A must-read for homeschooling parents and families considering teaching their children at home even after schools reopen. In this timely and acclaimed guide, teacher turned home-educator Anna Dusseau explores the benefits of home education, the ways children come to understand the world and how homeschooling can cultivate true creative learning for life. Her gritty, wisdom-filled approach shows how homeschooling can work brilliantly for families in post-lockdown times.
Alongside practical tips for getting started and answers to key questions, you will find a wealth of tried and tested activities. Here are carefully picked home learning resources and up-to-date legal advice. The informative, honest accounts of homeschooling show different approaches so as to help choices.
‘Lively, so intelligent, but above all so RIGHT. Children were never intended to have their learning forced on them. They are learning animals, and they are deeply directed by their inner urges to master the world, in their own unique individual way.
The best teachers know this, home educators hold it as their core belief. If you want your child to flourish and be suited to the future, and their childhood to be joyful and powerful preparation for anything life can bring, then this book is a treasure chest’.—Steve Biddulph, author of Raising Boys in the 21st Century, and The Secret of Happy Children.
1. The Purpose of Education
Love of Learning – Emotional Education – Life Skills – Finding your Strengths – Engaging with the World – Creating Space for Childhood – Embracing Autonomy – Becoming Trustworthy
2. How Children Learn
Learning Through Wonder – Observation – Experience and Apprenticeship – Free Play – Conversational Learning – Natural Curiosity – Kinaesthetic Learning – Recognition – Mixed Age Play – Time to Digest
3. The Benefits of Home Education
Tried and Tested – Living Better – Finding Your Comfort Zone – Avoiding Tribalism – Freedom from Bullying – Finding Focus – Whole Family Benefit – Learning Without Boundaries – Stories of home educating by 14 families
4. Key Questions
The Law – Local Authority Involvement – Socialisation – English and Maths – Special Educational Needs – Addressing Distraction – Finances – Teaching Toolkit – Homeschooling Terminology – Parent Self-Care
5. 101 Ideas for Homeschooling
Concrete Activities to Explore – The Highly Sensitive Child – School vs. Homeschool Schedule Comparison – Common Arguments for Sending Children to School
Anna Dusseau is a former secondary school teacher, turned writer and homeschool mum. She took up homeschooling after witnessing how mainstream schooling limited, and even damaged, her children’s well-being, curiosity and learning. The success of her popular Homeschool Guru Blog has led to giving public talks, writing articles in leading journals like the Times Educational Supplement and giving interviews such as on Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ on home schooling during Lockdown. Anna tweets as @NotTheSchoolRun and writes at www.annadusseau.com
Read an interview with the author in The Guardian, in which she discusses the book https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/aug/04/the-teacher-who-decided-to-unschool-her-own-children
Read a letter published in The Sunday Times in which Anna, together with other highly respected signatories, urges the UK Government to review the country’s education system in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, acknowledging the valuable role that homeschooling can play, on the Hawthorn Press blog.
‘A timely book given the dramatic rise in learning at home as a consequence of the pandemic. It shows that what children thrive on most of all is an education that is relevant to their lives and which allows them to follow and develop their interests, and the book enables and empowers parents to support that process. In essence it is about home learning rather than homeschooling, and the need to radically rethink how we equip young people to live purposeful and fulfilling lives in these challenging times.’ —Fiona Carnie, educationalist and writer. Author of Rebuilding our Schools from the Bottom up (2018) and Alternative Approaches to Education (2017) both published by Routledge
‘If you are considering home education, this book will help you over the bump. If you aren’t considering it, this book will lead you to consider it. Anna Dusseau brilliantly anticipates all your questions and concerns and greets them in ways that make sense. Her style makes you feel you are having tea and a chat with her at the kitchen table. My own advice, which also runs through this book in various ways, is follow the lead of your kids. They know what they are ready to learn and how they can best learn it.’ —Peter Gray, research professor at Boston College and author of Free to Learn: Why Releasing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life.
‘Is homeschooling a concept whose time has come? My social media feed suggests that this may well be the case. After three months of lockdown, some families are observing positive changes within their children, particularly in terms of improved mental health. This has led many to hover on the brink of not sending their children back to school at all, but homeschooling them instead. This book will be a very useful source of information for families in this position. Based in the author’s experience and on reports from other homeschooling families, it gives an excellent, in-depth account of what homeschooling is actually ‘like’. Highly recommended for anyone who is curious about the process of homeschooling, written by someone who has been there, done that and worn the T-shirt.’ —Dr Pam Jarvis, author, chartered psychologist and historian, co-author of The Complete Companion for Teaching and Leading Practice in the Early Years
‘This book is a beautifully cut and crafted diamond, the voices that lift off the pages giving varied and honest perspectives of homeschooling. Our own children were home-schooled and they are now out in the world, with a unmistakable ‘can-do’ attitude that serves them so well, that others are drawn to. This book will leave you with the feeling, ‘I can do this’. —Kim John Payne M.Ed., author of Games Children Play, Simplicity Parenting, The Soul of Discipline and Being at Your Best when Your Kids Are at Their Worst.