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The Main Reasons People Choose to Home School

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 14 Sep 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
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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 Reasons

Some 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 Experience

Some 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 Teaching

Some 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.

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Stephy - Your Question:
Hi, I was just wondering if I could ask a question please, I was home schooled but have never really understood why my mum decided to do it. I was 12 and in 2nd yr high school, my mum simply asked, out of the blue, "do you want to go back to school" obvious answer was, no, any kid would say I think, now she has always said when asked that 1) she could do a better job (I was in top groups in most of my subjects, never really complained about school and we are far from religious) 2) apparently I was becoming "brassy" scouse slang, but I don't think I was I was certainly starting to answer back if I felt I had valid points or a good reason but not "brassy" My question is, as I have often wondered whether it was more of a control issue, if the parent deciding to homeschool especially at the age I was and no religious aspect at all would discuss first? I remember she did meet up with one home schooled family once however us kids didn't get on so didn't see them again, I joined ZERO groups, lost what little friends I had, was very lonely and when I did beg to go back to school a couple of years later I was told I was not allowed as GCSE's had already started and I wouldn't catch up even though I had been working at GCSE level from ten years old?!? I now at the age of 33, have no friends, (or family as that was one crazy roller-coaster Ive jumped from) find it very difficult to connect with people infact my own personal saying is "friend is another way to say useful at the minute" as that is what always seems to happen to me, I understand it is probably very different now to what it was nearly 20 years ago (my word I feel old saying that) but even so if there is no actual reason for home schooling is that normal?!? I'm sorry Im probably asking an unanswerable question but I'm still struggling and have for a very long time as to the motives behind my childhood,

Our Response:
Thanks for sharing your experience of being a home-schooled child, we're sorry it didn't work out for you and this might be really useful for people to read.
AHomeEducation - 15-Sep-16 @ 10:09 AM
Hi, I was just wondering if I could ask a question please, I was home schooled but have never really understood why my mum decided to do it. I was 12 and in 2nd yr high school, my mum simply asked, out of the blue, "do you want to go back to school" obvious answer was, no, any kid would say I think, now she has always said when asked that 1) she could do a better job (I was in top groups in most of my subjects, never really complained about school and we are far from religious)2) apparently I was becoming "brassy" scouse slang, but I don't think I was I was certainly starting to answer back if I felt I had valid points or a good reason but not "brassy" My question is, as I have often wondered whether it was more of a control issue, if the parent deciding to homeschool especially at the age I was and no religious aspect at all would discuss first? I remember she did meet up with one home schooled family once however us kids didn't get on so didn't see them again, I joined ZERO groups, lost what little friends I had, was very lonely and when I did beg to go back to school a couple of years later I was told I was not allowed as GCSE's had already started and I wouldn't catch up even though I had been working at GCSE level from ten years old?!? I now at the age of 33, have no friends, (or family as that was one crazy roller-coaster Ive jumped from) find it very difficult to connect with people infact my own personal saying is "friend is another way to say useful at the minute" as that is what always seems to happen to me, I understand it is probably very different now to what it was nearly 20 years ago (my word I feel old saying that) but even so if there is no actual reason for home schooling is that normal?!? I'm sorry Im probably asking an unanswerable question but I'm still struggling and have for a very long time as to the motives behind my childhood,
Stephy - 14-Sep-16 @ 1:59 AM
My son has aspergers. He is in p.4 and I feel the main problem he has with school is school. The time he os there is too much. The number of days there is too much and the people thee annoy and frustrate him. I am considering home teaching if he doesn't get moved from the mainstream school he attends.
chell - 18-Mar-15 @ 2:04 PM
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