What can anyone tell me about homeschooling? I'm only considering it. I have considered it before but didn't really look into it massively. Have had a quick look online and can only find the education act repeated everywhere. Nothing about actual practicalities of doing it.
For added information I have a girl (7) boy (5) b/g twins (4) and a 10 month old baby.
Am I being silly to even think about doing this????
Not silly at all! A few points:
The education side is easier than you think. Most people with under-8s do little if any formal sit-down "work", but instead talk to their kids, take them places, read to them etc. The law leaves it up to you to decide how to go about it. There are no required subjects, hours, or curricula. Informal approaches are very popular in this country, especially with young children.
Some people unfamiliar with home education are likely to query whether you can give enough time to each of your children when you have five kids. But they will be getting a lot more individual attention from you than they did from their teachers who had more than 20 children! They also learn not only from being "taught", but from their own explorations, from books and videos, from observing the world around them, from other adults they encounter, and from each other. I only have two children myself, but in my experience, home educated kids in big busy families don't miss out on learning in any way.
The home ed life looks a lot like normal life, the life you lead during the school holidays and weekends. It's true you will be conscious of the fact that you're responsible for their education, and so you may spend more time doing "educational things" with them than you might if you were thinking school would play a role. You might find yourself buying more science kits and going to museums more often. But it doesn't have to be a sea change.
The top question people ask is "what about socialisation?" but you don't have to replicate school-style social opportunities. If your kids are happy playing with each other then that is perfectly fine. If they want more, then you can keep up friendships with school or nursery friends, go to the park, invite neighbour kids round, go to home ed groups, or join scouts or do sports - whatever they seem to need.
Some families are quite self-sufficient. Others like to be very involved in home ed groups and have many home ed friends. I live in a city with an active HE scene. In my circle we are always passing kids around for convenience, lift-sharing and swapping children so that not all the kids from the family have to go to every activity. One parent might take older kids to group music lessons together while another takes all the younger siblings to the park, for example.
Hope that helps a bit. If you can get together with local HE families then maybe you can get a better flavour for how their days look. Every family is different, of course.
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