The number of children in the UK being home-schooled or the more British term, ‘home-educated’ has risen by 41% over three years. Whilst many parents have cited negative experiences such as a distrust of UK education systems, concerns for their children’s mental health and a worrying increase in pupil exclusions, some parents are choosing to withdraw their children from school before they have even been attended.
I am one of these parents. This week, my child will turn two years old and although officially, I wouldn’t be expected to think about school for him until the middle of next year, it has been on my mind for a while now. You see, I am a former primary school teacher. A former primary school teacher who left the profession due to being stressed, overworked and disempowered.
When my son was one, like most mothers, I began thinking of returning to work and finding some form of childcare. Two weeks after his first birthday, he was due to begin ‘settling in’ at a nursery. Yet, it never happened. I panicked and pulled him out the day before he was due to start, telling everyone it was because he was too young when really I couldn’t bear to part with him. We enlisted the help of grandparents, Daddy went down to four days a week and I returned to work part time to allow us to muddle through with the plan of trying again when he was two.