Why Many Parents Choose To Homeschool Their Children
Did you know that homeschooling in the UK continues to rise? According to The UK Rules, parents’ choosing to take their children out of school and educate them at home has increased since 2016.
At Fleet Tutors, we regularly work with parents and learners to provide them with a fully bespoke educational experience without having to deal with the stresses of the classroom.
In our time, we’ve seen many students with unique needs thrive and progress onto further education – but should you consider homeschooling?
This post will explore why so many parents choose to homeschool, so you can decide if it’s the right choice for your child.
Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Special educational needs is an umbrella term that refers to numerous learning difficulties and disabilities that might impact a young person’s ability to adapt to a traditional classroom environment.
While many people have special educational needs, research published by the Department for Education (DfE) shows that the number increased dramatically in 2020. The analysis of special educational needs and disability published statistics that show the number of SEN children continues to grow.
- The number of SEN children increased over three years, with 1.37 million learners (15.5%) having special needs or a disability.
- Social and behavioural learning impairments are the most common SEN among school learners, at 45% – with autism being the leading diagnosis.
- The number of learners with a disability was 8.8%
- Students with speech, language and communication special needs are most common.
The 2022 report
While these numbers were shocking, the coronavirus pandemic created some ambiguity about the validity of these results. However, a report published in January 2022 showed that the increase in SEN learners is an ongoing problem, with the number increasing to 1.5 million.
These statistics show the rate of SEN pupils continues to grow, and while we cannot definitively say why this is happening, schools have to create plans for each child.
Unfortunately, many don’t get the intensive support they require.
Education Health and Care Plans: Do They Work?
An EHCP plan details an individual student’s needs, whether they be emotional, behavioural or physical. The plan legally binds a school and support staff to follow a protocol that details the support a child or teenager requires, subject to a judicial review.
Anyone between 0-25 can have an EHCP as long as they have special needs. For a plan to reach the approval stage, reports from specialists, including doctors and educational psychologists, must show that the learner is significantly behind the progress of other pupils.
The tribunal can also reject the application if there is insufficient information and many parents find their child doesn’t receive the additional support.
Even those with an educational plan don’t necessarily get the provisions laid out in their program, with The Guardian reporting that the number was around 4000. Not only that, but considerable delays in support mean many parents and learners face massive waiting times even to get an assessment.
For many learners, the lack of in-depth support and a tailored education plan means the school environment isn’t a place they enjoy. The analysis of special educational needs and disability also highlights that more EHC students are regular absentees than SEN and non-SEN students:
- 24.6% of ECH students
- 17.9% of SEN students (with support)
- 9% of Non-SEN students
How Can A Homeschool Environment Help?
When a learner with special needs receives one-on-one support, the teaching approach is entirely bespoke to them and their learning style.
A classroom environment can be stressful for people with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, because many students fear speaking up about their challenges.
Individuals on the autistic spectrum also commonly avoid school because the environment can trigger sensory sensitivities. Also, learners can find the social elements of the classroom and playground a challenge, which leads to ‘school refusal.’
Parents can adopt a homeschool approach that addresses the child’s sensory difficulties if there aren’t any special schools available to support their child. Doing this gives them the confidence to succeed in life.
A specialist tutor can also work with the student to help them with their social skills and gradually learn how to adapt to classroom environments.
Bullying continues to be a big problem in the UK, with many school-age people falling victim to in-person and online bullies. A report from OECD TALIS shows that England has some of the largest rates of bullying in Europe, with 29% of head teachers stating that weekly reports of bullying occur at their school.
The students most at risk of bullying are:
- Children with one-parent homes
- Individuals that reside in deprived areas
- People with special education needs, disabilities, or long-term illnesses
The Effects Of Bullying
The prevalence of bullying is only made worse by the availability of social media and applications that let people chat online. It’s easier for people to target victims online, and many school-age learners fall victim to insults and other forms of verbal abuse.
The Office for National Statistics states that one in five students aged 10-15 are victims of cyberbullying, and it’s one of the biggest causes of anxiety and depression among young people.
For some parents, homeschooling is the only option because bullying has a knock-on effect, and once a child deals with depression and anxiety, their grades will inevitably suffer.
In 2014, the BBC published a report that looked at the effects of bullying and the likelihood that victims would secure lower GCSE results than classmates that didn’t suffer from verbal, physical and emotional abuse.
Homeschooling can give learners more security, ensuring they can focus on their studies while recovering from the inevitable effects of bullying.
A private tutor can also work with the student on their self-esteem, and counselling is also a good idea because students that fall victim to bullies might suffer later on in life when it comes to pursuing careers or further education.
Mental health is more common than people think, but despite the numerous charities and organisations that address it, it’s still one of the most misunderstood illnesses.
The pandemic only made issues worse, with a report by Mind showing that 34% of young people said their mental health had declined due to the pandemic. Some young people also reported that they were worried about the restrictions easing and didn’t think they’d enjoy school once they returned.
For many people, the lockdown was one of the most difficult times they’d ever faced, but people with anxiety and depression were relieved from the pressures of socialising.
However, easing restrictions and returning to school made anxiety and depression worse for many learners who already struggled with issues.
Learners With Psychiatric Conditions
Individuals with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can also benefit from homeschooling because they’re in a more understanding environment and can fit lessons around their mental health requirements.
As severe depressive and manic moods characterise bipolar disorder, it can be difficult for teachers to recognise their needs and offer support. People with schizophrenia suffer from stigmatisation, and feeling isolated at school could worsen their symptoms.
By introducing them to a homeschooling environment, young learners can manage their condition and have the support they require to succeed. They can also improve their grades and move on to better prospects.
Some parents’ lifestyle choices make it difficult to send their children to mainstream school. The common reasons for this range from religious needs to wanting to offer their children a more bespoke learning environment.
Work commitments can also mean families move around regularly, and homeschooling offers more consistency than constantly changing schools.
In other cases, a learner might have sporting obligations or work as a paid actor, requiring more flexibility with their school schedule.
Other parents might want to give their children more freedom with the topics they learn, and secondary schools can often have a limited range of optional subjects.
If a learner is interested in psychology, for example, they’ll probably be able to choose the subject through homeschooling. However, if a school doesn’t offer it, they’ll have to select other subjects.
The Bottom Line
Whatever the reasons, homeschooling can be beneficial for learners that require extra attention than other students. The numerous options available are no longer a case of sitting a child down and making them read textbook after textbook.
Interactive approaches to education allow private tutors to engage a learner more than ever before, and you can secure the best tutors, regardless of where you are.
At Fleet Tutors, we offer a range of convenient homeschooling tutoring solutions to make the homeschooling experience easy on you and interesting for your child.
Whether you want a tutor to attend your home or are happy with online lessons, our experts can take the weight off your shoulders and deliver a fully bespoke learning experience.
Each homeschool tutor has a comprehensive background in education, and our strict recruitment procedures ensure that only qualified teachers can work with students in a homeschool environment.
If you’d like to find out how we can help your child, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team today.