There is no simple definition of home schooling, although broadly the term is used when a child is educated outside of the mainstream school system by a parent, guardian or tutor. This takes place on a full-time basis, as legally all children must receive a full-time education from the age of five.

There is not an exact formula to home schooling – day-to-day, the philosophies chosen to be used, the educational structures implemented and the curriculum worked through are decided by parent and child.

Home schooling can be as similar or different to the traditional school system as you wish, so long as you ensure your child is given a full-time education that’s suitable to their age and ability.

Who can home school?

Any child can be home schooled by their parent or guardian, as long as they are given a full-time education. The only exception is children with special educational needs (SEN) who are currently enrolled at a SEN school – if your child has SEN and you wish to home school them, you must seek permission from their school before you disenroll them.

Can I home school my child?

A child can be taught by their parent, guardian or a tutor, regardless of the tutor’s qualifications. You do not need to be a qualified teacher to educate your child at home, and there are no home school qualifications you must receive.

The success of home schooling depends on your child and how they best learn. If they thrive in the highly social, structured environment of a school or find it difficult to motivate themselves, they may find home schooling more difficult compared to a child who prefers less regimented study in a quieter, more contemplative environment.

Every child is different, so it is imperative you take time to talk to your child and family about home schooling before you decide, guaranteeing the entire family can and wishes to support the home schooling process, helping to ensure the process is a success.