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Home Schooling Resources for the UK
For parents considering home schooling in the UK we are pleased to say that there are many free resources available to help prepare timetables and lesson plans and choose exam boards and curricula. At Simply Learning Tuition, we provide a bespoke home schooling service that does everything for you. However, if you want to create and also teach your own home school programme, this article outlines some initial steps to help create an effective programme for your child. So, what are the best home schooling programs in the UK?
Home Schooling Programmes
A simple google search will come up with several types of home schooling programme.
- Parent led home schooling
- Tutor led home schooling
- Online or offline programmes
Each has their pros and cons but the deciding factor is usually budget, closely followed by a child’s learning requirements. Many families choose to work with a team of private tutors, who will organise the home school programme. Others sign up to an online class where the parents are given outline timetables and teaching resources, but they do the majority of the teaching themselves.
Some programmes provide teaching in the form of pre-recorded videos, or live classes. For children with acute learning difficulties, one to one tutors are the best possible way to approach home schooling. Others may enjoy the experience of working as part of an online classroom, allowing parents to learn and support alongside them.
Home Schooling Resources for Primary Education (Key Stage 1 and 2)
There are many great resources aimed at younger children, one of which is EdPlace, which is subscription based and covers Maths, English and Science. The platform has been created by qualified teachers and is completely aligned to the National Curriculum to create the best online tools and resources available. In order to increase the amount of resources you go through, you can use SparkleBox which has free downloadable content aimed at younger children. For online tests, useful worksheets and interactive exercises, @school is a great subscription-based website based around the National Curriculum again. Being especially child friendly, it has lots of colours and engaging pictures on their website. You could also visit Oxford Owl for children in Year 6 or lower.
Home Schooling Resources for GCSE and A Level
In terms of home education GCSE and A Level courses we particularly like The Oak National Academy, which was set up during the Covid pandemic and provides teacher generated lessons and other learning resources. Ed Place also offers template exam papers, but these will not be completely aligned with the major exam boards. A great source of home schooling resources is a private tutor – should you choose to work with one, they will be able to provide all of their own teaching resources, including the most up to date text books, past exam papers to practice with and of course, years of experience to help your child learn in the most effective way possible.
A key component of most home schooling programmes is an exam board. These are a fantastic resource bank, from where you can obtain past papers, subject breakdowns, marking guides and examiners’ reports. In the UK you can choose between several different exam boards, and we advise parents to consider the following factors when making a choice:
- How much is based on coursework or interim exams and how much on final exams
- Where can you take the final exams – do you have to use a centre, or can they be factored near your home
- Does the exam board cover the subject areas your child is most interested in
Here are links to the UK’s main exam boards. These will guide you on home school curriculum in the UK
Home Schooling Groups
One of the best resources for home school students, are other home school families. Help for home school families can often be found much more easily than you would suspect. Moral support and the opportunity to learn from peers and other, more experienced home schoolers can be invaluable and is readily available. A simple google search for, ‘Home schooling groups near me’, will result in some helpful home schooling websites. You can also look on social media. There are several Home Schooling forums including Mumsnet, Netmums, Times Education Supplement, and your Local Education Authority. Education Otherwise provides support and information for home school families.
How to make a home Schooling Timetable
Time tabling several home school subjects isn’t always straightforward, but with a little bit of planning, it can be much more effective to create your own, rather than rely on pre-made curricula and timetables. Having a bespoke timetable is likely to drive student engagement and increase the power of home schooling. Our advice is to sit down with your child and work out how their learning style is best suited to being taught at various times of the day. Often a more difficult subject, such as maths or science, is preferred in the morning, when concentration is stronger. Art, sport and co-curricular activities might be better scheduled for the afternoon, when your child is ready for a break from the home school classroom.
Time tabling is one of the services included in a dedicated SLT Home School Programme. Please contact us if you would like to find out how our award winning programmes could benefit your child.
Several of the best home school programmes offer ready made lesson plans and suggested time tables. Sites such as https://ukvirtualschool.co.uk/ tend to record videos and use these as teaching aids, working along a planned structure. This is slightly different to others such as myonlineshooling which also provides live teaching and scheduling.