Case Study - Eleanor's experience

by Vita Millers

ELEANOR has three boys, aged seven, four and 11 months. None of them have ever been to school.

She says: "Home educators are parents who care passionately about their children's upbringing and the standard of education.

"I was a teacher in secondary school. I just remember thinking 'this is never going to happen to my children. I am never going to be prepared to put my children through this." The Guildford mother found out about home education through a friend.

She said: "Initially I had all the same preconceptions that a lot of other people probably have but actually we've never been busier.

"Before I started home educating I never had to use a calendar.

"There's an awful lot going on with the home educators, from play groups, trips to museums, sports groups. We don't have enough days in the week to do everything.

"Also my husband is a restaurant manager. He doesn't work regular hours, if they went to school they wouldn't see their dad at all. That was another big consideration."

She added: "Educating them at home means I can meet the individual needs of my children. It's a lot more laid back, they don't have the same pressure.

"When we go on trips we manage to go in school time, which means quite often we get one-to-one time with people who run places. My sons have a real passion for learning." The Guildford mother does not know whether her children will go on to do GCSEs in the future.

"I know a lot of home educators tend to skip GCSEs and go straight onto A-levels because they're a lot more in-depth, it depends on how my kids react, what they want to do. The great thing about it is that you can change as your children develop."

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