Don’t get me wrong – and excuse the phrasing – but I love jumping balls deep into stuff. Once I like the idea of something, and I want to do it, I bloody go for it. And for some reason I’ve been infectiously drawn into the idea of home education. The more I think about it the more I love the idea of home educating our daughter – and other future children. But there are still some concerns for me over whether home education is right for us. So if you didn’t guess from the title, this post is going to cover my concerns of home ed.
What are the Concerns About Home Education?
So I’ve already done a post about what I love about home education, now it’s time for one about my concerns. These aren’t necessarily my concerns as such. Some of what I’ll talk about are merely just the concerns that people have in general when thinking about home education.
1. Can we even afford to home educate?
Money is very likely going to be a concern of home education. If we really wanted to give home education a proper go then we would obviously have to be home quite a lot. Luckily I am rather good with money, so I know we will be able to make it work.
One of the good things with home education is you decide when the learning is done. Does it have to be in the morning during regular school hours? Nope. Can it be on a Sunday? Obviously. I also think we’ll be in a better position financially by the time we actually have to home educate. So I really do think it will be fine.
Besides, I currently only work 4 days a week and my wife only 2. So dropping time in work shouldn’t be an issue.
2. How will we deal with socialising whilst home educating?
Every time we tell people we’re going to home educate they always say “what about socialising.” So obviously it has to be a concern.
But when you really think about socialising from the aspect of home education, is it really that big of a concern? We can still take Isabelle to clubs, classes, sports teams and I dare say learning groups with other home educated children.
I went to school, yet I hate socialising the vast majority of the time. I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that a lot of my socialising was forced. So now I resist it more. But allowing Isabelle to pick when, how and more importantly who, she socialises will be of great benefit to her.
She also won’t be in her little bubble of just kids her age. Being surrounded by the same age children all the time can actually have a negative affect on children. Just read this awesome book if you want to see a little more about this sort of thing.
3. What if we’re not good enough as home educators and our children fall behind in their learning?
I’m not a professional teacher. So I don’t know how I’ll do when it comes to being a home educator. I don’t our children being a few years behind other children when it comes to their education. Usually you just have to send your child off to school and hope for the best. If it doesn’t work out, you can always blame the school. If it doesn’t work out for us, then we blame ourselves.
I personally think that’s a great thing. Having all the pressure on ourselves will make us take responsibility for it, therefore putting more effort in. The old proverb goes “A courtyard common to all will be swept by none.” In other words, if there are plenty of people involved, then it’s easy to think someone else will do the work.
I think we’ll be alright. I managed with my GCSE’s – 4 A*’s and 6 A’s if you’re asking. So I dare say it’ll all come flooding back when I actually look it all up. Besides, since when was it a bad thing to say to a child “I don’t know the answer to that, let’s look it up together!”
4. Missing Out on School Life
I’m not going to lie, I really enjoyed school the vast majority of the time. Well. I enjoyed lunch break, and then the lessons where you got to mess about a bit more. I loved the morning and afternoon bus rides, as it was basically time to clown around with your friends. So having our children miss out on that by being home educated is a slight concern.
It’s also a worry that she might feel left out. Maybe I’ll take her to a sports team and everyone there goes to the same school. They’ll all be talking about something someone did that day in school and Isabelle could feel left out.
But I also feel that she won’t really know what she’s missing as she’s not going to experience it in the first place. And I dare say she’ll make her own friends at the clubs she goes to anyway. She can meet other home educated children and clown around with them instead. She might miss out on some good stuff, but she’ll also be missing out on all the negative stuff too.
5. Missing The Downtime Ourselves
Let’s be honest. Some people love sending their children to school because it simply makes life easier. You get time to chill out and do whatever the hell you want during your ‘free’ childcare. I know they love it as I constantly see people moaning when it’s half term. They’re probably being a little facetious, but still.
I’m someone who likes time to myself. I don’t like having to be depended upon all day every day. That doesn’t sound like someone who might be a good home educator.
But I do get a lot of down time in work. My job is one of the least stressful jobs out there. I genuinely feel refreshed and reset after going to work, and I’m thankful for that. And I also know I can absorb myself into anything. So I think I’ll be fine with this. It’s not like it’s going to be any different to what we do now. Isabelle is literally with us all the time now, so it just means nothing is going to change.
6. Home educating more than one child
It’s one thing educating one child on a subject at their current level. It’s another thing when you have two and they’re both at completely different stages. What happens then? Of course things might get a little harder as you have to give them slightly different work.
I think this is a problem that sounds like it’s going to be harder than it actually is.
If we home educate Isabelle from the start, then we’re going to be used to it anyway. I’m guessing we’ll just adapt and go with the flow. If you were dropped straight into home educating two or three, then that might be different. But this will be a gradual thing for us. My wife is currently pregnant too, so there’s not going to be a massive age gap – it’ll be about two and half years.
7. Not Having ‘That Teacher’
I know a lot of people have teachers who have genuinely changed their lives. If you choose to home educate your children then you’re obviously going to be limiting them to the number of educators who could affect their lives in a positive way.
Of course, if you’re attending various groups and classes then “that teacher” might one found there. It’s not like they have to be a school teacher. Any person can have a great impact on you. So yeah, this is just a minor point that manages to bring the list to seven.
At the end of the day, I feel there are less concerns of home education than there is with regular school
Of course there are always going to be concerns of home education, but then there are concerns with school in general. Hopefully we have more control over minimising the concerns of home ed as we’re directly involved. So I dare say they concerns won’t really come to much.