Parents choose home-education for many different reasons. Some parents are dissatisfied with the available school education or hold alternative life philosophies than those prevalent in schools. Others believe that the compulsive and classical character of school can stand in the way of child development, or that some children develop behavioural and perceptional problems because they go to school (Sperling, 2005).

Home-education, on the other hand, allows education to be fine-tuned to the individual child. Finally, parents may want to spare their children the experience of unwanted ‘peer-pressure,’ teasing, or violence at school.

Here you find further information about the results of home education and the prospects for high-able children.

Starting Home Education

Home education is choice outside the box, which doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a good choice. Parents have to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of home education and make an informed decision.
It can be difficult to decide whether to home educate when you are are not familiar with reliable information about home education, or do not know other home educators.

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“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” Albert Einstein

Huge Community

Surprisingly for most parents on the verge to make such a decision is the stunning fact that Home Education is a huge, but seemingly invisible, community in England and many different Home Education support groups flourish in all counties where they organise all kinds of (social) activities for the children and teenagers, from singing to GCSE’s groups, where parents can get support and advice.
If you consider home education the website of Education Otherwise is also very informative.

Socialising

It seems that high-able children are over-represented among the home educators (De Hoogh, 2006), which can make those home education support groups an ideal environment for high-able children because it gives them the opportunity to socialise and build relationships with intellectual peers.

Results Home education

In ‘Home Education: A successful educational experiment?’ Simone de Hoogh wrote (published in the Mensa Research Journal, Vol. 38, no. 3, Fall 2007, p. 35–39 – this article has been published in Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and the US):

‘Higher Scores’

For most people it is unimaginable that better results can be achieved by leaving education to parents or children themselves. Indeed, many people see school as an essential institution for the healthy intellectual development of the child. Nevertheless, studies confirm that home-educated children on average achieve higher intellectual scores than their school-going age-mates, regardless of whether the parents follow an existing (school) curriculum or whether education is childd-led (ACTP, 1997-2001; Calvery et al., 1992; Galloway, 1995; Ray, 1994; Ray, 1997; Rothermel, 2002; Rudner, 1999; Sutton & Oliveira, 1995). Only Tipton 1990 reports no difference in the scores of home-educated children.

Some studies have even found that the lead of home-educated children can be considerable. Six-year-olds had a lead of one school-year, which increased during their school career to four years at the age of fourteen. This means that an average fourteen-year-old home-educated child is comparable – in terms of schooling – to an eighteen-year-old who goes to school (Ray, 1994; Ray 1997; Rothermel, 2002; Rudner, 1999).’ (De Hoogh, 2007)

The Prospects of Home Education

In ‘East West Home’s Best? The Prospects of Home Education for Gifted Children’, by Simone de Hoogh and Lianne Hoogeveen is written (paper handed out at the European Council of High Ability (ECHA)- conference at Lahti, Finland, 14 September 2006):

“Among home educators there seems to be an unexpectedly high percentage of gifted children. In Great- Britain, of the 81 children in the research (of a total presence of 600 children), 61 seemed to be gifted. This would calculate to 75% of the home educated children present at the Hesfes 2006. In Sweden 21 of the 23 children seemed to be gifted. This would mean even an higher percentage.

Of the gifted children in this research who have been to school, 90% have encountered serious problems in school: educational needs not met, boredom, bullying, unrecognised twice- exceptional, etc. – which disappeared or improved after starting home education.”

Support in making an Informed Decision about Home Education

If parents want to be supported in making an informed decision about if and how starting home education or on another issue they are welcome to contact Simone de Hoogh ‘ECHA Specialist in Gifted Education’, Qualified Coach and Parenting Consultant and experienced home-educator herself for a Free Introductory Talk by phone/ Skype or in person to explore if she could be of support for you.

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