Home Education in the UK: a report from a girl who lived it

This is a guest post from an awesome young woman who didn’t go to school in the UK. You can check out her blog here.

Hello! My name’s Kayleigh, and I live in the United Kingdom; in the north of England, in a county called Yorkshire where it rains most of the time and has a lot of pretty countryside. I was home educated all my life up until the age of 16, and the awesome Kate has asked me to contribute to her blog to share my experience of what it’s like not going to school here in the UK.

The law in the United Kingdom states that children must be given a full-time education suited to their age and ability, whether that be at school ‘or otherwise’. So long as parents can prove their children are receiving a suitable full-time education at home, it is perfectly legal. Mostly, here in the UK we refer to what Kate calls unschooling, as home education. I’m not entirely sure why the term unschooling hasn’t caught on here too as it’s much less of a mouthful!

The education authorities for the local area are obliged to keep track of any home educating families they are aware of, and carry out regular home visits to ensure the children are learning. Here is where it sometimes becomes a little sticky. The officers that carry out these visits are generally the same people that carry out inspections on schools, so they frequently have . . . → Read More: Home Education in the UK: a report from a girl who lived it

going to school with Bear

Bear took me to see his middle school and high school. This is out in California, in the Bay Area, where we spent Christmas with his family. The schools were composed of lots of long, low buildings– a series of ranch houses, bumping into each other at interesting angles. We started at the high school. Through a window, I saw a skeleton.

“That’s the supply closet,” explained Bear.

“Just like I imagined,” I said. Which wasn’t exactly true, because the skeleton was wearing a hat. I couldn’t have predicted that.

He pointed at various doors and windows. “That’s where I had calc.” “That’s where I had bio…no….that’s the art room. Stools mean either science or art.”

He showed me where he used to hang out, on this low, concrete wall, in a little courtyard. And here, on the steps. And here was the library, and the enormous sports’ fields and the enormous pool. It was like a compound, where people might live for decades without leaving. They might play football and baseball and volleyball and water polo (wait…unless that means horses), and stay forever.

“It has everything!” I said, impressed.

It was the most time I’d ever spent at a high school.

. . . → Read More: going to school with Bear


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