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.

I know a couple (not well - through some friends!) with 8 and 10 year old children who cannot read or write. I find it shocking that no one checks up on the children's progress or how the adult is teaching.

Cakecrumbsinmybra Thu 07-Feb-13 13:26:00

Regardless of the HE issue (which is very interesting), I don't understand how she could possibly have so much housework that it would be beneficial to have 3 DC at home "helping"? There aren't that many jobs that I can think of which I could give to my 6 year old, which he could do and that would actually save me time (ie I would need to supervise, answer endless questions, re-do stuff that he'd done). So this sounds a bit hmm to me.

Ah I see.

It takes more of an organic approach. I can see the appeal actually. Letting them learn at their own pace as opposed to forcing it upon them.

I am definately not capable of that though. I would always worry I was failing her because of my own self doubt.

Thanks for explaining it though!

givemeaclue Thu 07-Feb-13 13:26:40

Agree that this is like travelling families taking kids out of school to work

Jamillalliamilli Thu 07-Feb-13 13:28:24

She's not being flamed by most, she's being asked sensible questions and HE is being discussed.
The family are known to the LA or they wouldn't have been visited. If in the longer term she has no plans to do anything with them, she will find intervention in spadefuls.

MrsDeVere Thu 07-Feb-13 13:28:58

I don't think the op is being flamed.

I think people are being patient and trying to establish what exactly is going on and then explaining some important things about HE.

SDeuchars Thu 07-Feb-13 13:30:13

In school, the teacher has to try to satisfy 30 children at roughly the same developmental stage and Ofsted. Most parents only have to deal with a few children at different stages (so those more competent can help those less, which does not necessarily correlate with age). This means that the parent needs only to find a maximum of N ways of educating, where N is the number of children (and it is likely to be a lot less than N).

In this case, all the children are still in a developmental stage where they are likely to learn more efficiently by doing.

HE often works better for children with SEN. Some SEN stop being an educational handicap when school is taken out of the mix. For example, a DC with ASD no longer has to deal with other people's random (to the DC) schedules and the sensory overload of the rest of the class.

Because there is no pressure to be reading independently by a certain age, children who have difficulties with reading can still be educated to their intellectual capacity - as long as they have an adult prepared to facilitate that.

Fabsmum Thu 07-Feb-13 13:31:40

In Finland they don't start formal schooling until the age of 7, and their kids are academically far ahead of hours.

Really OP - you don't know what your 'friend' is doing with her dc's on a day to day basis.

thebody Thu 07-Feb-13 13:34:27

This is such an interesting thread.

I have 4 kids, youngest 12 and just did what I suppose most do and sent them to school.

Now I have just trained as a TA and work in reception class and am totally shocked at the pace and expectations.

It's phonics followed by numeracy followed by IT followed by topic... It's boom boom onto the next thing, writing practise, circle time it's seriously never ending.

Kids often cuddle up and say ' I am so tired body' and 'when can I go home'

I don't know about H.E but I can tell you instinctively that I think we are getting it totally wrong with our little ones in schools and its just sad.

SDeuchars Thu 07-Feb-13 13:35:27

VisualiseAHorse, how do you know that these 8 and 10 year old children cannot read or write? And if you know it, do you know that there are not specific reasons for it? As I said, my then 8yo was apparently no reading but a year later he was. Should I have been checked up on? I knew he was learning and was sure he would read at some point. It was a conscious choice on my part not to put him under pressure to satisfy onlookers who thought I should.

forevergreek Thu 07-Feb-13 13:35:31

Surely the auto home ed is just every day life?

And most people send children to school and have everyday life on top? Which sounds like double the education

We are just at nursey age here, but 3 year old woke up, we sang songs together (music), counted walking down the stairs, measured milk in a jug for pancakes ( Maths), cooked together ( home cooking lesson), he laid the table whilst I served and we sat together eating ( being civil). He then put coat/ shoes on himself ( independence), and we walked to nursery ( physical education).

He went to nursery and learnt a bunch of new things and played with friends

At midday we scooters back via shops where he counted 5 bananas out and help paid ( excercise and Maths). Home counting stairs again/ drew some animals and writing name on paper. Gone for a nap. This afternoon he will play/ count/ help/ go for a swim all an avergae day

Surely everything in life is education? But is it enough?

spicandspan Thu 07-Feb-13 13:35:56

Fabsmum why the 'friend'?

Jamillalliamilli Thu 07-Feb-13 13:36:05

Visulise try these London literacy figures, going to school is no guarantee either.

1 in 4 children in London leaves primary school at 11 unable to read or write

1 in 5 leaves secondary school without being able to read or write with confidence

One million (or one in six) working adults in the capital cannot read with confidence. Nationally, five per cent of adults in England have literacy skills either at or below the level of a seven-year-old

16 per cent is the estimated proportion of 16- to 65-year-olds with the reading age of an 11-year-old. Of these, about five per cent are believed to have skills at the same level or below that of a seven-year-old

40 per cent of 11-year-olds from inner-city primary schools have a reading age of between six and nine when they start secondary school

1 in 5 pupils at inner London schools has special educational needs

40 per cent of London firms say their employees have poor literacy skills - and report that it has a negative impact on their business

forevergreek Thu 07-Feb-13 13:38:44

Ps I have nothing against home education but really do think some sort of education should be given rather than flapping a duster around and giving it an educational meaning

Jamillalliamilli Thu 07-Feb-13 13:42:47

Forevergreek how much does it matter if a teenager learnes forces and motion in a classroom in a group of 31, or on a surfboard with friends? What matters is can they learn, apply, and explain the physics.
Sadly as we're mainly structured I'm struggling to teach how to flap a duster around.

SDeuchars Thu 07-Feb-13 13:43:54

forevergreek, I'd say that "every day life" is sufficient of an education for a 3yo. The only difference between one of my 3yo DC and yours is that I did not leave them at nursery for any time during the day. I say "at nursery" because I'd hate to give the impression they were always with me. Our days just did not include a formal "education" session to which we always had to go, whether or not we felt like it.

We did much the same sort of stuff (at a more competent level on the DCs part, obv) all the way to 13/14, when they chose to do formal work (in our case, Open University but other HEers do GCSEs as independent candidates).

Between 5 and 13, we did a variety of activities, some group and some individual. DD even spent a term at school to see what it was like. We chose not to spend 30 hours a week in a separate activity that would have been mandatory for the DC after we had signed up.

To be fair, it doesn't sound like this woman is actively HE though - she says she wants to get the house in order so she cant think about HE come next September.

She sounds like a lazy fecker to me although I keep asking myself.....why would she want 4 kids at home. I imagine it would be quicker to do the housework yourself.

My four children do a lot of chores, and have done since they were little, so they know no different shamelessly brainwashing my children into pulling their weight around the house. They somehow manage to fit in a whole day of school too, as well as various clubs and activities, not to mention some time each day of playing and/or messing about in the garden.

I'm confused about what we're supposed to be discussing here. Most parents want the best for their children, so hopefully this mother is planning and beginning to implement home education that will challenge and enrich them.

Jamillalliamilli Thu 07-Feb-13 13:51:01

I really don't have a problem with her taking a year out, or with the MC who take their children out to go traveling for a year or two, or the students who take a gap year.

I would have a problem with someone saying they weren't going autonomous, and wern't going to do anything ever.

and she needs until September to do that?

givemeaclue Thu 07-Feb-13 13:51:54

I don't think op needs to be patronized by being told important facts about.home schooling.

There is a big difference between he and keeping your kids home to do chores. The friend has told op she is not currently home schooling, she is getting her kids to do housework. This is why op is concerned. It's not about home schooling its about the op feeling te kids are missing out by focusing on housework at an early age and not getting any kind of education. It doesn't sound like the friend is doing anything of value with them

Jamillalliamilli Thu 07-Feb-13 13:55:48

She may or may not need, but you only need to be racing to keep up with some sort of 'must have reached this level by then' at all times if you're engaged in a competative education system.

forevergreek Thu 07-Feb-13 13:56:41

True. I suppose the mother op is describing just doesn't sound/ appear to be do anything especially with the older ones

We only do 6 hous nursey a week. And a generally day would include museums/ parks and explain things/ how things work/ baking/ building objects/ crafts/ random education with everyday life. I just can't imagine being able to fulfil his education needs without dedication myself to full time education with him by the time he is say 6/7. Hence school

School is only a small part of life anyway by the time you allow for before and after school/ weekends/ holidays etc. I see school as part of a
Child's education, not the only form of education

MrsDeVere Thu 07-Feb-13 13:57:18

I don't think its patronising. There was loads I didn't know about HE before I was told.

I thought you had to be monitored, that you had to follow a curriculum, that you had to do certain hours etc. That sort of ignorance leads to loads of assumptions and worries.

If you know all that stuff but you still have concerns, thats different.

MrsDeVere Thu 07-Feb-13 13:59:54

I had neighbours who didn't send their children to school. They were not HE in any shape or form.

It was part of a much bigger picture of dysfunction.

Those children did suffer because of their lack of education and their lack of interaction with the outside world. If they had been HE by responsible parents this would not have been the case

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