Is it possible to work/study and home ed?

(4 Posts)
RattieOfCatan Tue 26-Jul-16 15:45:01

I'm thinking well ahead here given that I'm currently pregnant with our first hmm grin

However, we would intend to home ed our child from the start, only moving into school if it suits later on. How practical is it to have a part-time working/study life with a home educated child? DH will be working full time and will likely be doing shift work on and off for a long time to come yet due to the nature of the work he's going into, so we wouldn't be able to rely on his hours at work in terms of fitting childcare/my further education around it. I'd like to go back to university in a couple of years time so would still be there once child reaches school age.

Obviously childcare is simple until they are school aged but what do you do then? Are many childminders open to having older children during the day or would we have to think about childcare based at our home?

And is it fair to home ed if the main carer (me) won't be around for 15-20 hours of the week during term time? That's how much time I'd need actually on campus, obviously I'll have more work to do at home but we can work around that element more easily! Even if I did a degree via the open university I'd have to have some form of childcare, though it'd be more flexible obviously. Would we miss out on local HE socialisation opportunities? Are HE groups open to relatives or childcarers bringing children to HE sessions? I am currently a nanny and I have worked with a HEd child but we didn't do anything with the local HE groups on my days with him so I have no idea what the vibe towards childcarers is within HE groups, there was a pretty negative attitude towards childcarers when I was involved in other alternative education settings so it's a concern of mine.

ommmward Tue 26-Jul-16 16:31:58

THere are lots of home edding childminders around our way. Win-win - they get income from home educated children who get to hang out with their children - instant social life for all of them.

No problem at all for you not to be there all the time. There's no need for school-shaped six hours of formal learning in a day. Even the most formal curriculum based people I know don't do more than an hour or two a day with primary aged children. And the most educational conversations often happen in the car on the way somewhere, or somewhere deeply thrilling and obviously educational like the supermarket smile

I work flexi time. We miss out on the kinds of opportunities that happen at the time of day that I'm at work, but grab the others with both hands. You'd almost certainly find there was plenty for you to join in with.

"Are HE groups open to relatives or childcarers bringing children to HE sessions?" relatives yes; child minders not always, because it can be too many children per adult - it can end up all a bit feral to be honest. I mean, I know of several meets that are happy to have two families' worth of children with one adult, and we stopped going to them because the just-one-family-in-tow adults found themselves picking up so much of the slack in terms of providing educational opportunities, policing social interactions with difficult children, being the cabaret - it felt really exploitative to me. A friend of mine said (After we both left that group) "I felt like the hired help, only noone was paying me". It can work, but you'll be more sure of a warm and ongoing welcome if you take your child places when you don't have to be studying.

Hope that helps!

RattieOfCatan Tue 26-Jul-16 16:55:01

Thank you for the response smile It is very helpful!

I do know that it's unlikely we'll 'work' within set hours, it's more worrying that they'll miss out if I'm not there during the week, not sure why though given that they'll very likely be fine with granny or a childcarer! I like the flexibility of home education as well and being able to follow their interests, but again it's something that grandparents or a childcarer based in our home could facilitate as well as I could so I'm probably worrying over nothing! I would plan to do autonomous style learning for the most part, that's what made me start properly thinking about home education in the first place, years ago when I first read about autonomous home edding.

I should have been more specific, by childcarers I really meant either a nanny or an au pair rather than a childminder, so still one adult with one family, IYSWIM? If I could find a childminder who had a couple of HEd children that would be great, or one who had just one little one during the day, but I'd be reluctant to leave my child with a childminder whose other charges were all pre-schoolers, I don't think that'd be fair in the long run for anybody involved in that set-up. I can fully understand feeling taken advantage of though in situations where one adult has children from a few families, whilst I am the paid childcare I have had people in the past expect me to step in with their kids in group situations despite the fact I had my own charges to take care of (the ones I was being paid to care for!).

witsender Thu 11-Aug-16 20:38:52

Dh and I both work. He does 2 days a week out of the home, and the rest for his own business. I work 3 long mornings. There is one day that we clash on, during which time the kids are with lovely local childminder.

Dh sometimes works with them around the house, normally they go to a group, or do jobs in the house and garden. The kids are only young, 6 and 4 and we are quite unschooly at heart, so are not doing anything formal with them at the moment.

Sometimes I wish I didn't work so I had more continuity with them, but in reality it is good for them to get time with both of us, and good for me to have the headspace of a break in the form of work!

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