Families of students we tutor in Jersey and Guernsey sometimes wonder whether home-schooling could be the right choice for their children’s education, especially with the practice becoming more popular in recent years.
So, what prompts parents to make the decision?
1. Quality or Style of Education
A lot of parents choose to opt for home-schooling after they have tried traditional schools and found fault with the curriculums. Schools in Jersey and Guernsey are generally of a good standard, however, they can be subject to following curriculums that are too rigid.
It is also often the case that parents are unsatisfied with the quality of education being provided, perceiving that the system is lacking in areas they regard as essential. This perception may be due to declining state education budgets, increased student enrolment, and the general decline in the quality of education.
So, some parents opt for home-schooling to have more control over what their children are learning and the quality of teaching.
2. Religious Reasons
Religion is one of the most common factors that lead families to home-school their children.
State schools don’t always incorporate specifically religious views and ideologies into curriculums, so some families choose to incorporate their personal and religious views into their children’s schooling via home-schooling.
3. Disabilities and Exceptional Needs
Children with learning disabilities or health/medical conditions often require specialised programmes tailored to their circumstances, but it isn’t always the case that local schools can cater to every child’s individual needs.
If parents feel that their child’s education isn’t meeting their needs, they may choose to home-school for the sake of convenience and to gain a better education. Home-schooled children can be taught to curriculums that suit their specific needs. Similar to how Tutoring Heroes provides maths and English tutoring that is bespoke to each of our Jersey and Guernsey student’s needs.
4. Relocations and Life Circumstances
For other families, home-schooling isn’t chosen for reasons of education or because of the child’s specific circumstances but rather because they relocate frequently. Two examples are military families and families with diplomatic positions within the government, both of which are required to move often. Of course, the finance industry in Jersey and Guernsey results in lots of migration as families move location in line with their finance career.
These families sometimes feel that it’s best to integrate home-schooling into their routine rather than their children frequently switching schools and suffering disruption to their learning. In other words, school remains constant despite other changes.
5. Multifaceted Children
Sometimes, it isn’t the home-schooling parents that have unique life circumstances but the students themselves. Some high school students have tremendously busy schedules and tend to juggle several activities. These are usually children who have parallel athletic or acting careers.
In that scenario, home-schooling accommodates the child’s life much better than a standard school schedule with regulated timings ever could.
6. Overcrowded Schools
Not really an issue in Jersey and Guernsey, however, in some locations overcrowded schools are a concern and a major determining factor for parents that choose to home-school their kids. For instance, if you live in a large city or a high-density area, state schools are likely to have a high number of children per class which translates into less one-to-one instruction for each student.
Home-schooling avoids overcrowded schools that could potentially hinder a child’s learning. Instead, the student gets personalised instruction supplemented with additional lessons, either by the parents or a professional maths tutor in Jersey.
7. Commuting Issues
Following up on the previous point, geographic location can also impact accessibility. For example, commuting to and from school when living in a rural area can be challenging, leading parents to consider home-schooling to take that pressure off of their children, and simultaneously saving time and effort.
Some countries have significantly harsh weather conditions, again hindering transportation. Some parents choose to home-school their kids for reasons of safety, because of weather or otherwise.
8. Shielding Children
It’s not uncommon for parents to want to protect their children from the outside world for as long as they can; protecting them from exposure to failure, disappointment, bullying, pain, poor self-esteem, and even heartbreak.
Some parents want to shield their children from reality for as long as possible, including from school communities that parents may perceive as unfriendly. Instead, they choose to give their children the benefit of learning in the comfort of their own home.
Closely following the previous point, many parents choose home-schooling because of bullying and other behavioural problems that their children have encountered at school.
As parent, it’s hard to accept that your child is being bullied, and that there’s almost nothing you can do about it. In some cases, children hide being bullied from their parents because they are ashamed or embarrassed to admit to being teased, verbally abused or even worse. Some parents may also perceive that teachers don’t deal with bullying in the way they would wish.
It’s understandable that home-schooling would be seen as a good option in these circumstances, as it eliminates any possibility of psychological or physical torment.
We live in an era of flexibility and personalised experiences. Clearly home-schooling offers flexibility for children and their families as well as convenience.
Home-schooling allows families to tailor their child’s school schedule to suit family life. It means they can schedule lessons around holidays, days out and family visits, and parents can encourage their children to work when it best suits them – for some that’s the morning and for others the afternoon, or even after dinner
Maintaining the balance between personal events and occasions, and education, is important, and that’s what home-schooling offers and what countless families desire. With Jersey and Guernsey offering so many outdoor activities for children, having increased flexibility is very beneficial, especially during the winter months when daylight is limited.
11. Socialisation and Groups
There’s a stereotype that home-schooled kids are either awkward or shy and that they lack communication and social skills. Well, that myth has been debunked!
Home-schooled students are as well-spoken, self-confident, and communicative as any school children. Each child, family environment, and learning style is unique.
Plus, when parents home-school their son or daughter, they aren’t necessarily isolating them from the world. Rather, they’re providing them with “tailored” social interactions that not only support their values but also serve them and their safety.
Today, there are church groups, community education groups (co-ops), home-school support groups, and activities for home-schooled students. There are plenty of options in Jersey and Guernsey for students to socialise and develop their interpersonal skills outside of the school environment.
12. Unique and Effective Learning Styles
There’s really no “one-size-fits-all” approach to education, and that can be the cause of problems. For example, some children find it easy to absorb scientific information because it interests them – others, less so. Some prefer book learning, and others prefer video lessons, and so on and so on.
In a traditional state school parents don’t have the option of choosing the curriculum for their children or being able to guide the teachers to cater to every student. However, parents can do both of these things for their home-schooled students because they are in charge!
Accordingly, parents choose the right type of academic instruction to suit their child, be that hands-on experiments with friends, video-based programmes, literature-based instruction, participation in community service activities, or other teaching areas that provide real benefits.
Naturally, these factors make for effective learning environments where children learn more easily and are continuously encouraged to build on their knowledge, yielding the best results. In Jersey and Guernsey we are lucky to live in thriving communities that provide an abundance of opportunities for learning and developing as a human-being.
13. A Child’s Education That Lives on
Home-schooling parents swear by the experience and believe in it much more strongly than they do the state school system. The most common benefit mentioned by all parents that take this route is that it’s an experience that lives on, even when their children leave for college.
Even more importantly, most parents that have opted for home-schooling report that the experience strengthened their family connections.
When a parent is their child’s teacher, it’s a win-win experience. No one loves children as much as their parents, and, along with the home-schooling, children are also learning about family relationships and life in general, and that experience is long lasting.
Home-Schooling Parents Know What’s Best for Their Children
Home-schooling parents are the best advocates for their children and, inevitably, know what’s in their best interest.
As we have seen, there are many reasons that contribute to a parental decision to home-school children, but the most common is that parents want to create an educational environment where their children can thrive and develop a true love of learning.