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School is not compulsory - Education is!

Updated on July 1, 2014

Many people still send their children to school unwillingly because they do not realise that school is not compulsory in the UK and many other countries. Only Education is compulsory so this gives the parent the opportunity to home educate their children themselves if they want to.

The law states that the parent of every child of a compulsory school age must provide the child with a suitable full-time education according to the needs of the child’s age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs they may have.  This can be done either by regular attendance at a school or otherwise.

Why might you choose to homeschool your children?

Homeschooling your children can be a lovely experience both for the parents and for the children. Learning becomes less rushed and entirely based in a loving environment; given these surroundings the children can flourish without feeling pressured. They can learn at their own pace and will benefit a great deal from one-to-one learning. Many home educated children go on to pass their GCSE’s at about 13 years old.

Homeschooling gives the children extra time and room to be creative which will ultimately lead the children to develop the freedom of their imaginations.

You are not tied and bound to learning in one particular way, follow rules or be made to follow a curriculum so the children stand a chance at gaining an even wider all rounded education because you can spend as much or as little time on a subject as you want to. You can also spend time teaching your children subjects that are not being taught in schools such as life skills.

Why do other parents choose to homeschool?

There are many different reasons other parents decide to homeschool which all depends on their unique situations and beliefs.

Some parents decide they will homeschool from day one because it is what feels right for them, because they want to keep the family close together, or because they want to have a more active role in their child’s education. They might disagree with the schooling system or for religious reasons.

Other parents realise later on after sending their children to school that things are not working out so well and they pull their children out of school. This can also be for lots of different reasons. It could be because the children have become unhappy at school or because bullying is a problem and they are not happy with how the school deals with it. It could be that they feel they can teach their children better or their child is not doing so well with learning at school and that they could benefit more from learning at home.

It doesn’t always matter what your reasons are for wanting to homeschool, what matters is that you believe in your own heart that you can offer the children more by not sending them to school.

See here for a full list of the pros and cons of homeschooling

You don’t need to have lots of money

Many parents who home educate their children manage comfortably on one income such as income support or jobseekers allowance so you don’t need to be rich at all.

In most cases the money you would spend over the years on school shoes, uniform and non uniform days will cover most of your home education expenses. There are lots of free or cost effective resources available online, at your local library or museums etc.

How do you become a homeschooler?

If your child has never entered the school education system then you may not need to contact anyone to tell them but this will depend on what country you live in. You should always check the law in your country for this as the last thing you want is to be arrested for not telling them.

If you are pulling your child out of school, then it is necessary to send a letter to the school stating that you will be home educating. It is then down to the school to notify your local education department and deregister your child from their school.

Where can you find out more about homeschooling?

You can find out more on the website education otherwise. They have lots of information telling you how you can get started if you decide that homeschooling is for you. The website also has detailed pages about where you stand with the law and an example letter of the one you should send to the school if you are pulling your child out of school.

Education Otherwise also have some very informative information about how homeschooling does and doesn’t affect your income and explains what government benefits you may still entitled to.

School is Not Compulsory Video


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    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 3 years ago from London

      Hi thetravelgal,

      Having teachers that enjoy their jobs makes a huge difference to how much the kids enjoy school. I often found myself at school that if I didn't like the teacher, then I rarely liked the lesson and it shouldn't really be like that as all learning should be fun!

      Thanks for having a

    • thetravelgal profile image

      thetravelgal 4 years ago

      Not sure I would ever really in a situation where I felt I needed to home educate. But on the other hand, we did try to provide them with any extras THEY wanted. I was lucky though my kids went to schools with little to no bullying and really good teachers that love teaching.

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 4 years ago from London

      Hi Wacky Mummy,

      Thank you for your comment. I am enjoying the journey too and my daughter has never been so happy now that she is not in school.x

    • Wacky Mummy profile image

      Wacky Mummy 4 years ago from UK

      As a fellow Home Educator I appreciate this article! ;) Though it is Home Education in the Uk not Homeschooling - Homeschooling implies you're doing school at home ;) We're loving our journey!

    • gajanis786 profile image

      gajanis786 6 years ago

      Homeschooling is a very good option for parents as far as dedication is concerned as it is a fact that,

      'nobody can love your child better than you(not even teachers....with due apology to dedicated teachers)because it's your child.'


    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 7 years ago from London

      Hi Learn Things Web,

      You are absolutely right! I read online last week actually that someone sat in all the school lessons for a week and out of an entire day the children were only doing real study for about one hour in the day, the rest of it was settling the children down, handing out books, assembly’s, dealing with disruptive children etc.

      3 hours a day of homeschooling would be more than a sufficient education.

      Thanks for coming back

    • Learn Things Web profile image

      Learn Things Web 7 years ago from California

      It does take dedication but not as much as people think. Because children typically go to school for six or so hours a day, people think that's how long you have to devote to homeschooling each day. But if you consider all the distractions and time wasted at school, the amount of actual learning is far less than that. One-on-one learning is also more efficient. So, you can homeschool for 3 hours a day and still have your children ahead of the schools.

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 7 years ago from London

      Hi QudsiaP1,

      It takes a huge amount of dedication but not many people will be as dedicated to a childs education as their own

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 7 years ago from London

      Hi Learn Things Web,

      It is a scary thought knowing everything is down to you but keep up having faith in yourself. Kids learn quite a lot even on there own so think of it as helping them to top up their minds rather than everything being down to

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 7 years ago

      Homeschooling takes a lot more dedication.

    • Learn Things Web profile image

      Learn Things Web 7 years ago from California

      I actually think homeschooling is something most parents can do well. But some fear is understandable. I occasionally feel panicked when I realise my children's academic success or failure is all on me.

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 7 years ago from London

      Hi Jalus,

      Thank you, that's great to here your nephew is enjoying homeschooling. My daughter loves it too.


    • profile image

      Jalus 7 years ago

      Great information. My sister home schools my nephew and he has responded wonderfully. Thanks