Why home education is better than school (for some people)

written by one of my home-educated pupils: S.G.

Many of you believe that home education is detrimental to children. I am going to prove that everyone who thinks being home educated is the wrong thing is misguided.

Being home educated means there’s no pressure to conform, you can learn valuable life skills and you can fit work experience into your timetable. Have you ever thought of that?
One of the many, many benefits of home education is that you can do the subjects you enjoy, whereas in schools you don’t have a choice. From my experience in schools, you do art once in two weeks, now that I’m home educated, I do art once in two days.

Having a flexible timetable is one of the best things about home education. In schools, lessons are about one hour to an hour and a half long and you can’t go over that time limit. Even if you didn’t understand a thing about the lesson. Even if you didn’t finish the work. Even if you didn’t have time to improve it. However, that rule doesn’t exist while being home schooled. You can spend how long you want on whatever you want. You don’t need to rush. Are you finding your new math subject easy and want to move on to the next subject? That’s ok – you can! Are you finding psychology so interesting that you want to spend a whole weekend learning more about it? That’s ok – you can!

Everyone has different circadian rhythms and that’s ok. With a flexible timetable you can arrange your lessons according to your preferences. However, in school you have no choice but to wake up at a certain time. This means not everyone would be paying attention to the first or last lesson of the day and so they would lose out on this part of their education.
This flexibility allows you to spend more time with your family whereas if you went to school, you wouldn’t be able to due to all the homework. In my family, my dad usually comes home from work early on a Tuesday. I can arrange my timetable so that I am free when he comes home. If you were in jail, you wouldn’t be able to see your family. It’s the same with school. You come back from school, and you go straight to your room to do homework. Being confined to your room doing homework all night is just as bad as being in jail.

On the subject of being confined, some people think I don’t leave the house. However, we go on wildlife walks on Wednesdays, daytrips and visits to museums. In London, we saw Big Ben, London Bridge and we even visited Buckingham Palace. We even were able to take an 8-week trip across Europe last summer. You can’t do that when you’re in school! We drove all the way to Turkey from the UK. In total we passed through 11 different countries, which means we got to learn and understand their cultures, languages and beliefs. We got to experience the landscape and geography of each country and we learnt a lot about them and which other country they share borders with.

“Do you even get the chance to socialize” I hear you ask? Every week I go to sport classes and socialize with teachers and children. Every week I have online lessons and get to use the chat feature to message other students. Every week I see family friends and get to socialize with them for backyard barbeques and bowling. Just think for a second – that’s a lot of socializing, right?

A lot of people who are anti-home education have said to me, “You don’t learn properly”. I disagree. While being home educated, you don’t need to rush to move on, you can take your time until you fully understand the subject. However, in school you usually only spend 2-3 lessons on each subject. Even if you’re not fully confident, you have to move on. Even if you don’t understand a thing, you have to move on. Even if you only understand a microscopic thing, you still have to move on. This can make you feel stressed and under pressure. It can also lead to anxiety. I, on the other hand, feel relaxed by being able to spend as long as I need on any subject.

Feeling so relaxed about learning actually helps me learn faster. In fact, I’ve helped my friends who go to school with their maths and English homework because they didn’t have a clue on what to do, and how to do it.
In addition to being ahead of other people my age, I get lots of helpful work experience, which is a great investment in my future. Don’t you wish your child had a secure future ahead of them like mine? I’ve been home educated since 2020 and I’ve been getting work experience ever since then. I’ve done everything from filing, invoicing and order filling to stock taking, customer service and health and safety inspections. No matter what job I decide to do in the future, I will have relevant work experience.

Following on from work experience, confidence is something everyone needs for everyday life, such as shopping, banking and catching different public transports. I have the chance to work on that even more while being home educated.
Finally, we get the chance to learn millions of different life skills. However, anyone who goes to school wouldn’t have this chance. My sister and I have actually learnt about the skill and importance of architecture by helping to build our own house in Turkey. We had to give our ideas and opinions and we helped pick the shape, size and structure of the house, ensuring it was entirely earthquake-proof. We also learnt about gardening, DIY, and budgeting. We currently have two whole gardens full of thousands of plants. A few months ago, we helped our dad build a hedgehog house. I’m also learning about budgeting, such as how to save money, electricity and food. But that’s not all! I’ve also learnt how to programme a washing machine, how to get between the buttons while ironing and how to bake. We’ve actually entered a competition which included creating and designing a cake for the queen. I highly doubt anyone who goes to school, gets the opportunity to do these things.

Just stop and think for a second… I’m ahead of my friends my age in maths and English; I socialize much more than people who go to school; we even drove to Turkey from the UK getting the chance to learn about other countries, cultures and beliefs. Many of you believed that home education is detrimental to children. I believe I have proved that everyone who thinks this is misguided.

Do we still need grammar schools? (Part 2)

What other arguments do people have for getting rid of them? I have heard people say that grammar schools are elitist, and that only wealthy people can go because they are the only ones who can afford private tutors.

Rubbish! I went to one. So did my brother. We came from a family where there was always too much month left at the end of the money. My parents often had to choose between paying the bills or putting food on the table. There certainly wasn’t anything to spare for luxuries such as an 11+ tutor. We still earned ourselves a place, and we weren’t the only ones who passed without a tutor – there were children in our class from all walks of life.

It’s still the same now – I know children of single parent families, and parents on benefits who have passed the test in recent years. I have also taught in a grammar school and it certainly wasn’t all rich kids in my classes.

It’s true that many children do have coaching for the 11+ tests, but then they also have coaching for GCSEs and A’ levels too. Should we therefore abolish all exams for all children just because some families can afford to pay for extra help for them? Or close all the schools in more affluent areas? Of course not. So why single out grammar schools?

To be honest it’s not only rich families who pay for tutors. I know families who scrimp and save to pay for a tutor and who go without holidays, or don’t own a car, or don’t drink or smoke so that they can afford tuition fees. It’s called choosing priorities. And at the end of the day, tutored or not, the children still need to pass the exam, and having a tutor is no guarantee.

The final argument against grammar schools? Bright children can do just as well in a comprehensive. I’m sure that the confident ones can, but those who are shy are probably going to get lost. Those who know the answers but who are too timid to put their hand up, and who just quietly get on with their work are probably going to get forgotten.

Enough about why other people are against them. Why am I for them? Find out in Do we still need Grammar Schools (Part 3).

Missed Do we still need grammar schools (part 1)? Read it here.

What are the benefits of private tuition?

With a private tutor your child will get individual, targeted help. The tutor will assess your child to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are, and then focus solely on those areas where your child needs help. Everyone learns in a different way, and a private tutor will also take this into account, ensuring that learning is an enjoyable experience for your child. Because the tuition happens on a one-to-one basis, any mistakes or misconceptions can be picked up on and addressed immediately, before the child has chance to embed wrong thinking or methods.