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Do I Have To Follow the National Curriculum When Home Educating ?

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

When it comes to educating your child from home, it can be hard to know just where to start especially if you don’t have a background or training in education. Lesson plans, objectives, and exams are all important aspects to consider, but often the first factor that you need to consider is if the curriculum that you are going to provide will help your child to grow into a well-rounded student. With the National Curriculum being the standard for subjects and benchmark of education set out by the government for primary schools and high schools, choosing to home educate you may be wondering how you will manage this yourself. We explain here just how much you will be required to adhere to national standards and how to implement a curriculum.



The National Curriculum

The UK education system requires schools and teachers to strictly follow the National Curriculum when teaching pupils. This standardised system works to provide a similar experience for children up and down the country and provides schools with a framework to follow and to be measured against.


If you are homeschooling your child you do not need to follow this curriculum when it comes to educating your child. In fact you can plan and deliver your very own curriculum, giving you the freedom and flexibility to teach in the way you feel is appropriate and in accordance to yours and your child’s preferred teaching and learning methods.


Offering a Broad and Balanced Educational Experience

The main requirement for a homeschooling parent is that they work to provide a curriculum and learning experience that is broad and balanced. This allows the child to study and experience different subjects so that they build in their confidence and develop a love for learning. This along with the flexibility to incorporate life skills in the teaching and learning experience will help prepare the child for adult life. There are many ways of achieving this and many homeschooling parents make use of online resource sites as well as drawing upon their own educational experience.


Exam Requirements

While there is no requirement to enter homeschooled children for exams, many families decide to do so, so that they can monitor and continue their child’s academic progress as they get older and develop into more specialised areas such as A-Levels and University.


All exam boards do provide exam specifications, and you will need to teach your child in a way that reflects all the requirements to prepare them for exam success. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information available to you on the exam board websites, including the provision of sample resources that you can download and make use of for your child.


The International GCSE (IGCSE).


The International GCSE (IGCSE) is a set of examinations and qualifications initially designed for international schools but now used in some private and alternative educational settings in the UK. The IGCSE is the same standard and grading as the GCSE. IGCSEs are accredited by either Cambridge (Cambridge International Examinations), Edexcel (Pearson Edexcel) exam boards or OxfordAQA (Oxford International AQA Examinations), and their assessments favour end examinations over coursework. This makes them appealing to many home educators. There are a wide variety of subjects available, with no limits on the number of qualifications. Normally, a student will study each subject over a two-year period before undertaking examinations and assessments. However, there is no time limit on how long a student needs to study before taking exams.


School Holidays and Term Time

One of the great things about homeschooling is that you are not required to follow a specific timetable nor do you have to adhere to school term dates and holidays. This gives you and your family the ultimate in flexibility. However, many parents loosely follow these dates so that they can support strong peer relationships with children that do attend school.


Here at Blackstone Masterclasses, we have an in-depth understanding of homeschooling and educate parents on how to provide the best possible experience for your children. If you are interested in using our experience to help enhance your homeschool provision, then sign up for our course and get started. Get in touch today and get the confidence you need to educate your child effectively.


Blackstone Masterclasses is an online resource, providing advice and courses on self-improvement, education and teaching. We are delighted to announce the release of our home schooling masterclass, an excellent resource for all your home educating needs.


Author Mrs Shafina Akhtar Bsc Hons optometry Bsc medical biology

Founder Blackstone Masterclasses

Lifestyle & Education Mentor

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