The Transition From School to Home Schooling

For a child, moving from a busy school day to a less structured home education, where the ‘classroom’ might be their living room, and the teacher their mum or dad, can be a difficult transition to make. This article will look at how parents should begin planning for this transition well in advance of the time children are leaving school, if possible. If this advance planning is not possible, this article still contains lots of important aspects for parents to consider in organising their child’s home education, in order to ease the process of beginning a home learning experience for both parent (or tutor) and child.

Researching Home Schooling

If possible, several months or even a year before a child is due to begin home learning, the parents should research methods of teaching, student engagement and motivation, how to deal with the Local Education Authority and mainstream school (see relevant articles elsewhere on this site for legal aspects of home schooling) as well as talking to other parents who home school their children, who will usually be able to offer valuable advice and experience.

This can also be a good time to join other parents at a local homes education support group, if you can find one in your area. Groups such as the Home Education Advisory Service (HEAS) and Education Otherwise might be able to help you with this task. Ask about their own teaching habits, and daily routines, plus lesson inspirations and group activities held between other home schooling children such as sports, group tutoring, art clubs etc. These groups can also be a very supportive resource when you begin home schooling your child, and can alleviate your concerns about your own transition from parent to parent and child educator.

Decide Whether you Want to Follow a Curriculum

Parents need to decide whether to educate their child more freely and abstractly, or through a structured curricula. If the latter, curricula can be ordered through some home education support groups, or parents may choose to follow a course close to the National Curriculum. Alternatively it can be a good idea to use several sources of advice at the start, mixing and matching books to find your best options. It’s best to research these options before a child begins home education, if possible.

Make a ‘Classroom’

Even if you have minimal space, it’s useful to have a separated area for conducting classes. This should definitely not be in a child’s bedroom if at all possible. Think about the kinds of materials you might need, such as a desk, wall space, perhaps a computer, bookshelves and maybe even a blackboard – depending on the kind of ‘school’ you want to create.

Consider your Child’s Home Schooling Objectives

Make a list about what you want to accomplish in the first few months of home schooling. This doesn’t have to be specific, but if it includes elements such as academic work, physical activity, socialising, and/or community work, it will be easier to ensure your actual education work later fulfils all these objectives. It can be useful to create this objective list with a local events listings nearby, as museums, galleries and libraries often have useful educating exhibitions and displays.