Hi, my 5.5 year old son has never been too keen on going to any instutions, sadly he has had to change them frequently due to my husbands work. I am a WAHM myself, with occasional trips for work. My son is very shy and has quite a bit of separation anxiety. He has always eventually settled and made friends but when he can say no to school, he always would. Our new school is a very large one with not just lots of children per class but a lot of moving around of children (so that they can address their particular needs etc). It does not feel like the right environment for him. I still feel that school might be of benefit to him (if for no other reason then to just have exposure to more styles of communicating with him, more experiences with adults and children than just our small family, due to our lifestyle we have no family friends nearby, unfortunately) -- but am increasingly uneasy about the whole thing. But before I can get any further with planning this, I need to have some practical things sorted -- is it doable if you work full time, even if your working times are flexible? Can anyone here advise how did you manage your time around home-educating. I also have a 2 year old, and we are helped by our au pair although she is unlikely to be committed to home-edding -- she is very young and although very compassionate, not the teacher material). I just fear getting my own work done, getting some time for myself, plus home-educating becomes more than I can do. Any experiences with working full time and home educating? Is it doable at all? Thanks for any advice! May
I've known of two families locally who both worked full time. Both used Au Pairs to be with the children whilst they were working, using them to take the children to HE events and gatherings, and to any music lessons/choir/dancing activities the children enjoyed. HE doesn't have to take place between 9-3 Mon-Fri, so parents were very involved after work.....as parents the world over are with children after school.
Thanks so much Julien - good to know it can be done. I did not think it would be a 9-3 job, and in a way, we are really talking about 4 hours of schooling children get from schools, whilst it happens constantly in any household where parents take the responsibility to school their own children. I guess it does require such a shift in one's own mind and attitudes that one simply hesitates... It does not help not to know anyone who has done it, and to have in-laws who only see institutional education as relevant and trustworthy... I also fear to find that the HE groups have a certain clique-style -- or is that again one of those silly myths one harbours until taking the plunge?
If your working hours are really flexible I'm sure it's perfectly possible- especially if your children have a good relationship with the au-pair. I do spend quite a bit of time shuttling children to and from groups (mine are a similar age to yours) and so totally agree with Julienoshoes that you could make all of that au-pair time. HE groups seem to be different in every part of the country, but I've found the ones that I've tried to be very welcoming. We also still go to several pre-school groups and they still tick the socialising boxes despite our DD being school age now- she's loving being the big helper and doting on the babies!
Thank you, flussymummy. I was also wondering if you do not spend the time with your children a lot of the day, does it not interfere with your relationship with them if the time spent together is kind of geared towards delivering some sort of teaching... I know teaching can be done in a very playful way but can you always do it...? And how much do you feel the pressure to perform? Of course, this is one of the main reasons why HE is such a tempting way to live and learn and not bother with evaluations etc. I simply doubt we can keep it up beyond certain age and then they will have to be ready to join the school with its particular curriculum. Oh well, just going through that stage of whats and what ifs....