Support thread for new home educators

(591 Posts)
ToffeeWhirl Sun 02-Sep-12 12:53:17

There seem to be a lot of us around at the moment, so I thought it might help us all to have a place where we can swap ideas, chivvy each other along on the bad days and cheer for each other on the good days.

I have two boys, the oldest is 12 and is just starting out in home education. My youngest is 6 and is still at school. Fortunately for me, he has just told me he's missing school and looking forward to going back <phew>.

We have had a good summer, with lots of dog walking, excursions, get-togethers with friends and family and minimal rules on television watching and computers. I have had a lovely time ordering books for our home ed library (failed to reign myself in on this blush) and planning what we are going to study grin.

The plan at the moment is for DS1 to do a bit of Science, Maths and English every morning. He has a tutor for English once a week and we are going to get him a Maths tutor too. We will spend the rest of the time doing projects, reading together, practising handwriting, art, etc etc. Fridays are going to be 'free' days for informal learning, such as excursions.

I have been in touch with the local HE groups and we are planning to meet up with other HE families.

I'm spending some time today organising everything - plans, timetables, files, folders, lapbooks, etc. We have a visit from the LEA next Thursday, which gives me a good deadline to work towards.

I would love to hear how the rest of you newbies are getting on. And words of wisdom from the more experienced home educators are very welcome too!

FalseStartered Sun 02-Sep-12 13:07:56

i had to search you out, but found you eventually!

well, this coming week sees the start of a new school term & year, but not for us. Until we've won our appeal for a place at a different school, at least.

Just googling 'unschooling' as DD is only just 5 so would be going into y1 and not used to formal ed at all.

it's pretty scary stuff - i'm not sure i'm doing the right thing, just know that sending her back to that primary would be the wrong thing confused

ToffeeWhirl Sun 02-Sep-12 13:23:02

Welcome to the thread, False! I'm sure the fact that that particular school is wrong for your DD means you are doing the right thing in home educating at the moment smile. At five, you can do lots of fun stuff together and no need for formal ed at all.

mam29 Mon 03-Sep-12 08:30:02

Just wanted to say good luck for new term toffeewhirl.#

You sound very structured and prepared I would be the same as like set routines, having a loose plan as ensures everything i want to do gets done.

Lol at the book buying-there,s so much out there bit overwhelming

I am sure the trips will be fun for all and dome places cheaper for home ed price.

also good luck with lea from what you out they be hard pressed not to be pleased.

My dd been doing carol vordmans maths factor over hols I think its helping. shes 6.5 was reading still not perfect but virtual carol talks through what she has to do. she then independantly of me logs on works through it getting gold stars and badges.

tempted to keep it up next year as probably cheaper than so many books and it tailored for their year group but like look of ixl too so im torn as appprently ixl explains the answer and how they got to that answer,s.

I found some mad scince experiments on pinterest and you tube.
we going to start a mad scince journal with photo, how to do it and what happens and why we did 2this summer

tea bag rocket
frothy potiion of soda crystels and vinigar.
and hubby did one other that failed.

we keeping a nature houranl as loads of country walks round here.

have fun , look foward to hearing about your fun home ed adventures.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 03-Sep-12 08:48:37

Hi, mam29, I was hoping you'd join. Funny you should mention the Carol Vorderman books - I picked up the Carol Vorderman English revision books in Aldi (reduced!) and they are really good for revision. They are for ages 9 - 11, but I thought they would be useful for DS1 to go over topics he might have forgotten.

I used to use the books with gold stars for DS1 when he was your daughter's age - he absolutely loved getting the stars grin.

The mad science plan sounds great fun. Good idea to keep a mad science journal with photos. And the nature journal too.

I am planning to photograph loads of what we do, both for my own records and to show the LEA what we are doing.

Spent some time going over Geography stuff last night and wondering how to turn the dry textbook stuff of the first chapter - map-reading - into something more interesting. DH and I decided that we'd just head out with a map into the countryside and let DS1 learn by doing.

I am hoping to get the boys to a Tudor house tomorrow, as there are Tudor-related activities on that day and it would be good preparation for DS1's History.

Colleger Mon 03-Sep-12 14:17:45

I start when my eldest goes to school on Wednesday afternoon so Thursday in reality. All I have organised is a Latin tutor but that's it.

mam29 Mon 03-Sep-12 14:51:26

Thanks toffee whirl. smile

yes we have the books with stars from sainsburys

havent got aldi nearby so dont go in.

but got some letts ones in age groups in lidls for 99p for maths and english..

Best buy was lidls its called

collins primary world atlas-says free online games and quizzzes on front.

has all the latest maps , photos and every flag as eldest watching olypics kept saying which country is that all time.

have found the workbooklets bit dry but done a little.

The maths factor we joined late as was link on primary board.
was 14.99 for summer camp so reveiwing everything the should have covered last year.

The next day it was reduced to £5.99 so rang and they refunded the difference so we have it until 30th september so she still has time shes half completed it and enjoyed it more than the workbooklets.

we also quite like the bbc bitesize educational games.

eldest has wrote and ullustrated a story book and i glued and laminated.

we nearly completed butterfly lapbook not bad for my 1st attempt.

ran of of time to do olympics and wanted new printer as found loads free printables on pinterest.

we did trip to butterfly farm think left it too late to get eggs now as wanted to hatch our own.

Did 2museums and art gallery but dident learn much was fun though.

we done nature walks
some cooking

still feel we ran out of time and maybe should have tried to do more but wanted some downtime too.

plans are to keep a

recipie book again with photo and ingrediants/instructions.
probably keep in ringbinder and poly pocket and by end of year will grow.

Thinking doing a some poetry

write her own comic and illustrate
produce own newspaper.

might do huge collage to decorate her bedroom wall
she wants me to teach her how to sew so might get cross stich set and she can make some xmas pressies for nannies.

The science and nature journals could do 1 every other week and by end of year would be huge portfolio of work. wasent sure if nature bit girley depends on what you do i guesss and autums right season for it.

we will be foraging blackberries, nuts and plums next few weeks.
maybe doing some leaf crafts.

like idea of working with the seasons.

one thing realised over summer is just doing short bursts of work a day add up to somethung fab eldest so proud of her book and shes really learnt some things about butterflies.

she loves watching nature programmees on cbbc.

hubbys trying to take her swimming more often and teach her to swim.

Toffee im sure you will find you have loads and lea be well impressed you sound motivated and organised and both of you positive its right choice for you.

Just athourght on the geography.

some globes are talking and what about trying to find a local orienteering group as did it when I was in school was great fun.
My memories of geography in school was not really where countries ere that would have been too useful.

secondry geography we covered

a country

we started looking at spain this summer remembered read a book and learnt few spanish words and said we cook paella but not had chance..

History not sure what days out tudor related.

I was thinking doing romans at some point as we live near bath.

Collerger-found this online any use? seems to make latin bit more fun

good luck guys.
im booking a appointment with head for next week and hope he agrees to flexi schooling as had such a lovley summer eldest really has enjoyed it.I have enjoyed being more active .

ToffeeWhirl Mon 03-Sep-12 18:26:55

Colleger - we are starting Wednesday as well, but then LEA is turning up on Thursday and we are calling Friday a 'no formal work' day, so won't really be settling into it until next week, I should think.

Wow, what a busy summer you've had, mam. It sounds as if you have all had a lot of fun. Well done on the lapbook! I bought a file from WH Smith the other day that I thought would do for our first lapbook as it was quite stiff cardboard and opened up like a book.

How fantastic that you got a refund on the difference for Maths Factor!

Thanks for the tip about the local orienteering group. DS1 finds social and group situations very stressful (a big problem at school), so he wouldn't be up for any groups at the moment, but I'll bear it in mind.

You have some great ideas, mam - I especially love the collage-on-a-wall idea, the recipe book and the comic/newspaper ideas. Oh, and it's a lovely idea to go foraging for wild fruit too.

Let us know how the appointment with the Head goes next week.

I can't wait to get started on the home ed now...

Helenagrace Mon 03-Sep-12 18:56:03

I've been planning a bit today.

DD is 11 next week. DS is 6.5 and staying in school as he's doing well in school and it suits him. He changes school for juniors next year so I might HE him then.

DD's confidence needs building and she's dyspraxic. We're working on a lot of study skills, eye exercises (she has convergence insufficiency) and hand exercises.

We've found a trampolining club with HE sessions. I'm really pleased with this as we were told it was the best sport for dyspraxia but she couldn't go before as she got back too late from her prep school for the beginners sessions.

We're working through 11+ material for English and maths as a revision course and then we'll switch to Common Entrance exams to mirror what she would be doing in prep school (just in case we opt back in).

We're doing weather for geography, WW2 for history and electricity for science.

I've been to the library today and exhausted both DC's library cards.

We've joined a local HE group. I think I'm a bit mainstream for them (one said "oh you're doing structured" rather like one might say "oh you have leprosy" but hey ho!).

I'm starting on Wednesday - with trampolining!

take3 Mon 03-Sep-12 18:57:32

We're not that new to home ed but thought i would recommend some things we have found useful... we are not autonomous, but really quite structured with mornings of school and afternoons of trips, activities and playing

- schofield and sims maths workbooks (brilliant sound phonics books too)
- Conquer maths - use 'homeed' as a code for 40 % discount, very good maths online website, with plenty of free lessons if you don't want to sign up.
- Nancy Larson science - expensive and from the US but very easy to use and our kids love it
- keeping a nature journal and doing a nature activity once a week - nature detectives website is excellent.
- For english we use 'Language Tree' from Amazon - very good scheme and cheap to buy with little preparation, quite formal though

Hope that helps

mam29 Mon 03-Sep-12 19:04:07

Thanks toffee bit nervous think he may consider me mad.

I like things that can do little at time and turns into something big over course of year.

I had another idea for your geography as vaugly remember doing it as a kid.

what about doing a project on the environment-excuse me if sound like deranged hippy.

it would be geography/slash science I guess.

You can get pollution kits as i was thinking of testing the stream and the 3local ponds.

you could cover global warming and its effects
carbon catching complex interesting idea
recycling-visit local tip
rainforest guess bit far but maybe eden!
could cover things to do to help the environment in terms of

what we waste.
eco products
natural products
the effect on the weather in recent years.

im sure organisations like green peace and freind of earth provide free or cheap resources.

not sure if you have sky but the documentry channels are fab.

Not thinking turn him into next tree hugging eco warrier but maybe put a more scientific and boyish slant then just nature walks for flowers and slightly more grown up topics as hes bit older.

Loving your enthuisiasim.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 03-Sep-12 19:29:54

Hello Helen. Glad you found us! That's fantastic news about the trampolining club and great that it's on your first home ed day smile. Brave of you to go to your first HE group. I'm sorry you had that reaction when you said you were structured though. How ridiculous for people to be so patronising. We are all just doing our best for our children, surely, and we will all have different ways and means of doing that.

take3 - thanks so much for all those tips. I will enjoy looking up all those websites.

mam29 - I'm sure you won't be the first parent to suggest flexi-schooling to him. Have you thought of what you will do if he says no? Thanks so much for all your ideas for Geography - I will add them all to my ideas book. You are not exactly lacking enthusiasm yourself, you know!

I am quite proud of how organised I am so far (not rivalling Helen, of course wink) with all my subjects divided up into folders and all the home ed books lined up together on a shelf in DS1's bedroom. I have even bought a small box file to put his daily work in. Thought I'd add his English, Maths and Science work, plus any extras I think of and then the rest of the day can be more flexible and we can plan it together or simply see how it evolves.

Have just received 'Shadow' by Michael Morpurgo and 'One Dog and His Boy' by Eve Ibbotson. As DS1 is mad about dogs, I looked for quality fiction on a dog theme and came up with both of these. The Morpurgo sounds quite a serious read and explores the war in Afghanistan and the plight of asylum seekers, so there is lots of other stuff in there to discuss. I thought it might lead DS1 onto 'War Horse' later too, if he's interested.

One of the things DS1 and I both enjoyed most of all, during his last HE adventure, was reading together - so at least if the rest of HE is a struggle, this part of it will, hopefully, be good fun.

Helenagrace Mon 03-Sep-12 19:45:02

toffee The Book People have a really good Michael Morpurgo offer on at the moment. It works out at about £1.50 per book iirc - just in case you want more. They make great presents so I often buy a set and break them up.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 03-Sep-12 20:03:56

Oooh, thanks, Helen.

mam29 Mon 03-Sep-12 20:12:36

Thanks toffee whirl and take 3

useful info there.

so many resources its finding the good ones.

I wonder why theres a divide in home ed in uk?

whats wrong with structure and plans?

Is it they feel that a structured education is too instituitionalised.

I can see some room for autonomy depending on childs age and maybe how many you have at home.

I joined well trained mind interesting read lost of structured educators but few brits and some very full on bible bashing mums.

wonder if I just go to heads office and tell him its gods plan- its rc school that it would convince him.

Thinking if im asking for 1day why not be rebel and push for 2 and if have to comprimise with 1 I be happy.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 03-Sep-12 22:13:39

He'll never give you two days, mam! grin at you telling him it's God's plan though - you could tell him you are studying the Sonlight curriculum (creationism too!).

I don't know why there's a divide about structure vs autonomy here. I think it's a shame. I suppose structure is too much like school at home for the autonomous educators. Also, I can see that if you read John Holt (which I have) and accept his writing about autonomous learning, then you could feel quite evangelical about it, especially if you see it working well with your own children. I can see how it works, but I just couldn't cope with that in my own situation, particularly with DS at secondary level. Surely the most important thing is that the child/children and parents choose a way of educating that suits them all, depending on their characters and needs?

Iris1 Mon 03-Sep-12 22:34:01

Hi i have just found this thread and would love to join in!

My son is 4 next week and we have just moved areas so he isnt going to nursery. Im glad as I don't want him to go or to school for that matter (but hubby does!!). Hes ASD and school just isnt the place for him at least right now, I know this because he attended pre school for 18 months and he never wanted to go, he didnt make one friend or even know the kids names and he always came on in leaps and bounds if he was off for a few weeks. He actually started talking while he was off for 3 weeks at christmas and recently as he has just been with me and our 2 year old daughter and obviously dad (when not at work) hes so much happier! Its been about 9 weeks now and hes just so much happier and getting more confident!
I know 4 is too young for rear 'education' but we do lots of learning, part of his ASD he loves learning very clever, so were doing lots of learning through play, Hes creative loves playdough, painting, making and cooking, Also outside so lots of trips out.
Im planning on being super organised now, keeping all his 'work', well both his and sisters really, and taking pictures doing journals is a fab idea to an above poster!
Want to hopefully meet some people in same situation and prove to hubby that home is best for him and wont make him weird as he seems to think it will!

Iris1 Mon 03-Sep-12 22:35:10

Thats meant to be real education btw not rear!! Type way too fast sometimes!

ToffeeWhirl Tue 04-Sep-12 00:23:54

Welcome, Iris1! It sounds as if home education is exactly what your DS needs for now and you are providing your son with a fantastic opportunity. School is often so, so difficult for ASD children.

Maybe, as DH sees how well your son is doing at home, he will gradually begin to change his views.

Taking lots of pictures and keeping journals is great - provides evidence to the LEA (I know we don't have to provide it, but it makes me feel better to know I have it there) and a lovely record for ourselves.

Helenagrace Tue 04-Sep-12 07:08:45

I'm sending a letter to the LA this morning. Our situation is unusual. DD was in a private prep school and I gave them notice at Easter that she was leaving at the end of the Summer term as we were planning to relocate. Since then we've decided to HE so I've no one to send a dereg letter to.

My LA is supposed to be reasonable about HE. I'm actually Chair of Governors at one of their schools but I don't know if this will help or hinder!

Iris1 Tue 04-Sep-12 08:34:47

Thanks toffeewhirl i do hope it will all work out! I think DH is of thinking thats if he doesnt go to school he will never function in society as an adult as the asd means he cant socialise at all now so he does need to learn, however i know that he will learn this from home ed and tbh i think he will learn better as he can do it on his own terms and have me there to support him. I know you get some fantastic supporr staff in schools but some arent and none of them will care and help like i can.

I love keeping records anyway i keep a lotof scrapbooks on the kids development and there artwork and photos of days out, we have artwork all over the house so journal seem perfect as like you said if nothing else they are a lovely record for us.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 04-Sep-12 09:16:00

Helen - sounds like you would just slip off the LA radar if you didn't inform them. I hope they are as reasonable as you have heard. It is funny that you are on the board at one of their schools!

Iris1 - I agree with you about your DS learning to socialise on his own terms, with you there to support him. My DS is borderline AS and has other diagnoses and school was just awful for him. We stuck it until the beginning of Year 6, then he tried secondary school, which was even more disastrous. In the six months since he left school (during which he did e-learning with the LEA, so we are only just starting home ed now), he has begun to blossom (if you can apply that analogy to a cheeky, oft-unwashed near-teenager hmm).

You are right about the support at school: DS1 rarely had the support he needed and when we fought for help we were always fobbed off with 'but he's very able' and 'there are so many children who need help more than him'. As for socialisation: DS1 ended up being bullied at primary (by one of his so-called 'friends', sadly) and becoming desperately depressed, so that did him no good at all. He now socialises only with those he trusts and really wants to see. He is very excited that his best friend is coming back from holiday tomorrow and has ordered his friend's favourite food and drink to welcome him home - it's so lovely to see his enthusiasm. Much better to have one good friend than to be stuck in a class of 30 with no friends.

Your scrapbooks and artworks sound brilliant. What a lovely record for you all.

gulpfiction Tue 04-Sep-12 11:39:13

Hi, handed in the dereg letter to the Head this morning so can officially join in grin. DD is 9 and we're in Cornwall, home edding because school didn't fit her in so many ways and it finally sunk in for me that life's too short to spend bringing up an unhappy child! (even if that means we live in chaos!)

The plan for the summer was to have loads of nice days out, talk a lot about home edding, do loads of research and make loads of plans.

What actually happened in summer was running here there and everywhere doing a lot of work, being ill and dealing with various other life stuff and the home ed chat got cut to a few conversations here and there and dd jumping at the idea.

So that's changed the plan for this term from starting it today all planned and ready to starting it next Monday because we all need time to get our heads together blush. And instead of having meticulous planning we're opting for the organised chaos approach instead but I think that'll work fine grin. DD wants structure, I want autonomy and think DP wants to stop being asked to play Lego quite so much - we'll sort it in the end! Looking forward to finding some home edders/groups around here, if there are any.

gulpfiction Tue 04-Sep-12 11:40:31

*sank, not sunk - I could learn a lot too wink

Helenagrace Tue 04-Sep-12 12:34:24

toffee I thought about trying to stay under the radar but I was advised (by the local HE group organiser) that if I go to them and tell them they'll be happier. She's been heavily involved in working with our LA and revamping the way they deal with HEers so hopefully she knows what she's doing! DD's old school keep pressurising me to give them the name of the school she's moving to so I don't think we'd be under the radar for too long anyway. I figure it's less likely to arouse suspicion this way.

I've sent them a letter telling them we're HEing and quoting the act. I've asked for communication in writing. We'll see what happens. I did say in the letter that it will be a temporary measure until we relocate and that we're probably relocating before Christmas. Hopefully this will mean they'll leave me alone!

I've drafted an ed phil this morning. It's 4 pages long!!!! It's quite inspiring to write down what we want to achieve and why we're home edding.

Iris1 Tue 04-Sep-12 13:02:44

toffee I may just show your post to my DH what a terrible thing to happen to your son im so glad to hear that he is happier now. From what ive heard a child with ASD can just end up lost in the school system especially if they are clever as the school just give help to those who they think are in worse situations. Its so unfair as all children deserve happiness and and education and to feel secure. Everyone ive spoke to professionally about him and school just say he will learn to cope, well im sorry but thats not good enough for me, i dont want him to cope i want him to thrive!

gulp home edding in Cornwall, lovely. MY grandad lives in Falmouth its right in the middle of nowhere but a car trip out and theres so many places to go, i loved going on holiday there as a kid may have to take ours next year!

Helen how old is your daughter? Ive met a lot of peopel round here who send there kids to private school and wonder what it is thats made you pull her out, if you dont mind me asking you dont have to divulge!! I looked into the private schools here as id heard so much but was put right off when I found they dont like SEN kids and will more often than not turn away an autistic child.

mam29 Can I ask how old your child is? is it your daughter? Your environment project sound ace and could be adapted to lots of age groups too and lots of activities you could link.

We have spent today going to the shops for some food and leaning how to not run off hmm. Its also DS 4th birthday next tuesday so we have been making a birthday tree, basically two large tree shapes cut out of cardboard you the slot together. They have painted it today and tommorrow we can stick extras on and in the week we will make decorations from card and saltdough. Its a fab idea i got from the imagination tree, wonderful blog with idea for early years children. On his birthday all his presents will be under it!

gulpfiction Tue 04-Sep-12 13:07:47

Iris - what a coincidence, that's exactly where we live grin. Very irregular bus service and a town full of restaurants and charity shops but the 5 beaches and quiet life make up for it!

Helenagrace Tue 04-Sep-12 15:48:42

iris our DD is nearly 11. We've been happy with her school but we gave notice because we were moving away and they needed a complete term's notice. I found HE after researching what we could do in the time before moving. I think it will be great for her. She is dyslexic, dyspraxic and dysgraphic but we've found the SN provision in her school to be fantastic. She's had an hour a week 1:1 with a specialist teacher. The only downside we found was the emphasis on team sports, music and drama. Oh and the school run fashion show! We won't miss paying the fees though - £800 a month makes a big difference!

ToffeeWhirl Tue 04-Sep-12 17:27:27

Hmm, well, the trip to the Tudor house didn't happen because DS1 had a panic about it. Very frustrating, but I had to remind myself that his anxiety is exactly why we are home educating and at least we can be flexible here. The event which was on today will be on again in November, so we can try again then.

Later, I put up a children's world map on the wall beside the stairs up to his loft bedroom (have been trying to find a place to display it for ages) and was greeted by "Noooo, Mum, what are you trying to do to me? That's so uncool! What will my friends think?" Map was swiftly dispatched back to the cupboard sad.

I think today was a very small taste of the conflict between my idealistic ideas of what home ed should be like and the reality smile (and no sniggering from any lurking old-timer home educators either!).

Helen - my educational philosophy is four pages long too - and that's after I pruned it because I was horrified at how long it was. I found it really helped me to get my ideas down on paper though.

I hope you are right about the LEA leaving you alone, or at least working with you, not against you.

Iris - yes, do by all means show my post to your DH. The worst thing, for me, is when DS1 now talks about things that happened at school that I had no idea about at the time. He was so unhappy and desperate during his single term at secondary that he even thought of suicide sad. I asked him why on earth he didn't just tell me and he said he knew that everyone thought he should go to school, so he felt he was letting us all down by not coping. We will see his psychiatrist this month and she will doubtless chastise us for taking him out of the system (she was very keen on him going back to school, as they always are), but I'm ready for that. I have no doubt we have done the right thing.

Having said that, there are children on the spectrum who cope well at school and enjoy the routine, so just because my son suffered does not mean your son would. I think the main thing is to follow your instincts though. You know him better than anyone.

By the way, I love the birthday tree idea grin. What a wonderful idea.

TyrannosaurusBex Tue 04-Sep-12 18:35:32

Hello, today was my first day of HE with DD1 so I can officially join in too! It's all been a bit of a whirl, as our plans have changed over the summer hols from HEing at secondary level, to taking her out next year, then Christmas, and decided about a week ago on now! She was due to go into Y4 and was about to start having help with dyslexia, which she does not have (she was the best reader in her year; what she has is dysgraphia, which nobody seems to deal with locally).

Tickled to hear that helena is a governor, as I am a TA at the school and also chairperson of the PTA. Thought that this would make my life difficult, but when I told the Head teacher yesterday she was wonderful and totally supportive - told me to feel the fear and do it anyway.

DD1 has had a great 1st day, with DH this morning and me this afternoon. can't believe how many people asked why she wasn't in school when we nipped down to the shop, though. Really took me by surprise.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 04-Sep-12 19:40:47

Hello, Tyrannosaurus smile. How fantastic that your Head is being so supportive. They are not all anti-home ed. The head of my son's primary was very understanding about my decision to take DS out of school for his last year at primary.

Sounds like you've had a great start. How interesting for you to be in school in the morning and home educating in the afternoon - you will certainly be able to see the pros and cons of each.

TyrannosaurusBex Tue 04-Sep-12 20:40:40

Glad to hear that your son's Head was supportive too, Toffee.

It was certainly a contrast today, I could barely stay awake this morning and the 3 and a half hours basically boiled down to doing one maths exercise and writing a postcard about the holidays. Then this afternoon was so much fun and we got loads done, I know every day won't be like this but it's been a lovely start.

DD2 is happy at school but I am wondering how long that will last...

Iris1 Tue 04-Sep-12 20:55:36

toffee that made me laugh about the map, its something id do but luckily mine are too young to ague about whats cool just yet ha!
helena thats good about the sen provision maybe its just the one near hear i heard they dont like to admit asd as its not in fitting with the team image like you say team sports etc. Could just be hearsay though!!
gulpyes the bus service is once a week or something ridiculous and near his house there is only a spar a post office and a pub!! and the village hall and church. lovely community though and like you say so many beaches on your doorstep, i love it im in manchester thats where he moved from 20 odd years ago and never looked back!!

Iris1 Tue 04-Sep-12 21:05:48

hi tyrannosaurus how interesting that you saw such a contrast from work and from being with your daughter, ive always thought it must be hard to get much done in school and from what ive seen when volunteering in the school my mum works at it seems to be the case. Early years always seemed to just be running here there and everywhere which is ok for a lot of young kids who want to play i suppose but id worry about my son as he needs constant guidance or he gets destructive.
Even when i was in year 4 they didnt seem to get much work done.

Did you daughter enjoy her day? how old is your dd2?


TyrannosaurusBex Tue 04-Sep-12 21:30:14

Hi Iris!

My daughter - the 8 yr old goth who spent her birthday party under a climbing frame outside while her friends ate her cake, and has had a negative attitude since the day she started school - told us tonight that her first HE day has been "fantastic, amazing and brilliant". DH and I exchanged a look - she NEVER talks like that.

DD2 is 6 - almost 7 - and is doing fantastically well at school, but the head of infants did tell us not to push her to achieve more as she would have to wait for the others to catch up hmm so I do wonder if her days are numbered at schol. She is already feeling a bit sad at going to school alone and knowing the rest of the family are at home (DH is a politician and works largely from home, and I only work 3 mornings a week). It would be much easier for me if they were both HE of course, without school runs etc. but I need to wait until there has been a cooling off period I think. We've said we'll see where we are at Christmas.

We also have DD3 to think about - she is due to start next September. That will be a big decision - I can see DDs 1 and 2 working together at the same level as there is just over a year between them, but she is quite a bit younger. Personally I'm happy to give it a try, but DH has doubts!

Colleger Wed 05-Sep-12 00:16:38

DS went to his new music teacher today and I'm really pleased. The distance is not great so I need to get creative about what a 12 year old could learn on a long car journey that a: doesn't make him car sick, b: isn't babyish and c: he doesn't realise he's learning!

In total he spent about one hour combined on Latin homework, maths and Rosetta stone. We're going for the very little but often approach.

mam29 Wed 05-Sep-12 00:42:13

Iris 1-My eldest is 6. She mostly enjoys school.
But her performance and worst of all confidence has dropped in year 1 . In some ways feel shes changed so much since nursery maybe feel lost in such big classes miss how personal nursery/preschool was and worried over the years shes not achieving her potential or enjoying school as much i wanted her to.

I love cornwall been on hols there a few times lovley.
I want to do environment project with dd at some point

maybe slight slant for you could be

marine life in sea near you
caves and rockpools
coastal errosion.

On the education otherwise map its hows devon has high proportion of home educators not so many in cornwall but maybe worth you trying to find local group.

Good luck with it love your tree idea.

would joining him up to clubs help so cubs or sports, swimming so he still gets to socialise as well as few home ed groups.

TyrannosaurusBex - I have 3 too so do sympathise my younger 2 due to start 2014-2015 and dont have clue what to do as think sometimes can be child specific so nothing wrong with 1child at home and 1 in school ect.

re school telling you to hold her back how odd.

I do think schools cater for the masses.
but the ones who struggle
have special needs
gifted and talented

they struggle with.

toffee-one think thats struck me on a few education threads is how unhappy and badly treated kids are at school-it scares me but also brings back bad memories of my schooling as was chatting to old freind about our old comp how unhappy we were. how bullying was bad, favouristm. Looking back it did have effect on mental health it did minesadwas very depressed with eating disorder but a few from our school did commit suicide.

I agnonised over picking schools for my eldest.
I think i picked a good school one wheres shes safe and not bullied but worry deeply about secondry and worry primary pastoral care good but academically not so good.

No one tells you hoiw hard and stressful being a parent is and educations so important.

On lighter note.

took kids to libary forgetting its shut on a tuesday such a numpty.
havent done much today as house looked like pit of doom and weather was nice so went out.

Popped into 2 charity shops to look at books ended up with big bag of magnetic letters/numbers which think could be useful with 6year old and useful for younger 2 at later date,.

Eldest not looking forward to going back tommorow,
middle dd exited about starting preschool-just 1hour trial tommorow.

despite a few rows this summer been quite easy feel eldests been better behaved, less tired and really interested in things.

will see if head agrees to flexi.
will see how year 2goes.

Do wonder in eldest case if home ed might be better.
But think she would miss her freinds.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 05-Sep-12 06:41:39

Up far too early, thanks to DS2 wanting a cuddle at 5am. At least I can have breakfast and a sneaky browse on MN before the morning rush starts.

DS1's box of work is all packed up for today, ready for him. We'll have a chat about what subjects we'll be doing in the next few weeks, then we are going to take turns reading 'Shadow'. After that, he can do some Science (read one short chapter on living things, then answer questions) and a little handwriting. For Maths, I'm going to let him have a go at a Times Maths CD-Rom I bought, in which you solve maths puzzles to progress through an adventure story. We'll probably just spend an hour and a half on learning, then we are visiting his English tutor to discuss what he'll be studying before Christmas.

After that, DS1's best friend is coming round for the afternoon, as he's still off school. So it will be social skills and 'Minecraft' for the rest of the day smile.

Tyrannosaurus - that's brilliant that your DD is so positive about her first day of home ed grin. It's a shame that your next daughter is meant to wait for her peers to catch up though. Surely they should be giving her more stimulating work, not expecting her to hold herself back? confused

Colleger - glad to hear the first session with the new music teacher went well. What instrument (s) is DS learning? Like you, I am keeping sessions of work short. Home ed is more efficient anyway.

mam - sorry you had such an awful time at school. It's shocking that you and so many of your peers suffered mental-health problems (and tragic about the suicides sad).

Sorry you had a wasted trip to the library.

DS2 (6) has just joined me, so that's the end of my morning's peace! I asked him what he's looking forward to about going back to school and he said, "Packed lunch, because you make me lovely lunches, and then after lunch I get to play with my friends" smile.

mam29 Wed 05-Sep-12 09:01:12

Thanks toffee I wasent extreme but looking back lots of people were unhappy and only small %did well there.

I dont know out of my 3 who I worry the most.

eldest is very highly strung drama queen and sensitive to rows and in some situations outgoing but others she gets nervous and is like totally different child.

middle dd-clingy, doesnt share well and it too rough and tumle impatiant but is bright as a button and very girley.

Or baby boy whos mummsy boy-guess I worry lot about him as hes a boy and my dont want him to turn out like my stepson.

well was up early eldest looking smart, ven more grown up and said shes nervous about year 2 and loves being at homer mummy.

middle dd dressed in wellies, bare bottom, vest, peppa pig rucksack waiting by door as she wants to go preschool. she has 1hour 2-3 this afternoon trial and is only doing 3 3hour sessions a week plus lunch club 1 day. Not sure if its idea as she can be nightmare when we leave her at nursery.

I so need to catch up laundry today.
Lovley sunny day heresmile
hubbys day off.

will book apointment in reception with head for next week give me time to type up proposal, agreement and print of positive research.

Have put the magnetic letters and numbers in lare rectangular cake tin which is fab as they stick to lid well spent.

I keep seeing some fab educational stuff but pricey.
so im boiokmarking things i like and trying to do similar for cheaper.

found few ideas on pinterest like

make own teaching clock out of plates!
so wanted to teach her to tell time this summer but not had chance.

Local libary has large laminated educational posters of world, space, times tables 4 for £5!

The works has really cheap crafts/workbooklets.

will keep hitting charity shops and carboots for books as was few non fiction books in there and getting my ancient 52peice encyclopedia set off my mam this was pre interent and very useful to me and my sister its callled joy of knowledge.

Next on my list is what the americans called maths manipulatives/aids so some number/fraction rods, abacus,flashcards as dd struggles with maths shes very visual and practical.

another idea seen on pinterest-yes im addicted.
is using duplo b;ocks with stickers on and writing numbers and maths symbols or letters and words as joined together can work and maybe make it bit more fun.

Also just looking at local areas ideas jump out at me.

sorry about tudor day hopefully hes ready in november as sounds fun.

have a good day everyone.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 05-Sep-12 14:32:37

Today was our first official home ed day and it was good grin. DS1 and I spent a lovely half hour reading 'Shadow', a new paperback by Michael Morpurgo. Then he did some handwriting practise, interspersed by him telling me how unnecessary it was for him to learn joined-up handwriting hmm. His hand really aches when he writes for long, though, so he had to keep stopping. Rang the OT to chase up his appointment, but it's a long waiting list apparently.

DS then did his first Science lesson and floored me by asking several very bright and unexpected questions, which had me reaching for the encyclopaedias. It made me feel very inadequate, but I reminded myself that I am 'facilitating' his learning, not 'teaching' him!

Started Maths CD-Rom, but then ran out of time. We have been to a meeting with DS's English tutor and he is now enjoying the afternoon with his best friend, who doesn't go back to school till tomorrow.

I hope every day is as good as this one.

mam - grin at image of your youngest in her wellies with a bare bottom and Peppa Pig top. You have some great ideas for home ed. Your idea of bookmarking educational stuff and then finding it cheaper is an excellent one (I must start curbing my spending on home ed).

Hope everyone else's day is going well.

Helenagrace Wed 05-Sep-12 14:43:11

Just dashing in to say day 1 is going brilliantly! Trampolining was amazing. She bounced for an hour and was really happy. I met some other HE mums who were all nice.

Then we did RE and some English. DD has come up with her own system for checking her work - I didn't even ask her to do that grin.

I'm just about to leave her on her own in the house (figuring that if she was 14 days older she'd be at high school and walking home alone) while I go to collect DS. I've made up an activity pack for her to do while I'm doing school run.

We'll see how it goes but so far it's great!!

ToffeeWhirl Wed 05-Sep-12 14:55:27

That's fantastic news, Helen!

Am also just off to do the school run, leaving two 12-year olds home alone for a short while (but glued to their computers, so unlikely to be doing anything very adventurous).

TyrannosaurusBex Wed 05-Sep-12 15:44:37

Mam grin at the bare bottom/Welles/vest/peppa pig rucksack combo, DD3 has that outfit too!

mam29 Wed 05-Sep-12 20:16:25

Toffee whirl so glad you had fab 1st day sounds really promising start.

I imagine if fully home ed very easy to spend on resources.

Im surprised by clasical mind forum as in ameraica some home ed through charter schools(free schools)get given money as in hundred or over £1000 to buy home ed resources and get to use other facilities too such as online subscriptions.

I also think the american tax system gives a discount for home educators which sounds fair as saving the average la 5000.

seems weird uk people get zilch as at secondry gets even more pricey

I been trying to find some singpaore my pals books cheap but impossible on ebay.

Helena grace so glad your day went well too.

well missed school run this morning

eldest had good 1st day in year 2

but hardly got to speak to teacher on way out.

Also shes made new freind a girl whos moved from another country is in her group and on her table.

Its lovley shes made a new freind but Im guessing the reason shes on this table is too be assessed what level she is as the others on her tables are bottom of class so basically shes on bottom table of her class when shes was on better table last year.

shes says shes skipped a level reading but wont know until friday until new books get sent home.

Im so sorry if come across as pushy mum or petty moo.

I just dont feel confident shes making the progress as school from day 1 this year segregated her to bottom set.

Not sure how much movement there is in the year.
shes not sat next to her freinds.
All the younger ones in her year that were in smaller class during one are higher levels.

I know educations not a race.

I know shes bright and inquisitive I see that at home.

I worry school will use year 2sat results and if she doesnt perform against nc levlels then she be in bottom set again in year 3 and rest of juniors and confidence will fall even further.

she does well with one to one and practical application.
im dubious in class of 30 with 1international student and some velow her who need more help.

one mums already bragging on fb how well her daughters doing.

see this is why i hate school.

anyway went into reception and asked for a appointment with head wed or thur next week.

cue them both looking at each other with curious glances probably thourght not another one leaving!

One has son in dds class and in my opinion one of nicer ones the others remind me of doctors surgery receptionists.

she said she check and ring me but couldent remember my number so gave her hubbys.

I then saw her on way home where she said rang you spoke toi hubby , heads free tommorow but its booked for 11am next thur just me as hubby has baby and toddler in nursery.

So i have a week to prepare which makes me feel bit better.

This weekend will type up proposal and agreement
and print stuff off next week as running feeding group at clinic mon next to libary.

Im bit nervous I dont think he would give me 2days so really should ask for 1 and if goes well push for 2 next year.

im trying to remain positive as feel anxious that i picked the wrong school.

On better note took toddler to trial session at preschool and she seemed to like it trie trest will be when leave her there next week. Its like old fashioned playgroup lots of just play and crafts no phonics or pushing academics too soon hich is why it appeals eldest went there.

Was suppost to join committee tonight but hubby had to go out, baby wont sleep, tea wasent ready and house looks like bombs hit it so will have to pass and help out where I can at later date.

T bex-she loves peppa pig and is nudist round the house keep telling her bare bottoms and wellies not a great look but she likes itsmile.Shes also started calling me mam and possibly sounding welshy and due to school and daddy eldest sounds very west country such an eclectic family I have!

TyrannosaurusBex Wed 05-Sep-12 21:20:38

This is a lovely thread, Toffee, thank you for starting something so positive and reassuring smile.

Can I just quickly say (as I mentioned that DH is a politician) that where we live there are no political parties and he is a very nice normal independent environmentalist. Just in case you thought I might be married to an evil bastard like George Osborne.

Mam my 3yo has a permanently bare bot too, and is also a fan of wellies. Quite endearing, isn't it? Until MIL shows up, anywayblush... Try not to get too worked up about seeing Head, I got myself into a right state before seeing Dd's and it all went really well. Quite clever asking for 2 days in the expectation that he'll offer 1!

ToffeeWhirl Thu 06-Sep-12 11:43:43

Glad you like the thread, Tyrannosaurus. I just noticed that there seemed to be a lot of us newbies around at the moment and thought we could help each other. I'm very relieved to hear that you are not married to George Osborne, by the way (for your sake, as much as ours) grin.

mam - that's great that your eldest had a good first day in school yesterday. My youngest was the same and could hardly be held back from running up to school this morning. It's amazing how my two children can be so different.

Sorry you have concerns about your daughter being placed in the bottom set. I know my son became very demotivated when he was in a group for slow readers (even though he needed to be there!). I discussed it with the teacher and she moved him out of the group. Could you discuss your concerns with your DD's teacher once a couple of weeks have passed? You will probably have a teacher meeting around then anyway. Good that you have a date booked for meeting with the head, by the way.

Was up till 2am this morning preparing for the LEA meeting. The house is not usually this clean and tidy! The meeting went really well and the LEA woman said she has no concerns about DS1's education, but she wants us to make sure he doesn't become isolated from his peers. I told her we are going swimming regularly, where he will meet up with his best friend and any other boys from his former school who happen to be around, and that he is going to a birthday party sleepover this weekend with eight boys. Oh, and also meeting up with several home-educated boys who share similar interests. That seemed to put her mind at rest.

She gave me good advice. She told me not to get too bogged down in teaching textbook stuff, but to concentrate on DS1 having fun and learning to enjoy learning again. She said she didn't need to come back again for a year if I didn't want her to, but as I actually like her input we have arranged that she will come back in December.

Back to earth with a bump after she'd gone though. DS1 decided he would like to do a special project on Minecraft, which would involve him playing Minecraft during the day. I said he can write about Minecraft for his project, but he can only play it after 'school' hours. He has now stormed off.

We haven't been able to do much work today because of the LEA visit, but we did read a couple more chapters of 'Shadow' this morning. I can see DS1 getting more and more interested in it.

Off to try and prise him out of his bedroom now and encourage him to do some work...

Helenagrace Thu 06-Sep-12 11:55:59

Having another good day here. I've been making up activity packs for DD to do while I'm doing DS's school run and they're going well. We've done some English and Maths this morning which I was pleased with. French next (not looking forward to that) then history.

We're meeting up with 2 other families after school. We couldn't have done that before as DD didn't get home until 4.45pm and then had to start half an hour of homework plus reading, spellings, compulsory recorder (my poor ears!) and cello. Not any more though!

It's lovely to see how much happier DD is.

Several teachers at DS's school have asked me how I'm getting on and have offered help and resources.

Feeling very positive here!

ToffeeWhirl Thu 06-Sep-12 14:17:26

That's wonderful that it's still going well for you, Helen, and that your DD is so much happier. How lovely that you are being offered help and resources from your DS's teachers. Hope the meet up with the other families goes well this afternoon.

DS overcame his strop without my intervention. He is still pushing the boundaries though. I suppose we will tussle over that for a while before we settle into a routine.

Today, we read 'Shadow' whilst waiting for the LEA woman's arrival. After she'd gone, DS1 revised what he'd written for Biology yesterday, then worked through today's lesson on life processes. Again, he asked lots of unexpected questions and wouldn't accept anything at face value. This led to lots of debates and unexpected research. It's good to have the time to be able to answer all his questions.

DS tried out a Lett's Science CD-Rom, which I hoped would be a more entertaining guide to Science. It was very disappointing - just tests and textbook pictures.

After that, DS tried out the TES English CD-Rom. This was better, although he was still very sceptical about its value. However, I noticed that, in spite of his complaints, he inadvertantly practised placing commas and speech marks and spelling (if nothing else, he can now spell 'perspiration' grin).

Tomorrow is our free day for trips, meet ups, projects, exercise, etc. No plans as yet.

Colleger Thu 06-Sep-12 20:15:11

Sorry, didn't see your post toffeewhirl.

DS plays bassoon as his main instrument but sings and tries to play piano...

We have done very little today: ten sums, five minutes on Rosetta Stone French, yawned through an hour of Latin tutorial, piano lesson and now off to orchestra. Basically, I count the sums and Rosetta as the HE as he did all the rest anyway when at school. I really need to stop being so lazy

TyrannosaurusBex Thu 06-Sep-12 20:25:50

It was our day for trips today as it was my day off, and already I can see how the boundaries between learning and fun disappear with home ed. We dropped DDs 2 and 3 at school and pre school, went to a boulangerie and ran through all the French phrases DD1 knows, then learned some new ones. Went on to a castle where we hold a season ticket, visited one of the museums and watched a short film about a Roman wreck, which tied in with last term's topic.

This afternoon we went swimming at the beach with dd3 and I got dd1 to swim a certain distance in a proper stroke, then after school pick up we went to the park opposite the school and dd1 played with some of her (former!) classmates. We also whizzed through times tables and phonics, and this evening we had reading.

Back to school for me tomorrow and NOT looking forward to it. I hadn't realised how quickly a yawning chasm would open up between the creativity and spontaneity of home ed and the boredom and time wasting of school.

Helena, how lovely that your dd is so much happier. Mine is too.

Toffee, I am envious of your cordial relationship with LEA, the education authority where we are is hostile toward HE and I am dreading our meeting in a fortnight. Glad yours went so swimmingly!

Mam, don't worry too much about your daughter being in lower set, teachers with a new child in class generally depend on the comments of the previous teacher when deciding where to start them off, and in your Dd's case they don't have recourse to this. It might also be worth checking whether your Dd's set works most often with the form teacher or a TA - sometimes TAs don't immediately inform the teacher that a child needs to move to another set. I've had children placed with me for various subjects who needed to move up or down - I don't have any qualms about pointing this out, and as a result they have switched sets.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 06-Sep-12 21:43:24

Wanted to add my good luck wishes to other newbies, but am a bit late as just back from holiday. Starting tidying loose ends tomorrow and will start on monday. Glad to see alot of you are off to a good start here's hoping it goes well for us too. I can't see dd wanting to do much but has said she would like to record a presentation of her holiday memories. Very good for her as although usually confident she would never listen to her own voice or even like being recorded.

mam29 Fri 07-Sep-12 08:01:57

Glad everyone had a good thursday was such a sunny day here.
It was 1st time in 10weeks i just had 1 child at home as

6year old school
3year old-nursery

so just had baby 17month old and played with him.
was intending to do housework but dident do much.

dd had gym at school she loves it.
need to ring ballet company for trial for 3year old as is a surprise for her birthday a shes 3on 16th but looks so much older.

Shes having a small party so been planning that.

well thur update.

pushy mum cornered me after morbing drop off to say

because she brought the entire oxford reading tree and did it hour a day over summer her dd who was behind mine has climbed 3levels and is higher that mine-felt like saying something very rude but resisted.I hate the overcompetativeness and obsession with flipping levels. She said shes been in and had a chat with teacher and she agrees that she needed to be moved up level 6.
She must have done that 1st day as in morning they seem like they have no time for parents and yesterday afternoon a supply teacher let them out!.
Of course pushy mum knows what levels people are on as she volunteers as guided readersad.I refused to get engaged in her silly games.

dd informs me they set the tables for numeracy and shes on bottom.

Guess i feel dissapointed they not noticed any of work we done over summer or wonder if kids differerent at home to school.

On a more interesting note

spoke to french mum.

french school changed days depending what year they in.

do her eldest will have thur off now
and her younger one who just started reception will have wed.

I just think this could be good as demonstrates school willing to be flexible and makes me slightly more hopeful.
But I realise its different , it really does depend on how anti home ed head is.

I want a thur and thats a pe day but she does hour gym after school on thur and cheerleading friday so hoping that would count and willing to take on extra homework to make up whats missed

T bex last year the ta seemed to hlep the bottom tables and teacher ith the top ones.

I know they have ta this year -dont know her hours and havent met her yet.
I dont want to be mirco managaging the teacher and telling her what she should e doing as that would do their heads in and not helpful has to be correct level for child not what parent wants.

I dident do any official books over summer.

because dd as fixated with levels-dont think its healthy
we went to lobary got out books |@she wanted and told her to read for enjoyment, that levls taked the fun out of it and she read quite a bit-I dident

buy entire oxford reading tree from amazon-as they quite boring and not my style.

I also let her have time to relax over summer and not been formerly academic with her want her to love learning.

can anyone reccomend any nature books that are easy to read?
like a fact based book but for younger kids so like a little persons encyclopedcia?

last year she was coming home with level 3 books and reading with ease.
she says this term shes level 5 but wont know for sure until later.

Guess I can discuss somethings ith head but dont want to come accross as

competative pushy parent
negative and non supportive of school.

Think will have to tread carefully

going to ask for 1 day i think as dont think he will give me 2.
if gets go ahead then will use hopeful success in year 2 to try get 2days in year 3.

Socially dd likes school jsut worry about jher in class not in playground.

Spoke to another parent whos child had help last year and she was told he would continue to get help this year with literacy.

But i havent been told that she had 8weeks extra help with ta last year and heard nothing since and no support with numeracy.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 07-Sep-12 11:04:44

Welcome, morethanpotatoprints smile. The holiday presentation sounds like a lovely idea.

Today is our 'informal' day. So far, DS1 has watched half a film with DH and now we are just off to visit an animal sanctuary nearby. Fits in neatly with the 'life processes' stuff we have been looking at in Biology, although DS just thinks we are looking at rescue dogs grin.

Will come back later and chat properly.

<waves to morethan, Helen, mam, colleger and Tyrannosaurus, Iris and gulp>

Helenagrace Fri 07-Sep-12 11:35:33

I just ordered the galore park french course. Should be here next week.

I also found a maths book in the library which is all aboout rollercoasters. DD really enjoyed it this morning. Must look and see if there are more of them. I think what we did was revision BUT she learned that you have to be very careful to check what data set you need when looking up numbers in a table.

Geography later - weather. Think we might make a rain guage (we live near the Lake District - it will be well used!!)

Science after that - electricity.

Then we're going trampolining again as DS wants to try it. Well when I "we" I mean "them" - I'm sitting in the cafe area with my book and a coffee!!

DH has been offered a job in Croydon. I think we're taking it so that means moving. No idea where but I'm quite drawn to West Sussex.

CuttedUpPear Fri 07-Sep-12 12:23:51

Watching this thread, new home edder, hoping for clues in how to proceed!

Iris1 Fri 07-Sep-12 16:55:01

Hi eveyone not posted for a couple of days been rather busy making the most of thebdry and rather sunny weather! We have been to a few different parks, stay and play at the park sure start and played in the garden. When it comes to learning i think academics are pusdhed too early here and playing is very important which brings me to my thoughts for mam29. If i was you that pushy mum would have done my head in too, its good you just ignored her she was obviously showing off and got no response!!! I think its awful kids are sat at tables according to ability and your dauggter knowing she is bottom - what a way to destroy confidence she is6!!
I think you are right reading should be for enjoyments not levels!! as a child i never did level books with my mum but we went to the library and i read for enjoyment and as such my reading was great. I alway read for pleasure and i got As at gcse in english so i definately thimk children should be taught the wonder of reading and magic of books not havinvg this all taken away by schools!
anyway must go for now ill pop back on tonight.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 07-Sep-12 19:35:38

Hello all.

We have done very little of significance today really. She labelled a book for spelling and writing sentences that we are doing in mornings. I have a time table printed with wk 1 and wk 2 which alternates the order of musical activities and paractice during the morning. She is pleased she gets do play so much and is looking forward to a new string ensemble and choir starting again next week. She chose Ancient Egyptians for history topic and for maths I thought she could work through a book until she comes unstuck. Not chosen a Science subject yet but imagine it will contain ants, worms, slugs and snails. My dd is so charming.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 07-Sep-12 19:51:01

Have just noticed some posts about ed philosophy. Completely unjudgemental here but how on earth can you fill 4 sides. Should I do one for in case the LEA get in touch. I already know they can't come here as my dh has pupils during the day and it wouldn't look right for them I mean.
Thought of meeting them in library with my pen drive full of resources, plans etc.

TyrannosaurusBex Fri 07-Sep-12 20:12:40

I have to do an education philosophy for week after nextsad. And timetables, which makes me think our LEA takes no notice of anything home edders tell them. I do not intend to use timetables.

mam29 Fri 07-Sep-12 20:33:02

wow a home ed philosopy that sounds heavy and complex.

I think mission statement would have been better wouldet think would fill more than 2sidess a3.

I woud start with

why-short paragraph on reasons wanted to home ed.

How-breakdown of subjects with rough idea of topics wanting to do

splut into term 1 , 2,3
maybe add educational day trips to x place linked to this topic.


to improve levels and help child achieve potential.
encourage independant learning
to instill love of learning.

T bex when say timetables-think window dresssing.

type something up for show.
dont stick to it.
at end of year if lea come back

progress from child and full portfolio of work should be all they would need to reassure. them surly as you not a school, you not tied to curriculum.

Maybe toffee whirl have some ideas as her la seem home ed freindly and helpful.
I guess you could always try ringing them to discuss.

well day 3 of school done and its already doing my head in.

had letter home with year 2 curriculum sounds so dry and boring.

in confusion over daughters reading level.
couldent speak to teacher as she was cornered by pushy mum who was itching to get into class room.

oh well mondays another day and have weekend to do fun stuff.

TyrannosaurusBex Fri 07-Sep-12 20:57:50

Think you're right about typing up timetables for show, Mam, I want to keep things as cordial as possible and am not confident enough to be all militant about it. Btw, do you have several pushy mums at school or is it all the same appalling woman?

Toffee, do you do timetables for your nice LEA lady?

morethanpotatoprints Fri 07-Sep-12 22:33:02

The ed phil thing got me thinking. I could do an essay as I have several books from teacher training days but worried they would only pull me up if I didn't keep to my original thoughts.
Ha, the time table is a crutch really and doubt very much if it will work. I am dyslexic and dyspraxic with other difficulties as well, so if I plan in a systematic way it seems to help me. I also write alot of notes and lists. My family have suggested I complete a list of lists I need to do, sarcy lot, lol.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 08-Sep-12 00:11:22

Hello everyone. It's good to see all this chatting and idea swapping on here.

Re: educational philosophies. I had a look here for some ideas. My own educational philosophy began with a short background (why we had decided to home educate), then went on to explain our belief (mainly that we believe children learn best when they are happy and relaxed and then suggesting why home would provide this environment for DS1 more than school). I could have stopped there, which would have kept it down to one and a half pages, but I decided to go on and summarise the resources we would be using (so I suppose, strictly speaking, this was not part of the educational philosophy, however I had noticed other people did this). This was as much for myself as for the LEA. I ended by explaining how we intended to keep records of DS1's work.

I made sure to note that, as we were just starting out, our ideas might change over time. I also included a paragraph on 'socialisation', demonstrating how DS1 would still be seeing friends and having the opportunity to make new ones.

Helen - sounds like another good day smile. I especially like the way you managed to fit in sitting down with a coffee and reading <takes notes>.

CuttedUpPear - welcome. I'm sure I've seen you on some recent threads, but I can't find you now. Am I right in thinking you have an older son? It's a daunting task to undertake home education, but I must say I am absolutely loving it now I've made the decision. DS1 is much easier to be with, too, because he isn't stressed all the time. I hope it works out well for you and that we can help out on this thread.

Iris - I like the sound of your playful day smile. Long may the summery weather last. I agree with you about reading. Am re-reading Roald Dahl's 'George's Marvellous Medicine' to DS2 at the moment - so much fun for both of us.

morethanpotato - I'm glad home ed is going well. Choosing topics and labelling books for home ed both sound very significant to me. How lovely that your DD has more time to play now, as well as to concentrate on her music. I like the sound of the Science project rather you than me. DS2 and I did try to set up an ant farm in the summer, using a kit I bought at a discount from Yellow Moon. I'm afraid the ants came to a sorry end (left out in the sun to fry sad), but it was fun whilst we were setting it up. I still feel a bit guilty though. As far as an educational philosophy goes, see above! Oh, and I am a list maker too.

Tyrannosaurus (and more) - I tried using a timetable during my last attempt at home ed. It was useless. The biggest advantage of home ed is that it's flexible, so it soon became apparent that sticking to a rigid timetable was destroying one of the very things that made home ed so enjoyable. What I do now instead is fill a box file with DS1's morning's work (English, Maths, Science, current reading book, handwriting) and tell him that has to be completed by lunchtime. If he meanders off or wants a snack, or if we start discussing something else interesting and want to look it up, it doesn't matter. But I do try to make sure he finishes that work by lunchtime. I am much more flexible after that, but have to be mindful that work finishes by 3, when I collect DS2 from school. And no, I didn't have a timetable to show the nice LEA woman and she didn't ask me for one. The questionnaire I was sent by the LEA simply asked us why we had decided to home educate and how we were intending to go about it. No mention of timetables.

mam - I completely agree with you about the educational philosphy and that is mostly what I did, even down to discussing what sort of outings we would go on. I did not split it into terms and I don't think the LEA would think this were necessary (but I suppose it depends).

We have had another really good day. DH drove us to an animal sanctuary. Although this has neatly provided material for our look at 'life processes' next week (am going to get DS to compare a toy chinchilla with the real one we saw) it was also good practise for DS1 at going out, as he was confined to the house with anxiety and OCD until relatively recently. He really enjoyed the trip and lasted for over an hour before he asked to go home, which is an improvement. We can just take small steps with him, whereas at school he was constantly faced with overwhelming challenges.

In the afternoon, DH and DS1 watched an old film of 'Mutiny on the Bounty' together. Next week, DH is going to show DS a modern remake of it and then they are going to discuss the differences between them.

We had such an interesting conversation in the car on the way to the animal sanctuary this afternoon. I am really enjoying having the time to discuss things with DS1. I am constantly surprised by the level of questions he asks. When he was at school, he was too tired/stressed to discuss anything, so I had no real insight into what he was capable of. Over the last few days, I have had to rush off to check things for him several times. I can see that home education is going to be as educational for me as for DS1.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

MoreCatsThanKids Sat 08-Sep-12 01:11:49

Just jumping in to say Hi, and mark my place. Be back tomorrow - thanks Toffee <waves>

mam29 Sat 08-Sep-12 06:28:55

T bex just thinking producing one but not following it in order might be easiet solution/

Well dds class 27 i think this year.

have appalling pushy mum no 1 who I have mentioned she really bugs me.

at least 2others who forever talking to teacher.

the 4th compatative mum is a freind and her dd july baby and she makes me and my dd feel like crap.

but as shes amate its very difficult when she moans her dds gifted and talented and ot being stretched enough hen she was in class if 10 and mine was 30last year!

so i would say 5-5competative mums
possibly a few secretive pushy mums doing tutoring at home,

my mission this year is to make new freinds and talk to more chilled out parents.

have looked at new reading book seems easy think dd will breeze it today.

dd upset tonight as she wants to be the best and worried she never catch up and that younger ones in the year who were in smaller class were ahead.

I dont know wheres shegit attitide from as we as parents not competative

Helenagrace Sat 08-Sep-12 09:56:01

I didn't know how many educational videos there are on YouTube. I've found several basic ones about electricity for our science project. I'm going to use some of the lightening videos too to link with our weather project. I've also found a lesson plan about weather data on the TES site so I've incorporated part of that into next week's geography. I thought I'd take the data we collect into our maths sessions and do some manual tables and graphs and then do a bit more using excel, thereby incorporating IT. I'm feeling very pleased with myself. Of course it could all go horribly wrong next week...

I'm planning to look at the Khan academy for maths stuff. I was watching the "click" programme on the BBC news channel and there are schools in the US that have moved over to self paced learning using the free resources on the site with the teacher being a facilitator. DH is taking the children out this afternoon so I can have a good look at the site.

Trampolining went very well and I got my coffee!

ToffeeWhirl Sat 08-Sep-12 10:45:34

Hi, morecats. Good to see you here! <waves back>

mam - you seem to be very unlucky with pushy mums in your DD's school. And your 'mate' with her 'g&t' DD sounds very annoying! The thing is, DC may be ahead at an earlier stage, but be overtaken by slower children later. Being first really means very little. I'm sorry your DD has picked up on the competitiveness sad. She shouldn't even be aware of this at her age. Good mission of yours to make new friends and seek out more chilled-out parents!

Helen - I will check out YouTube after what you've said. I really need to find some video clips to make DS's learning more interesting. I like the way you are neatly fitting all the subjects together. I don't know anything about the Khan academy for Maths. The LEA woman gave us the password for MyMaths so that DS1 could continue to access this as a resource. She also recommended Nrich as a Maths website.

Glad to hear you had your coffee break and that DD is still enjoying trampolining!

I have planned a 'life processes' Biology lesson for DS1 next week which incorporates photos from our trip to the animal sanctuary. He will have to compare a toy chinchilla with a real one. Have found a useful acrononym for him to remember the seven life processes: MRS GREN. His next lesson from the book is on plant life processes, so I have printed out some sheets from The Woodland Trust kids section and plan to take him seed hunting in a local park next week (thereby covering plant reproduction and getting him some exercise and fresh air into the bargain).

I have to do something about Maths. It is my weakest subject and the one I find least interesting. I need to chase up a tutor and, in the meantime, work out what DS is going to do every day. I think I should probably start with one small topic and use a variety of methods: Galore Park, MyMaths, YouTube, etc.

English - DS starts his lessons with his tutor on Monday (when I will get my cup of tea and a sit down) and we will continue to read 'Shadow'. Will start on grammar and spelling too.

Am wondering how to start teaching the Tudors for History. I think I might start by just reading a chapter from 'A Child's History of the World' to give him the narrative. I think he should know it as a great story before we go into any more depth.

He is off to a birthday party today - swimming, then a sleepover. It will be a big achievement for him if he manages it all. I will be on standby for a panic-stricken phone call later (based on previous experience).

Hope you all have a good Saturday.

mam29 Sat 08-Sep-12 10:52:51

Toffee whirl-so glad the trip went wekk sounds like you had very good productive day and weathers been so nice.

Helena grace-yes I found a few science experiments on you tube as wanted to do the teabg rocket initially found on pinterest but failed think we have the wrong tea bags.

Theres so much free stuff out there-god bless the internet.

I thinkn some self paced learnings good as how often do we read from unis how kids can plan their time and want to be spoon fed.

well thank god its sat, weather looks good.

I have read dd new reading book.
she thourght it was easy.
will read again tommorow and put note in homework book.

Asked on primary and ginn level 3 is same as ort level 5 its so confusing.

shes spent nearly hour doing keystage 1 science games on bbc bitesize.

she spent 20mins practicing her handwriting.

she needs to do some maths with carol later as not done any last 3days as been back in school. and had clubs after school thur and friday,

we need to finish off butterfly project as want it to show head next week.

Tommorow we writing a letter as my freind in reading has dd same age and year so they becoming penpals.

we going to go out this afternoon to local park.

I discovered our resevoir has visitor centre which think might add to must visit list.

Also odd question to ask

we have small veg garden, hubby left bucket in it.
filled with water . There,s something growing in it.
looks like midget tadpoles? could they be tadpoles?
what else could they be?
will we have garden full of frogs?
could be a very educational and interesting project.

we have 3nearby ponds.

dd school doing some french this year.
not sure if should start doing some at home and what level they work at?Or maybe start with 2nd language.

Getting nervous about thusday need to type up proposal for head .
plus visit to libary next week to print stuff off

Hope everyones having a lovley day

mam29 Sat 08-Sep-12 10:58:46

Toffee whirl-sounds like you doing fab.

lea sound amazing shame they cant all be like that as home ed save them money.

Hope he has lovley time at party.

acronyms so useful cant remember biology one but can with chemistry

katy nails little cats magestically along zinc fences probably could aggravate auntue- reactivity series/peroidic table.

could have just been crazy chemistry teacher.

im very visual and sometimes when revising gcses would write info dow with arrows and place in circles and diagrams.

Im dismayed at the competativeness and fact dd was crying last night as wants to be the best and think its fact younger ones doing better but with smaller class think they had an advantage.

mam29 Sat 08-Sep-12 11:02:55

Toffee whirl this any use for history?

it looks quite good.

and this

all look fab lots ideas, places to god, free prints outs, resources and advice how how to teach tudors and broken down into sub topics.

Jamillalliamilli Sat 08-Sep-12 15:05:26

Been reading your lovely thread, and it’s so nice to see you all starting out together. smile

Just wanted to suggest to anyone being asked for timetables that there is of course no requirement for any such evidence, and if you don’t use one, or educate in that way, tbh supplying a made up one in order to ‘comply,’ is more likely to cause you more stress and later problems than stating it isn’t your chosen educational system/at this time.

If you feel you can’t do that, one option’s to offer a vague monthly or annual timetable to meet halfway, without restricting yourself or making things up.
Ie; ‘Approximately X number of hours minimum maths/English/science/ Latvian/, or whatever you wish to include, will take place per week / per month, per term,’ etc.
‘However it is intended that a more spontaneous/autonomous/ unstructured approach will be followed regarding R/E, Gardening /Sport/ Spanish.’
‘This may later take the form of timetabled subjects, or may not, according to what learning style best suits X.’

If you’ve been sent something with boxes to fill out and wish to do something more relaxed, just staple your version to theirs. smile

They’re only asking for a timetable as a (lazy) way of judging if you’ve thought things through. Don’t be intimidated by it, they don't actually mean you to be.

I understand well the ‘not the moment to be militant’, but would say it may be important to be politely assertive about how you will be educating if you think your LEA to be hostile, as mine and many others experience of hostile LEA’s, is they only generally push those they think will allow it.

Although writing an ed phil/mission statement can be a bit daunting, making it your first task will actually help you firmly form your ideas, give you strength and often makes the rest drop into place.

I didn’t know what one was, and started out with just this line: ‘An unhappy child doesn’t learn well.’ Wrote a huge rant about what was wrong with everything done to him, and turned it round into how it ought to be done, and discovered I did have a philosophy, I just didn’t know to call it that. smile

(ended up with an edited down three sides, on dual exceptionality in ASD children and educating to their abilities not their disability’s! :D) It was from there I stood up over timetables, because for my (ASD) son, being told to stop learning x because that time has ended and now you need to hurry up and pack up/ forget about it and go on break/ learn y, was one of many things crippling him.

Not timetabling became part of my ed phil even though we were structured.

I hope that’s of some use to someone and I’m not interfering, you must do what you think is best for you; it’s just a suggestion, because I know how much difficulty I had at the start.

Jamillalliamilli Sat 08-Sep-12 15:08:08

Mam 29 I think your project is going to eat you alive! grin as I think you have a bucket of mozzie larvae. smile

(Ps, If it’s any use to anyone, we started the Tudors by looking at Tudor education, which hooked them instantly, and opened out from there.)

mam29 Sat 08-Sep-12 15:25:47

weird you should say this been googling and come to that conclusion.

hubby needs to get rid of that bucket.

Thourght maybe photograp mini toddlers before they depart,.
do a bit on mosquito life cycle and stick in her nature journal.

just thourght of mosquitos makes me itch.
they too small to be tadpoles although did see 1toad last year.

had lovley afternoon at duck park unsure if ducks were hiding or migrated.

Helenagrace Sat 08-Sep-12 17:58:28

DH has taken the children to Liverpool so I've had a nice afternoon looking up loads of interesting links and clips to use next week. It's quite time-consuming but I guess that's my "job" now. I'm sure I'll be able to let her be a bit more autonomous as we go on but she doesn't know where to start and seemed really overwhelmed last week. I thought if I could plan some headlines then maybe (hopefully) she'll pick up and run with things.

A lightbulb went on this morning. I was chatting to DH about my childhood and said I would always be with the adults at family events and never sought out the company of children. In fact I hated school and thought my peers were childish(!). I didn't really settle in any educational establishment until university. It turns out that DH was exactly the same. Which explains why DD is like that too. She's much happier now and I recalled something that julienoshoes wrote I think about it not being as natural as people think to socialise with people whose only connection with you is to share a year of birth.

The Galore Park French course arrived today. I only ordered it yesterday so I'm really pleased. I ordered the pack so I have a book, answer book, CD and vocabulary book. We're doing it as a family at the weekend so DS can join in and I can revise my very, very rusty O level French. It looks very good.

For history I've planned a WW2 session. I found an audio archive of Chamberlain's war announcement and I have a book of mass observation diary extracts from the period which I thought we could read. I also found a clip about life in the 1930s so she can see what pre-war life was like.

I found some great YouTube science experiments for our electricity topic and we're going to try to replicate them.

Even with DS at school life has been so much easier. I've gained an hour a day from not having to do two extra school runs. It's made masses of difference to my life.

I need to refine my Ed Phil but I'm viewing it as a living document which will evolve as we do. It's been good to get down on paper what it is that we want to achieve and I plan to review it every three months to see if it still meets our needs.

Still feeling very positive.

Helenagrace Sat 08-Sep-12 20:00:54

Khan Academy is good. Probably more junior and secondary stuff but there are some good videos. I found a good one on subtracting decimals - if nothing else it'll save my voice!

morethanpotatoprints Sat 08-Sep-12 21:32:33

I love your ww2 topic, dd has chosen Ancient Egypt and Greece first for topics. I can't wait to do the War though as quite passionate about it. Have you seen the series on bbc2. It's about the country farms and growing for England, it was on tonight.
When we finally get round to this topic I can see it lasting for months, I have considered dressing our small shed like an Anderson shelter and waking the family in middle of night. Mentioned it to our retired neighbour who even said he'd like to join in, lol.

Iris1 Sat 08-Sep-12 21:36:13

Hi glad to hear so many positives from you all about how things are going!
Im making progress in that i have contacted some groups and im making it my aim to find out as much as possible on what is available here for the kids so I can show hubby that this is the right decision for our kids.
The schools round here are all `outstanding`people move fro all over but as such the schools are heavily over subscribed, have huge year groups and as its a very affluent area (lots of large familys) majority of placss go to siblings first anywya so i just dont see us finding and getting allocated a school we will be comfortable with. There is no way im sending my son into a school where at playtime he will be faced with 139 other kids (thats just early years- daunting or) what!

Helenagrace Sat 08-Sep-12 21:36:48

We're doing ration book cookery. There are good ideas on the BBC schools site.

Are you anywhere near the North West morethan? it's just that the Manchester museum has some mummy masks on display at the moment (they are rarely on show) and the World Museum in Liverpool has a fab Egyptian display. Both are free.

Iris1 Sat 08-Sep-12 21:43:51

Also love alk your ideas for History just think how fun history can be for home ed kids, the freedom to choose a topic and learn all about it no nc guidelines!! I love history but in school it was positively dull! I would pick a topic and try and find a wide range of resources to use so documentaries, non fiction, fiction maybe a novel (if ww1/2 theres some great novels around and then you're linking eng lit) for the older/teens maybe id recommend Pat Barkers regeneration and other novels i studied at A level and found very good. Also the museums, films and websites. I remeber fir GCSE history having to copy pages from the textbook all the time and in primary i dont recall anything.
See this is why i want to home ed i dont want the beauty of learning sucked dry with textbooks and national curriculum rubbishl!

morethanpotatoprints Sat 08-Sep-12 21:57:46

Helen. Many thanks for that. Yes we are equal distance from both Manchester and Liverpool and due to go soon.
Talking of Museums If you are around this area or London The War Museums are brill, if they are still going. I took older dcs several years ago and they loved it, but was a bit scary.

Iris you are so right and I have to admit sheer delight in the fact that dd shares my passion for History. I also think Geography will be fun for the same reason of non limiting nc topics. Although must admit Ks2 isn't too bad here.

I found it sad that at school they did so little Humanities and lumped topics and subjects together. The poor kids hadn't a clue what they were doing. My dd came home and told me about a topic she was doing in Godgery, honestly!
Was that RE, Geography ?

Iris1 Sat 08-Sep-12 22:14:13

Godgery!!- that made me laugh but thinking about it really isnt funny when you think why she was confused!!
All subjects are interesting in their own right and links can be made but children should have the freedom to explore subjects in depth and at their own pace!
Geography and science are two im determined to help my kids enjoy as in school I found them boring all the way through and now so intereting. We are learning quite a lot now but from a playful early years slant. Ds loves space so weve done things like black space playdough, making model space ships, he knows all planets and lots about them and is getting a telescope for his birthday! Both love nature and dd especially loves insects so i encourage them to dig in mud and pick up insects and just play. Ds is getting very interested jn seasons so trying to help him understand and hes getting there got a lot of ideas for Autumn crafts and a great tree print craft to show trees in each season might help him get it. Im trying to just nurture their interests as theyre so young its all play and crafts but seems to work great as they show me how much they learn all the time, like little sponges!!

In also really recomend manchester museum im planning on taking mine there soon as they have a huge t-rex and ds loves dinosaurs!! Also the museum of science and industry is well worth a visit.

Were off to the zoo tomorrow im very excited!!

Helenagrace Sat 08-Sep-12 22:16:00

Oooh morethan so am I! I'm in between Liverpool and Manchester to the north. Near where the M61, M65 and M6 meet.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 08-Sep-12 22:30:26


I am useless with roads as a none driving dyspraxic. We are in Lancashire and I know close to m6. Cheshire is South to us .

Helenagrace Sat 08-Sep-12 22:34:14

You can't be that far from me then. I'm south of Preston and north of Wigan if that helps.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 08-Sep-12 22:47:35

I laughed like a drain when she said it too but it is quite sad she was confused. I mean she was 8 at the time not an infant. I think you are right that all subjects are interesting, I'm not sure I will be able to muster up enough joy for some topics though. I am dreading Maths as I struggle so much with this subject. If the worst comes to worst I will have to consider a tutor. I am really looking forward to learning Italian together and we are thinking of living on beans for a year so we can afford a holiday there next Aug/sept time.

Apologies for last post if any dyspraxics out there managing to drive. I can't judge distances at all, even shopping trolleys are a nightmare, and I constantly fall over tables and chairs. The thought of taking dd anywhere in a car would terrify me, so I don't do it. Besides my poor knuckles go white as I grip the wheel so tightly, lol.

Helenagrace Sat 08-Sep-12 22:51:13

morethan have a look at the Khan academy website fir maths videos. I've found some good ones on decimals. There's thousands of them!

Helenagrace Sat 08-Sep-12 23:06:21

I'm planning a visit to the Stockport Air Raid Shelter for our WW2 project as well as the Imperial War Museum North.

iris we love MOSI and the Manchester Museum. The World Museum is still my favourite. The staff are so helpful.

TyrannosaurusBex Sat 08-Sep-12 23:08:43

JustGettingOn thanks for the timetable advice, take you point about being assertive from outset.

Morethan, I'm a driving dyspraxic but I hate it. The speed limit is 35mph here which helps! Dd1 watched War Farm on iPlayer and made loads of notes to write about it on Monday. She loved it and wants the Victorian Farm DVDs dor Xmas.

Went to the beach with some of her school friends and their families today, everybody was so supportive, it was lovely. I had an hour to myself this morning and realised that despite a knackering week - 1st week of HE, back at work, trying to spend 1 to 1 time with other DDs, school/pre-school runs, new clubs, research - I felt completely at peace with myself. Didn't realise how long or how heavily this decision had been weighing on me. Feel really happy and, best of all, so does DD1!

Colleger Sat 08-Sep-12 23:52:37

I feel a little down reading all your posts. As your kids are still young they have a zest for learning. DS is bored and cynical and doesn't find anything interesting. I hanker after the WW2 and ration book living or learning about the Egyptians but he refuses!

Helenagrace Sun 09-Sep-12 00:06:40

colleger sorry to hear that. My DD is a bit like that, hence why I'm having to plan a lot more than I thought I'd have to. Your DC sounds bright and talented. Hopefully a bit of deschooling and all will be well. School has a lot to answer for!

I was quite inspired by your post about Latin. I'm now trying to find a way to fit Latin in.

mam29 Sun 09-Sep-12 00:07:40

Colleger hope you feel bit better soon.

teenagers and boys can be tricky,

im sure thers something out there of interest and you havent found it yet

Hubys always watching random stuff on documentry channels.

he usually likes army stuff, guns.

earlier there was crazy programme one crazy woman prepping for usa losing oil she lives in houston had stockpiles, guns, backpack pached and trained so many hours a week -total loon.

He loves this programme called gold rush where they did for gold -I find it quite boring.

How things are made can be interesting,

Also had convo other day how news rarly reports some countries they like a mystery you never hear much about canada or new zealand as if nothing goes on there.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 09-Sep-12 00:45:30

Just popping in on my way to bed and it's lovely to see all the chatting that has been going on here today.

JustGettingOnWithIt - lovely to see you on here. It's really good to hear from someone who's already been through this early stage of home ed. I love your idea about turning round everything that's been done wrong to your child into a positive educational philosophy. Will have a look at Tudor education, thanks. Good idea. Was also wondering whether I should see if there are any reconstructions of the Battle of Bosworth on YouTube as a battle might hook him.

colleger - I'm sorry you feel down. My son is like yours. He's 12, going on 13. We have had a good start to home ed, but he would rather be left to pursue his Minecraft game online than deal with all the subjects I keep presenting to him. 'Bored and cynical' seems to be his default setting, although I have seen a few sparks of genuine interest recently, which is encouraging. Maybe we just have to give it time.

mam - get rid of that bucket!

<waves to Helen, Tyrannosaurus and Iris>

No phone call from DS1 yet, so perhaps he's going to last the night at the birthday sleepover. He had to leave the swimming early, but then continued at the party, so that was brave of him. I'm sure being generally more relaxed because he's not coping with the stress of school is enabling him to cope better in the rest of his life.

Off to bed now (clutching phone, just in case). Night all.

Helenagrace Sun 09-Sep-12 01:03:50

toffee maybe there is some footage of battle reenactments on YouTube? A local HEer is in the Sealed Knot and they do that sort of thing. Maybe he could look at tudor weaponry as a way in? Warwick castle has some replica weapons. Maybe look at their website. You might be able to do some science on the effect if gravity on a cannonball. Marcus du Sartoy did a maths series last year and he did an experiment where he calculated the effect if gravity on a cannonball and then sat in a deckchair just outside the spot where he'd calculated they'd fall whilst they fired things at him. I'm sure that would appeal to teenage boys. I'll see if DH can remember the name of the series.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 09-Sep-12 10:08:53

Yes, that's a good idea, Helen. When I look at the Galore Park textbook, it is so dry and I know DS1 will simply switch off. The difficulty is making the history somehow relevant to him.

Following the suggestion of a friend, I was wondering whether to get DS to do a comparison between zombies and the living for his life processes topic! That ought to appeal to a nearly teenage boy (envy of all of you with sweet, untarnished, innocent littlies).

Re: Maths. DS1 and I had an interesting conversation last week about numbers and how people long ago had no concept of numbers over three - they just used 'more'. It was the rise of trade that led to the need for more exact definitions. At least, that's what it says in the Galore Park Maths book. DS was very interested in that. I think I might try to find out more about that to lead him into Maths again.

No phone call from DS1, so he has coped with his sleepover. That's a big tick in the socialisation box!

Helenagrace Sun 09-Sep-12 11:05:59

toffee the programme was called "The Code" and it features Marcus du Sautoy. I found one clip about gravity called "what is gravity?" on You tube. It features a trebauchet and a burning oil soaked projectile and explains gravity really well. He uses a sparkler to draw a graph in mid air (with a bit of special effects jiggery pokery). Surely that would appeal to a teenage boy? I can't link as I'm on my phone but I stuck "marcus du sautoy the code gravity" into YouTube and found it straight away. There are some more clips.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 09-Sep-12 13:07:03

Thanks, Helen, that definitely sounds like something DS would enjoy.

He's back from his sleepover. Says he had four hours' sleep, but it was fun. He couldn't have managed this a few months ago. Am so proud of him.

Helenagrace Sun 09-Sep-12 13:36:31

Yay to a successful sleepover toffee!

TyrannosaurusBex Sun 09-Sep-12 13:48:21

Colleger it must be tough with a teenage boy, completely different kettle of fish to little ones. Something will catch his imagination soon, but it must be frustrating when you are full of such great ideas.

Toffee, great news that the sleepover went fine! Think I've read some of your posts in other threads, that must be a really big step forward for him. smile

Mam, the crazy woman preparing for oil to run out sounds like a slightly far far far more extreme version of my DH.

Just had a chat with DD2, she was in tears this week because teacher was angry with her over unfinished work (teacher cornered me at work following day and said DD2's work wasn't up to scratch and it wasn't working out having DD2 and another little boy - both G & T - working by themselves as they have been doing successfully and productively for past two years...strange decision 2 days into school year?). She also said DD2 and her friend would have to miss playtime to catch up, which I think is a bit much for 6 yr olds.

DD2 says that she and the little boy were in the book corner and they kept putting hands up to say they didn't know what to do but she didn't come over, then when DD2 went to ask for help, the teacher told her not to follow her around. She was really upset at being told off, she is a very obedient and sensitive little soul.

She was perfectly happy going to school while we tried out HE with DD1, but I can see that very soon she will not be. She is with the same teacher that DD1 was with when her work went drastically downhill.

My deal with DH was that we would review our HE progress with DD1 at Xmas and see where we are - don't think he envisages high-achieving DD2 leaving school, but I can see it coming. Neither of us were happy when we were told to hold her back while her classmates caught up with her.

I'm wondering whether I should start preparing DH now for DD2 possibly wanting to HE too, or keep quiet and work as hard as possible to make a big success of HEing DD1? Or am I just being daft - I guess once you know HE is an option it's more difficult to just put up with stuff like this? Reading this back, I can see how petty I sound!

mam29 Sun 09-Sep-12 13:54:49

t bex how many classes in dd2 year group?

could she switch classes?

I would book appointment with deputy or head as wouldent be happy the way shes been 2days into ter bang out of order,

Toffee fab news about sleepover.maybe now hes done it once he might gradually find it easier to be more social in a relaxed informal environment.

having a lazy day here-need to do housework.
kids in garden have to do hour of carol, read a book and some project work and havet even started my writeup proposal to head will try get that done tonight.

TyrannosaurusBex Sun 09-Sep-12 14:05:09

Only 1 class in year, sadly. Also she was meant to be doing maths with Y3 but nothing has been done about it. Will talk to the (lovely) head tomorrow. Thanks Mam, good to get somebody else's perspective. Never seen her upset at treatment by a teacher before. Good luck with that proposal!

mam29 Sun 09-Sep-12 14:36:49

my dd went back wed dont think they did much lastv week was settling in getting to know each other, lay down the rules ect so think real work may start next week.

Thats not what worries me is way she communicated and dident listen or help when asked.

Also hate to say this as not sure what happened with dd1.
Any resolved anger/comflict on her part? did it end badly with you saying to head her teachings not up to scratch?

how many in class? does the class have a ta who can verify what was said?

I learnt with mine that they do bend the truth and exagerrate at times found that out to my peril as we just want to protect them.

Now when im mad I try have cooling off period before i approach head, teacher or parent.

This is what i done with the reading book this weekend i now rationally thourht it through, now know ginn level 3 is ort level 5 and thinking its 1st week let it go pick my battles.

Is it worth going on gifted and talented board and seeing if eligible extra ta time?

Hope you work it out maybe she was having a very off day.
dd year 1 teacher lovley lady but not so good teacher.

TyrannosaurusBex Sun 09-Sep-12 16:14:04

Never said anything negative about teacher to head, tried to sort things out with her, although I did say to Y3 teacher that DD 1 had lost a lot of ground over previous year: funnily enough any hostility has been from her side towards me, I tried to build bridges when DD 1 was in her class. I think she has me down as an over-involved mother, as due to DD1's unhappiness at school I chair the PTA and became a TA there - my way of bridging the gap between home and school. Hey, she may be right!

There are 20 in the class and there was no TA in that lesson. If it was DD1 I would wonder if it was embellished, but not DD2 - she even clarified earlier when I thought the teacher had been harder on her than was the case. Have decided to speak to teacher first tomorrow, but will also mention it to head when we meet about something else. It's a bit of a tangled web at school, being involved in several capacities. (As well as proving mean teacher right!)

I really hope your DD feels better about reading at school this week. I know what you mean about choosing your battles!

mam29 Sun 09-Sep-12 17:28:54

Tbex ahh schools a political battle/mine feild.

I could be wrong hopefully that teachers more mature and proffesional that that.

Im not a teacher so never been in staffroom but always get impression they probably in course of conversation discuss parents and probably label us -im neurotic nutter maybe after last term!

good luck with the word hopefully its something blown out of proportion.I suggest praise sandwich approach something along lines of so glad dd2 got you this year nice to see freindly familier face , dd exited about new year but was bit confused and upset by something that happened other day and wondered if dd was being oversensitive as you know how kids are.If shes at fault im guessing she will appear on edge at being pulled up on it.

then if really cant solve it quiet word with head but early days maybe worth talking to year 3teacher too if you know her.

Plus im sure you know this as ta yourself but gifted and talented comes uder senco umbrella so whos the senco co-ordinater?

Im on school pta too so have regular contact with teachers and head but rarly my dds class teacher , r1 teacher same allusive bunch getting one afternoon off for paperwork and lots sickness.

I havent done guided reading or help with trips as dont have the time.

This term im doing breastfeeding support at clinic, primary pta and preschool commitee.

Im trying to be positive about this week.
was weird just doing half week last week.
meeting year 2teacher after school tommorow as shes doing meet and greet although have worked with her during pta discos and film club.

roll on bedtime love kids but the 6am start and full on all day worn out.

just had tea . about to do more tidying.
run as baby decided to get hold of some batter mix that toddler had made to make pancakes whilst eldest did maths with carol.

Hes covered so need to run bath for all 3 dirt magnets.

eldests now finishing last in section of maths with carol.
the she wants to do another bbc science game.
we rereading school book
I need to finish of few more chapters of alfie the werewolf at bedtime get all 3 asleep before ironing 2lots of uniform, making packed lunches and hopefully bath for me, teh watch tv and write up my proposal.

Helenagrace Sun 09-Sep-12 17:49:41

Maybe it's a personality clash? DS had one with his teacher last year. Tbh so did I. She decided on day 2 that he was naughty and not bright. The SENCO (who'd been his teacher the year before) told her that her teaching was at fault and he was bored. His teacher tried to get him off the G&T programmes for maths & English but she was overruled by the HT. She didn't even want me to help in her class. The SENCO snapped up my offer of help in her class again and I worked all year with the lower ability Y1 maths group. His new teacher asked me at the end of last year if I'd help in her class. What a difference a year makes!

I was so relieved when she went on mat leave. The replacement teacher was fabulous.

Thus year couldn't be more different! DS is getting different work in many lessons and we've already been told not to bother with the reading scheme books he's being given as they only want him to do the comprehension in the group reading session. He's the only one off the reading scheme. She's also asked if we want extra maths and we showed her what he's doing (his sister's Y4 mental maths book) and she said to carry on with that. It feels like a real partnership. He leaves at the end of Y2 anyway so I think I'll HE him then and use this year to concentrate on DD's needs.

TyrannosaurusBex Sun 09-Sep-12 20:50:11

Bloody Hell, Helena, your ds's last teacher sounds way worse than my Dd's! Great that this year is so different... Think the personality clash is between teacher and me, tbh. Shouldn't make a difference in an ideal world, but since when was school an ideal world?

Mam, you've got more on the go than I have, and I feel like I'm spinning plates!

ToffeeWhirl Sun 09-Sep-12 23:26:31

Tyrannosaurus - yes, the sleepover is a huge step forward for DS1. You probably have seen me on threads about him over the years, as we have had all sorts of ups and downs and desperate times. He has suffered debilitating anxiety (including school phobia) and OCD since he was nine. After one term at secondary, he had a sort of collapse and couldn't even leave the house or meet up with a friend, even at home - so for him to spend so long with a bunch of boys, some of whom he didn't even know, is nothing less than astonishing. Needless to say, he was tearful and beside himself with tiredness this evening, but it has been a big confidence boost for him.

That teacher you are talking about sounds just awful and you don't sound petty about it at all. It sounds as if she was really unfair on your DD, especially making her miss playtime to make up work. I hope discussing it with the Head makes a difference. If not, I don't blame you for considering taking DD2 out of school as well. Having watched my son suffer through years with awful teachers (and, equally, blossom under the good ones), I just don't think it's worth the trauma.

mam - yes, I hope the sleepover will help DS1 continue to take steps forward with socialising. He told me they all went to the playground after breakfast this morning. A few months ago, he had gone to the same playground with a couple of the same boys and he was so frightened he said that his legs were shaking sad. This time, he didn't think twice about it.

Hope all goes well with Yr 2 'meet and greet' tomorrow. I agree with you about the staffroom conversations. I'm sure they have had me down as a neurotic mum too.

You have a lot of commitments! I don't know how you do all that, look after your DC and home educate as well shock.

Helen - that teacher sounds appalling. Thank goodness she went. I'm glad it is going so well this year (as you say, a partnership between school and parents).

Well, I have managed to get a very tired DS1 to have an early night and now I'm enjoying my new favourite hobby, which is Googling resources for his home education. I have prepared his box of work for tomorrow. We are going to start on the Tudors after lunch and I've decided to begin by reading from 'Terrible Tudors', so that he gets the full horror of life in Tudor times (sewers in the streets, no proper medicine, etc). Am then going to show him a book from the library featuring photographs of Tudor objects - a loo, a 'hornbook', a bed and so on. Once he's hooked <crosses fingers>, we'll move onto the Battle of Bosworth, which means we can watch reconstructions (will incorporate that useful YouTube clip you mention, Helen), look at life as a Tudor soldier (have a book from the library called 'Tudor War') and discuss the importance of the outcome of the battle. I thought I'd touch on the Princes in the Tower too, as that is like a murder mystery and I think DS will feel for the young boys and their plight. Might get him to write it up as a newspaper article, as that will encompass English too.

I think we should have fun with the Tudor history before looking at the more serious stuff such as evidence and sources. That is home ed's advantage over school - we have the time to spend on the fun stuff, not just on ticking curriculum boxes.

DS1 has an English lesson with his tutor first thing tomorrow, so I will at least get a bit of time to sit down and read (my equivalent of your DD's trampolining, Helen).

Have our regular meeting with DS's CAMHS psychiatrist tomorrow. Last time I saw her, she was recommending special schools and mainstream schools with special units for him. I don't think she's going to be too happy that we have de-registered him, but I hope that, when she sees how much he's improved already, she will understand why we have done it.

MoreCatsThanKids Mon 10-Sep-12 00:23:09

Hi - am mostly lurking as I dont have anything to report but just wanted to say good luck with CAMHS tomorrow toffee and I wish I was doing Tudors tomorrow with you - my favourite subject! Always found Princes in Tower facinating too - the whole Richard the third 'debate' grin.
Hope everyone has a good day tomorrow - I will get round to a proper intro for those who dont 'know' me one of these days - always on here late and too tired to type anything that makes sense - <waves goodnight>

Colleger Mon 10-Sep-12 09:08:19

I have decided that home ed in our house will be learning through reading, talking and documentaries. Apart from music practice, if DS wants to do something more hands on then he can but, for my sanity, I think this will be the best way to go....

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Sep-12 09:31:37

Thanks for the good luck wishes, MoreCats. I'm not surprised the Tudors are your favourite subject - I have really enjoyed researching their history over the holidays. Did you know a carpark in Leicester is being dug up because experts think it might be where Richard III's body is buried? That's another aspect that might grab DS1's attention.

Colleger - that sounds like a good plan, especially if anything else is making life difficult and stressful for you both.

Have just grabbed some toast after the school run and now have to persuade DS1 to get dressed so we can walk round to his tutor's house for his English lesson. He's starting on 'Romeo and Juliet' today.

mam29 Mon 10-Sep-12 09:46:17

Toffee whirl-good luck with cahms and the new tutor.

I havent done much on tudors since secondry as went king henry v11 school every school house as one of the wives her killed.
Like I said when you google teaching tudors so much comes up.

Now im really exposing my inner geek here but when me and my best freind were 13 we loved history and join this we got to do a dig was great fun.

Ahh im shattered and not even 10am yet

dropped eldest off on time despite leaving house late, house looks like small bombs hit it.

dd2 in preschool uniform and ready she doesnt start until 12.35.

so im off up high street to libary as need reading challenge signed off as was shut when went last week and run coffee morning at breastfeeding group before dropping dd2 off preschool rushing home trying to clean do wahing and back at school to pick both girls up at 3.15 back home for quick tea then back out for rainbows as 1st one back for eldest.

I sound busy but breastfeeding groups one morning a month
pta and preschool committee be 1meeting per month and extra if events on. I try to bake for monthly cake sale but im rubbish at it.
No events until december I hope.

So i do about 4-5hours a month helping various things
rest of my frazzled existance is housework balancing 3, homeork, clubs and numerous school/nursery runs.

Hope everyone has good day looks like rain with me sadly.

must say its lovley thread to see how schools work in comparision with home ed and fact some of you doing a mix really useful info.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Sep-12 11:27:41

First bad day here. Was bound to happen sooner or later. DS1 absolutely refused to go to the tutor's house and said he was too anxious to go. He was very rude and absolutely infuriating, but, doubtless <struggles to be understanding> is still recovering from his sleepover. However, that does not mean he doesn't have responsibilities to other people, as I pointed out. I had to phone the tutor to cancel (he was very kind about it), then ended up walking out of the house to avoid DS1 who was shouting and swearing at me sad because he claimed this was all my fault confused. He trailed after me at a distance and we eventually talked it through in a nearby park. Trying to get through to him that he can't just decide not to do something was hard work though. He blames everyone else but himself and doesn't think anyone else suffers as he suffers.

Anyway, we have hugged and made up and are now taking a break from each other before lessons start. I suggested he write to his tutor to apologise (this means a quick lesson on informal letter writing grin), which he's agreed to do. We'll then continue as we would have done, but a bit late.

I also had DS2 wailing at me this morning because I have booked him into an afterschool dance and drama club with his best friend and he doesn't want to go. I can't do anything right today!

Thanks for the good wishes, mam. I can't wait to get onto Henry VIII and his poor wives. It's such an incredible story.

I used to get my boys to do the reading challenge. It was great fun getting all the little presents and then receiving the certificate at the end. DS1 loved it until he was about 10, then began to think it was 'uncool'. DS2 won't have anything to do with it, unfortunately. I think he's influenced by his big brother.

Rainy here too. Where has all that lovely sunshine gone?

treedelivery Mon 10-Sep-12 12:10:14


I'm new to the thread and HE smile

I have a dd nearly 8 and one in preschool too.

Here are our plans:

Our plan is to do some structured teaching but only as and when it works for the house - be that dd, me or dh. SO for example, I had lots of ideas for this week regarding teaching, however dd has infact gone to her nannas and had an extended weekend. So that's cool, she was up at 7 feeding chickens and looking after the dogs grin which is pretty cool and not to be interfered with.

For the structure 7 science, we plan to use Galore Park science book with a Schofield and Simms workbook to bulk it up and provide a plenary/extension/check for learning. We have already done about 75% of the magnets section, and we were able to bring in IT and numeracy by making charts of our experiement. Also a tiny bit of literacy as I had her write up her experiement. It was very cute grin. She enjoyed the learning, as she always does with anything science based.
I've got some iron filings so it will be interesting to see how she explains and describes the visable forcefield of a magnet a week after the actual study. If she uses some of the technical language and remembers about force fields and poles I'll be chuffed. The we can move on to compasses smile

Maths will also be Galore Park, although I need to buy the book but have no ££ blush. In reality a few weeks doing some timestables and mental maths wouldn't go amiss, but not sure either of us can face it! I might borrow the magnet experiement findings to begin to look at percentages. Hmmm.

English is my nemesis. SHe doesn't like writing, reading for meaning and all that jazz. SHe isn't a good at spelling and isn't too worried about that fact, hand writing is wild and slow and tedious. However she has a reading age of 12-14 and is reading a famous five every 2 days. I have no idea what I'll do when she finishes the 21 there are!
SO literacy is up in the air. We made a large 'story mountain', got fully crafted out and did lots of cutting etc. I plan to use that to help explain how a story develops, if getting her to write her own is too big an ask right now.

I bought the Schofield and Simms english assessment, so that will tell me which of their books she is ready for. I reckon it will be level 2, as I am pretty sure she has no notion of what a verb or an adverb is. Maybe we'll just do those until we become inspired?!?

I've met the HE group too. Hopefully I'll be able to take her to a HE local sport group although it's tricky due to work. I think I am the only working HE-er in the whole world!

I'm sorry for your hard day Toffee. I hope all is ok.

treedelivery Mon 10-Sep-12 12:10:26

Wow long post!

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Sep-12 12:44:49

Hello, treedelivery. I recognise your name (maybe from the HE board?). I like the sound of your 'flexible structured learning' grin. It sounds as if you are doing loads of interesting stuff anyway. I'm sure her spelling will come on naturally if she is reading so well. Much better to soak it up by reading than by laboriously doing spelling anyway. Re: writing - I suppose you just have to keep providing opportunities for her to do little bits of writing for fun, eg shopping lists, diary, writing clues for a treasure hunt and so on. My DS2 (same age) does a lot of writing when he's setting up games for him and his friends. He writes clues and codes. He isn't really thinking about the writing - it's just a means to an end.

We are using a lot of Galore Park stuff too, though it's for my 12-year old, so not juniors. I like it for its solid structure, but I do have to add lots of other stuff to lighten it up a bit - I don't know if this is still the case for their junior books. For instance, I'm not even going to open the Galore Park History book until we've had some fun looking at Tudor life.

It's fantastic that your DD has such a good reading age. You can make lots of trips to the library and she'll be able to soak up knowledge from all the books she can read.

How do you fit in work and HE? I know people manage it, but I'm so grateful that I'm not working and can devote all my time to the HE at the moment. It must be a tremendous juggling act.

Thanks for your kind words about my difficult morning. It has got better. DS1 has written his apology to the tutor and we will deliver it by hand this afternoon. He has also done some Maths. He was a bit startled when I said he would have to work later today because we have lots to do and we started late thanks to this morning's palaver. He would happily watch telly all day if I let him.

Having a brief break for lunch now.

Going back to the Maths in a minute, then Science, then the Tudors. Then it's time for our regular trip to CAMHS where I will have to break it to them that we have deregistered...

treedelivery Mon 10-Sep-12 13:01:05

Good luck with that grin

DD's consultant paed went pale when we told him she was coming out of school grin

I'm really glad your day has got better though and he did well writing his note. We are on the junior books and book 1 at that, so the science and maths one seems ok. Like you say, does need jazzing up and stretching over a long time

I have no idea how work and HE goes together. It probably doesn't, but it will simply have to. I work shifts which makes it all just a little bit harder too.

I remind myself that of the 5 hours at school, actual teaching and learning time - on academic subjects - is probably around an hour in 3 20 min blocks. So one-on-one teaching woth similar times ahould be ok, baring in mind she is only year 3.

So I guess I'll wing it and see hmmgrin

We are HE to secure her happiness and mental well being. I'd like to think she will surge ahead and do very well academically, but actually, all I want is for her to be giggly and happy and chilled. So that is aim number one. The rest I'll suss out. We are awaiting referral to CAMHS, she may well be at Oxbridge by the time they see her hmm

I am having great fun fantasy box file shopping. I saw an absolute beauty but it was £38!!

mam29 Mon 10-Sep-12 13:31:00

Toffee whirl-so sorry you having bad day-it could just me overtiredness not so much physical but mental as was big deal for him to socialise and have a sleepover plus tutors a new thing most kids are anxious new situations no matter what their age.

Sometimes once thrown a wobbly i feel better let it all out although frustrating for those on receiving end.

That link was club me and freind joined we even got to do a dig close to us sadly dident find gold but was interesting to do.
History is my highest grade gcse and always been one of my favourite subjects.

Hope afternoons good.

welcome tree delivery-nice to see a few structured home ed as most uk ones on blogs seem to prefer autonomy i think advantages of either method and could combine bit of both

I love look of galore park but it above my year 2 child so saving up for singapore maths and science instead. Maye in few years time.

good luck with home ed sounds like good plans.

Well baby bit underweather so slept this moring and toddler dident mash any small babies at group.

Then went to libary and got summer reading challenge signed off.
they got medals, swim voucher and certificate.
todder very pleased then had to dash preschool she was exited about idea of going but at nursery shes nightmare dropping off so was anticipating tears.

But she went rushing in , hung stuff on peg, chatted to staff saying wanted to paint, showed off her medal and said ye mummy see you later-wasent expecting that.

On way out saw all infants in playground couldent see my ddd probably just as well as once looked and saw her by herself in playground and felt so sad about it .

Did see head , he smiled said hello et hes baffled about thursday appointment as dident tell receptionists what its about maybe if he thinks in his head its worse than actually is he be reliveed and agree.

My mam was like that when told her i was smoking. she thourght I was pregnant-was 18 at time must add not 14.

so now baby having some quiet play whilst I do big whirwind tidy before I pick up both girlies, thank god its same site but does look like rain.

eldest be pleased when sees her medal and certificate.
cant do much tonight as she has rainbows but hoping she has new book and teacher read my note in homework book.

Im sat here think why do they have to grow so flipping fast.
Had interesting conversation with libary staff think they have me down as deranged hippy and mad woman with 3kids, back there by myself to print off stuff wed for thursdays meeting.

so need new printer would enrich my life as keep seeing free printables.

treedelivery Mon 10-Sep-12 14:01:01

Hello mam29 - thank you for the welcome.

My dd has just left year 2 and is fairly ok with the junior Galore parks books, although they are certainly a dip in and out of type thing, have you looked at the 'so you really want to learn junior' ? They are aimed at key stage 2, I feel the science book 1 is pretty ok. If you look on the galore website it lets you see a few pages.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Sep-12 16:36:59

The psychiatrist was fine about us deregistering shock, though concerned about DS1 becoming socially isolated. I reassured her with our plans for trips out with friends and meetings with other home educators. She gave us some useful contacts, including someone who does 'farm therapy', which DS1 might be interested in.

Worked DS1 very hard this morning, spurred on by anger at his behaviour this morning. Then I made him help me tidy up the kitchen afterwards <tough love emoticon>. Will include that under 'life skills' wink.

We did Maths, Biology (taught him the acronym, MRSGREN, so that he could remember the seven life processes) and then Tudor History. He loved hearing about the gory facts, so that seems to have been a good entry into Tudor times for him. Am going to continue reading 'Horrible Histories' to him later in the week.

Starting on the life processes of plants tomorrow. Thought I'd show him a time-lapse video of a plant moving (it can be difficult to understand why plants qualify as having 'movement' until you see that).

Need to plan what we're doing for English and Maths tomorrow, but just off to collect DS2 now. I wonder how the drama club went...

morethanpotatoprints Mon 10-Sep-12 20:01:14

Wow what a fun packed day, ours wasn't or doesn't sound so productive.

We did spelling list for the week and sentences. Then violin lesson (teacher arrived).
I played (rubbish piano) to accompany singing practice, then saxophone lesson from dh.
Went to chemist during lunch but ran over waiting for prescription. So due to reading so many helpful threads on here did 10 mins of adding subtracting whilst waiting.
We started Italian but couldn't get docs to open so need to look at cd, had stand by though and did powerpoint on family relationships.
We were then supposed to do more Maths or English but left it there as so tired.
Then took dd to dance class (Ballet and National).
She is now listening to the virtues of Coleman Hawkins, Dexter Gordon and Charlie Parker, dh loves home ed, lol.
She still needs to do her diary, read to me and then I'll read to her before bed. See you all later.

Colleger Mon 10-Sep-12 21:52:27

7am Breakfast
7:30am bassoon practice
8:00am maths (15 sums) Rosetta French (5mins)
Read books of his choosing inbetween breaks - its never forced or suggested!
9:00am bassoon
9:30am composing - his choice
Lost an hour so not sure what happened between 10-11am EEK!
11am computer - blowing people up. Sigh...
12noon lunch
12:30pm Latin tutor
1:30pm reading
2pm bassoon practice
2:40pm piano practice
3pm documentary
4pm bassoon practice
4:30pm reading
6-9pm blowing people up...

So 2.5 hours music practice, 1 hour Latin and 20mins academic work. The rest was him reading, PC, eating. In fairness, I have the flu and none of the home ed groups have started back but what a waste of a day!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 10-Sep-12 22:16:36


Show off.
I think your bassoon practice time is fab, you are either detached house, have brilliant neighbours or are very brave.
I thought you were going to say you had done very little as your last post I saw just mentioned Latin tutor. I remember thinking you sounded so laid back and stress free, also wishing I could be the same. Sorry you are poorly chuck, get better soon.

Helenagrace Mon 10-Sep-12 22:25:51

Today we did 45 minutes of 11+ maths (pie charts and graphs) then 45 minutes English (mostly spelling strategies). After a break we did some reading then an hour of WW2 history (lead up to war, timeline, reading some mass observation diaries and some Internet radio archive clips). Then we ended up with Geography on the weather. We found the last weeks midday readings from our nearest weather station. Tomorrow we are doing manual graphs with this and then excel work creating multi-variable graphs.

Tomorrow afternoon we start making DD's dress for her DT project!

We had a bit of grumping about geography but mostly today was good.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Sep-12 00:08:37

more - I am impressed that you fitted in 10 minutes of mental maths whilst waiting in the chemist. Mind you, I did get DS1 to add up the cost of our shopping in the local shop this afternoon, thinking it tied in neatly with his mental maths practise today. I wouldn't normally do that; the home ed is making me see educational opportunities everywhere.

Colleger - waste of a day? Blimey. If DS1 did half that I'd think he'd been taken over by aliens. I am reassured to see that your DS spends a significant amount of time on the PC which makes me feel less guilty about my own son. Very sorry you have flu, by the way. I hope you can rest. Don't do what I did and keep going regardless (ended up with pneumonia a few weeks ago).

Helen - that looks like a really good and varied day again smile. Are you enjoying it?

Am so impressed by those of you with musical children. DS1 tried Suzuki violin when he was five and it was an experience never to be repeated for either of us. DS1 does have a good voice and he sang to me this evening. I keep praising him for it and he's growing in confidence. I would love it if he wanted singing lessons one day, but he gets anxious at the thought and won't let me pursue it for him.

I have sorted out the Maths for tomorrow (just revision of stuff to get DS1 back in the mood) and we'll work through a Galore Park exercise for English. We are doing Art (history of) in the afternoon. I thought we'd read through the beginning of Usborne's 'Introduction to Art', then have a browse through the National Gallery website. Am hoping to persuade DS1 to visit the gallery one day, but that'll be a big challenge for him.

Colleger Tue 11-Sep-12 07:56:27

A very good maths series for 9-14 year olds is Peter Robson, Maths for Practice and Revision books 1-5. It goes from the basics up to some GCSE topics in a very easy, no nonsense way to understand and to teach, although a child could potentially self teach.

We are currently working on books 1 and 3 at the same time but literally only doing between 10 and 15 sums from each. My son has always struggles with maths so I needed to go back to basics. My gifted son ate these books up when he was only five so it's a good all round book for the strugglers and the able.

My biggest issue is trying to teach Hist/geo/English etc. Give me science and maths and I'm fine but I wouldn't know where to start with the former and as such we've not done anything. I'm contemplating an English tutor.

Colleger Tue 11-Sep-12 07:56:47

A very good maths series for 9-14 year olds is Peter Robson, Maths for Practice and Revision books 1-5. It goes from the basics up to some GCSE topics in a very easy, no nonsense way to understand and to teach, although a child could potentially self teach.

We are currently working on books 1 and 3 at the same time but literally only doing between 10 and 15 sums from each. My son has always struggles with maths so I needed to go back to basics. My gifted son ate these books up when he was only five so it's a good all round book for the strugglers and the able.

My biggest issue is trying to teach Hist/geo/English etc. Give me science and maths and I'm fine but I wouldn't know where to start with the former and as such we've not done anything. I'm contemplating an English tutor.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Sep-12 09:22:30

Thanks for that recommendation, Colleger. I have just added Book 1 and the answer book to my Amazon wishlist (am trying not to spend any more money on home ed at the moment, but weakened by buying a handwriting practise book last night, so really have to hold back from anything else for now).

An English tutor sounds like a good idea if it's not a subject you feel confident in teaching yourself. I will certainly need to do that for Maths.

Hopefully, today will be quite straightforward. I am most worried about teaching Art History, but decided this morning that we'd focus on Leonardo da Vinci after we'd looked at the National Gallery. That fits in nicely with the Tudor History topic and I have a lapbook printed out on him already.

Just off to share croissants for breakfast with DS1 smile, then we'll start by reading.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Sep-12 18:04:09

Quiet on here today....

AM: we shared the reading of 'Shadow', then struggled through Maths (DS1 has either forgotten anything school ever taught him or he just never learnt certain stuff), watched alien-like plants growing and moving on YouTube for Biology (DS particularly enjoyed the carnivorous ones, eg Venus Fly Trap) and practised handwriting. Whilst tracing over his letters, DS told me that he was once sent to detention when he was six because he didn't want to draw a 'k' with a loop shock. The school has, thankfully, abolished detention since then. It seems like a very odd thing for the teacher to get so het up about confused.

After lunch, we looked at a book about the history of art, then I read to him from a website about Leonardo da Vinci. It gave a good child-friendly overview of his life, plus suggestions for activities. DS1 said it was very relaxing listening to me reading. Soon after, he fell asleep grin. Hmm, maybe I need to work on a more dynamic presentation!

DS1 still suffering from his sleepover. He wasn't able to visit his grandma this afternoon or go to a dr's appointment because he felt too anxious. It's as if he's used up his week's quota of strength all in one go. Taking school out of the equation takes a huge burden off all of us. At least we can accommodate his needs at home when he's like this.

Quite a good day overall though. I can see that it will be a matter of 'little and often'. We don't spend ages on any one thing, but hopefully it will all add up to a significant amount of learning in the long run.

Hope everyone else has had a good day too.

Helenagrace Tue 11-Sep-12 19:54:47

Mixed day here. Good morning - maths, English and science (static electricity & some fab YouTube videos). This afternoon we started the dress. I thought she'd be really excited but she found all the prep really dull. I don't want to do it for her - sometimes life is dull & she needs to learn that. She got a bit grumpy. I reminded her that she wouldn't have a choice in school. Eventually she changed her tune.

Ah well tomorrow is another day...

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Sep-12 20:17:12

Well done for getting through it, Helen. At least your DD changed her tune in the end. DS1 complained that I was being too 'teacherly' today, but I did have to remind him, several times, to pay attention.

YouTube clips are great, aren't they? I had no idea what we'd find when I searched for clips on time-lapse photos of plants growing, but we ended up watching all sorts of good films. Must do more of that.

I have made plans for tomorrow. I'm falling into a routine of planning every evening. I like knowing what we're doing the next day.

TyrannosaurusBex Tue 11-Sep-12 20:47:07

Hi everyone! Is anybody else neglecting the housework horribly because of HE? At the moment I'm flat out between work, HE, school, DDs, PTA, homework and getting food on the table and clean clothes on everyone's back, then spend my evenings planning what DD1 will do next day, looking at learning materials on the net, writing notes for my meeting with LEA and, ahem, doing this blush

Or is it just me?

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Sep-12 21:42:42

No, it's not just you, TBex. At present, the dirty breakfast stuff just sits on the kitchen counters until the afternoon. We are lucky if any washing gets done. Forget hoovering.

I have to admit, though, that preparing for home ed is a lot more interesting than housework. And I often stay up too late googling materials for the next day.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Sep-12 21:44:07

and getting clean clothes on everybody's back. No clean school shirts for DS2 this morning blush. I had to squeeze him into one that was aged 5 (he's nearly 7 blush).

Colleger Tue 11-Sep-12 22:08:29

I would love to post a pic of what my son looked like doing his maths today. I didn't have a shower until 4pm! blush

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Sep-12 22:13:24

Please describe it, Colleger!

I usually wash my hair everyday, but just didn't have time today. It really wasn't a priority.

Are we now all unwashed and living in untidy houses? blush

TyrannosaurusBex Tue 11-Sep-12 22:27:32

Apparently so. HAPPY untidy houses, though! grin

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Sep-12 22:39:41


morethanpotatoprints Tue 11-Sep-12 22:50:30


My house is a tip but managed the shower. I am just so shattered but think it will get easier for us all when we either become more laid back, experienced or routined. It reminds me of my first days teaching in terms of concentrating on fitting things in, planning etc. That too became easier after a while. Huge difference theres no stress really with Home ed and if there is its only our own dcs.

mam29 Tue 11-Sep-12 22:50:39

tree delivery-dd lower stage of keystage 1 think she need to be hitting average level keystage 2 ie 2a to get on with galore park.
Glad everyones having ok day.

My house is a tip and im dont fully home ed.

Ahh tuesday and feeling bit burnt out already. took younger 2 to craft group.

took my preschooler to 1st ballet session-soo proud.

day the spoilt by bus system falling to standstill
speedwalking whilst carrying baby as toddler fell asleep in single bed,
Phone cal from freind tellinng me buses messed up like I dont know can I pick up her dd.

Get school on time

baby toddling round playground throwing tired tantrums.
preschooler asleep.
picked up 2girls
the got called into class room to speak teacher think oh god wht did I or my child do wrong today.
Told girls play on field together meet back at buggy.

Get out of classroom daughter comes running up to me and teacher shes lost her freind which means I lost my freinds child.
That made me look great in front teachers and other parents
careless enough losing my own child.

Panic over after 5mins trawling the plaground she ran off to junior playground walked all 4 home getting looks like look at that nutter with 4kids.Dont know how childminders cope.

anyway nitty gritty.

why was I called into class room?
Its because I dared write a note in homework book saying

1)daughter read this book well and comprehended the story.

I would anticipate her getting 2-3 reading books a night as we read daily to then be told that the teacher decided what book child should get!

I never said dd should be on this level.
What i meant was if she managed one book with ease she should go onto next book simples.

Which ties into conversation yesterday about not letting advanced reader told not to read whole book as they might get too far ahead.

so thats bday 5 over im and already stressed and confused.

wondering if heads mentioned in passing to dds teacher that I have an appointment.

She went on about how dd would get extra reading support.

But what abiout her blooming numeracy thats worse despite carols help.

I need to spend least 3hours at libaray tommorow preparing and printing off stuff for heads meeting.

Im quite nervous that he may say no.

dd seems tired and grumpy.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Sep-12 23:15:40

morethan - I'm sure you're right. Home ed is new to us all at the moment, so all our routines have changed. I am really enjoying it though, even the challenging bits.

mam - I have had that awful experience of losing a friend's child in the playground and looking like the worst mum ever (child ran off after I called him over to me, so I still insist that it wasn't my fault. GRR).

I don't quite follow the issue with your DD's reading book. But if school are not giving her challenging enough books for homework, I would just quietly let them get on with it whilst I borrowed the appropriate books for her from the library. Not worth falling out with the teacher over, in my experience. Your DD will get loads of exposure to books in your household, I imagine.

I hope you find all the stuff you need for the meeting when you go to the library tomorrow.

Just going to type up a page on plant life for DS1 to fill in tomorrow. It covers plant reproduction. Am intending to take him to our local park to collect and identify seeds, using a seed dial I printed off and made from The Woodland Trust website. Thought it would be more interesting for him than sitting at a table filling in worksheets. Am also going to suggest he try keeping a nature journal, like Leonardo da Vinci, but I suspect that will go down like a lead balloon. It would be so much easier if he were several years younger and a bit less cynical.

TyrannosaurusBex Tue 11-Sep-12 23:19:08

That kind of day sounds horribly familiar mam. Can't understand the problem with your dd having more books if she's racing through them easily. It sucks so badly when you get shown up in front of teachers and parents, too!...
On a brighter note, baby ballet is so cute, isn't it? My DD3 started on Saturday. Aaaahhhhh!

Morethan, colleger and toffee, glad to hear we are all wallowing in HE filth together, I think Morethan is right that we'll adjust to the routine soon. Toffee's right about HE being more interesting than housework, but I have a horrible feeling that DD2's Pants With The Scratchy Label might get a rare outing tomorrow due to the laundry backlog.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 12-Sep-12 11:13:51

I have a very unwilling, tricky pupil today. However, we have been for a walk in a local park and identified seeds and fruit as part of our studies on plant reproduction. DS1 was much more interested in telling me about how he planned to save up for a gaming computer though <sigh>.

Have also read some more of 'Shadow'.

Getting DS1 to do any written work is proving more difficult.

Colleger Wed 12-Sep-12 12:48:28

Learning maths and finance through computing - see, he is learning!

We got up a whole hour late at 8am and it really has scuppered some of our plans so we will be up at 7am tomorrow. I am still very sick though and just couldn't get out of bed.

We've only managed half the bassoon practice and piano isn't even started yet. He has done a work sheet and experiment on expansion of solids though (brass ball and ring), 30 sums and four Latin questions. Still to do Rosetta French, bassoon, piano, music theory, swim club, organ lesson. Something's got to give today and somehow I don't think it will be playing on the PC!!!

Jamillalliamilli Wed 12-Sep-12 15:44:31

I don’t know if this is any help to those with older students or not, (mine has SEN’s, doing A levels and basics, and life skills all together) ime once they hit a certain age, you do very much have to run with what actually interests them (that includes watching films and gaming) and build on it rather than try to enthuse them into what you think they need/want or like. (Boy’s in particular)

Amongst our ‘older’ h/e is Cryptology, (Bletchley park and enigma as a starting point) 3d Max (professional computer animation programme) Electronics, (especially stripping down, rebuilding bits of computers) Mechanics (you can pick up old gear boxes etc for pennies) Driving skills (since 14) Sound engineering, (live and using sound forge software) Psychology (that was a big surprise!) Textiles and tailoring (we’re broke but he’s a bit of a peacock!) Film (especially directors and how stories are told) and Design (how engineers get from thought’s to product) it’s mainly very ‘boy centric’ which goes with the territory.

Toffee we got into mathematical modelling and programing (now dropped in favour of maths) starting with an interest in gaming. You might find something you could adapt here:

H/E doesn’t half create clutter! (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it, I may just be a slattern.blush) Looks forward to seeing half the ‘new H/Edders’ on Fly Lady thread soon! grin

morethanpotatoprints Wed 12-Sep-12 15:48:55


Please cut yourself some slack, you are clearly poorly. We only start at 8.30 and at present I don't think shes learnt anything. The history went down well as she did the bbc Egypt puzzle and games plus read a bit too. Its a great site.
Apart from that the only thing going well is the music practice and even there we haven't fit any aural or theory in this week.
I thought there would be alot more time to fit stuff in but if anything we are running out of time. I don't know where I am going wrong.
I was talking to dh about practice today and he advised me to make sure she does just 5 min on each piece, scale, sight reading etc and make sure it proper practice. I can't see it working but he seems to know what he's talking about so I'd better try it tomorrow. The philosophy seems to be intensive 5 min adds up to 30 min doodling around. Then if they want to doodle later the hard work/ learning has already taken place.
I'm still not convinced about the Italian but the cd has decoded now, all I need to do is fathom a way of loading it, which it seems to not want to do.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 12-Sep-12 15:50:50

Hmm, Colleger, he may be learning something from computing, but I don't think it will help him get his GCSE Maths (he'd get a degree in Minecraft if it was available, though wink).

We struggled through Maths and Biology today. Also did a bit of handwriting. DS1 was not in the slightest bit interested in any of it and his mind wandered all over the place. It was extremely hard to keep him focused. I had to go out to do some errands and left him some work to get on with, but he refused to do it whilst I was out. Said he could only do it if I went through it with him. I'm sure he should be able to do more independent work by now.

Colleger - you need to allow yourself to get better if you are so sick. If you are like me, you feel like you must keep going regardless, but it won't do you any good in the long run. Could you maybe have a rest in the afternoon whilst you are feeling so ill? In fact, a day off home ed wouldn't do your son any harm and it would probably do you the world of good. Anyway, I hope you feel better soon.

Helenagrace Wed 12-Sep-12 16:14:01

Good day here. Trampolining then RE then English. DD was quiet in the car on the way back from trampolining and I asked her if she was ok and she said she was devising an A-Z of WW2 in her head to help her remember it!

Had a letter from LA as well today. Can't believe how positive it is! They also sent me a leaflet outlining the law (and only the law). It clearly states that I don't have to have a timetable, follow the national curriculum or have structured lessons. I don't have to give them any information and I can contact them if I want anything :0

Day off tomorrow for DD's birthday. I'm doing a mediation tomorrow (I'm a family mediator for a youth charity) and then we're off out to Blackpool illuminations - soooo much quieter in the week.

Colleger Wed 12-Sep-12 16:59:47

The day has got easier. Managed to fit everything in and eventhough he didn't want to try the organ and was huffing - bear in mind he'd asked for lessons three months ago and forgot and is now denying it hmm - he told me it was great and why am I always right about knowing what makes him happy. We will have a similar argument tomorrow over something else. Sigh...

I never knew how much could be learned with a half hour organ lesson. History, French and German (don't ask) and maths, lots of complicated maths. Then the physics of sound. More talking and less playing but I was impressed! smile

He's off to a home ed flexi school tomorrow i.e. playing in the woods all day, so I'm counting that as his day off! Well, from 10am onwards!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 12-Sep-12 17:10:28

Really glad its going well for you, it all seems to have slot into place. I think sometimes I am expecting too much considering its early days yet. Your dd is clearly enjoying her history topic as she is doing outside her normal school times, which is great. Huge respect to you.
I have written a letter to our LA, not sure we will get the same reception as you. They have a proposal form on website that you are supposed to fill in. It annoyed me that it asked how many hours and what subjects they were doing. What assessment techniques we would use. I wrote a nice letter asking if school had advised them we were H.ed, including a brief philosophy and why we had decided. I said even though we weren't following nc to the letter much of what we did regarding subjects were. I said if didn't hear from them in 3 weeks I would presume they were happy with info we provided. Also due to dh tutoring from home and other restrictions I would not accept home visits planned or otherwise. Hope you enjoy the illuminations, we have promised to go this year.

chocolatecrispies Wed 12-Sep-12 22:27:05

I am a new home educator too but have so far found this thread too intimidating to post, is there anyone out there taking an informal learning approach or am I alone?

Colleger Wed 12-Sep-12 22:53:58

Apart from the music, which is the reason we took DS out of school, I think I'm informal when it comes to academics. My son really does very little and it amounts to less than an hour a day and we aren't doing history, geography, English, French (well not in a meaningful way), RS. We may be doing some science but it takes about 10-15 mins max. So far, HE has really been him reading, playing on the PC and music practice with a sprinkling of academics.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 13-Sep-12 00:13:24

Oh, chocolatecrispies, that isn't the intention of this thread at all! I'm sorry it makes you feel like that. It is for any home educators starting out, not just structured home educators.

Personally, I can't take an informal approach with my DS1 because I just can't live like that. I need to know what I'm doing every day. I also don't think it would work for him, as he needs a lot of boundaries and routines. And, finally, because he is nearly 13, I am aware of the possibility that he might need to reintegrate into school at some time (though I think this is unlikely) and that he needs to prepare for GCSEs. However, I know that informal learning works brilliantly for lots of home educators and I would probably be doing it more like that if DS1 was younger.

How old is/are your DC?

Helenagrace Thu 13-Sep-12 00:36:19

chocolatecrispies* please don't be intimidated.. Informal learning is great.. This thread is for everyone who is just starting out. it's lovely having the support.

MoreCatsThanKids Thu 13-Sep-12 02:24:08

chocolatecrispies - very informal approach here so I dont post cos theres nothing to post grin
toffee - DD has had a bit of an anxiety 'relapse' too - couldnt face her check up today as they would weigh her and she thinks she has gotten 'fat' over summer - um perhaps a bit of extra weight but she has had two operations since May and wasnt allowed to swim or use her trampoline all that timesad Glad your DS psych is supportive of HEd
On plus side DD has made (very short) list of 'HE I want to do first' , and has been using a Maths app and a French one (when she thinks Im not looking) but she has had a wobbly about the Drama class that starts tomorrow so that will be a no go I think. I have bought subscription to BBC history magazine online version so again she can look at it without me seeing what she is doing - I have bought a couple of back issues (including the Richard the third cover - yes toffee I am watching that car park !)

O could introduce self a bit whilst here - have one DD aged 13 (going on 35) - we dereg'd in April after DDs health issues meant her attendance was too low - long story short - school wanted her to attend, we beleived this was phsically very hard and mentally impossible - we asked that they let her go back after she had recovered from surgery (we were on waiting list for it but no date) they could not accept this so it was bye bye. Health issues made us decide to HE but most likely would have anyway - DD is square peg in round hole. School extreemly high achieving/difficult to get in to so was difficult to let go of the place she worked so hard for but it was right thing to do.
Anyway <yawn> its late and I have bored you all. I dont get on here much (usually when in bed) anf typing bad as on ipod so apilogirs for lack of personals < must try harder B minus>
nite all

Colleger Thu 13-Sep-12 09:15:07

I wonder what I should class as HE and what is not. The things we did when DS was at school, would that be classed as HE or just extra curric in terms of formal/structured HE'ers?

I thought about this because of one of the posters feeling intimidated by the formal approach. Then I thought that apart from 20-30 simple sums, 10 mins on Rosetta French and our science experiments, everything else was already part of our routine but just uncomfortably crammed in. Now it's spread out so we look as if we're doing loads when we're actually doing very little.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 13-Sep-12 09:56:23

JustGetting - sorry, I don't know how, but I missed your earlier post about having to run with older DC's interests. It makes sense, except I'm worried about DS1 taking his GCSEs and surely he needs to put the work in to get those? He really struggles at Maths, so I am insisting that he sticks at it. I will have a proper look at the Nrich website. Our LEA woman recommended that too!

I agree that I need to get better at making the work seem more attractive to DS1 though. It's trial and error at the moment. Hopefully, I'll get better at it as I learn. I like the idea of 'strewing', eg. leaving out interesting magazines that DS can stumble across.

MoreCats - sorry you're DD is having an anxiety relapse too. It's a shame she's worried about her weight at her young age. Sorry you had to miss an appointment because of her worries. It is so frustrating, isn't it?

They have found bones in the car park, by the way! Very informative thread running about it now smile. Am now wondering whether to read 'Daughter of Time' by Josephine Tey as part of my Tudor History research, after it was mentioned on the thread.

Must get going, as I have a dental appointment later this morning which will interrupt the home ed.

Happy Birthday to MiniHelen today. Enjoy the Blackpool illuminations grin.

Colleger - as your son is out today (does that count as Forest School?), can you rest a bit so you can get over your flu? It sounds like you need to.

morethan - I have trouble fitting everything in too. I have to keep nagging DS1 to concentrate on his work, otherwise he'll wander off and all those lost minutes add up to hours. Like you, we seem to have so much to fit in.

mam, TBex - how's it going today?

chocolatecrispies - I hope you come back. As I hope you can see, we are not intimidating!

false - you were our first poster. Did we scare you off too? sad

I think maybe I'm worrying too much about DS1 keeping up with school. But I am so conscious of needing to have his work to show to family, not to mention the LEA, and of the fact that he needs to make progress. I really do feel the burden of responsibility - it's all up to me now! Eeek!

ToffeeWhirl Thu 13-Sep-12 09:57:47

MoreCats - your DD, not you're. Tsk tsk. Sorry.

mam29 Thu 13-Sep-12 12:55:09

Sorry not been around been busy few days,

eldest hamster bit baby this morning

toddler kicked off at nursery.

Been to libary to print stuff

Then had 11am with the head.

Was bit nervous.

presented out case in calm postive way.

did get the she has god teacher this year and specialist music/gym teacher on thursday and she would miss all that,

Anyway hes speaking to senco
other teachers
our lawho already cofirmed to me they have no objections.

They have never done it before.
he mentioned freinds child doing afternoon french school which is actually all day.

will be waiting game now.

he seemed impressed with eveidence of work we did over summer and our reasons, hopefull not to negative about school.
we have another meeting arranged next thursday.

Hope everyones ok

ToffeeWhirl Thu 13-Sep-12 14:14:41

mam - that sounds like a really positive meeting smile <crosses fingers for good result>. I'm sure all your hard work in preparing and the evidence of work you presented paid off.

Had to fit in dental appointment, extra school run (to administer antibiotic medicine to DS2 because school won't do it) and trip to post office this morning. DS1 did work on his handwriting first thing. He really likes the wipe-on/wipe-off board with letter formations on it - finds it relaxing - and is already beginning to write the letters correctly at last. He also did the first page of a new handwriting book I'd bought for him - and actually produced lovely, neat letters shock.

Left him doing MyMaths online whilst I went out, which does mean that I don't really know how much he did. DH has been here, but said he wasn't sure whether DS was working or not.

Bought a very nice hardback sketchbook which will serve as our Science project book. Am looking forward to sticking in photos and notes.

DS1 is still very fragile. He panicked whilst I was out and was in tears in case something had happened to me, in spite of DH's reassurances. He rings me regularly whilst I'm out to check that I'm ok and this time he couldn't get through. I looked at all the children in playgrounds at schools on the way home and thought how impossible it would be for DS to join in with any of them sad.

Anyway, I have less than an hour before the school run, so will try to do something with DS before then.

chocolatecrispies Thu 13-Sep-12 19:00:44

I am back! Mine are young it's true (4 and 1) but also deeply non-compliant and averse to anything structured. I am trying hard to step back from feeling I need to plan anything or decide what ds needs to do and to follow his interests instead - all his friends have started school this week and so are beginning phonics and reading schemes. The main reason I want to HE is to get away from the terrible tedium i remember from school of learning for the test, or having to learn something because someone else decided it was useful. I want my children to retain their love of learning but i am not sure it is possible. So I think I am Deschooling and I do find it frightening to read about how much you are all doing from textbooks as I am planning to hopefully do completely without them!

TyrannosaurusBex Thu 13-Sep-12 21:42:39

Evening all! Really great couple of days here, spent yesterday at the boulangerie and then the beach, doing some work outside in between picking blackberries and swimming, and made loads of progress in numeracy. DD1 read a book to DD3 and she is picking up quite a lot of French. Tonight she said apropos of nothing to me, "I love you so incredibly much," which is just the sort of sweet thing she used to say before she went to school, when her personality changed literally overnight. I heard that a couple of mums at school are having a bit of a moan about what I'm doing, but I'm happy to find I really don't care.

Hi, chocolatecrispies! I think one reason some of us seem to be doing things quite formally is because we are all new to HE. Lord knows I'm no expert, but a lot of the books I read over the summer mentioned that lots of people start off taking quite a formal approach to learning, but relax into a more freestyle education as they gain more experience and confidence. I'm doing quite a bit of structured lesson time, largely because that's the deal I made with DH, but if I'd been brave enough to HE from the start (as I wanted to) I don't think I would have been nearly as formal as I currently am. I'm doing French and History in an extremely laid back way and letting her read whatever she likes, and those are the things she loves most and is making most progress in. Good for you for doing it your way.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 13-Sep-12 21:47:34

Chocolate crispies.

My apologies if I was one that frightened you away. To be honest the extensive planning, time tabling, resource collecting isn't really working. I have realised that a bit of formality will be good for us in short term but longer term I would like dd to choose what she wants to do. The only reason I did all this in the first place was because I had no faith in an autonomous approach. I know so many say it works for them and I even thought as my dd is creative it would be a good approach for her. But I chickened out and went for the formal approach. Already she doesn't want to do science and is asking for more Italian and History. So I guess we could end up moving to a less structured approach.
Are science and Geography important?

Colleger Thu 13-Sep-12 21:52:29

My son asked to do English the other day. I'm so bloody useless at English that I told him to go an write a story. He said no and would put up with my chemistry instead. Is that autonomous? Lol!

Helenagrace Thu 13-Sep-12 23:49:48

DD has chosen her topics herself. We are structured because DD asked to be. We are slowly relaxing a little. She's really interested in WW2 for history do she is researching that herself.

Just because we're using textbooks doesn't mean we're slavishly following them. I've used the data handling section of her maths book to devise activities for next week. We're doing a pie chart based on the percentage of electricity generated by different means to link with our science topic and a bar chart of UK rainfall by region to link with our weather topic. I'm using the books to gauge the standard we're aiming for and then looking to create similar actinides which link to her interests.

I couldn't be fully autonomous. It wouldn't suit her or me. It's horses for courses.

I get the feeling I'm considered very weird in our local HE circle.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 14-Sep-12 00:58:38

Glad you've come back, chocolatecrispies smile. If I was just starting out in HE with young children, I wouldn't be doing structured HE either. And, as TBex rightly points out, those new to HE (and with older DC) tend to do things in a formal way at first.

I certainly haven't relaxed yet. I feel this constant nagging worry that we're not doing enough. We did so little today, thanks to me having to rush off and do errands and DS refusing to work independently, that I have told him we'll have to work tomorrow morning now too. Luckily, he seems to have forgotten that Friday is meant to be his day off structured work.

As I get more experienced, I do fully intend to provide more of what DS1 wants to do, rather than imposing my ideals on him. Today, I had him working on the MyMaths website until he said please could he go on MangaMaths because it was so much more fun. He was right and it suited him down to the ground - lots of computer games, but all teaching maths.

Managed to fit in a bit more home ed sneakily at bedtime, by reading 'Shadow' to him as a bedtime story. DS1 wanted to know about the places discussed, so I fetched the atlas and pointed out Afghanistan and surrounding countries.

Am going to keep things low key tomorrow as DS is still too nervy for a big trip out. I thought we'd go for a walk locally (it's meant to be sunny) and practise using an O/S map.

TBex - it sounds like you are both having a wonderful time smile. I'm glad to hear you're not taking any notice of the moany mums. Why on earth would they be bothered, or is it that they feel HE is a criticism of their choice to send their children to school? So silly.

morethan - hmm, I am treating Science as important because I think DS1 should get at least one Science GCSE. However, I am doing my best to find more interesting ways to teach it than DS filling in workbooks. Am less bothered about Geography, though we are still covering it.

Colleger - grin at your teaching of English! Fancy your son asking for it though. I can't imagine my DS asking me to teach him anything.

Helen - I agree with you about not slavishly following textbooks. They are useful tools, but not to be plodded through page by page.

DS1 is having a wobble about the prospect of meeting up with other home-educated children. I worry about him not mixing with other children enough, although he is perfectly happy at home with us. He has one best friend and that's it. That's all he wants, but I hate him being so dependent on one boy.

Am nodding off here. Night all.

MoreCatsThanKids Fri 14-Sep-12 02:12:00

OK - todays 'Home Ed' (and not a workbook in sight chocolatecrispies grin)
DD got up at 11.30 as she had a bad night. Made her own lunch and did the Maths for her meds she takes with meals.
Watched 'Why Didnt they Ask Evans' and discussed differences to book which she read recently and I have read several times. Discussed why the differences may have been made and whether they spoilt story. Discussed changes made between other books and film/TV adaptations. (DD wants to be an Shakespearean actress, no less grin)
Discussed nutritional merits of potential breakfasts as I needed to do weekly shop online.
DD played various dancing and sporys games on Wii whilst I did shopping.
Used Maths Wizard App (and acheived Maths Wizard level - yay!) whilst I cooked evening meal.
Listened whilst I wittered on about Richard Third and his bones over the meal (I may have already mentioned thr subject a few times hmm)
Wotked out meds for evening meal
Wrote in journal
Read The Hobbit in bed
Listened to A Series of Unfortunate Events (again) in bed.
Still asleep at 1.48 (now)

I call that educational but I also call that living your life. And it is certainly appropriate for what DD wants to do with her life (act) and what we as parents want for her (to be happy). Dont think she would have acheived as much if she had gone to school (especially after the bad night before).

So there you have it - tomorrow will be much the same though (as she is asleep now) Im hoping for an earlier start and that she will eat breakfast. hmm

toffee DD doesnt want to go to any HE groups yet either - they dont seem to be well attended by teen girls around here either so bit tricky. She does prefer company of adults - is this necessarily a bad thing? hmm

mam - sorry I havent kept up with this thread properly but I think you are trying to flexi school? Sounds like you might be successful - I hope so - we werent able to do it but did look in to it at one stage. Sounds like you were well prepared which can only help your cause!

Sorry lack other personals, its 2am so need to get some zzzz's.

Have a good day tomorrow peeps

Helenagrace Fri 14-Sep-12 07:17:31

I got collared by one of our governors yesterday. She wanted to have a moan about something but she ended up offering me a scheme of work on the book DD is currently reading ("Boy" by Roald Dahl). I won't follow it all but it has some comprehension exercises and creative writing prompts in it which I might use. She also offered me some exercises for use of commas, colons and semi-colons (currently our nemesis!). She's head of English in a school and very supportive of HE.

Blackpool illuminations was a fun trip. We ended up queuing so we discussed Coastal erosion on the East Coast of England, as you do. Not a textbook in sight grin.

Today is going to be a bit more rollercoaster maths, creative writing, weather and fun static electricity experiments. Well that's what we discussed yesterday!

Trampolining again tonight (=coffee and book for me grin). DS started hockey on Wednesday and declared it the best fun ever (=more coffee and book time for me).

mam29 Fri 14-Sep-12 07:33:47

Tbex-is the boulangerie a local bakery? I heard you mention it in other posts.

Chocolate crispies-think you have to do approach that works best for you always get impression with home education that the structured home eders are outnumber by the autonomous ones and a few of the groups are mostly autonomous.

Me personally im not a naturally organised person.
but having no hekp with 3kids, hubby working long hours I need structure and routine in my life to help keep things flowing, im a huge fan of writing lists half the jobs never get completed by find it reassuring as have tendancy to be scatty mainly as im so tired and trying to juggle so many commitments.

I think even a rough list of topics ie

shapes, colours, letters-as thats what middle dd seems to have learnt in nursery.

I get impression homeed with very young kids can be fun.
Im not sure how I would feel about secondry as I hated high school.

Also I think quite a few have had rough stressful time at school as not met their educational personal needs so as a parent you are keen to ensure what they get at home is better than they would receive at home and dont think fact home ed is less stressful its just different if that makes sense.

ie before parents evening at school-you hope your childs done well this year and if they havent you ask teacher why is this?

with home ed i guess you not just asking this question near report/exam, parenst evening you asking it daily or weekly as parents responsability and other people who dont home can be negative.

everyone sounds so busy and like they doing fantastic work.

toffee whirl-yes was positive, was lots of prep and libary printer hates the guadian and wouldnet print off those articles.

Its not been a straight no , I feel it was positive and must admit I dident realise he was so forward thinking a hes been there 14years.

He said hes not sure he agrees with lots homework.
He likes the sweedish system
that one to one has massive advantages.

i tried to be positive about school and say we still happy with some element and really point out that its better for our family needs and for needs of our child.

I certainly did do a lot of prep, proposal turned out to be 5page essay.

Did find out one interesting fact with baby boy can defer him or send him part time in reception which think I might do as hes april birthday.
middle is sept so shes 5when she starts.-Again maybe i works out could negociate part time for her.

More cats then kids-did you consider idea or was idea rejected?
head had never heard of flexi schooling. The school had never offered this option befeore apart from sending kids to other educational establishments.

2am sound so me only time get any peace.

im so tired was up 5.30 with younger 2
had school meeting yesterday evening 8pm-10.30
got home and dh had all 3 kids awake and up -impressed was not the word been long day.

Did read with eldest before meeting shes doing well not too bothered about her starting lower level that others as thinks he will sail through and catch up to where she needs to be or least the majority of the class just dont want her every year playing catch up.

Her teacher said your mummy writes very long notes in homework contact book-not sure if thats meant to be funny i cant always go in quicker to write a note and be clear with communication from week 1 surly.

Eldest said we doing proper year 2work this week and its really hard.As oppose to pretend work year smile

I need top clarify what assistance shes getting this year as shes on one of bottom tables and rest of her table go off for literacy with senco shes only one left behind.

Re maths-shes doing shapes and properties this term so need to brush up on that.
my freind of course once again thinks her dd same class is a genuis so had her banging on about that.
So end of week 2at school and so much whinging, worrying and negativity so hoping we get 1day off as think do me good being out of it for 1day and doing it our gentle but structured way and cant wait to do trips.

Next week think need to do short written peice on stuff brought up last meeting to adress his concerns.
Also will ring neigbouring lea bristol and see if any of their schools flexi school.

printed off devon county council flexi schooling protocal so least another south west lea but devon has high proportion of home educators so was quite comprehensive.

It could well be i need to change days-but think as her teachers half day thursday its best option.

There could be few weeks negocating before can start so dont forsee a possible start date until october as think need to draw up a contract.

right best get eldest up shes hopeless in the mornings.
catch you guys later, have fun day.

Helenagrace Fri 14-Sep-12 07:51:39

mam have a look at the Lancashire County website. They are generally well regarded in their attitude to home education. They may have something on flexi-schooling too.

mam29 Fri 14-Sep-12 11:54:38

Thanks helena greace will take a look.

enjoying a nice rest and pleased its friday.

braved toddlers today big mistake they were both overtired glad to be home,

On way home my soon to be 3year old is fixated with seasons the tree leaves, conkers, picking blackberries and she keep spotting apple trees never noticed before.

I love autumm so think will go national trust forset near us called westonbirt and local park/cyclepath and do a mini project on changing of the season catering for varied age groups so with middle leaf painting, both can go foraging as wondering if too late on the nuts but think might be fun running round forest in their wellies.

planning day at home tommorow

have to do 3lots school homework with eldest
some more carol vordman and give her extra help of shapes and their properties.

really need to get some organisation in the house too.
do some more research and prep for next weeks meeting.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 14-Sep-12 17:26:42

morecats - I like the way your home ed seems to blend seamlessly into your everyday life smile.

Helen - glad to hear your day out in Blackpool was good fun. How lovely that your friend has given you a scheme of work to use for English. Even if you don't use it all, it will give you ideas. Well done on the extra afternoon's reading/coffee time. I really need to work on that. DS2 started drama on Monday, which gave me an extra two hours to myself at the end of the day - but he hated it and doesn't want to go again sad.

mam - grin at right-wing library photocopier.

It's great that your headteacher is so forward-thinking and that he let you know that you can defer your little boy's start date for school. I hope you get your answer about the flexischooling soon.

Your trip to the forest sounds great. I know I keep mentioning it, but have you looked at The Woodland Trust kids' page? It has loads of free resources. I joined it and use the downloads for DS1's home ed, as well as for DS2's fun activities.

Friday is meant to be our outings/exercise day, but it didn't happen today. DH wasn't feeling well, so wasn't up to driving us anywhere. So it ended up being a regular day instead, which was less stressful for DS1 anyway. We started with handwriting practise, then shared the reading of 'Shadow' (difficult for me to put it down actually wink). On to Maths (DS1 has been stuck on subtraction using written methods all week <groans> - I do wonder, yet again, what he was taught at school? confused). He played MangaHigh to relax when the written Maths got too much for both of us. A bit of Science, where I encouraged DS1 to copy a diagram of a plant to label. This was greeted with protestations because he says he can't draw, so I triumphantly produced tracing paper instead. He made a big fuss about this too, but did it. Am going to stick it in the scrapbook I bought yesterday, which will be our record of Science stuff.

In the afternoon, DS spent some time using an English CD-Rom, which left me free to do other stuff. I thought we'd get round to other things, but that was enough for one day.

Am spending a bit of time now putting together a scrapbook I'm making of our home education. It's good to see it starting to take shape.

mam29 Fri 14-Sep-12 19:49:43

Toffee whilrl-Lol at right wing photocopier was gutted as im sure teachers love the guardian but independant would have to do and guardian did follow one upper class couple who flexischooled in london and took little satch to educational trips to newyork- i mean how can I relate to that?

Sounds like you had a good day.

will definatly look at that link.

Hope you dont mind me making few suggestions.

In early years foundation-theres something called a learning story.

its basically ie toddlers nursery its a

photo of them doing the actuvity.

what subject or skills it requires.
description of what they doing

short assessment and paragraph on how the child did in that task if they enjoyed it and tackled the task.

sometimes added what equipment they used.

so breaks down to task/subject skills.

what they learnt

you could do that in lovley scrapbook form for lots of stuff especially the days out and the practical tasks ie experiments ect.

In adition to that

a days out photo album.

A learning log so very dry and boring but

what you did maybe approx time frame- maybe use that day to remind yourself with little note continue with tudors on later day.

3rdly practical work I would keep in large box files as thats what teachers use as nothing can fall out then and have one for each subject .

might need large box with lid for lapbooks and other bigger bulkier stuff.

With topics like maths and english you could have large ringbinders divided into topics.if thats easier.

lastly if have space why not get couple large cord boards and do a work display each term of his current work.
im sure the evidence of learning will build up quite quickly

and if lea did come round they be impressed.

Well end of week have birthday prep for 3year old tommorow and eldest has 3lots homework.

she asked tonight if can do project on world flags,

tonight was lovley sunset so shes going to draw it tommorow then if we do project on weather or seasons can pop it into that.

Colleger Fri 14-Sep-12 20:08:33

This morning we got up late so DS only managed some maths and then I took him to a film makers club for two hours. The club is not for him which is a relief as, although I met lovely mums, it adds around two hours driving. We then drove 1.5 hours from the film club to his bassoon teacher so no practice today. On the way home I crashed the car on the M25 so he missed swimming and social time with his choir. So not a lot achieved today, except driving!

mam29 Fri 14-Sep-12 20:53:34

colleger hope you both ok. That busy day and lot of travel.

filmaking sounds fun but guess sometimes need to try a few things to decide hat interests him.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 14-Sep-12 22:28:28

So sorry you had an accident, Colleger. I hope you and DS are ok. Also hope you are recovering ok from the flu.

mam - those are great ideas, thanks. I have separate folders for the subject stuff at the moment, but intend to put completed worksheets into ringbinders at some point, then display more interesting stuff in sketchbooks/scrapbooks. At the moment, I only have display stuff for Biology (some work on seeds we did when we went to the park the other day, a seed dial printed out from Woodland Trust, photos, plant diagram). This thread is a very useful reminder of what we've done every day, but I do need to keep a proper record somewhere, as you say.

I still feel we aren't getting enough done, but DH thinks we're doing really well, which is encouraging. He said he thought DS1 was learning much more than he'd be learning at school. We are always hard at work when DH comes home for lunch, so that looks good!

Exhausted again, so off to bed now. Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 14-Sep-12 23:01:30

Hope you are both ok Colleger, you have had a rough week with flu as well. Hope next week is better for you both.
I should be going to bed but hey my dh is away tonight and tomorrow night and ds1 21 is at home for once so been havin a chat with him. Although only a limited time I can sit through stories of cars and insurance, lol.

Helenagrace Fri 14-Sep-12 23:18:56

Hope you're both ok colleger.

Colleger Sat 15-Sep-12 00:01:13

We're fine thanks, the car is not!

mam29 Sat 15-Sep-12 07:44:01

Toffee whirl-you doing a fantastic job as you not just planning you having to adapt and change for your dds needs when hes doesnt want to go out ect.

Its great your dh is so supportive.

when eldest left nursery she was only doing day a week and had huge a4 ring binder full of photos and observations-they were not lengthy as early years but did think the format might be good home education journal as dont think it needs to be hugely detailed and like school where they accessing work to work out what national curriculum level hes demonstrated.

In reception it was one large a3 scrapbook so coloured paper.
with dds picture on front
photos on each page, explanation what she did and what skills she was using and lovley keepsake and lovley and visual.

The other notebook of just logging subject -topic and time per day i bet if added it up whole week you be surprised how many hours you done not including planning.

How are you presenting the tudors? in traditional form or lapbook?

The book you reading the shadow-are their any teaching resourses, questions or study guides availiable to test comprehension of the story?

so you doing shadow -english
some mahs

sounds like you doing loads and its only end of week 1 for most schools.

Think one to one its more time effective so less time can be spent
as schoos factor in register, breaks, luches , assembly.

What you doing about pe if anything? only ask as if he doesnt like to go out it might be tricky. maybe get big trampoline in garden.
Our local park has basketball court and tennis courts boyh open and free and emty during term time.

Swimming drives me mad as some leisure centres closed for schools lessons msot of day.

I nee dto look at keystage 1 music this weekend and see if can replicate at home as if had chosen day off she be missing the gym and music specialist.

Hope everyones having fab weekend.
sunny here hope stays that way tommorow for toddlers 3rd birthday as broughts her sand/water table for garden.

Colleger Sat 15-Sep-12 09:04:56

* mam29*

Have you joined any of the yahoo HE groups? I've joined three because my location borders three counties/boroughs and there is so much going on: a weekly swimming class, sports groups organised at sports centre, more costly activities such as ski-ing, canoeing, wall climbing too. Afterwards the kids tend to play so it's a good social occasion too.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 15-Sep-12 09:19:33

Colleger - glad you are both ok, but sorry about the car. Does that mean you are without a car at the moment?

mam - thank you for your encouragement. It really helps. It's difficult to know how I'm doing and I worry that I'm not doing enough or not doing it right. Then I remind myself that DS1 has to be learning more than he'd ever learn at school because he was in such a state of anxiety there that he couldn't learn anything.

The learning story sounds like a great idea. My DS2's childminder did a learning journal for him which sounds similar. She added photos of him doing activities, wrote down what he was learning from each one and then added ideas to help him progress on to the next step.

We are not doing so well at the PE side of things, which I knew would be an issue. DH and I said we'd take both boys swimming every Friday after school, but we haven't done it yet. Trouble is, neither of us are particularly keen, so we have to make ourselves go and then it's so easy to find excuses. I do take DS1 out walking a bit and we walked our neighbour's Collie dog again this week, so that gets him out. No room for a trampoline in our little garden! We used to have a mini trampoline, which I bought mainly for DS1 to destress, but he never used it. He just wants to sit in his room and play Minecraft!

I bought this package for music, but we haven't listened to it yet. I think I bought it from Amazon though. Sonlight do lots of music stuff for home ed. There's more here. The p&p is expensive though, so it might be possible to get cheaper elsewhere, as I think I did with the classical music CD.

I hope your toddler has a lovely birthday tomorrow. I'm sure she'll love her sand/water table. We had one for ages and it was very popular and good for when DC's friends came to visit too.

Not sure what we are doing today. I think we might be taking it easy. DS1 doesn't want to go anywhere (surprise!) and as he is going for a sleepover with his friend tonight, I think that's probably a good thing. We might take DS2 out tomorrow morning as his big brother will still be out. It's nice to go out just the three of us sometimes because it is always so stressful with DS1 worrying and wanting to go home all the time.

Cross fingers for sunny weather for the birthday tomorrow, mam.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

Iris1 Sun 16-Sep-12 12:32:29

Hi everyone sorry not posted much have been following just with mine being so young not got much to contribute!!
mine are 4 and 2. Trying to stay playbased and make sure they get everything and more than they would in preschool/nursery.

Glad to see some of you gettting good news and doing well.

toffee your son did so well at sleepover sorry its affected him so much afterwards must be kind of bittersweet for you, proud of hin doing well but then seeing him like this after.

Booked my kids on an experitots session at MOSI themed space as my boy obsessed, its for under 5's. He got a telescope for birthday last week he loves i and is learning so much.
Can i ask does someones child play minecraft? heard its educational but my hubby plays it 4 year old loves helping him on it (loves comps) and hubby doesnt know why LEA would find it educational??

Talk of learnjbg journals fab idea and what i plan on doing. Already do scrapbooks, have since birth. Anyone know where to purchase good quality scrapbooks that dont cost the earth?? Paperchase is lovely but expensive!!

ToffeeWhirl Sun 16-Sep-12 13:11:59

Did someone mention Minecraft? Yes, Iris (nice to see you back, by the way), my DS1 is obsessed with loves it. I wouldn't say it is at all educational for very young children and I am keeping DS2 off it (he's only 6) as I don't want him wanting to play on that and not do anything else, like his big brother. Also, if it is played online you don't know who you are playing with and the language can be unsuitable. DS1 did have an incident where he was being bullied online, which was horrible for him (we sorted it by him changing his user name). It is possible to play on a closed server, but once the children work out how to use everything, they tend to steam ahead doing their own thing.

I encourage DS2 to play online Lego instead, as this is similar, but designed for younger children. And he loves real Lego too. (Funnily enough, Lego have just produced a Minecraft Lego pack, which DS2 is getting for his birthday in November as a compromise whilst he is too young to play the real thing).

The game can be used for educational purposes for older children. There's an interesting website on that here. It has to be tailored to fit the purpose though. There was also a thread discussing it a while back. I'll see if I can find it.

DS1 loves building on it (he says it's like a computer version of Lego) and also works collaboratively with his friends online. It is a social game for him, as much as anything, and keeps him in touch with boys his age at his old school (real-life meet ups are too difficult for him at the moment, unless it's his closest friend).

I have just been printing off some worksheets from this website and it has all sorts of lovely stuff for little kids. Might be good for your little ones.

The MOSI workshop sounds great fun. I hope your DC enjoy it.

Thanks for your kind words on DS1. Yes, he did do well. He has just come back from another sleepover with the same friend, but this time there were just three of them altogether and, interestingly, he came back earlier than necesssary this morning, saying he was tired. Hopefully, he is learning to monitor himself and know when he needs to leave. He is in a very good mood and bought me a big bag of Minstrels from the corner shop (with my money, but never mind smile).

Sorry, am not much help with the scrapbooks because I have been having the same problem. Finally, I bought a Daler A4 art sketchbook for 5.99 in our local art shop. Have just found it for just £3.85 on Amazon here. Grr.

Spent some time this morning preparing for work with DS1 tomorrow. I have printed out more practise worksheets for him and found a MangaHigh game for him that is on the same topic. Also ordered some more stuff from Amazon: a couple of textbooks on Maths and English, plus David Attenborough's 'Life of Plants' to tie in with our Biology stuff.

DS1 promises that he will do his best to attend his English lesson with his tutor tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed.

Iris1 Sun 16-Sep-12 15:37:57

Hi toffee.
I was more just wondering about minecraft i have no intention of letting my ds play it alone, however he does like to do it with his dad (on a closed server) i presume its a mixture of wanting to do it cos dad is and also his love of lego and building!
I will look at lego website!
I understand where you're coming from with not wanting your ds2 playing too much. My hubby was v addicted to computer games and still would choose playing over most things if he could get away with it!! I dont want my ds being same but he so loves the computer, hes learnt a lot using cbeebies and bbs bitesize and going on word and paint. Im trying to make sure his time is monitored and im going to buy a sand timer to help him know when its time to come off.
Because of his autism he doesnt play much with conventional toys so i feel bad limiting the pc when he loves it so much! its so hard!

Thanks for link ill have a look!
Also will try amazon for scrapbooks hadnt thought of that!

Sounds like your ds1 is doing well and learning how to manage what he can cope with.

mam29 Sun 16-Sep-12 16:48:12

Hi guys

toffee whirl-

yes its same kind of thing child minder would do.
could use that as a paterrn.
Just dont want to get bogged down by paperwork like the teachers say they are im sure breif learning journal and sugested log for you to reassure you so you can look back and say I really did do quite a lot last week when you felt you dident do enough.

fab news about son seeing his freinds.hopefully wil gain confidence in time.

I had never heard minecraft before came here, I have a 14year old stepson and unsure what computer games hes into will ask him next week.

Iris-have you tried place called the works for books ells book and art materials cheap. or try poundland/poundworld ect.
I brought my last few from local newsagents think 1.99 each buy they nothing fancy just coloured paper a3 size..

Im flagging today dd2 3rd birthday was up until 2am baking and decorating lounge.

Shes made up loved her pressies. even made hm pizza in shape mickey mouse. Hoping they too full on cake to want a big dinner.
House looks like bombs hit it.
weathers been rubbish so not been out.
I have a cold and babys cold/cough and grouchy.

managed to get my eldest to do some maths factor.we have 15days subscription left.

Last week they did shapes in school so trying to find stuff on that so did the ixl free stuff think need to join as looks bit more comprehensive than maths factor thinking doing them both.

dd has 3lots homework

reading will do soon.
spellings will do in week as test friday
numeracy -might leave to daddy as havent got energy for a battle.

weekends are hard as hubby worked all weekend and younger ones full on on which means eldest easily distracted and some places would like to take her to visit not suitable for the younger 2 so a having 1 weekday off school im sure will make all the difference.

Another hectic week planned.

definatly getting early night later as not feeling my best and all 3kids whiney and overtired.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 16-Sep-12 17:59:13

Iris - difficult if your DS has autism because I can see that conventional toys won't hold much appeal and the computer will be much more appealing to him. That's why I had to relax more about letting DS1 on the computer so much (he has ASD traits, though not enough to meet diagnostic threshold apparently). There's loads of great stuff on the internet - it's just you have to keep an eye on what they go on (or maybe it's just that DS2 learns too much from watching his big brother).

mam - you are working too hard, but I know what it's like to want everything perfect. So sorry you have a cold. Any chance of an early night tonight? Sympathies being on your own with three small children all weekend. DH used to work weekends and I remember how difficult it was.

I have had such a lovely time today working on my home education scrapbook and a Science journal. It has made me feel so much better. I was worrying that we weren't doing enough, but now I have it all laid out in book form I can see that we are getting somewhere. The Science journal is following the format of the textbook we are using, but I'm filing the worksheets separately and using the journal for more creative stuff, eg. photos of our trip to a local field to find seeds and berries for the plant reproduction topic. It will serve as a revision book for DS1, as well as a nice reminder of all we have done together.

DH pointed out that DS1 should be compiling the book, not me, but that's unrealistic as DS1 would hate to do that. I am in charge of the presentation, but it's still his work on show, just as the teachers do with primary-school topic books.

It was great to start putting together the scrapbook as well, with lots of photos and notes on what we've been doing.

I have also planned what we're doing tomorrow. Am hoping the David Attenborough DVD arrives first thing, as it would be good to watch that and skip a worksheet for tomorrow.

If you hate Maths, skip the next paragraph:

Had an idea to teach subtraction. DS1 can, obviously, do basic subtraction, but he's still struggling with 'exchanging' numbers (or borrowing), eg. if you have to take 4139 from 6004, which means you can't take 3 from the 0 and have to borrow from the next whole number. DS1 really struggles with this, so I thought I'd buy a packet of Cheerios and set them all out in units, tens and hundreds (with the latter two in sandwich bags, tied up). Then he can see the units being transferred and, hopefully, understand that when you borrow from the 'tens' column, you are actually borrowing ten units, not just a single unit. I think that makes sense.


There just seems no point in going onto more difficult maths until I'm sure that DS1 understands all the basics.

I have completely neglected the house again. Managed one load of washing so DS2 would have some school uniform to wear tomorrow. Have promised to make an apple pie with DS2 now. Actually came on here to look up a recipe, but became distracted!

Intersat Sun 16-Sep-12 18:10:53

Did someone on this thread say they used Manga Maths?
How much does it cost?

Thanks smile

ToffeeWhirl Sun 16-Sep-12 18:19:15

Yes, me. It's We can only use a few games at the moment, as the membership page says you have to register as a school to use the full website. I have emailed our LEA contact to ask her if she can let us have a password (she was kind enough to provide one for MyMaths). There doesn't seem to be any facility for home educators. I was wondering if I should just pretend to be a school.

The website appears to be free.

Helenagrace Sun 16-Sep-12 18:21:28

Hmmm tomorrow might be interesting as I have a rotten head cold. I fear DD might be spending her day watching recordings of programmes about WW2 and reading her book. I had 10 hours sleep last night and I still felt exhausted this morning. I have a sore throat, sore ears and I ache all over. Bleugh. I have planned some things but whether we'll get around to doing them is anybody's guess.

Roll on bedtime!

Iris1 Sun 16-Sep-12 20:11:10

Thanks for the tip mam im going to do an order from the works tonight when hubby gets off computer and i can do it properly ( struggle using my phone touchscreen evades me!)
toffee great idea with the cheerios its definately better to master basics.
what you say about your son being borderline but not enough traits for diagnosis - this really annoys me! Who knows if the powers that be believed enough to help you and him out in the first place and support him in school it may have been a better experience for him! This happens to way too many kids its so unfair. MY son is very high functioning and i kniw we are sooo lucky to have got the diagnosis and it only came because of the support of a great pre school teacher and my ability to tell peadiatricians the whole truth about him despite it being upsetting! they will do anything to get out of diagnosis a child i feel.
Im happy knowing that if he does end up in school at least we have a label to help, to get him support and hopefully understanding.

Anyone rant over but the politics of asd diagnosis get me so wound up!!!

I have spent tonight working on my daughters scrapbook and im about to go place a photobox order as ive hundreds of pics to get developed.

You ladies are so organised honestly from what i read you all do so much, you work vey hard and your kids are so lucky. If you're ill just rest. Provode the kiddies with a film/documentary/ book/ arts and crafts materials whatever they're interested in and just talk to them. They will still be getting so much more from it than school, the odd laid back day will do no harm, in fact i bet it will benefit your kids to take a little responsibility for learning and sitting and talking to you about anything will have them learning lots!

ToffeeWhirl Sun 16-Sep-12 20:27:25

Oh, poor Helen. I think the DVDs/books idea sound very appropriate. Maybe DD can practise some life skills and bring you some cold drinks now and again?

Iris - you are so right about the ASD diagnosis issue. We tried so hard to get him a diagnosis and were just fobbed off over and over again. The children we were told were more needy than him got their diagnoses and statements and are now doing well at school. Whereas we are in this situation. It's the best thing for DS1 considering how he is now, but I'm sure that if he had had the support he needed early on, we would never have got to this stage. Also, he wouldn't have had to go through so much anguish (and us with it).

Anyway, mustn't get started as it unlocks a bottomless pit of anger and resentment!

Except that I must just add that DS1's psychiatrist recently said she thought he probably would get a diagnosis now, but that there was no point because he had so many diagnoses already that he didn't need another one to access any help. Was so tired of fighting by then that I just couldn't be bothered to argue. We may go for a private diagnosis one day as we have had no luck on the NHS.

Incidentally, I'm very pleased your son got his diagnosis and well done to you and that pre-school teacher for achieving it. It is no easy feat.

DS2 just made me laugh. He decided to make Hallowe'en decorations just before bathtime. I sighed and protested that there wasn't time and besides, I didn't know what he could use to make them. DS2 just grinned and declared, "I know what I'm going to use! This", (patting his head), "amazing thing called a brain! Just watch me!"

(And he did too. Made them out of sticky labels!).

Intersat Sun 16-Sep-12 21:28:00

ToffeeWhirl, Thanks for the information thanks

I tried to access the site and I couldn't find any information about a parent subscription. I think they are missing out on a market. I also read that you managed to get a password for MyMaths. I am going to see if I have similar luck with my LEA smile

Iris1 It is so hard giving all the negatives for a ASD diagnosis isn't it. Especially when the children have to hear it. I wish the doctor had told me that DD didn't need to be present during the appointment. It is difficult to make her feel positive afterwards and we haven't even got a diagnosis yet sad

morethanpotatoprints Sun 16-Sep-12 21:30:40

Sorry you are not so good Helen, I'm sure its time of the year. All my lot have it or have had it or coming down with it now, yuk, hope I don't get it.

I just thought i'd add another suggestion for the extra time we gain during the day. Somtimes it could take me between 5 and 10 mins to settle the class for work and these were 16+ I'm sure primary children are the same if not worse. Also I'm sure many do this anyway but when I was a TA any art, design, cooking etc that needed setting up was always done a lesson after a break, so during break or lunch we set up.

DD having a bad time atm, and although I know deep down we made the right decision I am a bit worried.
At dancing yesterday she was clingy and needing a cuddle, so unlike her. Then today went to birthday party where all girls from last school there. They all were lovely and its clear they want to keep in touch.
She started a string group this week which I think is the main problem. She couldn't play much of the music and apart from one boy aged 11 they were all older teens. She was well out of comfort zone and was heart broken today and said she was rubbish. I tried to console her, i.e they were all new once, they aren't expected to play pieces till end of term, shes at the right level etc. Her confidence seems to have taken a dive, is this normal?

Colleger Sun 16-Sep-12 22:25:50

I think our kids go through all sorts of emotions. A life without boundaries and expectations must seem a scary place when kids are used to the very opposite. I think it's worth making sure our kids are environments where they can be at the top and the bottom, being guided and leading to help the grow. smile

morethanpotatoprints Sun 16-Sep-12 22:52:20

Thanks colleger. You are very wise, it was funny to see her so quiet at the ensemble.
It will do her good as she is usually so confident and a bit cocky at times. I don't mean she is nasty with it or like this outside the home but she can be with us.
I'm sure she'll be ok but secretly inside I really felt for the poor kid as she felt out of her depth. I know she'll manage though or wouldn't take her again
How are things with you atm, I hope this week is good for you? thanks

Colleger Sun 16-Sep-12 23:29:38

All fine. I have a headstrong boy but his moments of loveliness are even more lovely, as are his outbursts! Arghhh!

I have noticed though that his attitude is worse when my husband is around. Not sure why as my husband is the most placid and lovely guy. But I need to try and notice and remember it before flying off the handle at his rudeness!

I'm finding it impossible to fit in what I'd hoped mainly because my son operates at snails pace. Everything is sooooo slow, even the way he walks! If I sit in the same room while he works it's done in half the time but I want him to do it without me being there.

Music-wise, I can't seem to fit in all the practices. Theory wise, I've decided to start with a grade 1 book and have him do two pages per day so he finishes grade 5 by the end of January. The plan is then to keep going with a little and often until he eventually gets to grade 8 theory, which is beyond A'level. He may as well do these things early and without too much effort.

He started organ lessons last week so yet another instrument to fit in a practice slot! :/

ToffeeWhirl Sun 16-Sep-12 23:29:59

Intersat - good luck with your LEA and with the diagnosis.

morethan - Don't despair. It's still very early days and I'm sure we all have many ups and downs to go through yet as we get used to our new situations. It does sound as if your DD's confidence has taken a knock at the new music class and it must have been so difficult for you to see her feeling so uncomfortable. I'm sure she will adjust to it in time - she obviously has the ability - and then she will feel so proud of herself. It must have been hard for her to see her old friends today and wonder where she now belongs, but how lovely that they were all so pleased to see her. Can they meet up again soon?

Colleger - it's up to us to provide all the daily boundaries and expectations now, isn't it? <eek>

Just having a short google at home ed resources (my new hobby) before bed.

Hope you all have good days tomorrow.

mam29 Mon 17-Sep-12 07:50:08

Morning guys.

I did get earlish night yesterday when hubby came home, felt guilty as promised him a roast burnt the potatoes, had hardly any veg, smoke alarm set off woke up younger 2 and house wasent that tidy.

Eldest messed me about yesterday afternoon. she dident ant to do anything she only had 6more skill check to get another badge.
Homework had to do but couldent be bothered to read then when hubby came in she read book perfectly.

new strategy is no matter ho much she whines mornings will be maths, reading, homework as by afternoon shes too tired and wont concentrate.

Toddler had lovley birthday.

iris -I forget the works have a website.

I love scrapbooking which Is why I love pinterest

Toffe whirl-I get a lot of links on resources from pinterest

just search

science-loads of experiments
homeschool or schooling.

A lot is american but still found some great stuff

Lol at manga high-I can see the toffeewhirl freeschool/academy appling if its good enough for toby young-in a loose way homeschool is a free school and driven by the parents

best get eldest out of bed as havent been late once this term.

Think it was colleger who suggested groups.

joined bristol home ed forumwhich is harder to get into than high security prision, had no luck with local yahoo group.

ringing bristol council today as my neighboring la might be helpful info for head and need alternative way to supplement music curriculum so can argue thursdays the best day.

Looking foward to meeting.

busy week here toddlers 2nd week preschool,ballet, eldest school, rainbows, gym and cheerleading oh and sports say hopefully.
no toddler/babygroups this week as im too tired but trip to farm and wales hopefully plus pta meeting and meeting with head but hubby has 2weeks holiday in which hes got long list things to do round house including setting up learning zone and roleplay area in girls room.

long term wondering what to do about younger 2 education.
homeed for infants appeals.

have a good day everyone.

I may be wrong best check out with someone more knowledgebale like fiona.

But im sure last home ed revewi stipulated some support for home ed parents in terms of resources.

I joined well trained mind forum interesting read and lots home ed in states through charter schools which provide free online subscriptions to websites and loads money for resources but imagine their curriculum may be more set.

Im definatly signing up to ixl maths.
also need huge push on timestables as hoping that will unlock so much other maths. Does everyone else think that?

focus on tables and telling the time?

ToffeeWhirl Mon 17-Sep-12 09:37:50

Morning all. Glad you got an early night, mam. I was thinking of joining ixl maths too - it looks good. I'll try pinterest again for resources. Really need to find alternative ways to teach Biology to supplement the textbook we're using. We have done a couple of excursions, which look good in my new Science topic book, but I need to find more ideas. We are moving on to organs of the body soon, but I want to stick on plants for a bit first.

Do you do stuff with your eldest before she goes to school, mam? I can barely get breakfasts done before school, let alone anything else.

Must go as I am walking DS1 round to his English tutor in a minute.

Am hoping David Attenborough DVD comes today, as it would be great to let him do the teaching instead of me this morning.

See you all later.

mam29 Mon 17-Sep-12 10:07:22

God no toffee can barly get eldest out of bed and dressed in morning shes like kevin the teenager.

we occasionally do spellings 1st thing friday morning as thats when test is asked her 2weeks later she wont remember

Eldest has homework every night .

reading book-becoming more frequent

numeracy-weekly-so trying to do on weekend
writing-think this being added this year
spellings-once a week.

Today by some miracle we were on time left house late speed walked with girls on scooters made it mins to spare as year 2 teacher opens door on time.

stopped by spar and got reduced cookies and coke on way home.
younger 2playing in sandpit.
toddler has preschool today so joy of 4times to school and back only 15mins then rainbows for eldest after school if only i could attach myself with elastic.

tonight hubby has to do numercacy and reading with her.
might do spellings wed, thur, fri morning as easier nearer the time.
need to get her to try with her maths factor again this week as summer course ends soon and she wants all the badges and want her to complete every skills check.

Think ixl lookjs good as outlines everything they do in that year group all way through primary and senior. we did free practice shapes as eldest been doing shapes and properties last week and at 59 a year its probably chaper than lots of workbooklets and textbooks,.
eldest seems to prefer computer based learnings as loves the free games on bbc website.

But im dual subscribing to vordmans maths faxctor as can see they good for differnet things wish could find similar for science.

I do think its hardly asking much for las to support online subscriptions as look at the money home ed is saving them.

Pinterest -I have lots on mine under education,l learning spaces and few other subjects as my education board became to big.
I can pm you my pinterest name but most of mine is primary specific so may not be as much use.

I know can be pricey but if you had sky or virgin tv some of the documentry channels are fab and eden project even have own channel I imagine there be some stuff on you tube too.

Right best desand lounge and sort laundry and ring bristol la.

mam29 Mon 17-Sep-12 10:49:46

toffee-not sure this any good currently has about 6000 educational resources in all school subjects, from kindergarten to age 16.

We're currently offering homeschoolers a 25% discount on our regular membership fee of £40/year (new price - £30.) Just quote HOMESCHOOL25 on the registration page.

Also, there are over 100 free lessons and resources available to take away in the Sample Area of our website. Please visit and collect your free lessons.

could be good for home ed resource addict,

ToffeeWhirl Mon 17-Sep-12 11:38:21

Thanks, mam, I will go and have a nose at that link right now. Am just back from English lesson, where I had a long and very helpful talk with the teacher's wife, who is a retired primary school teacher. She gave me lots of helpful hints about teaching maths to DS1.

On the way home, I told DS1 I was going to set up the Cheerios for our Maths lesson and his face lit up. "Oh, are we doing Nibble Maths?" he said. "I used to love that!" You wouldn't know he was 12, going on 13, sometimes smile.

I'd forgotten Cheerio are produced by Nestle and I boycott them and have just broken my boycott blush.

Am relieved to see that you don't do lessons with your DD before school, mam grin. DS2 is meant to be reading every night and will be getting spellings this year - he's not keen on doing any of it. May need to set up some sort of reward system to encourage him.

Helenagrace Mon 17-Sep-12 12:58:10

Mixed morning here. DD was fine but I popped to Aldi while she was doing independent history work because DH was at home. Felt very smug thinking how much I'd saved in Aldi and then reversed into a car in the car park thereby wiping out all of my savings and more. So angry with myself right now, actually no, I'm FURIOUS with myself.

I found some worksheets on commas for her to do in English. I think she's got it apart from dates which tbh are a bit stupid in rules terms.

I've found the TES website good for stuff like that. Found some bargain Carol Voderman books in Aldi this morning (reduced to £1.99).

She did a great evacuee picture and annotated it with lots of describing words. She got 9/10 on her spellings too!

She also did a great data handling exercise on rainfall data we found online last week.

Think we're carrying on with weather data and looking at why certain crops and industries suit certain parts of the country. Found a good teachers tv programme on why weather forecasts are useful for various industries do we'll watch that.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 17-Sep-12 13:40:07

Oh, poor you, Helen. You have a nasty cold, don't you? That probably didn't help matters. Oh dear, what is it with new home educators and their cars at the moment (Colleger too)? I just hope it doesn't prove as expensive as you think it will be.

I bought those Carol Vorderman books in Aldi too! They are really useful revision for DS1 and a bargain at 1.99.

It sounds like the home ed is going really well, Helen. I feel a bit frustrated with our own morning, although I should look on the bright side and remember that DS1 managed to have his English lesson at his tutor's house this morning, which is an achievement in itself. So he has done a 'proper' English lesson (on 'Romeo and Juliet') as well as overcoming his anxieties.

However, we then tackled what DS called 'Nibble Maths' and it didn't help him understand the concept of exchanging/borrowing at all, although he did enjoy eating the Cheerios hmm. I do wonder how much he concentrates with me though. I suspect he'd work harder with a Maths tutor. I then let him play on MangaHigh, which he loved - and it gave me a chance to get some housework done (poor, neglected house sad).

Only an hour till the school run and we have only got through English, Maths and Handwriting this morning (and the latter was all of two minutes). Stopping for lunch now, then will try to get DS1 to finish a Biology worksheet, then we'll start on our Geography project.

Oh, and I have just emailed MangaHigh to ask them if home educators can join.

Helenagrace Mon 17-Sep-12 14:07:52

toffee have you looked at the Khan Academy website. I found a fab online lesson on subtracting decimals which DD watched twice. It's free too grin.

TyrannosaurusBex Mon 17-Sep-12 19:54:45

Hi everyone, had a weekend switched off from HE, no diary, no reading on the subject, no MN, nothing! Think it helped to think about other things for a while, I managed to catch up on housework and gin laundry and sleep!

Sounds like there are some trials going on with pranged cars/wayward DC/illness, hope everyone has had a good afternoon.

I have a meeting with the LEA tomorrow, am nervous as they are reputedly hostile to HE. The info they sent me makes much mention of school attendance orders and describes HE as 'challenging'. We are not in the UK so not sure what to expect. I've received some good advice on this thread, so am going to hopefully be assertive without going on the offensive!

Iris1 Mon 17-Sep-12 22:01:48

intersat can i ask how old your daughter is?? yes the process is awful and no you dont need to take her unless theyre doing a medical or an ados there is no need for her to hear herself being discussed if you dont want her to!! I hated the whole experience evey appointment left me more and more confused and heartbroked. Espcially the IEP meetings at pre school where his targets at 3 years old we things like 'pull own underpants up', 'say another childs name'.
I still find it hard sometimes but im definately more content since we got the diagnosis, moved boroughs and got everyone out of our lives. The difference in him is astounding as well. He now stays at home with me and we do lots of one on one playtime, pre school classes and groups and he may or may not go to reception next year.
I am currently being referred to a whole bunch of professionals but as yet havent heard from any and cant say im looking forward to it!! I am paying for him to do a weekly group session called talking tots in place of speech therapy but it hasnt started yet!

morethan sorry to hear about your daughters confidence taking a knock i hope she overcomes this soon, hopefulkyafter a few weeks at new class she will be more comfortable and enjoy it.
toffee well done on your ds going to the tutor sound like you had a nice time with his wife as well thats good. Sorry he didnt get the maths work but he will get there eventually, I always found maths and science more difficult than anything ekse. THinks its because you have to just get it, you cant reason like in other subjects!

Well today i went with the kids to art grouo which was great but full of annoying mums as usual. Its the only group i go to where parents constantly annoy me telling there kids off for doing it 'wrong'. one little girl was nearly in tears as her mum went of in one at her for painting on the wrong side of her paoer! embarassing.
Gonna try a new playgroup tomorrow and got some playdough and activities sorted for them to play with inbetween.

mam and anyone else with kids under about 6 cab i recommend a blog called the imagination tree. I get loads of idea from there its full of creative play ideas for young kids its great.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 17-Sep-12 23:47:51

Helen - That website is fantastic! Thanks so much. Not only does it have a lesson on subtraction with borrowing, which includes a video (if he doesn't get it after that, I'm going to give up for a bit <sigh>), but it has all sorts of stuff on computer science, which I think he'll love. grin

TBex - your weekend off sounds like good idea. Best of luck with the LEA tomorrow. Let us know how it goes.

Iris - how wonderful that you and DS are so much happier since you moved. The diagnosis process is so difficult and it must have been a huge relief to leave everyone associated with that behind. That art group sounds awful. I hope the new playgroup is better and that you find some kindred spirits there.

I received two new textbooks today (Lonsdale Essentials) (ahem - I wasn't meant to be ordering anymore blush) and they give me an overview of what DS1 is meant to know by the end of KS3 for Maths and English.

My plan for tomorrow is to do things slightly differently because our days were getting a bit samey. I'm not quite sure how much we'll get through, but it will include all or some of these:

English - read 'Shadow' (racing towards the end. It's so sad - it'd better have a happy ending)
Handwriting practise
Biology - watch episode one of 'Life of Plants' DVD
English - persuasive writing on the pros and cons of either 'Call of Duty' x-box game or violent computer games generally (topical because DS1 played it for the first time at his friend's house and I am not happy about it at all, leading to a lot of discussions)
Maths - subtraction with borrowing on the Khan Academy website

I have a friend coming round for tea and chat at lunchtime, so I'll leave DS1 to explore the Khan Academy website further then. Will suggest he looks at the computer programming bit, which he wants to learn (we are waiting for a Raspberry Pi for DS1, which is a mini computer you learn to build and programme yourself).

Hope you all have good days tomorrow. Hope you don't have any issues with your LEA visit, TBex.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 17-Sep-12 23:50:17

'sounds like a good idea', I mean, TBex.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Sep-12 00:36:03

Intersat and anyone else interested in MangaHigh Maths: I had a reply to my email, which said:

You can set up a home school if you would like. Simply go to the Mangahigh home page, enter the name of your home school (anything you like really), click register and then you can just register yourself as a home school (there is no difference from a proper school account), with yourself as the teacher. Then you can add your son as a student on your account so you can track his progress and set challenges, etc.

A guide to getting started with all this can be found here:

I have now done this, with my DS1 added as my sole pupil.


ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Sep-12 12:28:41

Helen - there is a wonderful video on the Khan website explaining how to borrow when subtracting. It explained it so much better than I ever could. However, DS1 still says he doesn't understand <bangs head repeatedly on table>. He's stormed off to his room for the second time this morning because I lost patience with him. Not for not understanding, but for his 'can't-do' attitude'.

He's not listening and he doesn't try. It is driving me mad. We had the same thing with handwriting. He actually produced some really neat letters, but stormed off because he said he was rubbish.

He did play MangaHigh this morning and he really enjoyed that. Also, it gave me time to do some housework, so the house is looking a bit more cared for now.

Hope you are all having a more successful day than me!

Intersat Tue 18-Sep-12 20:23:43

Iris1 My daughter is 12 years old. We suspected something was different but as she is a girl ASD is much harder to spot I think. We weren't even aware that Aspergers existed until I came across it in a book on friendship I had bought to try and help my DD with social situations. Then when the SEN specialist at secondary school suggested it too we started down the (long long) road of a diagnosis.

Secondary school was really hard on DD and I think that just knowing what is going on (as you do) really helps things along. As it was I am not sure how much DD would be able to learn in that sort of environment so home educating seems our best solution.

I am so glad you are happy in your new borough and I understand your reluctance to start seeing new professionals again. We had lots of IEP meetings in the infants about targets like sitting still, lining up, answering questions in class etc. Talk about disheartening.

ToffeeWhirl Thanks so much for the update smile I will try that as well.

TyrannosaurusBex Tue 18-Sep-12 22:34:37

Finding it really sad reading here about all the 'targets' set for SEN children. I so hope that HE works out for everyone.

Had the meeting with LEA, it went extremely well considering that it employs me and DH is a former board member! I was expecting a battle over timetables and the definition of 'full time education', but no, the lady we spoke to was more than reasonable and although she described our decision to HE as 'brave', she did also say that school is not right for everyone. She didn't ask for my philosophy of education (as was requested in the paperwork I received), but I was glad I'd done it as it gave me clarity as to what I wanted to achieve and led me to ask pertinent questions.

All in all, I am very pleased, although slightly taken aback that two welfare officers will be coming to visit us. DD1 can even attend events at school as long as I take responsibility for her, which is great news for her.

A good day.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Sep-12 23:35:58

That's great that the LEA visit went so well, TBex. I have had that 'brave' comment too (from DS1's former headmaster) - made me feel a bit nervous, as I hadn't thought of it like that at all. Also good that your DD can still attend school events. I don't understand why you have two welfare officers visiting you though confused.

Intersat - happy to help smile. At the moment, MangaHigh is the only Maths DS1 actually enjoys.

Today was a bit rubbish really and DS1 and I fell out more than once. I realised that I have to stop stubbornly trying to teach him the same concept in Maths over and over. Better to take a break and move onto something else. DH just thinks I shouldn't be his Maths teacher at all - thinks it's asking for trouble! Anyway, I'm going to do something completely different on Maths with him tomorrow. Then we'll watch the DVD on plants that we never got round to today. We finished reading 'Shadow' at bedtime tonight (I highly recommend it, by the way - I couldn't put it down by the end) and I have found lots of resources online about it, so we'll do a couple of those tomorrow too. Found a good resource from Amnesty International, using the book as a springboard to look at human rights.

Will try and get a good night's sleep and be more patient tomorrow.

Helenagrace Wed 19-Sep-12 07:00:41

Well we missed out English yesterday but it was replaced by a grown up discussion about our move - budgets, what we want our family life to be like etc. All useful life skills!

Today is trampolining and then our local HE group. Probably some mental maths in the car on the way.

Our move is definitely on. DH is accepting the job today and we're househunting next weekend. We're aiming to have moved by Christmas.

One good thing about our move is that they have a first / middle / upper school system so I don't have to apply for a school place for DD for high school until next September, which will give us longer to decide what we want to do. Here I felt under pressure to apply for a high school place "just in case" because if I didn't I'd only be offered the school that everyone moves house to avoid.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Sep-12 15:38:02

Better today. I'm afraid (unlike you Colleger wink) I am now relying on an 'extrinsic' reward to motivate DS1, ie. computer time only starts once home ed' tasks are complete.

DS wrote a bit about 'Shadow', which we finished last night, then we watched episode one of 'Life of Plants'. I thought it was brilliant; DS1 was practically comatose with boredom by the end! I promised him no more plants!

After lunch, DS did his handwriting practise, practised co-ordinates on MangaMaths, then read a bit of History.

He also has to help me do one chore every day from now on and so he did all the drying up as I washed up.

Helen - lots of luck with the house hunting! How exciting!

Colleger Wed 19-Sep-12 17:06:13

The exciting thing now about autonomous is that we can live anywhere we want if he does ditch music. So I can go back to Scotland! :D

Bee308 Wed 19-Sep-12 19:11:19

We've just started home schooling in Winchester! Would love to know if there are any others nearby who might want to start a home ed book group; for adults and young readers together. Opportunity for a bit of a social and some good healthy book talk.

My sons are 5 and 2. My 5 year old was just not fitting the teachers expectations; sitting still, paying attention and they were making such a big deal out of it. It seemed to me his behaviour stemmed primarily from boredom. On the other hand he loved the social side of school and I am really worried that he will be upset when the reality of the situation sinks in. So I am working HARD to find home schooler friends to fill the void.

Ultimately we took this decision because we feel our boy could have a better, more interesting, more fulfilling education outside of school, particularly at this young age. And we find that he is not good at sitting still or waiting his turn to talk. All fine traits in a busy young man, in my opinion. Sadly it seemed to really piss the teacher off. I' a bit scared, so would appreciate any positive supportive words!

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Sep-12 19:24:20

So it's a win-win situation, Colleger grin.

Bee308 - welcome to the thread. Your home ed book group idea is a great one. Have you checked the Yahoo groups pages to see if there's a home ed group locally? You could post there about your idea. You could also see if anyone with children of a similar age wants to meet up in a park or something one day. I know I had lots of replies on our local Yahoo group when I asked for meet ups for my DS1.

Sorry your DS (and you) had a stressful time at school. I'm sure you'll both have a lot of fun home educating.

TyrannosaurusBex Wed 19-Sep-12 20:08:33

Hi Bee! Good for you, you've identified that your son and school aren't a fit at a really early stage, I feel really angry at myself for keeping DD1 in school for four long, boring (to her) years. Wish I had taken her out after a term or two. I am working at finding/forming a HE group, too - DD1 is very sociable.

I really am enjoying the endless possibilities of HE although it is knackering with the p/t job, school run and homework (DD2), housework, PTA commitments and a pre-schooler. Am wondering whether we will become a fully HE household and, if so, when?!

Exciting times for Helena and Colleger, looks like both of you might be on the move!

Toffee, glad it was a better day!

mam29 Thu 20-Sep-12 07:18:05

well sounds like everyones busy and organised.

Been up since 6am as toddler woke the baby again.

Bit restless anyway.

today is d day with head I think
unless it goes to another meeting.

if he says no I be bit gutted and stuck as he has final word.

lea said in principle fine.

but all rests on head and school if no-no appeal.

think theres low numbers of flexi schoolers in uk 300 and guess some of those reception year not year 2.

Im so hoping can argue thursday
as teachers half day and would do literacy and numeracy in morning-we can do this at hone.

specialist hour gy afternoon she does gym after school thur and member of british gymnastics.

Specialist music teacher-cant afford to add keyboard lessons until after xmas but been looking at keystage 1 music online and thinking cant be too hard-dod consider a composing computer programme or writing our own musical.

im sure i can rustle up something its 3rd week of term after all singing and dancing letters and the specialists not even started!

Having a rubbish week with the reading.
monday came home with book stage lower so wrote a note.
tuesday level above still too easy
wed-same flipping boook as tuesday dont want to be contantly onto them.

Hope everyone has good day.

spent last night googling treasuer for dummies.
just so busy roll on october half term.

mam29 Thu 20-Sep-12 12:03:31

Not good news here sad

although proposal good, quality of work submitted very high
flexi schooling turned down.

on grounds that in primary subjects are not standalone
that sometimes works continued over next day
that can expect teachers to set additional specific homework-unions would have a fit.

hes confered with lea -who say legal-non objections.

But heaa, senco- co-ordinator and year teacher feel for reasons above its a no go.

I guess was least expecting to answer some o his concerns and maybe have a trial to see if it can work and alleviate those concerns.

she does have better year 2 teacher this year-possibly best in entire school.

but ta is part time
shes not beeen offered any additional support as yet
shes on largish class of I think 27 with all the youngest in year on top table due to split classes and fact they got more one to one.

I think fact its year -sats may have played a part in it.

Im not unhappy with ethos, pastoral care of school.
The grounds/buildings nice, she has lots of freind just academically not the best with no after school clubs and music until year 5.

dont know what to do

the small village primary currently has 3 year 2 vacanicies its smaller , split classes, grounds and buildings not as good, no freinds there, further away who I guess might agree to flexi school.
But toddler goes preshool next door so another issue.

sensible part of ,me says see how year 2 goes now terms started uprooting her now do more hard than good.

At year 3 people naturally move on, although preffered school may not have the vacancies.

He did say he was impressed what I done and to keep on doing what we doing outside school which we will do as we need to as she has to clib 3sublevels just to reach expected end of year 2 avarage. dont want her forvever playing catch up.

Now need to decide what to do with younger ?
home ed
same school
different school

Another thing bothered me is they let another family do it for last 3years and all she got sent home was extra re homework.

So for the greater good dd1 doing 5days a week.

feeling bit deflated , had so many plans.

Hope everyones having better day

TyrannosaurusBex Thu 20-Sep-12 13:08:47

Really sorry to hear that Mam, I know you put a lot of effort into making this happen.

Is it worth sounding out the other school with regard to flexi before making any decision? What does your dd1 think about attending 5 days a week?

The LEA where I am don't even consider flexi, it's an outright no. I wonder why people can't opt to take their children out in the afternoons as all the numeracy and literacy gets done in the mornings here, it's all sport, art and RE in the afternoons - presumably that's not the case in the UK.

mam29 Thu 20-Sep-12 13:27:38

I could contact other school but that would mean moving her now which worried do more harm then good she doesnt want to move but would have been happy to be at home.

If results as dire as last year will move her.
will keep trying to do extra holidays/weekends
evenings shes too tired as we have set homework from the school too.

On the day i wanted they do literacy/numercay in morning
then have 2diuffrent teachers in afternoon for pe and music-thats new for this year starting this week.

its frustrating having legal right cant exercise but its called flexi schooling agreement and school not agreed.

dds never know any diffrent although she did say this morning she was tit=red does she have to go to school.
quite nice weather. its going to be hard for me to fit in all trips wanted to take her on and give her same amount of one to one on weekends as family far away and hubby works.

Shes what you call institutionalised into school system so unsure she would want to home ed but now seriously pondering what I really want for my younger 2 they due to start 2014 and 2015.

he did say from lea point of veiw what i had done would be good enough to home educate.

He also said maybe see little baby at school 1day.

I guess it doesnt help last year my veiw of education and what I thourght I wanted has changed.

I agonised over applying for schools now wonder if picked wrong one.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Sep-12 15:02:48

I'm so sorry, mam. You worked so hard on that proposal. I don't think you could have done anymore than you have done and it is not your fault that the school decided they couldn't support flexi-schooling. Most schools just don't want to open what they see as the floodgates, I think.

You sound as if you want to home educate your DD so much and you are so full of ideas and enthusiasm that I do wonder if you should just go the whole way and deregister. However, I realise that it would be a daunting prospect to take your DD out of school when you also have two little ones at home.

I agree with you about the problems with uprooting your DD to a new school now, especially as your toddler goes to the preschool next door. I considered moving DS2 to another primary this term because we were faced with a teacher who had been simply awful for DS1. However, I chose not to because DS2 has friends and is settled at his school. As it turns out, he seems ok with the teacher so far.

I really think that even if the school is not as good as you wished it was, your DD will do well because she has you as a mother!

TBex - sorry you are feeling knackered, but glad you are still enjoying the home ed.

Another good day here. DS1 worked hard, although I did have to wrestle his i-pod off him a couple of times hmm. He was meant to write a description of something in 'Shadow' yesterday and instead he wrote a list of facts. Today, I explained how to write descriptions, then left him to type something up. I was really impressed by the standard of writing that he produced and feel so chuffed to have such progress to show in the English file. That was down to one-to-one teaching plus letting him type instead of write.

He also worked on his handwriting, then struggled through a multiplication worksheet, followed by a reward of 'MangaHigh'. We started looking at the human body for biology and watched a video and explored some online diagrams of various systems in the body. Then DS filled in a questionnaire to cover what we'd just watched.

His chore today was helping me dry up (he had the choice - to wash or dry).

I wonder if maybe we should drop some of the daily Maths, English, Science stuff though. It isn't leaving us much time for anything else. DS is doing four sessions on each of these every week, but I wonder if he would make enough progress with just three a week.

SDeuchars Thu 20-Sep-12 17:54:54

mam29 wrote: he did say from lea point of veiw what i had done would be good enough to home educate.

His opinion of what you have done is irrelevant - the LA does not get to make a decision as to whether it is "good enough". If there is reason to think a child is not receiving an education, then they can intervene; otherwise, it is up to the parent, not the LA, what the education comprises.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 20-Sep-12 22:43:28

Mam, I'm really sorry for you and know you worked tirelessly for this. Of course what you have done is good enough for H.ed, he had no right or need to comment on that really.
I think it would be hard with 2 little ones but I bet you could manage it, if anyone could you certainly could. FWIW my dd had attended school for 4 years before she left and emotionally she is fine. She was very happy at school and what you'd term institutionalised, but she is doing ok, not missing friends or the routine at all.

Helenagrace Fri 21-Sep-12 07:27:45

Sorry you didn't get what you wanted mam. I'm sure you can still make a huge difference!

We had a great day yesterday. We did some great science using youtube then we used the stats we got from that in our maths. She persevered with maths and won through. Then we did history and watched wartime farm. It's really good and got us talking about sexism, racism and rationing.

This morning we're going to her old school to take her uniform in as there's a second hand uniform sale tomorrow. Hopefully we'll sell some! They've said that she can go and say hi to her old class.

Other things not going so well. Seriously struggling to find rental houses to view in Sussex. They're going so quickly. I think we're going to need to go down there in a holiday let or hotel so we can act quickly when something comes up.

Had one very weird reaction from the mum of one of DD's friends. I offered her a nearly new school sports bag (used for 6 weeks and they cost £30) plus a swimming hat (£7) and a school backpack (£30) as spares for free as they don't sell them in the second hand sales. She sent me a really snotty reply about being more than capable of providing these things! Very odd.

mam29 Fri 21-Sep-12 09:14:00

Thanks guys for your support and sympathy.

have decided to ring village school that has vacancies and her foot was appointment to veiw.

Its further away, they may so no to flexi school but they smaller, better support and more clubs.

will veiw 2nd school then decide.

went to do pickup yesterday and feel like theres more bad new every week at current school and clicklyness of other mums drives me potty too.

Someone in ddds class had bad accident on infant play equipment at lunchtime. The lunchtime staff dident tell teacher, the then very quiet child sat in class all afternoon and when the mum went to pick her up she could hardly walk and realised foot was swollen and rushed to a and e its broken and shes on crutches for 6weeks.

spoke to teacher as dd passes phobics test -no additional reading support this year depiste being acknowledged shes starting froma low point.

No support for numeracy either and part time ta.

dds freind come home with her shes same year different birthday shes july so was in smaller class last year now on level 9 , dd pon level 5 most of class 6/7.

Helena grace-good luck with move.
what a weirdo ungrateful mum over sports kit.

More than potato prints-not sure could juggle all their needs age 6.5 , 3 and 18months maybe when younger ones are older.

The head loved the work we had done-that was never called into question-was the missing 1 day a week part he hated-disrupting class, extra workload for teacher, dd being different socially.

I think im more cross hes let other family do it for last 3years.

hope everyone has good day we have joy of sports day later if weathers nice as was cancelled last year due to rain.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 21-Sep-12 10:17:14

Yes, I'd like to know his justification for letting the other family do it and not you, mam. Good idea to visit the village school if you are so unhappy with DD's present school. If you send your next two children to the same school, you have a lot of years ahead of you and you need to be happy with your choice. That is awful about DD's classmate, but, sadly, I have known the same thing happen at DD1 and 2's primary school too. I think staff get a bit blase about children injuring themselves sometimes. (DS1 ended up with an infection and a scar on his chin thanks to the teacher not dealing properly with a fall he had at school, where he cut his chin badly angry). I hope the mother at your DD's school complains and the school tighten up procedures after this.

Hope sports day goes well.

Helen - you and DD sound as if you are having a great time smile. The other mum's reaction to your kind offer is extremely odd - her problem and her loss, though. I had a similar experience recently, when I offered DS1's entire school uniform to a friend for free (saving her hundreds). She never took me up on the offer and eventually, when I asked her about it, said she had bought it all. It was really annoying because, had I known she wasn't going to accept, I could have sold it before the new school year and made some dosh for home ed stuff. I still don't understand why she didn't take up my offer. The uniform had hardly been worn and our DC are practically the same size confused.

I hope you have some luck finding a place to live in Sussex. It must be very difficult managing that as well as home educating your DD.

morethan - has your DD been back to her new string group yet? I hope she finds it easier this week.

Have declared today a day off, much to DS1's delight. It's an INSET day at his former secondary school, so his best friend is dropping in later and maybe staying the night. I think it's far more important for DS1 to socialise when he gets the opportunity, rather than study.

Also, I am knackered, so it will do me good to take a break today grin.

Hope you all have a good day.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 21-Sep-12 22:24:31

Hello everyone.

Our week seems to have been a very mixed bag of rowing with dd, then the other end of spectrum, being H.ed best decision we ever made. I am usually the one out of me and dh who can look at the bigger picture and take holistic approach. However, I was for throwing the towel in this week, until dh calmly reminded me we could have 10 years of H.ed in front of us. This was not the best time to suggest this as I could have strangled somebody at that point. It wasn't a good day. So like Colleger, have decided to take a more autonomous route and today has been better.
hanks Toffee, yes she went back to her ensemble yesterday and had practised the pieces for 30 mins every day. Her confidence grew as 4 older girls y6 started and as were sight reading the pieces needed support and she didn't have help this week. She also went to choir and is already practising audition pieces for next concerts. Confidence restored! Lots of practice today though, and even managed a bit of theory, can't be bad.
Hope everybody else is doing well.

Helen, I think you are doing fantastic and sounds like your dc are thriving. Hats of to you for making it so much fun for them. I think this takes alot of talent as I think some people could get bogged down with curriculum, levels and be worrying about what they are doing, you seem so cool.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 23-Sep-12 11:02:37

Iris - just saw link on another thread about how primary schools are using Minecraft to teach. Might be worth showing your DH. Am trying to work out if I could do the same with DS1.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 23-Sep-12 11:04:00

Hmm. Will try again. here

ToffeeWhirl Sun 23-Sep-12 17:00:06

Took me ages to find a printable body outline for biology today, so - in case it's of interest to anyone else and saves you time - here is one I found. I'm using it so DS1 can put body organs in the right places, but it can also be used for paper dolls, self-portraits, etc. Lots of other interesting printables on this website too.

CuttedUpPear Sun 23-Sep-12 17:19:23

Hello everyone.
Well after a busy few weeks (for me) I have taken DS out of school - he didn't start at all this term. I felt nervous but liberated.

DS is 15 and is being assessed for SEN. He's been unhappy at school - well, always. And more so in the last 18 months. School have tried to give him lots of support but he gets bullied and his few friends aren't enough to make up for the huge amount of people there he has to cope with. He hasn't achieved anything academically really.

was my previous thread

Anyway school have suggested they recommend him to the Pupil Referral Service on 'Emotional and psychological grounds'. This will mean 5hrs a week one one tutoring up til his GCSEs next year. This is a great help for me as I am worried about getting him through them on my own. DS will remain under the pastoral care of the school but under no pressure to return.
He will be home edded to make up the rest of the study he needs. At the best I hope for 2 passes. I'm self employed and a lone parent, so this next year might be a bit of a shock - hopefully not too much.

Now I'm looking for the right books for DS to use in study. We already use Bitesize. What should he use for Eng Language, and Science? Do I have to check with school/PRS which exams he's taking - they will be paid for by school.
I've seen some books on Amazon called AQA - would they be the right ones for us? And DS is trying to do geography but it's overwhelming just to look at the worksheets sent by school - are there any decent books out there?

Thanks for your help.

CuttedUpPear Sun 23-Sep-12 17:20:37
ToffeeWhirl Sun 23-Sep-12 18:34:02

Hello, CuttedUpPear. I have read your other thread and I'm so sorry you and your son are going through this awful time. It all sounds very familiar to me (even down to your son using Minecraft as an escape from the real world). It sounds like a good compromise that he will still receive tutoring from the LEA, although he should be entitled to far more than five hours a week. I can't remember how much I was offered for my son now, but it was more than that, although, thinking about it, that might have included the e-learning facility.

As your son has been referred to the Pupil Referral Service, you should get the support of an area co-ordinator from the LEA. It took ages for this all to go through in my son's case (months), but once it was up and running, we found our LEA contact very helpful. I hope you are just as lucky.

I think you should check with the school which exam board he is going to be following and which textbooks are recommended. As your son is still on the school roll and so, technically, still a pupil, he is entitled to work and textbooks from the school, but you might have to badger the school a bit for them. Before the LEA stuff was set up for my DS, I asked the school for work and they eventually sent a pile home to us. I did have to email each teacher individually though. I also received some textbooks to use.

There are lots of great textbooks, but you need to be sure which exam board your son will be using first. I think AQA is one of the most popular.

Personally, I like BBC Bitesize and I think it would be fine for your DS for the moment.

Is your son getting any support through CAMHS? We went through no end of therapists, but we're with a good one now who diagnosed DS1 and gave him medication to help him with his anxieties and OCD. The combination of medication and not being in school has been the best thing for him. I really hope your DS gets the help he needs too.

I know exactly what you mean about feeling liberated. It is unbearably stressful to keep trying to make your child do something that is making him so unhappy. At least that pressure is off both of you now. Can you make sure your DS1 keeps up contact with his school friends though?

I would give both of yourselves a break for a bit before you do any work. Could you watch films together/go swimming/talk about Minecraft/go for walks, etc etc? It sounds as if you both need a holiday.

CuttedUpPear Sun 23-Sep-12 20:31:46

Hi Toffee, I'm please to tell you that DS is much happier now - more polite and helpful as well, I hope it lasts!
We have had some work through from school (although the geography is immensely confusing) and a really nice letter from DS's Science teacher, saying how much he will miss him.

One of DS's friends from school has been in contact too, a girl, and he is trying (although mostly failing) to arrange to meet up with her.

I feel that we have already had a break - it's been a couple of weeks - and DS has worked out a study schedule to start with next week.

We aren't getting any support through CAMHS - no one has been in touch yet really. DS's assessment of SEN is somewhere in the pipeline, I think/hope they will need to meet with him soon. We're in a Welsh area, will that make a difference or is it still CAMHS do you know?

I've bought a load of study books for Eng Lit today on Amazon so DS can start with them next week. I think the Shakespeare text will be a bit of a shock so I've bought him 2 graphic novels of the play as well (Merchant of Venice).

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Sep-12 00:25:46

CuttedUpPear - It's good to hear that your DS is happier already. What a relief for you. Good too that you already have work from the school. I have to say that I ignored the school work that seemed too boring/irrelevant/confusing and we just worked on the rest of the stuff or did our own thing, but maybe it matters less at my son's age (he's 12).

You should keep that nice letter from the teacher. My son also had some lovely correspondence from teachers when he left (emails) and I have kept them in my home ed' scrapbook because it cheers me up to see them. I'm sure your son's Science teacher will want to know how your son gets on in the future.

Good news too that one of your DS's friends has already been in touch. I really hope he manages to meet up with her. It's so important for him to keep in contact with his friends.

Sorry to hear that your son isn't getting any help through CAMHS yet (it is CAMHS in Wales as well). We were told it was initially a 12-week waiting list for an initial consultation.

The graphic novels of 'Merchant of Venice' sound an excellent idea. DS1 has just started on 'Romeo and Juliet' and I have no idea how he is going to cope with it as he is more used to the language of Minecraft smile.

Have just spent a pleasant half hour cutting out organs of the body for DS to stick onto a body outline tomorrow. Have added flaps to the outline too (eg. lift the flap to find the heart). There's no point asking DS1 to do any of this because he hates crafty things (whereas I love them), so this is a compromise. He will have to label the organs and position them correctly. Hopefully, this will help get the facts in his head. Have also found a useful page on the BBC Science website called the Interactive Body, where you have to drop the organs onto the body image correctly.

Off to bed now...

Jamillalliamilli Mon 24-Sep-12 11:38:43

Just de lurking to say to Cutted up Pear that you need to find which exam board you’re using and then go have a look at their on line resources, and get the appropriate course books for that board (so AQA books for AQA exam board) and especially the scheme of work, grade descriptors and examiners remarks. (We initially chose a lot of edexcel syllabuses to study because of the openness of what it took to get what mark, perfect for ASD son, and quality of resources available.)

This should start to make a lot more sense of things for you.

As he’s now under PRS/U he can actually sit any board that any of your LA’s schools are using, as they are registered exam centres for those boards. (They should just pay for any board and find you an exam centre, but you probably have enough on your plate without having to enforce that)

How to study a Shakespeare play may be helpful. we found some ideas here useful:

We also found this a useful dip in resource:

Science; you need to find out if he will be doing controlled assessments through school, (and how they will arrange tuition for these) or if he will switch over to a written only syllabus, and again which exam board.

If you want, and can tell me which exam board, ie; AQA, Edexcel, OCR, WJEC, etc, (and preferably but not essential, higher or foundation tier) and give an idea about what topic, ie urban environments, developments, microclimates etc, the ‘confusing geography’ is about (or is that the confusion?) I may be able to help, or find you resources. (We’ve done IGCSE geography, as an s/e L/P so sympathies, and are now onto AS)

One useful set of books that cover a majority of useful stuff no matter what exam board is CGP books. They’re a lot better than Letts, but some find the Letts one’s easier, so horses for courses.

Many Heinemann educational books are automatically good quality.

Don’t forget that your library can do library inter loans (sometimes it helps if you know x library has the book you want) and should buy in books if they would be of use to many.
Hope something ^ is of some use.

Jamillalliamilli Mon 24-Sep-12 11:41:21

Sorry, the links haven't come up as links, but if you c+p them into browser they do work, or maybe someone smarter that me could make them be links? smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Sep-12 12:00:12

Re: Getting's links:

Shakespeare link here.

Absolute Shakespeare here.

Heinemann website here.


Helenagrace Tue 25-Sep-12 13:42:38

We had a very positive visit from the LA today. She was really nice and showed an interest in what DD was doing but didn't pry. Apparently I've raised eyebrows by being very open with them and not being funny about having a visit. She gave me four sides of helpful websites and offered DD subsidised music lessons!

DD has been struggling with our weather topic do we looked at the flood warnings today and got the local OS maps out and looked at where the warnings were and why there might be flooding problems there. Wasn't entirely sure it would work as we were a bit spontaneous but it worked well.

We've decided to HE DS next half term too as we'll be moving in that half term and it just makes things easier.

We're going househunting in West Sussex this weekend. Hopefully we'll be more successful than last weekend!

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Sep-12 14:54:29

Helen, wow subsidised music lessons how on earth did you manage that one? Its great, you leave the system and get offers that would never be forth coming whilst at school, ha ha.

Good luck with the house search, its hard when you only have a couple of days. We did the same with a move from Norfolk to Lancashire and the house we are in now we lost once. We were gazumped half way back to Norfolk.
It all worked out well.
I think its a good move H.ed for ds as you can look at areas without fantastic catchment for schools if you think you might make H.ed permanent for them both.
Your weather topic sounds fun and very topical this last couple of days.

We are still doing lots of music, but are managing a few other things now including science (I decided to revise plants) and Geography (UK and British Isles). I am a bit concerned atm as dd seems to retain very little knowledge which means she may be struggling like I did. Maths is just terrible and I really don't know what to do.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 25-Sep-12 17:04:21

Helen - that's wonderful that your LEA contact was so helpful and offered your DD subsidised music lessons. Good idea to home educate DS too whilst you are in the process of finding somewhere to live.

More - are you still following a more autonomous route, as you mentioned further upthread? Is that working all right with your love of lists? Sorry your DD is struggling to retain knowledge and that it is worrying you and bringing back memories. Does your own experience of dyslexia/dyspraxia mean you know how to help her? I sympathise with her on Maths. Maths is my poorest subject and DS1 struggles with it too. He is using MyMaths and MangaHigh, as well as the Galore Park textbook (but he needs a lot of support with this). We used to subscribe to MathsWhizz for both DSs, but the novelty wore off after a while.

DS1 saw his English tutor yesterday morning, but I didn't push him to do the work I had planned afterwards because he was in a state of high anxiety about a hospital appointment I had to attend. At times like that, I'm so grateful we now have the flexibility of home education. He asked to do some art on the computer instead and he found that really relaxing. He printed out his picture this morning and said, "I feel really proud of that" smile.

His tutor has noticed DS is struggling to concentrate for the full hour and has suggested that he do just half an hour, with his wife (also a teacher) spending the other half hour on Maths. This is a brilliant idea, because it means DS will get the Maths tuition he needs, but we don't have to fork out any more money.

I might also suggest that the tutor drops the Shakespeare study for now, as I think it might just be too difficult for DS at this stage.

Had a good day today. DS is really getting into a routine with regular work now. This morning, he practised his handwriting, then we spent quite a while looking at organs of the human body. He spent some time on the BBC Science Interactive Body site. Then he stuck pictures of body organs on a figure (with flaps to find the kidneys and the heart) and labelled them all.

He did some multiplication practise with a 'Number-Word' puzzle, then played on MangaHigh. He seems to have forgotten a lot of his times tables, so we will have to spend time practising them again. I feel as if we are spending ages on the basics of Maths, but there's no point in progressing before he's ready.

How is everyone else getting on? mam - have you visited the other school yet? Or had anymore thoughts about home educating full time?

CuttedUpPear - I hope your DS is still being helpful and polite! Long may it last (I have to warn you that DS1 also went through this stage when I first took him out of school, but normal service was resumed later wink). DS1's 13-year-old friend came to stay overnight yesterday and managed to say only one sentence to me the whole time, which was, "Where are my socks?" Not a word of thanks for meals or hospitality. Surprisingly, I am very fond of him! I think it's just a teen thing.

TBex, Colleger, Bee, Intersat, Iris and Take - how are the early days of home ed going?

morecats - is your DD feeling stronger now after her recent anxiety relapse?

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Sep-12 20:45:36


I think you have answered my question. I presume if I can REMEMBER to stick to the basics in maths she may not panic so much and it may give her an ounce of confidence here.
We are still doing loads of music, maybe too much but she is happy with this. She also asked to do science today, but I think maybe maths was too much.
We aren't fully autonomous as old habits are hard to break, but she is choosing what she wants to do more now, and I am dictating what she does far less. You would think my dyslexia and dyspraxia would enable me to help her, but I think it makes it worse. Over the years I found strategies to overcome certain problems but those of early school I blanked as it was a very painful time. I am so glad that things have changed in schools now and that we took dd out when we did. I know it could have been a lot worse and she has the full support of the family now. I had my doubts that she wasn't quite right from around age 2 but all through school yr-y3 they told us all was fine.
I am so glad your tutor is working out well and half an hour sounds great. I am going to look at some fun websites for maths, dd last school had mathletics and she loved this. Although when logging on at home she spent most time changing her persons profile.

mam29 Wed 26-Sep-12 11:06:36

Glad everyones doing ok.

Toffee whirl-Really not sure what to do.

got appointment with other school tommorow.
the other schools grounds not as good and quite a distance.

Not sure to aska bout flexi schooling on 1st visit or not.

dd likes her current school and has freinds, its just the academic and next 4years at junior that worries me.

Her current year 2teacher is much better than last year.

literacy improving
numercay still a struggle.

between homework and clubs on weeknights and meetings its hard to do much with her at home hence why wanted the 1 day off.

shes done a bit of carol vordman and earned her final badge.
The video tutorials with carol been really useful.
shes got until 30sept-but shes earnt all her summer club badges so just few more things to do.

we done some free ixl-as thats helpful to tally up as extra homework that they doing in school.

Cant wait until half term when we can do more.

she got 10/10spellings last friday.
shes gone up reading levels
moved tables for literacy.

we joined free trial on phonics play and the bbc websites free stuff been useful she seems to prefer computer based learning with interactive games.

definatly signing up to maths factor for tables and sums and xlr for maths curriculum year 2 and hope that will help.

Right now I dont think fulltime home ed be good for her as she likes school, the younger 2 not sure.

toddler likes preschool-but thats just craft and play.

TyrannosaurusBex Wed 26-Sep-12 22:10:57

Hi all, been away for a few days and just getting back into the swing of things, everyone here seems to be feeling positive!

DD1 mentioned that she never did much craft at school so she spent a lot of today making a tractor out of junk recycled materials - she was very insistent that it had to be a John Deere one.

She did some more of topic on Ancient Greece and researched crafts and food, wrote a shopping list so that we can eat like Ancient Greeks tomorrow, although I did ask that fox be crossed off.

Did numeracy with free IXL, am thinking of subscribing at £59 for year - does anyone have any feelings as to which maths website is best?

Finished up with some reading, really need to visit library but all three kids have received 2nd reminders for books I have no knowledge of! Will have to ban DH from using library cards.

Hope everyone had a good day.

mam29 Thu 27-Sep-12 17:03:06

T bex I been using the free ixl last few weeks.
read few reveiws mostly american and canadaian home educators use it.
Must admit do like way it tallies in with uk national curruculum and the uk ixl is covering exactly what she does in school.

So week before last-school did shapes. they gave out 2lots of shape homework , as daughters in lower table she got stupidly easy stuff like spot shapes in your home-Even I was insulted.

The top group got properties, no of sides and identifying more complex shapes -so to make up for dismall homework I did some ixl with her you get some free daily-dont think its good for teaching so far maybe its once subscribed too but for reinforcing knowledge of maths topics think its very good as if get wrong it explains why got wrong.

I think £59 a bargain.

We nearly completed carols summer school on maths factor ended up getting that for 5.99 as joined half way through summer.
must admit I like this for general maths and times tables as lots and lots of repition and dd likes her video tutorials so pondering if should do arthmitic club £19.99 a month or one off times tables at 19.99 and add revision clubs and think they do a winter holiday club too but they dont seem to cover shapes and other things ixl cover and no free trials.

I joined free 10day trial yesterday of education city as read on primary board that some schools use it for homework this appeals as covers

literacy and languages and is bargain

£30 a year

The bbc sites great just type in maths keystage 1 of 2 even keystage 3 as is all bitsize with games.

I worry im becoming an online educational junkie as signed up[ for phonics play free trial as dd loves using it in school thats bargain £12 a year and useful for younger 2 in few years time.

Keep reading good things about maths whizz but thats £19.99 a month.

But in comparision when dd was struggling year 1 we looked at explore learning £80 a month-for maths and english.This was computer based learning so really very similar to what some sites above were offering.

even if I joined maths factor, whiz combined that be £40 a month and add ilx, phonics play and education city that be another £100 a year so over course of 12months £580 a year yikes seems high when add it up but cheaper that the £960 explore or £1400 kumon.

Still havent purchased the singapore my pals was lusting after as unsure where could fit it in now heads turned down flexi school proposal.

kumon I think was £60 for maths and £60 for english a month!

Is it worth ringing ixl and asking if try for one month £8 then if like it and take year then get that £8 back? least worth a try see if its for you as they only seem to offer free trials for teachers.

education city have free 10day trial and mthas factor have some revision courses £6.99 not sure when winter club is guess in xmas hols.

Sounds like you doing well.

we visited smaller primary today-I loved it.
but dh thinks too far, dd wouldent want to move, no gurantees siblings get in as out of catchment and its smaller lack facilities but they way they taught so handson think dd after settling would love it but dh reckons doesnt offer much more than she gets now and her year 2 teachers good its next 4years im worried about.

We could move next year-if theres space which is rare
or guess could deregister/homeschool if all went horribly wrong with current primary.

feel even sadder no seen it and definatly on 1st choice for younger 2.
but dont want to go against hubby and would be an issue.

im not sure eldest be receptive to moving..
Think a move would be good for her but if cant convince hubby or child then no go we all have to agree..

Hoping to do bits and peices on weekend as feel especially need to support her miore with numercacy this year as with literacy she improved already.

TyrannosaurusBex Thu 27-Sep-12 21:59:25

Oh thanks Mam, that's so helpful, I'm going to look at BBC site tomorrow. I'm really sorry that you feel sadder after seeing the other school. Have you talked to your daughter about it?

mam29 Fri 28-Sep-12 07:36:05

Thats ok t bex theres so many bit overwhelming read about most on primary board so in comparison mode of which is best value and suited to my dd.Least there are some free stuff and lots of reveiws onine of most of them just google maths whizz reveiw, or ixl whichever one that interests you.

Testing education city on weeekend but this one appealed more for literacy and science rather than numercacy.

Been looking at numicon maths manipulatives online blimey they pricey, the other school mentioned they used it.

Hubbys decided he wants appointment with current year 2teacher this week to find out how shes doing, targets, additional help and how year 2works in current school but still think hes pro dd staying where she is.

Spoke to my mum who thinks im silly and reckless by but she made some bad school choices for me.

hoping to do some one to one learning with dd weekend weeknights o hectic and shes tired.

hope everyones doing ok.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 28-Sep-12 10:23:26

Sorry you are feeling troubled and sad about the school issue, mam. It's difficult to move your DC once they are settled in a school and you do have to think of practical issues like sibling places and distance as well. The main issue is whether your DD is content at school. If she has good friends and is settled, that's good. A friend of mine has two highly gifted children and they were never challenged properly at primary school, but they had a stimulating home life and they were happy at school. They have both gone on to do really well at secondary, so it didn't matter that they weren't stretched at primary.

The trouble with trying to do stuff with your DD out of school is that she'll be too tired for it. I don't do anything 'schoolish' with my DS2 once he's home from school, although we do 'make and do' stuff together.

Funny you should mention EducationCity: DS1 is doing a trial on it today. I think there's a discount for home educators if you subscribe.

TBex - Sounds like you and your DD are having fun doing stuff together. I haven't tried ixl but am intending to give it a go. Both DC did MathsWhizz for a while, but the novelty wore off. It was fun for a month or two.

Today is meant to be our outings day, but DH has gone to work this morning, I have a visitor at midday and it's raining, so not sure if we'll fit it in. DS won't mind, as he hates going out anyway. Maybe we should watch a DVD instead.

The house is a mess. Have piles of books and files (not to mention DS2's 'make and do' stuff - cereal boxes, etc) all over the dining-room table and the top of the piano. Looks like a proper home educator's house these days grin.

mam29 Fri 28-Sep-12 14:46:21

I just felt the other primary taught more informally and hands on style how I would choose to teach at home.

But if cant persuade hubby then its a no no.
havent mentioned it to dd,.

shes happy and settled where she is in terms of freindships.
the grounds ,facilities nice its certainly convieniant.

just lack confidence in them these days and have nagging doubts over picking the wrong school.

its last year infants I know the sats only for teachers benefit but do worry about outcome if she ends school year behind again

Been researching numicon and cuisinere rods and think might purchase both and use on weekend or to help with maths homework as dd is more visual, practical and hands on.

I think could help dd but current school not pro maths aids.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 28-Sep-12 15:58:19


What particular reason might your dh not be in agreement? I ask, as mine wasn't at first and now he is finding so many positives, that when he voices them I have to make a huge effort not to say "I told you so". The first time I mentioned the idea to him it was so funny. He asked if I'd lost my marbles/ leave of senses etc.
I can see why you lack confidence in schools after reading your posts, and I really feel for you. If you want to use the aids I think you should, as whether school like it or not, she's your dd. I know I used to do things and wasn't sure if the school liked it or not. But I'm a terrible rebel.

TyrannosaurusBex Fri 28-Sep-12 20:06:26

Mam, with a go-the-extra-mile mother like you, your DD is going to be just fine. I think those of us whose parents made poor choices often agonise about the implications of every decision we make about our DC, meaning that we were anxious children and are now anxious parents, but our kids do benefit.

Agree with morethan that you should use study aids if you like, from what I see at work they are beneficial.

Toffee, your house sounds like mine!

ToffeeWhirl Sun 30-Sep-12 11:55:17

mam - if she's happy and settled and the grounds and facilities are good, those are major pluses. I sympathise with your frustration though.

TBex - all my energy and time goes into home ed now and there's not much left over for housework. It shows! DH and I agreed we should have an 'INSET' day and spend the day decluttering.

morethan - my DH was against home ed too, at first. It takes a huge shift of attitude to accept it if you don't know anything about it.

Well, both DSs tried out EducationCity and neither of them liked it. DS1 thought it was a silly name, as that in itself put him off (there's an indicator of his view of 'education' sad).

On Friday, DS1 spent most of his time devising a logo for a website. He then sent it off to the moderator and was incredibly chuffed when he received a complimentary reply. He started work straight away on another one. It was lovely to see him so engaged in his project. He was using and when he didn't know how to do something, he looked it up on YouTube and learnt from other people's instructions.

I spent yesterday evening working out a scheme of work centred on 'Shadow', the Morpurgo book we've just finished reading together. I realised we can cover all sorts of subjects using that book - English language and literature; religion; geography (tracing the journey of the main characters from Afghanistan to the UK); human rights (asylum seekers); history (war in Afghanistan); current affairs (what is happening now), etc.

DS1 has his first Maths lesson from a tutor on Monday.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 01-Oct-12 11:21:18

First Maths lesson went really well grin. Phew.

Helenagrace Mon 01-Oct-12 12:50:00

Great news toffee.

Our move is sorted! Put a deposit on a rental house this morning. Removers provisionally booked.

LA are being ridiculous over a school place for DS. they won't tell me until after we've moved where the places are. Schools are not allowed to talk to me directly about admissions.

After our move when I should be unpacking I have to then view schools, apply, wait two weeks for an offer and then another week for the acceptance. This leads into the Christmas holidays so all in all DS will be out of school for almost 7 weeks.

I haven't told them I'm home edding Dd but grrrrrrr!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Oct-12 13:31:26

Hello Helen

Glad you have found somewhere, even though it means a drag with the school system. When we moved we were given all the details about local schools. Have you called them directly as I found the schools more helpful than the LEA, and I don't understand why they can't talk to you directly.Some even sent out info by post. Obviously we weren't allowed to register until the move but thats fair enough.It seems a weird LEA, or maybe its a southern thing (joke).
Being positive, 7 weeks may go quite quickly and at leasrt up till xmas you can have some nice themes and topics to do, and crafts will be sparkly and colourful.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 01-Oct-12 16:18:42

Helen - that's great news about the house! Not such good news about the school situation though. It does seem ridiculous. How do you feel about having two DC to home educate?

morethan - I have only just started thinking about Christmas and hadn't thought of all the nice Christmassy stuff we can do together smile.

DS1 and I did some geography today by tracing the journey of the characters from 'Shadow'. We followed the trail across a world map and looked at images on Google Earth. DS1 wasn't very interested and he kept losing focus, which meant I ended up doing most of the work. It made me feel a bit downcast as I wondered if DS1 was actually learning anything with me. However, DS1 told me that his concentration was actually better with me than it had been at school. I don't know how the teachers coped...

Colleger Mon 01-Oct-12 19:55:11

You ladies (men?) can certainly write! wink

Sorry I've not been around. I'm loving HE. Well, I'm loving having my son around all the time. Each day is different, some days we achieve a little and other days we don't seem to achieve much. I've decided that if we start anything more structured it will now be after Christmas.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Oct-12 22:42:11

Hi Colleger.

Ditto. We are having a good time and with all this rain certainly not missing the trek to school and getting soaked. I know its selfish but I'm looking forward to winter, snow and sledging in our park. Its near enough our back garden.
We have slowed down with the academic stuff, partly due to the lack of confidence of dd with maths and English and also time constraints. We're still not getting through nearly enough. The music practice is brilliant though and she justs gets on with it as part of her routine now, and it takes up most if not all of the morning. After lunch theres not alot of time for much more, and with little auditions and concerts coming up she's in her element.

Glad you are enjoying H.ed and so glad your ds is practising, It really saddens me when I see talent going to waste. How did he go on with the Orchestra, and is it the one that has the summer school course and no weekly rehearsals? I'm sure you know the one I mean. I was surprised when I looked into it and had presumed they all rehearsed every week and did concerts etc.

Colleger Mon 01-Oct-12 23:00:41

I've cut practice from 2 to 1 hour on bassoon and he seems much happier to do it. He's given up an orchestra he feels is too basic and sticking with the challenging ones and this has surprised me. Currently he's only at one orchestra a week which isn't enough but I'm not pushing for JD and I also enjoy having my Saturdays free. We'll see how things go. I'd rather take our foot off for a short while than him decide it was all too much and stop.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 02-Oct-12 09:51:59

Have just heard that there's a new home ed group starting up in my town soon. Just what I wanted! Am really hoping I can drag encourage DS1 to go. It would be good for both of us to meet other home educators.

englishpigdog Tue 02-Oct-12 10:17:41

I have just seen this thread, is it ok if I join you ?

My ds is 6.5 and really struggled at school with anger issues and low self esteem so we removed him half way through the summer term last year. He is doing so much better both with his self esteem and with his reading/writing.

I would love to share tips and advice with you all.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 02-Oct-12 16:03:16

Welcome to the thread, englishpigdog smile. We are all new and finding our way here. It helps to have others to share these early days with.

It's great to hear that you son is doing so much better now he's out of school. That was a brave decision - I know how difficult it is to go against the assumption that children will go to school (my son is 12 and we deregistered in July, so it took us a bit longer wink). Are you enjoying home educating your DS? What sort of things do you do together?

DS1 has ended up having a day off formal work today. I had to meet friends this morning, so left him playing on the computer. Then he had to come into the nearest town with DH and me so I could keep an appointment at the hospital. DH took him bowling whilst I was busy. It is always an achievement to get DS out, so we were proud of him for coming with us.

LIttleMcF Tue 02-Oct-12 16:23:02

Can I join please?

We've got a place at the school of our dreams, just at the top of the road, fantastic environment, caring, and supportive. And yet...I still want to home ed. I wish I'd had the guts to just do it (DH's support is not 100% though); and now DD has been in school for two weeks, and I'm totally unhappy about our choice.

How do I know, how did YOU know, what was best for your DC? I'm in a total quandary. My heart has always told me that children are too young to be in full time education at 4/5. DD is doing 1/2 days but we have pressure to do full days and I don't want her coming home exhausted, just wanting to slump in front of tv etc.

I want a vibrant, full, fulfilling education for her, that I can share her journey with to an extent, not feel excluded from, at this very young age.

Am I talking selfish twaddle? Driving myself mad.

TyrannosaurusBex Tue 02-Oct-12 17:05:26

LittleMcF, your post sounds like it was written by me 4 years ago (even down to the school of your dreams at the top of the road) when DD1 started school and was coming home exhausted. I too knew that 4 is too young and sent her for half days - it was a gut instinct that she would be better being HEd, but it took 4 loooooong years before I acted on it and I regret it bitterly. I have my chirpy, energetic, affectionate little girl back instead of the negative, moody, listless teenager-in-waiting I wrangled with for years.

I finally made my decision after becoming a teaching assistant (initially supply, then at her school where I still work part-time) and seeing the unbelievable amount of time that is wasted during the school day, the boredom/bewilderment/resignation of the pupils and the impossibility of teaching large groups of children of wildly different abilities and attitudes.

I have two other daughters in school and pre-school, but I hope that they will be HEd after Christmas - we're only a month in and DH is already convinced, having been very doubtful.

EnglishPigDog, grin at your name. Reminds me of my brother's war comics!

Colleger Tue 02-Oct-12 17:35:59

A good day for us. Latin tutor and then spending five hours with a home ed group which consisted mainly of boys from 11-18. Off to music theory and choir soon. Having to slot in a small amount of music practice today - not as much as needed but tomorrow is another day...

ToffeeWhirl Tue 02-Oct-12 18:28:46

Little - my experience was very different from yours. I knew for sure only when we'd tried school for many years for DS, although I had nagging doubts for a long time beforehand. I had no experience of home ed, so it's been a steep learning curve for me. It sounds to me as if you know already what you really want to do and it's just a matter of getting DH on your side.

Is your DD enjoying the new school?

TBex - interesting to hear your insiders' view of school.

Colleger - sounds like a great day. Is this a new home ed group you are going to? Five hours is a long time - it must have been good!

Colleger Tue 02-Oct-12 20:49:49

It's a drop off group so even better! :D

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Oct-12 21:44:35


Hello pleased you found this thread, a few people including myself didn't find it easy.
I don't think you can be certain that H.ed will be right for your dc, I think you just need to consider all the issues you can think of, and try and cover all eventualities. I think it is also more clear cut if there is a particular/ outstanding problem that really gives you no other choice. This wasn't the case for us, I did research, talked to dh, then dd and 4 months later she left school. You have very good reasons to H.ed of course that isn't selfish, because you have your dds best interests at heart. Our dd was also exhausted and missing out or we were having to make decisions to stop activities she so dearly wanted to continue. I don't think it gets easier as they get older as my dd is 8. I think you should get facts/ theories for your dh, they tend to like these imo/e. Also do some research and be sure its for you and dd, then I'd say go for it. You can always reregister if you change your mind.

Colleger Thu 04-Oct-12 09:33:58

I think I'm turning into a whacky hippy! It was confirmed yesterday when I drove past a banner with an open day for a school and the world "school" seemed like such a dirty word and screamed oppression to me! blush


ToffeeWhirl Thu 04-Oct-12 18:28:19

Colleger - well done on finding a drop-off group envy.

Took DS1 on an introductory visit to a farm today. We had such a good time grin. DS1 climbed into the pig pen and fed and brushed them, threw grain for the hens and collected the eggs, fed the sheep and groomed a horse. He seemed to be enjoying it all and I really hope he'll want to go again. We certainly do! Grooming the horse was one of the most relaxing things I have done for a long time.

Apart from that, we have done very little today. DS1's hand is still hurting him, so he can't write hmm. Plus I have little DS here today, thanks to a croupy cough.

Found a great website for making your own comic strip, by the way (DS1 is making a comic strip to show the characters journey in 'Shadow'). It's called Pixton.

Hope everyone is getting on ok.

Intersat Fri 05-Oct-12 21:53:24

Hello again smile

Everything is going ok here but does anyone else find that they seem to remember very little from their school days? Sometimes it feels like I am learning it all over again confused I quite often have trouble organising lessons too. The links on here are great. Here is one I found today that might be useful for someone else too:

We have a home ed group that meets fairly near us but DD is not that keen on trying it. She seems to be becoming even more socially awkward around others if that is possible. Sometimes I wonder if home ed is making it worse (we think she has aspergers). It's not as though she was a social whirlwind in school though. Maybe I just worry too much...

Helenagrace Fri 05-Oct-12 22:43:41

Things are still ok here. I've switched things round a bit. We're doing more English as that's what she needs. I'm being a bit more relaxed about the humanities.

DS is going to join the HE experiment after half term.


ToffeeWhirl Sat 06-Oct-12 01:07:32

Intersat- yes, I have forgotten most of what I learnt from school too. Thanks for that link - it's really useful (has a good bit on cells that I might use with DS1). DS1 is not keen on attending groups either. He wasn't even sure about going back to the farm, even though he'd obviously enjoyed it. Finally, I suggested that we pay him a small "salary" for going once a week. He has now agreed to go - funny, that!

DS1 is very antisocial too. He finds groups of people incredibly stressful. I really want him to attend the local HE group, but I know it's the last thing he'd want to do.

Helen - glad HE is still going well. I'm sure DS will settle into it quickly too.

It's DS1's 13th birthday tomorrow. I can't believe I am the mother of a teenager. Makes me feel very old!

Colleger Sat 06-Oct-12 09:39:48

We are doing virtually no work. Still haven't started on the Physics box yet and wish I'd never bought it really. DS's supposed to have a Harrow pre-test on Tuesday but I think sending him would be confusing and I think we'll just leave it. We may regret it but at the moment I'm very, very happy having him at home. Anytime there is an issue it tends to be an issue that was there when he went to school anyway. He has reacted to conflict by saying, "send me back to school then" but I think he's just trying to push my buttons.

He continues with Latin but the homework is minimal and he seems to soak it up like a sponge. It's frustrating that he doesn't want to do a small amount of maths because I know I could accelerate him in this with very little effort.

Oh well, baby steps...

morethanpotatoprints Sat 06-Oct-12 21:01:08

Hi Colleger.

We too are doing very little work and sometimes this worries me, other times not so much. Pardon my ignorance but do you have to be exceptionally bright to pass a Harrow test ? Obviously something I never looked at, although how funny is this? One of my initial H.ed thoughts/plans was that dd would become so clever being at home that I could educate her to selective Grammar school level. Not to attend just to pass the tests. Well we live and learn don't we? Poor love will never be the brightest button, but I am hoping she will be academically average with other talents.
I do have one aim and that is to stop the thick sounding (I don't mean stupid, thick) accent she has developed, neither dss's nor dh or I have ever had a strong accent and hers is terrible. Anybody any suggestions please.
I don't mean that BBC prounounciation voice, but something that won't necessarily hold her back, as I don't mean to be mean to her, this one will! Please don't anyone think I constantly put her down, she sings like an angel and is clearly a talented musician.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 06-Oct-12 21:13:02


Just read about your ds's birthday. Ha Ha, my eldest has just turned 21 and I feel ancient, as I wasn't a young mother with him. Can you believe that when dd started reception, one of the teachers said ah, how nice Grandma has brought you.
I practically ran home an ordered a copy of "How to look 10 years younger". Then I realised I wasn't so old, the other parents were aged between 17 and 25, honestly.

Colleger Sat 06-Oct-12 22:21:22

You type like a youngster Morethanpotatoprints! grin

I'm assuming the accent will soften if she's not at school but i am Scottish and have managed to poshen up when the need arises. My so has had two offers from highly selective schools but it's a conditional offer. Harrow is less academic so there would have been no issues going from home ed to Harrow but other schools may be a little risky.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 06-Oct-12 22:53:56

Colleger. You have made my day thanks I was a world cup baby, so yes I guess that makes me old. The Beatles were no 1 and Frank Sinatra number 2 in the charts.

I was suggesting your dc must be clever to be able to do a test for Harrow, but wasn't sure if it was super selective or not.
There certainly seems alot of selective schools down south, thee knows.
There are a few Grammar schools up here, but no selective near us at all.
It may be due to the fact we keep pigeons and wear flat caps by gum.

I do worry about dd and her accent as it is so prominant and I think it may take a time to go.
She is driving me mad atm as she is so flippin clingy. She is fine when out and about and at her music and dance activities, when I am there. Its at home, she won't leave me for a minute. Not sure what thats all about I'm sure.

Colleger Sat 06-Oct-12 23:01:56

She's learning to live with a new mum and she doesn't want you going to the kitchen and returning the old mum! wink

Colleger Sat 06-Oct-12 23:02:19

Mine is more cuddly too.

Helenagrace Sun 07-Oct-12 08:24:42

morethan your accent comments made me laugh. Because we're moving to Sussex I've already read my children the riot act about the glottal stop and what I'm going to do to them if they start saying "wa-er".

At least a northern accent is friendly. I grew up near Birmingham. Try saying "I'm a nuclear physicist" in a brummie twang! It sounds ridiculous!

ToffeeWhirl Sun 07-Oct-12 09:30:22

morethan - I hope that teacher was mortified when he/she realised that you were mum, not grandma!

My DS1 is more cuddly too, but it's usually a distraction technique when we are sitting down to start work hmm.

I don't feel like we got much work done last week either. Appointments and illnesses kept intervening. But DH pointed out that DS1 is still learning more than he did at school, because he spent most of his time there sitting in an office feeling terrified and unable to join in the lessons.

Colleger Sun 07-Oct-12 11:28:03

The cuddles are also a distraction technique too!!! That and trying to make me laugh, which unfortunately works!

morethanpotatoprints Sun 07-Oct-12 22:52:52

Hi all.

Yes I can understand the tactics, dd will try and make me laugh, or find another song to learn when its time for academic work.

The clingy stuff though slightly worries me as although she has always been very loving (for a girl) she seems upset and unconsolable if I want her to spend some time on her own.
She loves Mario Kart the first game she has ever played on and on my wii, as I didn't give in to peer pressure for ds and other consoles.
Not even the offer of an hour or even half will get her to leave my side. Its really puzzling me.
No, the teacher wasn't very mortified nor apologetic, but she was very sweet and we did have a good teacher/parent relationship.

Helen, at the risk of sounding like a pushy mum I have been looking into LAMDA voice tuition, but not decided which one yet. Dh will no doubt think I'm being snobby, but it really is bad. "Lovely child till she opens her mouth". Only joking, but she did have alot of problems with speech and I still don't think its quite right. I think she is dyslexic on the auditory side as she doesn't seem to hear or register some consonants and vowels. So thought the voice tuition might help. What does anyone else think?

Colleger Sun 07-Oct-12 23:24:14

She's just frightened by the concept of home ed and she needs your reassurance. Don't ask her to do things without you, just react positively to her clingyness and it will fade. It is tiring though!

Helenagrace Mon 08-Oct-12 07:32:39

I agree with colleger she probably just needs time with you.

DD did LAMDA public speaking at her prep school. It was good for confidence but not sure it would have moulded her accent at all. I don't know if that's the same as the voice tuition though.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 08-Oct-12 11:09:09

morethan - yes, it does sound as if your DD needs reassurance after the big change of coming out of school. I'm sure it will get better in time. I agree that it is tiring though.

We set off for DS1's lesson this morning, then had to come home urgently as he said he felt ill. He was sick and has taken himself back to bed sad. I suspect that no work will get done again today. Of course he can't work if he's ill, but I do feel a bit panicky about it, especially after our unproductive time last week.

Helenagrace Mon 08-Oct-12 20:16:30

Hope your DS is feeling better toffee. Don't panic about him missing stuff - he's still learning!

We had a good day here. We did some great maths (fractions & decimals) and then DD managed (with a little bit if prompting) to pass an 11+ comprehension exercise. So pleased for her as English is her biggest struggle (dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyspraxia make it very hard for her).

We chilled and watched a programme about the blitz this afternoon.

The packing however is a different story!

ToffeeWhirl Mon 08-Oct-12 23:58:40

That does sound like a good day, Helen. Thanks for reassuring me about DS1. I just feel as if we do so little each day and I worry that he is not making any progress. However, after his 'illness' (probably anxiety) this morning, he suddenly improved and wanted breakfast, so we then did some work. DS worked on a comic for his project on 'Shadow' (this covered IT, Art, Geography, and English Lang and Lit), then we looked at a YouTube clip on making an Incredible Edible Cell cake. DS1 was very impressed that I agreed to let him eat the sweets afterwards grin.

Did some Maths and spelling and then we were finished.

TyrannosaurusBex Tue 09-Oct-12 07:09:59

It sounds to me like you do plenty, Toffee. I know I'm always banging on about this, but I really wish you could be a fly on the wall in the average school and see how little brain work the average child does in a day.

Helenagrace Tue 09-Oct-12 10:25:51

bex is right. I was shocked when I started helping in DS's school. I couldn't believe how much time is wasted.

Just wanted to say if anyone is teaching fractions and decimals I recommend the brain box fractions snap game. I got it for a couple if pounds from amazon and it's brilliant. DD has found it really helpful this morning.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 09-Oct-12 12:59:40

Thanks for the encouragement, Bex and Helen. I had DS2 when DS1 was nearly six, which meant I couldn't help out at school and see what school life was like.

Thanks too for the tip on fractions, Helen. We will be revising fractions shortly, so I'll bear that game in mind.

This morning, DS1 and I packed up some of his and his brother's unwanted baby/toddler clothes and took them to the Post Office to send here. We looked first at images of the camps in Kabul and discussed why the people are there - all part of our study of Afghanistan, linked to 'Shadow'. I also want DS1 to understand how some children are not as fortunate as him.

On our way home, we called in at a sweet shop and bought sweets for our Incredible Edible Cell cake, aided by the owner, who found us sweets of the right shape for the various bits.

Home now. Am trying to get DS1 to get on with some division practice, but he is doing everything possible to get out of it. He is a master at time wasting - maybe he learnt that from his school days wink.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 09-Oct-12 20:35:17


how is it going today? Did you manage the division and the edible cell cake.

I always feel panicky or bad if we don't do what I set out to do, which is silly really as any learning taking place is of benefit.

From your usual posts I always think you do alot of interesting things and I'm sure your dcs benefit hugely from your input.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 10-Oct-12 10:09:41

morethan - thanks for your kind words. We are making the cell cake this morning - it was just preparation yesterday. I had to hide the sweets from DS1 otherwise he would have eaten them before we'd even started grin. We did do the division and then went on to look at estimating and DS1 managed it all fine even though he started by lamenting that he couldn't do any of it. He has no confidence in himself.

It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who feels panicky if I don't achieve my daily aims. I suppose it's just as well, otherwise I'd be more inclined to sit around drinking tea and browsing on MN all day smile.

Helenagrace Thu 11-Oct-12 23:08:32

Quite a productive day here. After a moody tantrummy start we managed some maths and three 11+ standard comprehensions - 1 pass, 1 fail by one mark and one fail by a couple of marks. Although we're not doing 11+ I feel that this is a good standard for us to aim for so I'm pleased.

So glad we're out if the local scramble for high school places. We have three schools in the town - one very well regarded and one awful and one in the middle which had been the sanctuary for many parents outside of the good school's catchment. Except that's just crashed, rather spectacularly, into special measures. Cue much stress and panic and even tears.

I'm just smiling smugly and saying very little.

Helenagrace Thu 11-Oct-12 23:31:48

Meant to add DD was looking back through the work in her files today and she said she was really pleased with the work she'd done smile. We've come a long way in a few weeks and I know that this time is a real investment in my daughter.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 11-Oct-12 23:54:38

That sounds wonderful, Helen (well, aside from the moody start). Not only is your DD producing good work, but she is really pleased with the work she's doing and sounds proud of herself smile. And it sounds as if you are growing in confidence in your choice to home educate.

I still don't feel we are doing enough, but I think that's fuelled by my anxiety. Discussing learning with DS1's Maths teacher last week, she said it was always three steps forward and one back with teaching. I can see that that applies to DS and I need to be more patient with the progress he makes and be more sympathetic when he just isn't interested in something and loses concentration.

We are gradually working out a compromise between my determination that he will cover the basics (Maths, Science and English) and his determination to play on the computer all day long. So this morning I gave in to his pleading to allow him to do 'art' on the computer, on the condition that he design a cover for his project book (in addition to doing his own stuff). He went on to produce a really impressive front cover which meant he was happy and so was I.

Friday is our informal day and we are hoping to go on a trip somewhere.

morethan - we are still munching our way through our Incredible Edible Cell cake. It was great fun to make and decorate.

Mam - I hope you are feeling more at peace with your current situation.

How are the rest of you getting on with home ed?

morethanpotatoprints Fri 12-Oct-12 21:01:28

Hello how is everyone doing?
Well another week gone and on reflection dd is a bit happier, but now we don't seem to be doing much.
Even the music practice dwindled a bit this week, but I'm not worrying anymore.
I am determined to next week have a happy dd and be spending time learning.
We both enjoyed time in the park doing living things for science. We also managed another italian and several maths and English sessions but thats about it really. Not very constructive for a week.

Helen I think your 11+ idea is good and one of the first assessment tools I thought of for dd in a few years. Its a much more thorough test and a better benchmark of ability than SATS imo, lol.

I want some incredible edible cell cake, please give me the recipe.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 13-Oct-12 00:31:14

Hello, more. I'm glad you're enjoying home ed and not worrying. And that DD is happier.

It was this sweet boy's video on YouTube that gave me the idea of the Incredible Edible Cell cake. We just made a normal sponge cake, then arranged sweets on it. We had already chosen sweets that were roughly the shape of the components of an animal cell. At 13, DS1 doesn't need to know anymore than the basics, but I decided it wouldn't do him any harm to know extras, so we covered reticulums, vacuoles and so on. My aim was for us to have fun together and for DS1 to simply become familiar with the words and maybe pick up some of the functions as a bonus.

We also got to eat cake and sweets grin.

Next week, I'm going to stick a photo of the cake in our project book and get DS1 to label the sweets with the names of what they represent. Thought I might have the photo as a flap, with a diagram of a cell underneath.

It was our day off any formal learning today. I was exhausted (came down with a cold this afternoon), so decided we'd have a really easygoing day. We had a quiet morning, then DH and I took DS1 bowling. Getting him to go out is always a challenge, so I was glad that he managed it. Bowling has the potential to be fun for DS1 once he has overcome his anxiety, but it was quite stressful for him today and we felt like we were walking on eggshells with him. I hope it's an activity we can do with him again, though. It would be a good thing for him to bring a friend to (and get him off the computer/XBox wink).

Hope you all have a great weekend.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 13-Oct-12 16:18:16

DS2 keeps noticing evidence of DS1's home learning and wanting to join in. I found a plastic 'build-your-own' human body whilst I was clearing out a cupboard today and put it out to look at with DS1 next week. Then DS2 spotted it and spent the next hour pretending to be a doctor and inserting plastic with tweezers. He also asked if we could make an Edible Cell cake together one day. I am now beginning to see how people home educate children of different ages. I can see how you can explore a topic and each child takes what they need to from it, according to their level.

DS1 started programming his Raspberry Pi today, with a little help from DH. We are hoping he'll learn to a useful skill like programming, rather than just how to kill people on his XBox hmm.

Colleger Sat 13-Oct-12 19:24:07

I think it's been a good week for us. DS's much happier and more loving and interestingly, he seems to be focus on the extra curric activities he does much better. If anything, I thought it would have been the opposite because of a lack of focus and discipline but maybe he's less tired or eager to get out the house. It's also nice to see him almost being top of his peer group. I don't mean academically but socially. There are a few other boys who have good social skills but DS is good at chatting to adults and "charming" others and some of his HE peers are fairly quiet. I'm sure it's purely down to personality and not a reflection on HE or parenting styles.

We've done no formal work other than Latin and his first French tutorial. Once a week he's been doing the Wizard's apprentice but it's really music practice, socialising and the Xbox. Its quite possible we will do at least a term of this. I'd like to do it until March but I'm aware of the weather improving and us being outdoors for hours from March onwards so I don't want the first time we do formal work to be next September so will hopefully start in January.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 13-Oct-12 23:46:15

That's great, Colleger. It must be doing your DS's confidence good to be in a position of strength socially. And the fact that he is so happy and loving shows how much he is enjoying his new lifestyle. You sound really happy with the situation too smile.

Colleger Sun 14-Oct-12 08:15:31

I m happy. Music practice is doing my head in though and I feel quite tied to house because he has to do so much each day spread over a period of hours. I need to start working out how I can get out and leave him to it. But he wouldn't practice if I wasn't there!!!

ToffeeWhirl Sun 14-Oct-12 09:50:24

I know what you mean about being tied to the house, Colleger. I also have to supervise DS1 to motivate him to work or he won't do anything. It's partly down to his lack of self confidence and partly down to his lack of interest in the work. Left to his own devices, he would just play Minecraft or XBox all day.

Maybe this will get better as they grow up and develop more confidence in themselvs and self-motivation? <hopeful>

allchildrenreading Sun 14-Oct-12 11:06:35

For those starting out on Home Education with little ones, have a look at
4.10 year Soren happily engaged in reading - these BRI books are used by a lot of Home Education people in the States and they go at just the right pace for little kids and those children with special needs or dyslexia. And the interaction of the little animal characters really gets young children engaged.

One of the nicest things about Home Education is the fact that so much basic skills work can be packed into the morning - leaving afternoons free. I used to tutor a Home Education family and realised how lovely it was that they had such freedom. It seemed to help them focus on 'school' work in the morning, too, knowing that it wouldn't swallow up most of the day.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 14-Oct-12 15:05:27


Just a thought, not sure if it will work but what we have started doing with dd is:

All instruments rather than one then the other. So exam pieces, scales, followed by ensemle/choir pieces, etc.

Then at least the technical and important stuff has been covered. Then the rest of their practice you can leave to them. The obvious exceptiion is aural and sight reading or theory, but these don't have to be done daily all the time? If nothing else is achieved the essentials have been practised.

Colleger Sun 14-Oct-12 17:17:15

I don't sit in on his practice but he has five sessions a day: 3 bassoon, 1 piano and 1 organ. I have to tell him to go and do it and a phone call wouldn't suffice if I went out for the day because I don't trust him! Sigh...

I'll see how the next couple of weeks go and I'll try and escape and go short walks for my sanity when he's playing! ;)

morethanpotatoprints Mon 15-Oct-12 21:49:31


Just a question, not a criticism at all.
Why 3 sessions of bassoon a day? Also while I'm here, your vocal experience please.
I am looking for a grade 7/8 vocal for dd for competition. Its not for a while yet and thought you might know of something sacred rather than opera as these tend to be easier on the voice, I don't see her teacher too much to ask, its not ideal really. Thought you might know of something?
I think they all go through a spell of either missing practice, or crap practice. DD played 3 scales today and shouted through, done scales now. Then 2 exam pieces and the same. She is so lazy sometimes, other times she'd practice all day, lol.

Colleger Mon 15-Oct-12 22:20:51

DS has been told to study bassoon for two hours per day. Ideally the tutor wants 4x30mins with long breaks but that really messes up my day so I do 3x40mins instead. He then does between 15-30mins on piano depending on attitude and about 10 mins organ practice.

I can't really help with music but I would have thought the grade doesn't matter but the way she sings and performs the piece. Faure's Pie Jesu is a nice piece but DS only did up to grade 5. A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square is nice as is Linden Lea, or a good old fashioned hymn. They probably don't get included very often now.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 15-Oct-12 22:29:45

Thanks for the music suggestions I had seen these and thought Nightingale a bit old for her yet. Pie Jesu, fantastic, heard it on classic fm last week.
I'm so cultured, no radio 1 here, lol.

I wondered whether bassoon practice was down to lip and reed pressure. Don't know much about bassoons but know double reeds can play havoc with sinuses, and cause fainting and nose bleeds. They are the best parts of playing a bassoon. They sound awful at times, almost as bad as viledins.

DD is just getting over the squawking, honking sound on alto and can now play without the squeeks. Dh is pleased with her progress but its understandable as she has a lesson daily, lucky mare.

Colleger Mon 15-Oct-12 22:49:00

She is lucky. I once employed a tutor for seven days solid to get through an audition. I'm not sure it really made a huge difference in the end but your hubby can correct mistakes instantly. Just make sure she has time to be creative on her own and that her personality is stamped on her playing and not hubby's.

I love the bassoon now...when played well. We've never come across any of the medical issues but sometimes DS lips can hurt but that's quite rare now. I wouldn't suggest two hours at DD's age! Lol!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 15-Oct-12 23:04:12

I will heed your advice as hadn't thought of her own style. its ok with viledin as neither of us know anything about strings, so its all hers.

Bassoons are beautiful instruments, but in the beginning they are awful sounding like any woodwind instrument. DD is only doing half an hour but sometimes does 3x 20 mins, but no more on sax. She does at least an hour viledin and Singing though, so it takes most of the morning for practice. I try and alternate by giving her some afternoons but dh tends to have pupils in afternoon. We have very understanding neighbours.

Colleger Mon 15-Oct-12 23:11:19

You just have to do what works for you at the end of the day. I wish DS played violin but he refuses. sad

ToffeeWhirl Tue 16-Oct-12 23:26:07

Am quite relieved I appear to have entirely unmusical children after reading your posts, Colleger and morethan - not sure I could cope with the strain! (My one term of experience with DS1 and Suzuki violin was harrowing, to say the least wink).

Dh was in charge of home ed today because I went on a school trip with DS2. DH was shocked at how much chivvying he had to do with DS1 to get him to do any work. Not news to me...

Managed to get DS1 to his first proper session of farm therapy today. He complained of feeling ill, but that's normal for him when he's anxious, so we insisted he went. Turned out he really didn't feel well, so we had to leave early. Nevertheless, I spied him smiling now and again, so he enjoyed it in spite of himself.

Tonight, DS2 asked me to home ed him too. Uh oh.

Helenagrace Wed 17-Oct-12 07:26:46

We have cello and piano practise but we're talking grade one so waaaaay more relaxed than you lot!

I'm also learning the piano secretly. DH is grade 8 and he'll interfere if he knows so I'm having secret lessons.

HE is still going well. I can see an improvement in DD's writing and she's finally got fractions!!

We move on December 3rd and I think HE next month might consist of a lot of "let's talk about weather / Victorians / electricity / whatever while we pack some boxes".blush

Colleger Wed 17-Oct-12 08:56:11

I had secret lessons too but had to tell DH when out for lunch once and the piano teacher said she'd found an amazing piano for sale and could we come now!

ToffeeWhirl Wed 17-Oct-12 09:39:46

grin at secret pianists!

Glad HE is still going so well, Helen. I have noticed an improvement in my DS's handwriting too - and this is after various professionals told me not to bother with getting him to practise because it wouldn't make any difference hmm. Well, it has.

Good luck with all the prep for moving, Helen.

Not sure what we'll do today, but it will probably involve a game of this, which was a spontaneous purchase from Amazon the other night.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 17-Oct-12 11:32:22

Hello Toffee, Colleger, Helen.

I have secret practice not lessons. This is because dh would teach me but I play for a few weeks then stop then 6 months later start again. So he and dd just think I'm a quitter, so I bribe her not to say anything. It must be hard for young dc to understand undercover practice grin.

Glad everybody seems to be doing well atm, long may it continue. Not long to your move now Helen, are you excited?

Toffee Ha Ha, music lessons can be a strain financially but not to bad otherwise with dd.
I think we put so much emphasis on music as it was the main reason for H.e, and I feel that if I don't facilitate her reaching the required level for her to fulfill her ambition, then not only would we have wasted our time but I'd have failed.
I know this may seem mad to some, but she just knows its what she wants. She is very lucky to have the opportunities she does and she does usually work hard, but it is the be all and end all in our house.

So many people think she is doing it for us though or we are pushy parents even more so now she is H.ed. She knows its not like that though and thats all that matters. Her 2 much older siblings think its mad, but are supportive. They were not interested in music much and gave up at first opportunity. It just wasn't for them, lol.

foxy6 Wed 17-Oct-12 11:34:58

hi all we have not been doing much only took ds (13) out of school last week just wanted to ask can anyone recommend any good web sites for doing some maths . although he is 13 the tests in school showed his maths age as 9 -10 so i want to start at that level.
any suggestions would be great thanks.

foxy6 Wed 17-Oct-12 11:51:41

toffee whirl what's a raspberry pie? i had a look but i'm confused by it look, but looks like it could be interestingsmile

morethanpotatoprints Wed 17-Oct-12 12:43:55

Hello Foxy, and if you haven't yet been welcomed. WELCOME.

I'm not sure of your story and hope your ds hasn't suffered a great deal from his school education.
I have heard many mention Maths wizz, but personally I didn't buy it as had invested in lots of exercise books, lol.
Also my dd used to use Mathletics when at school, but this may be a bit young for your ds.
Your main problem may be that whilst you want the work aged 9+ your ds is alot more mature, grown up than 9 year olds.
There are a couple of us who went down the exercise book route and covered stickers/ ripped age ranges off front covers so dcs weren't constantly reminded they were doing work for younger dcs. Sometimes it bothers them, but others it might not.
Perhaps if you use the book option, as he improves which he will do in leaps and bounds I'm sure, then you can look at something more age appropriate, if that makes sense.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 17-Oct-12 18:58:21

Welcome, foxy6. My home-educated DS is also 13 and he likes mangahigh because it's learning maths through playing computer games. To join, you set up as a home school. Customer services said:

Simply go to the Mangahigh home page, enter the name of your home school (anything you like really), click register and then you can just register yourself as a home school (there is no difference from a proper school account), with yourself as the teacher. Then you can add your son as a student on your account so you can track his progress and set challenges, etc.
A guide to getting started with all this can be found here:

I am also working through a Galore Park Maths book with DS - one or two exercises a day. Book 2 starts with basic adding, subtracting, etc. so DS can catch up on stuff he's missed.

Got to rush off, but welcome to home education.


TyrannosaurusBex Wed 17-Oct-12 20:32:14

Toffee, my dd2 told me yesterday that she wants to be HEd and doesn't want to go back to school after half term! So I am gulping too.

I personally would like to, she is only 17 months younger than dd1 although 2 school years apart, but as she is way ahead of her class she could easily be taught at the same level as dd1. I've told her that we can discuss it at half term but we won't be making any decisions until Christmas as her sister needs time to settle into HE. I dunno if it's right to stall, but I know that (once again) DH will be reluctant, although he is now totally convinced that HE was the right decision for dd1.

I'm slightly daunted too - dd1 is doing better at home than she was at school, but dd2 is a super-high achiever at school and is also very sociable and likes being one of the girls, whereas dd1 enjoys her own company.

I'm also wondering what it would mean for dd3, who is eagerly looking forward to starting 'big school' next September. The rules of admission to the school have changed since my elder two were accepted, and dd3 would be admitted purely because she has a sibling already at school. HE is an option for her, but there is a 5 year gap between her and dd1, not sure how that would work out, especially if all three were home!

Also, I have done very little socialising with mums with similar aged children whereas I did loads when the others were little, so I have been kind of relying on pre-school and (in future) school to provide a social life for her, other than playing with her sisters and their friends.

What's the age gap between your DC, Toffee? Is it an option for your ds2 to be HEd?

ToffeeWhirl Wed 17-Oct-12 23:18:13

It's a six-year gap between my two, TBex. DS2 would be a delight to home educate as he is still full of curiosity about the world, but DS1 would hate it if his little brother was here too. Also, DS1 needs constant one-to-one attention and is easily distracted, so he simply wouldn't be able to work in the same room as DS2.

In spite of DS2's recent complaints about school, I would be loath to move him without a lot of thought first. And I know my family, including DH, would not support me if I wanted to. It's hard for DS2 to see his big brother being allowed to stay at home when he has to go to school, so if he has a difficult day he can't help but want home ed to be an option for him too. But he couldn't wait to go back to school at the end of the holidays and it's only in the last week that the novelty has worn off again.

It sounds as if your second DD would fit into your home ed situation very easily. How would your eldest DD feel about having her at home, do you think? It must be very daunting to consider possibly ending up with three at home if your youngest doesn't take up her school place.

TyrannosaurusBex Wed 17-Oct-12 23:35:52

Hopefully your DS2 will be keen to go back to school after half term, toffee! (Assuming they're having half term sometime soon in the UK.)

I think dd2 would be a joy to teach, but she and dd1 do clash. Also, dd3 would definitely lose her place at the school if dd2 leaves. But I don't know if it's fair to make dd2 stay at school for the sake of the others if she genuinely wants to HE. It just doesn't feel like a natural 'fit' for her the way it does for my eldest, iykwim. Although being free of the school run/homework/PTA commitments/ early morning chaos would be utter bliss!

Aaargh. Back to agonising. It's like last summer all over again!

ToffeeWhirl Wed 17-Oct-12 23:48:59

I hope so, TBex (you're right, half term is in a couple of weeks). I'll just have to make sure he has a really dull holiday wink.

It is such a dilemma and I wish I could magically come up for an answer for you. I suppose you need to just keep talking it over with her and perhaps discuss it with your older DD too and see what her reaction is. I can see the attraction of not being tied to school routines for you.

Have you mentioned it to your DH yet?

Off to bed now as I'm exhausted...

ToffeeWhirl Thu 18-Oct-12 13:20:34

DS1 is poorly. I managed to read to him in bed and have now left him dozing and listening to music. Suddenly realised I now have two whole hours all to myself before the school run <does a happy dance>.

BrittaPerry Fri 19-Oct-12 07:38:26

Hi all :-)

Well, dd1 isn't going back to school after half term :-D

She is 5, and will be leaving year one. Just as a trial, but we are all still very excited :-)

mam29 Fri 19-Oct-12 11:33:00

Hi guys

Have some catching up to do glad you all doing ok.

Thanks for asking toffee- been trying to work on situation with no much success.

so far this term.

had 2meetings with head flexi schooling proposal which was turned down;(.

I then booked appointment with class teacher dident go well very defenesive talking about how they inc harge and have 10years experience. she did acknowledge dd started from very low point.
discussed homework and what we can do to help.

Then day after got told off as dd got her maths homework wrong so had to redo 2lots homework that weekend.
Also we read too many pages of reading book and got told you read what I tell you to read.

Visited another school village primary.

liked it a lot hubby undecided big move uprooting her, further to travel. but does more trips, afterschools clubs, music and enrichment much more informal than year 2bootcamp.

me and hubby had heated debate over it but he said he support me.

I applied to lea as when looked was 3places then there was just 1.
result we ere formally offered a place-valid for 4weeks.
Lea kindly told me oh by way we copied in current school head-how thourghtful not even had chance to discuss with head yet-felt bad as not really way wanted him to find out.

ring new head-book appointment for dd to veiw start next week-so hoping she like it.

other week new sports teacher let kids out class without parent there so class got lecture on strangers and only leaving class when their mummies/daddies there.

The child who broke her ankle 4weeks ago and sat in class all fatrenoon with it-well her mums fuming 4eeks since meeting with head and heard nothing back.

I booked appointment with current head-only time they had 8.30am.

get there-head cant see me hes seeing another set tearful parent.

deputy head appears I dont know here, she doesnt know dd or even what the matters regarding.

she agreed lack extra curricular rubbish.
That they focussed on bad ofsted.
That maybe dd is not that bright and be fine if she gets a 2c at end of year 2-no its not as once again she be below expected average.

School wont giver her any additional help with numercay or or literacy.The reading going slow as they restricting it to 2pages a night its only 20page book. Someone said its because they short on books.

Dd has been tearful and crying this term.
shes finding year 2 too hard-get lecture year 2be hard anywhere.,
she keeps banging on about her targets like shes an employee.
shes been told pff for 2things this term that were not her fault when 2other children were being mean to her.

she won 3races at sports day.

but gnerally shes been tired and grumpy most days.
she gets quite bit homework plus her clubs on weeknights so not had chance to do much.

cant wait until half term-we all stressed and tired compared to summer. been a long term.

Need to let both schools know by wed -break up which school dd be going back to. cant face another 5years with dd at current school plus have 2siblings to start somewhere!

ToffeeWhirl Fri 19-Oct-12 11:34:02

Welcome, Britta. I'm sure you and DD will have lots of fun together. Do you know the MudddlePuddle Home Education site? Lots of fun ideas for little kids there.

DS1 managed half of his one-hour Maths lesson (just started with a tutor) this morning, but felt too ill to continue. Never mind, it was better than nothing. He's now tucked up on the sofa, watching YouTube clips of kittens and puppies. Am not sure how educational that is, but it's certainly entertaining. And if he was school educated, he would be off sick today anyway.

Hope everyone has had a good week.