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Christian Homeschooling in the UK: 10 Things To Consider

Shannan Swindler

Home Educating From A Christian Perspective

Christian homeschooling is the practice of educating one’s children at home in accordance with Christian beliefs. It is part of a growing trend in the UK, with a dramatic increase in children being home-educated since 2020. If you are considering (or know someone who is) homeschooling in the UK, this post is for you.

There are many reasons why parents choose to home-educate their children from a Christian perspective. Some parents believe that it is important for their children to have a strong foundation in Christian values and beliefs. Others believe that they can provide a better education for their children at home than they could receive in a traditional school setting. Still, others choose to home-educate because they want to have more control over their children’s education.

There are many different ways to home-educate from a Christian perspective. Some parents use a traditional curriculum that is based on the Bible. Others use a more eclectic approach, combining different resources and methods to create a unique educational experience for their children.

No matter what approach they take, Christian home educators are united in their belief that they are providing their children with the best possible education. They believe that home-schooling allows them to create a more personalized and supportive learning environment for their children and that it gives them the opportunity to instill Christian values in their children from a young age.

Here are some of the benefits of Christian homeschooling in the UK:

  • Strong Christian values: Christian home educators can instill Christian values in their children from a young age. This can help children develop a strong moral compass and a sense of purpose in life.
  • Personalized learning: Christian home educators can tailor the education of their children to their individual needs and interests. This can help children reach their full potential and develop a love of learning.
  • More time with family: Christian home educators can spend more time with their children. This can help build strong family bonds and create a more supportive learning environment.
  • Flexibility: Christian home educators have more flexibility in their schedules. This can allow them to take advantage of educational opportunities that are not available in traditional schools.

If you are considering Christian homeschooling, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you need to make sure that you are committed to the process. Homeschooling can be a lot of work, but it is also very rewarding. Second, you need to do your research and find a curriculum that is right for your family. There are many different curricula available, so you need to find one that meets your children’s needs and interests. Finally, you need to connect with other Christian home educators in your area. There are many support groups and online forums available, and these are great resources for information and support.

If you are looking for a way to provide your children with a high-quality education that is grounded in Christian values, then Christian homeschooling may be the right choice for you.

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10 things every Christian considering homeschooling in the UK should consider

1. Your reasons for home educating

Know Your ‘Why’.

This will keep you focused through the hard days. The why is unique to every family, and your why will help shape how you home educate. Many UK home educators will home educate due to faith or religious reasons. They see the public school system as so counter to their beliefs and choose to create a Christ-centred education for their children. 

Other families see their children have had their mental health affected by the education system or bullying. Therefore, home is a safe place to rebuild and restore a broken and damaged soul.

 A neurodivergent child may find school to be a toxic environment, and that home is the best and safest environment to grow, learn and thrive.

Health reasons can be a deciding factor in home education. A child with serious medical needs may be best suited to being home. Or being able to slow the pace of learning to work with the health needs of the child.

Others choose homeschooling in the UK for educational reasons. Many home educators feel passionate about a learning style: whether that be unschooling or classical, or something in between. The one-size-fits-all approach of the school system doesn’t cut it. Giving children the opportunity to learn at their own pace, and in a style that suits them is vitally important to many parents. Especially since many of them have seen the damage done in mainstream education by not allowing a child to do so.

For other families having that time to nurture close family bonds is vital. There are families who have made travel a cornerstone of their family culture, and home education enables them the time, to learn and travel together. Thus giving their children a unique and exciting perspective of the world.

2. Legal Requirements for Homeschooling Within the UK & Scotland

Elective home education is not illegal within the United Kingdom. It is enshrined in law that education is the right of every parent. However, according to the Scottish home education guidance, if a child in Scotland has been enrolled within the state school system, then a parent has to inform the local authority, and in some cases obtain permission to remove the child from the school roll, before beginning to home educate. However, if a child has never been enrolled in the local school then no permission is necessary. 

For a parent deregistering the child, they will be required to detail to the local authority how they plan to educate the child, and they could be contacted annually by the local authority, to ensure they are fulfilling their obligations to educate the child, and are providing a suitable education.

If a parent is removing a child from an independent private school then no permission is required.

Interestingly, if a child is beginning home education after primary school, but has not been registered in a high school no need for permission is required. Also, if you begin home education and move into a different local council area then you do not need to de-register with the new local authority.

It is important to be aware that not all officials within the local authority, or schools know the law around this area. Also, different local authorities view home educators differently, some are more favourable, and some are hostile. Parents have been wrongly told to register with the local authority when they have never registered with a school.

Online groups such as Home Education Support Scotland provide a wealth of information for all home-educating families in Scotland.

Education Otherwise and/or CHESS are also great organisations for advice in England and Wales for families homeschooling in the UK. Of course, Arise Home Education is also an excellent resource for Christian home education guidance, encouragement, and resources.  

Home Education Scotland is also a great source of help for families navigating this new territory. This organisation is particularly good to seek advice if you have a school attendance order in place, or have a child who has special educational needs. And they can offer expert guidance in crafting the deregistration letter.

The Education Act 2011 outlines that there is a legal requirement that a child receives a full-time education, however, what this looks like is not outlined in the law. Therefore, there is parental freedom in how to achieve this.

3. Homeschooling In the UK: Understanding Your Child’s Learning Style

Every child learns differently and at their own pace. Some children are visual learners, while others are auditory learners. Some children learn best by doing, while others learn best by reading. It’s important to understand your child’s learning style and to create a home education program that meets their needs. The mainstream school system promises to look at every child as an individual, however, the reality of doing this for 30 kids in a classroom is simply unrealistic for even the finest teachers.

Home education gives you the wonderful opportunity to learn about your child, and tailor their education to how they best learn. Taking time to explore learning styles, and how this will look in your home will help you on your journey. Even within a family, it is amazing how different each individual child can be. You may have an auditory learner, a visual learner, and a kinaesthetic learner. There are many books written about learning styles and how to gauge which types are present within your home. 

This can be a challenge if your child learns in a completely different way from you, but there are plenty of resources available to help you and your family succeed.

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4. Homeschooling In the UK: Your Time Commitment

Home educators do not need to follow the national curriculum or any set timetable. Many families choose to home-educate all year round, others will set their schedules up to look more like “school”. However, whatever your preference, home education allows you the freedom to make it work with your commitments. Some couples will share the education, enabling both parents to work. Many families participate in local community groups and online classes to help ease the teaching load of difficult subjects.

Families with young children, often find all formal lessons are completed by lunchtime, enabling afternoons to be free for outdoors, friends, and fun! Also being able to schedule rest times for tired little ones, and exhausted mum’s is a precious gift to yourself and your family.

Parents with teens may choose to prioritise their growing teen’s need for sleep, and set formal lessons for later in the day, when their brains are better suited for learning.

Like learning styles, scheduling is unique, finding your work rhythms and structures which will work with you and your kids will create the environment needed for them to grow and thrive. Also, remember that being at home, away from all the distractions or classroom setting means you can offer a quality education within a shorter time period,

5. Homeschooling In the UK: Resources

Home education can be expensive, but it doesn’t need to be! There are many different methods of home educating, and thus the array of resources can be overwhelming. The resources you use will be:

  • inspired by your why,
  • type of learners you have, and
  • the type of home educator you are.

There are free resources available, and many expensive curricula can be sourced secondhand. for UK residents, digital curricula and online self-paced or live courses can often be less expensive than a hard copy of a textbook, workbook and teacher guide bundle. Start with the key pieces of curriculum that you are looking for: English and Maths. If you are unsure about purchasing, ask us, we are happy to help offer suggestions. Also, ask others opinions and read curriculum reviews

There are many excellent online education options and even online schools available as well. These are particularly good for areas you do not feel confident in teaching. Online classes and private tutors are also worth considering to help if you work and need to outsource some areas.

It is a useful habit to create a book list that you seek to cover in a year and firstly search your local library catalogue. 

For art, invest in the essentials that you will keep coming back to pens, paper, paints, brushes, glue, clay, etc.

Similarly, if you plan to do science, make a list of activities you plan to do over the year and purchase the materials in advance. Many items can be sourced inexpensively online. If you are following a specific curriculum, there will be a materials supply list for science activities & experiments that correspond with the various lessons.

6. Homeschooling In the UK: Support Systems

Home education can be isolating. It’s important to have a support system in place, such as:

  • other home educators,
  • family, and friends,
  • a home education support group, or home ed coops.

Local groups can be found online. Make it a priority to connect with other families. If you are new to an area it can be very hard to form new relationships. Try inviting other home educators for play dates, or to meet in a local park. Do not be shy to initiate things. A support system is particularly important if you lack support from family, close friends, or your church. Once you find your like-minded group, these people will walk with you for years. They are out there, you may need to take the first steps to find them.

7. Your Child’s Social Needs

By finding your support system you will find your child’s. Being intentional in connecting with local home-educating families and groups, and inviting people with children of similar ages to your own on play dates you will build that support network for your family. And as important friends are, home education enables children to connect with people across generations. Creating the opportunity for children to talk to adults, can be as rewarding, as it is beneficial to their development.

If your child has a hobby you may want to sign them up for a club, or youth group.

8. Your Child’s Future

Studies show that on average, home educated children perform better than their schooled peers. Home education is a fantastic preparation for the real world. Being home educated does not mean a child will miss out. 

Home educated students can take exams as private candidates. The majority of home educated students, who take the exam route, do international GCSES (iGCSEs), as they tend not to require coursework. There are many different ways to do this. Some self-teach and others will use online courses. However, there is no legal obligation to sit exams. Many homeschooled students go on to do apprenticeships, start businesses, go to college. Universities and employers are beginning to see the value that home education brings to an individual, and are starting to see ex-home educators as a real asset. Other families homeschooling in the UK are following the USA high school diploma (HSD) and transcript method. Many have had excellent success in university admission as well as success in apprenticeship and vocation studies.

9. Your Own Needs

Home education can be a very demanding job. But, being at home full-time with your kids can be as equally rewarding as it is challenging. It’s important to make sure you have time for yourself. If you have young children finding time to rest, can seem impossible. Try to maintain a rest time in the afternoon, even after a toddler stops napping (this will not happen for every child). Try scheduling in time for exercise. Even a short walk in nature will energise and restore. Guarding your time of prayer and Bible study will enable you to sow back into your children, and is not at all selfish. By finding ways to feed your own soul you will find greater joy on your homeschooling journey.

10. Your Child’s Wellbeing

Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy is based on the idea that our children are persons: a person in their own right. Our children are people: minds, wills, and emotions. As home educators, we are charged with cultivating these people, guarding them, and nurturing their entire being. Grades are important, but not the most important thing. Their souls are the most important thing. Look to your child as a person, not a vessel to be simply stuffed with knowledge; and to the child’s education as being about the whole person, not simply a grade to be achieved.

Homeschooling in the UK

As you consider home education, I encourage you to do your research and talk to other home educators. In recent years, home education has seen an explosion of numbers in numbers. Home education can be a wonderful experience for both you and your child: enjoy the journey.

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