Frequently asked home ed questions

Frequently asked home ed questions

Some frequently asked home education questions.

I've decided to home educate; what do I have to do?

The best answer is reading the 'Getting Started' article. Remember that school is not the only way to learn; you do not have to recreate 'school at home'. You don't need to follow a curriculum, have set days/hours, use a timetable, or set up a particular area.

The LA have contacted me; what now?

Most LAs have an EHE (Elective Home Education) department; some are quick to contact you, and some can take ages. If they do contact you, don't panic. Read all letters or emails carefully, and don't ignore them - some will be introduction letters or voluntary forms requiring no response. It's recommended to tell them that you wish to keep all future communications in writing. If they request a visit, you can decline; whether you meet with them is up to you. Legally, you're not obliged to have visits or let them meet your children. You also do not have to provide evidence of their work. This link covers local authority dealings in more depth.

What do all the abbreviations/letters often used in home ed mean?

HE - Home Education or Home Educator.

EHE - Elective Home Education. It also used to mean the person or team (EHE officer/advisor, etc.) at the LA that deals with home education.

LA - Local Authority (previously LEA - local education authority).

CSA - Compulsory School Age.

SN/SEN/SEND/ALN/ASN - Special Needs/Special Educational Needs/Additional Learning Needs/Additional Support Needs.

EHCP - Educational Health Care Plan

EOTAS - Education Other Than At School

FS - Flexi-Schooling - children going to school 'part-time' but are still registered/on roll.

Deregistered/Dereg/Withdraw - The child is taken off the school roll. In Scotland, the term used is 'withdraw'.

CME - Child Missing Education.

EWO - Education Welfare Officer.

SAO - School Attendance Order.

SS/SW - Social Services/Social Worker.

DfE - Department for Education.

HS - Homeschooling is the term most commonly used in the USA. UK local education authorities use it for children still registered at school but not attending. A good example would be the recent COVID-19 pandemic, where schools set online work for children to complete at home. Please use the term Home Education instead - read why the difference matters.

NC - National Curriculum. Which, legally, you do not have to follow.

IGCSE - International GCSE. Used by home educated students as the coursework/practical elements of some GCSEs are not required. They are equivalent to a GCSE.

Will my child be able to sit exams?

Yes, though you will need to book and pay for them. The same opportunities are available to H.E. children: GCSEs, A-Levels, degrees, vocational qualifications, college, university, work experience, apprenticeships, etc. Please read our article on exams for further info.

What if my child's other parent doesn't agree to home ed?

The best guidance I've found is this from Education Otherwise.

How will my child socialise?

It's a complete myth that home educated children don't have socialising opportunities. It's the quality and diversity of the social interactions that are truly important. Remember that school is forced association, not real socialisation. As adults, we're not 'friends' with 30 people the same age as ourselves, but more usually a small handful of terrific friends, often changing over time. Children are naturally attracted to those they like, regardless of age, gender or cultural background. Different neurotypes will have different needs around socialising; home education allows you to tailor that in ways that work best for your child. Find your local H.E. community (Facebook is best for finding them; search for 'your town' & 'home ed or education') and attend local home ed groups, activities, meetups, etc. Join sports clubs, cadets, and scouts.

Is home education expensive?

Home ed doesn't have to cost lots of money. It can be tailored to suit your budget and means. You don't need to employ tutors, and you don't need to buy expensive subscriptions and resources. You're the best free resource, giving your time, love and knowledge. You'll recognise your child's interests and passions, and you can then facilitate their learning potential in the way that suits your child best. Don't buy lots of educational books/resources/apps, etc. Most will probably sit unused (we've all done it!); discover your child's learning style first. Read our article 'Can you home ed on a budget?'.