The Education Blog
20th December, 2021
What does it mean to home-school through Enjoy?
The truth about home-learning and the opportunities it brings students and their families.
Home-schooling is often put under the microscope. And rightly so. All students have different needs, drivers, and timelines for home-schooling and sometimes parents can be left confused, fearful or even ashamed when the need arises. At Enjoy we fully appreciate the size of the decision many parents must make. We promise, there is a different way to do things and limitless opportunities for your child.
So, we asked Ruth, an Enjoy home-schooling parent, and two home-schooling tutors, Sara and Fadle, to clarify how a transformational home-schooling programme works.
Myth: ‘Home-schooling means we’ve failed our child’
Ruth, parent of a home-schooled child: “Originally the thought of home-schooling felt like a crisis, a moment of cataclysm. My immediate thought was ‘we’ve really failed our child’. Now I look back at that moment and actually, that was the moment of my child’s rebirth. It was the moment when we had to dig deep and do something really brave. At the time we saw it as a failure but now it feels like a really positive choice.
“Keeping your child in school when it’s not working can be likened to when an adult stays in a job they don’t enjoy. At one point, you need to say that this working environment or career isn’t working for me and I’m going to look for another pathway. My daughter told us many times in plain English that she found school really difficult, but it was hard to really hear what she was saying. How often do we minimise what our child says to us? My top tip? If your child is saying they hate school again and again, my advice would be to try to peel away the layers and understand what it is they aren’t enjoying and the deeper significance of this.”
Sara, home-schooling tutor: “I wish I had been home-schooled now! Everything is personalised to your level and your timetable. It is perfect for the student and ensures 100% efficiency when it comes to reaching the desired potential. With planned extra-curricular and exploration into any hobby imaginable, it is an amazing route to take for your child.”
Myth: ‘My child will be totally isolated. They will not be able to socialise’
Ruth: “If we’d left my daughter in school for another 12 months, we would have had a child in a much more difficult situation. Inaction felt worse than action. What we’ve found since then is that her learning and her relationships with other kids are much stronger now.
“A psychotherapist said that my daughter will be able to build much more meaningful relationships from a place of stability, learning from home, rather than a place of overwhelm at school, and that was a real light bulb moment for me. She is now maturing as part of the home, and notices more of the things we are doing as parents. She is pulling away to achieve her independence, rather than pushing away.
“We’ve now seen how in the one-to-one environment, there is nowhere for her to hide in a lesson. She has to bring herself into her learning in a way that she didn’t have to in school. She has a greater connection with people than ever before.”
Fadle, home-schooling tutor: “The students I’ve worked with have become more confident, less fearful and adopted a far more positive outlook, engaging better with others.”
Libby, home-schooling Education Consultant: “It isn’t as easy to socialise at home as in a school, so this is a hurdle which Enjoy, parents, students and tutors work together to overcome. At the start of a programme, there is a significant focus on how a student creates new networks and opportunities to socialise.
“We have some students who volunteer, some who take up evening art classes, some who join local clubs and camps, and once those networks are established, our students can flourish. We have just started a weekly excursion to the theatre for 14-18 year olds, and to see them stepping outside their comfort zone and meeting other likeminded students is a true joy. They all share the common experience of home-schooling, however they are on different journeys with different goals. The theatre created a mini community for them outside of their existing friendship groups.”
Sara: “A lot of my students have an active social life and we have plans with other home schoolers to create a community when it comes to doing activities. We are planning on going out as a group to the West End.”
Myth: ‘Home-schooling is unstructured. It’ll be nothing like school’
Ruth: “We wrote off companies who said, ‘we can do anything’. We took our daughter to multiple companies to ‘look around’, and see which companies had a track record of ensuring there was a good balance between structure and flexibility. What we liked about Enjoy was their organisation, and emulation of all the best aspects of school.
“For example, our consultant talked all about how they could help us set up the school room at home, and how my daughter would have her own set of daily responsibilities. They treated my daughter with a huge amount of respect, and I loved the way in which she could feed into creating her own natural rhythm in the week. Bringing school into the home is not the same as building school from home; she has a lot of agency over what works for her.”
Myth: ‘Home-schooling means that I’ll need to step in as teacher’
Ruth: “My husband and I realised we aren’t superhuman. We can’t be parents and do all the teaching ourselves – for everyone’s mental health. Parents often don’t write themselves into the story. One of the big fears for my husband and me was ‘what’s the cost to us? How many years can I not pursue my career?’
“Bringing in tutors has been transformational. Once the tutors got to know our daughter, they saw how quickly she can understand things and now they set the bar a bit higher for her. We were really involved in the initial decision making and Enjoy brought us into how to shape the whole programme for our daughter.”
Sara: “Enjoy has an extensive team of contacts and support which can bring the same amount or even more opportunities for the students. Be it work experience, university and career advice… or anything else a family requests!”
Fadle: “I love seeing the impact I can make as a home-schooling tutor. My students have been able to understand why the material they are learning is important, rather than focusing on rote learning. In my experience, Enjoy Education’s home-schooling programmes are designed to find the best match between tutors and students in order to provide every student with a safe, comfortable and productive learning environment.”
At Enjoy, we are passionate about supporting those students who are not thriving at school or need the space in their timetable to pursue other interests. We see parents who feel home-schooling is a last resort, and instead it quickly becomes a much-needed lifeline, a second chance for their child to rediscover their innate confidence, passion and spark.
If your family would like to explore the possibility of home-schooling, we are here to discuss this, and to help you find what is right for your child. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here.
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