Regretting taking kids out of school.

(1000 Posts)
apocketfulofposy Mon 03-Mar-14 22:00:36

Posting here for traffic,sorry.

I have 5 children ranging from aged 6 to 10 weeks old.

We always planned to home educate after reading a book about it when ds1 and 2 were toddlers,then when ds1 was about 4 and a half,and i was pregnant with baby number 4,i decided to give our local primary a go,partly because it was just that time where he would of been going and partly because i was finding it hard with them all at home (no family on either side for 3 hours,husband who works away monday to friday,rural ish area,i cant even drive!).

Anyway reception was ok,he liked it,made plenty of friends,dc2 and 3 went to the pre school and liked it,except dc2 had lots of issues with hitting other children and just general destructive behaviour.

When ds1 started yr1 last year he hated it from the word go,he still liked seeing his friends but he really noticed the change between mostly play to mostly lessons,plus his teacher left after a term and the new one was very strict and spoke to the children like she was some kind of prison officer.

Ds2 started reception and seemed to enjoy it but after a few weeks i was called in a few times about his hitting and destroying things,they said he just physically wasnt ready to be at schoolt hat much so put him down to half days,which was a bit of a faff for me as i was in and out all day but it was fine.It didnt seem to help though and he was behaving worse and worse at school,especially at lunchtime,but strangely his behaviour at home was getting better.

Add to this the fact i was finding it hard carting them all around everywhere and i felt crap because i kept forgetting to reply to things and i kept hearing all this micheal gove stuff,i just decided to pull them out,id been thinking about it on and off for a while and just thought do it,and id id it almost on a bit of a whim.

The first few weeks were great and we all loved the novelty of not rushing around in mornings and the kids have been playing all day,and actually one good point is that they have been getting on so much better.

But apart from that i am starting to regret taking them out,i miss the routine,i miss being able to take the babies to their groups and talking to my "mummy friends"(cringe) i miss being able to go to the shop quickly with just the double buggy,i also just dont know what to do with them,and the house is just such a mess!

I know these are'nt huge things but its starting to feel chaotic and i can feel it going back to the way it used to be,before school,and it hink i underestimated how much it did for all of us.I just dont know what to do!

Help and advice please!xxxxx

Burmahere Mon 03-Mar-14 22:03:57

Wow! Five children at home? I take my hat off to you OP.

I would put them straight back into school tbh, they're young enough.

I couldn't Home Ed one let alone multiples, I would be rocking in the corner by Wednesday.

Good luck!!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 03-Mar-14 22:06:41

Hello OP

I can't give you any advice as only H.ed one child, but why are you unable to take them all to the baby groups? I ask as I've heard several say they all go together and wondered if it would be possible for you.

Northerner7777 Mon 03-Mar-14 22:07:48

Definitely straight back into school. I have 7. Most had problems with disliking school at your dcs ages but they got over it and all but one are now in (or have a place since this morning) a place at secondary school or have left and gone onto uni.

Put them straight back into school. Maybe the school you chose wasn't the right one. Look around and choose the right one for your dcs.

Procrastreation Mon 03-Mar-14 22:07:55

Have you looked into HE groups local to you (FB will probably have a presence). That could help to give you structure & make you less isolated.

Procrastreation Mon 03-Mar-14 22:10:15

Depending on how tight money is, a back-to-front halfway house can be to enroll them in half term clubs (our council leisure centre runs one ). It would give you all a break without a long term commitment.

Coconutty Mon 03-Mar-14 22:11:30

Yep, back to school.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 03-Mar-14 22:14:59

I can remember having several wobbles before finally settling down and this was with just one dc.
I found it helped to revise the reasons why we decided to take dd out of school.
I look at some of these threads sometimes and hear so many people complaining about gove, teachers, bullying, internet porn access at school and many other issues and I know we made the right decision, even though these weren't applicable to our decision.
But even though I'm adamant about this I still get the wobbles. I think its natural if your children have attended school at some point as you and they are aware of a difference.

TamerB Mon 03-Mar-14 22:16:46

It sounds a nightmare- I would get them back to school and be able to enjoy them individually. Of course you can't take them to baby groups, those with babies don't want this- they certainly didn't when I had a big age group and it isn't fair on the older ones either. Maybe you just want a different school.

Tartanpaint Mon 03-Mar-14 23:02:18

There are tons of activities out there, many specially for home educators. Have you looked into what's available in your area? There are often HE Facebook groups and local meet ups alongside more formal occasional teaching by specialists and then child led learning. HE can be very social. I think it's quite normal to take a while to get into it. However 5 kids is a lot and personally I would really struggle to look after babies/toddlers and HE the other kids. HE can be brilliant but it also can be a nightmare.

Where are you OP? Maybe other HE's might have advice.

Paintyfingers Mon 03-Mar-14 23:08:37

Did you know there is actually a home ed board on mn? If you post you will get lots of help there, I'm sure.

Vijac Mon 03-Mar-14 23:17:13

Put them back into school. They will most likely settle down and be happy. I would think you'd need to be an experienced educator and extremely organised to not only bring up, have fun with and emotionally support but also educate five children of different ages. Teachers put hours into their lesson plans, specific to each age group. Sounds like you would enjoy them more too. Plus did you ever read any books coming from the other side of the argument?

apocketfulofposy Mon 03-Mar-14 23:18:10

there is a weekly home ed group but it takes a long walk then a train journey then a long walk to get there,i dont mind that but the 3 older ones get really tired.Last time it was raining and we got soaked when a royal mail lorry went through a puddle past us!The kids were quite excited and seemed to enjoy it but they didnt want to go again because "it takes too loooong" i was supposed to go last week but my husband is in hospital and my pushchair broke.

I dont know how i would go about getting them back into school,would i contact the school or the la?surly theyve filled the places already?mind you my daughter is due to start there in september so maybe they would get it back because of that.What will everyone think of me!?

NonnoMum Mon 03-Mar-14 23:22:01

Send 'em back to school. Do it for them. Don't do it just because it makes your morning easier if you don't have to do the school run.

Saracen Tue 04-Mar-14 01:00:27

Having five little ones is hard, no matter how you are educating them. I guess you don't drive, your husband is in hospital at the moment and to top it all you even have a broken pushchair to contend with! And all this rain... Some of these struggles would be just as bad or even worse if your children were at school, I'm sure.

If the main issue is needing some structure in your lives and for you to have a break from the older children, there may be other ways to address that. For example, if the school has an afterschool club where they could go for a few hours every afternoon, that might suit you, or a childminder?

But only you are in a position to decide what is best for your whole family. You've had a glimpse of what school can be like, as well of what home ed can be like. (Have you been HEing for long now?)

Don't worry what anyone else will say about your decision. Whatever you decide, just cheerfully tell everyone that this is what is working for you now and you might change things later. There is nothing to stop you putting your kids into and out of school whenever it seems right, and some families do just that. No decision has to be forever.

TamerB Tue 04-Mar-14 01:13:13

There is nothing wrong it admitting it isn't working and changing it. With the situation as you describe it would have anyone climbing the walls!

foxy6 Tue 04-Mar-14 02:52:16

my sister in law has successfully managed to home educate 5 children. seems to me like it's still early days. try and get in touch with other home educators in your area for support.
I have 5 and wish that I knew home education was a option when they were younger.
good luck x

foxy6 Tue 04-Mar-14 02:55:30

post in the home education section you will get more helpfully advice than " put them straight back in school ".

TheRoadLessTravelled Tue 04-Mar-14 04:37:06

Yes, please start a thread in the HE section.

It's not clear how long you've been HEing, but if it isn't long I'd give it a bit longer. I think it'd take at least 6 months to adapt.

HEcan be great. The primary board is the wrong place to ask.

If DS2 can't cope with school, even on a reduced timetable, I don't see how you can (in good conscious) put him back in school.

MrRected Tue 04-Mar-14 05:02:13

I think you need to critically and dispassionately think about what you want for the children (individually and as a group) as a starting point. You should take convenience out of the equation as your primary decision point.

It sounds to me that you need more structure. You need to get the house sorted out so that it works efficiently as a place to home school children. They cannot possibly learn and thrive when everything is a mess.

A defined space in the house with all their school equipment, chairs/desk/computer and a space each for the older ones. you will not be able to cater for the kids as they get older if you don't get it sorted now. You need to loosely plan their curriculum and have some sort of system and goals, so you have a means of telling if it's actually working.

If this is too hard - re-enrol the children in school. You will have some hard choices to make though. Your son cannot act vi

MrRected Tue 04-Mar-14 05:03:28

Violently - you will need to implement a behaviour management plan for him.

I think you will be amazed at how much so organisation and planning can improve a situation, whichever choice you make.

Good luck.

JessePinkmansMom Tue 04-Mar-14 05:17:55

I don't think you sound organised or self-disciplined enough to home educate successfully, sorry. That is not a criticism - I don't think most people are capable of it, and even if they were it may not be the best thing for their sanity. I think some people choose home ed for the wrong reasons, and I suspect you may be one of them.

It sounds to me as though you pulled your children out of school as a defensive knee-jerk reaction to the fact that they seem quite difficult to manage. It's easy to excuse/ignore over-boisterous and unruly behaviour when you don't have to answer to anyone else over it, but perhaps your children need the boundaries and structure of school with four children all so young and close in age at home?

Also, while they are still very young and learning through play you can afford to be laid back about the whole thing, but once you are at the stage where a slightly more formal/structured approach needs to be taken I think you will flounder. Trying to keep up with the educational needs and expectations of all four of them at once, who will be a different stages will not be easy.

TamerB Tue 04-Mar-14 07:15:06

If you post in the HE section they will tell you that you can do it despite having no local group, no transport to get to the nearest group, being very rural, being isolated for friends, not being able to spend time with the youngest ones, or individually , having no family near, getting no time to do the housework, no time for yourself for hobbies or even to stand and stare, a husband in hospital and on top of all that you started it on 'a bit of a whim'.
They will tell you that this is better than school!! I am surprised that you are not having a nervous breakdown!
It must be very costly on top of anything else if you have to get trains to the nearest group and it sounds as if you could do with paying for some childcare. You are not getting much fun or enjoyment in this situation.
You could have the older ones at school, doing things at their own level, with regular friends. You could then have the daily contact with other parents, get your youngest ones out to suitable groups, manage to keep in top of the housework, have the bliss of not taking 5 children shopping, be able to sit down and do nothing occasionally and let the little ones sleep or play without guilt. I bet it is not matching up with your rosy picture of 5 children all being purposefully engaged.
If in doubt get a piece of paper and write down the pros and cons- it clears the mind. Also how long were you thinking of doing it for?
There is nothing wrong in changing your mind. I have known people full of the theory of how wonderful it would be and the practice has been quite different and they have gone back to school.

TamerB Tue 04-Mar-14 07:17:51

It isn't a criticism- some people are just not cut out for it, there is nothing wrong with that at all. In your case it is more a question of your situation not being cut out for it.

Unexpected Tue 04-Mar-14 08:07:31

I think HE can be great but it doesn't sound as if it is great for you. You didn't actively decide to HE, rather you pulled your children out of school on "a bit of a whim" and it doesn't sound as if you are educating your children at all now as you say the children are just playing all day. Play is great and at that age lots of learning can be done that way but you still need some structure. If you really want to HE, you have to decide if you can physically and practically manage it and get support from your partner as well.

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