I’ve seen this question asked a few times over the last few years and no doubt it was a question long before I actually Home Educated.
First of all comes the most obvious answer…yes, of course you can. There are so many diverse families that Home Educate but typically the one strong viewpoint is the autonomy of the child. That is where things get a bit challenging. You have to navigate the different needs.
Now whilst I would love ( I think), for all my children to be Home Educated. Not all of them want to be. So 18 months ago, my 13yo DD requested that she go back into the school system. She had previously been happy in said school system and even myself was shocked when she requested to join her 2 siblings in Home Education. I think it was much a case of wondering what she was missing out on. She didn’t request to return to the school system through any dislike but that it coincided with Secondary school and she thought they’d have awesome science rooms for practical experiments…Oh how wrong the poor child was. She always complains that her science teacher doesn’t know much. (That might be because he’s qualified in Design Technology!) She is settled in her choice and understands that she will never fully like either choice. Because on balance, both hold sway with her. How fabulous that she got the rare perspective of Home Education though. I hope that short time keeps her love of education and individual perspective alive when she’s older.
I should have done this as a top ten bloggy post, shouldn’t I? Never mind. We’re on our way now. Please keep with me. I’m cutting out the waffle as much as possible for me. That’s hard. I’m a massive waffler!
For my family, there are pros and cons and I want to share them with you, so you can make your own mind up. Whilst every family is different, logistics can be familiar across the board.
How Do I Get The Schooled Children To School And Fit In Home Education?
I think age plays a very important part in this family issue. After all, it is not unique to Home Education. If you are following the legal definition of Home Education, you will be thinking of children Home Educating over 5 and schooled children over 5.
If children are in Secondary school, it may become a bit easier to navigate the two circumstances. For instance, in our home, our schooled child is transported on the provided school bus. She is also old enough to access the bus stop on her own. The eldest goes to college part time but is in her last year of Home Education. She can also get herself to college. Of course, there is an importance to be always contactable in case of emergencies. This has worked well over the last few years.
There are times when I may have to attend school or college with the Home Educated children. I try and leave them with an appropriate friend but if I can not, then it has not been a problem as yet.
I have seen others have issues with this if they have a child in school and have removed a sibling from the same school. There is no policy that says you can not bring your Home Educated child and I assure you,you will be glad you stood your ground if this case comes into play. Politely and firmly state that leaving your home educated child elsewhere is not always an option.
If your other children are old enough to get themselves to school, you should acquire minimal interruption to your Home Education plans. If your children are younger, it can still be managed but it is something you have to factor into your plans. Also depends how structured you are in your Home Education. If structured then academic work is probably best done whilst there are fewer distractions.
There are some events I can not attend because I can not logistically organise them, and those with children in school will come across this. For example, if a group or event organised by home educators runs on until 3 pm, you may find you either cannot attend or have to cut a visit shorter than others. Or reversely, your school child may have a sports day or play and you can not attend a home education event. With the knowledge that this can happen, you can plan much better for how you will cover this. You could, for example, ask a family member to cover one of the events, whilst you attend the other.
Once established or if indeed you are already friends with someone who home educates, you may even be lucky enough to have a trusted friend that will take your child to such an event whilst you cover the school event. Whatever your circumstances. Most can be overcome with a little forward planning.
How Do I Split My Time Between My Schooled Children And My Home Educated Children?
In reality, your school child is only at school for 38 weeks of the year, plus they have weekends off also. That is a large amount of time still available for you all to be together. Be careful of how much fun stuff you do without them though as this can cause jealousy. I have experienced a partial amount of this.
We can obtain some really great events at discounted cost as Home Educators. In some circumstances, it can fall at a time that means the schooled child can come along, also. Be honest with whoever is organising the event and be courteous enough to ask if this is okay. If it’s a large venue like a Zoo or Theme Park, usually it’s all good. If it is an educational event, they may want Home Educated children only as places will be limited.
There will be times the Home Educated children go to events and the Schooled siblings cannot attend. It’s inevitable and there is little that can be done. The Home Educated siblings will want and need this to enrich their education. So a suggestable workaround is to try and get some time where you are with just your Schooled children if possible. Take them out on their own and enjoy some 1;1 time with them. It helps keep the equilibrium within the family.
This blog post is more an accumulation of worries around this subject I have read from others and also experienced myself. I have even seen some parents ask if others choose both styles of education for their family. Well, the answer is yes. There are many of us. Any suggestions are just that and of course, you do it the way you want to do Home Education and School. I do hope that this has helped in some way and offered you an insight into how others broach this dilemma.
Thank you for reading.