The Case for Homeschooling
Free Range Home Education Handbook
“Many children’s lives are so busy with school journeys, subject changes, after-school clubs, and homework that they have little time to think or to take ownership of the life they are leading. They spend an awful lot of time being ‘processed’ by well-intentioned adults.... I will happily home educate my children all the way through their education, if that is what they want to do. They always have free choice, and we take their thoughts and feelings into account with every decision regarding their future.” —Anna Dusseau
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 Raising Boys in the 21st Century, and The Secret of Happy Children.
“This tour de force is laced throughout with pedagogical wisdom derived from a rich combination of common sense, emotional intelligence, acute perception and professional insight. It could only have been written by a thoughtful, playful, critically minded teacher who has struggled with the mainstream system, and then compared it with her own experience of home schooling. A landmark text in the evolving history of the home education movement, it is essential reading for all progressively minded educators.” —Dr Richard House, editor of Too Much, Too Soon?
“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
“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 homeschooled and they are now out in the world, with an 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 MEd, author of Games Children Play and Simplicity Parenting
C O N T E N T S:
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