The family homeschooling permanently to 'beat the Sunday blues'

Caroline Widdows is now homeschooling her two children, Daisy and Toby, permanently Credit: SWNS

A mum who missed her children so much when they were at school has withdrawn them to homeschool permanently.

Caroline Widdows says she enjoyed homeschooling so much during the pandemic, she has decided to keep doing it in a bid to 'beat the Sunday blues'.

And she is not alone - a survey has found there has been a 34% rise in the number of parents choosing to homeschool their children in the past two years.

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ACDS) survey found that in Bath and North East Somerset - where the Widdows family live - it's risen by as much as 45%.

Caroline, 44, said: "We've always had an interest in homeschooling and thought it would suit our family so it's a natural progression of parenthood, really.

"We wanted more time with the kids and to have a bigger input into their learning."

The children say homeschooling allows them to learn at their own pace Credit: SWNS

Caroline works part-time from home and her husband, Charlie, is also around their Chew Magna house a lot. They accept not everyone is able to have the same arrangement.

Caroline's 13-year-old daughter Daisy returned to school for just one day in September 2020 when the schools reopened before returning to homeschooling permanently.

Her 11-year-old brother Toby joined her in September when his time at primary school ended.

"Homeschooling slows everything down whereas at senior school it goes by in a flash," Caroline said.

"They're always onto the next thing and sometimes pushed on a little too fast, in my opinion.

"There are no deadlines," Caroline said. "We go at the children's speed. you can choose whatever subjects you like. We stick to English, maths, science, history and geography and will later look at languages.

"We don't follow a strict curriculum but the work they're doing is exactly what their friends are doing at school. At the moment we are looking at doing GCSEs but after that, who knows? Hopefully, education will evolve so maybe the emphasis won't be on higher education but more on initiative and being innovative."

Caroline works part-time from home and her husband, Charlie, is also at home a lot Credit: SWNS

She said she found the experience "quite daunting" in the beginning but has since found a lot of resources, guidance and support.

She said: "There's always someone to ask and guide you through it."

Daisy admits she was unsure at first but was unhappy at school and enjoyed homeschooling during the coronavirus lockdown.

"I did wonder how my mum would become my teacher," she said. "I was worried at the start that it would be too much for all of us but she's actually really good at the whole teacher thing.

"I found homeschooling is my way of learning. The freedom and the flexibility are the best things. You can learn at your own pace. 

"The biggest misconception is that you're immediately unsociable, you never go out or see anybody. But I don't miss my friends because I still see them and I'm making new ones through the various clubs I'm involved in."

Toby said: "I don't think I would have settled at secondary school, so I thought home schooling might be the answer.

"My friends thought I was quite lucky at first, sitting on the sofa and relaxing but it's not like that.

"You've got to be brave to try it and once you have I think it would suit most people."