Of the 9 million school-aged pupils in England in 2019, it was estimated that around 52,000 were home-schooled*. These numbers have been steadily on the rise in recent years as home-schooling becomes a more popular choice for parents. Whilst one might associate learning at home with younger pupils, home-schooling is actually most common within the key stage 3 age range. But is educating your child at home the right decision for you? Here we take a look at some of the benefits, and potential challenges, to home-schooling your child at key stage 3.
Why Key Stage 3 Home Schooling?
Home-schooling allows you to create a bespoke programme of education for your child which may better suit their needs. Families can be much more flexible regarding the “school” week with educational sessions taking place at a time and place that better suits those involved. Families are free to start learning in the mid-afternoon if that works better for the student, and many parents take advantage of quieter, mid-week, times at museums, libraries and sports facilities. One-to-one teaching also means that sessions are much more efficient. Often, a whole day’s worth of learning can take place in just a couple of hours due to the individual attention that students receive.
For parents whose child lacks confidence, or who worry about potential bullying at school, home-schooling provides an opportunity for a student’s academic confidence to develop without the anxiety that a classroom environment can cause. Lacking the distractions that other students in a noisy classroom can cause, the home can provide a quieter environment where it is easier for students to concentrate.
The increasing numbers of home-schooled children means that there is now a vast and supportive community of parent-teachers who can provide support and advice to anybody new to home-schooling.
Many parents worry about the lack of social interaction that their child may experience if they are home-schooled, particularly as they become a teenager. Many teenagers form strong friendships with the people they go to school with, and home-schooled children certainly miss out on developing these relationships. However, there are numerous other ways in which children can make friends and so this need not be a problem as long as families encourage and provide opportunities for their children to make friends elsewhere. From sports teams to music groups, extra-curricular activities provide children with a way to make friends with many like-minded young people.
The cost of home-schooling can also be a concern to parents. Many families opt to provide a tutor to deliver at least part of their child’s education and a qualified key stage 3 tutor may charge around £40 per hour. Many families also purchase online courses for their child which may form part of their home education curriculum. There are numerous options available, but you should always consider prices carefully before enrolling on courses. At the same time as considering the expense, families should think of the value for money a quality online course potentially provides. Using a tutor and/or home-schooling course provides structure, consistency and a secure route to take GCSEs, should you wish to pursue formal qualifications.
Oxford Home Schooling provides Key Stage 3 courses for under 18 students, in English, Geography, History, Maths, P.S.H.E., Science and Spanish, and details of these can be found on our relevant site page by clicking on the link here.
Our own Key Stage 3 course prices can be found by clicking here.
*Figures from www.gov.uk