Home ed through illness/pain/depress
I've preparing to home ed my lovely DDs, who are currently 4 and 3. However, this week I've been ill (part of a long-term chronic medical problem) and am now depressed (which has been an intermittent problem for many years). For the past week then, I've been in bed and unable to do anything physically or mentally challenging with the girls. DP has been great with them between his work shifts, but he doesn't educate them as such, and we're looking towards a relatively structured approach. How do other people manage home ed when they're ill? And what could I do to stop my illness impacting upon my girls? Ultimately, I would send them to school if I completely couldn't manage, but I would like to try everything possible first. I'm a member of all my local home ed groups, but am asking here because I don't want them to know too much of what I'm going through. TIA.
I hope this doesn't sound too flip (as I have endured the ravages of anxiety and depression myself in the past) but...how structured is it possible to be with a 3 year old and a 4 year old? It sounds as though dad "being great with them" is as good as it gets at that age surely?
I don't know. But do tell me more. As I said, I'm new to home ed, and am open to being told I'm getting things very wrong.
At the moment, I'm aiming for (and this week not achieving at all) each day
-half an hour of phonics/handwriting
-half an hour of counting/sums/shapes
-about an hour of some sort of topic (this month we're learning about beaches lol) local beach, or something like (OMG I daren't say it on MN) a stately home
-within or in addition to the above, something social - we've done drumming classes, dance groups and do lots of local home ed meets
Is that too ambitious?
I don't know your children's tastes but at that age with my son (now 20, hippy computer programmer and musician) we spent a lot of time listening to audiobooks, making dens, building with duplo, playing with playmobil figures and making up stories about them, and going for walks in the wood.
I am biased though because I hate phonics and my son - who types a trillion words a minute - never got into handwriting at all.
They are very young for formal structured education. And I say this as a person who has no "autonomous" leanings.
Personally, while I think HE can be THE perfect option for some parent/child combos, and easily as good as any other choice for very many others... there can be a not insignificant downside for some people.
I became quite insular and down when HE ing. The pressure of the buck stopping with me got to me. The sensation that if I didn't do a good enough job I would be denying my son the attainment he would have been caperble of in another setting. It was too much. And while I do not suffer from chronic illness or depression it was not good for me mentally and I don't like what it did to my head.
The good news is that these days it isn't simply a case of either/or. While the flexischooling option is a bit hazy (to me at least) at the moment it would appear schools are not necessarily denying the possibility. There are also internet based schools from primary to A levels. And that is just today. By the time your children are compulsory education age there may be so much more on offer, some of which may fall under the legal "umbrella" of home ed, and some not.
I'd take pressure off yourself for the time being becuase it may not be condusive to avoiding a worsening or extension of your present health issues. They are so small. Opportunities to play (which is basically how teeny tinies learn) are great, especially of the type that don't mean you end up feeling worse.
Are there any grandparents/other realtives in the picture that could pick up some slack for you by taking them to small person centric groups and on outings ?
That sounds like an awful lot to me to attempt with a 3 year old and a 4 year old -in school they would presumably be in nursery or reception both of which do much less formal learning than this and yet we start formal learning early in this country. Mine are 5 and 2, we learn through play and conversation. We go out, we go swimming and to the park, we go to museums sometimes, we talk about anything that comes up and we look things up on the Internet if we don't know the answer. We play with Lego, bake, play on iPads, have baths, do messy play and just keep talking. Have you read Alan Thomas's 'How Children learn at Home'?
I agree that you are doing more formal work than is usual with children of this age, and that it isn't necessary. That doesn't mean it's wrong for your children. If they like it and it suits your family, go for it! There is no wrong way to home educate.
Just don't feel that you have to do it the way you are doing it. It sounds like a lot of work to me. (Mind you, I am a lazy so-and-so!) If the formal work is hard going for you and/or your kids are resistant to it, you may be putting yourself in a stressful situation needlessly.
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