About HEN Ireland
our Mission statement
Home Education Network (HEN) is a nationwide, voluntary, non-profit support group and representative body for families who choose to home educate or to engage in the pursuit of learning outside of the school system. We connect home educating families at a local and community level and build a nationwide network.
By engaging with state agencies, we aim to positively influence government policy and processes in relation to home education and its governance. We promote the awareness of home education as a legal and constitutionally protected option for families in Ireland.
We are an all-embracing network of parents, welcoming all people involved with, or with an interest in, home education. The network was established in 1999 by a group of home educating parents to offer advice and support to home educating families in Ireland and those considering home education as an option for their family. It is a non-profit organisation run by voluntary home educating parents.
HEN Ireland is still going strong, with more and more families choosing to home educate every year. Many of the founder members are still involved with HEN, even though many of their children are now grown! They have a wealth of experience and advice for new members, above all giving confidence to families just starting out that home education is a viable educational option and can be a very rewarding experience.
We have a general enquiry email address for those considering home education and we endeavour to reply to you as soon as possible.
Regional Contacts / Social Media
Our voluntary regional contacts can put you in touch with local families and provide details of meet-ups in your area. There are also many groups set up on Facebook to help you find home education meet-ups close to your locality. Please note these groups are run independently by local families who may or may not be HEN members. Home education meet-ups provide an opportunity for parents to get together and chat over coffee about all the mutually relevant topics associated with raising a family. It also gives children the chance to meet other home educating children and to chat and play together. HEN Ireland can provide insurance for these meet-ups.
Periodic newsletters are published for both adults and children. The newsletters are generated from articles and news submitted by our members about their experiences of home education, short stories, photographs and useful resources.
Meetings with Government Departments
As a recognised body HEN Ireland is in a position to meet with Education Welfare Services within Tusla to discuss relevant issues and new developments regarding home education in general. Tusla is the agency responsible for the registration of home educated children in Ireland. HEN Ireland does not have the resources to be officially involved in individual cases, however, our members find great support from asking advice from one another. HEN Ireland runs a private members only Facebook group to discuss relevant issues to families.
Fortnightly Wednesday Zoom Meetings
Either 11am until approx. 12:30pm or 7pm to approx. 8:30pm
A general open Zoom call for all members and non members; this is a nice space to chat about your home education journey and ask any question you may have. To get a link to the meeting, please send an email to: email@example.com .
HEN Ireland organises an annual home educating conference/gathering. This is a residential event over the course of a weekend each summer. It can also be attended on a day-to-day basis. The gathering was interrupted in 2020 and happened virtually in 2021. Members of HEN Ireland receive a discount to the gathering as well as being offered first refusal where places are limited.
JOIN US AND HELP MAKE US THE REFERENCE FOR HOME EDUCATION IN IRELAND!
HEN Ireland is run entirely by volunteers. The only funding the organisation receives is from annual membership subscriptions. We try to keep the annual fee (currently €25) as low as possible so that membership is accessible to as many families as possible.
Without the continued support of our members it would not be viable for HEN Ireland to operate.
Join us and help make us the best home educating organisation in the world!
Anyone wishing to be involved in running the organisation in any way, please let us know. We’re a volunteer organisation that depends on members’ help to continue to function, so any ideas, suggestions and offers of help are valuable and much appreciated.
We invite our members to contribute articles for the newsletters: letters, accounts of everyday life home educating, resources or ideas that have helped you help your children learn, book reviews, resources, etc. We especially welcome children’s accounts of being home educated, what they like learning, their jokes, riddles, drawings, poems, stories and letters.