A Guide To Home Educating In The UK

Your comprehensive guide to home education in the UK. Whether you’re just starting your journey or looking for additional resources, we’ve got you covered.

Embarking on Your Journey

Introduction to Home Education

Welcome to the world of home education! A rewarding journey that allows you to tailor your child’s learning to their individual needs, interests, and pace. Whether you’re considering this path or have already embarked on it, our guide aims to provide you with the essential information and resources to navigate the home education landscape in the UK.

Is Home Education Right for You and Your Child?

Choosing to home educate is a significant decision that impacts the entire family. This section helps you weigh the benefits and challenges, understand the commitment involved, and determine if home education aligns with your family’s lifestyle and your child’s learning style.

Legalities of Home Education in the UK

Understanding the legal aspects of home education is crucial. Here, we break down the UK laws and regulations surrounding home education, including de-registration from school, local authority involvement, and special educational needs provision.

Getting Started with Home Education

From de-registering your child from school to setting up your home education environment, this section guides you through the initial steps of your home education journey.

Home Education Methods and Approaches

Explore various home education methods and philosophies, from structured to autonomous learning, to find an approach that best suits your child.

Resources for Home Education

Discover a wealth of resources to enrich your home education experience, including our Lesson Lifesavers, online platforms, local groups, and more.

FAQs on Home Education

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about home education, from curriculum choices to handling exams and qualifications.

Discovering Your Home Education Path

Is home education the right choice for your family? Let's explore together.

Choosing to home educate is a significant decision that impacts the entire family. It requires commitment, patience, and flexibility. But it also offers unparalleled opportunities for personalised learning, family bonding, and fostering a lifelong love for learning in your child.

Home education is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s a unique journey that can be tailored to fit your family’s lifestyle and your child’s learning style. It’s about finding the right balance between academic learning and real-world experiences, between structured lessons and spontaneous exploration.

Remember, the decision to home educate is not set in stone. Many families try it out and then decide whether to continue based on their experience. It’s okay to change your mind and explore different education options. The most important thing is to do what’s best for your child and your family.

So, how do you know if home education is the right choice for you and your child? Here are some key considerations:

  1. Your Child’s Learning Style: Some children thrive in a structured school environment, while others learn best in a more flexible, self-directed setting. Home education allows you to tailor the learning process to your child’s unique needs and interests.

  2. Your Family’s Lifestyle: Home education is a lifestyle choice that affects the whole family. It requires time, energy, and resources. Consider your family’s daily routine, work commitments, and leisure activities. Can you accommodate home education into your lifestyle?

  3. Your Support Network: Home education is a rewarding journey, but it can also be challenging at times. Having a supportive network of other home educators can make a big difference. Are there local home education groups or online communities you can join?

  4. Your Commitment to Learning: Home education is not just about teaching your child academic subjects. It’s about fostering a love of learning, encouraging curiosity, and nurturing critical thinking skills. Are you ready to guide your child on this learning journey?

Learn The Legalities

Legalities of Home Education in the United Kingdom

Understanding the legal aspects of home education is crucial for any parent considering this path. In the UK, the law recognises the right of parents to educate their children at home. Here, we break down the UK laws and regulations surrounding home education to help you navigate this aspect of your journey.

Remember, the law is there to protect and support your right to home educate. It’s important to stay informed and understand your rights and responsibilities. If you need legal advice, there are several organisations that support home educators with legal issues.

Please note: This information is intended to provide a general overview and may not cover all aspects of the law regarding home education. Always seek legal advice if you are unsure about your situation.

In the UK, the law states that it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure their child receives an efficient full-time education suitable for their age, ability, and aptitude, and any special educational needs they may have. This can be provided either by regular school attendance or otherwise, such as home education.
If your child is already enrolled in a school and you decide to home educate, you will need to formally de-register them. This process varies depending on whether your child attends a public school or a private school. For public schools, you will need to send a written request for de-registration to the school’s headteacher. For private schools, you may need to check the terms of your contract.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to intervene if it appears that a child is not receiving a suitable education. However, they do not have the right to insist on regular checks or to see your child. If the local authority contacts you, it’s important to respond promptly and provide information about the education you are providing.

If your child has special educational needs (SEN), you have the right to home educate. If your child attends a special school, you will need the consent of the local authority to de-register them. If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, the local authority has a duty to ensure your child’s needs are being met, but this does not mean they can dictate how you educate your child at home.
As a home educator, you have the flexibility to decide when and how your child will take exams. Many home-educated students take IGCSEs as private candidates because these exams do not require controlled assessments and can be taken at any age. You can also explore other qualifications such as Functional Skills, Open University modules, and vocational qualifications.

Taking the First Step

Getting Started with Home Education

Starting your home education journey can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right resources and a supportive community, you can provide a rich, engaging, and effective education for your child at home. Here are some key steps to help you get started.


Understanding your childs needs

Every child is unique, and their education should reflect that. Spend some time understanding your child’s learning style, interests, and pace. This will help you tailor your approach and choose the right resources. Remember, home education is not about replicating school at home. It’s about creating a learning environment that suits your child.


Choosing Your Approach

There are many different approaches to home education, from structured learning to unschooling. Research different educational philosophies and methods to find one that aligns with your family’s values and your child’s learning style. You might find that a mix of different approaches works best for you.


Planning Your Days

One of the benefits of home education is the flexibility it offers. You can structure your days in a way that works best for your family. Some families prefer a routine, while others thrive on a more relaxed schedule. Remember to include time for play, creativity, and exploration.


Finding Resources

There are countless resources available for home educators, from online courses and textbooks to educational games and field trips. Our Lesson Lifesavers are a great place to start. They offer engaging, easy-to-follow lesson plans across a range of subjects, tailored to different age groups.


Joining a Community

Connecting with other home educators can provide valuable support, advice, and friendship. Look for local home education groups, join online forums, and follow home education blogs and social media accounts. Our Home Educators UK community is a welcoming space where you can share experiences, ask questions, and find inspiration.


Continual Learning and Adjustment

Home education is a journey, not a destination. Be prepared to learn alongside your child, adapt your approach as they grow and change, and celebrate your successes along the way. Remember, you’re not alone. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Choosing Your Path

Home Education Methods and Approaches

Home education is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It offers the flexibility to choose a method that best suits your child’s learning style and your family’s lifestyle. In this section, we explore various home education methods and philosophies to help you find an approach that aligns with your child’s needs and your educational goals.

Remember, the best method is the one that works for your child and your family. It’s okay to experiment, adjust, and even mix different approaches until you find what works best. The beauty of home education lies in its flexibility and the ability to provide a personalised education experience for your child.

Structured Home Education

Structured home education, also known as traditional home education, is a method that closely follows a set curriculum. It often involves scheduled lessons, textbooks, and formal assessments. This approach can provide a sense of familiarity for families transitioning from a traditional school setting and can be particularly beneficial for children who thrive on routine and structure.

Semi-structured Home Education

Semi-structured home education offers a balance between structured learning and child-led learning. While it may involve some scheduled lessons and curriculum-based learning, there’s also room for exploration and following the child’s interests. This approach can be beneficial for families who want to maintain some structure while also allowing space for flexibility and creativity.

Autonomous or Child-led Learning

Autonomous or child-led learning is a method that allows the child to lead their education based on their interests, curiosity, and pace. Parents act as facilitators, providing resources and support as needed. This approach can foster a love for learning, creativity, and critical thinking skills. It can be particularly beneficial for children who are self-motivated and have strong interests in specific areas.


Unschooling is a philosophy that views learning as a natural part of life rather than a separate activity confined to specific hours or settings. Unschoolers learn through living life, pursuing their interests, and engaging with the world around them. This approach requires a high level of parental involvement and can be particularly beneficial for children who learn best through hands-on experiences and real-life application of skills.

Eclectic Home Education

Eclectic home education is a method that combines elements from various home education approaches. Families who follow this method tailor their approach based on the child’s needs, interests, and the family’s values and lifestyle. This approach offers the most flexibility and can be adapted and changed as the child grows and their needs evolve.

Tools for Success

Resources for Home Education

A successful home education journey is supported by a wealth of resources. From curriculum materials to online platforms, local groups, and our very own Lesson Lifesavers, there are numerous resources available to enrich your child’s learning experience. This section introduces you to a variety of resources that can make home education easier, more enjoyable, and more effective.

Remember, the best resources are the ones that work for your child and align with your home education approach. It’s okay to experiment, adjust, and even mix different resources until you find what works best. The goal is to provide a rich, varied, and enjoyable learning experience for your child.

Our Lesson Lifesavers are ready-to-use lesson plans designed to take the stress out of planning and preparing lessons. They cover a wide range of subjects and are designed to engage children in active, hands-on learning. Each card provides a clear lesson objective, step-by-step instructions, and suggestions for extension activities. They are a lifesaver for busy parents and a fun and effective learning tool for children.
The internet is a treasure trove of educational resources. There are numerous online platforms that offer interactive learning experiences, from educational games to virtual tours, online courses, and more. Some popular platforms include Khan Academy, BBC Bitesize, and Duolingo. These platforms can supplement your home education curriculum and provide opportunities for your child to explore topics of interest.
Home education doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Local home education groups offer opportunities for socialisation, shared learning, and support. These groups often organise field trips, group classes, and social events. Connecting with a local group can provide a sense of community and make the home education journey more enjoyable and rewarding.
Libraries and museums are valuable resources for home educators. Libraries offer a wealth of books, audiobooks, and digital resources. Many libraries also host educational events and workshops. Museums, whether they’re art, history, science, or children’s museums, offer educational exhibits and often provide educational materials and workshops.
Don’t forget the great outdoors! Nature offers endless opportunities for learning, from nature walks and bird watching to gardening and star gazing. Outdoor learning can foster a love for nature, promote physical activity, and provide hands-on learning experiences.

Clearing Your Doubts

Frequently Asked Home Education Questions

Home education, also known as homeschooling, is a flexible and personalized approach to learning where parents or guardians take on the role of educators. It allows for a tailored education that suits the child’s individual needs and learning style.

Yes, home education is completely legal in the UK. Parents have the right to educate their children at home full-time if they wish.
No, home educators in the UK are not required to follow the national curriculum, but it can serve as a useful guide. The law requires that you provide a suitable full-time education for your child, but how you do this is largely up to you.
If your child is already in school, you’ll need to deregister them by sending a letter to the school’s headteacher. From there, you can start to plan your approach to home education, which may include choosing a curriculum, setting a routine, and finding resources and support.
There are many resources available for home educators, including online learning platforms, textbooks, educational games, and community groups. Our Lesson Lifesavers are a fantastic resource, providing easy-to-follow lesson plans across a range of subjects.
Socialization can come from a variety of sources, not just school. Home educated children can socialize through local groups, online communities, extracurricular activities, and everyday interactions with people of all ages.
Yes, home educated children can still take exams like GCSEs and A-levels as private candidates.
No, you do not need to be a qualified teacher to home educate your child. What’s important is your commitment to your child’s education and your ability to facilitate their learning.
Progress in home education can be measured in various ways, not just traditional tests. Observing your child’s skills development, understanding of concepts, and ability to apply what they’ve learned are all signs of progress.
Home education requires a significant time commitment, but it can be possible to balance with full-time work, especially if you have flexibility in your job. Some families also share homeschooling duties or hire a private tutor for certain subjects.

Our Journey, Your Journey

Sharing Our Home Education Journey to Inspire Yours

Dear Home Educator,

Welcome to a journey of discovery, not just for your child, but for you as a parent. Home education is a path that allows us to tailor our children’s learning to their individual needs, interests, and pace. It’s a lifestyle choice that brings families closer together, fostering a love for learning that can last a lifetime.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to home education. What works for one family might not work for another. It’s about finding the balance that works for your family, being flexible, and adapting as you go. It’s about nurturing your child’s curiosity, encouraging their questions, and guiding them as they explore the world around them.

Home education can be challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. It’s about seeing your child’s eyes light up when they understand a concept, hearing their excited chatter as they share what they’ve learned, and knowing that you’ve played a significant role in their learning journey.

As you navigate the home education landscape, remember that you’re not alone. There’s a whole community of home educators out there, ready to share their experiences, advice, and support. And we’re here for you too. At Home Educators UK, we’re committed to providing you with the resources, information, and support you need to make your home education journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

If you have any questions, need advice, or have suggestions for additional resources, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to support you on this rewarding journey. After all, we’re all in this together, learning and growing, one day at a time.

Best Wishes,           

Reese and Emily

A Family Project,
For Every Family!

Lesson Lifesavers is more than just a product – it’s a passion project born out of our own home education journey. As a family, we’re working tirelessly to test and refine these cards, ensuring they deliver the best possible home education experience.

But we don’t want to do this alone. We believe in the power of community and shared experiences. That’s why we’re inviting you to be a part of our journey. If you’re interested in trying out Lesson Lifesavers with your family, we’d love to hear from you.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on our progress, receive exclusive updates, and be among the first to know when our Lesson Lifesavers are ready for you to explore. Together, let’s make home education a joy-filled adventure!