Whilst Fi and I were very ready to send our mini adventurers back to school in early September, there are many in Our Little Globe’s community that are homeschoolers.
This means that as parents, they have chosen to educate their children predominantly at home. It is a big decision and a route taken for many different reasons, including a loss of confidence in the education system, long-term bullying, an unhappy child or even a desire to travel without restrictions.
The number of parents choosing to homeschool their children has been rising steadily in recent years. In 2020, a combination of factors, including months of lockdown and enforced distance learning, gave some parents the chance to discover if full-time homeschooling might work for their family. Though, be aware home-schooling in lockdown is very different to home-schooling in a normal world!
There are many misconceptions about home-schooling and home-schooled children. The most important thing to realise is that just like any child, each home-schooling environment and reason for home-schooling is unique. H
If you decide to homeschool your child, you do not need any teaching qualifications, nor are you obliged to adhere to any particular educational structure, or even curriculum. Plus there are many resources available, both on and offline, to support you and your child through your learning journey together. It is important to remember this is a journey for both of you, there is no need to decide immediately how you are going to do everything, or feel that you need to know everything – work it out as you go along, and be guided by your child so you can tailor activities according to their interests and skills.
One common misconception about home schooling is the social aspect. How will your child socialise and spend time with children their own age if they are not in the classroom? In fact, this is one of the easiest concerns to alleviate. Do your research and find local, like-minded parents – Facebook has a wealth of resources and groups you can join for support and information. Once you connect with some networks, you will find plenty of opportunities are available for your child to meet up with other children who are also being home schooled.
Skill swapping is another way to increase your child’s exposure to teaching from other adults and learning with other children and take the pressure off you to be Einstein! Perhaps someone in your network is a swimming teacher and you are great at cooking or phonics – you can ‘swap’ and barter your talents with each other to widen your child’s learning experiences.
You do not need to spend a fortune on home schooling – there are many free resources available to help you teach ‘school’ subjects such as literacy and mathematics. Remember that learning encompasses teaching your child holistically as well – their healthy development will encompass academic learning of course, but also includes their physical and mental health, personal, social and emotional development and learning practical life skills to grow communication and team working skills and boost independence and resilience. Build daily chores into their day so you are given some support as well.
Whilst having a routine and signposting can be beneficial for many children, with home schooling you can enjoy greater flexibility than the rigidity of the typical school day. Take advantage of this and plan to spend time outside in a natural environment each day; research shows the enormous benefits of spending time in nature for both children and adults.
You are your child’s most important role model; if you are juggling working from home, watching you learning and working alongside your child reinforces a positive message of the importance of learning and growing. Decide how flexible you can be with your job and whether it’s possible to continue as a full-time employee or just work part-time hours to suit your needs.
Home-schooling does not have to mean that you teach your child every subject without any help. Days out, Forest School sessions and educational subscription boxes like Our Little Globe mean that you can rely on monthly delivered lessons that will allow your children to learn in fun ways and give you time to complete other chores. Remember, home-schooling has to work for everyone, so it is important to find what works best for your family unit.
At Our Little Globe, our mission is to teach children in a fun way about the world. Take a look at our range of Travel and Activity box kits, designed to inspire children to explore the traditions, cultures and tastes different countries around the world.