Families and children may choose to embark on a home school education for a wide range of reasons. This article looks at the main reasons that parents name as significant factors in their decision to choose a home schooling education. Note that many parents -and children- opt for home schooling for several reasons, including a mixture of these below as well as personal family circumstances.
Home Schooling for Academic ReasonsSome parents believe their child to be very bright but underachieving in school, or not fulfilling his or her particular ability in a certain subject or activity. These parents might believe their child could benefit from more individualised attention, or a schooling that provided more emphasis on a particular subject or skill. This can act as a reason for parents to home school their child.
Home Schooling after a Child’s Bad School ExperienceSome children who become home schooled have already attended a mainstream school and found it difficult, perhaps because they were the victim of bullying, or struggled with an educational environment that sometimes involves difficulty giving children individual attention. These kinds of experiences, which can even make a child suffer from a psychological problem like becoming school phobic, are another reason why some parents choose to provide children with a home education.
Home Schooling Decisions Based on Antipathy for the National Curriculum and School TeachingSome families are opposed to elements of the National Curriculum’s teaching, which is followed by all state maintained schools, while others believe that UK standards of education are lower than they once were, and do not want their children’s education to follow that trend. While most schools follow curricula including qualifications like GCSEs and A Levels, some parents are opposed to this kind of structured learning, which may include learning by rote, and prefer to educate their children themselves at home.
Some parents, who might have been happy to see their children educated under other curricula, such as those of private schools, cannot afford to do so and see the best alternative to be following a home school education that does not go by the National Curriculum. Other parents are opposed to what they regard as education driven by performance targets rather than the individual child’s needs and intellectual curiosity; this might also act as an incentive for parents to decide to home school their children.
Religious Background as an Incentive to Home School
UK schools generally have a faith, which can lead to a certain religious emphasis, such as where most of the pupils come from a particular religious background and the curriculum might reflect that balance, while other schools may be non-denominational and avoid discussion of a particular religion, or encourage interfaith discussion, and where a secular education will tend to include sex education lessons, which some religious families may not want their child to learn about. This can be another reason why some families opt to home school their children.