Home Education Can Provide Stress Relief for Your Children

Why home education could be important for your child's health?

Although many children do well at school and enjoy it, there are also many who do not thrive in the school environment. This is not surprising. Imagine:-

- Having to spend six or seven hours a day with 30 other people, whether you get on with them or not.
- Studying a lot of subjects, some of which you may find difficult or boring and, once the day is finished, having to do two or three more hours work at home.
- Being teased and/or bullied and know that if you tell someone the situation may well get worse.
- Having people who should know better (which unfortunately does include some teachers) talk to you as though you were a moron.

This is hardly a life enhancing way to live. And this is what some children experience every day. Of course, I do not mean to imply that all schools are like this or that all children have these experiences; only that enough children do to make this a matter of serious concern.

If the above describes your child, then choosing to educate at home could offer an alternative that might work for you and your child. We took our son out of school when he was six and a half because he was clearly not thriving. It was not an easy decision and aroused some resistance from our relatives. However, they soon accepted that this was the best thing for him. They saw how he changed and became a lot happier and more motivated. Following on from the positive experience with our son we also chose to home educate our two daughters.  One is 19 and going to university next year and the other is starting college in September.  I am sad to say that my home educating days are nearly over and I would not have done it any other way.  It has been one of the best experiences of my life (and of my children's lives, so they say!).

How to start home schooling

Although home schooling is not legal in all countries in the world it is certainly legal in the UK and USA. If you live in countries other than these, then you will need to check with your education authority.

In the UK and USA home schooling is becoming more and more common and you will probably find a group of home educators near where you live. Meeting up with other people who home educate is important – it provides support for you and social contact for you and your child. Use some of the contacts below to find a group in your area.

In the United Kingdom it is easy to take your child out of school. It is completely legal and you do not need to be a qualified teacher. You just have to inform the head teacher of your child’s school in writing. It is the head teacher’s job to inform the local education authority. You will probably be contacted by the LEA to arrange for a home visit from a home education officer (yes, most LEAs have a home education section). You do not have to have a visit to your home if you don’t want to. You can send in information about the work you have been doing with your children or meet up with the LEA officer out of your house. Keeping a diary of what you’ve been doing with your children can be helpful.

How to manage work and home education at the same time

It can be daunting to start on this path if both parents work. However it is possible. It may be possible for one you to work from home. Maybe you could manage on one salary for a while. In the home educators' group that I go to with my children there are a number of different ways that people manage. In some families, one parent doesn’t work. In others, partners take it in turns to work, or one partner works from home. There are a number of one parent families who manage on state benefits. I am not saying that it is necessarily easy but it is certainly possible (as the recent massive increase in families home educating in the UK and the USA shows) and it is so worthwhile for your child’s happiness and self esteem.

What is involved in educating your child at home?

Home educating does not mean bringing school into your home. You can help your child to learn in any ways that suit you and him. For some children, school has been so bad that trying to do anything school related will just cause stress until they have recovered from the unpleasant experiences they had. It can be fun to just play games, read together, go for walks, go on visits to museums and other interesting places and learn to relax together. So little emphasis is put on relaxation in our society and there is nothing more important that you can teach you child than to be able to relax. Home schooling provides the perfect opportunity to do this. It is also a wonderful opportunity for you to develop the bond between you and your children.

To find out more about home education, I strongly recommend that you read some good books on the subject. Click on the link below and go to the home education category in my store to see my recommended selection of books:

Click here to find recommended books on home education and how to go about home schooling

These websites are also very helpful:

In the UK:

www.education-otherwise.org
www.heas.org.uk
www.home-education.org.uk
www.home-ed.info

In the USA:

To get information about the legal issues for home education in each state visit:

http://homeschooling.about.com/cs/gettingstarted/a/legalusa.htm

Also have a look at:

http://www.thehomeschoolmom.com
http://www.homeschool.com
http://www.homeschoolinginamerica.com

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