RSE Actions Checklist

Steps 2 Action

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Below are some suggestions of steps that can be taken, to help resist or have some say in, if and how, RSE will be taught in your school. Also provided are some suggestions for how to protect your child as much as possible from the teachings regarding RSE that are already in schools and in society at large.

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01

  Start with Yourself

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Reflect on your priorities: keeping on top of your child’s upbringing, schooling as well as what children are exposed to in society is a full time job! In many families both parents work – discuss with your spouse how you can ensure the protection and Islamic upbringing of your child. If one parent can stay at home then that is the best outcome; if not – can one parent work part-time etc. Sit with your spouse and discuss your priorities. For single parents it is harder; think about support you can access to help you.

Educate yourself: about your Islamic duty as a parent; about RSE ins schools; RSE from an Islamic perspective.

Manage your anxieties towards educating your child in RSE topics. It is completely normal to feel fear, embarrassment, nauseous etc. at the thought of talking to your child about RSE matters. Think about how your parents talked (or not) to you about RSE matters and what you would do the same or most likely differently. Talk these things through with a friend or confident who you trust. Read relevant articles on this site to help you.

02

  Your Family

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Create a positive & loving family environment as this will help your child feel safe and secure and come to you as the first port of call in both religious and RSE matters. Examples of activities that can help foster connection and communication include:

  • Family meals
  • Family activities & outings
  • Family meetings where each member can voice any concerns, hopes, opinions etc.

Build a strong relationship with your child: build a relationship through doing fun activities, talking over meals, walks etc, find out about them; what they like, are interested in etc. This will help you have more influence over your child than what they learn at school or in society. It will also make it easier to talk with them about RSE topics when the time is appropriate.

  • Spend 121 time together
  • Do fun activities together
  • Make time to listen & talk
  • Tell them that you are available to talk about anything – not to be worried or embarrassed regardless of what they want to talk to you about. 

Educate your child first: remember you are your child’s primary educator so teach them:

  • In Islamic teachings & values
  • In general knowledge
  • In RSE topics from an Islamic perspective

Consider Home Education as an alternative to school – especially in the early years which are the most influential and formative for your child.

03

  Your Faith Community

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Build relationships with Muslim families & children.

  • Establish strong friendships between your child and other muslim children with similar values. These friendships should be fostered throughout their lives as peers have a great effect on each other, especially during adolescence. 
  • Build identity: by spending time with other Muslim families as it will help strengthen your child’s identity and help them hold firmly to their values when they encounter opposing views. This is important when your child at school sees other children with same-sex parents; children exploring gender identity and engaging in causal sexual relationships.

Build a sense of community and organise activities e.g. residential camps; outings and fun activities with other Muslim families.

Form support groups with other parents to discuss about RSE and how to teach your children RSE from an Islamic perspective.

Organise workshops or invite guest speakers to talk about different areas related to RSE in general and from an Islamic perspective.

04

  Your School

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Build relationships with your child’s teacher; the head teacher and governors. Find out who will teach RE/RSE and talk to them about your concerns and religious values.

Join the PTA (parents & teachers association) and consider becoming a parent governor. The more involved you become the more likely you are to have an influence on school policy regarding RE/RSE.

Volunteer e.g. reading support; help out with arts week, interfaith events. It is important to become involved with the school in a positive way, so that way the school are more likely to listen to you when you voice your concerns.

Help out at events e.g. cake sales; summer fairs; fundraising events.

Write to your school expressing your concerns about RE/RSE & ask to be informed and involved at all stages of policy development.

Ask to see the resources the school proposes to use for RSE; ask how, when and where RE/RSE will be taught. You need to be informed and updated about RE/RSE in your school at each stage as your child progresses through the year groups.

Offer to make RE/RSE resources the school can use. Schools will either have to make their own resources or buy them in; if you make your own you are helping the school out and ensuring you have some control over the resources being used.

Exercise your right to withdraw your child from SRE/RSE. Explain your reasons to the school and to your child so that they understand.

Group together with other parents who share the same concerns, as a collective voice will more likely be listened to.

Consider sending your child to a faith school, ideally Islamic but otherwise Church of England or Catholic schools that share similar values. However check out their views on RE/RSE and how they will teach it first.

Donate some Islamic children books (e.g. on hijab, marriage, morals etc) to the school. There are numerous books teaching children about lifestyles at odds with Islam; but donating Islamic books to your child’s school you can help provide another viewpoint (see Resources section for some ideas).

05

  Your Local Community

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Connect with parents, local groups and faith groups who share the same concerns about the compulsory introduction of RE/RSE:

  • Hold meetings to raise awareness and discuss a way forward about what you can do. Utilise people’s experiences and skill sets to devise and action a plan.
  • Invite guest speakers who can provide relevant information and experience

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  Your Larger Community 

Write to your MP and/or the Education Secretary expressing your concerns and asking for the right to withdraw your child from all aspects of RE/RSE that contradict your religious beliefs and morals.

Sign Petitions: sign the petition on this site to give parent’s the right to withdraw their child from RE/RSE; sign other relevant petitions.

Engage in debate: talk to people you meet to help create awareness about RE/RSE and hear other people’s opinions. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of the issues at hand as well as allow others to hear your views. 

Keep updated about developments and changes in legislation surrounding RE/RSE and in RSE issues/topics that may be introduced into the curriculum.

07

  Your Global Community

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Think big! The compulsory introduction of comprehensive sexuality education is a global movement and effects everyone.

  • If you have family or friends outside the UK, speak to them and encourage them to look into what is being taught in their own child’s school with regards to sexuality education and to find out  what rights they have as parents to withdraw their child from this. 
  • Inform friends & family outside the UK about the global CSE agenda.
  • Use platforms such as social media and other forms of media to help create awareness and provide information about solutions. Produce high quality Islamic resources such as story books, videos, workshops etc that the Muslim community can use to help teach RE/RSE topics from an Islamic perspective.

RSE Influences

Who or What is Behind it?


There are widespread concerns that the mandatory introduction of RE/RSE into all schools across England, from September 2020, and Wales from 2022, will be used by sex education organisations and LGBTQ+ activists to promote their controversial beliefs to the youngest of children.

There is an international move, backed by international bodies such as the United Nations and by organisations such as the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, to get compulsory sexuality education into all schools worldwide. Their agenda is not to educate children in the biological aspects of reproduction but to teach children that they are sexual beings and have the right on act on their sexual urges with who, what and when they like. There is a concerted effort to undermine parental and religious authority by making school teachers the primary educator of children in all matters of sexuality education, as it has been redefined.

The philosophy behind this new compulsory sex education agenda can be traced back to the sexual revolution, which had its heyday in the 1960s, and is influenced by various social and political movements. Ideologies from Marxism, radical feminism and gender theory have all contributed to this new sexual ideology. They have intertwined with the thought of various protagonists, the most notable being Alfred Kinsey, who is seen as the master architect of sexuality education as it is now being taught.

The beliefs and practices of this new sexual agenda are already finding their way into mainstream society and have already begun seeping surreptitiously into schools and universities. The compulsory introduction of sexuality education into all schools worldwide is just part of a larger attempt to change the social and gender norms of society and turn people away from traditional institutions such as marriage and religion.

Reference: Stop RSE Forum

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)

Whilst RSE refers to the new sexuality education movement in schools across the UK, there is a larger global movement that this is part of known as CSE or Comprehensive Sexuality Education.


Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is a sexual rights based initiative that aims to implement its teachings into all schools worldwide.

The hearts and minds of children are extremely susceptible to whatever they hear, see, learn and experience. So much so that whatever information they are exposed to and absorb can have a lasting influence on their development into adult life. Sexual activists are becoming increasingly vociferous regarding the sexual rights of individuals and one of the most concerning developments of their agenda is their obsessive focus on the sexual rights of children. There are numerous protagonists asserting that children are sexual from birth or ‘from the womb to the tomb’. Due to this, they argue that children have the ‘right’ to experience sexual pleasure. To inform children of their sexual rights, these activists believe that children from a very young age have the right to a comprehensive education in sexuality.

In order to make CSE a global reality, the agenda has the backing of organisations from within the United Nations and European Union. The International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF) is then main NGO behind it’s global implementation. Click on the relevant icon below to view their learning objectives and plans for teaching CSE in schools.

Reference: Stop RSE Forum

RE/RSE Curriculum

What an RE/RSE Curriculum May Look Like …

The main sex education organisations in the UK provide consultation to the government on all matters regarding sexual health and sex education. They are influential and are heavily funded by government and other institutions such as the banks and universities. 

When the government publish their finalised guidelines for RE/RSE, it will only refer to the legal minimum that schools are required to teach. Schools are strongly encouraged to exceed the guidelines and offer a more comprehensive relationship & sex education for children. This view is supported by the various sex education organisations who also offer support, guidance and resources to schools and are directly influenced by international documents such as the International Technical Guidance on comprehensive sexuality education.

The table below is an example of a curriculum some of the UK sex education organisations would like to see in schools.

ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Relationships  My Family   Diverse families   FriendshipsHaving friends which are similar/different   Bullying   Married and non-married parentsWhat is love and how do people show it.   Can people of the same sex love each other   Different families and diverse relationships & couples   What does gay & lesbian mean   Bullying   Challenging gender roles in relationships   Showing respect for different gender identities      Healthy & Unhealthy relationships   Changing relationships with family & friends   Marriage & civil partnerships   Legal age for sex & for marriage   Choosing a partner – boyfriends & girlfriends   Knowing when you are ready for sex & intimacy with boyfriend/girlfriend   Gender stereotypes in relationships   Understanding being LGBT and LGBT relationships   Understanding transvestitism and trans-sexualism   Appropriate touch between peers  What to expect in a sexual relationship and how to make it more enjoyable   Coping with peer pressure   Understanding and preventing homophobia   Important relationships and what to want from friends, family and sexual partner   Communication and managing conflict in relationships   When to become a parent and understanding responsibilities   Coping with break up, divorce   Being a single parent   Challenging bullying & prejudice    Communication in relationships – listening; expressing sexual desires; contraception   Psychological impact of breaking up & support available   Coming out as LGBT to family & friends   Talking to sexual partners, family & friends about having HIV or STDs   What should children be taught in RSE   Challenges of parenting   Gender, power & relationships
ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Body  How girls & boys bodies differ   Different body part namesMy changing body   Differences between  boys/girls bodies   Understand the difference between gender & biological sex  Understanding puberty   Gender stereotypes   Changing bodies   Wet dreams   Masturbation   Explain how gender identity can differ from biological sexWhat is a normal body   Understanding hormones   Understanding sexual excitement   Erections, orgasms and how to have one   Penile & vaginal  secretions   Menstruation & menopause    
ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Reproduction  Where do babies come from   How are other children similar or different to meHaving a baby needs a male & female x Eggs & sperm How animals have babies and look after themUnderstanding sex & sexual intercourse   Sperm & Eggs   Pregnancy & contraception   How do same-sex families have children   How does the baby grow & how is it born   Looking after a baby    Understanding safer sex and carrying/using condoms   STDs & HIV   Pregnancy and prevention   Forms of sex that don’t risk pregnancy or infection   Contraception – different types, who’s responsibility   Impact of drugs & alcohol    
ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Feelings & Attitudes  What makes me feel good/bad   Feelings about growing up   How feelings about gender can differ from biological sex – how do you feel about your biological sex & gender?Understanding feelings & mood swings x Sexual feelings Is masturbation normal? Coping with family & friends who have different attitudes to me Cultural & Religious attitudes towards growing up Different bodies & body imageUnderstanding sexual attraction and when you are in love   Being attracted to or being in love with someone of the same gender   Am I gay or lesbian?   When to have sex and when to say no   Is everyone having sex?   Religious views on sex and marriage – what should I think?    Coping with strong feelings including desire & love   Influences on sexual behaviour   Religious & cultural beliefs about sexual relationships   Body image and self esteem   Pornography and real sexual relationships   Challenging LGBT stereotyping & discrimination    Body image & self esteem   Mental health & recognising the signs   Cultural views on gender norms & gender equality   Personal views on gender roles and gender equality   Understanding transgender & challenging transphobia   How culture & law determine what is acceptable or not regarding sexual behaviour over time   Challenging impact of media, peers & society    
ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Safety  Private parts – who can/cannot touch; what to do if someone touchesGood and bad secrets   Looking after my body   Who to talk to about growing upSexual diseases & HIV   Looking after my body   Getting advice   Where to get information on puberty & sexWhat to do if you have an STD   What are my options if I get pregnant   Best websites on sex & relationships for young people   Contraception & sexual health organisations I can use   Confidentiality & my sexual rights    Choosing contraception – advantages, disadvantages, sexual performance & responsibility   High risk and low risk sexual behaviours   My sexual rights & confidentially What sexual health services can I use and where do I find themPornography – what is legal and what is illegal   Discrimination & legal protection on grounds of gender and sexual orientation    

Relationship & Sex Education: Parents Rights

Relationship & Sex Education: Parents Know Your Rights

In September 2020 Relationship Education (RE) and Relationship & Sex Education (RSE) will become compulsory in all schools across England. This includes Islamic, other faith, private, state, academy etc. schools.

RE will be taught as compulsory from Reception Class upwards in both primary and secondary schools.

Sex Education will be taught as compulsory in all secondary schools and may be taught as optional in primary schools.

Parents need to know their rights and become active in their child’s school in having a say in how RE/RSE will be implemented.

The current situation (2019)

  • Parents currently have the right to withdraw their child from all aspects of Sex & Relationship Education (SRE). They will have this right until September 2020.

From September 2020

  • From September 2020, Relationship Education will become compulsory in all primary and secondary schools in England from Reception Class upwards. Parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from Relationship Education at any age.
  • From September 2020, Sex Education will become compulsory in all secondary schools in England. If you wish to withdraw your child from Sex Education in secondary school then you need to get permission from the Head Teacher. The ultimate decision on whether you can withdraw your child is down to the discretion of the Head teacher.
  • Sex Education is not compulsory in primary schools but primary schools are allowed to teach it if they want and many do. However, a parent has the automatic right to withdraw their child from sex education if taught at primary school.

Parent’s right to become involved in how schools will teach RE/RSE

  • As a parent, you have the right to get involved in the school’s RE/RSE policy development. The government strongly encourage schools to consult and work with parents in the design and implementation of RE/RSE in schools.
  • Parents have the right to know what will be taught to their child in RE/RSE and when.
  • Schools must inform parents about their right to withdraw their child from some or all of sex education when delivered as part of RSE.
  • Parents have the right to see the RE/RSE resources the school plans to use – the school is obliged to make these available for parent to view.
  • Parents have the right to ask the school any questions they wish in regards to RE/RSE.
  • Parents have the right to request workshops or meetings on RE/RSE at the school to find out more and discuss their opinions on the school’s approach to RE/RSE.

The National Curriculum

  • Parents do not have the right to withdraw their child from national curriculum science which may include aspects of Sex Education.
  • Parents do not have the right to withdraw their child from any national curriculum subjects.

Religion

  • Schools have been told that the religious backgrounds of children must be considered and RE/RSE matters must be taught in an appropriate manner. Religion is a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act.
  • Faith schools will be allowed to teach their distinctive faith perspective on relationships as long as a balanced debate is facilitated about contentious issues.

A child’s right to choose

  • Three terms before a child turns 16 – the child themselves will be given the right to decide if they wish to attend sex education against their parent’s wishes or head teacher’s discretion.

Warning

  • Schools do not have to wait until September 2020 to implement RE/RSE; they are in fact encouraged to begin early and to offer a more comprehensive education in this area than the minimal legal requirements outline.
  • Many schools are already introducing RE/RSE into their curriculums.

Alternatives to school

  • Currently in the UK parents have the right to Home Educate their child and they do not have to teach the national curriculum or RE/RSE.

Reference: Stoprse.com

How to Engage With Your Child’s School

Build a Positive Relationship with the School

It is important to approach your child’s school in a proactive manner in order to find out what your child is learning but also to build positive relationships with the Head, teachers and staff in order to become a part of the school community. Doing this increases the likelihood that your voice will be heard when you raise concerns about matters such as Relationship Education and Relationship and Sex Education.

Ways to become involved could include joining the PTA or Parent Teachers Association or volunteering some time e.g. helping out with reading; cake sales etc.

Another important part you could play is becoming a parent Governor. Governors have a lot of influence on the school and will be responsible for approving the RSE curriculum and resources. By becoming a parent governor you will be able to have some impact on how Relationship Ed/RSE will be taught in the school.

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Form a Parents Group & Ask for a Consultation

Whilst parental rights are being eroded, in the RSE guidelines the government have placed a lot of emphasis on, and have strongly urged schools to involve parents at every stage of RE/RSE policy and curriculum development and implementation.

It is likely however that some schools will not actively tell you this – either because they themselves don’t know or because it’s more work for them! So as parents you need to be proactive and approach the school. This will be much easier and more effective if you form a group with other like-minded parents and devise an approach to contact the school and ensure you have your say in what and how RE/RSE is taught.

There will be many parents from all backgrounds who are concerned about RE/RSE, so find parents who share your concerns, have a meeting and agree on a strategy to approach and then work with the school. You can then arrange a meeting with the Head and also with the governors and ask to become involved at every stage of RE/RSE implementation.

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Make Sure You Have a Say in the Resources Selected & Any External Agencies Invited In

A lot of the concern over Relationship Ed/RSE are over the resources being used and the external agencies being invited into schools. Ensure you are consulted in the selection of resources and that you as parents feel the resources are age appropriate. 

Ask for further details about the external agencies invited in and ask to see the resources and lesson plans they choose to use.

Many schools will be collaborative and the best outcome is that parents and school can work together in a mutually beneficial way.

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What To Do if Your Concerns Aren’t Heard?

There may be schools that are more resistant to involving parents or who see engaging with parents as extra work – in such cases you can remind the schools that as parents it is your right to become involved with the school on RE/RSE matters. Keep approaching them until you get a response and they involve you in the process.

If you have genuine concerns that are not being listened to then you can ask for a meeting with the Chair of Governors and failing that make a formal complaint. Schools have a formal complaints procedure which you can follow.

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Suggested Questions You Can Ask the School

RE/RSE Policy Development

• Ask who is leading on RE/RSE and ask to meet them.
• When are they planning on drawing up the RE/RSE policy?
• Ask how parents can get involved?
• If you get vague responses then ask further questions to elicit details e.g. So when will you begin drafting the policy? How will you inform us? When will you know who’s leading it?
• Arrange another meeting to get further details etc.

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RE/RSE Resources

• Have they decided on what resources will they use?
• How will they ensure parents are involved and consulted in choosing the resources?
• Suggest parents are given the option to do research and select resources themselves.
• Suggest parents help make some of the resources.
• N.B. It’s essential to get involved in this as it’s often the resources used and way a topic is taught that is more of the problem than the actual topic being taught itself.
• Emphasise that you do not want graphic or ‘cartoon porn’ images to be used. Say it’s also against your religion to look at nude pictures.
• Explain images become imprinted on a child’s mind and affect the mental wellbeing and behaviour, so the school have carefully consider what resources they use.

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Delivery

• Do they plan to use external organisations to help deliver RE/RSE? If so which ones? Ask to look into them to see if you as parents agree.
• Express concern if any of these organisations appear to be pushing their own agenda or ideology.
• If teachers are sent on training – ask which organisation they are being trained by.
• Ask who is going to teach RE/RSE to your child and ask to meet them.
• Ask to be kept informed by letter or email at each stage or term of what your child will be taught and ask to be shown resources and lesson plans.
• Ask to sit in on and observe an RE/RSE lessons (not sure if they’ll agree but no harm in asking)
• If any parents have expertise then suggest they volunteer to teach aspects of RE/RSE

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Religious Rights

• Ask how in the teaching of RE/RSE the school propose to take religious views into account?
• Ask how they plan to introduce or teach LGBT issues – will it be integral to school? If so how? Explain your religious view on this and ask how they will take this into consideration.

• N.B. The government have stated that schools have to be sensitive to religious beliefs.

Reference: Stop Rse forum

Home Education Resources

GENERAL RESOURCES: WEBSITES, BOOKS, TOOLS

Sources for Muslim / Arabic educational material and homeschooling support – GENERAL SURVEY (NOT VERIFIED)

  • Bristol Muslim Home Educators – We hope to use this group, inshaAllah, to exchange ideas and experiences as well as to organise regular meetups with our children around Bristol.
  • Dallas Muslim Homeschoolers Association – Group for interested and committed parents to share experiences and make recommendations regarding curriculum, website links, activities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, sports and everything and anything pertinent to the homeschooling experience.
  • Home Education Muslim Network – Yorkshire – This group has been created for those in and around the Yorkshire area for Muslims seeking other Muslims for ideas and general chit chat regarding the tricky business of homeschooling our young ‘uns.
  • Memphis Muslim Home Educators – We are a group of families interested in connecting with one another and others who share our goals of Home Education.
  • Muslim Home Education Network Australia – Here to provide information and support on the viable and responsible option of Home Schooling to the Muslim Community. Facebook group.
  • Muslim Home Educators in London – The group is to provide a friendly forum for Muslim home educating families in London. We aim to meet up regularly and offer each other support.
  • Muslim Home Educators Birmingham – Closed Facebook group. Contact admin about joining.
  • Muslim Home Educators’ Support – This is the Facebook page of MHES (Muslim Home Educators’ Support), which is a support group for Muslim home educating sisters in Birmingham, UK (primarily). This Facebook group is open to home educating Muslim women.
  • The Muslim Homeschool – A homeschooling site primarily for muslims using the ‘classical’ method of homeschooling, the Well Trained Mind in particular.
  • Successful Muslim Homeschooling – The purpose of this page is to provide ideas, resources, inspiration, and support to parents teaching their children at home. Whether you homeschool full time or teach your children after school and on the weekends, inshallah, you will find our page has great deal of resources you can use. Like on Facebook, too.


BOOKS ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING IN A MUSLIM FAMILY

  • The Muslim Family Guide to Successful Homeschooling – The Muslim Family Guide to Successful Homeschooling: Advice on Teaching and Parenting the Muslim Child, by Jamila Alqarnain, Kindle Edition, Canadian editions
  • Online Education for Muslim Children – A resource for Muslim educators and homeschooling families. Come here for discussions and sharing of information and resources of educational topics as they apply towards teaching our children. We welcome you to come, share and learn together.
  • Salafi Education – The aim of this group is to enable people to aid and support one another in home schooling and share beneficial resources as well as helping one another to adhere to Islam correctly upon the Quraan and authentic Sunnah as understood by the Salaf.
  • Arabic Learning Materials – For those of you who are struggling to learn or teach Islam, it can sometimes be hard to find the best learning materials available. We have done all the searching for you! Here you will find an extensive list of the best Islamic Learning Resources available on the web today, including links to Islamic lesson plans, Islamic Stories, activities to teach your child about Islam, Islamic curriculum, Islamic retailers and much more.
  • The Holy Quran – The religion’s holy book is presented in its original Arabic and several translations, including English, in text and audio versions. Searchable.
  • Internet Islamic History Sourcebook – Fordham University presents this overview of Islamic history and culture. Lots of links to original source material online.
  • Islamic Culture and the Medical Arts – Medicine is a science from which one learns the states of the human body with respect to what is healthy and what is not, in order to preserve good health when it exists and restore it when it is lacking. Ibn Sina, the opening to the Qanun fi al-tibb.
  • Islam For Kids – This Facebook page is for Parents who have a positive attitude towards life.
  • IslamKids – This website is aimed at kids between the ages of 5-12 years. By working through the modules you can learn about the basic teachings of Islam. Our aim is to make learning about Islam fun, interactive and easy.
  • Islamic Stories For Muslim Kids – This list will include Islamic stories for kids in English. This list will recommend Islamic multimedia software to teach Islamic subjects.
  • Muslim Scientists and Islamic Civilization – Muslim contribution to Science, Mathematics, Astronomy, and Philosophy in the Middle Ages. Ninety articles and over thirty biographies.
  • PBS – Islam: Empire of Faith – Throughout the production of Islam Empire of Faith – including this Web site – we have made every attempt to present as broad a portrait of Islamic art and culture as possible, in order to show the great diversity as well as the fundamental unity of Islamic civilization in its long and varied history.


HOME EDUCATION WEBSITES FOR ALL AGES

  • EdPlace – KS1 to KS4 you can have a free trial for only £1 or subscribe for £99 per year.
  • Ed PlaceSave
  • Twinkl – this is a must in my opinion. Twinkl is for all areas of the curriculum and is for all ages up to KS4. Price from £4.49 per month. Check out my review of some of their free educational resources.
  • BBC Bitesize – this is for all aged children and has lots of videos and helpful articles. This is a free service.
  • TES– there are some free resources on here, although you can purchase each individual topic or resource.
  • Teachers Pay Teachers– This is for all children and they have lots of free resources. There are also paid for work sheets.
  • Teaching Packs – priced at £17.50 per year for thousands of teaching packs.
  • Activity Village – access to over 29k printable activities at only £15 per annum
  • Khan Academy – Free personalised learning resources for all ages.
  • IXL – Maths and English resources for children aged between reception to year 13. Prices from £7.99 per month , they offer a 20% discount for new members.
  • IXL 20% DiscountSave
  • Learning Resources Science Museum – This site brings together resources from museums, including activities, games and videos. Discover activities to support a range of curriculum topics for use in the classroom, in museum galleries and beyond. KS1 – KS4 and they are free resources.
  • Education Quizzes – KS1 – GCSE educational quizzes to help with all areas of the curriculum. £9.95 per month but home educators can get a 3 month free trial.
  • Quizlet – Free resources for KS1 – KS4
  • KM Tuition -Maths, English and Science free worksheets and past exam papers.
  • Exemplar Education – Maths and English resources including access to an online tutor, or phone. Read my full review on Exemplar
  • My Own Tutor – Year 1 to GCSE maths and English, prices from £10 per week.
  • Kidztype – Free typing games to help with touch typing
  • If you have an Amazon Alexa device check out our favourite Alexa educational skills
  • Primary School Resources – Home Education Websites
  • The School Run This is for primary school year children. A 14-day trial costs £1.97. When you take out your trial you can choose one of three subscription packages: £39.97 for six months; £59.97 for 12 months; £130 for a School Lifetime (7 years’ continuous access).
  • Primary Leap – this is for primary school children and they offer a free subscription. You can however upgrade to a paid subscription from £3.75 per month.
  • Top Marks – primary free resources.
  • Rising Stars primary school resources, a lot of free resources.
  • Soft Schools primary school free resources.
  • Education.com – primary school children resources, from free to $9.99 per month.
  • Primary Resources free resources for primary school children
  • Oxford Owl free resources for primary school children
  • Every School– free resources for primary school children.
  • Have Fun Teaching – free resources and worksheets for primary school children.
  • Teach it Primary – All subjects great for primary school. There are free subscriptions and paid for subscriptions start at £49.95
  • @school  – Quarterly subscription £9.99
  • Skoolbo – All subjects great for primary school. 30 day free trial $10.95 per month
  • Apple for the Teacher – £43.20 per year
  • Parents in Touch – from £20 per year
  • K5 Learning – This is an American site with free worksheets in maths and English
  • Check out over 35 of the best educational youtube videos
  • English – Home Education Websites
  • Literacy Shed – Videos and worksheets to help with English for primary school children.
  • Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress helping children learn to read, there is a free trial and then £39.95 for an annual subscription. They offer a 40% discount to home educators but you need to email them for the code.
  • Puzzle Maker a free tool for making your own word puzzles.
  • TeachIT English KS3 and above there is a free subscription or paid for start at £55 per year.
  • Nessy – Great tool for children with dyslexia, prices start from £8 per month
  • Teach your monster to read – free resource to help children learn to read.
  • Picture Book Explorers – there are a few resources, or some paid topics to chose from.
  • If you enjoy playing games check out over 20 games for homeschool families
  • Maths – Homeschooling Resources
  • The Maths Factor – Carol Vorderman’s online maths school. This is for primary school children and costs £9.99 per month, there is a 30 day money back guarantee. Packed with incentives for children including real medals which get sent in the post if a child completes a session every day for 30 days.
  • Maths FactorSave
  • Matr – fun and affordable one to one tuition in maths for children aged 7-11.
  • Corbett Maths free resource and has videos and questions and answers.
  • Maths Watch – Covers maths from primary to A Level. It costs about £100 p.a but this is for lots of users. So if you can get a few people together it would be cheaper.
  • My Mini Maths – with more than 1,300 free resources for primary school children.
  • Conquer Maths learning maths for children aged 4 – 19 years old. £99.99 for a year subscription.
  • Teach IT Maths – KS3 and above. There is a free subscription and paid for subscriptions start at £30 per year.
  • Absolute Maths -Self study/revision website for iGCSE/GCSE levels and there are also Absolute Maths Courses which is a separate tuition led section of the business currently for KS3 and iGCSE/GCS
  • Prodigy Maths – free resource for primary school children
  • Adapted Mind $9.95 per month, but there is a free trial.
  • Math Play Ground – free resource and paid for subscriptions at $6.99 per month (this is a special summer rate)
  • MEP (Maths Enhancement Programme) free resources up to A Level students.
  • Doodle Maths – This is a fun app with maths quizzes. There is a free plan plus a paid for one at £4.99 per month
  • Math Seeds -is great for children aged 3-9, one year subscription is £29.95. They offer a 40% discount to home educators but you need to email them for the code
  • Math Whizz – they offer a free trial or you can subscribe for £149 per year.
  • Maths is Fun – Primary school free resources.
  • Maths Gynie – Primary up to A Level amazing free resources, videos, exam papers and solutions.
  • Mathster – Free worksheets for GCSE and A Level
  • Maths Chase –  Free times table tests
  • Check out my Amazon store to find educational gifts and resources for your homeschool room
  • Science – Home Education Websites
  • Outstanding Science primary school resource at £25 a year.
  • Mystery Science home school subscription at $69 per year. But there are free trials available too.
  • Teach It Science KS3 and above. There is a free subscription or paid for subscriptions start at £30 per year.
  • Mystery Doug – This is a free resource
  • School Science – This is a free resource.
  • Sublime Science – there are free resources (they also do amazing parties, which we did a couple of years ago and the kids loved it)
  • BBC Terrific Science – free resources
  • Interactive Elements Table – periodic table in pictures and words.
  • History – Homeschooling Resources
  • 60 Second Histories – there is a 2 week free trial, after that the annual subscription is only £25 (USE CODE Freddie10 for 12% off – offer expires 30/01/2019). Read my review of 60 Second Histories
  • Geography – Home Education Websites
  • 3D Geography – Make models and great free resources
  • BBC Bitesize – Free resources from Primary to KS3
  • Languages – Home Education Websites
  • Duo Lingo (Tiny Cards) This is an amazing free app and it has so many different languages to learn.
  • Teach it Languages – KS3 and above. There is a free subscription and paid for plans start at £30 per year.
  • Babble – They offer 13 different languages and there are free resources and paid for subscriptions starting from only £4.75 per month.
  • Coding – Home Education Websites
  • Play Osmo – This is a great fun way to teach your children coding and programming. I have reviewed Coding Awbie and Osmo Coding Jam and I can not recommend them highly enough.
  • Code.org – This is a free resource.
  • Scratch – this is a free resource.
  • Codeacadamy – this is a free resource
  • GamEd Academy – Learning through play with Minecraft. Prices vary
  • Arts and Crafts – Home Education Websites
  • SmiggleSave
  • Red Ted Art lots of free ideas and printable’s.
  • Krokatak – loads of free arts and crafts, videos and printables
  • IGCSE and Key Stage 3
  • Echo Education focuses on courses for IGCSE and Key stage 3 they are experienced home educators and often courses with or without tutor support.
  • Marking – Mark My Papers this is an independent marking service. You need to scan the children’s work to them and they send it back marked with full detail. This is for children from KS2 up to A Levels.


NATIONAL CURRICULUM BOOKS

  • The National Curriculum in England – Handbook for Primary Teachers £15.85
  • CGP books – prices starting from as little as £3.13 from the Book Depository all with free delivery
  • Cambridge IGCSE Test Papers – prices from as little as £4.99 from the Book Depository all with free delivery
  • Collins SATS Workbooks  – prices from as little as £4.46 from the Book Depository all with free delivery
  • Maths No Problem – Maths books starting from £8.49

REFERENCES

  • https://www.gov.uk/home-education
  • https://www.bolton.gov.uk/alternative-schooling/home-education
  • http://home-ed.info/heinfo
  • https://freddiesmummyuk.com/homeschooling-websites-uk/
  • https://a2zhomeschooling.com/religion/islamic_homeschooling/
  • http://www.rahmahmuslimhomeschool.co.uk/index/islamic-studies-curriculumsyllabus-for-pre-school-and-primary-school/
  • https://www.muslimhomeschool.net/lesson.html

Home Schooling

HOME SCHOOLING

Background

There is no legal obligation for children to attend school but the law says they must receive an education. They can be taught by parents or private tutors and the guidance from both the English and Welsh education departments is that it must be a “suitable education”.

As a parent, you must make sure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5 but you don’t have to follow the national curriculum.

In the UK, it is entirely legal to educate your child at home, and it can be done either full or part-time. … However, if your child wishes to go on to higher education, many colleges and universities need some academic proof, so you child may sit their GCSEs or A levels in a local school as an independent candidate.

Legal Status:

Homeschooling is legal in England and Wales under the 1944 Education Act, which was consolidated in 1996. … Under the “or otherwise” phrase in the law, families can legally homeschool.

Home education

  • You can teach your child at home, either full or part-time. This is called home schooling.
  • You can get help with home education from your local council.
  • Write to the headteacher if you plan to take your child out of school.
  • As a parent, you must make sure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5 but you don’t have to follow the national curriculum.

If your child has special educational needs

Your council may be able to help if your child has special educational needs and you want to educate them at home. You only need to tell them if your child has an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

If the council wants to check on your child’s education

The council can make an ‘informal enquiry’ to check your child is getting a suitable education at home. They can serve a school attendance order if they think your child needs to be taught at school.

Truancy, School attendance & Absence

Local councils and schools can use various legal powers if your child is missing school without a good reason. They can give you Parenting Order, Education Supervision Order, School Attendance Order, Fine and Prosecution.

BOLTON HOME EDUCATION TEAM

What do they do?

  • the service works with parents and carers in partnership
  • provide advice and support, including GCSE’s, resources etc.
  • offer opportunities to meet other home educators through arranged events

The law

  • The responsibility for a child’s education rests with the parents or carers.
  • In England, education is a child’s right and the parent or carer must ensure that this happens between the ages of 5-17.
  • This can take place at ‘school’ or ‘otherwise’.

What should I do if I wish to home educate?

If you are taking your child out of school and he/she is of statutory school age, you must write to your child’s school stating that you wish to educate your child at home.

The school will inform the Achievement Cohesion and Integration Service (ACIS) that you have chosen to be responsible for the education of your child at home and you will be contacted within four weeks. However; if you have not heard from ACIS, please contact them.  The school will no longer be responsible for your child’s education.

I have de-registered my child – what happens next?

ACIS will contact you and offer you a home visit or a meeting to offer advice and support in developing the educational programme for your child/children.

Funding

When you as the parent or carer decide to home educate you assume full financial responsibility for the education of your child.

Contact in Bolton

  • Email:                            Send an email to acis@bolton.gov.uk
  • Telephone:                                 01204 338055
  • Address:                      Achievement Cohesion and Integration Service (ACIS)

Acis International, Family Centre, Shepherd Cross Street, Bolton. BL1 3BY

CURRICULUM

Home educators in the UK do not have to be trained teachers. Nor do they need any special qualifications to educate their children. Although some families choose to use a structured ‘homeschool’ curriculum, others pick and choose educational books from bookshops.

In the UK, many home educating families don’t use any curriculum at all. They might choose regular text books from big educational bookshops if they want to study academics, and follow their children’s interests. They don’t worry about grade levels and there is no testing, unless teens want to study for and take the public ‘GCSE’ exams which are usually done at age 15-16. The National Curriculum, required in state schools, is not necessary for private schools, nor for home educators.

But if you want to use a curriculum of some sort, how do you know which one is going to be best for your child? There are dozens available, which follow the National Curriculum. That may be useful if you think your children might go to school at some point.

Find out as much as you can about the various options. Many of them have web sites where you can find out about the philosophy and pricing. You can usually register and order online. Some of those are linked in this article. Before making any decisions, do talk to other parents who have used them, if possible.

If you don’t know anyone who has used the curriculum you are interested in, ask if you can see some samples. It is important to look at the style of material, and discuss with your children whether the courses look inspiring and interesting. What appeals to one child will not necessarily appeal to another.

Children’s interests and learning styles

Take note of your children’s interests and learning styles. A child who learns through his hands, for instance, is unlikely to be inspired by a curriculum with a lot of reading and writing. A child who is advanced in some areas and slower in others (for instance a child with dyslexia who has excellent understanding of maths) will not want to be limited by a curriculum that has rigid ‘grade level’ expectations.

Then, before you order, do look at second-hand shops, or find out of any local home educators have used material in good condition which they might sell you. There are some second-hand curriculum suppliers on the Internet – and don’t forget to browse second-hand book sites such as Abebooks and Awesomebooks.

BRITISH HOME EDUCATION CURRICULUM

  • InterHigh offer an interactive, accredited British education to UK and overseas students aged 10 and upwards, across KS3, KS4 and KS5.
  • Briteschool is for primary and secondary age students. It is particularly aimed at home educated and expatriate children.
  • Wolsey Hall is distance learning course provider. They supply courses for home educators around the world. English, maths and science are  offered at primary level; each child has a tutor and a lot of support.  They offer a wider range of courses at secondary level, including GCSE and A-level studies.
  • ACE (the European version) for teenagers starting when they were about 12 and 14, so they could get certification equivalent to GCSE and A-level exams. This is an American curriculum with some parts adapted for European usage. This provides a distance-learning certificate programme (the National Christian Schools Certificate) without exams which is acceptable at British universities.

AMERICAN HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM

  • Five in a Row – a relaxed, literature-based programme currently available for children aged 4-8. The scheme is based on quality children’s books that are read aloud every day for a week, and then provide the basics of study in all subjects, related to the book. Parents are encouraged to be flexible, choosing from the suggested ideas, or developing their own. There are further programmes available for older children.
  • Sonlight Curriculum – If your family enjoys literature and extensive reading together – particularly historic novels – you might be interested in the Sonlight curriculum. It offers a choice of several maths programmes produced by other companies. However the majority of the curriculum is literature-based. It is more demanding than Five in a Row, but much less rigid than many others. Sonlight is fairly time-consuming for parents, if you follow all the guidelines. But it’s possible to be flexible and concentrate on the reading only. For students who enjoy reading, their catalogue lists many excellent books for different age groups. These can be ordered fairly inexpensively from Sonlight without using the curriculum as such.
  • The Konos curriculum is a little different from the majority, in that it offers projects intended for a group of like-minded families to work together. If you have a local support group who would like to do educational work together, you might like to investigate this – perhaps as a supplement to what you do at home. For children who are hands-on learners, and dislike extensive reading or writing, Konos may well be a good choice if you want to use an official curriculum.

MATHS CURRICULUM

Since many parents seem to struggle with maths concepts, there are extra maths curricula of all varieties, from old-fashioned and rigid through to more modern and flexible. Here are a few available ones:

  • Singapore maths, English and science – an increasingly popular curriculum covering these basic subjects, with most available currently for maths. This curriculum originated in Singapore, so has the advantage of metric rather than imperial measurements! It uses manipulatives and is recommended by Sonlight as an alternative to their other maths programmes.  Singapore maths is now available to order from the UK, from the site Maths – no problem.
  • Mathusee – a manipulatives-based programme with levels for all ages, teaching videos and a manual. This is ideal for kinaesthetic and visual learners, or indeed anyone who struggles to understand maths concepts on paper. It can be used alongside other home education programmes such as Sonlight, or used by itself for parents who feel comfortable with autonomous style education in everything other than maths.
  • Miquon maths – This is more similar to the way maths is taught in UK schools than the US. It involves concepts such as early algebra and geometry from the early levels, rather than focussing primarily on arithmetic. Again, this can be used in conjunction with other curricula, or by itself.

FLEXIBILITY IN HOME EDUCATION

Children will learn some things very fast and may take longer with others. It doesn’t matter! There are no rules, unless you’re in a country or US State that happens to impose some. But even then they’re likely to be minimal. Children who have never had any formal teaching or any curriculum can still go to college – and often do. Certainly until they are 13 or 14 there is no need to do anything formal, unless your children want it.

If it’s important to your children to have high school accreditation, and they don’t want to work at local colleges or adult education classes, it may be worth following more formal courses such as those available at Northstar (UK) and/or registering at an umbrella school such as Clonlara (USA), although these are expensive options.

WHY HOME EDUCATE?

If your child likes going to school, and you are happy about all they are learning, then there is probably no reason to consider any alternative. Unfortunately, many children are bored or frustrated in school. One problem is the number of tests that British children have to take these days. Other children struggle – often in vain – to understand what they are taught. Still others simply don’t seem suited to a classroom environment. Not all children can – or should – sit still for lengthy periods; some do not learn in structured, classroom environments.

No group of thirty or more children are going to learn in the same way at the same rate. This is why good schools have ability groups, and extra assistants within each classroom. But no matter how good the school,  a teacher’s job is a difficult one. It is more so nowadays, with increased regulations and paperwork. There is little time for individual attention to all the pupils.

Moreover, some sensitive children may be badly hurt by teasing or feeling incompetent in some way. Some, wanting to fit in with their peers, resort to drugs or rebellion in their teens. Truancy is a serious problem in the secondary years. Students may have no interest in school and take days off, frequently dragging others into trouble.

RESOURCES

HOME EDUCATION RESOURCES

These pages list a variety of educational resources which can be used for helping your children to learn at home. In the UK there are no requirements for following any specific subjects. However some families choose either to use National Curriculum text books, or a pre-packaged curriculum. In some other countries there are legal expectations for parents teaching their own children. For these cases a set syllabus may be the easiest way to get started.

BUILDING YOUR OWN RESOURCES

The widespread use of computers makes home education far easier than it was in previous decades. There are a vast array of resources on the Internet. More than one home educating family has gathered together some of the best, many of which are relevant to British school-type topics. For pre-school or primary age children, one of the most useful sites is MuddlePuddle – an ongoing project with links, ideas and resources. There are some more ideas for projects, and inspiration for getting over burnout at Homeschooling Ideas.

If you want to think in terms of school-type subjects, at least initially, but are uncertain how to get started, or what books might be helpful at different stages, these subject pages will give a few suggestions which may suit your family. Choose from Maths, English, History, Science, Geography or history.

For older children, you might like to see some collected links for relevant topics. See: art and craft, English, geography, history, foreign languages, maths, music, religious education or science.

One of the most useful sites, dedicated to education in home and school is the BBC Learning site. You can also find a wide selection of useful resources, sorted by subject and age range, on the TES resources pages. You may have to register to use some of the resources, which are inevitably intended primarily for pupils in schools. But for those who want an idea of how the national curriculum translates into classroom learning, there are some useful lessons plans.

There are a variety of text books and other resources. Some of these tied in with the UK National Curriculum, and some were for more general interest. These can be bought from The Book Depository, Play.com or Amazon UK, at CGP books or at large bookshops in their towns. A site more specifically related to educational curriculum is TPS Publishing. This site has inexpensive lesson plans available. It also has some books developed for parents to use at home with children of all ages and abilities.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES

  • Cochranes – This site has a range of hands-on science kits and teaching apparatus for chemistry and DNA structure (molecular modelling kits), physics, astronomy and mathematics.
  • Maplin – This shop has a wide selection of electronic equipment, including most components as well as some kits. Useful as first port of call for anything of this nature. Maplin has several shops around the UK which can be worth a visit, if you have one nearby.
  • Rapid – This site has a wide variety of tools and educational resources. These include kits, electronic components, and even some kitchen gadgets for use in food technology.
  • SciChem – This site has a range of specifically educational supplies, but will sell to individuals or home educators as well as schools and colleges. It can be particularly useful for laboratory equipment.

SOCIAL ASPECTS OF HOME EDUCATION

Many people can see that, academically, home education is likely to be an improvement on classroom teaching. One obvious reason is that children have the chance to learn at their own rate, with one-to-one attention. Research shows that home educated children tend to achieve academic goals easily. They are welcome at university or vocational courses, and are easily able to think for themselves. Most can learn anything they want to learn with confidence. But time and again, home educators are asked about ‘socialisation’.

There are often reservations from family and friends about whether home educated children are able to socialise or be sociable. Concerns include several issues, some of which are good questions:-

  • Are they isolated from other children? Are they able to make friends with a wide variety of people?
  • Will they be able to fit into society as adults if they haven’t been through the ups and downs of school life?
  • Do they become too dependent on their parents?
  • Are they reluctant to go out to meet new situations and people?

Yet, if asked directly, many people find it hard to describe what they mean by ‘socialisation’.

People, on the whole, are social creatures. Being sociable is part of our nature.  If we allow children to develop in their own way, they will begin to relate to other people when they are ready.  Clearly children need to meet people in order to be sociable, but home educators don’t tend to be isolated from the community!  A child is just as likely to be sociable with one or two people he meets at home than with a class of thirty children who just happen to be the same age as he is.

More importantly, a home educated child is more in control of his social life than he would be in school. Parents – who know their children best – can observe, and encourage, and introduce a shy child to other people at relaxed times. They can meet other children in safe environments, rather than forcing them into situations where they may become withdrawn, or angry, or upset.

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY SOCIAL SKILLS ?

Social skills include culturally appropriate manners, knowing how to greet different people, and joining in conversations.  They are the ways we learn to relate to people in order to build relationships. They help us to communicate and spend time enjoying company.  Our children will primarily learn their social skills and cultural expectations from their parents and those they see around them. Thus the most important thing you can do is to model the kind of behaviour you would like to see.

Children at schools may well develop other social skills which relate to school culture. However those are not a lot of use in the rest of the world. Regular spates of truanting, depression and aggression by British schoolchildren show what serious damage can be done to a sensitive child when the environment is not appropriate.

Undoubtedly there were times when children feel a little isolated or lonely. However, children in schools report this at times, too. Being in a crowd is no guarantee of happiness or sociability. Nonetheless, there are extra options for afternoon and evening activities than did most of their schooled friends, as they had so much more time. Moreover, they did not limit their friendships or general socialising to people of their own age.

When they leave home, they settle well into social situations. Mostly, home education had in no way damaged their ability to socialise as young adults.

GCSEs FOR HOME EDUCATORS

Home educators can start GCSE courses at any age. Some begin quite young and take just one or two at a time. Others wait until they are 16 and then enrol at a college to take GCSE subjects appropriate to their future careers. Some study for them at home, and some don’t do any GCSEs at all. This kind of flexibility allows full research and study into each subject rather than simply focussing on getting lots of exams. Note that each exam board may have specific requirements. General GCSE books or ‘revision guides’ give an overview of what is likely to be required, but you will need to see past papers, and probably use books required by your chosen board.

GCSEs taken in schools usually include a significant amount of graded ‘coursework’. This consists of projects, essays or other work done during the year which counts towards the final grade in the exam. This is ideal for students who find exams stressful. It can be encouraging to know that they have already achieved twenty to forty percent of the grade. However home educated students sometimes find it harder to manage coursework. This is because an independent person has to mark it. For this reason, some choose the IGCSE (International GCSE) exams which rely entirely on exams. This suits some students, but not others. You can read a lot more about IGCSEs, including information about several specific courses, at online Tutorial sites.

If you are interested in discussing GCSEs, A-levels and alternatives for home educators with others who are on the same path, there’s active online group you can join, HE Exams. This has helpful advice for anyone looking for a centre to take exams of any kind, or wanting to know about the different types of GCSE that can be taken by home educators. There is general information, compiled by people from this list and elsewhere, on a new Wiki page about exams for home educators.

It is important that a child takes GCSEs because he or she wants to. Perhaps this is because it will be useful for future education or career options. But it is worthwhile doing as much research as you can. Some A-level courses can be taken without the relevant GCSE, and some vocational courses or careers do not require paper qualifications. There is little point putting a home educated child under pressure to take exams unless it is their own decision.

WAYS OF DOING GCSEs IN HOME EDUCATION

There are three main ways in which home educated students have taken GCSEs:

  • by correspondence courses where a tutor is usually assigned to give advice and mark work;
  • by enrolling at a local college or adult education class; or
  • at home doing their own research, choosing appropriate books and buying past exam papers. The latter is only really appropriate for exam-only IGCSEs, unless you can find a suitable independent person qualified to grade coursework.

The advantage of using a correspondence course or enrolling at a college is that a tutor is available. They may be able to help more than a parent, and can grade work. The disadvantage is usually the cost, if your child is under 16. Most colleges offer free or inexpensive courses to those over 16. But they may charge high rates to younger students, if they admit them at all. Some colleges will not admit younger students, particularly if they are popular and likely to be over-subscribed.

Another advantage of a college is that they will often arrange the exam room. With a correspondence course you usually have to organise that yourself. This involves registering your child as an external candidate at a local school or college, at additional cost.

It may be possible to register a child in a school part time with a flexi-schooling option, if the school allows this. Books and tuition will then be provided and you will probably not have to pay an exam fee. If your child is approaching 14 and wants to take several GCSEs, you may want to consider a couple of years in a local school if you can find one which you like. Some home educated children have followed this option and obtained excellent results. This is even if they have had no formal teaching prior to this age.

GENERAL HELP FOR GCSEs

For general help in most GCSE topics, look at the BBC Education: GCSE help. You may also find some help at the TopMarks site. Select age 15-16 and the subject that interest you to find a list of useful resources.

If you want to see in past papers, you can find a few online, and may be able to buy some at bookshops. For instance, you can find past papers with sample answers for maths at the GCSE maths past papers site. You may need to order others directly from the relevant exam board. Make sure that you check specific requirements for your year and board.

If you would like to use a paid agency for one or more GCSE or A-level options, you can find some organisations on the GCSE correspondence course page. These offer some distance learning or tuition possibilities for those who prefer outside help with GCSEs. Please read their terms and conditions carefully before making any financial commitment. The styles and resources supplied vary, and may not be suitable for your child.

A list of all the home education websites available to help with homeschooling UK. A number of these homeschooling resources UK are free.

HOMESCHOOLING UK: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Homeschooling UK: The Basics

 You can teach your child at home, either full or part-time. This is called homeschooling. You can get help with home education from your local council. … As a parent, you must make sure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5 but you don’t have to follow the national curriculum.

Why Homeschool?

There are so many different reasons why people chose the homeschool route.

Main Reasons to Opt for Home Education

  • Poor state education system
  • Greater growth potential
  • Diverse learning
  • Safeguarding
  • Robotic kids  produced by rigid state system
  • Developed social phobia
  • Family time – Dads schedule is opposite to school schedule
  • Wanted healthy discipline not peer pressure
  • The parents missed their children
  • Personal rights and freedoms for children
  • Holistic development
  • Unsuitable, irreligious teaching materials e.g. RE, RSE, PSHE
  • Flexibility


WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU HOME EDUCATE IN THE UK

If your child has never gone to school, then you don’t need to apply for a school place. If like us and your child was in the school system, you must write a letter to the Head of the school telling them that you are deregistering your child and for them to remove your child from the register. It is the Head’s responsibility to inform the Local Authority.

You do not need to give any notice to the school. As soon as you have deregistered your child you are fully responsible for their full time education.

If your child is under an EHC plan then I believe the rules are slightly different. Normally, you have to contact the Local Authority before deregistering them from the school named on the plan.

You do not have to follow the National Curriculum.

  • Your children do not have to do GCSE’s if they don’t want either. If they do want to do them though you will have to find a local centre that accepts external candidates and there is a fee for taking them.

There Is NO Financial Support If You Homeschool

  • As you have opted out of the state provided education, there is no financial support.

It Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive to Homeschool

  • There are so many free online resources that it really can be a very cheap option.

Homeschooling is 24/7

  • Learning happens all of time, not just at a desk. Playing board games is educational check out our favourite educational board games. Playing can be educational, reading books, drawing, cooking, learning life skills. The list is endless. So from the minute your child wakes up to the minute they go to bed, they are learning. Whether it be in the traditional sense or not.

You Do Not Need To Be A Teacher to Homeschool

  • As a parent you do not need to have any qualifications to teach your children.
  • There are so many free online resources to help for all ages that you can use.
  • Once you hit GCSE’s there are so many tutors out there if you need them, or even paid for online subscriptions. But this is only if you need them. It is certainly not a requirement.

TYPICAL PRIMARY SYLLABUS TIMETABLE – KS1 KS2 EXAMPLE

  MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY
9AM   LITERACY LITERACY LITERACY LITERACY LITERACY
9.40AM   BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK
9.50AM   NUMERACY NUMERACY NUMERACY NUMERACY NUMERACY
10.30AM   BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK
10.40AM   LITERACY LITERACY LITERACY LITERACY LITERACY
11.20AM   BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK
11.30AM   NUMERACY NUMERACY NUMERACY NUMERACY NUMERACY
12.10   BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK
12.20   LITERACY LITERACY LITERACY LITERACY LITERACY
1.00PM   HOME TIME HOME TIME HOME TIME HOME TIME HOME TIME
           
TEACHING HOURS 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3
           

TOTAL TEACHING TIME = 16.5 HOURS

TYPICAL SECONDARY SYLLABUS TIMETABLE – KS3 KS4 GCSE EXAMPLE

  MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY
9AM   ENGLISH LANG-LIT ENGLISH LANG-LIT ENGLISH LANG-LIT ENGLISH LANG-LIT ENGLISH LANG-LIT
9.40AM   BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK
9.50AM   MATHS MATHS MATHS MATHS MATHS
10.30AM   BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK
10.40AM   SCIENCE SCIENCE SCIENCE SCIENCE SCIENCE
11.20AM   BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK
11.30AM   COMPUTING COMPUTING COMPUTING COMPUTING URDU
12.10   BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK
12.20   RE URDU RE URDU RE
1.00PM   HOME TIME HOME TIME HOME TIME HOME TIME HOME TIME
           
TEACHING HOURS 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3
           

TOTAL TEACHING TIME = 16.5 HOURS

GCSE EXAMS: TOTAL 9

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE                                                                                  X 1
  • ENGLISH LITERATURE                                                                                X 1
  • MATHS                                                                                                            X 1
  • DOUBLE SCIENCE / CHEMISTRY – BIOLOGY – PHYSICS                      X 3
  • COMPUTING                                                                                                   X 1
  • RE ISLAMIC STUDIES                                                                                    X 1
  • URDU                                                                                                                X 1