Bit of background: DH needs to work away in a different part of the UK. It will only be for 9-12 months. DD is about to finish Foundation Stage so will be in year 1 for the time we're away. We'll almost certainly be coming back to this house so she'll restart at the school (which we really, really love) when we're back. I don't really want to have to start her at a local school for a while, we'll probably have to wait for a while to get a place and I don't really want to have to be constrained about where we rent and it's proximity to a school.
So...I'm trying to convince DH that HE is the way to go for the time we're away. I think just being somewhere different and much more rural will be an education for DD. I won't be working and we'll have internet so access to lots of things. We'll still see our friends and go to local groups so I'm not too worried about the social side of it.
But I am concerned that I don't know enough about it to make an informed decision and that it will actually prove to be impossible with educational guidelines (will I have to follow the National Curriculum) and with two other DCs to look after.
If anyone could give me advice or point me in the right direction for advice that would be so helpful in making our decision.
If you HE, you don't have to follow the NC and anyway she is only 5! Enjoy yourselves, do lots of reading and activities. She'll be fine when she goes into Y2 on her return. If you want to check here against Y1 levels, you can get workbooks from WHSmith and use them as part of your HE.
At that age, and in those circumstances I think HE would look like lots of visits exploring the new area you will be living - and following those visits up with lots of googling to find out more about things that come up. Lots of reading books - visiting the local library. Lots of walking in the woods or visiting the beach - seeing what is going on in the world around you. Fun places to visit that she might not have seen before - harbours, stations, airports, livestock markets, auctions etc etc etc.
If it is rural - maybe get to know the local farmers - tractors, dairies etc - endless possibilities.
Then you can also do a lot of home stuff - eg cooking, shopping, washing - general household stuff. Gardening.
Writing and drawing about it as she likes, and maths wherever you can fit it in. Science, music, history - all can be fitted in as you go along.
Pretty much look at it as a year out - exploring and enjoying your time. She will learn a huge amount (and so will you).
I HE'ed a 5 year old and had a 1 and 2 year old. It was fine. We went out and explored a lot and did cooking/playdough/experiments with water etc. We did a bit of reading and 1 to 1 when the other two napped, as you pointed out. It's really nice for the little ones to have their older sibling around. There's also lots of resources on the computer, if she likes that sort of learning.