Think I've missed the home ed boat - starting reception(13 Posts)
DD is starting reception in September. I know lots of parents get a case of the wobbles before their DC start school but I'm really disappointed that I didn't find out about home educating a year or so ago. DD is nearly 5 so she'll be one of the older ones and from that point of view will probably do absolutely fine at school and is excited about starting.
But the more I think about school vs home ed the more I feel that school is a bit of a waste of childhood. Especially once they hit Yr 1, all that time sitting down working when they could be playing. It's too late now, DD is looking forward to it so I wouldn't want to withdraw her at this point. I hope she gets on well at school, but if she doesn't like it I don't know where the line would be where we decide to withdraw her, and how you make that call. If school is just "ok" then the pressure would be on to just continue like everyone else does. Another worry is that withdrawing them (rather than simply not starting) suggests that it's fine to just give up on something rather than persevere.
Anyway I don't think I have a question, sorry, this was more of a ramble than anything. Has anyone been in a similar situation?
Why not have a chat with your DD about it? My eldest was all set on school, but that was just because people who didn't know we were planning to HE kept asking her if she was looking forward to it, and she would just say 'yes'. You could always talk to your DD and find out what she thinks about HE. Find out what exactly she is looking forward to about school, because if it's just playing with other children then HE will provide that too. Try planning a 'HE day' and see what she thinks, maybe you could go along to a local group.
Withdrawing a child from school isn't 'giving up'- unless you assume that school is the preferred option and HE is second best. It can be quite difficult because in our culture, school is the default and HE is only done if something is wrong with the school. If your family is not suited to school then choosing something that suits you better isn't giving up.
Whatever you decide, it is not a permanent decision. We're going to HE to start with and then look at school later on- maybe they'll go to school when they're older, maybe we'll find that we prefer HE, who knows.
It's not too late if you want to HE. You could always take your daughter to some HE groups and see how you get on.
However I think just knowing that the option of HE is there puts you in a position of such power. My son is just finishing reception and so far seems very happy at school. However he knows he doesn't have to go school and it's something we can decide as a family.
Sorry I meant to add it's not about giving up it's about having choices. I want my son to have the kind of life where he knows the value of hard work but also knows that if he's not happy he can make the changes to be happy whether that's in work, relationships or education.
i can understand that you feel it's now final, that your dd is looking forward to it. I don't quite understand how you didn't really think about HE before now though.
I understand that suddenly school is upon them before you know it. What do you think your dd would gain from HE. You could ask her yes, it's a rather big question all in one go. Very difficult, if you don't truly have a preference either.
I am neither for or against HE specifically, and have felt lots of times that the 'system' just gets in the way of life. stats, etc. I didn't feel like that at the start tho, but now dd is at the end of primary school, it's gone so fast and it did feel like there would have been better things to do.
The worry of her illnesses and people on my back were the main causes of those feelings tho. Not that my dd didn't enjoy school.
It would depend on your child and how she enjoyed school.
Also, this transition from being at home to starting reception, is really really hard for you. I hated losing her, and one of my closest friends was HE'ding her child, but I felt for my dd, she would benefit from it.
I know children can mix and learn as HE'ders but i wasn't convinced I could do a good enough job of keeping up the momentum.
Depends on how you would HE her, what would make you both happy. I just knew my dd would get bored lol. My friend's dd doesn't really see any kids and i think it's a shame, but i guess she's used to it, yet to me i still feel she misses out.
I wanted to HE, but financially it is not really practical for our family long term. My dd1 starts Reception in September too, but I have requested part time hours to see how she goes, plus it leaves the afternoons open for free-range learning, trips and family time. I just emailed the Head and they agreed it (our borough has a policy of part time option for Reception). If your dd's school agreed to part time you could still investigate home-school groups in your area. There is also flexi-schooling longer term, but that is at the discretion of the Head.
You can HE from any age. It does not have to be from the start. I HE'd one from 10 and another from 16-18. Go with the flow.
Plus none of my children started school in reception. I let them all stay at nursery until they were 5 and they went into year one. Didn't miss anything. It was a montessori nursery and they were fine going into school later. Then we dipped in and out of school over the years depending where we lived and what they wanted to do education wise. Finished with a clutch of A levels, so it was definitely right for us.
Lots of responses! Thanks for all the input, it's given me some more to think about. In answer to some of the questions:
I would be wary of asking DD if she wants to go to school in case she says no! She is at nursery two days a week and enjoys it while she's there, however she often says she wants to stay at home instead.
I hadn't thought about home ed before because, as another poster said, it's just assumed that children will go. It's only in the past few months that I've been questioning the value of it. I was happy at school and did well from it, it's not that I think school is bad (assuming it's a good school IYKWIM), just that I'm starting to feel that the academic learning could be done in a much shorter time leaving a lot more time for play and exploring, particularly in the early years.
DH is not on board with homeschooling so it's not something I can do just like that. He may come round depending on how DD gets on.
The thing about giving DD the choice - I hadn't thought about it in that way before. Lightbulb moment! I suppose if DD seems not to be enjoying it that much then we could discuss it with her at that point and/or investigate part time reception (although I don't think that's a policy in my borough). I have the fear of letting a five year old make a big decision that she doesn't really understand, but tbh that's how I feel about the choice to stay in school as well.
There are home schooling groups near me so i'll think about visiting and see what it's like.
Mine all went to school from reception on. They were all ok at school - but just ok - it didn't really grab them in any way. We decided we could do a better approach to life through HE. DS 1 went to the end of Y4, and DS2 & DS3 went to the end of Y2.
I think I would see how school goes and then reassess at a later date.
You could test the waters by just mentioning to your dd that not all children go to school. As you say, it is something that people tend not to think about.
It seems to me that if your daughter doesn't like school but you are going to send her regardless, you need to be in a position to explain to her why you are doing that, what benefits you think school has. The fact that school is optional shouldn't be a big secret. IMO too many parents are afraid their children will discover the existence of home education. They are afraid of this because it is a conversation the parents don't want to have. There is an answer to "Why do I have to go to school?" and you need to be able to articulate that answer if you and your daughter are going to be content about her going to school. It's not a good idea to fib and say that "It's the law" or "Because everyone does".
You haven't missed the boat at all, and on the other hand it doesn't have to be a huge deal if you allow your daughter to decide whether to go to school even though she isn't mature enough to understand all the pros and cons. Whichever way you jump at first, it is straightforward to change later if it becomes clear that a change is best. It is quite possible to go in and out of home ed over the years. I know only a few teens who have never been to school at all.
By the way, I like Peter Gray's take on the whole "quitting" idea: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201304/the-most-basic-freedom-is-freedom-quit
There are two possibilities to consider when a child says they don't want to go to nursery. Either it's inertia and you know full well that they'll have a lovely time there and you'll have just as much difficulty getting them to leave their friends and cone home. Or else nursery is one of those routine inevitable things. The child really doesn't want to go but knows there's no option. In your shoes I'd be trying to work out which of those is going on because that will give you a good hint about whether or not school is a good idea right now.
I would do a lot of research about home ed, maybe even visit a home ed group over the summer. Search the leverage that might persuade your husband. Alan Thomas and Harriet pattison how children learn at home is an excellent starting point.
Two more things. First: it isn't you that has to spend six hours a day in school. If you do start your child in school watch like a hawk to be sure they are thriving. School can be a wonderful wonderful thing for certain children. In my opinion, no one else should be there. Second: I believe the important thing is to meet the short term needs of your child, whatever those needs are. And then you turn around and they've turned 18 and they had a happy childhood. I'm not big on expecting small children to thrive on delayed gratification.
Im a bit like you discovered home ed too late.
At end of year1.
r was ok year 1 was pretty hard on my oldest dd.
i settled on flexi schooling and head said no
so i moved her to smaller school where shes doing better so much happy and will stay until shes 11 mayeb have option of home ed seniors but hope is just gets into a good seniors who knows.
But the move has thrown up other issues
its far away from our house out of catchment and small amount of kids.
we have no sibling link as not local sibling.
we got in on mid year admissions year 2 after 1 awful term in old school.
last few years siblings not got reception places.
i just spent last year doing 2 school runs as dd2 and dd3 went to adjoined preschool at old schools.
its been hell and dd2 is 4 in september so just missed starting school and due to start sept 2014.
she wants to go school but if she dont get in i cant face doing 2schools and accepting a lesser school so will home ed and wait list with no idea how long.
her little brother starts year later as 20month gap and he may not get in.
I was ok defering him as hes april.
so could be home edding 2 infants. wil find out april for dd2.
in mean time shes starting new preschool near new school from september 1 day a week and continuing with 1 day nursery near our house.
we made contacts with local home educators and going to do few meetups.
so using this year as dry run by doing sort of preschool flexi schooling so as shes just missed school cut of by 16days we going to try do some more academic things bit like reception really lots of play but basic number work, seasons, colours, shapes and phonics .
that way in april if news is bad we prepared and not too gutted as having fun.
hubbys bit dubious and thinks they wil get in w, we cant afford to move.
shes down to do rainbows when shes 5, does ballet and tap now and migt do gym so will soclaise with other kids plus has siblings and mixes with older sisters mates.
This morning on school run when they were being difficult did think ahh be so much easier not having school runs but as eldests in school will still have that.
Im not anti schools despite bad experience in 1st school.
realied they all diffrent and suit diffrent personalities and needs in same way home ed.
All i would say is home ed quite rare round my nearby area they fixated with the right school and probably consider me mad hippy when i do but wil cross that bridge when I come top it.
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