Home Education is definitely on the rise. Some people question whether schools have the right priorities, some are travelling, other families find home education suits a child's personality better. If you have chosen this route, or are considering it, here are some resources and support groups you might find useful.
Homeschooling during the coronavirus outbreak
With social distancing, self-isolation, and a threat of school closures, many parents may be wondering how to support their children's learning at home for an unspecified length of time. Some schools are already planning to supply work online or via email. But we've looked at what other resources are out there to help.
Oxford-based tutorial service Education Hotel has put up an excellent blog post about how parents might set their children work in a number of subjects, through a topic, in this case dinosaurs. Jemma Smith, who founded Education Hotel, has neatly suggested activities that don't rely on parents having all the answers, but set children off on a path of learning to explore a topic, incidentally practising maths, literacy and a number of other skills. The activities work for a range of ages, including non-readers.
If you want some expert help, Education Hotel also offer tutoring online. For details of them and other tutors, some of whom will meet up on skype or similar platforms, see our Tutorial Colleges and Tutors listings. Or you can ask for (or offer) specific tutoring on our Tuition ads page.
Official Advice on Home Education
Oxford County Council's page about home education is nuanced and non-judgmental. It doesn't seek to dissuade you, but lets you know what your duties are if you take on responsibility for your child's education, and what it can (and can't) do to support you.
Curriculum and Subject Support
A Home School College sounds like something of a contradiction in terms, but Wolsey Hall has been supporting home education since 1894, with curricula and tutoring from afar for ages 7-18, and advice about how to sit exams.
For an excellent example of topic-based learning see Education Hotel's blog post. Through the topic of dinosaurs, they suggest a number of different projects and activities, which set children off on a path of exploration, learning skills and facts almost incidentally.
And for more tutors who can help with specific subject areas, in person or online, see Daily Info's listings for Tutorial Colleges and Tutors, and Tuition ads by individuals (where you can offer or seek Tuiton).
A variety of groups exist on Facebook to share knowledge among parents and children from families who home educate. Parenting and teaching can both be lonely activities, and friendly support is vital. Meet-ups take place both for social reasons, and also to enhance learning, for instance at South Oxford Adventure Playground, or Oxford Natural History Museum.
Families new to Home Education should start in this group. It's intended to be useful for around the first 6 weeks and help you access other networks.
This group is the main one for Oxfordshire home educators.
This one is a closed group, so you must be local, be home educating and be endorsed by an existing member in order to join
And this group is specifically about exams (and alternatives). It has a wider geographical base.
Kangaroo Playgroup is a group all about attachment parenting, and contains some info about home educating particularly for smaller children, sometimes just to delay their start to formal education.