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To feel a bit sorry for these kids

(107 Posts)
SenoritaViva Thu 07-Feb-13 12:38:25

DC were friends with a family that moved away. They come back regularly to see family in the area and come to play with my DC.

When they moved, last summer they decided to home school their children. They have a Year 3 and Year 1 Child, a preschooler and a one year old.

She has not started their home schooling with them and instead has given them household chores instead because 'having 4 children is an unbelievable amount of work'.

I just feel the children are missing out on their education as a result of her needs for help. I am not disputing that 4 children is a lot of hard work, nor am I against her needing help around the house and I am not against home schooling either. But I also think that if the eldest two were at school and the younger one had her 15 hours at preschool that would free up some of her time. She won't consider it as she has made the decision to 'home school'. I presume their family will continue to expand, she's alluded to the fact that they will due to religious reasons.

I know it's none of my business I just feel a little sad for the children. I should just stop thinking about it shouldn't I? They are still part of a loving home and she cares greatly for them. There are a lot worse off I suppose.

Isnt it illegal?

SenoritaViva Thu 07-Feb-13 12:41:46

She said it was 'very awkward' when Ofsted came around, but I think she managed to convince them she was doing something...

deleted203 Thu 07-Feb-13 12:42:51

I would feel fairly concerned for these children that they are being used to do household chores rather than getting a proper education. (And lets face it - how much real use are a 5 yo and a 7 yo when it comes to housework!) I've got 5 DCs and never found it an 'unbelievable' amount of work, personally. I know little about HE but presumably someone should be checking that these children are getting some sort of schooling and not just hanging about at home doing nothing?

SDeuchars Thu 07-Feb-13 12:43:14

What do you mean by She has not started their home schooling with them? Many home educators in the UK do no formal "schooling", especially not with children those ages. It does not mean that they are not being educated, just that it looks different from what you'd expect when DC are in school.

SenoritaViva Thu 07-Feb-13 12:43:20

I presume it might be but I have little knowledge of home schooling. I'd never consider it as I know I wouldn't be organised enough and my DC seem to thrive at their schools.

I do feel though that it is people like this that give home schooling a bad rap.

SDeuchars Thu 07-Feb-13 12:45:36

Ofsted does not "come around" to inspect home educators. There is no requirement in law for parents educating their own children to be inspected at all. If their LA know about them, the LA may (with the family's agreement) come to visit.

StuntGirl Thu 07-Feb-13 12:45:43

Is she actually doing no education whatsoever?

Jamillalliamilli Thu 07-Feb-13 12:48:47

Has she told you she is in no way educating them, ie; autonomously, or have you decided if she isn't doing formal lessons, or what you recognise as 'schoolwork' she's doing nothing?

spicandspan Thu 07-Feb-13 12:49:02

Well, maybe she is 'teaching' them through the chores? (count the socks... Let's read the instructions on the packet.... Weigh the ingredients... Why is the water making bubbles etc etc). I mean, she must be occupying them somehow, you can't leave small kids to get on with chores themselves - they won't!

dexter73 Thu 07-Feb-13 12:50:18

I have visions of her watching Jeremy Kyle while the kids are hoovering and cleaning!

FellatioNels0n Thu 07-Feb-13 12:52:40

Depends what you mean by home 'schooling'. There is a difference between home schooling and home educating. It is not law to follow the national curriculum.

valiumredhead Thu 07-Feb-13 12:52:59

What SD said

phlebas Thu 07-Feb-13 12:54:13

ofsted have nothing to do with home education.

MrsMushroom Thu 07-Feb-13 12:55:37

Are you sure she's not in the process of unschooling them? That's a process used by home educators to un-do schooling so they may start again afresh. People may also choose to educate in a non-formal fashion...which involves simply living your life....and using day to day experience to educate children.

I can't remember the term for it...but it's certainly not illegal.

MrsMushroom Thu 07-Feb-13 12:56:39

OP as for people like this giving HE a bad rap...are you sure it's not actually people like YOU doing that?

charlottehere Thu 07-Feb-13 12:59:06

shock I have 4 children and so far it is a lot of work however, the children are the parents responsibility, why should their education suffer?

I am not against HE but this isn't HE is it? hmm

Jamillalliamilli Thu 07-Feb-13 12:59:43

Autonomous Mrs Mushroom smile

So you can HE your children, and no-one has to check up on their progress?

(Total ignorance of this issue).

SDeuchars Thu 07-Feb-13 13:01:12

FellatioNels0n: There is a difference between home schooling and home educating.

Not really, except that the UK home education community generally tries to avoid the S word because it confuses people and they expect us to be doing stuff that looks like school.

It is not law to follow the national curriculum.

That is true - not even all schools have to follow the NC. Home educators are governed by the primary legislation which says that it is the duty of a parent to ensure that their school-age child receives an education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude. Education Act 1996, section 7

Jamillalliamilli Thu 07-Feb-13 13:01:15

Charlottehere, we don't know because the OP has posted a claim but not yert answered questions.

MrsMushroom Thu 07-Feb-13 13:01:26

Charlotte I can't be bothered to explain...but yes...it can be. And as I said, it is perfectly legal and it is a personal choice.

Thank God we HAVE that choice too.

I know a man who was taught in this way and he is now a very successful comedy writer...it hasn't harmed him at all.

lolaflores Thu 07-Feb-13 13:01:37

Here them come, thundering down from the moral high ground, watch yer backs.
Home schooling...oh dearie me.

SenoritaViva Thu 07-Feb-13 13:03:03

Good point MrsMushroom. Apologies.

I certainly wouldn't expect her to follow the national curriculum, isn't that the point of HE, to have a different approach etc.

These were her words, not mine. She said she was not doing anything with them but rather trying to get them into a routine where they all did chores so the house ran smoothly and that she might get around to 'thinking about' education next September.

If she was doing the 'un-schooling' again I'd have no problem but I don't think she is doing it as a plan. Just simply using them to help her so she can cope (again, these are her words really).

akaemmafrost Thu 07-Feb-13 13:03:40

How do you know she's not started their home educating? I HE ds. It's 13.00 pm here, to outside eyes he has messed around on the laptop all day watching Top Gear, playing with Lego and getting his hair cut.

What he has actually done is two Maths exercises on IXL, he's read to me at length, he's done research on Bolivia, la Paz and caves to be found in national parks near there for a location for a script he's writing. Using his lego he has also built a set for the animation that his script is being written for. Tomorrow we will film it and put it on You Tube.

Oh and he has also researched and weighed up the price and benefits of various hire cars for a trip we are planning over half term. He is 9 and a very helpful boy to his tired old Mum grin.

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