A recent survey reported by the BBC shows that the number of homeschooling families in the UK rose by 75% in 2021. This increase in numbers was largely attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic. The imposed lockdown restrictions meant that children were required to learn at home with their parent’s supervision.
Whilst many families were initially forced into this newfound learning environment, it wasn’t long before parents discovered the efficiency, educational benefits, and flexibility of homeschooling.
So, how does homeschooling work?
What Do I Need to Homeschool?
The first step is to decide on your preferred homeschooling platform and curriculum. Each curriculum has its own unique benefits, allowing you to find the best fit for your child. Make sure to research what curricula are available in your country of residence to ensure that you not only adhere to the legal requirements of your local government but also to ensure that your child benefits from a learning style that is best suited to their unique personality.
Once you have decided on which curriculum you will follow, it is important to set up a functional homeschooling space. This space should have the right equipment to enable seamless learning.
Choose a spacious, comfortable, and quiet room. Spots near windows are perfect because of the guaranteed natural light. However, it would be best if you also encouraged your child to personalise the space by adding artwork, decorations, and self-motivating items.
It is important to choose a table and chair with the right dimensions. The child's feet should touch the ground when they are sitting on the chair. Moreover, the space between the table's underside and the chair's seat should be 17-20 centimetres.
The stationery will vary depending on your chosen curriculum, but it can include:
- A desktop computer, laptop or tablet
- Coloured, lined, and graph paper
- Pencil erasers
- Paint and brushes
How Many Hours a Day Do You Need to Homeschool?
An average school day in a traditional schooling environment is generally between six to eight hours long. This doesn’t account for homework time, extra lessons and extra-mural activities.
Many homeschooling families discover that six to eight hour school days are not necessary to promote optional learning and knowledge retention. Children who are homeschooled benefit from more efficient use of time and can therefore enjoy shorter school days. Generally, most homeschooled students learn for two to three hours a day.
The number of hours should be lower for younger children. The recommended homeschooling study hours per day are 20-60 minutes for pre-kindergarten and 30-90 minutes for kindergarten.
What Is the Appropriate Age for Homeschooling?
Each country has different laws around when a child should start formal schooling. Most countries state that children must start learning between the ages of five and six. If the child has never attended a school before, all you need to do is choose a curriculum and start teaching them.
Children and teenagers who are already in school can also revert to homeschooling. In this case, you may need to inform the school beforehand and register your child as a homeschooler with your local education department.
Can You Homeschool and Work?
Combining a full-time job with homeschooling is challenging, but many parents manage to develop a workable homeschooling timetable. This is possible because you don't have to follow the normal school schedule or curriculum. The selected schedule should also take into consideration family needs. For instance, you can ask your child to help with household chores, such as cooking and cleaning. This will teach practical skills and responsibilities.
Many families opt to enrol the services of local learning centres or tutors to assist in providing a homeschooling education. Learning centres offer the freedom and flexibility of online learning combined with the support and social interactions of studying alongside a group of peers.
How Does Homeschooling Work?
The first step is to create clear objectives and goals. It would also help to divide big projects into small and manageable steps.
The homeschooling process involves the following steps:
- Research Your Options: Becoming a member of a local homeschool group, subscribing to a homeschool magazine, or asking for advice on your social media pages can be a good source of information. In addition, you will get to know the various options that exist and discover the challenges to expect.
- Know Your Child: You need to know what motivates your child before developing an effective homeschooling teaching method. For instance, some kids prefer to listen and watch, while others want a more hands-on approach.
- Incorporate Family Members and Friends: You may need someone else to chip in when you are too busy. Consequently, it would help to inform your friends and family members about your homeschooling decision. The child's grandparents can be of great help, especially if they are already retired.
Do I Need a Curriculum to Homeschool?
The laws in most countries state that children of a school-going age must receive a formalised education. Families who are considering homeschooling should check the laws and regulations in their country of residence to determine what education options are available to them.
Each curriculum offers unique benefits and learning styles. It is important to not only ensure that your chosen curriculum is legal in your country of residence but also to consider your child’s learning preferences to ensure that you match the curriculum to their unique strengths. For example, the International British curriculum will allow your child the flexibility to work at their own pace and complete the course work within a time frame that is comfortable to them, whereas the CAPS curriculum follows a more structured course schedule, enabling them to stay in step with their peers.
Choosing a syllabus or curriculum is perhaps the biggest decision you will make when it comes to homeschooling. You have to choose a programme and package appropriate for your child's activity levels, personality types, level of development, and age.
CambriLearn offers a variety of courses and packages. It is important to choose a curriculum that matches your budget and provides you with all the necessary tools and services that you will require.
A CambriLearn education expert can help you to map out your optimal learning pathway by evaluating your child and creating an ideal, personalised education plan.
Book a free, no-obligation consult with a CambriLearn Education Expert today!