levels, which allows the graduate to enter higher education studies.
World Languages. There’ll come a time when you need to decide for a world language. If it’s not English, which other options are common, mainly in the US? Spanish – because it’s spoken in so many countries? French – because it’s such an elegant language? German – because of the familiar origin of this language with English? You might want to include Asian languages since Asian economy is on the rise in some areas – without taking into account the current crisis situation. Knowing an Asian language might open up unique job opportunities in the future.
Profil. Is there any area of study that you wish to stress teaching? Natural sciences? Classical studies of Language Art? Creative subjects like music, art, and design? Physical education? Technology, Engineering, and Computer Sciences? These questions should be answered while your child is still in middle school. Formal education usually starts emphazising any area of specialization with high school. You will need some time to inform yourself about options to focus on a discipline, while at the same time preparing all other subjects and disciplines with a minimum of knowledge.
Curriculum. For any questions on choosing a curriculum you must first collect information about your legal options. If there’s a Common Core, a general agreed-upon knowledge compendium, you need to only include those curricula into your home education schedule, which bind themselves to such a Common Core. This is of prior importance. If you need help on creating a syllabus from any curriculum at hand check this post. And now, we’ll dig into some more resources of other homeschoolers.
5. Websites & Resources to get Help
- A charity in the UK;
- Resource on Math and English;
- General tips on homeschooling in English and by personal experience, in German;
- Motivating homeschool routines, which is about organizing learning;
- Apps and online homeschool – learning in various languages;
- Legal advice internationally, US-based;
- Christian Homeschool suggestions via this post and Curriculum suggestions;
- Syllabus Creation;
- A British article pointing to the hurtles with homeschooling under lockdown;
- Homeschool Planner – buy a teacher’s planner for the next school year;
- Plan on your educational priorities – seen and hidden, don’t let them just happen;
- Help your highschooler to study effectively;
- Homeschool Coalition (CHRE), US-based on emergency homeschooling;
- Homeschool online with virtual schools, membership sites, and unit studies.