the brilliant things about home education.

(125 Posts)
LetZygonsbeZygons Thu 06-Mar-14 17:54:08

Ill start!

world book week. other threads on other sites on mn panicking/moaning about the dressup things for going into school. Phew! no more of that faff.

no more being called in cos DCs had a meltdown yet again (sn).

the dreaded schoolrun/parking/school gate mums.

being 'persuaded' to fork out your non existant cash to pay for trips/food/workshops etc etc.

bloody sports day.

assemblies and xmas plays which would all freak DC out.

being able to go places while all the other kids are at school so museums/parks/playplaces/libraries etc are not choc a block with noisy screaming sweaty kids.

ah, bliss.

anyone else? anything else?

streakybacon Sat 08-Mar-14 08:10:07

All of the above plus this which I posted on Thursday.

As well as his countless personal development successes, I have a happy and fulfilled teenager who is reaching his academic potential, despite school having dumped him on the scrap heap at age 9.

TinkerbellTrains Sat 08-Mar-14 10:12:06

Massive congratulations to your son streaky Just read your other thread. That there is definitely a positive for HE. flowers

wineoclock my feelings exactly. I make a big point of not having "girls" things & "boys" things in this house. They are just "childrens things". Thankfully ds1 is a pretty confident child now, so on recent occasions when another child has commented on his pink shoes or princess headband he just replies with "no, they are just childrens shoes" or "well, I like them"

I don't want him to lose the confidence to be who he wants to be and wear/play with what he wants to but let's face it, going to school will more than likely do exactly that.

MavisG Sat 08-Mar-14 11:55:12

Not wasting my son's time. He learns what he wants to, is thriving and rarely bored.

Being together as a family more - we get the best bits of the day.

Ds is 5 & needs 1-2 days in the week to be fairly quiet & home-based.

Watching him learn, and his utter joy as he does. (We are autonomous he-ers & I am amazed that he is writing now. Would totally have credited school for it were he there. All we've done is live and be literate, but that's been enough. I read about this but I guess I never really believed it could happen, so easily, so naturally, with so little input. He is starting to read, too.)

Martorana Sat 08-Mar-14 12:04:39

From my memories- always being able to finish what I wanted to finish, not having to stop and start something else when the bell went. Being able to decide to not do any school work that day and make the most of a sunny day.

LucyBucy Sat 08-Mar-14 12:10:01

Absolute freedom to follow our own interests, where we want when we want; no politicians telling us what we SHOULD be learning; kids learning at their ownpace with no comparisons to others; seeing happy faces rather than "too tired and grumpy to do anything" faces!

Martorana Sat 08-Mar-14 12:17:29

From my memories- always being able to finish what I wanted to finish, not having to stop and start something else when the bell went. Being able to decide to not do any school work that day and make the most of a sunny day.

LetZygonsbeZygons Sat 08-Mar-14 17:18:34

That's great streaky.

sallyaa Sat 08-Mar-14 22:01:30

Being able to learn in the way that suits him - L used to really struggle with sitting still during lessons at school, but now that he can wriggle around, stand up and walk about, and write on the whiteboard or type on the PC, he's learning so much faster and enjoying it lots more!

If he is finding something tricky we can go over it a bit more slowly, or whizz through the things that he finds easy without having to wait for others to catch up.

My only regret is that we didn't do this years ago (bet you've heard that before...)

streakybacon Sun 09-Mar-14 06:49:56

Now that ds is older (15), I love that we can do late-evening things and not have to worry about being up early for school the next day. We go to stand up comedy, lectures, music and theatre and have a lie in the following day if we need to. We wouldn't be able to do that if he was in school.

I love that holidays are cheaper because we can go away any time we like grin.

I love that he has time for more person-building activities like volunteering, Duke of Edinburgh, work experience etc. For ds with his additional needs, these are equally as important (in some respects more so) than academic achievement. We've got a good balance because WE decide what's necessary for him, not the authorities.

TimeIsAnIllusion Sun 09-Mar-14 07:09:45

I have been reading this thread with great interest as I have 3 children of differing ages (one in infant school, one top juniors, and the other in early secondary school).
I do wonder about HE a lot. It's something I fantasise about doing! How would someone who isn't a qualified teacher deal with educating 3 small people of varying ages?
How would I deal with the education authority who would no doubt be unhappy and unsupportive to my decision to withdraw my children from formal education?
What does one do for resources? Is it possible to home educate on virtually zero money?
All of my children are unhappy at school to varying degrees. I do not feel school is providing them with an environment in which they are happy, never mind happy to learn.

TimeIsAnIllusion Sun 09-Mar-14 07:35:24

Streakybacon is your 15y old going to take gcse's? If so - how is this achieved outside of the school system please?
HE does seem brilliant indeed and I think with a bit more information our family could reconsider this idea...
So is it so big and scary as it seems to leave the "normal" education system and HE? <sorry for side tracking - maybe I need to start a new thread of my own to ask these things!>grin

Martorana Sun 09-Mar-14 07:54:23

Time, yes you can. And in my experience, LEAs are either neutral or helpful. Mostly neutral- not a good idea to expect actual help and support- you need to find that in other places, but you will be very unlucky indeed if they are actively unhelpful.

There are loads of free and virtually free resources- and there are libraries, and charity shops full of books!

Can I suggest that your first step is to find out about HE groups in your area? And things like sports and other clubs for the appropriate age groups. Is there an active and good (they vary a lot) beaver/cub/scout troop? (One of the cheapest ways to provide outside the home activities and sociability) Do your research. Unless your children are a crisis point in school, take your time and plan.

Think about why your children are unhappy at school- is there anything you can do about it? Is it the particular schools? Or are they just not "school shaped"?

Think about the bits they do like (if any) and how can you make sure they still get those bits. Sometimes this is where money rears its ugly head- my ds for example, plays in every team going at school - even if I could find the same for him in a HE environment it would cost an absolute fortune in club subscriptions and petrol. Ditto my dd with music and drama, and <shudder> her social life!

If any of your children have any additional needs, think about the cost of assessments and statements and additional resources. These are often incredibly hard to access thought the LEA but they are there- if you are HE there is a lot you would have to pay for yourself.

Think about yourself. Is this something you will be happy to do for the foreseeable future? How would you feel about very little time for yourself, particularly with small children. Who would support you? What if your circumstances changed and you had to go to work?

And once you have done all this and you have decided it's something you can do and want to do, talk to the children. Remembering that you can always give it a try, and go back to school if it doesn't work for them. (Oh, another thing to research- would you get school places later if you did decide to go back?)

It's a fantastic, wonderful and eye opening thing to HE. But it's not easy!

streakybacon Sun 09-Mar-14 08:06:35

Time He takes exams as an external candidate at a local school. You can find schools willing to do this from the exam board's website. He's done four IGCSEs so far, two more this summer and three next year.

Nothing is impossible, you just have to think creatively and do a bit of research into what's available. Most of the perceived obstacles have solutions - you just have to find them grin.

streakybacon Sun 09-Mar-14 08:10:00

In response to Martorana - anyone whose child has additional needs can request statutory assessment from their LA and it won't cost anything. My son got his statement last July after five years out of school. It's about asking the right questions of the right people.

As far as resources for SN, there's not much around these days even if your child IS in school, so it may not make much difference if you HE. Most of the service provision should be available via NHS anyway (SALT, OT) and under the new EHC plans LAs have a responsibility towards children with SNs.

Martorana Sun 09-Mar-14 08:16:47

I'm sorry if I got that wrong, Time. Streaky- does that apply in all LEAs?

streakybacon Sun 09-Mar-14 08:33:41

It should do. They may insist that it doesn't but you just have to remind them otherwise wink. This was told to me by our Director of Learning so he should know smile.

As far as assessments for diagnosis of SNs (eg ASD, ADHD etc) you might even find the process easier if your child isn't in school, as was the case for us. Ds was knocked back twice for ADHD dx whilst in school because they kept fibbing about the extent of difficulty he had in their care. If your child is in school, assessment will always include their input. if they're not, then education report comes from elsewhere or more validity will be given to parents' contribution. My son would never have got his ADHD dx if he'd stayed in school, and since you can't prescribe medication without dx, he'd still be struggling without it.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 09-Mar-14 08:55:39

Just wondering why people feel the need to be so rude to home educators confused? Those first two comments were so unnecessary.

I home educated DS1 when he couldn't cope with secondary school (SNs). This meant I could tailor the education to him and be as flexible as he needed me to be. We had some very happy times together and he was able to rebuild his confidence.

Am doing part-time home ed now after he tried to go back to secondary, but still couldn't cope. He now does online learning, which I supervise.

<waves to morethan>

Martorana Sun 09-Mar-14 09:34:23

"People" don't feel the need to be rude to home educators- a couple of people do. In the same way that a couple of home educators feel the need to be rude to people who use schools. Ignore them and carry on the conversation with the overwhelming majority!

ToffeeWhirl Sun 09-Mar-14 12:40:01

Ok, well, "some people" then. That was what I was implying. I thought my inference was obvious hmm.

Martorana Sun 09-Mar-14 12:46:28

Why the hmm toffee? All I was suggesting is that we ignore the rude people and move on!

ToffeeWhirl Sun 09-Mar-14 12:52:28

Oh, sorry, Martorana. Thought you were having dig at me. I read it wrong.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 09-Mar-14 12:52:44

having a dig at me

morethanpotatoprints Sun 09-Mar-14 13:16:17

Hello Toffee, nice to hear you. Hope all is going well for you and your family.
I often think about our first threads on here, there were several of us starting out together and we were such support for each other.
just like it should be.

Time
It was a bit scary for us, but everybody's situation is different. We were a bit scared as we were taking dd out of a situation where she was happy and the school fitted her well. In fact there was no problem at all, apart from she needed more time to pursue her interests.
This is our second year and we've had our ups and downs, mainly ups. I remain convinced we did the right thing and dd is thriving, in fact I'm off to a concert soon. There is no way she could have done this if still attending school.
My advice would be to look at the reasons you wish to H.ed, look how things would be better, look at any negatives you may think about. Do lots of research and obviously speak to your dc. In the end we left the final decision to dd after a few months of her mulling it over and asking questions.
I am happy for you to pm me anytime and of course ask questions on the H.ed pages too. There is also a fb group you can join too where people are only happy to help and share their experiences.

Well, have to go now but will check in later tonight. x

TimeIsAnIllusion Sun 09-Mar-14 17:10:59

Thank you StreakyBacon, Martorana and Morethanpotatoeprints for your extremely helpful replies! gringringrin
I'm thinking and considering all the points you've made. I will look up local groups and find the fb page too.

LetZygonsbeZygons Sun 09-Mar-14 17:25:59

Toffee I nearly reported 'some' posters , was nasty.but then the thread went the way it was supposed to go! maybe they misinterpreted my op.

mine wont be taking sats or gcses or whatever theyre called these days as she has special needs and learning difficulties, so we carry on the way we do.

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