Home education: Subjects to teach


It can be difficult to start home educating before your child can read. 

Useful beginner guides and exercises can be found:

Reading to your child is helpful when teaching them literacy.

Libraries are full of appropriate picture books, and you don't need to stick to the words in the book, instead you can:

  • talk about the pictures
  • get your child to guess what happens next
  • make up new versions of the stories together

Make it clear to your child that reading is important to you, by reading for yourself.


  • Learning to read includes learning to break words down into to individual sounds and then building words from their constituent sounds.
  • Learning the sounds that letters make is an important next step, but it is also important to learn to recognise patterns in words and some whole words.
  • Reading for understanding is important so that the child can check what they have read. This means that they can check for sense and go back to correct themselves if what they have read does not seem to make sense.

Once your child can make their way through an age-appropriate book, it would be helpful to take them to your local library.

Libraries often have readings, workshops and other activities taking place in the holidays and after school hours.

Try to get your child to read different types of text- magazines, comics, newspapers, websites etc.

Boys often tend to prefer factual material to fiction, and some read less than girls.

Make sure both boys and girls have opportunities to read different material.


Try to provide opportunities for your child to develop skills in writing for different reasons, including:

  • stories and essays
  • instructions
  • reports
  • diaries
  • shopping lists
  • picture captions

Most children are willing to put a lot more effort into a piece of writing if it has a "real" purpose.