What kind of people home educate and why?

Meeting a snake
Reading Together

All kinds of people home-educate, and they do so for a wide variety of reasons.

Home educators can be wealthy or broke; conservatives or radicals; religious or atheist; have large families or only children – or anything in between.

Some people choose to home educate because of difficulties or potential difficulties at school, such as bullying, or because their child learns at a different pace to the “average” child.

Others don’t like the school choices available to them.

Some choose to home educate because they want to give their children a faith-based education; others because they want to avoid the kind of religious education offered in schools.

Some feel that 4 years of age is too young to be starting school (no other country in Europe has compulsory education starting so early).

Some want their children to have a more rigorous academic experience; others want their children to have more freedom.

Most will have a combination of several of these reasons.

Local families put together a pack for MLAs about home education in Northern Ireland which you might find interesting.

Who can home educate? Do I need to be a teacher?

Any parent can choose to home educate his or her child; there is no requirement for any special training or qualifications.

Teaching in a classroom environment is very different from the kind of learning in small groups found in families – in fact many home educating parents who have trained as teachers say that their training is an obstacle, rather than a help.