The pandemic put the spotlight on an ailing education system. It became clear that learning — just like work — was something that could be done very differently. Efficiency, flexibility and independence became the buzzwords.
After a rise in both the acknowledgement and use of online resources and educational technology, homeschooling — which became a necessity and obligation for most during the pandemic — persisted as the superior mode of education well after many other things seemed to revert to their pre-pandemic state.
Our established private tuition and homeschooling company, Minerva Tutors, has been tracking the developments since Covid changed lives in 2020. Many parents who come to us for our homeschooling programme discuss how they’ve seen the benefits of learning from home for their kids since the pandemic, but that they’re struggling to deliver a programme by themselves.
The meteoric rise in homeschooling has been coupled with the realisation that, as many people discovered during the lockdowns, being both a parent to and sole educator of your child is a full-on occupation. Homeschooling has begun, then, to mean something different from the stereotypical parent-teaching-the-child model it had previously come to represent.
Hybrid forms of homeschooling, involving private tuition, virtual learning platforms or individually tailored programmes, have also seen a large rise in popularity. We’ll take a look at what’s happened to homeschooling since the pandemic: what are the new opportunities, what’s changed, and how do you go about it if you’re thinking of stepping out of traditional school?
What Does Today’s Homeschooling Look Like?
Parents seeking to homeschool their children right now are looking at a hybridised learning landscape.
This means their children will be engaging with a range of learning techniques — from self-led learning using online resources or Virtual Learning Platforms to one-on-one lessons with private tutors — to complete their homeschooled education.
This hybrid of self-directed learning coupled with live lessons is popular today for a few reasons. Firstly: it’s practical — taking after the popular, contemporary model of Flipped Learning, it encourages students to discover their own work ethic and enables them to move flexibly through modules at their own pace.
Secondly, it’s cheaper: parents can spend less on expensive hours of one-on-one tuition, as the teacher-tutor comes in to corroborate and develop learning, without needing the time to first impart the ‘foundational knowledge’ of a subject matter (which a student can do by themselves).
Today’s homeschooling pathways therefore tend to toggle between online learning and one-on-one teaching, with nearly all of this teaching now done online.
How Has Homeschooling Changed Post-Pandemic?
Homeschooling itself has changed since March 2020 in a number of ways. These include the use of online learning, the rise in online schools or virtual academies, and the increase in online one-to-one tuition.
With the realisation that many students learnt equally well online, many educational technology companies have re-drafted or ramped up their online learning facilities, or created virtual learning platforms that effectively serve as interactive textbooks for students to use.
These technologies are often coupled with the ‘flipped learning’ approach, in which students learn the basics of a topic online, and then come to live (virtual) lessons in order to develop and consolidate that knowledge.
There has also been an astonishing rise in online homeschooling generally since the pandemic: it’s one of the fastest-growing educational sectors, with a massive take-up since 2021.
This is argued to be for many reasons, including the better retention rate that online learning fosters, as well as the reduction in impact on the environment and conservation of energy and resources.
From Minerva’s point of view, it seems that a large reason for the uptick in popularity is the number of students that need more flexibility from their education, whether that be because of their particular learning style, their mental health and well-being, or the fact they are also pursuing another career or life pathway alongside their primary education.
The fact that homeschooling can now take place primarily online means parents or families that want or need to travel can now do so, without disrupting the young learners in their family.
Why Does Homeschooling Matter More Than Ever?
Homeschooling matters in 2022 more than ever due to a combination of the failings of traditional school with the increase in opportunity that distance learning and customised learning affords.
Many students are simply not getting the attention of education they need from a traditional schooling system that is on its knees. There is also an increased awareness of the impact of poor social situations associated with school on an individual’s learning.
Meanwhile, more and more students know how and when they study best. Homeschooling offers a flexibility of approach that has become the norm now the world is able to work how it wants to, on its own time. Homeschooling incorporates educational technology, which is fast becoming the norm for a younger generation for whom internet research is an everyday resource.
Homeschooling has seen an increase since the pandemic because:
- Parents see it as the highest level of education available, with direct focus and bespoke curriculum
- Students prefer it to going into school each day, dealing with social aspect, daily travel and learning at other people’s pace
- Students can customise and focus on specific subjects for career path
- Students can get ahead in certain subjects and take exams early
- Parents can have a bigger part in their child’s education
And there are many different types of student that are now turning to homeschooling:
- Those who have to travel for family reasons or career reasons
- Those who struggle with mental health / social aspect of regular school
- Those who learn at a different pace to classroom rhythm
- Those who want to take exams earlier and get ahead
How to Start Homeschooling: Three Pathways
1. Doing It Yourself
Going it alone is the most cost-effective path to take in order to start homeschooling. If you have the time to give your child the attention they need, then homeschooling them yourself can be a rich and rewarding route.
In the UK, you don’t have to follow the National Curriculum if you don’t want to, and this frees you up to create a highly unique education based around wherever your child’s natural interests lie, and however they learn best.
95% of our homeschooling clients do choose, however, to stay within the National Curriculum, and if you follow this route too then it’s worth understanding you will be taking on the role of teacher across multiple subjects.
If you choose to start homeschooling your child yourself, you need to know:
- exactly which subjects you’re going to teach
- exactly which subjects you can teach
- how you’re going to set up the weekly timetable
There are other key administrative aspects, such as knowing which exam board will allow you to register your child as a private candidate, and knowing which subjects can be studied as a private subject – not everything can. Check out our Homeschooling Advice Centre for all the details.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that it can be difficult to maintain full-time work alongside homeschooling your child yourself. This option might require a two-parent household who alternate the teaching and working roles, or for one to take on the role entirely.
2. Hiring a Tutor to Help
Hiring a tutor to help makes it super easy to start homeschooling safely in the knowledge that it’s not all down to you alone. Companies like Minerva can work with you collaboratively, providing tutors for the subjects you can’t teach, or to take the strain on days when you’ve got other things to do.
If you love the idea of homeschooling your child, but have no extra time yourself, then Minerva offers a full replacement of the school programme, all from the comfort of the home space. This is the highest quality of education a child can receive.
With this kind of homeschooling, you’ll have a crack team of four or five tutors, each teaching two or three subjects and each expert in those fields. A student has direct, one-on-one attention and help: we often find a child can totally transform via the holistic way of learning this kind of homeschooling offers.
This method is great for kids with special educational needs, or who are part of families that move around a lot, or for those whom a traditional school setting isn’t conducive or practical for learning. We offer not only expert, specialist tutors for any and every subject under the sun, but also the mentoring, time management and guidance needed for your child to flourish fully as an individual, outside of the purely academic realm.
Hiring a tutor or two to help can substantially ease the pressure on you, your time and your work if you’re working from home. This means you’ll still effectively feel like you’re homeschooling your child, with all the benefits it entails – collaborating with them on curriculum, tailoring their learning to particular styles and modes, ensuring they’re fully engaged and supported – without having to be around and ‘on it’ 24/7. Our replacement school programme means you’re more like a headmaster than a teacher, envisioning how the school is run whilst we do the daily dual tasks of inspiration and administration.
A common question we are asked is how to maintain the social side of school life when you start homeschooling, and whilst it’s true that this can seem initially difficult to replace, parents often say they enjoy enrolling their kids in extracurricular clubs and activities with others of the same age in order to scratch that itch. Plus, the social side of school can be exactly what’s holding your child back from learning and developing as an individual. Still, if it’s something you’re worried about, then it’s time to turn to the Virtual Academy…
3. Signing Up to Minerva’s Virtual Academy
Minerva’s Virtual Academy is an online school for Years 9 – 13 where your child can start homeschooling with minimal disruption. It’s been designed to make our one-to-one homeschooling expertise more accessible, offering it at a more affordable price and enabling students from all around the country to study the British Curriculum with a team of expert private teachers and tutors from wherever there’s an internet link.
All the best bits about school are carried over – live group lessons, extra-curricular activities, weekly assemblies – and put online, helping do away with any issues around a lack of social interaction for your child. The live online lessons are mixed with self-taught modules and exams to ensure your child maintains all the advantages of homeschooling that suit the curious, engaged mind. This helps you rest easy in the knowledge that your child is just in the next room, being fully looked-after, and you can chip in and be a part of whatever they’re learning as much as you want. In many ways, the Academy offers the best of both prior pathways, whilst maintaining the social side of schooling thanks to its live group lessons.
This means you can start homeschooling your child easily and comfortably from home or wherever you might be in the world, with a sense of routine – a jam-packed and exciting school week – coming reliably right into your living room.
We’re here to help with any queries at any point: just drop us a line at and we can help you narrow down your options and tell you more about our tutors, our broad-minded approach to education, and answer any questions you might have about homeschooling in general.