Choosing to give a child education at home is a big leap for most families. Homeschooling offers many benefits to families and their children, such as efficiency and flexibility. However, many find it difficult to know where to start or to find free homeschooling resources in the UK.
As parents and soon-to-be educators, there’s a lot you need to consider when you begin with home education. While most homeschooling parents grow confidence as time goes on, the first steps can be critical to the success of the approach.
Our step-by-step guide walks you through the first stages of home education, as well as give you ideas on where you can get homeschooling resources at no cost in the UK.
How to start homeschooling in the UK?
- Removing your child from school
- Selecting a home education group
- Determining your approach to home education
For most children, the first step to homeschooling is getting them out of their formal school establishments. It can be done through a simple letter that details a parent’s request to the headteacher to remove their kid’s name from the school register.
If the child has not yet started their studies in the school but is already accepted, a parent has to fill up a form, which can be obtained from the local authority. In the UK, parents do not need to notify the local authority when they begin to homeschool their children. In some cases, officials may contact families to check up on their kids’ education provision.
There are several home education groups that can provide parents with some insights on how to successfully homeschool their child. Families new to the concept of providing their child education at home can get useful information and a lot of helpful tips from other parents who have some experience with the approach.
Joining a home education group can give parents ideas on where they can find free homeschooling resources or learning opportunities in the UK. Group members often share materials with each other and host a range of learning activities for both parents and children. These give kids a chance to socialise with other children who are also receiving their education at home.
Homeschooling allows parents to be flexible about their teaching approach. Unlike traditional school settings, educating at home focuses on tailoring learning to suit your family and your child’s learning capability
There are two ways on how to conduct learning at home:
Structured learning resembles how school teachers educate students. There are timetables for activities and lessons. They also follow a curriculum to keep the learning flow smooth. This approach is more often used, and is more beneficial, to children who prefer routines.
Autonomous learning is more flexible and adapts to the parents and children’s daily lives. This approach gives children more control over what they learn based on their abilities and interests. Parents who choose this style of learning provide their kids with opportunities that support their passions.
- Identifying your child’s learning style
Parents need to know their children’s learning style to provide an effective homeschooling experience. This information is crucial when you’re choosing what teaching approach to take. One way this can be done is by determining how your kids learn better.
Do they grasp concepts quickly through physical activities? Do they learn better doing hands-on activities? Do they take a lot of notes? Do they like to have music on when they’re working?
Parents should always ask their children how they like to approach learning and the activities they prefer to do. This allows parents to tailor their homeschooling approach to fit the child’s interest and ability.
- Working out your “school hours”
Homeschooling can become messy, especially for beginners. Having a timetable or a general schedule of lessons can help develop good study habits. Parents can schedule time for several subjects their kids are interested in, including science, art, and computing.
Having efficient “school hours” provides plenty of opportunities for personal, social, and health education. Parents should also consider their children’s extracurricular activities if they have any.
Homeschooling’s flexibility also allows parents and their children to go out on educational trips, including trips to the zoo or a walk through the woods.
Do you need help creating a homeschooling timetable for your family? We made an article that covers everything you need to know about homeschool schedules as well as several templates you could adopt. Find
Where do I get homeschooling resources in the UK for free?
Homestead Hippie offers homeschooling parents and tutors everything they need to provide a holistic education for children at little to no cost.
Homestead Hippie was created by Siobhan Little, who has diplomas in Home Education, Early Learning, and Child Psychology Diploma. The membership site was created to provide parents, teachers, homeschoolers, and tutors free resources to teach children life skills and various educational topics by way of play.
The site offers A.B. Seedlings, which is a free module designed for children ages 0 to 11. Each module is designed to encourage imagination and learning in kids. The wide range of modules included in the A.B. Seedlings program covers Maths, English, Sciences, and other topics needed to teach children how to live in a sustainable way.
A.B. Seedlings also offers hundreds of printables and downloadables, along with plenty of idea for sensory play, baking recipes, games, arts and crafts, worksheets, and project books.
This free component has been optimized for tablets, smartphones, laptops, and desktop computers.
Join A.B. Seedlings by signing up here for free. The modules are updated weekly.
Does Homestead Hippie offer homeschooling resources for teens?
Teens often find it difficult to access homeschooling resources designed for people their age. Accessibility for teens is often overlooked, even if most homeschooled children enter traditional school settings when they hit their tween years.
Homestead Hippie created The Teen Hub to give young people ages 12 to 19 resources surrounding mental health, cyber-bullying, self-esteem, life skills, and wellness.
The Teen Hub carries plenty of printables and downloadables that guide teens on topical subjects and help them become happy and healthy young adults. These resources include mood trackers, affirmation colouring books, confidence mandalas, and water trackers.