Parent and child being active outside together

Children and Parents Keeping Active Whilst Home Educating

Research by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services found the number of home-educated children in England had increased by 40% to about 75,000 in the year to October 2020. That represents a little under 1% of school-aged children but it is double the number who were home educated four years before.

Understanding this, we’ve been reaching out to home educators in Devon to find out what’s important to them. Plus, what the barriers are to helping their children be physically active and how could we work with them to provide local opportunities that meet their needs.

Gaining Feedback is Key to Understanding More

We spoke to families in Tavistock and Plymouth and the feedback included:

  • There are good online communities that home educating parents and carers can join that aim to support each other through regular meet ups
  • They want family activities that enable the parent to get active whilst the child is also being active
  • Family based yoga was something they’d like to try
  • Cost is a barrier especially for families with two or more children
  • They like partners who will offer a family rate rather than cost per child
  • They loved our RFU Families Fund activities which included fun multi-skills activities alongside a Couch to 5K programme
  • Some families do engage with clubs that are typically held after the school day
  • Late morning or afternoon activities are preferred to those that start early in the morning

What Can We Do to Help?

We know how important it is for all children and young people to be active. Play, movement and exercise support good physical and mental health. They can also support social and educational development.

Opportunities need to be local, accessible and affordable. They also need to be fun, safe and high quality.

We can reach out to local delivery partners who share our Vision of ‘Everyone in Devon Active for Life’ and work with families to develop a solution that works for them.

It’s a Family Affair

But this opportunity shouldn’t just be for the children. Why can’t parents get their 30 minutes of daily activity at the same time? We’ll be looking into how we can organise something that enables parents to socialise and be active too – if they’d like to do that.

Where Next?

If you’re educating your children at home and would like more information on activities in your area, please get in touch with us via hello@activedevon.org.

We’re also running a free taster session in Plymouth on 2nd December in partnership with Argyle Community Trust. Take a look at the flyer here for more details. If successful we will look to make this a regular activity in Plymouth and possibly elsewhere in Devon.