Home education in Guernsey

June 15th, 2011 by Yvonne Burford

Many people might not realise that School is not compulsory.

Whilst there is a legal requirement to provide a child with a ‘suitable and efficient’ education, there is no law that says that has to take place at school, or even that it has to include things like timetables, curricula or tests.

In the UK more and more families are discovering the benefits of Home Education. Whilst some parents do adopt a structured approach, others simply act as facilitators to the curiosity and interests of the child. Children are able to learn at their own pace, pursue specific interests and to ask questions whenever they like.

Learning to make pottery at home with people of all ages working together (please click image to expand -image courtesy of Education Otherwise ©Shena Deuchars)

While school is a happy and productive experience for many children, some children are unhappy and fail to thrive. The reasons for choosing to home educate are many and varied. Some parents simply feel that 4 is too young to start school while others withdraw their child from school due to unresolved issues such as bullying. Peer pressure and a sense of loss of childhood are concerns held by some. Others might want to avoid the testing or competitiveness of the school environment and yet others want adopt a less authoritarian style of education.

Deciding to home educate obviously requires a big commitment, but it does not have to be onerous or difficult. The advent of the internet means that there is a wealth of information available at the click of a mouse.

Problem solving outdoors (please click image to expand - image courtesy of Education Otherwise ©Shena Deuchars)

Many people have concerns about socialisation, but as Education Otherwise, a national Home Education support organisation says: rather than spending weekdays competing with twenty-five other human beings of their own age, home educated children spend their daily lives with old people, babies, and everyone else in between. They do not compete, but learn to search out the needs of others and to help them live and learn. Interacting in a mixed age group and the habit of teaching, learning from and helping others are natural to home education.

The home education community in Guernsey is small at present, but more and more people are showing an interest in this style of learning.

The Education Otherwise website is a great place to start finding out more about home education.

There are many inspiring books on the subject too such as Teach Your Own by John Holt and Patrick Farenga or The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith.

Anyone interested in Home Education in Guernsey is welcome to contact Yvonne Burford, The Education Otherwise Local Contact at atplir @ hotmail.com


2 Responses to “Home education in Guernsey”

  1. anita davies

    how refreshing- home education seems so right on so many levels – is the home ed community growing locally? how do uk Home ed communities share their facilitation of learning for example?

  2. Bella Farrell

    Great article. You know that I love the merits of Home Ed. Although, I love my childrens school, admire the teachers daily and help loads there, the thing I worry about most is the herding and lost childhood. We can only truely enjoy being carefree in childhood. So, I try to balance the merits of school with the merits of home ed and Given that the children are in school 6 hours a day and home for 1 before school and 5 after its a constant challange. Im not sure I would do so well 12 hours everyday x

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