“My child has Special Educational Needs.. how do I choose a good school?”
“My child has Special Educational Needs..can I home educate?”
Certainly. Education Otherwise have produced a very informative leaflet on this subject;
“Home schooling or home education?”
Some families who home educate do “school at home” in that they have the children sitting down at the table at specific times and doing particular work set by the parent to a preset timetable. Some families additionally opt to buy a “curriculum in a box” i.e, a full set of materials, often with an integral timetable and full teacher’s notes. There are quite a variety of quality resources available if you choose to go this route. One provider who has received particularly good reviews is Sonlight (http://www.sonlight.com/), but there are several others with a range of different philosophies.
However, there is no compulsion to do “school at home”. Many, if not most home educating families do not regard conventional schooling with a timetable as the gold standard of education. Rather,
they follow a more autonomous approach, providing their child with a variety of resources and then supporting their child in following up the topics which most fuel their enthusiasm. Often an astonishing amount of ground is covered in this way, as once a child discovers a passion for a topic, he often finds himself exploring all kinds of related and cross curricular themes with an intensity which is difficult to achieve when completing a task chosen by someone else within the inevitable constraints of a classroom and a timetable.
“Don’t I have to be a trained teacher?”
No, you don’t. In fact, it is my experience as a former mainstream teacher that the habits necessarily acquired to manage a classroom can be an obstacle (but not, fortunately an insuperable one!) when you start out on home education, for those of us parents with mainstream teaching experience. Your best qualifications are your love for and understanding of your own child.
“Do I have to ask the Local Authority for permission to home educate?”
Legally, whether or not you send your child to a school, you remain primarily responsible for his or her education. Unless there are particular circumstances, such as having had your child previously in a school or your child having a Statement of Special Needs, you do not need to notify the Local Authority at all unless you choose to. The LA are empowered to offer you advice and support if you request it, but it is at your option. Even when you have notified the LA, you do not have to agree to home visits, merely supply the LA with a few details of your child’s educational provision
if they ask. . Full guidelines here;
“Don’t children need to go to school to have friends?”
answer is, no they don’t. In fact home educated children have a better chance
of developing a rich and varied social network than those children who due to
the constraints of a timetable and school environment find themselves with the
same group of 30 children all the same age, day in day out. Typically, a home educated child will not
only have friends of their own age, but close and valued friends who are older
and younger than they are, as well as good relationships with the local adults
which they meet out and about in the community as part of their daily round. As
a result, home educated children are typically notably at ease in a mixed age
group and with adults both strange and familiar. There are now many
See also; http://www.education-otherwise.org/faq.htm#q212