Hello - we are Mike and Vicky Beamish. We are co-ordinators for the South West region of the UK. We home educated for about 11 years our two boys who are now 18 and 21 - one of whom is on the autistic spectrum. We decided to home educate out of a desire to improve our quality of family life, and not because we considered ourselves to be teachers. We found different creative ways of educating our boys and allowed them to develop skills/gifts they already had. We feel that mainstream education may not have allowed them to develop their gifts and talents to the extent they have done - for example both boys, especially the older one, are musically very gifted, so we allowed them lots of time and space to to explore this particular gift. We have always felt that life itself is an education, and so we never confined education just to books, although both boys have been avid readers. Our older boy has since been onto college to do a City & Guilds and consistently remained top of his class for 3 years, much to his and our delight. We openly admit that we were originally very sceptical about home educating; not being sure how we would do it, and the examples we had witnessed originally, but on reflection we are so glad we took the decision for our family as a whole. It hasn't been an easy ride but we are grateful for the opportunities it has afforded us as a family. We are willing to help others find their way, and particularly if you have any children with autism, we would be very glad to hear from you and try to answer your questions. God Bless.