What are your views on home-schooling?

(341 Posts)
Littleraysofsunshine Tue 09-Oct-12 16:30:38

Just out if interest

Chubfuddler Tue 09-Oct-12 22:07:33

My idea of hell.

It is not for us.

MirandaWest Tue 09-Oct-12 22:17:51

I was taught at home for a year when I was 12. I can understand why my parents did it but I think in various ways it wasn't good for me. Academically yes but socially not. My parents were both teachers and got schemes of work from the school where my dad taught but it really didn't give me the same opportunities that being at school would have done.

ReallyTired Tue 09-Oct-12 22:32:19

I know of families where home education has worked well and other families where it has been a complete and utter disaster. I think its ridicoulous how little monitoring home educated children is done.

mmxe the national curriculum is irrelevent to home educators as many of them have chosen home education to avoid the national curriculum. It is perfectly possible to have an excellent education without knowing about the national curriculum.

I feel that home educated children should have some kind of external assessment to prove that reasonable progress is being made. I am not sure how this should be done as home educators want freedom to teach what they want.

Viviennemary Tue 09-Oct-12 22:39:41

I can't see how anybody can possibly do it. Still some do. Children 24 hours a day, lesson plans, keeping them amused. Making them do work when they weren't in the mood. I'd leave it to the teachers. And I do think children must miss out a lot not going to school. But I can see some point if children are really really unhappy at school or have been bullied or such. But otherwise can't see the point of it at all.

Kiwiinkits Tue 09-Oct-12 22:40:16

My experience of home educated kids as a child growing up was that they were all a little odd. Nice, well mannered, usually quiet, but distinctively odd .
Going to school teaches you street smarts, I think.

discrete Tue 09-Oct-12 22:40:23

reallytired - I am in France and there is some source of assessment to see whether the children are in fact being educated. It is the source of neverending hostility between the he parents and the authorities, and really doesn't work very well at all.

exoticfruits Tue 09-Oct-12 22:45:34

It depends on the child, I can see many times when it would be the best option. You have to take each on their merits. I think too many parents do it because they want to, or they do it with one and don't want the inconvenience of getting to school with the others. They are all different, even within the same family.
I wouldn't want to do it.
I think that it ought to be regulated- all home educators should be visited by the LEA by law.
I know some who are excellent, but there are the whole range and some shouldn't be doing it.

exoticfruits Tue 09-Oct-12 22:51:02

The person monitoring it should be enthusiastic about home education and not trying to impose the national curriculum or other things that the parents are trying to get away from by not going to school. However it does need someone to assess whether the parents are making an adequate job of it.

MoelFammau Tue 09-Oct-12 23:18:02

I was home-schooled. Socially it was a disaster!

BrittaPerry Tue 09-Oct-12 23:44:03

I will probably never recover from the social problems brought on by school. I still don't trust anybody who wants to be my friend, because at any point they could be nasty and then I might be stuck still having to talk to them or whatever.

I am trying to re learn how to behave socially, after school beat it into me that you only socialise with people within a year of your own age, that you have to try your hardest to never stand out (I used to answer 25% of questions wrong on purpose, because otherwise teachers gave me detentions for writing messily and so on, because they assumed that someone clever at one thing must be clever at everything). I learned that caring about schoolwork was deeply uncool, and that maths and science weren't for girls. I learned that sport meant people shouting and jeering while you tried to do stuff that you just couldn't do, and that asking questions outside of the scheme of work was a bad idea. Endless "sammy snail awards" and detentions for getting changed slowly. Other girls laughing at each others bodies, and boys groping us. I could go on.

Strangely enough, in real life I do my uni study at times that fit my natural body clock, I haven't had a 9am start at work for over a decade (what jobs even have that anyway? Surely not everyone works in offices at the exact same time? I have started at times between 5am and 11pm, and hardly ever monday to friday), I manage to wear a suit and smart shoes when needed, I enjoy sport, and I speak to and work with people of all ages perfectly well. I work in very successful teams, and indeed lead and train people to do well, yet none of it involves making a poster. In fact, I do sometimes make posters for my job, but they aren't just copied from a textbook, demonstrating a topic I understood a term ago but I have to repeat AGAIN because of people arsing about. The cultural references I use aren't the ones from school - they are from classics, film, music, internet, politics, poetry that I somehow managed to read without someone making a class of us read one page each r..e..a..l..l..y.....s....l...o...w...l...y. I have workied with people with severe mental illness, the elderly, children, academics, people in all kinds of situations, yet none of them has been interested in the brand or colour of my coat.

The only people I am in touch with from being under 16 are friends from extra curricular stuff, neighbours and family friends.

So, yes, school definitely has it's benefits (I wouldn't send my daughter if not) but please don't assume that it is in any way a good social training ground for life.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Wed 10-Oct-12 03:41:11

I have a lot of problems with it on a political level. It further privileges children who have educated parents who value education, it's overwhelmingly done by women and usually cannot be combined with paid work, and it takes active concerned parents who have energy to improve their children's schools for everybody and hence help the whole community, and focuses that energy on their own little family.

That said, those are objections on a wider political level. I entirely understand why some people choose to do it, especially in the case of children with special needs, and I don't expect anybody to martyr their kids for a political point.

HearMyRoar Wed 10-Oct-12 09:42:00

A little cheer for Britta! I had almost the exact same experience of school and hated it. Despite going to a very good school and getting pretty good GCSEs I couldn't wait to leave at 16. School put me off any form of education for a long time and it was only through open university that I got back into it in my 20s. I now have a degree and MA but don't think I will ever regain the feeling of being comfortable in social groups that school took from me.

My dd is only 6 months so we have a while before we need to think about it seriously but we have toyed with the idea of home schooling. For us though it will come down to whether we can manage financially with us both part time for that long, what the education system is like at the time, and whether we think she would benefit from what a school might offer her.

BrittaPerry Wed 10-Oct-12 11:06:34

Another OU student here :-). It is pretty much HE for grown ups :-)

exoticfruits Wed 10-Oct-12 13:25:28

I don't think that I am suited. I have sent for information on OU several times but never done anything about it-I need the stimulation of other students and can't get motivated on my own.

CakeBump Wed 10-Oct-12 13:31:38

Broadly against, although tbf in individual cases I can see how it might appeal.

I would be worried that many parents simply don't have the training or knowledge to provide a fully rounded education.

birdofthenorth Wed 10-Oct-12 13:31:58

I wouldn't knock it as a choice for people whose individual circumstances lean that way, but I think it should be because it's best for the individual child rather than because the parents can't bear to be parted from them. It's not a choice I can imagine malign myself - schools provide a pretty good start for most kids if you are lucky and support them at home too.

JeanBodel Wed 10-Oct-12 13:38:45

I think it is a perfectly valid educational choice. My kids are in school at the moment but I would be happy to consider HE if circumstances demanded.

exoticfruits Wed 10-Oct-12 13:49:49

I think that all parents should be made aware that it is just another educational choice, but that they should register with the LEA and be monitored.

lljkk Wed 10-Oct-12 14:21:54

It would be my idea of Hell, too.

I was listening to a friend talk thru some difficulties of HE yesterday (secondary level, she is a passionate pro-HEr). DH & were talking later about how HE works for their family in practice and the very real drawbacks that we see.

Not to say that school-ed is usually better, just presents different sets of problems.

The difficulty over the whole "registering with the LEA and being monitored" aspect is that, for a significant group of HE families, their LEA has been a major part of the problems which led to the child coming out of school. In some cases the same LEA staff who have been utterly callous over bullying by pupils or even teachers, or who completely failed to deal with educational issues, are then the ones who the HE family is supposed to welcome into their house and allow to have control over their lives.

For others, their idea of how to give children a suitable education looks so unlike school that the LEA staff are automatically negative and dismissive, despite families being able to produce information to back up the success of methods like autonomous education.

It would have been easy for me to have invited the LEA round and explained what I was doing, for the 2 years I HEd, because we'd had no bad experiences with them and what we were doing was very easy to justify to someone who was used to school-style education. But many HE families have a very different experience.

siblingrivalry Wed 10-Oct-12 16:55:06

I have DD2 in school and I HE DD1, so I have a foot in each camp, so to speak.

I do this because, while DD2 has almost always thrived in school and is happy and sociable while she is there, that wasn't the case for DD1.

DD1 has SN and is now 11. Her entire experience in primary school was horribly stressful and traumatic- for all of the family. I don't feel it's appropriate to go into detail on here, but DD became ill.
We made the decision to HE her at secondary level; there is only one school round here and it is awful, with poor SEN provision and pastoral care.

We manage using a combination of tutors, outside resources (eg a science club) and DH and I also teach her.
When it comes to GCSEs (or whatever exams are in place in a couple of years) we will employ tutors to support her, as we are aware of our limitations.

However, I have to point out that DD1 thrives in HE and has a broad, interesting and challenging curriculum.
What really bothers me is HE children being described as 'odd'- I see many children in DD2's school who have social or emotional issues and I wouldn't dream of labelling or judging them.

I agree that there are some HEdders who are not doing a thorough job, but equally there are many who are doing an amazing job.
All I ask is that we aren't judged, because the reasons for HE are many and varied and not taken lightly- believe me, it is INCREDIBLY hard work.

ReallyTired Wed 10-Oct-12 18:04:15

I think the home education community needs to come up with ideas for monitoring quality. Would it be possible for a home education community to self monitor themselves. I would feel less concerned about a family who belongs to an education otherwise group than a family going a lone with home education.

If home educators are in a group then they are sharing ideas and their children are meeting people outside their families. They do not need to put under the microscope. Support from like minded individuals is more effective. Prehaps home education groups should be able to apply for funding or use school facilites outside school hours.

FlobbadobbaBOO Wed 10-Oct-12 18:55:34

It's a valid choice but not for me or the DC's. DS's homework is starting to hurt my brain and he's only in year 7!!

colditz Wed 10-Oct-12 18:58:44

About the oddness .... I don't think children are odd because they are HE, I think a lot of them are HE because they're 'odd' (in other words, have low level SN that have been picked up by the parents but would be ignored in a classroom.

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