The Big decision
Every decision we make as parents is important, especially when it comes to your children's education. We all want to do what's best for our children. Making the decision to Home Educate can feel like a huge, life-changing decision, and it is, but for the majority of us who've made the decision, life has changed for the better; but of course, just like school isn't for everyone, home ed isn't either. If you're taking a child out of school that has been through some type of distress or had problems in school, then home education isn't going to be an overnight magic fix for the problems, but if you're willing to be patient and put the effort in, then it could be a long-term success, after all, home education is what you make it.
Weighing up the pros and cons of Home Education
When making a big decision like this, it's a good start to weigh up the pros and cons and think about what your priorities are for your children and see what best fits them. Here's a short list of just a few pros and cons to give you some ideas.
- A tailored education suited to each individual child's needs.
- Can be flexible for the whole family e.g if a parent travels for work the whole family could go if they chose
- Less peer pressure
- Being able to spend more time as a family unit while your children are growing up.
- You don't have a break 5 days per week.
- It's not cost-free and you don't get any financial help (It can be done on a tight budget though).
- It takes a lot of patience and effort.
How do you know you've made the right decision
It's completely normal to question your decision, especially if friends and family members are not all supportive, but remember that it's your decision as parents and to trust your own instinct. We did, and after a bit of time settling, Home Education feels completely normal to us and we couldn't imagine doing things any different now. We still have bad days like everybody does, but as a whole, we all love it and have watched our son develop loads, both intellectually and as a person.
A big worry for a lot of people who are considering Home Education is socialization (or the lack of it people say your home educated children will have). All I can say is don't worry too much about it and don't let it be a huge part in your decision making, we spent too much time trying too hard to socialize, because we were thinking about it in the wrong mindset, it got to a point where we had to limit going out to 'socialize' a bit just to get other things done. As long as your children see a variety of people they are socializing and they won't be lonely, we realized our children do socialize, with people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds too, probably even more so than when our eldest was in school, because now we have to make more of an effort.
We tend to think that children socialize far more than they actually do in school. Reality is, they're with a class full of the same people, who are the same age as them every day, they have short breaks and are often told to be quiet in class, and then there's the fact that some children can feel lonely in school too. In our case, not going to school doesn't seem to have made any difference to our son's socializing abilities at all, he's very social and always has been.
Take a look at our just starting out page and you'll find some words of wisdom from fellow home educators.