You are qualified
As a homeschool parent, you don’t have to be trained as a teacher to homeschool your child. You are qualified so long as you love to read with your child, explore, spend time with them, and learn with them.
It’s surprisingly simple to homeschool in Ireland
If you decide not to send your children to school – or to withdraw them from a school they are already attending – you will need to register your intention to do so with the National Education Welfare Board (NEWB). It’s shockingly easy to homeschool in Ireland. You don’t have to follow a curriculum, but there is an onus on homeschooling parents to provide a ‘certain minimum education’ – though that ‘minimum’ is not defined either by Bunracht na hEireann or by the Department.
Once you’ve submitted your registration to the NEWB, a representative will be along to interview you about your planned curriculum, your ‘teaching method’, and /or your approach to learning.
How do they get into college without a Leaving Certificate?
We’re all so ingrained with the dreaded ‘points race’ here in Ireland, that it’s easy to miss the fact that you don’t actually need a leaving cert to get into college here. YOu can attend university through any of the following avenues:
- Achieve a minimum of five distinctions on FETAC Level 5 courses
- Do an Access course at your institution of choice
- Wait until you are 23 – when you will be deemed a mature student and a Leaving Certificate is no longer required.
- Obtain an International Christian Certificate of Education
- Study through the Open University
You can also simply register your child for the Leaving Certificate exam, if you want them to go through the CAO system.
You make the curriculum
There is no set six-hours a day your child needs to complete while homeschooling. Likewise if your child is particularly interested in History – it’s up to you whether or not you continue down a historical thread or if you force them to switch over to maths. The general advice for homeschooling is to let the child lead (where reasonable) and to follow their natural interests.
Trust your child
Children are natural learners and have a thirst for knowledge – by the time they are six years old they are completely fluent in a whole language, have learned to roll, crawl, walk, and make thousands of other internal connections from scratch. They want to learn – you’re just the avenue for them to pick up more information.