To home ed my dd

(213 Posts)
Mishmashfamily Fri 31-Jan-14 20:16:01

After reading posts and posts about unhappy kids/parents at school I'm really considering it. Also I hate the fact that strangers that are apparently 'in charge' of our educational welfare can dictate when we take our children away, what they are taught ect....

I came out of the school system with nothing and had to learn every thing through college , taking courses. I think I could do a better job.

Would you do it?

WaffilyVersatile Fri 31-Jan-14 20:17:49

If I had enough money (cus as far as I can tell its not a cheap option) and enough self belief coupled with the wisdom to realise how much I have to learn too.. yeah why not. I know a couple of people who do it and it has been the perfect decision for their family

persimmon Fri 31-Jan-14 20:18:13

Personally, no. I think kids get a lot more from school than just the 'learning in lessons' bit.

LetZygonsbeZygons Fri 31-Jan-14 20:18:33

Come over to the home ed site on MN, lots of support and advice there.

Mishmashfamily Fri 31-Jan-14 20:20:06

letz I'm going to step in to the light! smile

KayHarker1 Fri 31-Jan-14 20:20:51

I did it. It's worthwhile if you've got the enthusiasm for it. The HE section on MN is useful for links and support. smile

Annunziata Fri 31-Jan-14 20:21:24

Is she at school yet? My DC have all loved school, and they've all thrived.

Don't put your fears onto your DC.

LetZygonsbeZygons Fri 31-Jan-14 20:21:56

Best thing I ever did. suits me and Dc perfectly, although it doesn't suit everyone.

cardibach Fri 31-Jan-14 20:23:25

It might be helpful if you knew it was etc. not ect...
I don't normally comment on grammar/spelling errors, but in this context I think it is worthwhile. You may not have the necessary knowledge/skills to teach your DC, and you don't even know yet whether you will have any problems with the school system. I'm a supporter of the right to home ed, by the way.

newmorning Fri 31-Jan-14 20:23:29

"If I had enough money (cus as far as I can tell its not a cheap option). . ."

Does it cost money?

I know a couple without a single exam-pass between them who, with official consent, took their young DD out of school for Home Ed and, having thus conned the establishment, immediately whisked her off for a life of begging busking in France.

Onesie Fri 31-Jan-14 20:24:45

No generally as my child is very happy in a great school but I know lots who do. I would consider it if my child was unhappy. It's great in terms of student lead learning and can be very social. I've also seen HE be a disaster for the odd child too though. So I don't believe everyone is a winner.

WaffilyVersatile Fri 31-Jan-14 20:25:45

well yes, you will need to purchase supplies and reference books surely?! at the least?

KayHarker1 Fri 31-Jan-14 20:27:07

not neccessarily, depends on what approach you use.

Tryharder Fri 31-Jan-14 20:27:52

I don't home-ed but would be open minded to it. I would imagine you need a lot of patience, a good solid educational background yourself and the money to do it (I assume the parent doing the educating does not need to work and by default is a SAHP)

I would be dreadful at it and could not afford to but I would say go for it if you are different to me!

Mishmashfamily Fri 31-Jan-14 20:28:51

cardi what a naff post... You don't normally comment but you just did....

Didn't realise you had to be a qualified teacher to HE your own child.

ommmward Fri 31-Jan-14 20:29:43

Come to the Home Ed section that zygons linked to. Most of us HEers tend to avoid the bunfights of AIBU smile

Mishmashfamily Fri 31-Jan-14 20:33:35

Dd has a while yet before entering the school system and I'm just bashing the idea about.

I'm in the lucky position to be a SAHM , dh has a good income. I would want to go down the NC route.

I'm just so jaded with the 'we know what's best approach' when actually education isn't a one hat fits all type.

Mishmashfamily Fri 31-Jan-14 20:34:38

omm I'm pick up my wine and heading over there!

Patchouli Fri 31-Jan-14 20:37:34

I'd love to HE.
But I realise that might not be what's actually best for my DC.
I loved being a SAHM when they were younger and would've loved for that to have continued (you do lose them a little when they start school). And tbh it wouldn't take much for me to pull them out and HE, but as it's turned out, they are thriving in school.
Maybe I'll feel differently again at secondary level though (I don't much fancy them going to secondary school).

pointythings Fri 31-Jan-14 20:43:36

At the moment my DDs love school and are doing very well there.

But if Michael Gove is making me think of home educating as a serious option.

FiddleDiddleDiddle Fri 31-Jan-14 20:49:01

No. Teachers are trained professionals. You are not. It's scarily arrogant to think that you can do as good a job with zero experience and zero qualifications in the field as a teacher who has years of experience and a qualification. You freely admit that you didn't even do well in school, and the many errors in your post do not make you look hugely literate tbh. The people 'in charge' make rules about taking children away, because they understand that time out of education does have a significant impact on progress, and that some families would compromise their children's education if there were not rules about sending them to school. Of course they have rules about what they learn - it's called a curriculum, and do you even have any idea what it contains? What curriculum would you follow then, that's better?

Plus children get a lot more from school than learning to read and write - it's about socialisation, experiences, independence, friendships, falling out of friendships, learning to follow rules, helping others, understanding the wide variety of people in society and their place in it, developing the confidence in their own abilities and initiative and so on. Home Edders will tell you that their kids still get socialised, but it's not the same at all.

I've seen this - many home educated kids end up in school after all, and the difference between them and the rest of the children is painfully obvious.

Just choose a good school.

Coldlightofday Fri 31-Jan-14 20:56:47

I've worked with lots of children who have been home educated - when they have come into school at secondary level. Every single one has struggled massively.

This might be because I only get to see the ones where HE has failed, I guess, but it is worth considering.

Are you committing to HE until your child is 11? 16? 19? Do you have a plan for reintegrating them, if you are planning on going all the way through?

cardibach Fri 31-Jan-14 21:06:23

Not a naff post, Mishmash. I don't normally comment because it is not normally relevant to the topic. You are asking whether you should home ed your child. Ignorance of basic grammar would suggest you should not. If you didn't get that from my post, we can add inability to infer to the list of reasons why you shouldn't. I was trying to point it out to you without being offensive, but if that's what you want/need...

cardibach Fri 31-Jan-14 21:07:44

Oh, and you don't have to be a qualified teacher to home ed, but you don't have to be one to know basic grammar and spelling either. My post was about aptitude, not qualifications.

weirdthing Fri 31-Jan-14 21:13:37

I am an ex-teacher who home eds. My children are very happy and academically well above average. We have a strong bond with our kids as we see them during the day - not just at night and first thing in the morning which can be stressful times. School is great for some kids and likewise can be hell for others. Similarly HE is not for everyone - in our case, however, it has been a very positive move and I would actively not want my children to go to school now after starting from a point of being a reluctant H Edder.

BTW, you do NOT need to be a teacher to be a good home educator - we have a French tutor and a maths tutor - eventually we will use a Latin and Biology tutor too. Everything else we cover ourselves. When it is sunny they are out playing, when it is cold and stormy we are cuddled in front of the fire reading. They get to choose. No one bullies them and they can see as much of their home ed friends as they choose. They go to plenty of home ed groups and get enough socialisation for their needs. Unlike school there is no begging for the toilet or being told when/what they can eat. All their questions get answered and lessons can go off plan as we investigate whatever catches their interest. They are always treated with dignity and respect.

Today my 8 year old was (of his own volition) reading a book of Seamus Heaney poetry (the earler poems which are easier to understand) and the 4 year old sat for his latest instalment of 'Stories from Dickens' (abridged). He begged for more when I said we needed to stop. School often kills the joy of learning. My children don't know that negative experience and have the attitude of much younger children in that learning new things is still a wonder and a joy. HE is brilliant!

lljkk Fri 31-Jan-14 21:17:04

What does the child's other parent think of HE?

I think it's better to HE for positive reasons, not negative ones. A lot of your reasons are so very negative.
These are good reasons:
I can share more of my child's learning
I will have more confirmation of their learning
It fits my lifestyle
I know I can do a good job.
I will enjoy it
My child likes the idea

Coldlightofday Fri 31-Jan-14 21:17:26

we have a strong bond with our kids because we see them in the day

I'm sure you didn't mean to suggest that those of us who go to work don't have a strong bond with our kids.

weirdthing Fri 31-Jan-14 21:20:46

Coldlightofday - when I was teaching and DS1 was with a childminder I spent much, much less quality time with him than I can now so, yes, it does make a difference. Of course I still loved him as much as I do now but the extra time together benefits our relationship.

SnowAway Fri 31-Jan-14 21:25:43

Makes a difference to you perhaps weirdthing. There are others who feel that allowing their children to be independent benefits their bond, or even that the bond is healthier.

ommmward Fri 31-Jan-14 21:31:29

FiddleDiddleDiddle: good teachers are exceptionally good at persuading a mixed ability class of 30 children to be more-or-less on task, undisruptive etc. I respect and admire what they do. Trained teachers learn a huge amount about crowd control and persuading children to be learning on their agenda in a manner that makes the classroom a safe environment.

But those skills that good teachers have don't translate to educating your own children. Really, there's no comparison. Trained teachers who home ed very often say that the first thing they had to do was stop thinking with their teacher hat on.

You might be interested in Paula Rothermel's PhD research at the university of Durham. Against all expectation, what she found was that educational outcomes for home educated children were much better than for their schooled peers, and that the differential was much higher for children whose parents had themselves received minimal education. I know that doesn't fit our nice middle class assumptions about highly educated people being the best placed to impart knowledge and understanding to their children, but that's what she found.

Yes, home educated children don't get the same social opportunities as school educated children. They are different opportunities. Better/worse/whatever.

Many home educating families don't follow a curriculum, let alone the NC. It can indeed make it very hard when HE'ed children try to reintegrate into school - because they know all sorts of other stuff, and have gaps where most children their age don't have gaps. I don't think this means we should all follow the NC just in case we decide we need to use schools at some point, if the NC isn't in the best interests of our children (Which it isn't likely to be, since what we can offer so easily is a truly personalised education according to the age, ability, aptitude and any SEN of our children).

And yes, home educated children can suffer going into school later. Children who didn't do nursery can equally find the transition into school hard. school is a unique culture. I think the important thing is to do what is right for the child and for the family now, and deal with the challenges that life throws at us as it throws them. I wouldn't advocate putting a child in nursery just so they'll be ready for primary school, and into primary school so they'll be ready for secondary. What a way to wish a life away, if nursery/primary/secondary isn't the optimal environment for the child in question.

I think it's worth reminding posters that many many home educated children have special needs of one kind or another. School is hell for many children on the autistic spectrum in particular. In the end, many of their parents stop fighting for the provision their child needs within state education, and start to provide an education themselves, that will suit that child. If/when those children go back into school, shock horror, they still have autism/OCD/deafness/other challenges, and posters on internet threads can still say that the difference between them and other children is "painfully obvious". Do you think their parents haven't lived with that "painfully obvious" since the child was a year or two old? Being in school from 4 wouldn't make any difference to that.

weirdthing Fri 31-Jan-14 21:33:31

My children actually are very independent. Many HE kids have a maturity and sense of self which comes from the self-confidence that HE brings about. My long teaching career in secondary schools led me to observe that is not independence but neglect. Questions left unanswered due to class size/time constraints. No time to deal with individual children, just the group en masse. I don't think that is the best way for children to dvelop and learn about themselves and the world. I do understand that many parents would not want to HE as it is hard giving up a career to be at home.As I said, it is not for everyone.
An excellent book for those who are genuinely interested is:

SnowAway Fri 31-Jan-14 21:39:37

Can't actually be bothered arguing this one, as the HE crew have to zoom in and defend their decisions and (understandably) can't cope with the idea that their decisions might be damaging their children.

HE children do struggle to reintegrate into school, and yes, I think every responsible parent has to parent in a way that helps to prepare their child for the life ahead, especially if that segment of their life is the key to the whole rest of their future, a future which does not involve Mummy spoonfeeding them.

Yes, the difference between HE children and school children is painfully obvious and no, not because they have special needs, but because they are far less socially capable than other children their age - which puts them at a massive disadvantage in life, regardless of how much Seamus Heaney poetry they read.

LosingItSlowly Fri 31-Jan-14 21:40:56

As someone who was homeschooled growing up, I would never do it with my own children, but that's only because my own individual experience was so very negative. I think it would have been a lot better, however, if my parents had:

a) made provision for some socialisation (we had none!)

b) followed the national curriculum (so that our knowledge base was broadly the same as our peers).

They kept us very isolated, and although I have done well academically/career-wise, I find socialising painful and awkward, to the point that I'm almost phobic.

However, my childhood was also very abusive/neglectful, so that obviously had an impact too. However, the younger of my siblings who were sent to school have fared much better socially.

WoTmania Fri 31-Jan-14 21:45:03

Blimey Snow - that's a bit of a generalisation grin FWIW I know plenty of HE children, like my DC's school friends they are quite a big mix ranging from extrovert and outgoing with wonderful to people skills to introvert and awkward with everything in between.

OP - if you want to HE go for it - check out your local HE groups and what's available in your area. There are also lots of resources online and groups on facebook.

AwfulMaureen Fri 31-Jan-14 21:45:35

I've thought about it a lot. the argument that many come up with about "socialising" doesn't really wash...because school is the most unnatural situation EVER to place kids into....home educated children get to experience a lot more than those in school in terms of "real" life.

AwfulMaureen Fri 31-Jan-14 21:46:52

Snow the children that I know who are home educated are excellent socially. They mix a lot with all kinds of children. Maybe the ones you know don't?

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 21:57:44

I do it. It's the best thing we ever did.

My ds has ASD and dyspraxia. At school he was aggressive, destructive and would run away and hide in dark cupboards and corners any chance he got. At the last school he was at he would be restrained daily by up to three adults. He would come home covered in bruises and abrasions. In the last few weeks he had regressed to being almost non verbal, was self harming and attacking us. He never lasted more than an hour or two before I got a phone call to pick him up.

I pulled him out and he is a different child, people who don't know him don't even realise he is autistic. He is chatty, engaging, gentle, his melt downs are rare and can almost always be headed off when they do come, he's empathetic and willing to try anything.

His case worker at the LA tells me she does not recognise him from the boy she knew and that I should be proud for what I have done with him. I'm not proud because I only did one thing and that is remove him from an environment that was torturing him.

Schools ok for some. My dd attends and is doing well, she is autistic too but for others, like my ds it's a hell hole and they shouldn't have to endure it if there's another option.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 22:00:24

I am sorry but school is not "socialising". School is learning to keep your head down amongst 30 other kids your own age and hoping you're one of the popular ones so that it's bearable. It's totally unnatural.

WorraLiberty Fri 31-Jan-14 22:00:58

After reading posts and posts about unhappy kids/parents at school I'm really considering it.

Yeah but wouldn't it be a bit weird if everyone whose kids were happy at school, started a thread saying so?

I think your view is skewed to be honest because it's more natural to post only when there's a problem.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 22:01:50

How many HE kids do you know personally Snow just out of interest. Must be a fair few for you to have that kind of opinion I would have thought?

hamptoncourt Fri 31-Jan-14 22:08:09

You also need to think about the possible effect on you OP.

A friend of mine Home Educated her twins and when they went away to Uni she had a total breakdown. She even left her husband to go and live in the city they were students in but they didn't want her there and she had to come back. She was totally dependent on them for her sense of self worth and lived vicariously through them.

It took three years for her to regain her mental health.

I am not saying all parents who HE their DC have such an unhealthy relationship but you need to have a degree of self awareness to gauge what the impact might be on you personally.

ImASecretTwigletNibbler Fri 31-Jan-14 22:19:35

Snowaway, that is the silliest and most ignorant post about HE that I've ever read.

zoezebraspartydress Fri 31-Jan-14 22:22:50

Snow That's a very ignorant post with some sweeping generalisations about HE.

Losing it - I think it's easy to think the grass is greener on the other side. You might have had a brilliant time at school, or you might have had some very negative social experiences. I'd hope that a facilitative approach to HE would equip my children to go out and learn anything they might need. I see the National Curriculum as very restrictive TBH.

OP - Google Paula Rothermel and have a look at her research into outcomes of HE - one of which is that HE children tend to outperform their schooled peers on social and psychological measures as well as academically, regardless of the parent's level of education.

fiddle - much of teacher training is about behaviour management and classroom skills, rather than how and what to teach. There are some amazing teachers, I know, there are also some who are not. Children get very little personal attention in the classroom and it is impossible to tailor their education to them. Many of the Home Educators I know are teachers who have worked in a mainstream classroom and they explain very well why they do not think the classroom environment is the most effective for learning.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 31-Jan-14 22:28:38

Hello OP, hope you come over to the other side, we are very friendly.

Personally it has/is working fine for us atm and dd is loving it, doesn't miss school and is making good progress.
We didn't have a problem with school, this suits dd better for now.

KayHarker1 Fri 31-Jan-14 22:30:16

For anyone keeping score, my children were HE'd until the eldest was 10. They then went into mainstream schooling. They adjusted quickly and well and are all in top sets for everything. They have friends and interests and have suffered no ill effects from starting out as HE kids.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 31-Jan-14 22:33:29


My dd is the most confident person I know when it comes to socialising. She has friends of all ages and I mean all ages. She communicates well and can talk to people on their level.
She is tactful and diplomatic and mature beyond her 10 years.
She was like this when she was at school, only now she has more opportunity to socialise and communicate with others.

TamerB Fri 31-Jan-14 22:38:44

No, when I look back on my childhood my lovely primary school was one of the best things about it. My children were all very happy at school and different teachers get so much out of them. You don't miss out at home, the school day is short and there is plenty of time to do things as a family.

OP how can you be jaded? Your child isn't in the school system so it's your experience that is making you jaded, which is really nothing to do with her and is a bit worrying tbh. Have you been into schools recently? 'One hat fits all' is at direct odds with the personalised learning and Every Child Matters agenda that has been in effect for some time.

Sorry, just to clarify, I don't have a problem with HE - I'm just concerned about the OP's motivations for wanting to HE.

brokenhearted55a Fri 31-Jan-14 22:43:00

HE was a disaster for me and I think only controlling parents want to do it.

it drove me nuts. Day in day out never a breaknfrom my fucking mother. She saw everything she knew everything she was in charge of everything.

You cannot teach your children sciences and foreign languages.

Also when I see teenagers hanging out with friends alone and getting the bus home from school I really feel
Sad. Like I missed out on something being stuck at home.

as for children not liking school, well are they also going to opt out of uni and work assuming they ever get enough qualifications to go to uni.

brokenhearted55a Fri 31-Jan-14 22:47:12

Btw snowaway couldnt be more right.

I was HE'd.

When I went back to mainstream at 16 it was so weird and yes I did struggle to interact. They all had their school experiences and school friends and what did I have. Nothing.

Its a decision my mother made I have not forgiven her for nearly 20 years later.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 22:50:07

confused My ds is learning Spanish and Arabic, as for independence he regularly goes away with his grandparents to three or four times a year, where he skis, toboggans and cycles.

If it makes me controlling to remove my child from "education" that was making him punch himself in the chest and stomach and hit himself on the head and tell me how what a "bad boy" he is, I hold my hands up.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 31-Jan-14 22:50:10


I'm sorry that your experience of H.ed wasn't very good, but your experience is your own, everybody will have a different time.
It sounds like your mum was very controlling, I'm controlling when it comes to letting my dc hang around on street corners, just as mine were. I went to school though.
It doesn't work for all families, for some its amazing.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 22:51:52

Oh and I didn't get any quals at school but I am half way through a degree with the OU now with distinctions on my last module.

There's not just one route.

TamerB Fri 31-Jan-14 22:54:12

I have excellent relationships with my parents and siblings, but I would have hated to have never got away from them, to have them knowing everything about my day, to have to rely on them as to which friends I saw etc. I loved having a separate life, them only knowing what I chose to tell them and seeing the same friends everyday, regardless of whether my mother liked them or not.
We all did our own thing and then we were fresh to see each other.
I also need to be taught, I don't just pick things up. Teaching is a real skill and my parents were not even good at teaching the things they were expert in. A good teacher can make subjects come alive. I also need the stimulus of others learning the same thing.
Even today if I want a new skill I go to a class with a teacher.

LosingItSlowly Fri 31-Jan-14 22:54:38

I think negative social experiences are a major backdrop of adult life (or at least mine).

I do think I would have coped better with life in general if I had grown up learning how to cope with it, if I had learned how to keep my head down early, read social cues etc.

As it is, I went from a world where I rarely interacted with anyone outside the family, to a world where I have to interact with people all the time. I found (and still find) the change distressing, and something I was completely unprepared for.

Not having followed the curriculum (my parents made up their own) has also put me on what feels like a permanent back-foot in terms of relating to many other people, and the knowledge they share and take for granted.

Its also not just my experience, there is an obvious massive social difference between those of us who were exclusively HE, and the younger ones who were sent to school.

However, I do recognise that this is my experience and mine alone. I don't think school is always right, or HE is always wrong, just wrong for me.

TamerB Fri 31-Jan-14 22:55:28

I have looked at OU several times but it wouldn't work for me. I wish it would.

whitefonia Fri 31-Jan-14 22:57:12

I'm sorry for your experience, brokenhearted. But that doesn't sound typical of the home educated families I've encountered. Nor are they 'stuck at home'

And you can definitely teach your children science and languages.

LowCloudsForming Fri 31-Jan-14 22:58:15

Just a thought. (I also am pro HE if the circumstances are right)
Be clear that over reliance of a child on one teacher/mentor/parent can have some downsides (I know this can be mitigated by accessing HE groups):
1) if child ever reintegrates at secondary, the experience of multiple teachers trickier
2) child has everything invested in one person; so crap day at school=crap day at home

On the plus side, lots of flexibility and a great chance to explore the curriculum in a personalised fashion.

Have you considered flex-schooling?

Sparkly I would do the same thing and you did a great thing for your DS getting him out of there.

OP isn't thinking like that though, and that worries me.

brokenhearted55a Fri 31-Jan-14 23:00:37

TamerB exactly. Children need what you describe.

Even now as an adult meeting new people, relationships , dating talking about school experiences, I can't join in and am tired of lying. Yes I as ashamed of it and dont like people to know.

I wonder how many of the parents home educating were home educated.

brokenhearted55a Fri 31-Jan-14 23:02:58

Whitefonia teaching science to a child to A* GCSE standard? I dont think so.

what if your child wants to be a doctor?

I always did and never got the chance. My gcse results in science ruled me out at 16.

whitefonia Fri 31-Jan-14 23:04:59

My children (including my older teenager) say they loved being home educated so much that they would also home educate their own children in the future.

brokenhearted55a Fri 31-Jan-14 23:08:22

Wait until they realise what they missed. Also perhaps their dcs will hate it.

Also A* standard physics and chemistry isnt going to happen with a parent who doesnt have those qualifications themselves.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 23:10:54

brokenhearted you can do access to medicine courses, you can do GCSE'S at night school, your results at 16 ruled nothing out. I understand that you'd be angry at having HE forced upon you and it's fine to be angry about that but the outcomes you describe are not true for everyone.

whitefonia Fri 31-Jan-14 23:11:03

My DC took her IGCSE Biology early and passed with grade A. I alone taught her, though I only studied Biology up to 'A' Level.

This is not unusual in the home ed. community. If you ask on the home ed. board you will find many similar examples.

brokenhearted55a Fri 31-Jan-14 23:19:04

But not everyone has science alevels and are able to teach it as you were.

gcse re sits are not accepted by medical school. If you got less than c's the first time they wont take your resits. The admissions guides were very clear at the time.

Ive never let the old cow forget what she did ruining my childhood.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 23:20:46

I think there's a lot more going on with your Mum than HE sad

LosingItSlowly Fri 31-Jan-14 23:29:33

brokenhearted55a Have you thought about trying for a degree of some sort (multiple routes in), and then for graduate-entry medicine?

I realise that may not be plausible for various reasons, but thought it might be worth throwing out there.

whitefonia Fri 31-Jan-14 23:30:25

I teach other subjects, not studied at A or degree level, too. Plus, autonomously/unschooled home educated children manage to gain places at university (and at medical school)

Agree with Sparkly about your mum.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 31-Jan-14 23:32:14

I share the H.ed of dd with the rest of the family, even the extended family are onboard.
You don't have to sit at a desk, with workbooks. You don't even have to write things down to learn.
IMO the best words a teacher can say is I don't know, we'll find out together. There is nothing wrong with that.
I can just manage basic maths, dd struggles too, so dh helps us both because he's better at it than us. He is also a pedant and dead good at grammar and that.

brokenhearted55a Fri 31-Jan-14 23:35:07

Losingitslowly I have 2 degrees a post graduate diploma in legal practice and I am a solicitor at a top firm.
I am very far from being uneducated. But it is no thank s to my home education. I had to do it , myself with no support.

I was literate. I could read and I had no problem passing humanities subjects.

But it isnt what I wanted. I wanted to do svience and could have with proper schooling.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 23:36:13

Brokenhearted when I was doing an access to maths and science course, they were very firmly pushing us towards doing degrees in "Biomedical Sciences", at the time there were not enough students to fill places, certainly at some of the London universities. Might that be a route you would/could consider?

brokenhearted55a Fri 31-Jan-14 23:39:19

I dont have anymore money to throw at education. Ive barely paid off my law school debt. When am I going to afford a home?

I am not paying £9k a year for uni now.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 23:42:19

Well I did say would/could? Not "do it now!"

brokenhearted55a Fri 31-Jan-14 23:44:08

Im too old now to do it now.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 31-Jan-14 23:47:31


You are never too old, although I know the choice maybe isn't there now.
I left school with nothing except a spld.
I spent my 30's getting qualified.
walked into my local college and asked to do an NVQ, came out with a PgCE.

JammieCodger Fri 31-Jan-14 23:52:28

I've no problems with home ed, but I do have problems with people saying the kind of socialisation you pick up at school is 'unnatural'. It may be unnatural in a historical context, but it accurately reflects the structure of the workplaces in which the majority of us spend most of our adult life.

6tantrumsaday Sat 01-Feb-14 00:05:11

I was a HE child and I really don't think I could ever do it to my own DCs.
My mum tried her best but it was hard in many ways.

We all spent a lot of time together and sometimes we really clashed especially in the teenage years when I didn't want to do the work.
It was really hard on my mum when me and my brother went to college because she didn't really have anything else to do. Although we were close when younger as I got older I really resented the amount of time I had to spend with her and the amount of control she had over my life.

Neither me or my DB were very confident socially,I found it so hard to do any sort of public speaking to an audience and my brother just didn't know how to cope when social interactions didn't go his way but he still had to see the person he had fallen out with. We also had to spend some time working out social cues and realise that the teacher and the rest of the class didn't want to hear our questions or our exhaustive knowledge on the subjects she was teaching. We were socialised we went to clubs and we wrote to other HE kids but it wasn't the same because we only saw them for an hour a week or we just stopped writing letters if we got upset with someone.

Also although my DB and I learnt lots of things that weren't on the syllabus and explore our own interests, we didn't know somethings which other people did and for my DB in particular who did all the sciences in college we found that we didn't know some vital things and we had to play catch up.

Don't get me wrong some of it was great, we got to go to loads of different places and have fun but I do wish that I had at least had the chance to try school first and see if I could have managed it.

oddsocksmostly Sat 01-Feb-14 00:05:26

Surely the answer is for a parent to consider their motives? If, HE is for the child's best interest, both educationally and socially, then that is one consideration, with a positive outcome for that particular child.
However, if, as in the case of brokenhearted and many many others, it is the the parent wanting to exert control over the child, then the risk is that the child is deprived of positive experiences that would have been beneficial in their personal or educational development.

Caff2 Sat 01-Feb-14 00:07:17

I don't get my 13 year old's maths homework. My degree was English and Spanish from a red brick uni (Cardiff). How the chuff can I teach him all the science subjects he's good at when I got bcc at Chem, Bio, Phys GCSE?? In 19 flaming 4!!

Caff2 Sat 01-Feb-14 00:09:14

1994, not 1904! ;)

oddsocksmostly Sat 01-Feb-14 00:09:37

Yes, i think 6tantrumsaday says it. You really need to give your children some sort of say in the matter.

Maria33 Sat 01-Feb-14 00:09:59

I know a number of kids being home-educated. Some, I suspect will be as angry as you are BrokenHearted because home edding as all about their parents' emotional problems. The kids have no idea about what they have missed yet because they are still so young but at some point in their mid-twenties, when all their mates start building careers with their boring old GCSE grades, it's going to sting.

On the other hand, I know people who have taken their kids out of school and educated them at home because they genuinely believed that they could provide a more rigorous and meaningful educational experience at home. Their kids are as well adjusted as anyone, have excellent qualifications and prospects, and their parents clearly made an excellent choice.

Home edding is a massive responsibility and I have been shocked by how lackadaisical some home-ed parents can be about providing serious opportunities for academic study beyond their own experience. Randomly reading Seamus Heaney at 8 is meaningless. Many kids go to school and access interesting reading matter beyond the classroom.

As others have said, Home educate because you can educate better than school, not because you're scared of school.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 01-Feb-14 00:11:42

No. Never, tempting though it is when fantasising (me not you).

I find people difficult now, at 25, having been in nursery from 3.

Important social skills are developed at school. Not least how to deal with absolute arseholes. The kind we all have to work with one day.

whitefonia Sat 01-Feb-14 00:12:13

It's very different now isn't it, Caff. Even the methods for working some of the basic maths have changed.

I didn't think bio had changed that much.

gelati3 Sat 01-Feb-14 00:28:05

YANBU. Giving this serious consideration myself. Our local schools aren't great and the way some of the children behave makes me wonder how they are being raised. It also seems to me that most children have so many expensive gadgets which they don't actually need but are being handed to them on a plate and that the children who don't have these items will get picked on. There's also the whole facebook thing and youngsters being pressurised into having sex and dressing/behaving in an inappropriate manner.

whitefonia Sat 01-Feb-14 00:34:38

Oh, my sister was home educated from her later teenage years. This was due to severe bullying. She doesn't regret her home ed. days, and was relieved that she wasn't forced to return to the school again (after three attempts). She's a teacher herself nowadays.

My parents didn't have a clue about home education, and both worked full time, but they muddled through.

Gelati you can't HE as a way to shield your DC from the Wicked Ways of the World. You can do your children a service by teaching them to find their way in that world. They'll have to deal with real life sometime.

moobaloo Sat 01-Feb-14 00:38:21

Can't reply to everything written but just wanted to add my little bit...

I was home educated for the later half of my school aged life and I truly believe I wouldn't have half of what I have now if I had stayed in school.

My confidence soared within weeks of leaving school and I can and do work with people of all ages and backgrounds very well. I think I would have found this harder if I had stayed at school and not had the chances I had.

Also re. Educating to high levels - parents do not have to be A* knowledgeable on a subject for their children to attain these grades! Most of my GCSE grades were achieved without my parents telling me the answers to questions so I could memorise facts and pass exams! I had to find answers for myself using resources such as libraries, the internet, a distance tutor etc. and then actually learn the subject.
I achieved an A* in a subject my mother hadn't even heard of smile

Re. Dropping out of school/dropping out of work or other 'hard' things. It is a common misconception that HE kids will 'give up' on hard things as they did on school... But it's rubbish. I have worked with job seekers my age in my career and personally I have found a lot of fresh school leavers seriously lacking in motivation, morale etc. which tbh I have never had a problem with myself. I didn't go through the traditional university route after GCSEs, I got a job. Then I worked my way up. I was in management before I was 20 years old and i don't think this should be unusual! a lot of teenagers out there have so much potential and it is sad to see them thinking that the only way to be successful is to a long slog through the education system which is not at all suitable for most people.

Some people do fine at school, some love it, it is the best option for many children and teens. But not all. It is the only option for many and people who can't home educate will defend their choices as much as those who can and do.

I could go on but I won't. I will end by quoting Beatrix Potter

"Thank God my parents didn't send me to school, it would have rubbed off some of the originality"

Night night xx

wishful75 Sat 01-Feb-14 01:37:51

I think sweeping generalisations about HE by some on here are ignorant to say the least.
It works brilliantly for some, not so much for others so much like school really.

My GP was home educated and I have a solicitor friend who was also. Both are confident, intelligent people with no hang ups.

I had to laugh at the earlier post pulling the OP up on her ability to teach her children because of her use of 'etc..' This board is full of threads about the mistakes teachers make!

Freckletoes Sat 01-Feb-14 02:01:53

My children are bright and enthusiastic. They have a great mix of friends and acquaintances of all ages and move happily in circles with much younger and much older children. They are happy socialising with adults and quite confident in day to day life. They are doing very well learning a variety of subjects, are active and enjoy a wide mix of activities and sports plus music.
They go to school. grin

Ericaequites Sat 01-Feb-14 02:32:17

Home educating your children is a bad idea for the same reason that psychoanalyzing your own children is forbidden. They need to meet and learn to work with different adults.
However, I do think it can work well for younger children if you make them work and give them good study skills.

MiaowTheCat Sat 01-Feb-14 06:56:56

There are certain circumstances where I'd do it for the early primary age range... if we get allocated a very poor school (not from ofsted reports - I've worked there on supply and behaviour is AWFUL - plus we're due a massive housing development to be built locally which will lead to a nice school places crisis just at the point we're doing school applications), in the event of bullying, or children with behaviour issues stopping the whole class from progressing - then I'd take them out and home ed. Considering whether we go down the nursery at 3 route here or not - tempted to skip that part of things and go in for reception entry - there are a number of things happening in early years I really personally don't like at present.

And if Gove continues in his idiotic pursuit of trying to make children emerge from the uterus speaking Latin and reciting all the Kings of the United Kingdom going back to prehistoric times - I'd be very very tempted.

However (and I know my punctuation's lazy on here - I'm loaded with cold and just woken up - I proof read anything being used with children before the "zomg spelling you suck" crew show up) I know I have the skills and knowledge to do it since I'm an ex teacher myself. I don't really want to - the children I've met from the home ed community locally have not been children I've taken to well really (the MN cliche about "spirited" children springs to mind) - but if they're not getting what I expect from the education system (and I don't expect that much - I can fill in holes from academic work at home fairly easily - it's behaviour and a caring environment that's much more my concern) then I'll do it.

Seff Sat 01-Feb-14 07:34:34

I went to school. I really struggle with making friends and social situations. I was bullied at primary school by the head's daughter which may or may not have affected me. I'm painfully shy.

School did not teach me to be sociable. But that's an anecdote. I certainly wouldn't think to say that because of my experience that school is a terrible place to send kids and by doing so is setting them up for a lifetime of failure. Because that would be ridiculous and lazy.

School works for some kids and fails others. I know so many people who say they were "rubbish at school" and think that they are stupid. I'm sure HE works well for some in exactly the same way.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 07:49:19

I think that a lot can depend on the ages of your children and their abilities.
I have one much older than the others and it was very hard to give him time with toddlers and babies. Even the summer holidays were difficult and he used to go on Scout camp or activities just so that he could do something at his level. He had grown out of bucket and spade holidays when the little ones were in the thick of them. The little ones would have missed out because we couldn't have gone to toddler groups etc when I had one too old ,but too young to leave alone at home. Friends were difficult because those with babies and toddlers didn't want a much older child tagging along ( not that he would have wanted to tag along) and those with older children didn't want the constraints of babies and toddlers on outings. .
The younger ones would never have got the lovely time on their own with me, they would always have had a sibling.
I think that both sides could have ended up resenting each other, rather than the lovely relationship they have now as adults. I couldn't meet the needs of both, at the same time, all the time. I didn't try.
Even the younger ones are as different as chalk from cheese, I would have torn myself in two because they didn't want the same things. They have totally different learning styles. The younger is much quicker to grasp things than the older, that would be demoralising for the elder and obvious in the home environment whereas it was hidden in different classes.
I have a friend like you brokenhearted she feels very left out of any discussions about childhood and never mentions that she was HEed, she feels it made her odd and she hated the experience and feels that it blighted her opportunities for career choice. She would have had to get the right qualifications later, and the time was never right so she never got where she wanted.
I think you have to be very sure of yourself as a parent and be very sure that your children will agree with you. I am not sure and I wouldn't take such a radical step (0.6% of the population) in case they were not happy with my decision as adults. I would feel differently if I 'rescued' them from a dire situation in school because I would be sure they were grateful. Very different from deciding not to send them because I didn't want to send them.
I am also an arts based person, one of mine did Science at university and there is no way I could have coped. Although arts based I am no artist and I couldn't have taught my child who has a career as an artist. He needed to be taught how to do life drawings etc. Yes, he could have gone to classes, but why when they were on offer for free at school, given by people who had experience in exams, knew how to present a portfolio etc.
Above all I guess I am selfish. I had a child in school for 24 yrs and I would have been bored! The eldest would have got the fresh enthusiasm, the youngest would have got me counting my days to freedom and the new beginnings.

Spottybra Sat 01-Feb-14 07:59:18

I honestly so wanted to do this. I thought about it. But ds is in his reception year in a good school and adores it. I would not take it away from him now. He is surrounded by his friends all day and is a confident, popular class member, knows most of the older children already and they seem to love him back.

He was the quietest little boy ever around strangers. He was only ever comfortable at home. His nursery school told me he lacked confidence so I pulled him out. I discussed my pastoral concerns on a home visit with his reception class teachers and, I don't know what magic wand they have waved, but he is doing amazingly well, socially and academically. He is also a late August baby. I had read all the concerns on here about August babies and thought home ed would be the way to go. I'm glad, so far, that I have school a chance.

sarahquilt Sat 01-Feb-14 08:56:39

Even if a parent is incredibly well-educated and able to home school well, I think that school has a vital ingredient for success that you cannot replicate at home. in school the child learns that even though they may not like someone, they still have to see that person day after day. As a form tutor, I can see that kids develop coping skills to deal with this and it prepares them for life. I just don't think a child would develop this skill at home.

Logg1e Sat 01-Feb-14 09:01:11

I would have loved to Home Ed. I find it absolutely fascinating and spent hours and hours daydreaming about it. But we saw how our children loved pre-school and then school. If any of children wanted to take a year or more out of school later on in life I wouldn't hesitate to allow it.

DolomitesDonkey Sat 01-Feb-14 09:11:03

I don't think this is the best option for your children.

Blind leading the blind is what springs to mind and as someone else noted, your reasons for this option are negative - this is a sure fire way to raise yourself some "odd" kids with "ishoos".

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 09:14:44

I also think that adults see things differently from children-HEers go on a lot about 'wasting time', but as a child I loved that, it was a great way to study human nature, have a chat, think, get onto different things. I can't see that it any different from home. I need time out just 'to be', I don't want to be 'productive' the whole time.

LittleBearPad Sat 01-Feb-14 09:17:02

After reading posts and posts about unhappy kids/parents at school I'm really considering it.

People don't tend to post when things are hunky dory so in any forum the problems are going to appear more common than they are.

It sounds as though you haven't really looked into local schools etc and are projecting your own experience. You need to be open-minded. If school doesn't end up suiting then you have options but don't assume your child's experience will be your own.

Seff Sat 01-Feb-14 09:26:08

"in school the child learns that even though they may not like someone, they still have to see that person day after day."

This is what really affected me though. It wasn't obvious bullying, it was the subtle digs and jibes that got to me most. And being told just to "ignore it and it will go away" got to me even more. But again, that isn't a reason not to send a child to school, but just one of the possible shortcomings of school. There are pros and cons to both options.

In an ideal world, both options would be seen as equally valid by everyone. Local authorities would have the knowledge and the understanding that home ed is not school, and would be able to work with parents effectively to ensure ALL children have a well rounded education. As it is now, a lot of home educating families don't trust their local authorities to have their best interests at heart, or believe (rightly or wrongly) that home ed is being directly compared with schooling and that doing 'school at home' is the correct method.

As it stands, there will always be children that fall under the radar, whether they are in school or home educated. It would be naive to say that every child who is home educated is better off than they would be in school. But it would also be naive to say that children need school in order to have social skills relevant to the world.

Personally, I feel that at school, it's easy to be in a 'bubble' of only socialising with children your own age, and to see all adults as authority figures that must be obeyed at all times.

Schools have to teach children to be somewhat obedient and compliant, otherwise it's possible no teaching would be done at all. Again, both methods have pros and cons.

My daughter goes to preschool, and will most likely be starting in reception come September. Partly because that's what she wants (as much as a 3 year old can know what they want) and partly because I don't want to let my own bad experience of school cloud my judgement. But I am open to all options, and will home ed if at some point in the future it suits my child best.

ThatBloodyWoman Sat 01-Feb-14 09:28:24

I would definitely consider home ed if I didn't have to work, but now the kids are in the school system, I don't think that they, or dh, would be in favour.

Seff Sat 01-Feb-14 09:31:10

"this is a sure fire way to raise yourself some "odd" kids with "ishoos"."

I am certainly an "odd" kid with "ishoos". I went to school, what's your point? In fact, I'd go as far to say that most people with "ishoos" went to school. That doesn't mean that school is a sure fire way to raise odd kids.

gloriagloria Sat 01-Feb-14 09:37:18

I certainly would never consider it for DD1 as I think it would ruin our relationship. She will accept a level of instruction and guidance from teachers and others outside the family that she will not accept from DH or myself. It would turn into a battle of wills, which would be hideous. As a parent I have a good relationship with her, but I really think if I took on the role of teacher (however informal) that would change. I have several friends who say the same so I don't think I'm unusual. I think you really have to look honestly at the dynamics between you and your child before considering this

bochead Sat 01-Feb-14 09:42:12

As a career driven single parent school was my first choice. Sadly my DS is in that category of children that cannot cope in mainstream and is too bright for SS. He's burned his way through three schools while the number of meetings etc has meant I couldn't work. I've bust a gut trying to make it work. We got to the end of year 4 before I finally had to admit defeat with the school system, and it's left us with a LOT of catching up to do. Keeping my child in school would have meant failing him.

Now he does a combination of home ed and online school. Finally he is learning to read fluently, mastering basic arithmetic and he's flying in science. (Online school gives him access to specialist subject teachers in groups of no more than 6). He's covering the national curriculum at last, he couldn't access it at school.

In a perfect world he'd be NT, however given his disabilities school just wasn't the right environment for him to obtain the social skills and academics he'll need to avoid being a lifetime welfare claimant.

I'm now finally able to retrain to a new career that will enable me to work from home.

I do bitterly resent the fact that teachers are not given sufficient training to cater for the large number of ASD/dyspraxic/dyslexic etc children that enter their classrooms. (My own PCGE certainly didn't cover it!). Teacher training needs addressing imho. There is an urgent need for more state run specialist units for these children, however we are at least a generation away from this at the moment.

The current political climate isn't willing to address the needs of this group of pupils at all. Gove is a disaster, but it was Thatcher who reduced the SN content of initial teacher training, so this has been an ongoing problem for decades.

State schools currently churn out 42% who do not achieve 5 A-C GCSE passes, so clearly are not providing an adequate education for every body. Even the politicians admit this, even though I totally disagree with their solutions. Evidence based practice needs to become the educational norm in state schools, not political dogma.

With regards to social skills - he needs to learn those skills that will make him employable as opposed to "de yoof dem" street culture. Home education allows for far greater opportunities for this, than a 30 mins social skills group per week. He'll always be ASD which ever route I choose.

Redcliff Sat 01-Feb-14 09:46:46

Clearly it works for some and not others . My DS seemed unhappy at school and not working ver productively and rather inspired by the home ed section on mumsnet I mention to my son that some children learn at home instead of school and what did he think of that. "I wouldn't like that at all" was the response and things have greatly picked up at school now so glad I haven't but if he had expressed an interest I might have explored it.

School was not the best for me and have left me with lots of issues some of which still affect me now at 42 (but a bout of therapy a couple of years ago has helped me recognise this and move on .

whitefonia Sat 01-Feb-14 09:48:24

"Even if a parent is incredibly well-educated and able to home school well, I think that school has a vital ingredient for success that you cannot replicate at home."

Very few of us do try to replicate school at home. That's why we call it home education in the UK, and this is how we make sure it is referred to officially.

TheGruffalo2 Sat 01-Feb-14 10:00:12

Haven't read al the posts. But no YANBU to HE your child IF you

TheGruffalo2 Sat 01-Feb-14 10:03:53

... not sure how that happened ...
IF you are doing for the right reasons; what is best for your child rather than just an I want, I don't like ...
Basing your opinions on posts complaining about school is a huge error. Yes a very few parents have valid concerns about a school - the one their DC attend. But that doesn't mean all schools are bad and wrong for all children. The people with complaints are the ones who post, the ones who are happy rarely do, so you are looking at a very biased picture to make that statement.

ommmward Sat 01-Feb-14 10:17:09

A quick message for the people talking about how weird home educated children are:

If your children have absorbed your values about embracing and valuing difference, I wonder how the social opportunities afforded by their school look for children with autism, Down's syndrome, dyspraxia and other disabilities? Pretty shitty I'd imagine. Why, you might even imagine that their parents would consider home educating in order to give their children a childhood in which they can build in skills and confidence rather than being sneered at for six hours a day by people with your values for being different...

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 10:33:27

You have to pick your school, some are wonderful at integrating SN. I agree with bochead and teachers need training and schools need the money. You can't just put a child with complex needs into a class of 30 and expect one teacher to cope.
My surprise is that anyone expects one size to fit all or be 'better'. Children are all different, some will thrive at home some at school- even within the same family.
I think any discussion about HE should centre on the child and not the parent saying I want..... or I would like.....
It is also a huge mistake to project your own experiences onto your child. They are not you and they are in a different place and time. My father had a hard time at school, it is utterly irrelevant to me- other than he has a fund of stories about it.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 10:34:24

I agree that sadly some people don't have a good school for SN to pick in their area.

whitefonia Sat 01-Feb-14 10:52:00

"It is also a huge mistake to project your own experiences onto your child. They are not you and they are in a different place and time."

I agree with this, and think it's not a good basis to choose home education for your own child.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 01-Feb-14 11:01:43

I don't think the OP is projecting her own experiences onto her dc.
The OP believes she can do a better job than a school and that's a good enough reason to H.ed.
She also has a sound philosophy on not wanting to hand certain responsibilities to a school, many H.ed parents feel like this and opt for H.ed from the start.
There is a certain generalisation that H.ed is really for those who have experienced the system in bad terms. Certainly it is a great move in the cases we read about above, but some people like the OP, myself and others want different or better for our children.

SantanaLopez Sat 01-Feb-14 11:14:59

OP doesn't seem to have any experience of school, except her own (unfortunately bad) experiences. Everything has changed in the past ten or twenty years. OP thinks she can do a better job than her own teachers and the terrible ones she reads about- but they aren't the ones teaching her DC.

There are definitely valid reasons to HE, but I don't think your own school experiences count.

Logg1e Sat 01-Feb-14 11:17:13

PotatoPrints, I don't think the OP is projecting her own experiences onto her dc

Her reason for home educating appears to be that she left school with "nothing" and had to learn everything from courses at college, (as if schools don't follow courses). And despite gaps in some basic knowledge, she thinks she can do a better job.

The OP might very well be able to do a better job, but I think part of doing a good job is knowing what your own gaps are and how to find some way of filling them.

BoffinMum Sat 01-Feb-14 11:22:37

Miaow, I was just thinking that this morning, I don't want my children to become the property of the state and have their heads filled with bollocks. I am seeing how it all pans out after the next election. If he is Sec of State we may stop using state schools, which would be a shame as we have found them better than many independents until he started interfering.

TheGruffalo2 Sat 01-Feb-14 11:27:38

As I read the OP I thought her reasons to home ed were
1) she doesn't want strangers in charge of the welfare (i.e. caring) for her children
2) she doesn't like that she can't take term time holidays
3) she doesn't like that others select the curriculum
4) her own personal of school was not productive.

Some of these are valid reasons to consider HE, others in my mind are not.

bochead Sat 01-Feb-14 11:30:15

Just pondering......

If Gove gets his way and school beomes 9-6 for 45 weeks a year will more parents consider home ed for KS1. I'm not sure I'd have wanted my summer born four year old in the formal environment of school for that length of time, even without any disabilities. At that age especially I was keen to impart my own values and nutrition etc on him. Home ed doesn't have to cover a full school career.

Different models suit different children at different ages. I went to a private secondary school, which I now see as a very different form of provision. A selective public school is nothing like an inner city comp in terms of how education is delivered, neither is Summer Hill. Yet they are both "schools". Home ed varies just as much and I know that the live online lessons that so benefit my child would be loathed by many children. That doesn't make them "wrong".

Surely as parents we just try and do the best we can for our kids, whether that be via the traditional champagne socialist method of purchasing a home in the Ofsted "outstanding" schools catchment area, or via home based autonomous education if that is what we think will suit our individual child best? Children are not sausage factory widgets, and we do them no favours by trying to pretend that they are.

Erm, bochead, of course you're right, but don't assume that schools think children are sausage-factory widgets grin either, or treat them as such.

streakybacon Sat 01-Feb-14 11:44:54

<Also A* standard physics and chemistry isnt going to happen with a parent who doesnt have those qualifications themselves.>

I limped out of school in 1976 with two measly O levels to my name and no academic qualifications since.

Last summer, at 14, my son passed IGCSE in Physics and Chemistry at A*. The year before he passed Maths at A* and he's on track for a few more at least to A grade. It absolutely doesn't follow that uneducated parents can't support their HE children towards high grades

I do wish we could move away from the assumption that HE means sitting at the kitchen table all day, surrounded by books and only ever seeing your immediate family. The HE community is busy, welcoming and full of opportunities, plus we still have access to resources in the wider community. My son has had far greater opportunities by being home educated than he ever could have had through school because his SN restricted him so much back then.

I'd also like to respond to the comment 'just pick a good school'. Oh if only it were that easy! Two schools brutalised my child to the point where his GP feared for his mental health. Those of you who have experienced 'good' schools are extremely lucky because they most certainly aren't all like that. HE is a life saver for many families, and that's no exaggeration.

bochead Sat 01-Feb-14 12:07:50

Official figures give the numbers of home educated children in the UK at upwards of 60,000 and rising each year. The number of local groups available is increasing all the time too. There has to be a reason for that, beyond mere uniformed, ignorant parental pigheadedness.

The internet has made access to tutors, teachers, and information incredibly easy compared to what was available for our own generation. If a child wants to they can now do the American or Australian High School curriculum from the comfort of their living room. They can access an astronomy or agricultural science correspondance igcse course from home, if their school doesn't offer it as an option.

I've met many schooled children who have had tutors in primary school for SATS/11+ or chosen to do a music GCSE at a Saturday centre. I see this as a form of home education that never makes into the official government statistics.

Educational methods and models are changing, just as much as the world of work has in the last two decades. It's up to us as parents to keep up with that and try and choose the best available options for our individual children that we can, given the limited resources we have at our own disposal.

What's right for my family and circumstances may not be right for yours and that's OK. I just wish I'd had more faith in myself when my son was younger as he really suffered for MY need to follow the herd. It was a hard lesson to learn.

knickernicker Sat 01-Feb-14 12:08:14

I love the post about the children reading Dickens and Seamus Heaney poems of their own volition. It reminds me of the baby led weaners on here whose babies chose mung beans and smoked mackerel. If there are no pop tarts in the cupboard then you can't chose them

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 12:13:06

They might be rising but they are still only 0.6% and that comes a site that supports and encourages HE.
You can't have much faith in your children if you think that they 'become the property of the state' and you 'can fill their heads with bollocks'. Mine think for themselves, I encouraged them to question everything, starting with me. I would be just as worried if they parroted my views.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 12:15:04

I love it too, knickernicker!

LittleBearPad Sat 01-Feb-14 12:16:53

Property of the state is absurd. Do get a grip.

CrabbyWinterBottom Sat 01-Feb-14 12:18:07

Wow, this has become less of a bun fight than you'd expect in AIBU. Some interesting opinions and points. Great post from Ommward.

Interesting to read people's perceptions and misconceptions of HE, particularly the more barmy and ignorant ones. grin

I've HE'd DD for a over two years now as that's the best thing for her. We've just, after much deliberation, made the decision not to send her to secondary school. She has more friends and is far happier socially than she ever was at school. I'm just about to start running a science club for her and ten or so of her HE friends. Most of the HE kids I know of who are 14 or so are studying towards GCSEs, science subjects included. I personally very much hope that she will excel in the sciences, but obviously that's ultimately up to her. One of the things I wasn't that happy about with the school we looked at is that it only offered the combined science GCSE as standard and they were rather hazy about whether they'll be offering the three separate ones.

weirdthing Sat 01-Feb-14 12:21:51

One of the biggest problems facing home educators is that real home education is nothing like what non-home-educators believe it to be.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 01-Feb-14 12:22:55

Of course they are property of the state if you send them to school. You can hardly walk into school and demand your own curriculum or determine your own hours, or go on holiday when you want, or even eat what you want sad. If they are not a product of the state I'd like to know whose running the schools then grin.
Just because you can't see it yourself it doesn't mean that others can't see it. You must have heard the saying once they are at school they are no longer yours, well some people believe this and its their right to think how they like.

TheGruffalo2 Sat 01-Feb-14 12:25:40

If you work, are you the property (slave) of your employer or are you entering a two way contract with them? Same goes for parents that decide to educate their children by sending them to school, rather than HE them.
property is a completely ridiculous term in this context.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 01-Feb-14 12:34:01


Yes you are a slave to an employer if there are stipulations terms and conditions you don't agree with and unless your work is completely satisfying, imo

weirdthing Sat 01-Feb-14 12:34:40

Research showing that all home-educated children but ESPECIALLY those of under-educated parents, out-perform their school-educated peers.

TheGruffalo2 Sat 01-Feb-14 12:47:24

Sorry, think that idea is totally ridiculous more. You obviously have a very negative outlook on society generally if you feel the whole workforce and every child in school are slaves.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 01-Feb-14 12:54:43


That's a good article, its been shown a few times recently.


It may seem a negative attitude to you but it couldn't be more positive depending on how you look at it.
My dc have grown up on the principle of getting good at something you really enjoy doing, not working towards a career or job to line somebody else's pockets.
If you do end up working for somebody else well you at least love what you are doing.
Some people work to live others live to work. I personally believe in the former.

TheGruffalo2 Sat 01-Feb-14 13:08:35

But surely entering into a contract i.e. I will turn up at 8.30 am, work to the best of my abilities and leave at 5.30pm and in exchange you will provide me a safe and warm place to do this work, ensure I have sufficient training to undertake the work, have sick leave and pension cover and get a monthly salary is not slavery. It is my choice whether to enter into this contract and if I don't like it to seek employment elsewhere with a contract that I am happy with. With schooling the parents are agreeing to delegate the education of their children to people trained to do it, ones that agree to provide the best education they can, following school and government policies, who agree to look out for their welfare of the children and in return the parents agree that the school can receive the funding from the LA because their child is on role, to have them in school on time unless they are ill or for other valid reasons and that if they don't like that contract for any reason they can either seek a different school or decide to home educate.
How is that slavery?

Part of education is preparing to fit into a society where the majority of people have to work for others rather than be self employed and can be completely autonomous, and with at the current financial climate many are forced into jobs that they do not love, but can tolerate so they can actually earn a living. Not saying this is what we should aim for, but to educate children to think they do not need compromise, negotiate and conform to the boundaries of society is not really doing them any favours.

PS I'm a teacher and not anti-HE. For many children it is the ideal education, but saying I, as a teacher, am basically enslaving children is insulting!

TheGruffalo2 Sat 01-Feb-14 13:09:43

whoops roll not role.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 13:11:48

I think it works two ways, weirdthing, in that schools are nothing like HEers imagine them. They are all different, as are HEers. We appear to base our assumptions on very few families and hearsay,and assumptions on schools are based on a very small sample and hearsay.

I have to say that all my comments are pre Gove and if he is allowed to continue I can see a huge argument for keeping them home until 6/7 yrs. Testing 4 yr old is appalling!

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 13:13:52

The majority of parents appear to want breakfast clubs, after school clubs, much shorter holidays and schools to run free holiday clubs! Very few want full time education at home. I think we get a skewed view on here.

weirdthing Sat 01-Feb-14 13:16:40

Roughly 1 in 5 home edders are ex-teachers (including me) so I think we do have a very clear idea how school works! I loved school but DS1 didn't and now I think HE is better.

By the way, it was my kids reading the Heaney/Dickens etc - they have hundreds of books including Beano annuals, Pokemon books, Spiderman etc. They love those kind of books too but crucially, they have no fear/aversion to 'geeky' things because no one tries to force 'good' literature down their throats.

Dawndonnaagain Sat 01-Feb-14 13:18:20

Home educated ds now reading Lit at uni.
Accepting that the education system is not built for everybody is an educative step in itself. My ds was bullied, badly, by primary school staff, not by his peers.

streakybacon Sat 01-Feb-14 13:19:36

There's also a huge amount of home educators who withdraw from schools for various reasons, so they have certainly experienced the school setting and know quite well how school works. I'm not sure what the statistics are but I personally know far more families who have deregistered than have home educated from the outset.

LittleBearPad Sat 01-Feb-14 13:21:40

It's not Slavery Morethan. That's an absurd thing to say.

The state will educate your children for free. There are children in other parts of the world who would love the opportunities you dismiss as slavery.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 01-Feb-14 13:41:08

To me institutionalising children, sometimes from birth until 18 sad is making them a product of the state, this is one of the many reasons we H.ed
Obviously if your children attend nurseries and schools you won't agree, its each to their own.
We are enjoying the freedom that H.ed has given us, and it works fine for us.

Maria33 Sat 01-Feb-14 13:41:42

more Just so long as home edders remember children are not their property either.

School is not slavery. For some kids it's a welcome respite from their chaotic home lives.

For some kids school might be hellish but they're only there for 5 hours, 5 days a week, 39 weeks of the year.

I know that there are great home educators out there but when it's bad, I bet it's awful and the kids don't have any chance of things being picked up by external agencies.

I know fantastic families who home educate but I also know families where it's pretty mental. Any of you who home educate and are plugged into your home ed networks must know who I'm talking about. It's as disingenuous to say there are no serious problems with home educating as it is to say there are no screw ups in mainstream schools.

However, when things do go wrong in school, at least kids have some recourse, even if it's just in the form of pro-active parents pulling them out. At the very least, schools are accountable to parents. When things go wrong with home education, it can remain pretty hidden for a long time.

Anyone who talks about home education freeing children from the 'tyranny of the system' rings alarm bells. You have a pretty polemic world view that you have no problem imposing on your kids. It's no different to religious fanatics who home school to indoctrinate their kids in the one true faith. That really is tyranny.

Coconutty Sat 01-Feb-14 13:55:23

My DCs love school and the whole social aspect. They love representing the school in a match, going on trips with all their year group. Being at home with me wouldn't be half as much fun.

SantanaLopez Sat 01-Feb-14 14:06:21

to me institutionalising children, sometimes from birth until 18 sad is making them a product of the state,

Can I genuinely ask if you have anxiety problems? You sound quite paranoid, and I mean that out of concern.

I really feel that the home is the greatest influence on children. I don't think children are at school long, and I don't think they are institutionalised at all. Look at the (Scottish) Curriculum for Excellence- personalisation and choice is one of its key principles.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 14:42:46

There's also a huge amount of home educators who withdraw from schools for various reasons, so they have certainly experienced the school setting and know quite well how school works.

They know how their school worked as a child and they know how their DC's schools worked-they don't know how other schools work. I am always astounded on here at how some schools work when they are nothing like the ones that I know.

I can understand entirely why some people HE, especially when school hasn't worked for their child, but alarm bells certainly ring for me when people start on about 'institutionalised children and slavery'. I assume that the parents had huge issues of their own which are going to detrimental to the child. You wonder what the poor child is going to be subjected to at home-certainly a narrow, biased view point.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 14:44:32

An excellent post Maria33.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 14:46:51

It makes me so cross to hear that people's children are thought to be 'institutionalised' merely because they get out of the house for 6 hours per day and are exposed to different adults and views. It is an insult to the poor people who really are 'institutionalised'.

maparole Sat 01-Feb-14 14:53:09

For some kids school might be hellish but they're only there for 5 hours, 5 days a week, 39 weeks of the year.

Ah, well, best tell 'em to stop moaning and get on with it, then hmm

BigBoPeep Sat 01-Feb-14 14:58:29

mishmash: balls to the dimwits who think you only socialise, experience things and 'learn to follow rules' at school, what a f*****g mental concept - see you in the home ed section! wine

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 15:04:29

Research showing that all home-educated children but ESPECIALLY those of under-educated parents, out-perform their school-educated peers.

This is the second time that I have been shown that article, it was in the paper more than 13 yrs ago and the tests were done by someone who describes herself on her website as 'EXPERT WITNESS SPECIALISING IN HOME-EDUCATION' so she is hardly likely as a witness for to come up with anything detrimental- and if you delve further, she didn't do controlled test she posted them to the parents to administer without any supervision and then post back!! It is the exact opposite of another 'expert' Alan Thomas.

'Let us start with Alan Thomas, a respected psychologist who has written key works on the subject of home education. In 1998 his book, "Educating Children at Home" was published. Based upon work with a hundred home educating families, he drew two important conclusions; both of which were enthusiastically received by home educators. Firstly, he suggested that although many parents began by teaching their children formally, most slipped into a more relaxed style, without lessons, timetables or conventional teaching. Secondly, he noticed that the children tended to be late in reading, but that when they did start reading, they rapidly caught up with school educated children. I think that most home educating parents would be inclined to agree with both propositions. In short, he believed that children taught informally often were late in reading, sometimes not doing so until eleven, twelve or even a little later.

Let us now look at Paula Rothermel's much quoted work, which contains the only real evidence that children home educated in the UK perform as well as those at school. At once, we see a problem. Rothermel comes to a completely different conclusion to Thomas. When she looks at the reading ability of young children, from five or six upwards, she finds that far from lagging behind the school children, they are in fact extraordinarily advanced for their age!
Clearly, both Thomas and Rothermel cannot be right about this. Home educated children cannot be both marvellously early readers and also remarkably late ones! I think that most home educators fall into the Thomas camp, believing that their children may learn to read late, but that it does not matter. '

I admit that I have a very small sample but they were late to read, their parents didn't think it mattered and, since one of them has just done literature at university it clearly didn't.

Nataleejah Sat 01-Feb-14 15:35:55

Myself i absolutely hated my school, every moment of it, however, just to imagine that my mother would have taught me instead, is horrific.

My ds1 does quite ok at his school. Not perfect, not too excited, but no major unhappiness. So i don't think of home ed yet, however, i'd certainly do if life situation changed.

LifeIsForTheLiving Sat 01-Feb-14 15:48:05

We'll be home educating the dc from next Sept for 1 year (dc will be in year 3 and year 1).
We're travelling Europe for a year. We're buying a motor home and driving through/to as many European Countries as we can.

Obviously the only way to do this is to he for that time, but they will be going back to school so I'm intending on sticking fairly close to the national curriculum. I feel the experiences they'll get in Europe will be worth a year 'off' school.

In general though, he is not something I would do for the sale of it. I think children get a lot from school that he just can't provide. The social skills, group skills, independence, all the things that have already been mentioned.

LifeIsForTheLiving Sat 01-Feb-14 15:49:01

For the sake of it.

formerbabe Sat 01-Feb-14 15:51:39

Oh gosh..that would mean they would be at home all day, every day, driving me crazy!

Hell no...get them to school!

moldingsunbeams Sat 01-Feb-14 16:17:45

If I had known what I know now I would have home ed from the start, dd does not fit into the round peg of the school system and it has wrecked her confidence and self esteem, we are hoping for secondary school to be a change for her, if not we will use InterHigh.

cory Sat 01-Feb-14 16:50:19

I think dd is already very influenced by me as much as is good for her: she respect me and if anything needs to grow away from me a little to find her own way and develop her own ideas that aren't an exact copy of mine.

I found that very difficult, having grown up in a rather reclusive, well educated and (let's face it) somewhat smug family: it has taken me the best part of 5 decades to really internalise that I don't have to think exactly as the rest of the family do, however lovely they are.

For that reason I believe it has done dc good to mix with more different adults at school and at the homes of a wide range of friends, so they have seen more of different takes on life.

All the parents I know who HE are really rather similar: well educated, interested in education, often rather artistic and creative. Lovely people- but as far as dc are concerned it would be all more of the same, just reinforcing the idea that the family way is the Right Way. (I suppose you wouldn't choose to HE if you weren't interested in education.)

I want dc to mix with people who think we are weird, as well as people who find we are very similar to themselves. And I want them to feel free to choose who they think are weird- us or other families, or to feel free to mix and match without any guilt.

Anyway- academic question for us: despite health problems that made school attendance difficult for us, dd was always adamant that she wanted to get back to a school environment as quickly as possible. She is somebody who thrives in large communities of lots of different people and would find meeting up with the same HE group three or four times a week quite inadequate for her social needs.

As for ds, he has always felt he was slightly different from the rest of the family: much as he loves us, school provides a breathing space where he feels he can be himself and meet up with people who are far more like him that we are. He would feel institutionalised if he had to spend all his time with us and our friends.

streakybacon Sat 01-Feb-14 16:56:34

I think children get a lot from school that he just can't provide. The social skills, group skills, independence, all the things that have already been mentioned

My son gets all of that from HE, and so do most of the He'd children we know. Perhaps you believe it would be missing because you haven't yet looked into how you can provide those elements. I can assure you, there ARE opportunities out there to meet these needs without having to send your child to school.

BigBoPeep Sat 01-Feb-14 17:07:36

I find he kids really great at socialising with everyone, not just a bunch of their own age group and having an 'us and them' attitude about the small bunch of adults they DO interact with.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 17:10:45

I think that all the talk of 'institutionalised' is by people who are scared their children will grow up with different, or even opposing views to their own. When I looked at my new born baby I was fully aware they were their own person and not a blank sheet for me to try and mould. I had no idea whether they would be atheist, Christian, Buddhist, vegetarian, sporty, academic, lawyer or gardener etc etc etc .I never understand why it bothers people. They will do their own thing, regardless of parents.
Mine have very differing views, it all makes life more interesting and doesn't alter the relationship.
The thing that makes me chuckle at the moment is an opinion posted several times recently that a teacher is 'a random stranger'!!

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 17:13:36

I find he kids really great at socialising with everyone, not just a bunch of their own age group and having an 'us and them' attitude about the small bunch of adults they DO interact with.

I dare say you do, I find the few that I know the same but then I find the same with the ones who go to school. That is depending on the child, some are simply not very sociable-there is nothing wrong in that.
I can't say that I have come across 'them and us' attitudes.

BigBoPeep Sat 01-Feb-14 17:14:14

er, no. I worry they would try to be jammed into the round hole mentioned above, I dont give a shit if my kids' views differ to my own, I'd love that, I want to encourage her to question everything and not just conform. I dont even have any particular views of my own, I'm not vegan, really right or left wing, not religious etc. What am I trying to make her think? hmm

MinesAPintOfTea Sat 01-Feb-14 17:22:51

Whilst I would consider HEing DS if we felt the schooling available wasn't suitable for him etc (he's too young to call that one yet) I think the comparison to slavery is rather insensitive.

There are still real slaves in the world, trapped and forced to work long for long periods of time and having every aspect of their lives controlled by their owners. Even the lowest paid (legal) employee in the UK has the right to hand in their resignation and go to a new job, marry who they like, have children when they want, move home and a whole range of freedoms.

Similarly schoolchildren can be transferred between schools, pulled out entirely to be HEed, spend their free time how they like and so on with their parents' support. Just because they receive some of their education in a regimented environment does not make them slaves.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 17:37:23

I also can't see why we get to 'HE children are this' and 'Schooled children are that' -it is ridiculous as 'Blonde children are this', dark haired children are that'. They are individuals within what ever system they are in. Some are extroverts some are introverts, some will happily join anything, some need a friend-the list is endless and has nothing whatever to do with where they are educated.
I wasn't referring to you, BigBoPeep-generally those who get all upset if a teacher mentions something that hasn't been sanctioned by mother. Some parents want to control their child's whole environment.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 17:39:41

I find he kids really great at socialising with everyone, not just a bunch of their own age group and having an 'us and them' attitude about the small bunch of adults they DO interact with.

This is the one that really irritates me as if school children can only be friends with those born from Sept to August within a particular year and only meet a handful of adults. They can have exactly the same mix as any other child.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 01-Feb-14 18:21:54


I know its so sad for schooled children when you look at it like that.
Most of their life give or take a few weeks a year spent with exactly the same people, with little chance of really interacting socially.
I think that's a real negative aspect of school.

Maria33 Sat 01-Feb-14 18:22:57

maparole that's not the point I was making.

BigBoPeep Sat 01-Feb-14 18:23:05

they can have the same mix, but not from most schools.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 01-Feb-14 18:25:52


I believe children that schools are institutionalised, it has nothing to do with control. I have no more control over dds life than I did her older brothers who were schooled throughout.
However, since then I got educated, in fact I studied education and gained many points at masters level.
I have studied this shit and made my own mind up.

LittleBearPad Sat 01-Feb-14 18:30:34

I don't think that's what Tamer was saying Morethan. If you read it again she was saying the opposite.

And how are HE children any different. In some cases they will spend all their time with a very small group of people - their family.

TheGruffalo2 Sat 01-Feb-14 18:35:52

"Most of their life give or take a few weeks a year spent with exactly the same people, with little chance of really interacting socially.
I think that's a real negative aspect of school."
120 children in the year group who mix for lessons, 6 teachers in the year group who team teach at times so work with children beyond their own class, 2 HLTAs, 9 teaching assistants, 240 other children in reception and y1, plus all their staff at playtimes and lunchtimes, 9 midday supervisors, after school clubs run by outside providers/coaches, swimming teacher each week - not exactly limiting.
Again - not anti-HE, but don't make assumptions that HE means wider/better social interactions. Different, but to say a sweeping generalisation of "better" is wrong.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 01-Feb-14 18:43:31


Irony. grin

My H.ed dd who is all I am prepared to speak about is hardly ever at home.
When she is she is taught by a mix of tutors, brothers me and dh. her gps come round also and educate too.
Do you not teach your children anything?
She attends the groups she has always attended run by the LEA and has started more since leaving school.
Our neighbours and friends regularly pop round with interesting resources and we are met with kindness and support wherever we go.
I think we probably see a little less of her since she has been H.ed than we did when she was at school, as now she has more freedom she seems to be at various activities most of the time.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 01-Feb-14 18:52:59


I would like to wish you well, Good luck to you and hope to see you on the H.ed boards.
They are a lovely supportive bunch thanks

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 19:12:10

I was saying the opposite!
People have such narrow minded, depressing views of schools as if they all operate the way you see on TV. I know schools where they don't have uniform, they can organise their own work as long as they get it done, therefore if they want to spend an entire day on one subject they can. I know schools where they regularly have different ages working together, from 4 yr olds to 11 years olds. they are all state schools. As long as it works they can be different.
Some things work so much better. Morethanpotatoprints seemed to think her 10 yr old DD wanting to read Shakespeare was odd,but when my son was 10 he was at least able to do it as Shakespeare intended and they produced the play. The advantage there was that he would never have done Shakespeare at home, but he had to and they all had a wonderful time. I have tried to encourage my children to garden without success. It was successful at school because they had an allotment with a friend and it was much more fun with a whole row of allotments and a free choice to design and grow whatever they wanted. One school I know takes it a step further and the school kitchen uses it all with other local produce. The meals are so good that parents and grandparents can book into eat with their child.

HamletsSister Sat 01-Feb-14 19:33:39

A lesson is only as good as the teacher and pupil make it......HE is a potential recipe for disaster with a poor pupil and poor teacher. School can be a recipe for disaster with a poor pupil and poor teacher.

You are far more likely to get the combination of good pupil / good teacher in an environment where the teacher is qualified and checked up on. You may well get that combination in HEd but, and it is a big but, who will notice when the parent is teaching nothing and the pupil is learning nothing. For every success story in He'd, I suspect I can give you dozens and dozens of success stories in schools.

Mishmashfamily Sat 01-Feb-14 20:32:09

Wow! Didn't realise I was going to start such a debate!

I didn't stay on the thread long, I picked my wine up , went over to the HE board, had some thing to eat and shuffled off to bed!

I dont want to drip feed, I didn't want to write an epic post I didn't think there would be this much interest on my post.

I'm a sports coach, I I teach schools, private classes and private 1-2-1. The difference between all three is staggering. I don't want dd to be a class of thirty. It is class management more than quality teaching.

I've had a placement in a primary class and even though the teacher was fantastic , I found that the amount of children she had to get through was time consuming and the amount of work that was achieved wasn't a lot.

With myself being in the sports industry, dd will always be encouraged to socialise to participate in teams - but if it's not her thing, there are plenty other routes she can go down.

The fact I can tailor make dd route through education to maximise all her strengths really appeals to me. The flexibility of her HE is an added bonus.

The fabulous aspect about it is, if it's not for her or me then she can join the school system at any time. If she wasn't achieving or was lagging behind her peers, she would be in there like a flash.

Thanks for your responses, I won't be back on thread.

LifeIsForTheLiving Sat 01-Feb-14 22:04:47

I find he kids really great at socialising with everyone, not just a bunch of their own age group

This is just so not true of the school ethos and community at my dc's primary.

They spend a large part of the day with 20 other kids the same age as them, yes. BUT they also mix with the rest of the school. There are teams of varying ages, mixed age assemblies, plays and productions. They have a buddy system where the Year 5's and 6's 'mentor' the youngest kids...there is so much more interaction within a school environment than 'just' with their yeargroup.
Ds1 (6) has just had his birthday and he had a range of school friends there from age 3 to age 10.

The way I see it, I 'home educate' my kids anyway. Every good parent does and does since the day they were born. We learn things in a sit-down, one-on-one way when the dc show an interest in it. We go places and see/visit things that they find fascinating. We meet interesting people and do fun extra-curricular activities. We bake, we garden, we make things.

They do all this AND they go to school.

Sending your children to school and playing an active part in their education/allowing them to follow their interests are not mutually exclusive.

whitefonia Sat 01-Feb-14 22:23:17

"The way I see it, I 'home educate' my kids anyway."

Actually you really don't. The school educates your child for you. Home educators (proper, full time, home educators) also do all of that besides providing/facilitating education.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 22:46:13

I am with you Lifeisfortheliving. The school day is short and of course you educate them from the day they are born. Parents are the greatest influence and have the greater time with them. You can't stop children learning! They don't come out of school and go into a cupboard when they get home! My children went to school and we packed in a lot of other things- far more than the recent posts from HEers bemoaning the fact that they can't get them off computer games!
I do think that HEers want it both ways! Many a time if you mention work you get that it can be fitted in around it, the beauty is that you don't timetable it from 9 to 3 and yet suddenly, apparently, it doesn't apply to those who go to school! You can't fit just as much around the school day, despite having just as much time, even if you take out 10 hours for sleep and eating.
School left plenty of time for discussion, reading together, cooking, playing cards, board games, bike rides, swimming as a family, playing tennis etc- all after a school day.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 22:48:48

The school has never 'educated my child for me', they have 'educated my child with me'- which is entirely different. And since I am very much a 'it takes a village.........' I prefer to have more people involved.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 22:52:38

Sorry it should have been you can fit just as much in and not you can't!! The whole sentence was a mess. I meant to say that you have 6 hours at school and 6 hours at home - not counting eating and sleeping- although the eating is a great time for discussion.

whitefonia Sat 01-Feb-14 22:58:11

They do the bulk of the education, clearly. Unless you flexi school. Please don't insult those of us (structured home educator here) who lesson plan, curriculum plan, mark work and arrange exams, by saying you do the same. You do not.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 23:03:24

I think that you are seeing education very formally - that isn't the way that I see it. I wouldn't wish to replicate school at home. A game of chess is just as educational. I also think that you are in the minority of HErs,whitefonia, ( not there is anything wrong with it) but I am constantly told that they don't have school at home so they don't do the things that you mention.

whitefonia Sat 01-Feb-14 23:04:51

And your extra curricular 'education' is probably true of almost every parent in the country, including home educators. You are not a formal home educator and wouldn't be recognised as such by the LA.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 23:05:10

All it goes to prove is that there are many ways to HE and no two are the same , schools are the same and yet they are all lumped together.

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 23:07:57

I doubt there are many 'formal' home educators. Why on earth would the LEA recognise me as a formal educator when they go to school? confused
I have educated them since the day they were born, we have not sat down with work books but it is quite clear, as adults, that they have absorbed an enormous amount.

LittleBearPad Sat 01-Feb-14 23:07:59

I'm not sure Tamer wants to be a formal home educator, why would she. She and her children seem to have a great time. Plus she doesn't gave to lesson plan, mark work or organise exams. Win, win.

whitefonia Sat 01-Feb-14 23:08:59

I don't think we were discussing that, though. So not sure what point is proved. I haven't lumped schools together, or claimed there is only one way to HE.

I took exception to somebody using a school full time describing themselves as a home educator.

whitefonia Sat 01-Feb-14 23:09:36

*Up thread

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 23:13:14

I wouldn't dare go on the HE board and suggest that parents should curriculum plan, lesson plan and mark work- my skin isn't thick enough!

TamerB Sat 01-Feb-14 23:16:19

Exactly LittleBear! I do the fun bits and let someone else teach apostrophes etc!

HamletsSister Sat 01-Feb-14 23:16:47

My children DO go to a school but I am their teacher. I do all of the things listed in school, plus doing all the other things listed at home.

Do I win?

Of course we all educate our children. The HEd brigade seem to think they have a monopoly on that

whitefonia Sat 01-Feb-14 23:17:12

Who's suggesting that? I certainly haven't. How ridiculous.

LittleBearPad Sat 01-Feb-14 23:18:29

But you did say we couldn't be considered home educators by the LEA. Which of us has said we want to be. But we do teach our children.

Mishmashfamily Sat 01-Feb-14 23:31:24

No I agree , parents do teach their dc things at home, they just get sent to some one else to learn the important stuff. Otherwise they would be full time home educators. Which they are not.

Most parents will read and do some spelling with their dc at home but full time H Edding is totally different.

whitefonia Sat 01-Feb-14 23:33:56

Again, the extra curricular teaching, you say (or whoever said it) makes you a home educator is true of almost every parent in the country. Including home educators (formal, classical, autonomous, radical unschoolers). It doesn't make you a home educator.

If you teach your children in an institution (to poster who mentioned) you're not strictly a home educator either grin

cory Sat 01-Feb-14 23:49:57

I don't see why you have to have this complete distinction between the Important Stuff and Other Stuff.

I learnt French at school and English at home. Does that make French more important than English?
(for the record, I speak English rather better than French, but then my mother was a pretty inspiring teacher)

My db learnt science at school but music (in preparation for his application to the conservatoire) at home.

As far as I am concerned, school and I have taught dd to read between us. We have introduced her to literature and helped her to understand it between us. (In all honesty, our home library probably is probably better stocked than her secondary school library was, but they complemented each other)

Ds watches news programmes at home with us and then goes into school and discusses what he has seen in history and geography classes.

I have always thought of it as team work.

LifeIsForTheLiving Sun 02-Feb-14 00:30:52

Whitefonia you sound like you have a massive chip on your shoulder to be frank. You take exception to me using the words 'home educate', so i'll replace them with 'teach'.

My children go to school. I also teach them at home.

I have no desire to be a 'formal' full time home educator - you mention that you set a curriculum, make lesson plans, mark work. I can't think of many things i'd rather do less tbh.

I take exception to the underlying tone from some home educators like yourself, that only those children who do not go to school get the chance to follow their interests, expand their knowledge and learn things outside of the nc.

That is not the case. I see school as an extra positive for my children. They get all the benefits of attending - educational, socialising with others on a daily basis, learning to follow rules and read social cues, gaining independence from the family unit and taking part in large team activities, plays, productions, class trips.

They get all of that plus they get the additional chance to expand their learning at home in whatever way they wish, with no curriculum, plans or marking taking up my time.

I agree with what a pp said...the school do not educate my dc for me, they educate them with me. A huge difference.

My dc attend school for 32 hours a week. They spend the other 136 hours of that week at home. For you to say that schools are solely responsible for educating my children for me is not only incorrect but ridiculous.

whitefonia Sun 02-Feb-14 01:45:29

I was thinking the same about you, with regard to chips on shoulders, Lifeisfortheliving...

My children go to school. I also teach them at home.

Like every parent in the country, then (including all types of home educator). So probably needless to say, no? Certainly nothing out of the ordinary.

"For you to say that schools are solely responsible for educating my children for me is not only incorrect but ridiculous."

Though it may suit, please don't put words into my mouth. I mentioned 'bulk of' and 'school full time' I also agreed that most parents 'teach' outside of full time school (and outside of whichever 'method' of home ed. they use).

"I see school as an extra positive for my children. They get all the benefits of attending - educational, socialising with others on a daily basis, learning to follow rules and read social cues, gaining independence from the family unit and taking part in large team activities, plays, productions, class trips."

Same as home education hmm

whitefonia Sun 02-Feb-14 01:46:46

"I take exception to the underlying tone from some home educators like yourself, that only those children who do not go to school get the chance to follow their interests, expand their knowledge and learn things outside of the nc."

I haven't said anything of the kind. Not even remotely. Please point out where.

whitefonia Sun 02-Feb-14 01:50:08

"They get all of that plus they get the additional chance to expand their learning at home in whatever way they wish, with no curriculum, plans or marking taking up my time."

This takes up my time only (usually late evening), it doesn't take up any of the children's time whatsoever. Obviously you don't know me or how HE has worked for us, but thank you for guessing.

whitefonia Sun 02-Feb-14 01:57:52

"I have no desire to be a 'formal' full time home educator - you mention that you set a curriculum, make lesson plans, mark work. I can't think of many things i'd rather do less tbh."

Like many home educators, then (thinking of unschoolers who I greatly admire).

Oh, I used 'formally' with reference to the LA, meaning officially, which could be applied to all types of home educator (We wouldn't describe our educational provision as 'formal' but structured. Even then it doesn't resemble a school).

TamerB Sun 02-Feb-14 07:30:39

I think that the argument has taken a rather silly turn as if we are scoring points as to who does more with their children!
They are learning. Some totally at home, some go out for a few hours each day. As long as people are happy with their choice I can't see why we need to nit pick over terms.
I see it in a similar way to LifeIsForLiving.

streakybacon Sun 02-Feb-14 08:18:54

When my son was at school, he would come home each day a gibbering wreck, completely incapable of any after-school activities. School destroyed him. It simply wasn't possible to 'do other stuff' outside of school hours and he really only gets 24 hours in his day now because of HE.

TamerB Sun 02-Feb-14 09:11:18

An obvious candidate for HE. One system can never suit all. Some are not suited by schools and some are not suited by HE.

TamerB Sun 02-Feb-14 09:12:57

I expect my brother would have suited HE, it wouldn't have been an excuse for my parents to then extend it to the whole family regardless, when school suited us.

HamletsSister Sun 02-Feb-14 15:48:43

But at school, I teach my children one subject (core, important) and yet today, at home, I was teaching my son Latin - a subject not available at school but one he decided to follow in his own time.

So, I am doing both. Really HE brigade.....we ALL teach our children. I am particularly proud of the fact that my Sciottish children both say "bloody hell" in a posh English accent (mine) - they definitely didn't learn that at school!

cory Sun 02-Feb-14 16:55:23

Bizarrely, my dd is learning far from more from me now that she is back in full time education: she was unhappy at home and it made her very negative about her chances to learn anything at all; it certainly damaged to her willingness to learn from me.

Which just goes to show that all children are different, circumstances are different, families are different- but everybody learns best when they are happy.

streakybacon Sun 02-Feb-14 17:14:07

Which just goes to show that all children are different, circumstances are different, families are different- but everybody learns best when they are happy


I wish we could all just recognise that there is no single approach that suits every child. We all do what's best for our own.

TamerB Sun 02-Feb-14 17:33:47

I wish we could all just recognise that there is no single approach that suits every child. We all do what's best for our own.

And so say all of us! (I don't think anyone could argue with that).

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