Home education case study - Child F

Child F

F was removed from school to be electively home educated, the school advised that F was sensitive to the content and delivery of certain parts of the curriculum; the school also reported that school attendance had been recorded at as low as 38%, there were no safeguarding concerns.

F's mother reported that F had some health issues causing her to have a lot of time off school. There was an incident in the classroom whereby the family maintains that inappropriate subjects were discussed within the classroom and following this the final decision was made to home educate. F has a younger brother who is not yet school aged.

F engages in lots of activities including swimming, gymnastics, and tap dancing and is learning to play the cello and piano. The curriculum includes English Language, Literature, Comprehension, Maths, Christianity and Art. Mum is a musician, dad enjoys history, grandad helps with art and grandma helps with cookery and sewing, both grandparents support gardening. F enjoys science and loves maths.

The family engaged with the home education team and provided a wealth of examples of education that F had completed at the initial visit (the initial visit is usually a chance to meet with families and discuss plans, share resources). The family planned to deliver a 'hands on', fun and varied curriculum.

A range of age appropriate workbooks had already been completed by the time of the first visit, work was marked and dated and included the following:

  • spelling 5 to 7
  • handwriting 5 to 7
  • reading
  • adding and subtraction 7+
  • timetables
  • telling the time
  • handwriting practice 5 to 9.

A range of resources were readily available to support learning. It was decided to move to offer annual visits to the family in future as the education that F was receiving was more than suitable. Since the initial visit the family have sent in termly progress reports on a purely voluntary basis.

Extract of a progress report received

Year 2 - Term 5

This term was only 4 weeks long as we were lucky enough to go on an extended-family holiday. F has worked steadily and covered what had been planned for the term.

When telling the time in maths, F has now really grasped the concept of 25 past and 25 to. With the help of the magnetic times tables pieces F has revised the 5 and 10 times tables this term, often starting our day with a times tables race. Sequences was a fairly new, if not completely new, concept for F. We tackled this by using coloured paperclips to visually illustrate the 'peaks and troughs' of different sequences – which inspired and helped her to understand it. We have started the 1-20 number bonds. She enjoys playing the 'Brainbox' maths game at the end of the week and challenging her mum's observational skills!

F is now reverting from spider graphs to bullet-points again to create paragraphs in her weekly journal. Too much time was being spent creating the beautiful graphs, which were then often ignored when it came to writing it up. F still needs to take seriously how important the use of paragraphs is. When it comes to looking up spellings we will try and learn the alphabet in groups of three letters next term, enabling speedier word-searches in the dictionary. Her handwriting has improved a lot this term, and she sets the once-wandering writing back to the margins now. She has also used some incredibly descriptive sentences, which I have really praised her for. Her enthusiasm for reading is really paying off!

What I haven't mentioned in previous reports is that F does one unit of English grammar a week - in which she is learning many useful and often overlooked parts of the English language. As an English teacher I can really see the benefit of getting this grounding at an early age to avoid any bad habits.

In English comprehension F has learned to 'justify inferences'. She even happily explains the reason for drawing conclusions from just about anything outside the classroom too! She still needs to think about reading each question at least twice before attempting to write her answers.

In English literature recently, F recited a 6-verse-long poem called "Double Trouble". She enjoyed this and wasn't put off by its length. Both children enjoy their weekly visit to the 'book bus' (mobile library).

As in term 4, there has been plenty of time and opportunity in geography to read other books from home or from the library to support topics learnt in the "World Around Us" school book.

In history we are finishing the Victorian era. F is very interested in IT and has been promised that she can have lots of practice next term when she starts to create her book (on Florence Nightingale and Princess Victoria) by typing it up on the PC…

We have had one teacher for Spanish this term and F has consolidated 'Dónde está?' and prepositions and the items in a pencil case. Both children have also revised the topic pets. We are intending to learn all future topics through song as that seems to be the most effective (and fun) way to retain vocabulary.

Science didn't get much time allocated to it this term, but we are looking forward to starting to work through a fantastic book on 'Great Experiments' next term.

F enjoys playing the piano whenever she walks past it. Sometimes she likes to memorise certain pieces. She also enjoys playing duets. This term she has learned how to play legato and staccato and has mastered playing the first pieces with hands together. She still needs to make sure she has a good position at all times and that she isn't tempted to rush easier passages. We have been through all F's cello pieces to date, but due to lack of time, haven't worked on anything new this term. F still enjoys her music theory even though (now in her second book) it is getting slightly more complex.

Art and craft, F is always being creative, whether it's the odd bit of embroidery, a picture or the dreaded loom bands! She is looking forward to the needlework project which will take place with her grandmother next term.
F's extra-curricular activities this term included swimming, gymnastics and Brownies, with many hours playing in the garden on the trampoline and helping the grandparents with the gardening.