What are your views on home-schooling?

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

Just out if interest

I'm very much in favour, but then I would say that as I did it for two years!

Any reason behind the question?

Littleraysofsunshine Tue 09-Oct-12 20:08:55

I would love to be able to but don't think I'm at the level to be teaching academically! I want what any parent wants -the very best for their children smile

xMinerva Tue 09-Oct-12 20:19:55

It's very much a valid form of education and I'm in favour (bit biased though as I'm am/going to Home educate my dc)

Most parents know what is best for their child/ren whether that be school, home education or anything inbetween.

Mintyy Tue 09-Oct-12 20:21:12

Not for me! I love my dc but cannot be with them (or anyone else for that matter) 24/7.

Emandlu Tue 09-Oct-12 20:21:33

I'm all in favour of parents having the choice of home education but it isn't for everyone, just as school isn't for everyone.

For us it's been great up till now.

BrittaPerry Tue 09-Oct-12 20:22:24

Very pro, my two are at school and nursery, but I think that HE shoukd be given much more support and consideration.

deleted203 Tue 09-Oct-12 20:27:45

I'm not very keen, although I can see that for some children it may be in their best interests. I'm a teacher and I (obviously) feel that for most children formal schooling gives them a broader based education from professionally qualified academics, which in turn gives them more choices later in life. I have in the past tutored children who have been home schooled and found that there were very obvious gaps in their knowledge. I was also slightly concerned that the choice of home ed was clearly parents choice from start - these were children who had never been given the option of school, IYSWIM. Clearly if your child is hating/doing v badly at school then home ed may be a better option, but I feel to never send them in the first place is probably a mistake. However, I know that lots of home educating parents will disagree with me. On a personal note, my eldest son has just taken A level Physics, Pure and Applied Maths and Further Maths, Chemistry, Economics and Business Studies. There is absolutely no way he could have achieved this if I had home schooled him as my abilities in these subjects are severely limited! My subject is History.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 09-Oct-12 20:30:43

Well I am a teacher who thinks that HE is a very valid way of educating children. I think both approaches work well.

ObiWan Tue 09-Oct-12 21:14:30

I have been a great fan of Michael Gove since he showed such support for Home Educators before the last election.

If you live in an area with dire schools, and private education is beyond your means, the HE is pretty much the only way to go. Parents (or perhaps one parent) often make great sacrifices in terms of career/earning potential in order to facilitate their childs learning.

It can be difficult, but there is nothing to stop HE children from reaching their full potential. Any university worth their salt will recognise a strong candidate, whatever their educational background.

Most of the HE kids I know are heading for A-level or equivalent courses, and then Uni. Some were HE until 11, and then went to selective schools.

Admittedly, my experience has been of children who were exclusively HE .

Kewcumber Tue 09-Oct-12 21:22:25

It sounds far too much like hard work to me. If my child had problems in/with school I might do it, otherwise division of labour works well for me and me not teaching my child helps ensure we both live to a ripe old age.

MaryZed Tue 09-Oct-12 21:27:07

I would be a fan, and would very much have liked to do it. Especially for ds1 who has Asperger's.

However, as he listened to me even less than he listened to his teachers, and I was struggling to cope for even the 8 hours a day he was at home, it would never have worked.

It would have been fantastic for ds2 from an educational point of view, as he was bright, interested and willing to learn (all things that school squished, sadly). BUT he is also very sociable, and loves his friends and school sport and the social aspect of school.

It would have been a disaster for dd, as she is/was very shy and if she had stayed with me I suspect she would have stayed home for the rest of her life. School (especially the co-ed school she goes to) has been really good for her.

So - in principle, in favour, but it very much depends on the child.

And of course, the educator needs the patience of a saint, OR a partner who will give them a break at the weekend.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 09-Oct-12 21:33:40

I would love to do it I think. But it would be an indulgence on my part. My children gain loads from their schools and are happy, and I think that plus the input at home is the best overall education experience for them.

So I earn my money educating other people's children.

discrete Tue 09-Oct-12 21:34:12

In an ideal world I would prefer the dc to go to a non-competitive but highly stimulating socially varied school with understanding and dedicated teachers who did not evaluate them in any way and where sitting down teaching represented a small fraction of the day with much more of the time dedicated to practical skills and physical activity.

In the real world, we home educate because the schools available are just not acceptable to us.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 09-Oct-12 21:40:41

What do you mean by not evaluate them in any way?

tabulahrasa Tue 09-Oct-12 21:50:09

While I respect the choice of others to home educate, for me it would be an absolute last resort, I know that I couldn't educate my DC to the level they'd get at school in certain areas and that they couldn't do it alone.

Kewcumber Tue 09-Oct-12 21:51:23

I would love to do it I think
Ah now you see that makes me feel totally inadequate because it would be my idea of one of the 9 circles of hell (probably 7 - violence)

WilfredToadflax Tue 09-Oct-12 21:53:06

I wish I'd HE'd ds1. His first few years at primary were very unsettled, and he has developed a hatred of learning. My instincts by yr1 were that he would thrive at home, however, with 2 other dc at home, and because I'm not a very sociable person, we felt it would be the wrong decision and instead changed schools when he was in yr3, where he spent the rest of his primary days in a fantastic school, but with a teacher he hated.
I'm fairly sure he'd have a different attitude to learning if I'd trusted my instinct with him.

Choufleur Tue 09-Oct-12 21:55:13

Not for me at all. I don't have the patience. Would worry about ds not socialising with dcs his own age as well (although it would be a blessing to not have to deal with some kids at his school)

WilfredToadflax Tue 09-Oct-12 21:57:02

Kewcumber - it probably comes down to personalities - I'd happily HE ds1 and ds3, but , much as I love dd and ds2 (I genuinely don't have favourites), we would all hate it and get very little out of it, plus they both get so much out of school that they wouldn't get at home, like being with friends all the time, and having a fairly rigid structure, both things that ds1+3 don't seem to need as much.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 09-Oct-12 21:59:04

I'm a teacher though Kewcumber. It is my thing!

Kewcumber Tue 09-Oct-12 22:00:58

Maybe its because I'm a single parent - I adore DS but 24/7 every week relentlessly. Not for me!

And like your DS1 + 3 wilfred, he loves school, his friends and structure.

mmxe Tue 09-Oct-12 22:03:02

As a semi retired teacher I cant think of anything worse, have spoken at length to a few home educators and their grip of the National Curriculum and the requirements of GCSE is scarily absent.
School is not just about academic learning.

Sparklingbrook Tue 09-Oct-12 22:04:16

I wouldn't know where to start. DS1 is 13 and his homework is starting to baffle me.

5madthings Tue 09-Oct-12 22:06:11

I think it can be great and we home educatef ds1 and ds2 until they were 9 and 6yrs old. Circimstances changed and they then went to school. Ds3 and ds4 are now at school as well but if i needed to i would home educate again smile

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.

exoticfruits Wed 10-Oct-12 19:16:30

I agree that some LEAs sound 'difficult' but often the HE parents don't even give them the benefit of the doubt. My friend had a lovely man, really helpful and supportive and yet other families treated him like the enemy-some shouted at him through the letter box and that is as far as he got!!! (I find it appalling that adults should do that as an example to their DCs).
I think that ReallyTired has a good solution.

bluecarrot Wed 10-Oct-12 19:30:43

I wish I could HE "properly", but our circumstances would make it difficult. Instead she goes to school and I try to be involved in her school work as much as possible. We have a "homeschool" time every day where we review stuff she has found hard, or work on a project - currently world war 2 / make do and mend.

Im not sure I would HE at high school level - or even how it works at that level, only ever considered primary age.

lljkk Wed 10-Oct-12 19:37:16

The HE children I know are odd because their parents are odd, imho, the sort of odd people that take to HE.

NB: I am quite odd too, that's why I am friendly with some many HErs.

lljkk Wed 10-Oct-12 19:38:00

But me being so odd is a big attraction in why I send DC to regular schools, I want them to have some chance of relating to normal.

discrete Wed 10-Oct-12 20:08:59

How on earth do you define an 'odd' child?

If it's one who isn't like most of the other children around, then I think most he parents would welcome that description of their children.

After all, many have decided to he because they have started in the schooling system available to them (or looked at it), seen what it produced and said 'over my dead body'.

ObiWan Wed 10-Oct-12 20:55:00

ReallyTired, your opinion encapsulates what alarms many HE families, when it comes to contact with the LA. People tend to assume that the family must be hiding something.

I don't assume that most parents send their children to school as a means of covering up the fact that they beat them black and blue in their own time, or that their parenting is 'lazy' and they are using schools as free childcare.

Parents do not generally need to be 'monitored'. People who are home educating their children do not exist in a void, totally cut off from interaction with others.

Our children are just as likely to join Cubs, Brownies, swimming, music classes etc. as others. We go shopping, join libraries, send our children to summer camps and playschemes etc. just as others do.

Some of us even employ childminders. We have family, friends, neighbours, doctors, dentists and health visitors.

Why would you be 'concerned' about a family who decided to give organised HE groups a miss, preferring to get on with every day life in a common or garden sort of way?

Sparklyboots Wed 10-Oct-12 21:43:28

Children 24 hours a day, lesson plans, keeping them amused. Making them do work when they weren't in the mood. Ha, I so would not be interested in that either but do plan to HE until he wants to join a structured course for the purpose of gaining a qualification. The difference between studying for a qualification and education is quite significant in my eyes and IME the current school system does lots of qualification/ assessment work to the detriment of education. I have no plans for timetabled 'lessons' and absolutely no intention of forcing him to do stuff - these are some of the main problems I have with schooling as it stands.

Obviously, if it doesn't seem to be working out for him, we'll try school, but I'm keen that he's a bit more developed as a personality when he goes, and that he's definitely academically ready - I don't want him learning that he's stupid just because he's not ready for reading and writing at 5. I'm not concerned about the social aspect because there are lots of out-of-school activities/ HE groups where he can go to socialise and this to me is infinitely preferable than putting him in a school setting for the sort of reasons other posters have outlined as the social problems of schools. My mum is a primary school teacher and thinks HE is a great idea for her DGS, so my decision isn't made without reference to the current school context.

exoticfruits Wed 10-Oct-12 21:50:43

I think that you are misunderstanding 'monitoring'- it is nothing to do with concern. You just monitor everyone- the best too. It is hardly onerous - my friend just has the inspector in, give him tea and he chats to her and the children and gives any advice, if she wants it. You do need an inspector who believes in HE and wants to help make it work.

ReallyTired Wed 10-Oct-12 22:42:58

A good inspector is more like a critical friend. I think its healthy for teachers to share good practice and learn from each other. Surely this applies to the home education commuity.

Peer evaluation of home educators would improve standards. Prehaps "monitoring" is a scary term, prehaps its better to have a criticial friend.

DuelingFanjo Wed 10-Oct-12 22:44:46

My view is it must be a lovely ting to do but how do people afford to do it and not work?

Caladria Wed 10-Oct-12 22:47:50

As an introverted only child I'm very very very glad I wasn't home educated.

exoticfruits Thu 11-Oct-12 08:25:52

I was a very shy DD so it would have been the worst thing for me too. Monitoring is perhaps the wrong term. It just needs an outside view- I don't see why it is a bad thing- we all need an objective view, we are too close. Teachers don't teach in isolation, they discuss ,evaluate etc. Perhaps HE supporter is a better term than inspector or monitoring.

streakybacon Sat 13-Oct-12 13:27:08

You do need an inspector who believes in HE and wants to help make it work

Unfortunately that's the tricky bit. A lot of LA inspectors aren't supportive - in my LA all HE monitoring staff are from a background of Children Missing Education and they know very little about day to day home ed, or the legislation, or choices, or exams, or anything else really.

As for inspection visits, I was very happy to have officers come to my home for the first three years, despite a horrible start with two inexperienced and untrained EWOs (I won't go into details here) who were rude, confrontational and obstructive. I attempted to build bridges with various meetings between local home educators and the LA but to no avail - round here they dont want to support, they just want all children in schools where they can have full control.

More recently I've approached my LA for advice on specific issues about exams. Not only were they woefully uninformed, they also failed to make further enquiries and never did get back to me. On that basis, and with the knowledge that they have neither the means nor the intention to provide local home educators with any form of advice and support, I've decided to have nothing further to do with them.

cory Mon 15-Oct-12 08:19:07

Not for us but has worked well for friends of ours. Particularly for parents with children with SN and no support in the school.

I do know parents in the same situation in a country with no option of HE and their only option when their SN child was bullied and unsupported was to sell their house and move in the hopes of finding a more supportive LEA- if they hadn't managed to find one, their child would have been in real difficulties.

But finding inspectors of a high enough calibre is obviously a real problem: having had to do with EWOs for a different reason I know how wildly they can differ amongst themselves. I did not relish having my dd's education monitored by a woman who couldn't fill in her own forms because of the difficult words in them- I helped her, having first endured a 10 minute lecture on the importance of education hmm

streakybacon Mon 15-Oct-12 10:27:24

Some valid points, cory.

In the past when people have said to me "I couldn't do what you do" I've often replied that they're fortunate not to be in a position where they have no option. I don't HE by choice but by default, because there is no other suitable alternative that will come close to meeting his needs. We tried to work with the system for five years but it failed my son repeatedly in ways that many people would find difficult to believe.

When school works it's great, but when it doesn't it can be horrifically damaging and sometimes permanently. This is particularly true of children with SNs and I suspect this will only get worse as budgets continue to be cut.

MoelFammau Wed 17-Oct-12 01:16:09

While I think it's wonderful that many HE parents make an active choice to socialise their kids with outside activities, I do feel I should flag up the negative side. It's not always sunshine and roses, and HE can hide some terrible stuff.

I was home-schooled with my sisters from the age of 5 (one year in school). We were actively discouraged from taking any exams, and were kept isolated on top of a mountain. We hardly met any kids our own age and when we did, we stuck out as being painfully weird. An attempt at the age of 16 to attend an evening class once a week to learn French resulted in me being locked out of the house and made to sleep in the garage. I'd betrayed my mother by wanting proper education. I didn't complete the course.

Our mother had mental issues and paranoia. We were off the record for education and health until I was 14. No dentist, no optician, no doctor, no education inspector. We were all physically and emotionally abused on a daily basis. We accepted it because we knew no different, having no other families to compare.

I escaped without any qualifications at the age of 24. I really do feel that escaped is the right word. I'm still feeling the affects of it now, 10 years on.

I know this is extreme. But it happened. I love the idea of HE for my own DD but I find it hard to shake off the experience I had. I'm thinking she'll go to school and I'll top up with interesting stuff out of school hours...

Sorry - just wanted to share. sad

monsterchild Wed 17-Oct-12 01:30:49

My experience with kids who have been HE varies a lot. As many families as there are who are doing what is best for their kids because of a lack of help or education from the local school, there are many who are very much as Moel describes. And with some religious/political connotations as well.

Many of the kids from these HE homes tend to be socially unskilled and really not very worldly at all. Where I am, probably half of the HE kids come from this second group. Its scary to me.

gabsid Mon 22-Oct-12 11:24:47

I was not confident enough to step out of the system. I felt DS was too young an immature to start R aged 4 but hoped he would be OK, and also I wasn't aware of home schooling at the time. In retrospect DS would have benifited from a couple of years home schooling.

On the other hand, there is some much more to school than I can provide. School may not be perfect for each child and they don't always get it right, but there is a team of professionals with 'a plan' trying to educate my DC on so many different levels - I can't match that. Its not just about reading levels and adding up.

gabsid Mon 22-Oct-12 11:29:02

monsterchild - 'there are many who are very much as Moel describes' shock

MimiSam Mon 22-Oct-12 11:37:41

I know two families who HE - the fathers go out to work, so it is the mothers who do the HE. They are the flakiest women I know, disorganised, easily distracted and not very well educated themselves, except about "nature studies" and art, which they seem to spend a lot of time doing....they each have one child and I feel sorry for the children spending 24/7 with their mums :"he doesn't like going to groups".....I can't help feeling it's more for the adult's' benefit than the child's and I definitely think there should be some monitoring of the children's progress....
I'm sure it works well for some children, but not all....

weegiemum Mon 22-Oct-12 11:43:17

I think in principle, if it is done well, HE can work very well.

My children have benefitted hugely from school as they go to a bilingual school and the benefits of that to them are huge, I could never have given them that opportunity. It's a state school, bilingually English and Gaelic. However, if one of them was in a position that school was not the best thing for them, I'd have no problem in home educating.

I only personally know one HE family. They are very fervent about it and think everyone should HE. Their reason for it is they don't want their boys to be exposed to "dangerous" ideas like evolution or other religions apart from christianity . They are following a fundamentalist curriculum bought in from the US, and even though I'm a Christian (we met through church) I feel sorry for their dc.

Viviennemary Mon 22-Oct-12 11:53:53

I am very much not in favour of home schooling except in circumstances where a child is extremely unhappy at school. I couldn't begin to think of the stress of it all. Why do people home educate. Do they think they can give their child a better education than trained teachers. I don't really count home educating for a couple of years from the age of five home schooling though it is in theory. I expect even I could have managed that.

happybubblebrain Mon 22-Oct-12 12:00:06

I wouldn't be able to do it financially or otherwise.
And, we would both miss the social life that work and school provides.
But, hats off to anyone that it is able to do it, I'm sure the one to one tuition is a great benefit and it would be lovely not to leave the house every morning in the dark and return in the dark.

gabsid Mon 22-Oct-12 12:07:43

I remember seeing a documentary on HE, I think on Ch4, where a mum was teaching all her young DC (3-8 year olds, I think) around the kitchen table with a banner above them labeled 'World War II' confused.

On the other hand, I feel DS (7) is a dreamy, immature boy and I support him quite a bit in maths, he doesn't seem to know any maths unless we sat down 1:1 - but I feel he is at school all day and there is limited time for intensive support.

Also, languages are important to me (we are a bilingual family) and I would like DS to learn a third language. I have started him on Spanish and we are having a bit of fun with it occasionally. I feel he might be quite good, but at his school they are meant to learn some Spanish this year, but the teachers there all seem very keen to let you know that they don't speak Spanish. I don't think this is giving the right message to DS.

DS comes home from school at 4pm and if I could I would shorten his day a bit to support him at home a bit more - and teach him a language!

throckenholt Mon 22-Oct-12 12:23:26

>I only personally know one HE family. They are very fervent about it and think everyone should HE. Their reason for it is they don't want their boys to be exposed to "dangerous" ideas like evolution or other religions apart from christianity . They are following a fundamentalist curriculum bought in from the US, and even though I'm a Christian (we met through church) I feel sorry for their dc.

That is my main reason for not liking HE. I think HE should be broad ranging and not impose any particular perspective on children. If you have that temptation you shouldn't HE. Although I could use the same argument for not having faith schools too.

I HE my kids (late primary age) - personally between us DH and I think we can cover at least as well as secondary school gcse level in most subjects . A lot of it is not teaching, so much enabling. GCSE level in any subject isn't really very demanding.

But HE isn't for everyone - socially, financially or academically - all will vary over time for each child and each family.

throckenholt Mon 22-Oct-12 12:35:02

Moel - your story is awful sad. But it is much more child abuse than HE.

I tend to think HE should be more regulated - the problem is where it is regulated, it tends to regulated by people in the teaching profession who inevitably think school is the only and/or best way to for everyone. There is a tendency to to not be open minded and want to offer constructive help. There should also be facilities open to HE - being able to use a science lab/equipment (even hire it for a while), art, sports, music, even text books - would make life much easier for HE. But the current situation is - you opt out of state education - you get nothing (the same as those who choose to pay for private education).

throckenholt Mon 22-Oct-12 12:37:12

Also while am at it, having access to exam centres, and not having to pay to take exams would be a big plus too.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 22-Oct-12 21:41:16

I think its liberating, fun and an effective and efficient way of learning. For my family its the best decision dd ever made.

I think there should be a lot more info available to parents as there are so many ill informed / mis conceptions on the subject. I think more parents would opt to H.ed if they knew all the facts and where to find them

exoticfruits Mon 22-Oct-12 22:16:42

I don't think that more families would do it. Most women want-or need-to work. They have a problem with taking a few years off-they are not going to take 13 years or more off. I know a woman who has been at home for 16 years-she is very intelligent, with a degree, and can't get a job.
Most people know the choice and want their DCs in school with properly trained and inspiring teachers who really know their subject.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 22-Oct-12 22:29:45

Ime most people know very little about H.ed, but yes the choice is widely known.
I know and have read about many parents who work alongside H.ed and many parents share H.ed and facilitate the subjects they feel most confident in.
Not all teachers at school are properly trained and inspiring, knowing their subject. Just the same all parents aren't.
It really works for us atm, but I can see its not for everybody.

exoticfruits Mon 22-Oct-12 22:37:08

I'm sure it works for some people but it doesn't for others. It just makes me smile when an assumption is made that if people knew more about it they would be bound to opt for it!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 22-Oct-12 22:44:42


I wasn't implying parents would be leaving schools in their droves if they had some knowledge. But I think with fewer misconceptions more parents would opt to H.ed.
There is always a steady flow of people just on these threads asking for info as they are considering H.ed themselves. Many are surprised by certain aspects where they were ill informed or had preconceived ideas, myself included.

treedelivery Mon 22-Oct-12 22:48:52

I don't understand why people assume if you HE you don't work outside the home too? I mean, most women with preschoolers work, so why not with HE children too?

I HE (am new to it though) and I work 23 hrs shifts in the NHS, weekends, nights and all sorts. DH is out of it during the week - although around at weekdends. I try to work at weekends if I can.

With the right childcare - which for us is a combination of grandparents -it is actually more working parent friendly than school was.

We are finding it a very valid choice and happily the social side of things is least of any problems we may have. DD has never had so many fun engagements and interactions with people she actually likes instead of people who happen to be the same age as her. SHe has been more socially happy as a HE child than as a school girl where she was totally out of place for 3 whole years. SHe had nothing in common with the other play-boy pencil case girlies. Now her main HE group activity is den building by a stream. DD all over.

I smiled to see her playing a team sport with about 15 others at a weekly meetup- the age range on her team was 3 to 9. They all supported the smaller or less able, relied on the sporty for goals and generally had a riot of a time.

Having said that, today was mostly 3 figure addition and past tense verb spellings. Sigh.

exoticfruits Mon 22-Oct-12 22:49:03

I dare say that a few would-most of us know the facts and have made an informed decision in the first place.

treedelivery Mon 22-Oct-12 22:52:51

Having said that - her class at school had many lovely children and we are really trying to stay in touch with those we knew. I didn't mean to be rude about the people in her class - just that my dd couldn't seem to fit in with them. She couldn't seem to get interested in what they are interested in. Which doesn't make her better or worse than any of them. Just realised how judgey my post came across as - t'wasn't meant blush

morethanpotatoprints Mon 22-Oct-12 23:03:02


I am so pleased H.ed is working for your dd and your group sounds really good. Our dd has the best of both worlds socially as still close to friends she was at school with, and plays without the school playground politics, she's still invited to parties etc and has lots of activities she enjoys most evenings. The main benefit is she can enjoy these as she is not shattered after a day at school. I like her being able to become engrossed in a project and not have to leave it to do something else, and of course no more continual assessment or having to follow the n.c.
We are currently drastically improving spelling and handwriting. smile

freddiefrog Mon 22-Oct-12 23:40:43

I think it's fab for some, but not for us. I'd be arrested by lunchtime

FlamingoBingo Tue 23-Oct-12 00:02:30


School is social hell for many children, with many children being bullied and feeling extremely lonely despite the numbers of other children around to see every day.

HE does not stop children having as many friends as they would like. My oldest has just returned from a birthday day out with three of her best friends. On Wednesday she is going to spend the morning with six other of her friends, and the afternoon at a meeting where there will be a huge age range of children present to socialise with...in two days she's getting more socialising time than school children get in their break-times, and that's not the only times she'll be socialising.

Many children leave school with vast gaps in their knowledge, having learned simply to hate learning.

GCSEs are not the be-all-and-end-all, as evidenced by many very successful people in the world who have not a qualification to their name.

HE is not a barrier to studying for exams if so desired. I know of many HE'd adults who are very successful in the field they have chosen to work in, one of whom is currently studying for a PhD despite having no formal teaching until the age of 16.

Education outside of school does not necessarily have to look like school at all, so there is no need for lesson plans and making children learn things they're not interested in.

Children are naturally curious, so long as we don't bash it out of them, and tend to learn masses simply by absorption. They learn through conversation, reading, playing, visiting museums, going on group visits, attending science festivals, watching TV, using computers, baking cakes, going to the post office, shopping...the list goes on.

Home ed kids frequently, IME, have many different skills and lots of different knowledge to their schooled peers. What matters is that it suits that child and supports them in the lives they are leading right now.

The NC changes over the years, which means that people's ideas of what children ought to be taught to memorise changes, which suggests that the idea that there is a set of information that all children need to be taught, and any who do not know it are doomed to failure...which is clearly bollocks.

40% of children sitting GCSEs didn't get an A-C pass, which suggests that school fails rather too many children for my liking - surely HE can't have as high a fail-rate as that!

Oh yes, and how come it's OK to force children to go to school against their will, and yet not OK to decide to HE them from the very beginning? Aren't both options just the same? Most kids don't get a choice about whether they go to school or not, and I don't see anyone complaining about that, so why complain that HE kids don't get a choice about whether or not they want to be HE'd?

One day we will see a thread like this that has no misconceptions about HE, as it is becoming a more and more common choice to make.

QTPie Tue 23-Oct-12 00:10:06

Personally I opulent have the skills or the patience blush. I am very academic, but don't have the breadth of skills or patience

Fortunately we have a very very good school for DS to go to (who have specialist teachers in to teach specialist subjects) and I know he will be in great hands. I can concentrate on trying to be a good and patient parent smile

Huge respect for parents who home educate to a high standard: you must be masters at juggling things and have a lot of patience.

I know two home educated people (both up to GCSE - this wen to 6th Form for A levels). Brother and sister: he went to Cambridge, she went to an internationally recognised contemporary dance school. Both were excellent at sports too. So can't knock it.


TheDarkestNight Tue 23-Oct-12 00:41:36

I'm all for free schooling for all, and would be horrified if someone suggested that it shouldn't be available. However, the fact is that it's failing some people. If parents think that they could do better than a school at teaching their children, why not? The state system seems to be a bit of a lottery, and many people come out of it either with few qualifications or with serious social issues.

I was HE, and got the requisite GCSEs and A Levels. I entirely self-taught. Bought the textbooks, read the textbooks, sat the exams. I'm not especially clever, but I knew what I wanted to do in life, and that to achieve my goals I would have to pass certain exams.

Socially, I'll admit to being 'odd', but many of my school educated peers were also 'odd'. I'm not sure what it is about oddness that scares people so much. This fear appears to come from a belief that the current status quo is ideal, and anything that deviates from that is Wrong and Bad. Perhaps those odd people are the ones that see the system for what it is - a machine to keep us in our place, buying the right products and living the corporation-approved lifestyle. And they just don't buy into it.

Franup Tue 23-Oct-12 06:34:38

I think HE is a different beast to what it was when I was a child when very few families did it. But I am definitely in the camp of those who admire those who have the patience and drive for it and find it fulfilling, and yet know I could never do it.

I do get quite amused when people (actually not many of the HE-ers on this thread) claim that school is an unnatural structure, with its peer groups and 9.00am starts. In answer to 'what job starts at 9.00am' - well mine and the thirty people in my office. I am assuming the jobs of the people on the very full bus I get each day at 8.45am and on the other full buses I see at this time! I also, by virtue of the fact we have a similar job and wage, work with a peer group. We aren't all the same age, but most of us are female, with kids, same socio-economic status. So it is a peer group as near as it can be - I get on well with most people, I suppose like I did at school. But being able to get along in a group even when you may only have one common bond ( being a mother, occupation, age) is a vital life skill.

Finally where are these state primaries where every girl in the class is 'girly'. I have 2 dds in state education and it is not my experience at all. One is more traditionally girly than the other - but both would build a den and both have friends who would love to do this.

seeker Tue 23-Oct-12 07:04:00

People always come up with examples of absolutely crap school education and compare them to absolutely brilliant home education, and say "there, HE is best"

There is good and bad in all all sectors of education.

ZombTEE Tue 23-Oct-12 07:23:09

I, personally, could never do it. I don't have enough patience or knowledge, even with the HE resources I know you can get.

But if my son was having an absolutely horrible time at school and the only choice was to HE? I'd do it.

Whatever is best for my son. Right now that seems to be preschool. Hopefully it will continue to be 'regular' school.

seeker Tue 23-Oct-12 07:55:46

"GCSEs are not the be-all-and-end-all, as evidenced by many very successful people in the world who have not a qualification to their name."

This is a particular "bete noir" of mine. Yes there are some very sucessful people with no qualifications but there are bloody sight more with loads.

And don't forget the millions who have had their life chances curtailed by lack of the appropriate bits of paper.

It's a bugger that you have to jump through hoops. But while we have the system we have, jumping through them is the best way to open up your choices, and give you freedom.

throckenholt Tue 23-Oct-12 07:56:44

>DCs in school with properly trained and inspiring teachers who really know their subject.

That is maybe the holy grail for all of us - but sadly it is far from the case for many children. I think the education system in this country cripples most teachers ability to be properly trained and inspiring. They are so often cowed by the paper work and jumping through the current hoop of choice thrown at them by the government, and totally limited by the National Curriculum.

Until that is on offer, while we can afford to do it, DH and I will attempt to do it for our own kids. I feel very lucky to have that chance at the moment, and not have to deal with the lack of inspiration they were getting at school (and that we often see in their friends who go to local schools). Other parents can make their own judgement, based on their own personal circumstances (eg kids thriving at school, can't afford to not have both parents working, or not wanting to take on the responsibility personally). All anyone can do is the best they can for their kids in their own individual circumstances. No-one should take other's decisions as a comment on their own choice.

Growlithe Tue 23-Oct-12 08:03:26

The NC changes over the years, which means that people's ideas of what children ought to be taught to memorise changes, which suggests that the idea that there is a set of information that all children need to be taught, and any who do not know it are doomed to failure...which is clearly bollocks.?

One day we will see a thread like this that has no misconceptions about HE

This on the same post. To me, this shows a lot of misconceptions about school. My DD has just started Y4, and is very much encouraged in school to be a free thinker.

She was taught to read, but just as much encouraged with her comprehension of a book, discussing characters, feelings, expression.

In Maths, she is being armed with numerous strategies for solving problems, because not one method suits every child. They are very much focussing on her as an individual.

She is encouraged to make friends with other year groups. She has friends ranging from Y3 to Y6. They encourage lunchtime groups run by the children, such as library groups, chess groups and 'X Factor' style talent competitions, which has shown such a level of support and friendship from the older children to the younger ones.

She has a boy with DS in her class. His mum is very happy with the level of one on one support he gets in order to meet his individual educational needs. I'm happy that my DD and her classmates see this boy as their friend, equal and peer, that although he may have times were he goes out of the class to do different stuff, hey so does everyone! I think the rest have learned a valuable lesson fom being around this boy everyday, that they may not have got at home.

For me, HE would not work for two reasons.

The first is that I am happy in the fact that at every stage in my children's education, I want them to be taught by people who have themselves studied and have experience to teach at that level. Even if I was a teacher, which I'm not, that would not be me for the whole of their childhood.

Secondly, I want my children to meet other children from many walks of life. I do not want them to only socialise with children who I know, or children of parents who agree with me and have my values and attitudes. That would not equip my children for adulthood. I want my children to develop strategies for dealing with people they do not necessarily like or agree with, because that will obviously help them in later life.

seeker Tue 23-Oct-12 08:06:46

It would be quite nice to occasionally have a thread like this that does not condemn all schools from a person's experience of one. Often 20 year old experience.

And sone where it was possible to say that HE is not necessarily the holy grail of education for all!

exoticfruits Tue 23-Oct-12 08:11:43

I think that it is very misleading to say that exams are not needed. I know a HEed DS who got to Cambridge without exams but he is a rare exception. Many will be simply weeded out before they even get applications read. I have read the blog of a woman who is 'wildly excited about the possibilities for her unschooled girls' - they were 15 and 13 when she wrote it and she has hasn't a clue! They both want to have careers in a highly competitive field. I thought about commenting but decided it would be unwelcome and she will find out for herself. My DS is trying to get a job, he has all the right pieces of paper and a 2:1 degree. At least 50 people want every job he applies for. The days of walking into jobs are long over. It makes sense to have all the 'right pieces of paper' and keep as many doors as possible open. My DS who left at 16 wouldn't have got his excellent apprenticeship without is passport of C grades and above for English, Maths and Science- apprenticeships are like gold dust - the competition is intense and you are up against those with A'levels who think it a better option than university.

People will insist on treating HE as a competition- maybe because they are insecure- it is merely an educational option, nothing more and nothing less.

exoticfruits Tue 23-Oct-12 08:25:58

Launching your DC out into the real world with a career is the most difficult part IMO- all the other problems look far less important. I would at least make sure that they have as many qualifications as possible to open as many doors as possible. In a world where a graduate with a very good degree may have to to start for free and work their way up from the bottom, there is no chance for the person who just wants to charm their way in with force of personality!

bruffin Tue 23-Oct-12 08:41:45

For me He is something you resort to when all else has failed, I say that as a parent with a child who has an SEN. It should be very highly regulated with an exam/inspection at least once a term.

It takes a huge amount of arrogance to believe that you can provide your child with a well rounded education single handedly. Its far too easy to caught up in just your child or even worse your own interests.

I see how much my children get from their teachers, all different individuals who have their own opinions, which are completely independent of ours. The more people involved in educating a child the better. My dcs (15 and 17)come home every day from school telling me about the banter they have had with a teacher or what they have discussed in a class that was completely off tangent.

Children are naturally curious, so long as we don't bash it out of them, and tend to learn masses simply by absorption. They learn through conversation, reading, playing, visiting museums, going on group visits, attending science festivals, watching TV, using computers, baking cakes, going to the post office, shopping...the list goes on.
But they get all that anyway whether they are HE or go to school. The He child is far more controlled in the environment they do these things because they only have the input of their parent while doing these things.
IE my children visit the Science Museum with me, they go again with the school. The school visit is an entirely different experience than a family visit, because they are being shown it through someone elses eyes.

siblingrivalry Tue 23-Oct-12 08:43:43

As I explained up-thread, we had no choice but to HE; there are literally no suitable schools that can meet her SN. Believe me, we spent years trying to make school work' for her.

Reading the recent posts on this thread has actually upset me: HE kids being portrayed as weird and social inept. Did it never occur to any of you that some of these children may have social problems because of a SN? My dd has Asperger's and requires a huge amount of support and reassurance in social situations. I would hate to think that other parents are looking at her and thinking 'HE kid- she's odd.'

Also, I am not 'flaky' and neither are the mothers I socialise with in our HE circle.
They are wonderfully dedicated and committed to giving the children the best education they can- and does it really matter if that's at home or school?
In every environment, there are good and bad parents and good and bad educations.

All I ask is that other people hold back on judging- they haven't walked in our shoes. Once you have seen a crappy school life drive your child to self-harm and talk about suicide, HE doesn't seem so 'weird'.

throckenholt Tue 23-Oct-12 08:50:22

I think there is a misconception that HE kids are only exposed to their parents views. That is not the case. They are surrounded by adults and other kids, they can go to all the out of school social things that other kids go to - they get lots of exposure to other people and other ways of doing things.

Arguably they interact more with the real world than schooled kids, because they can be out and about in the out of school world, learning how that all works, while the other kids are at school.

They are as open to different thought processes through the media, as any other kids. You would have to work very hard to isolate any child so that they only get the parent's view of the world.

The bottom line - not all HE is the same, in the same way no two school experiences are the same, and no two people have the same experience of family life (even in the same family). Some are luckier than others, and get a better deal (one that suits them best).

Some HE kids do very well, some school ed kids do very well - some from each do very badly, and maybe the vast majority do ok - but could or would have liked bits of it to be better.

bruffin Tue 23-Oct-12 08:53:06

As I explained up-thread, we had no choice but to HE; there are literally no suitable schools that can meet her SN. Believe me, we spent years trying to make school work' for her.

Exactly Sibling. It should be a last resort option, not a experiment on your children because you think you can do better single handledly than a school full of teachers. There are bad teachers out there and ones that may have a personality clash with your child but I in the 12 years my dcs have been at school they are few and far between

bruffin Tue 23-Oct-12 08:56:35

I think there is a misconception that HE kids are only exposed to their parents views. That is not the case. They are surrounded by adults and other kids, they can go to all the out of school social things that other kids go to - they get lots of exposure to other people and other ways of doing thing

Again but they are in the control of their parent where they go and to more extent than school who they meet. I really dont think they have a wider exposure to the world than any schooled child.

Arcticwaffle Tue 23-Oct-12 09:02:23

I'm quite in favour of it in principle, I can see that school doesn't suit all children and I don't think any child should be miserable on a daily basis. If one of my dc were unhappy at school I'd certainly consider it.

Having said that, I'm really quite glad all 3 of my dc enjoy school and seem to be thriving there, because I like going to work and I like waving my children off and greeting them back again with a bit of absence to make us all a bit keener on each other. But that's just a reflection on our household being full of people who seem to like groups and institutions, nothing against home ed for those who don't want to be surrounded by people.

Juule Tue 23-Oct-12 09:06:59

"Again but they are in the control of their parent where they go and to more extent than school who they meet."
I don't understand how you arrive at this conclusion. Whether HE or school-ed children will be more or less controlled by their parents dependant on variables other than their educational provision.

"I really dont think they have a wider exposure to the world than any schooled child."
Again, regardless of school or HE, this will probably depend more on the individual circumstances.

Nuttyprofessor Tue 23-Oct-12 09:11:56

Depends on the education of the parents. It is clear that some do not have the skills they would need. I personally have home educated DD through her GCSE exams. She is not academically gifted. I have sent DS to Grammar as I couldn't teach to his level.

Growlithe Tue 23-Oct-12 09:14:26

Juule Surely the HE child will go to groups the parent chooses, and these groups will be attended by children with parents making similar choices. In school, there would be a bigger mixing pot of parents, with the only common thing being they are sending their child to school.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 09:17:15


You are so right, ime H.ed dcs are exposed to lots of other ways of doing things. I know some schools offer more variety than others.
Museum trips for e.g. My dds school rarely had visits, school round the corner had far more in comparison. There are as many differences in school experience as there are in H.ed and I also think as far as comparison of better or worse is concerned its what suits the child that matters.

I can't see dd wanting to go back to school again as she is enjoying H.ed and is coming on in leaps and bounds, not that there was a big problem with school in this respect. She is busy counting the UCAS points she will have by the time she is 14, lol. (Thats the influence of 2 much older dbs).

I think we are very lucky to enable dd to do the things she wants to and both parents around to help her.

Bruffin Your view of H.ed is not our experience, by the way. In addition, the experience your dc have at school is the same experience as my dd has in her activities and lessons, where she is taught by a teacher. Just because somebody receives an education at home does not mean they only have input from parents grin. We had a very good experience of school, so everything hadn't failed for us, but school can fail many dcs. To me H.ed is a choice thats just taken because school has failed.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 09:19:10


Meant to say choice to H.ed isn't and shouldn't only just be taken when school has failed

Juule Tue 23-Oct-12 09:23:58

Growlithe. Depends on the age of the child. My secondary school age child arranged visits, work experience, voluntary work, DofE, herself along with others(both he and school friends/groups). She decided which groups she preferred and worked out transport systems to get herself to them. I made suggestions which she either ran with or discarded or chose something completely off her own initiative or curiosity.
While she valued my input (amongst others) I don't think it could be said that she was entirely controlled by me at all.

ThreadWatcher Tue 23-Oct-12 09:26:32

HomeEducating is fun, interesting and rewarding.
No where as horrendous as many of you seem to think! Honestly!

MN home ed

maybenow Tue 23-Oct-12 09:27:51

I think school works for some and HE works for others - just like in our working lives going to the office from 9-5 working for an employer works for some people and working freelance from home works for others.

I've just transitioned from employed to freelance and the difference is very similar i'd say to the school/HE difference. I have flexibility and freedom now but I also have to self-motivate and also know when to allow myself to switch off and chill. Same would apply for HEing with a child.

I think it would be easier to HE if you didn't live in a really commuter area - in some places there's almost nobody else around during office hours except the very old and infirm and parents of the very very young. I think you either want to live remotely with a farm or at least small holding with stuff to do all day or you want to live in a very stimulating and vibrant area with museums and groups and libraries etc. Places inbetween where many commuters live can be a bit depressing during the day if you're not at work.

teatimesthree Tue 23-Oct-12 09:29:04

I was home educated. Academically it was brilliant. Socially not so great. I was a rather odd, precocious HE-ed child, and it took me many years to shake off the legacy of that. (Obviously many other people take years to cast off their feelings about school too...)

I am delighted that people on this thread and their DCs are finding HE such a positive experience. I am also very pleased that it is an option in this country. Nobody should have to send their child to school against their will.

But it is an option that I would only explore for DD in the most extreme of circumstances. I share the political qualms expressed earlier on the thread, but most of all I want DD to have a socially more 'normal' childhood than I did. The fact that we live in an inner city is also a factor - the local schools are going to be far more representative of the area that the HE community.

Growlithe Tue 23-Oct-12 09:30:57

Juule Younger children wouldn't have this level of autonomy though. By secondary school age, therefore, all the underlying attitudes and opinions may have been formed, based on the parents choices.

Juule Tue 23-Oct-12 09:43:32

I'm not sure what the problem is with parents having some influence on their children's opinions and attitudes in the earlier years.

Growlithe Tue 23-Oct-12 09:44:31

Also, what about when your DD is an adult and comes across the type of person who didn't do voluntary work and DofE?

Growlithe Tue 23-Oct-12 09:45:59

Some, yes, but all?

Juule Tue 23-Oct-12 09:46:09

What about that?
I'm not sure what you mean. She has already met people who don't volunteer etc. she doesn't seem to have a problem with them.

Juule Tue 23-Oct-12 09:48:45

How could you have "all" the influence?
The children would never have to meet anybody else ever surely.

Growlithe Tue 23-Oct-12 09:58:47

The thing is, as a parent, you only actually want your children to meet other 'nice' children. Of course you do, we all do. We take them to groups where they will meet other lovely, caring, children. But, not everyone in the world is like that. In the end, our children will have to make lives for themselves away from us. They will meet these people on occasion, and it would be better if they were equipped to deal with them. 'Streetwise' if you like.

I can't teach my DDs to be streetwise, they do that from their own experiences of meeting different types of people. In school, its a controlled group of people but you still get that experience. Its invaluable. I just wonder who you would replicate that in a HE enviroment, when your parenting instincts would tell you not to.

Growlithe Tue 23-Oct-12 10:01:08

How you would replicate - not who. Sorry

Juule Tue 23-Oct-12 10:15:21

As long as your children have opportunities to meet people they will come across a variety of 'types' .

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 10:23:20


I can only speak from my experience, other H.ed families I know and research, (my own).
Many dcs attend the same groups, activities, classes etc as their schooled peers. They meet all sorts of different people. I find here there are families/dc we wouldn't have met at school and yet some of dcs old school friends attend too. H.ed groups don't necessarily have a cohort consisting of the same type of people, the common ground is the dc are H.ed. Personally I have found a wider variety out of school than in school, as many of the parents from dds old school were pretty similar. There are several dcs my dd has to associate with whether we as parents, or she wants to or not. it is very rare where parents choose who their dc associates with. So really I haven't found any differences at all.

ObiWan Tue 23-Oct-12 10:29:47

My HE kid goes to Cubs, has music lessons, karate classes, a tutor for French. All the things his school attending friends do.

You know, the groups chosen by their parents. Because children who attend school have parents making choices for them too.

He has an older brother who didn't do Cubs, Karate etc. and does not see him as a breed apart. I didn't do DofE, but my child does not seem to regard me as being at all peculiar.

My husband and I both work. The children spend weeks away at camps, and visiting relatives, and one of them has an eye on going to boarding school at 11. None of them are at all inclined to attend the local schools day in day out until 11.

As for being 'streetwise', I take it you mean developing the ability to deal with brattish children?

Frightful children go to Cubs, attend HE organised activities, play in the local park etc. too. With our HE children, and their siblings. And my HE children are not any more inclined to spend time with those children than their school-attending peers are.

They can though, deal with such children safe in the knowledge that they won't have to spend the next 12 months eating lunch with them.

Growlithe Tue 23-Oct-12 10:35:58

I know my DDs have met children who simply don't attend any out of school activities. Their parents either just don't have the money or are simply not interested. They aren't the type of parents who talk to you at the school gates, or get involved in volunteering in school or the PTA. People like this exist, they have a very different attitude from myself or DH.

They wouldn't be at any of the groups you talk about. Some of them are apparently quite badly behaved at school. My DDs need to learn how to get along with them, because they will meet people like them as adults. They wouldn't meet them out of school, because we just wouldn't be at the same places IYSWIM.

OhSoVintage Tue 23-Oct-12 11:11:31

I dont think you can answer that as whats right for one child isnt for another etc.

I think it depends very much on The parent wanting to home school, the local schools being right/wrong etc, the child as whats right for one child isn't for another etc.

Im neither for or against the approach. I think some mothers do an excellent job at it and its absolutely the right choice while others I find quite disturbing.

It just depends.

ObiWan Tue 23-Oct-12 11:39:06

I have to tell you, I don't really find myself surrounded by 'badly behaved' adults. Probably because I choose not to spend time with them. I don't know any burglars, or people who have been to prison for violent crime.

If my collegues and friends were badly behaved as children, they've managed to grow out of it. If they hadn't, I suspect our paths might not have crossed anyway.

I know plenty of slightly unpleasant people through my work, but I can walk away from them at the end of each day, and I wouldn't choose to make them my friends.

Similarly my children can recognise and choose not to spend time with unpleasant children or adults. It is not something school has taught them, but normal, everyday interaction with the people they meet. Family, friends teachers, neighbours, children in the park. Unpleasant people are everywhere, you do not have to tolerate their behaviour, that is something I want my children to understand.

And possibly on the other side of the coin, there are parents who pay through the nose to send their children to tiny private schools, where any 'difficult' children are simply sent away. They spent their days with highly motivated children who know what they need to do to coform. They have about as much chance of becoming 'streetwise' as I have of walking naked through Morrisons this evening.

Mollycoddling is not the preserve of HE parents.

ppeatfruit Tue 23-Oct-12 11:46:56

littleray I speak as an E.Y.s teacher who has H.E. our DCS at varying times in their school careers.

As has been said each DC is different as is each parent, teacher and school.

BUT I have also done a lot of supply work recently and will say that there seems to be a general lack of sensitivity and or understanding of how a child's brain develops.

IMO and E 'normal' e.g. boisterous behaviour in 4 -5 yr olds is stigmatised thus putting off a lot of DCs before they've even started. Making it much more likely that the parents would need or want to H.E. and I wouldn't blame them at all.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 12:39:56


I don't see it being an important part of childrens development to mix with children who don't attend clubs. Maybe these dc will grow up isolated and not meet people, it does show that some parents of schooled children aren't bothered about their childrens socialisation needs.
I've had 3 dc in many different schools though and can't ever remember them saying they knew of this type. The poorest had access to clubs and facilities just the same as anyone else. Many are free and run on school premises so I don't think it is a common problem thank goodness.

seeker Tue 23-Oct-12 12:46:41

Morethan- how long have you been home educating?

Growlithe Tue 23-Oct-12 14:05:59

I'm not saying its important to mix with people who don't attend clubs, I'm saying you really need to mix with a whole variety of different people from an early age, not just those of your own socio-economic group. In the end you do end up working, living near or even marrying them so its no good being isolated from them as children.

As for not mixing with 'badly behaved' adults, in adulthood we may not mix with people who will give us grief. We will hopefully avoid it. It could happen by chance though, in a pub or club, whilst shopping, in hospital, on a train or bus, anywhere where you get the general public. Situations arise in a split second, and the 'streetwise' amongst us will hopefully be equipped to deal with and diffuse such situations.

Personally, I don't think you'd get that kind of experience by meeting and avoiding a bad lad in the park, by experiencing brats at cubs and by mixing with friends, neighbours and family. Its by mixing with children the parents want to avoid, for one reason or another, and in doing so becoming a strong, assertive, but also rounded person.

FlamingoBingo Tue 23-Oct-12 14:11:27

Most arguments by he'ors that look like they're 'against school' are, in fact, simply illustrating that many of the arguments against HE could be levelled quite easily against school.

I have misconceptions about school. I Know many parents who send their children to school, and know them ver well indeed. My children have lots of schooled friends, and I have lots of friends and family who are teachers, some of whom home educate and some of whom don't. Thank you very much for your concern, seeker, but my opinions about the risks of school is very well-informed.

As a responsible parent, my opinions about the risks of home ed are also very well-informed, hence my efforts to ensure all that people worry about is unfounded. My children have the input of a great many adults in their lives. I would never dream of censoring exposure to different beliefs and knowledge than my husband and I have.

As with school, a home successful education is mostly to do with a child's parents and family life. What most people worry about with regard to HE is easily alleviated by not being a shit parent.

FlamingoBingo Tue 23-Oct-12 14:13:06

Grow lithe, how do people manage when they visit vastly different cultures to ours without exposure throughout childhood with people from those cultures? It is not true that we must experience everything in childhood in order to be able to cope within as an adult.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 14:18:20


I have been H.edding this last half term, and also did pre - school with 2 of our dc.

strandednomore Tue 23-Oct-12 14:18:26

I am intrigues by it but know I wouldn't have the patience to be with my children as much as I would need to if I home educated them. However, I would be more interested in some sort of sharing of education with other parents, I would love to be able to have more say in their education and be able to support them in their talents beyond what the state school system is able to do (nothing to do with the teaching more about the numbers of children they have to deal with, including disruptive children etc). I also like the idea of education being more flexible and not feeling like I can't ever take them out during the term time in case I somehow totally disrupt their education. Travelling, taking them on trips, all these things should be incorporated into their education.

ObiWan Tue 23-Oct-12 14:28:00

Haha, seriously, how many posts have you seen on here from parents wanting to move their children to a nicer school, even paying for the privilege, to avoid them having to spend years dealing with the sort of children you describe Growlithe?

A wish to avoid trouble-making children is pretty much universal. I don't want my childrens school day to be spent dealing with unruly children.

Most of the adults I know went to school, a great many of them wouldn't have the faintest idea what to do if they encountered a pub brawl. In fact, one, when confronted by a mugger demanding his wallet was so bemused, he responded with a baffled 'excuse me?!' before realising what was afoot. grin

But that isn't really the point of HE. HE children really don't exist in some kind of cossetted middle class bubble. Or at least not any more so than some schooled children.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 14:29:43


I smile at your comment of patience as this was one of my main concerns. I have worked as a teacher and TA in the past and been commended for my patience, but with my own dc I was terrible. At one time dh used to stop me from helping them with homework or if they were struggling with something, because I'd expect too much from them. I was so impatient and used to get really frustrated. Now I am a lot calmer, I'm not sure what made me change but I feel far more confident in my ability and am more laid back now. I still expect good results but am more realistic about dds strengths and weaknesses.

seeker Tue 23-Oct-12 14:34:32

I thought I remembered you hadn't been doing it for long morethan. Great to be an expert in 5 weeks!

throckenholt Tue 23-Oct-12 14:35:23

>As for not mixing with 'badly behaved' adults, in adulthood we may not mix with people who will give us grief. We will hopefully avoid it. It could happen by chance though, in a pub or club, whilst shopping, in hospital, on a train or bus, anywhere where you get the general public. Situations arise in a split second, and the 'streetwise' amongst us will hopefully be equipped to deal with and diffuse such situations.

You meet those situations in real life - out and about - and HE kids are exposed to that as well. And they learn how to cope from the people around them - either parents, other adults or other children (much as schooled kids do).

And there is nothing to say difficult don't go to clubs. My boys often comment about x, y or z who goes their club and is renowned as being difficult. They have to learn to cope.

HE kids do not live in a secluded bubble (unless their parents try really hard to do so - as someone testified further down the thread) - they live in the real world and learn to cope with it in their own way, like anyone else.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 14:38:14


I am not an expert, only speak from my own experience and research as I believe I regularly state. I read these threads to gain more knowledge from people like yourself. I know you have your own experience of H.ed from childhood.

ppeatfruit Tue 23-Oct-12 14:43:37

It's not funny trying to teach a class of 30 DCs when 3 or 4 of them don't give a shxx. This was in a C of E suburban school.The other DCs would look at me beseechingly with their hands over their ears sad angry

Emandlu Tue 23-Oct-12 14:44:03

The problem with these debates is that people comment out of personal experience and it is interpreted as being a general comment.

Really, if school works for you then great. If home ed works for you then great.
If the method of education your child receives doesn't work for your child then there are other options out there.

Home ed works for us at the moment. I think ds will probably go to secondary school when he gets to that age as I think that will be best for him. Dd is of secondary school age but home ed is best for her. No decision is a permanent one. Education is fluid. Works well in school sometimes, works well at home sometimes.

I never try to convince anyone to one home educate. Much the same as I never try to convince anyone to send their kids to school. It's none of my business what happens in other families. If someone wants to know about what we do as home educators then I will happily tell them, but I'm not going to get all evangelical about it.

throckenholt Tue 23-Oct-12 14:48:06

I think the thing is - everyone experiences things differently. I enjoyed school and succeeded. I went to a very good school. Looking back though I can see lots of ways it could have been better for me.

My kids didn't appear to be getting all that much from school. They seem to be getting lots (at the moment) from HE and are not keen to return to school. As long as we can facilitate that and they want it that way, we will do so.

That does not mean for evey person HE is the best option, any more than it means school is the best for everyone. And patently from the number of threads about it on here, no one school is right for every one either - lots of people move between schools. Some move to (or from) HE - as suits their circumstances at the time.

The thing to take from that is that there is no right way - there are lots of ways. Just as there is no right way to learn to read (or any other skill or subject you want to quote). HE is just about doing it a different way from the state option (and usually different from other HEers as well).

insanityscratching Tue 23-Oct-12 14:55:12

It's something that has never appealed to me in fact I fought to get ds into an independent specialist school. But it's looking likely that I will home school dd from y7 as even with a statement already in place there isn't a placement that would meet her needs and I'm not confident of winning (and therefore losing around £15,000) if I went to Tribunal again. So the plan is to homeschool and use the £15,000 to buy in tutors for subjects that I don't feel confident of teaching.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 23-Oct-12 15:09:27

For me HE is something you resort to when all else has failed


Clearly it works for some, but I do wonder what some (emphasis on the some) parents' motives are, and it concerns me that children could fall off the radar.

I would love to have home schooled but unfortunately finances mean I have to work full-time. I've met various home-schooled children, ranging from amazingly well-read, intelligent, highly educated teenagers, through to one incredibly damaged child whose parents thought letting him play computer games 10 hours a day would somehow educate him.

HE takes commitment from the parents, and I guess it helps if the parents are educated to a level themselves, whereby they can feel comfortable teaching most subjects to GCSE level or above.

toddlerama Tue 23-Oct-12 15:35:56

I'm very pro-homeschooling. I've home educated my children from the start, because I worked in a school before I had them and I just felt that one-to-one tuition would be so much more effective when they are just 4-5. We joined a co-op and met families with kids of all ages and stages of education. Some having left school due to problems / giftings in certain areas requiring heavy time commitments / never attended school - literally every reason you could think of for being home ed. With the support of this group, I'm confident we'll be in this for the long haul (they can sit GCSEs with tutoring and exam centres provided), but it is a fairly unique set up from what I've heard. We have access to tutors funded by the LEA, twilight sessions in school labs for sciences, organised PE sessions weekly at an athletics stadium with fantastic coaches. I feel so lucky to have found it! However, when friends in other districts ask me about home ed and how to go about it, I can't really comment. I'm walking in the footsteps of families who have put in the ground work to create an amazing experience for our DCs. I know I could not have replicated this on my own. But I have to say, even without the benefits of this I would probably still have done the early years at home. The co-op has given me the confidence to plan for a longer time (probably up to 6th form - although we'll play it by ear).

ppeatfruit Tue 23-Oct-12 16:03:44

To encourage anyone who thinks they are not able to teach certain subjects to certain levels all you have to do is ENABLE the DCs to become autodidacts. I'm still learning about all sorts of subjects; the books and computers etc. are there to help\teach you to levels that many teachers haven't the time or inclination to reach.

DS was a 'gifted' child who was failed by his 1st school and we tried others to no avail. He dropped out totally at 14 but was HE (he researched most of these himself BTW) in the subjects he loves ie. geography, world history, astronomy, astrology, advanced music guitar; piano and drums, advanced mathematics (with a tutor to start him off) botany, french, world religions, art, sciences, cookery, basketball, Judo; all to very high levels. He refused to take exams and is now teaching yoga and music and performing guitar and drums. he is happy; we know if he'd been forced he would have had a breakdown so we gave him his head and we're pleased we let him choose his own way.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 16:22:35

ppeatfruit thanks

Some dcs are more suited to H.ed than school as some are suited to school and not H.ed.
It has worked extremely well for your ds, I hope it will be as good for us. My dd was on g&t register for music at school and is far better served now than she ever could be at school. I like the fact as you have stated that they can do whatever suits them in terms of subject. My dd is learning Italian and so far 3 topics she has chosen for history are not part of the nc.

ppeatfruit Tue 23-Oct-12 16:55:34

smile morethan It takes quite a bit of courage for the parents to ignore the "oh dear what will he do without GCSE's" comments and while most parents think forcing their DCs to take the academic exam way is correct. It's certainly not for everyone (he got into teaching by doing work experience BTW).

IMO The N.C. is quite limiting. So many teachers haven't the time or can't be bothered to expand the horizons of the D.C.s who need it.

seeker Tue 23-Oct-12 17:06:49

You just can't ignore the fact that not having GCSEs limits a person's choices. Of course loads of people do brilliantly without them, but far more don't.

FlamingoBingo Tue 23-Oct-12 17:19:28

I disagree with you, Seeker. It's far from impossible to get GCSEs if and when you want to do them, same with A-Levels. If you decide on a career for which you need those exams, you can do what you need within the space of a year. Most HEd teens, though, have a bit more insight than that of what they'd like to pursue and find ways to do that - either they go to college, or do OU courses, or find a tutor and somewhere that takes outside candidates to sit the exams.

The point is that I'm not worried if my children choose not to do GCSEs, because I trust they'll find their own way to get where they want to be - as my DH did, my extremely intelligent by failed by school brother, my sister. It's not just a few people who have no GCSEs and have to find other ways to manage, it's 60 bloody percent! If it is really that tough to survive without them, then why aren't we asking what the hell is wrong with the schooling system to 'ruin' so many people's lives? Because it doesn't ruin their lives, that's why.

The real problem is people who have no idea what to do or how to do it. Teens who want GCSEs will do them. Teens who don't won't. It's exactly the same in school. Those who want to do them will study and get good grades. Those who don't will spend two years doing no homework, feeling got at by every adult who is obsessed with qualifications, and come out the other end with no or few GCSEs. What's the difference? Except that HE'd teens who choose not to do GCSEs probably won't feel like failures and probably won't feel shit about themselves.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 17:20:58


I am not a fan of GCSE's/ O levels. I'm not sure what they'll be called when dd is older, she's only 8.
She told us she wanted to be H.ed, we had discussed it so obviously the idea came from us, but it was her decision. It was around April time and we finally left in July. We found the curriculum limiting in both subject and topic, plus dd was a level 8 in Music, the expected level for a y9 student. She is now doing some parts of the A level syllabus. With the exams she is taking in music, dance and hopefully speech she will have enough UCAS points by age 14/16.

seeker Tue 23-Oct-12 17:27:56

I wish I didn't really disagree with extrapolation from the particular to the general, or I could trot out my "not having GCSEs really made my life difficult" anecdotes.

Children are all so different that school will suit some children and HE will suit some children. HE is not possible for some families because of financial constraints so even if it would suit the child its not going to happen.

I am sure HE children aren't all quirky or lacking in social skills nor are all children in school because their parents view them as a nuisance wink nor do they all have the creativity crushed out of them.

I agree there should be full information on all the educational options out there and that way parents can make informed decisions. Each family will have its own unique set of circumstances so for either HE or school parents to say they have the right answer for everyone is a bit pointless.

I have learnt things from reading the HE threads that have helped me with my own children. I am sure there are HE parents that take ideas from the school system and adapt them to their own needs. Just because someone chooses to do something in a different way to you doesn't necessarily make either of you wrong.

FlamingoBingo Tue 23-Oct-12 17:32:41

Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean, Seeker. I know I was making generalisations, but half the arguments against HE have been generalisations!

'They won't have any friends'
'They'll be odd'
'They won't have any qualifications'


seeker Tue 23-Oct-12 17:35:12

"'They won't have any friends'
'They'll be odd'
'They won't have any qualifications'"

Has anyone actually said any of those things on this thread?

brighterfuture Tue 23-Oct-12 17:35:51

I was home educated... my family drove me bonkers, I begged to go to school so I could have a life of my own outside the family. Thankfully they listened to me and let me go to school. I liked it so much more than being at home.

I think your DD's situation is different to many children in that she has a specialist interest which takes up a substantial amount of time. This is difficult to achieve if she is at school for 6-7 hours a day, so I can understand why you needed more flexibility in her education.

I wouldn't rule out exams, even if you are not a fan, it really depends on what your DD wants to do when she is older. However, you certainly don't need to worry about that decision now so I would park it.

FlamingoBingo Tue 23-Oct-12 17:40:06

Not in those words, but those misconceptions have been suggested on here.

I a) can't be bothered to go and look for examples and b) can't really be bothered to argue with you yet again about HE, Seeker as it's been boring for several years now.

Brighter Future - which just goes to show how a child manages in life has got very little to do with HE (or school) and everything to do with the parents. Great that your parents listened to you smile

seeker Tue 23-Oct-12 17:42:31

"I a) can't be bothered to go and look for examples and b) can't really be bothered to argue with you yet again about HE, Seeker as it's been boring for several years now."

Ok. Are you only going to argue with people who agree with you 100% in the future then? Nothing like having a lovely open mind!

FlamingoBingo Tue 23-Oct-12 17:43:12

No, but it's clear that you and I will never, ever agree so what is the point? Surely you can see we are wasting our time?

seeker Tue 23-Oct-12 17:46:30

Refusing to believe that there might, just might, be anything even slightly negative about HE is, in my opinion, closed minded.

ObiWan Tue 23-Oct-12 17:47:28

I was under the impression that most HE kids do take exams.

I know very few (without special needs) for whom university isn't the envisaged endpoint.

Obviously things can change along the way, but most people I know are keeping an eye on univeristy entrance requirements (either in the UK or abroad).

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 23-Oct-12 17:51:17

For all its faults, the NC is an entitlement: it is (or rather was) the minimum a child could expect to have covered over their school career.

I think sometimes people are too quick to see it as a Bad Thing.

FlamingoBingo Tue 23-Oct-12 17:55:11

I have never said that I don't think there's anything negative about HE! There's lots shit about HE. But I disagree with most of your reasons against it, Seeker.

Obi - most do, that's true. I think the point is, though, that it's not really a reason to not home educate, as taking 10 exams at 16 and 3-5 at 18 is not as important as it's made out to be.

Jenai - Covering something, and actually knowing it are two different things, as proven by 60% of school leavers, who were all exposed to the same stuff on the NC, and still came out the end with what we're told they need to survive in the world. So what's the point of the NC, in that case, if only 40% of all children actually learn what's prescribed for them to learn?

Trills Tue 23-Oct-12 17:59:54

My major view on home schooling is that it is something that it is impossible to comment on without people getting very touchy.

HE-ers Are you saying that my children are poorly socialised and I am obsessive and clingy?

School-goers Are you saying that I don't want the best for my child and just want to palm them off on someone else?

Roseformeplease Tue 23-Oct-12 18:01:25

I am a very highly qualified teacher but am not arrogant enough to think I can do it better than my colleagues who are professionals. If I have a sore tooth, I use the services of a professional dentist. My children deserve the services of highly qualified professional teachers and if the school is not good enough then I will fight from within the system to get them what they need. Also, choosing school does not mean handing your child over and doing no more. Many parents spend a huge amount if time "Home Educating" their children, in addition to school. We visit interesting places, have interesting chats and help them to learn about the world we live in. Those who HE often seem to feel that they somehow have the moral high ground as parents; far from it. My children get the best of both worlds and thrive as a result.

ZZZenAgain Tue 23-Oct-12 18:07:24

I think schools which work a lot like autonomous HE does would be best for most dc. I never used to think anything about HE before I started reading threads on MN. It is not something that I would ever have thought about it. However, nowadays I think it is generally a very good thing. Certainly it is important for families to have the option to educate their dc outside of school, not everyone has the option to pay for the school that is just right for their particular dc and not everyone has the option to stay home and HE either but certainly a lot more people do.

On the whole, I think well of it.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 23-Oct-12 18:21:58

Flamingo, how have you come to the conclusion that only "40% of all children actually learn what's prescribed for them to learn"?

seeker Tue 23-Oct-12 18:26:54

You have a better memory than I have flamingo. I can't remember ever detailing my concerns about HE. And you are remebering wrongy if you think I am against HE.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 18:28:09


Many parents who H.ed do not teach their dc, they facilitate learning with a different philosophy to education than qualified trained school teachers. I don't think I have heard anybody say they think they are better than the teachers. To some it may not be their choice, but autonomous education for e.g is grounded in theory and before consulting dd, both dh and I studied several theorists and decided on a semi autonomous approach. My point is for many parents a school teacher is what they don't need, nor a curriculum, nor an institution in which to learn. So its not about better or thinking one is better its a different philosophy.

Roseformeplease Tue 23-Oct-12 18:49:33

But schools nowadays are very much about pupils learning at their own pace, and in their own way. They set their own targets, work out their own success criteria and have a huge amount of choice as to what they can do / achieve. Don't assume all teachers and all schools have some kind of one size fits all philosophy of education. You would have to go back a long way, or find seriously shit schools for that to be the case.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 19:14:28


I think that teachers in the whole do the best with the system they are given. I know that some do and are prepared to add to the curriculum, but for some this just isn't what they want. I didn't agree with many of the targets my dc were given and especially when low found they could be detrimental to their education in terms of a self fulfilling prophecy. Success is judged on a set of criteria which imo is open to interpretation rendering it meaningless. Now others will disagree and feel we have the best system we have ever had, its down to the individual. As far as I am concerned I don't care what level my dd is currently on and have no idea. I know what she can do, where she struggles, what we need to do etc. Her teachers told me she was "slightly above average " at end of KS1 she is now y4, I didn't ask for levels before we left. I do know the level of her education from school is poor with terrible spelling and hand writing. Maths isn't good but she does struggle here.

exoticfruits Tue 23-Oct-12 19:27:58

Many parents who H.ed do not teach their dc, they facilitate learning with a different philosophy to education than qualified trained school teachers.

It depends entirely on the DC. I want to be taught-I still do if I do something new as an adult-and I don't want anyone to 'facilitate my learning'-least of all my mother.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 19:46:32

Its what works for you exotic. My dd seems to be getting satisfaction from finding things out for herself and some trial and error. However, if her opinion changes at all I will change method. I don't know how teaching her would be received atm, one of the attractions of H.ed to her is she hasn't got a teacher. grin

Kingsfold Tue 23-Oct-12 19:49:21

I was sort of planning to do it (and didn't send either of my children to Reception), but I suppose I chickened out. Plus by the time I'd spent 7 years with them non-stop, I was ready to do a wee without company.

Now I am glad I didn't go down that route - but I can completely understand why others might do it.

Kingsfold Tue 23-Oct-12 19:50:07

Oh, and my younger one demanded to go to school in the end...

exoticfruits Tue 23-Oct-12 19:50:27

Exactly-what works for your DC.

exoticfruits Tue 23-Oct-12 19:53:51

You also have to bear in mind that you might get fed up. A friend was madly enthusiastic to start with and loved it for the first few years - she didn't after 10yrs but was stuck with it.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 23-Oct-12 20:41:46

Your poor friend and her dc. I wonder why she was stuck with it, I think I'd just register at school, if it wasn't working out. Is your friend ok now? I'm quite lucky that I know the initial attraction will wear off a little, but dd really wants to go for it. I have dh at home most days and he does quite alot too. As do her brothers, one of which has just graduated in Sport Dev and Coaching. So thats P. E sorted.

cory Tue 23-Oct-12 21:02:58

I think it's very true that it is about the individual child/family. It would have been a lot easier to have HE'd dd due to her health problems, but it was never what she wanted: she wanted to get back to school where she could have her own life with friends she chose without our input. And because she is very very close to me, I felt it was a benefit that she had frequent contact with adults who are very different from us, some of whom we would never have chosen as friends.

Also, if you don't drive, taking a child to a great variety of clubs etc gets very difficult, particularly if the child has health problems. And I do feel having a working mum has been a good example to her: given her health problems it would be so easy for her to give up aspirations of a career altogether.

She has sacrificed a good deal to stay in school, because she felt that was what she needed.

But for others, HE has been what they needed.

exoticfruits Tue 23-Oct-12 22:01:38

If you HE your youngest DC and he never goes to school you can't suddenly send him off when you feel like it! Not if he doesn't want to go. He decided to go to the 6th form and she got her life back- but she had wanted it back long before. If you have 3 DCs and start from 5yrs to university for all three it is a long time- what you start with enthusiasm you may not want 15 years down the line.

seeker Wed 24-Oct-12 00:04:27

"As do her brothers, one of which has just graduated in Sport Dev and Coaching. So thats P. E sorted"

Really? Are you going to find enough 8 year olds locally to make a couple of hockey teams?

exoticfruits Wed 24-Oct-12 07:03:58

Some one was explaining earlier that they had team sport with 3- 9 year olds , which is fine if you are on holiday e.g cricket on the beach , but I can see the two of my DSs who are sporty being very fed up if this is supposed to be the PE and games- they want to play with DCs their level- a proper game and playing to win.

I think sport is one of the easiest things to find outside of school if you live in a reasonably sized town or city. There are plenty of local sports teams where we are that the children can join.

seeker Wed 24-Oct-12 11:13:26

"I think sport is one of the easiest things to find outside of school if you live in a reasonably sized town or city. There are plenty of local sports teams where we are that the children can join."

Are there? It's cricket, rugby or football our way. Everything else is through school. And the point about sport is that unless you have the opportunity to try, you don't know what you might like to do. My dd plays a sport to a reasonable level that she hadn't even heard of until she had q go qt school!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 24-Oct-12 11:15:36

My dd isn't really sporty tbh, but the local H.ed group use the football stadium once a week to do organised team sports. They have a coach and a parent (P.E. teacher) and do football, netball, hockey etc. She just uses her db for a bit of exercise really as she also dances for 4 hours a week.
I think if she wanted to do more sport there wouldn't be a problem as where we live the county run various clubs.

seeker Wed 24-Oct-12 11:19:14

That's what I mean, morethan. You say "my dd isn't sporty"

She's 8! she has no idea whether she's sporty or not. But there she is in a not sporty box.

ObiWan Wed 24-Oct-12 11:26:05

Cikey Seeker, where do you live?

We left London years ago, but even out here, I can't think of a sport that would be inaccessible.

There are the usual football, rugby, and cricket teams. Individual sports like horse riding, tennis, martial arts. There are also lacrosse, hockey and ice hockey, basketball and baseball clubs and teams crying out for members. There's even a hurling team at the local Irish club.

There are cycling clubs, swimming clubs, gymnastics and every type of dance you could imagine, often heavily subsidised.

And my 8 year old is more than able to pick and choose, as the pile of discarded uniform, kit and equipment will testify grin

morethanpotatoprints Wed 24-Oct-12 11:36:38


I don't really see your point. The schools my dc attended had very little sport other than boys football and rugby and girls netball and hockey if they were lucky. Anything else my dc did out of school.
DD enjoys music and dancing and is by nature more arty, whats wrong with that? It is her choice imo and if she wanted to join I would encourage her. Her best friend and several others are in an athletics club and run at county level, my dd said she'd rather xxxx than have to go running. Our county has a very wide choice of sports clubs.

CatKitson Wed 24-Oct-12 11:38:31

Honestly yet another thread where home educators are asked to defend their choices and demonized for their choices!

Why is it that others want to force their choices onto others, and make themselves feel superior by saying the way someone else chooses to raise their children is shite? Does it make them feel better about themselves to run down others? Do they get a warm glow of superiority? Ffs some people need to get a grip.

ppeatfruit Wed 24-Oct-12 11:46:00

I went to a state school and I HATE organised sport; in our school it was run by pervy weirdos ALL of it for some reason!!

DS is fabulous sportsman he did go to schools off and on but he went to a basketball club out of school and excelled.

Kewcumber Wed 24-Oct-12 11:57:09

I really don't give a stuff about whether anyone else HE's but I don't understand why its not OK to point out some of the disadvantages without being accused of "demonizing" people's choices.

I'm perfectly aware of the limitations of school and I can quite see that school is horrible for some children who would be better prepared for life if they were HE'd. But there's a big assumption that home educators all provide all these marvellous opportunities and they don't, my experience of He'ers is that the majority have been very good with one outstandingly awful example that I have no doubt wrecked the education of the child in question and still has an impact on her as a young adult.

Most people in the school system are very aware of poor teachers or poor schools there are endless threads about it. I never see a thread discussing the limitations of HE (maybe I'm not looking) because no-one ever seems to accept there are any.

Sport is a good example - we live in London so access to lots of stuff but under 11 its mostly football, rugby, gymnastics and tennis (there may be more girly stuff but not relevant to me so I haven't looked). I have looked for cycling as DS loves it and struggled, he'd like to play basketball but no luck there either. Hockey only at teenage years and up. At school he's just learnt to play hockey - they also play basketball, school also run an "international sports" club though don't ask me what that entails! Now I don't particularly want him to sign up to a term of hockey but its nice for him (and the rest of his class) to get a taster of it - learn the rules properly, have enough people for a team, and play for a few weeks before they move on to a different sport/activity.

As I am not anti-HE I really object to not being able to discuss the pros and cons of it without being accused of being superior. Basically Catkitson you think we should only be allowed to say "HE is just fine, it has no limitations, only school does"

Kewcumber Wed 24-Oct-12 12:01:37

Just googled

nearest basketball for children is quite a shlep from here and they still don;t take children under year 5 - so we'd have to wait another 3 years

ppeatfruit Wed 24-Oct-12 12:05:31

Kew I don't think many people are saying H.E. is the answer for ALL DCs. IMO and E its best to give everything a go and leave it to the child to make the final decision. I know we were lucky enough to have the means to carry out our philosophy.

ouryve Wed 24-Oct-12 12:05:47

I think it can work, if done right.

I've flexischooled DS1 in the past, when he was struggling with the school day. No way could I do it fulltime, though.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 24-Oct-12 12:13:30

There are lots of sports available here; we're v.lucky on that score. The univeristy run clubs where children can try different activities, plus there's the usual football, rugby and cricket, riding, racket sports...

BUT these clubs really are for the children that find sport easy. PE at DS's school on the other hand is remarkably inclusive. I don't think that's an unusual situation, either.

Kewcumber Wed 24-Oct-12 12:20:24

no I know people aren't saying its the answer for all DC's my point was more even if it works best for your DC surely there are drawbacks - just like there are at school. Thats what I find odd - school parents are generally happy to express a view on the failing/drawbacks of school but very rare to hear the same from an HE parent and if you try to point out that there might be drawbacks, we are accused as Catkitson did of attacking your choices.

Thats not really a discussion is it?

Kewcumber Wed 24-Oct-12 12:22:37

the child I know who was disastrously home schooled made the decision because she made it based on one aspect and didn't have the maturity to consider the other aspects and her parents failed to investigate other options and then failed once HE'd to educate her properly. Ultimately she made the decision to go back to school but the dmage IMO was done then.

I don't think it always works to let the child decide.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 24-Oct-12 12:41:26


I think it could be because many H.edders may feel demonised, on many posts people ask questions about H.ed to gain knowledge, then somebody comes along in response to a genuine answer and asks but what about x? I could say that because I haven't experienced any drawbacks of H.ed you think I'm one of those who won't admit there are any. Where in fact that is not my view, as I'm sure there are. I can hardly comment If I haven't experienced any. I don't think H.ed is the best education for many dc, it just happens to be working for us. But of course there are people who will doubt or question anything a H.edder says.

ppeatfruit Wed 24-Oct-12 12:48:42

Kew I scent a difference between your philosophy of parenting and mine. If my dc says she is being abused mentally by a certain teacher I'm going to believe her. I went to the school and discovered that the teacher had a record of such abuse; it was ignored by the Headteacher in a meeting so we had to remove her.

I agree that bad parents should not H.E. but who is going to make that decision?

Kewcumber Wed 24-Oct-12 12:54:57

"Kew I scent a difference between your philosophy of parenting and mine. If my dc says she is being abused mentally by a certain teacher I'm going to believe her" thats a really offensive statement. What on earth have I said to make you believe that?!

WHat philosophy is mine then "The school are always right and my child is a liar"?

Kewcumber Wed 24-Oct-12 12:58:59

this thread asked what peoples views on Home Ed are.

I think it very unreasonable to accuse people who point out that there can be drawbacks as being superior or demonising anything.

ppeatfruit Wed 24-Oct-12 13:05:36

Sorry if you think I was being offensive it wasn't meant to sound like that blush you were talking about the DC who was H.E. and you didn't think she had the maturity to decide for herself. She could 've done badly if she'd attended full time school.

seeker Wed 24-Oct-12 13:11:43

It is difficult. The problem is that education is a work in progress- none of us know how out children are going to turn out. We can all quote anecdotes- I could talk about my own experience, or that of one of my nieces, who has been made miserable in adult life by choices she was allowed to make for herself at 13. Or my nephew......but I won't go on , because I know that extrapolating from the particular to the general is a bad idea.

But I can't stop myself commenting when I see what to me are obvious red flags- "my 8 year old isn't sporty" "there are loads of people who've done really well in life without qualifications" " the dcs learn how deal with all sorts of people, they go to loads of HE groups" to name but 3.

HE is fantastic. But there are downsides. And it helps no one, least of all the children, to ignore, paper over or minimise them. And it does not, somehow, damage your role as a home educator to acknowledge them.

Kewcumber Wed 24-Oct-12 13:27:36

No, she didn't have the maturity (IMO - she was a very close member of the family not someone I met in the street) to assess what her options were and she was given the choice of two options - stay in the situation you are currently in or be HE'd. Of course she chose to HE - but there were many other options which hadn't been explored and weren't presented to her. So her choice was not well informed and she wasn't very mature.

Yes she could have done badly at full time school. I only know that HE had a long term affect on her education.

If my child told me they were being abused (by anyone in school) I would certainly believe them. Would my next response be to HE? No. That doesn't mean I wouldn't take action and it may be that finally a decision to HE might be taken. I'm not saying you did that before you extrapolate that from my answer.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 24-Oct-12 13:50:30

I don't mean to be difficult but why the red flag?
My dss weren't very musical or arty, but were and still are sporty. All children are different. I am not labelling her just stating a fact. She would rather visit the theatre than attend a football match. She does support her friends and dbs at their sporting events so its not like its an alien concept to her. Also as I stated if she decided to try some sport I would encourage her, but if you consider this to be an "obvious red flag" thats up to you.

ppeatfruit Wed 24-Oct-12 13:59:09

It's right to give the DC the options (it's difficult if not impossible to drop certain courses at school at age 13 or 14 to concentrate on specific GCSE courses) that's another plus for H.E. if the parents are on the ball of course; because often the teachers don't have the time to help each DC properly.

We had to H.E. her for 5 months or so till another school was able to take her because the Head refused to change her class. She wanted to go to school.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 24-Oct-12 14:33:41

I'm another one not keen on labelling an 8yo as not sporty/arty/academic/whatever.

The same happens in schools though of course. I guess the advantange might (emphasis on might) be that children have to do sport/art/science at school, like it or not, so there's a chance that a child will find an aspect of that area that grabs them. I imagine that's also possible with HE, but that it's more difficult.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 24-Oct-12 14:47:31


I totally agree and what my 2 dss experienced was very few choices in GCSE subject, due to time table. They had to choose a subject from each column. They also had to do P.E which of course they chose as options anyway, but the less sporty would rather have done something else. Its ok to talk about balance of all subjects in education but I don't know anybody who gained a good GCSE in a subject they couldn't stand, with the exception of Maths.

ppeatfruit Wed 24-Oct-12 15:24:45

Thanks morethan I just remembered what a farce the GCSE boards have put the DCs through this summer. TBH the 5 or 6 A* passes that were so common never seemed right to me anyway.

seeker Wed 24-Oct-12 15:42:12

To be considered for practically any higher/further education course, or practically any job you need 5 GCSEs including English and Maths. If you don't have them, many doors are closed to you.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 24-Oct-12 15:42:15

If GCSE's are so important why are they not regulated better. It is a shame that parents are worrying about their childrens future, and the children are worrying about the value of these results in years to come. I do think that government use children as guinea pigs where the ed system is concerned. I think one of the benefits of H.ed is the ability to find other exams/ courses at level 2 and 3, as an alternative to GCSE's and A levels. Of course the down side is the cost.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 24-Oct-12 15:55:56


I am a qualified teacher F.E. and you are talking absolute tosh. Many of my students didn't have 5 GCSE's, some had 2 or 3, many didn't have English and Masths. They did a level 2 City and Guild alongside their course. There are no doors closed to people without GCSE's. You can even teach without them, as I am evidence.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 24-Oct-12 16:38:41

Off the top of my head: you'd be hard pushed to get into medical school with no GCSEs and you need GCSE Maths and English (as well as everything else!) to get onto a PGCE course.

There will be courses that accept students through alternative routes; perhaps by demonstrating an exceptional skill in something. I'd say that HE might make that route easier, as you'd have more time to focus on an exceptional talent. But for most, KS4 level qualifications are pretty important.

fwiw I left school with no GCSEs at all, and got my degree after doing an Access course. But even for that you had to sit GCSE maths and English before the university would admit you. And of course I had to be 21 - there was a looong gap between leaving school at 15 and returning to FT education.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 24-Oct-12 16:57:55


I'm afraid you are ill informed many of my peers who completed their PgCE (more academic than PGCE) had no GCSE's. I have two PG quals both carrying atr least 180 points towards Masters. I didn't fancy any more dissertations, and wasn't going to attract a higher salary. grin
My students were starting F.E at 16 continuing to 18 before going on to Degree level courses. I am qualified to teach my subjects up to and including Degree.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 24-Oct-12 17:18:15

PGCE course entry requirements (as well as a degree, obviously)from education.gov.uk - you need : a standard equivalent to a grade C in GCSE English and mathematics. If you want to teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7-14), you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in a science GCSE

When I was looking into it back in the 90s, it was the same (although I don't if primary students needed science back then).

The will be equivelent qualifications that are acceptable and sometimes tests you can sit in lieu, but as a rule, you need GCSEs to become a qualified teacher in a school. I understand that the situation is different for FE teachers, and will depend on the subject they teach.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 24-Oct-12 17:19:36

Ignore my typos, sorry.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 24-Oct-12 17:44:20


I know that is what it says but there are plenty of teachers who would beg to differ. I left the profession for exactly this reason. With a Post Compulsory PgCE I was expected to teach secondary, not just cover but to teach for the forseeable future. One of the subjects was Maths and believe it or not also further Maths. My line manager, suggested that although I hadn't passed a Maths O'level I'd be fine all these years later.
People still argue the system is good.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 24-Oct-12 17:48:57


Sorry, I meant to say, I was employed in a 6th form of a high school. The colleagues in the same position as me who went down the Union line, are still there with the same conditions. It is appauling, but makes me laugh when people think that Goves suggestion of unqualified teachers is something new grin

seeker Wed 24-Oct-12 19:31:22

So are you saying you don't need GCSEs to study medicine or law or be a tesco management trainee, or be a nurse or..........

morethanpotatoprints Wed 24-Oct-12 19:44:00

I don't know about medicine or law, I know a nurse and a tesco manager who haven't any. I think I was talking about Teaching if you were referring to my post seeker. As Colleges and Uni's are inclusive now, many qualifications at level 2 are used as equivalents to GCSE's and as many for A level/ level 3.

FlamingoBingo Wed 24-Oct-12 21:11:08

You don't need to sit 10+ GCSEs at 16 to do any of those things, Seeker. You may need to get 5 GCSEs A-C grade, including maths, english and science at some point but that may not be essential as most requirements are guidelines and are frequently not adhered to 100%.

exoticfruits Wed 24-Oct-12 22:27:18

The competition is so intense these days so it is silly to shoot yourself in the foot by missing things out! You want to open doors easily- not have to struggle against the odds.

bruffin Thu 25-Oct-12 08:39:08

You are right exotic
Friends children just leaving uni have been turned down for jobs because having got as far as a telephone interview

Even though they have a first in the relevent degree, they do not have adequate A level results ie ABC instead of an ABB

Exeter was not seen as a good enough university

Even though they have the full set of accountancy qualifications and 20 years of experience, they did not have a degree.

Universities want see gcse and a levels sat at one sitting so they know you can handle the pressure.

ppeatfruit Thu 25-Oct-12 08:49:47

If that's the case bruffin then the unis are mad. What happens if the examanee happens to get ill or run over or something?

Welovecouscous Thu 25-Oct-12 08:50:45

I believe parents should have the right to home school.

bruffin Thu 25-Oct-12 09:18:25

I assume.they would take that into account, but I don't see being HE as a.valid reason for getting on a course without the relevant qualifications.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 25-Oct-12 11:14:01

I don't think H.ed is a reason to get on a course without relevant quals neither. But I think its good that colleges and uni's are inclusive and accept other relevant qualifications at the same level as GCSE and A level. There are many alternatives to GCSE/A level specific to certain courses that are accepted.
I also think its good for those who aren't able to achieve GCSE's wherever they have been educated. Some people for whatever reason are unable to sit GCSE's and for at least the past 10 years that I know of, have not been penalised for this.

exoticfruits Thu 25-Oct-12 11:33:56

I'm not sure that some people know how tough it is these days-they don't seem to realise that it some places they will be weeded out before they get chance to even show the alternatives. I think it is different from even how it was 5 years ago.

I can't see why it is a competition as to which is better. Schools are better for some-home for others.
There seems to be a general insecurity if you HE and you constantly have to justify and find reasons for it being best. A lot of parents didn't like the schools that I chose-it didn't bother me, I knew they were good and there was no need for me to discuss it. I never know why HEers get drawn in-all you have to say to questions is 'it suits us,' and change the subject. You really don't have to answer questions about socialisation or anything else.

The only thing that really annoys me is the patronising assumption that if the rest of us knew our rights many more of us would do it-we do know our rights and we choose school because we think it best-not just as default because we know no better!

HE is merely an educational choice-take it if it suits you and leave it if it doesn't but it seems silly not to get the relevant qualifications when they make life so much easier and open doors more readily.

Juule Thu 25-Oct-12 11:52:34

"The only thing that really annoys me is the patronising assumption that if the rest of us knew our rights many more of us would do it-we do know our rights and we choose school because we think it best-not just as default because we know no better! "

For the people who do know that home-ed is a valid choice and then choose school then that's fine. I can't see that anyone is assuming that because someone sends their child to school they mustn't be aware of home-ed.
However, given the number of times that home-educators hear parents saying things like 'if only I'd known, I would have brought mine out of school' or 'if only I'd known sooner, I wouldn't have struggled along for so long and life would have been much better for my child/family' then I think it's fair to assume that more parents might be inclined to opt for home-ed if they knew about it.

ppeatfruit Thu 25-Oct-12 11:53:38

The thing is a lot of adolescents don't even think ahead a week let alone to starting work. What are you going to do with a refuser\drop out? chain 'em to their desks? If they're being H.E. at least you don't have to worry about S.S. coming round to talk about attendance.

CatKitson Thu 25-Oct-12 12:23:47

A large number of homeschooled children I know take formal exams much earlier than their conventionally educated peers and that is certainly the path we are on for my children at this point in time. If at some point they would prefer to take an apprenticeship in a trade or craft I would support that choice too. A degree is no guarantee of a job at the end of 3 to 4 expensive years of hard work.

I'm not much interested in whether or not people approve of how my children are educated, or answering interrogative questions just so certain posters can judge how I am raising and educating my children.

The only downside for our family is that we are missing out on my wage. This is not the end of the world for us, but of course more money would be nice. If I had known homeschooling was going to be such a positive experience, and just how much a waste of time conventional schooling was going to be for my children I would have home ed'd from the start.

The vast majority of parents do everything in their power to do the right thing for their children, and as individuals we know our children well enough to make good choices for them, and help them get to the point where they can make their own good decisions regarding their futures. For my children homeschooling is the best option, just as school outside of the home may well be the right choice for other families.

Emily1974 Thu 25-Oct-12 12:29:39

I think my 5 years old son will gain more academically if i educate him at home just because he is better with 1-2-1 as he needs repeated instruction / explanation to understand or engage with something. However, I am unable to provide all the social aspects of skills for him if I home school him while I can still support him with his school work hence overall it is better for him to go to school.

Emily1974 Thu 25-Oct-12 12:50:01

Following my last message, of course if my child really hate school and have problems making friends then I will HE him without more thoughts. The only thing that he enjoys in school now are his friends so I wouldn't want to take it away from him even though he really dislikes his lessons! On top of this, English isn't my first language and I am dyslexic so HE probably not ideal unless he is really unhappy in school.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Thu 25-Oct-12 12:56:01

Why was school such a waste of time for your children, Cat?

morethanpotatoprints Thu 25-Oct-12 13:07:51


Are you doing IGCSE, GCSE or a mixture of both? I ask as I am not in this position yet as dd is only young. If she stays on the same path as she is now I think she may choose to do a few GCSE's or level 2 quals in addition to the exams she will already have taken in music, speech, and dance. But early days for us yet.

I don't think parents would rush to H.ed but I am one of those who says if only I'd known more about it before. That is not because I have anything against school because I think it was the right education for ds1 but ds2 would have been alot happier and done far better through H.ed. I think that dd will have greater opportunities in what she wants to do if we H.ed, thats all. I think more parents would H.ed if they knew more about it as there are many who are like me, but with the thousands of parents out there I'm sure schools would still be over subscribed.

CatKitson Thu 25-Oct-12 13:28:15

Sorry I only have a moment Potato. At age 10, Dd is on track to do an IGCSE maths next year, she might also take geography, we will see how she manages. It is unlikely they will go onto further education in the UK, so it is likely they will take SAT's instead for American college entry.

With the caveat that I am only speaking with regards to my children and our experiences within the British state school system, and I am not making sweeping judgements regarding other peoples choices, I am happy to discuss conventional schooling. My youngest has never been to school outside of the house, but dd did complete 3 years - preschool, year one and most of year 2. She was ignored by the teachers, consistently. I dont have much time right now, but suffice to say the education she received or lack thereof at school was appalling. Anything she did learn, she learnt at home with me at weekends. She was bullied, left out and just not one of the popular children. As she said, in her own words, she was "not one of the golden girls, so noone ever bothered with her at school". She is doing wonderfully now, and has some lovely friends. Ds, who has always been homeschooled - and Im SURE Im going to be accused of boasting now, is just 6, reading chapter books, has started the first Galore Park junior math book and is flying through it, knows all his times tables, and not just in order, and is a great little footballer. It took at least a year to get dd to the point where she was fulfilling her potential, and I find that lost and wasted time, an absolute crying shame.

littlebubbalove Thu 25-Oct-12 13:50:27

Its really good! I was home ed when i was a child and i did all my exams ect.. At home. I went to collage after that. I turned out fine! :D x
some parents who home ed dont go to any groups but i would if i did it. I am thinking of home ed-ing. But my DD is only two so not too soon. x

morethanpotatoprints Thu 25-Oct-12 15:39:25

Wow Cat.

Home ed has definitely worked/ working for your dc. Its a shame your dd was so let down by the school she attended. At least she is on track and doing well now, they are both very talented at Maths. This is a sticking point for us as dd struggles a bit but she is working hard and has more time to spend on it than she did at school. I have seen an improvement already in half a term, but my dd was not affected by any of the things your dd was.

OneMoreChap Thu 25-Oct-12 15:48:37

I was home schooled for a year or two abroad. Didn't suit me. Foreign schools; OK. Boarding school - probably OK-ish, but found I'd loathed it later.

Would have prefred a normal school. DS and DD studiously sent to local schools, for social purposes - but supported reading/sums etc at home....

ppeatfruit Fri 26-Oct-12 08:13:17

We aren't all the same (a commonsense cliche that sometimes seems to be ignored by the schools) That sad story catkit told about her DD could be repeated thousands of times through the land. There are very few teachers who have the time and personality to even TRY to pay attention to all 30 DCs in her or his class; it's usually the over the top DCs who demand it and therefore get the little attention going.

The one nearly good thing that the Labour govt, did was get T.As. in each E.Y.s class. I say 'nearly' because some of them IME were very unpleasant.

CatKitson Fri 26-Oct-12 11:44:28

Potato, when I first took her out of school, she was not even "top table" math. She just hadn't really been taught at all, and when schools have children for 6 hours a day, I was loathe to make her work longer hours. She had been taught no methods to work out complex math problems, had little more than the basic number facts down, and just was lacking in confidence. For us there is no downside to homeschooling, it has been the best thing for our children.

School was a negative experience for my children. The famed "socialisation" (there you go, British spelling for you Kew) that children allegedly only get within schools, was absolutely worthless imo. The few times I've asked if she wants to go back to being conventionally schooled she has been very clear that she loves the way she is educated, and wouldn't change a thing. The younger one is happy as long as we get out and about, and he plays football a couple of times a week.

We haven't found it hard to find them activities, including team sports that they can join in when they have wanted to.

Kewcumber Fri 26-Oct-12 15:18:16

there you go, British spelling for you Kew no need on my account - we are a multinational, multicultural family. I can deal quite well with a variety of spelling and languages.

CatKitson Fri 26-Oct-12 22:44:58

*disadvantages without being accused of "demonizing" people's choices."

Sorry Kew, I thought the "" were because of the "z" in demonizing/demonising instead of the choice of word.

Shame you can't do quite so well with a variety of lifestyle choices that OTHER people make for THEIR children.

Kewcumber Fri 26-Oct-12 23:12:50

No "demonizing" simply because I cut and pasted it from your own post - you know its a quote hence quotation marks confused

So I've said that I don't think other people shouldn't home ed their children have I? [more confused]

I'd be interested in you quoting me saying that. A quick scan of my posts produced the following

*If my child had problems in/with school I might do it;
I really don't give a stuff about whether anyone else HE's;
I'm perfectly aware of the limitations of school;
my experience of He'ers is that the majority have been very good with one outstandingly awful example*

Thats an interesting interpretation of my views you have there. My only issue on this thread is the inability to discuss the pros and cons as they might apply to some children without being accused of demonising HE.

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Fri 26-Oct-12 23:47:57

I'm thinking of home educating ds. He's now on his 5th school (he's 13) and the chances are that he'll have to leave this as well (funding issue). He's being tested for aspergers, has mobility and sensory problems. I'm a university graduate; I have a law degree, and have studied sciences and maths at university. He loves languages, so I'd take him around Europe so that he can experience these first hand. I think it's a great idea, and it's far better then placing him into yet another school, knowing that he'll be bullied for being different. He goes to games workshop, and I'm hoping there will be organised activities here.

ppeatfruit Sat 27-Oct-12 09:31:16

IIWM ladycreepy I'd've done it already grin Especially as he's bullied.

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Sat 27-Oct-12 15:49:06

No more school moves, I think. I'll see what the headmaster suggests after half term, but I'm not placing him into another school. It's getting silly now. I've actually miscounted, this is his 6th school. No child should have to live like this.

ppeatfruit Sat 27-Oct-12 16:45:19

Ooh poor boy sad

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Sat 27-Oct-12 18:51:27


midseasonsale Sat 27-Oct-12 20:17:18

I've not done it but know a few who have. I think it very much depends on who does it and how they do it. I don't think you have to be good at everything as you can access some areas on line and through individual tutors. There is a HUGE home ed social and educational scene - lot of meet ups and events.

midseasonsale Sat 27-Oct-12 20:25:46

The parents I know who HE are social and slightly Steiner in their approach. Their kids are integrated and mix with other kids and families, they aren't isolated at all. My three adore school and would struggle with home ed but I know it can suit others.

Welovecouscous Sun 28-Oct-12 00:15:58

LadyMary really sorry to hear that sad

Sounds as though you'd be great at he. C

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Sun 28-Oct-12 00:39:21

I hope so. He's said he wants to go to Oxford. I wouldn't want to do anything to stop him, he's a very bright boy. I can't send him to another school, knowing he'll be bullied again though. He is different, and it stands out a great deal.

Feckbox Sun 28-Oct-12 00:47:31

I feel tired just thinking about it

MoelFammau Sun 28-Oct-12 01:02:10

The qualifications issue is huge.

My story is further up the thread - short version, parents actively discouraged exams. All well and good being the parent who already has a degree and a good career, living in a 1980s housing boom. Not at all good being a working mother in a recession with no qualifications.

I'm a bright person. I've taught myself all manner of subjects, travelled and now run my own business in the film industry. But the lack of qualifications has been a serious problem for me. I recently looked into changing career from media to social work. No course would accept me as I have absolutely nothing to show in the way of GCSEs, A-Levels, degrees etc. It angers me that I could potentially have been a doctor, a journalist, an exotic animal vet or any number of things but that decision and choice was taken away from me before I even knew what options I had available to me.

Please don't live your ideals through your kids, that's all I want to say. Because you won't be the one paying the price. Not against HE at all. Just please do think of the future and prepare your kids well for the unknown.

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Sun 28-Oct-12 01:04:10

Are you able to go to college, Moel? Access course or something?

exoticfruits Sun 28-Oct-12 07:17:50

I think that Moel's point is that she shouldn't have to sort it out as an adult with access courses etc but that her parents should have made sure that she got the opportunity to do her exams at the normal time.
I wanted my DCs to have as many doors as possible open to them. Qualifications do this the easy way. It is even more important in these days of intense competition.

exoticfruits Sun 28-Oct-12 07:23:27

If you know that a university/course/job is asking for a certain number of GCSEs and A'levels at certain grades it eases the path to go and do them. Boxes are ticked and you can pass the first stage. I can't see why you would make life difficult. You can make it without ticking the right boxes, but you are starting with a handicap and some people/institutions may not be prepared to look beyond it. Why risk it?

ppeatfruit Sun 28-Oct-12 08:57:15

exotic I said upthread how do you FORCE yr. refusing DC to do all the prep. for exams? Yes in an ideal world they'd listen to you,do all the correct things at the right time etc. but sadly it isn't an ideal world.

My DD (A college lecturer) and ex teacher) used to say there should be a gap at school when all the ado refusers go out and do anything but schooling (work or whatever).

bruffin Sun 28-Oct-12 09:08:10

And as i pointed out above you still have to your gcses and a levels in one sitting, so hothousing a child as Cat has done to get a single gcse at a time is meaningless as they want to see someone who can handle the pressure if multiple subjects in one go. I suspect most children can handle a single gcse in there best subject at 10/11 if that is what they are allowed to concentrate on.
My dd told me yesterday she has an online friend who is HE and absolutely hates it.

ppeatfruit Sun 28-Oct-12 09:13:17

If yr. DD's friend hates H.E. then they should be at school. My philosophy is child centred I disagree with the 'we know best for you dear' type of parenting it can backfire disastrously.

ppeatfruit Sun 28-Oct-12 09:29:58

Moel My school and exam refuser DS did work experience in the chosen field to get onto courses and it worked okay. IMO social workers need good experience and then some quals. to do their job properly.

bruffin Sun 28-Oct-12 09:30:31

But HE from the start is not child centred which is why it should be done when Al else has failed.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Sun 28-Oct-12 09:30:39

ppeat that's pretty much what I did (back in the 80s so far easier to fall off the radar). I was working FT by the time I was 16. Did a few GCSEs at college, Access course and degree in my 20s. I've done OK but it would have been far better had I been able to do things in the more conventional way and I would have had more opportunities available to me.

I would have been happier these days I think; schools are far nicer places in the main than they were 20+ years ago.

I do wonder what the benefit is of having an 11yo sit a GCSCE. I was v.put off our nearest Secondary because they're so intent on pupils sitting GCSEs (usually Maths) early. If they've sat A-Level maths by 15, what do they do until they're old enough to go to university? I suppose there's stats, further/pure maths and so on, but it did seem to me that there would be an unavoidable hiatus at some point waiting for everyone else to catch up.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Sun 28-Oct-12 09:31:42

Sorry, I was referring to your dd's suggestion re school refusers (I was one).

ppeatfruit Sun 28-Oct-12 09:40:26

No that's true bruffin I have never advocated H.E. from the word go. I've said that I go by the child.

Jennai But if yr. parents had MADE you do the correct exams (btw people change their career choices too) how as a refuser would you have felt?

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Sun 28-Oct-12 09:50:00

I was just commenting really, ppeat. I was a lost cause; absolutely hated school. I would have run away rather than go. HE wouldn't have been the answer (single parent, mum had to work, not much in the way of resources to draw on).

My career direction has changed several times over the years; it's worked out quite nicely and I feel I've more to bring to the table than some who've only worked in the environment I work in now.

ppeatfruit Sun 28-Oct-12 10:02:28

I'm pleased it's worked out well for you. I agree that some people who are conformist are often blinkered in many ways.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Sun 28-Oct-12 10:16:26

AH! There WAS a point to my musings grin

I was fortunate in that I was able to work. It kept me (in the main) on the straight and narrow. I enjoyed meeting people and I enjoyed earning money. That would be far more difficult now I imagine; not many opportunities for 16yos with no qualifications.

I wasn't particularly non-conformist, it's just that our school (funnily enough the very same one I didn't want for ds in part because of the early GCSE thing) was absolutely dire. I don't think I'd have had the same problem with it if it had been more like the one ds is at now. I hope people don't base their opinions of school too much on their own experience; schools are so different now, ime.

ppeatfruit Sun 28-Oct-12 10:29:32

You'd be surprised jennai DD2 was a very erratic school attender she wasn't H.E. at secondary but was 'ill' a lot and did'nt get many GCSEs but like you worked from young and did work exp. (lucky in that we could support her). She's now a fashion editor and works very hard. IME secondary schools still 'don't get' adolescents which I have always found very hmm

Juule Sun 28-Oct-12 11:18:21

"No that's true bruffin I have never advocated H.E. from the word go. I've said that I go by the child."

And if the child doesn't want to go to school from the word go and is made to go, how is that going by the child?

How is HE from the start not child-centred but school from the start is?
Surely usually neither are or both are dependant on what is meant by "going by the child".

ppeatfruit Sun 28-Oct-12 11:34:25

Juule If the DC is unhappy at school then I wouldn't force them to stay but it's an idea for the DC to see whether or not it suits them. There ARE some good schools. Our GD is on her own with her Mum who is a bit erratic and she LOVES school and her teacher. IMO it would be wrong for our ex DIL to H.E. She's not consistent enough. Of course it would be very difficult if GD's next teacher turned out to be a bully.

Juule Sun 28-Oct-12 11:56:15

If a child was happy and learning then I don't see it a necessity for them to try school. If they later decided they wanted to try school then that would be the time to apply for a place.

ppeatfruit Sun 28-Oct-12 12:04:38

AAh I see where you're coming from Juule We're all different and we're lucky in the U.K. that there IS the option of H.E.

MoelFammau Sun 28-Oct-12 14:06:06

My point is that I'm 34 and to change careers now would put me in a group of 16 year old school drop-outs. In fact, I would probably rank below them as I have absolutely nothing in the way of qualifications at all. There's no funding that I can find to get me through a course because I'm over the age of 25 and don't fit the mold of an early school leaver in a socially deprived area.

Yes, I've managed to carve out an interesting career so far but the EFFORT and FIGHT to get there has been well above what my contemporaries have had to face. It's put my marriage under huge strain and my daughter is paying the price of me working 80 hour weeks.

I do appreciate that my HE background was unusually problematic and that everyone of this thread seems very pro-child's future regardless of their stance on HE. I'm just wanting to show up what happens if you take a child out of the system entirely based on some hippy 'why should we conform?' approach, refuse exams etc and then dump them into the aggressive job market aged 18 with absolutely NOTHING.

I'm really sorry if this comes across as harsh. I'm having a really tough time right now - 18k in debt and mounting. And I can't find a way out for a bright woman who has a huge amount to offer. I would've LOVED a good education. I think I would've done so well at university - yet I was denied this and it hurts me still.

ppeatfruit Sun 28-Oct-12 15:07:30

Sorry you're feeling sad moel (i remember when my DS was looking at courses esp. at 18 without any quals. ,and we weren't exactly poor then,the colleges were happy to help him for free).

Because you didn't go to 6th form, colleges usually want to help, have you looked a the job centre for courses or go to Citizen's Advice Centres.

Forgive me if you've done all these things.

exoticfruits Sun 28-Oct-12 16:53:22

I'm sorry that you are having such a tough time-the job market is very aggressive-and it is much worse now than it ever was in the past. I said earlier that a read a blog by a HEer who is 'very excited about the possibilities for her unschooled DDs' -the poor woman hasn't a clue and when she finds out it will be too late and it is the DDs who will suffer.

amillionyears Sun 28-Oct-12 17:42:19

The parents that I know that choose to home ed,have, I think without exception ,been bullied at school themselves.

exoticfruits Sun 28-Oct-12 17:47:31

The teaching awards are on at the moment-reminds me of what I like about schools. A huge buzz when done well.

MoelFammau Sun 28-Oct-12 19:49:12

I do think HE has a lot to offer. It really does. WHEN DONE FOR THE CHILD. When it's done for the parent (as in my case), it's a disaster.

Wishing everyone on this thread a truly wonderful educational experience, regardless of whether it's home or school!

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Oct-12 08:05:27

morel I completely agree about it having to be done for the child.

amillion If the parent has been bullied at school that isn't the child is it? A lot of children are bullied by their parents.

CatKitson Mon 29-Oct-12 10:35:29

I havent househoused my children, Bruffin. My daughter, with the benefit of one to one teaching and time spent on her education has excelled. As I said, she will do a few IGCSE's mainly to boost her confidence, and why not, if she can do them. At 18 she will go through the American system, and off to the US for further education. We are also going to spend summers at camps, outside of the US, for her to experience working in a group situation and give her some extra input into her scientific studies.

I absolutely resent homeschooling parents being put in the "potential bully and abuser' category. British society is far too concerned with what others are doing as a family, and interfering in the right to a family life without the state interfering (or other people for that matter).

Of course, if my child wasn't excelling I would be accused of letting her down, as it is Im accused of hothousing, more evidence that you basically cant win, unless you conform, at least in the UK.

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Oct-12 10:56:10

I'm generally in favour of HE cat but it is true that ALL parents are not the most consistent and caring they could be; wherever they school their DCs. If those parents H.E. then the DCs don't even get the school hours (if the school is caring) away from them.

qumquat Mon 29-Oct-12 12:32:43

Genuine question, I love the idea of HE and am very aware of many downsides to conventional schooling, but wonder how you can take Dcs to a more advanced level without subject expertise of your own? My passions at school were German, RE and Shakespeare, my parents knew nothing about these things, how would I have developed, or even discovered, these passions without the highly qualified experts who taught me? I don't think learning from books or the Internet is an equivalent.

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Oct-12 12:46:09

There are amazing books written to help with all levels of intellect, you're very lucky to come across good highly qualified teachers who can also communicate IME they are very few.

My interest as a teenager in e.g. history was killed stone dead by teachers and I have bought the books to learn about what they couldn't be bothered or didn't have the time to teach me.

No one can teach you EVERYTHING can they?

MoelFammau Mon 29-Oct-12 13:35:17

I loved languages and music as a kid. My parents had no interest or knowledge of either. My passion since the age of 9 was linguistics but even attempts to discuss the origin of words in a lighthearted way at dinner was ridiculed. I relied on the village library.

Find it a bit boggling really. Any interest of my 18mo DD is actively encouraged by me and it feels natural to do it. I don't understand why a parent could be so into HE but also so disinterested in learning.

amillionyears Mon 29-Oct-12 13:51:08

ppeatfruit, the point I was trying to make was that because the parents have been bullied at school themselves, they dont want the same for their children,and therefore choose to HE.
I agree that it is not the children, but they may still think of schools as being very uncomfortable places for them. And presumably, bring back bad memories.

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Oct-12 14:44:54

I understand that million but DH and I were bullied at school (interestingly as a teacher I saw it from the other perspective Heads often bully teachers IME) but I didn't ASSUME it would happen to our DCs, if it did though we were in there very quickly; and the DC were OUT of there quickly.

I feel sad for you [moel] yr parents needed self help books about child development IMO ! I LOVE the origin of words (we live between Fr. and the
U.K.) and I'm enjoying taking French to a proper spoken level ;using a language course both books and computers and dictionaries

But you may well have found that if you'd gone to school it wouldn't have been a lot more successful sadly.

ppeatfruit Mon 29-Oct-12 14:47:12

Oh I forgot to mention the most important aspect and actually talking to our Fr. friends and neighbours, artisans etc. grin

morethanpotatoprints Tue 30-Oct-12 18:25:12

I was terribly bullied at school by the teachers. Nobody could imagine how badly this has affected me through my life. How much therapy and counselling I have received.
Our decision had nothing to do with this as all 3 of our dcs went to school. 2 of them attending from 4-18. Only recently have we started to H.ed our dd.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 30-Oct-12 18:32:22


I think many H.ed parents know their limits and in my case I would encourage whatever dd would like to do. If completely out of my depth I will seek help from either a tutor, friend who knows about the subject etc. This would depend on how indepth she wanted to be within the subject, if that makes sense. Also as a FE teacher I had to teach subjects I knew nothing about, sometimes I was literaly one step in front of my students. Theres no harm in you both learning together. (not the students, I mean your dc).

ppeatfruit Wed 31-Oct-12 08:23:43

morethan I'm so sad about your bullying experiences; it really still amazes me that SOOO many teachers (parents too) seem completely unaware how a chance unkind or bullying remark can affect the DCs for LIFE. IMO All teachers should have psychological tests before being taken on as students by the teaching colleges.

Talking about yr. therapy have you heard of the Landmark Trust? It addresses problems like yrs. specifically; I've been to one of their meetings which gives a great deal of food for thought although there is a cultish aspect to it which put me off carrying on with it.

amillionyears Wed 31-Oct-12 11:07:16

Bullying by teachers. That is an interesting one.
I seem to remember my mother, years ago, quoting 2 or 3 hurtful remarks made by her teachers, which she has always remembered.
I suppose, in the great scheme of things, we all go round saying things, that others can find offensive, and we dont even know we have done it or meant to.

But, of course, there are all sorts of teachers, just like there are all sorts of people.
And , in a smaller primary school especially, you can see the same teachers and be taught by the same handful of teachers all the time you are there.

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Wed 31-Oct-12 11:16:20

Ds had one teacher who tried to teach him social skills by shouting at him for anything and everything! confused Ds now panics if he's shouted at. Teachers do bully! sad

ppeatfruit Wed 31-Oct-12 11:27:12

The thing with teachers is that they SHOULD like DCs otherwise why choose a job like teaching? It's hardly an easy option (though it used to be; our DD2's teacher whom the Head had tried to get rid of 'cos of her terrible record ;she 'picked on' 2 or 3 DCs every year DD1 wasn't picked on when she was in her class) was backed up by the NUT shock

LadyMaryCreepyCrawley Wed 31-Oct-12 11:28:21

It's like a nurse with no caring skills. sad

morethanpotatoprints Wed 31-Oct-12 13:12:53


This was a long time ago and even by the worst standard today would not be permitted. I'm talking physical, emotional, abuse. I was hit, had chalk board dusters thrown at me and regularly called names we are not allowed to use now. They even made me wear a " big d hat "at one point.
So obviously this was not an issue with my dc as I knew this wouldn't happen.

ppeatfruit Wed 31-Oct-12 15:20:02

morethan sad Yes LadyMary to both of your points. I was supply teaching in Primary schools 2 or 3 yrs ago and there were many examples of bullying; one Head specifically was literally like Miss Trunchbullshock also teachers but mostly and most unpleasantly by quite a few T.As. It's as if the power goes straight to their heads.

Claireangel7 Wed 31-Oct-12 16:56:56

I'm considering it for my 9 year old son actually as he's been having trouble with bullies for over a year now. I think if you make sure they interact with other children regularly, it's fine. And as long as the guidance is there. My son is slightly behind with his reading but just lately he's improved because I've been encouraging him to read to our dog. I go out of the room and secret listen in, and his reading is so much better than when he's reading his father or me. Check it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41mEaslXIwQ

ebsln Wed 31-Oct-12 21:43:44

My husband home-educated our 3 daughters. The eldest went on to do an OU degree (actually she's on her third, she does them for fun). She also has a job she loves, and is quite well paid. The middle dyslexic one, has just finished her Film Production degree (Upper Second). The 3rd went to 6th form college to do A levels, but unfortunately turned out to have Hypermobility syndrome with attendant fainting, and the college didn't want her back - although she was getting high marks for the work she did do. None of them regrets being home educated. And they are all quite successful in social terms.

amillionyears Wed 31-Oct-12 21:48:00

Can I ask some questions ebsin?
How bright IQ wise is your DH?
Did you go out to work?
Does your eldest work in team work?
Was the reason to HE because of bullying at all?
You dont have to answer any of those questions.

ebsln Wed 31-Oct-12 22:05:55

I have no idea what IQ my husband has. He failed the 11 plus and left school at 16, but I think that was mainly due to the schooling he received. I was out at work. My eldest daughter works very well as part of a team. We chose HE because my husband feels very strongly about the bad effects of schooling, and I was working in a school and didn't like the hierarchy of it. Bullying didn't come into it as they didn't go to any kind of educational institution until they were at least 16. Though I think some of the staff attitudes to my youngest when she started fainting were very negative. She was assumed to be attention-seeking and sent for counselling, which tended to make her feel there was something wrong with her. TBH, getting "excluded" was no bad thing for her. I do think it is a great pity she hasn't been able to pursue her education, as she is very bright, but that has far more to do with her Hyper-Mobility than HE. In fact, if she'd been in school and having to handwrite, it would have set in much earlier, I think.

exoticfruits Wed 31-Oct-12 22:07:24

It is possible to have a very high IQ and fail the 11+, thousands have done.

amillionyears Wed 31-Oct-12 22:18:13

did your eldest DD go down the GCSE, A Level route?
Is that why she entered mainstream education at 16?

ebsln Wed 31-Oct-12 22:38:52

The eldest had a go at GCSEs, but found it too boring. She declared she was going to be awriter so she didn't need qualifications. At 18 she started the OU degree and did it in 3 years, just like a regular degree. She found tutorials a bit trying as she was often much brighter then the rest of the group. The other two both did a few GCSEs (and the younger one the BTEC in IT). The dyslexic one decoded she wanted to learn to cook, so she went into FE. The course was pretty useless TBH, bjt she got an award as Best Student, which did her confidence good. She went to another college and did A levels, before going to uni. The youngest wanted to do A levels and at the time you could only do those at an institution. (When she was doing History GCSE, she had problems because the teacher said she was writing A level essays not ones for GCSE.) And then as I said it all went pear-shaped.

ebsln Wed 31-Oct-12 22:42:34

Well, yes, I know not passing 11 plus means very little. I just wanted to indicate that having a high educational level was not necessary. He was offered a place at the Slade when he was 16, on the basis of his portfolio, but his parents wouldn't support him through the course. I guess if any of them had been scientifically minded, there might have been issues, though I think we would have got round them.

VikingLady Sat 03-Nov-12 12:24:59

Another personal experience here. I attended 3 senior schools, with undx Aspergers. !st was super selective private school. Happy there, but my family couldn't afford it, so I had to leave. Social difficulties didn't show so much, because there was good pastoral care and teachers who really cared (and were very well paid). 2nd was a sink comprehensive. Learnt nothing in 6m. 3rd was a supposedly excellent grant maintained school (now an academy). It was pre A* days, so they concentrated all of their time and resources on getting D level achievers up to C level. Nothing else mattered. I was bullied continuously, and a boy actually committed suicide a year after I left due to similar bullying.

And this is supposedly an excellent school. House prices around there are astronomical!

My parents knew I was unhappy and learning very little but did not know HE was an option - they thought you had to be a qualified teacher. If they had known more about it they have said that they would have let me stay home, and I would be a happier (and probably more successful) person.

Oh - and socialisation through school? Bollocks. All I learnt was that intelligent people in private schools were nice to me, but that the majority of the population disliked me for being a swotty freak who didn't fit in. That only clones were acceptable. I think I could have lived without learning that lesson! All I ever learnt about socialising I learnt in work, mainly in sales jobs as they do a lot on how to create rapport. All school could do was tell me to fake it.

So if my dd has the same problems as me, I will HE her. I'll try school first, as we could do with the money for me working - and she may be nt!

GCSEs/A Levels - for HE the problem is money. I understand you have to pay privately. God knows how we will afford that! I can see me working on chat lines to fund it.... I have certainly had a LOT of experience in learning to fake liking people!

VikingLady Sat 03-Nov-12 12:25:23

Epic post. Sorry. Once I get started on school.....

ppeatfruit Sat 03-Nov-12 13:31:41

vikinglady sad about the bullying.You need a certain confidence to stand up to bullies DD2 actually did it! I was so proud of her 'cos her classmates were bullying a certain DC and DD2 actually got them into trouble and there was no retribution smile. DS went to MANY schools and in one the ONLY that he learnt was to bully or be bullied. It was terrible.

Ref. GCSE's By the time yr DD is at the exam taking age, they work under their own steam IME and you could work P.T.

Gingerodgers Sat 03-Nov-12 20:43:32

I would only home school if something wasn't working at school for my kids. That said, I know that when I meet people who home school, I have a wee red warning flag, that suggests a level of weirdness............. Sorry

jellybeans Sat 03-Nov-12 20:51:24

I think each to their own. I have always thought I would consider it if my DC were bullied/unhappy and school didn't sort it. As it happened this was the case but teaching my DC to defend themselves as well as threatening said child (not myself-through DC) with police involvement seemed to sort it out. DC school has a policy where they do not tell bullies off and don't 'blame' them for their bad behaviour-even in cases of violence! So if need be we would home educate in the future. I feel perfectly capable of teaching up to GCSE.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 04-Nov-12 00:02:05


Out of interest why would you only consider H.ed if there was a problem at school and what do you think you would need to do to stop others like you from seeing a red flag suggesting weirdness, if you did decide to.

ppeatfruit Sun 04-Nov-12 09:44:54

morethan for 'weirdness' read a person who has the guts not to follow the herd. It takes courage I can tell you but all our DCs are thankful that we've been on their side.

That is not to suggest that you're a member of the 'herd' of course gingergrin

bruffin Sun 04-Nov-12 10:15:08

*morethan for 'weirdness' read a person who has the guts not to follow the herd.
I wouldnt agree, most children I know have their own personalities and dont follow the herd. My dd in particularly has friends of every type, from your blonde, makeup loving boxer (she even has pink boots for boxing) to her goth friends.
But saying that a perverse desire to be different is just as bad a following the crowd.

Other than SN I have yet to see a good reason to HE, without giving school a chance, that isnt really a parent satisfying their own ego.

amillionyears Sun 04-Nov-12 11:46:38

I would say to the people who HE, and only based on my limited experience, is not to forget sport and the outdoors.
One family who HE, literally forgot sport was on the national cirriculum for many years!
The families I have seen whom HE, either fell into the category of, to be blunt, not very well educated themselves,never liked school themselves, and really didnt have much of a clue about education full stop.
To the other extreme, of being very bright indeed, and top uni educated. Were very acedemic, very into books etc, but not ones for the outdoor life at all.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 04-Nov-12 19:17:16


We tend not to do any sport with dd and she doesn't really show an interest. I don't really follow the national curriculum but find most of what dd learns and wants to do is compatable.
She does enjoy dancing and orchestra/ choir/ string ensemble so she does get the team work side of it. Obviously the dancing keeps her fit, as she attends classes 3 times per week. I'm not sure about the future as we are being led by dd at present, so will see what materialises.

exoticfruits Sun 04-Nov-12 19:30:54

It is probably why I wouldn't get on with it-as the adult I think that I know what they need and so I would be the leader. They could have choice but only within certain limits. e.g. maths would be daily-swimming would never be optional.

amillionyears Sun 04-Nov-12 19:30:59

I would class dancing as part of sport fwiw.
I would hesitate by being wholely led by DD.
Sometimes,even as adults we dont know what we like until we try it.
Try her on all sorts I say, including different sports.
I am not a professional btw.

exoticfruits Sun 04-Nov-12 19:32:36

You can't know that you want to do something if you don't know it exists!

morethanpotatoprints Sun 04-Nov-12 20:02:11

a million.

I don't mean completely led by her with subject, although I do agree mostly with what she decides. For example, she will try and evade maths, as she struggles. So instead of making it formal and risk her getting upset and learning nothing, I find ways she can learn and improve without her realising sometimes grin.
She does live in a culture where sport is encouraged as her 2 much older brothers play at county level. I think its more a time factor now, maybe she will want to do something when older.

amillionyears Sun 04-Nov-12 20:18:52

How old is you DD. I have gone back this thread half way,but I am not sure you have mentioned it.
I would persevere with sport. It doesnt have to be brutal[cant think of a better word for now].
And outdoors, if she is indoors a lot.
And doesnt have to be team sports, if she does other team stuff.
Just saying. Obviously it is all up to you.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 04-Nov-12 20:31:58


Hello, you are so nice and supporting. smile Apart from the H.ed pages its not often to hear non judgemental comments [flowers]
Our dd is 8 would be y4, we have only just sterted H.ed in sept.
We have a park completely opposite our house and she does run ocassionally, but mostly we do science there as its great for Biology and living things. Unless it is completely throwing down I try to take her most days as she does do so many indoor activities and I hate the pasty look, smile. Our eldest ds 21 has just graduated with a sports coaching/ developing/ management degree and until now has been to busy to offer much support. However, he has just changed his job and will be able to encourage her now, which may be easier for him as she worships him. grin

morethanpotatoprints Sun 04-Nov-12 20:33:00



girliefriend Sun 04-Nov-12 20:49:15

I have met a few mums recently who have decided to home ed. I can see that it has its advantages but for me the pros do not outweigh the cons. School is about a lot more than learning and the ability to mix with other children from a wide variety of backgrounds and make friends is in my mind a fundamental and essential skill.

Also my dd (age 6yo) will quite happily listen to her teacher and learn whilst at school whereas if I try and teach her anything she looks at me like I am insane and stops listening immediately grin

Lastly I guess you have to be in the privilaged position of not having to work and therefore having a supportive and well payed partner in order to be able to home ed. I'm a single parent so it would never be financially viable for me to do so.

amillionyears Sun 04-Nov-12 20:49:25

Thank you.
Your ds could be lovely for her in that regard.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 04-Nov-12 21:21:29


Thank you.

They are very close, I think the large gap has its advantages. The poor lad has been so busy until recently and often says he misses his siblings, especially dd as they change alot during this time. He intends to take her swimming and do time trials and ball skills with her. It will give me chance to catch up with some housework as I find this is a down side to H.ed. Or could be an advantage depending on your attitude to housework smile

morethanpotatoprints Sun 04-Nov-12 21:29:11


We have found no difference in the social skills you mention, as dd does exactly as she did before, and has both H.ed and schooled friends.
I also worried about my/her ability to be able to work together, but no problems there yet shock it was my biggest fear as she can be stubborn smile
Finally, I don't work but know of many who do. Although I don't for one minute think it would be easy.
I think anybody who felt they needed to H.ed would find a way and have the necessary skills to do this as they would be doing it for their dc. I don't think its for everybody though.

chelle792 Wed 24-Jul-13 13:20:20

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

exoticfruits Wed 24-Jul-13 13:27:33

I think that you are supposed to start your own thread- not take one that is 9 months old. I haven't taken much interest to know the rules but I think you might have to pay MN to do a survey.

csmart09 Mon 04-Nov-13 17:00:33

Hi my son turned 4 in August and started school in September. He is in the foundation year and is not getting on very well. His behaviour is bad and I have had many meetings with his teacher in the last 9 weeks complaining about him. He seems to be messing around at school as it is all new to him and I believe he is still a little young and this may cause him to not take it seriously. I have though about taking him out of school to homeschool him and wondered what other Mums though? Any advice?

middleclassdystopia Tue 05-Nov-13 20:28:09

I too think it's a bit arrogant to assume you can do better than school.

I can understand people who HE because of problems such as bullying or school refusal. I'm a sahm and would do it for mine if it was the only way.

However for all the pupils school may have let down, it's helped others. School was my saviour. I had abusive parents but I was bright. I still remember the teachers that believed in and encouraged me, even though I had tough patches playing up etc.

cory Wed 06-Nov-13 09:27:20

I think it can work very well when both parent and child want it. But can be disastrous if it is enforced by one side only, or enforced by circumstances beyond the control of either.

Dd has had to do a lot of her education at home for medical reasons. She didn't want to be HE'ed, I did not want to be HE'ing. She missed her school, her teachers and her friends, I missed the job I love doing. She made it quite clear that she considered me a poor substitute for what she was missing, and while I hope I was more tactful- I did still miss my other life. Not a happy situation. She is now back in fulltime education and I am back doing what I was meant to do. Both much happier.

explorelearningealing Wed 07-May-14 16:42:47

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

LynetteScavo Wed 07-May-14 17:09:47

HE done well is brilliant....I've watched two people grow up HE, one from age 8, one from 11. One of these people had the opportunity to find what they loved doing and was able to do it almost as much as they wanted, and became the best in the country at it, and now makes a career out of it as well as having an excellent understanding of English and maths. The other person spent six years reading. Obviously they are very well read, but they have no qualifications are unemployed and have no plans to ever work.

BreakingDad77 Wed 07-May-14 17:34:51

If you have the money and resources to make up the knowledge gaps I cant see why, though there is the socialisation aspect.

I only say this as I know someone who is doing it at the moment (badly/lazily) and they dont seem to take their kid anywhere to expand their mind, just drinking lots of coffee in coffee shops and watching netflix and the kids (children of the corn) weird.

I can understand why people do it in cases of severe bullying or complex special needs, but otherwise I don't really get it. I think it is sometimes done by parents who had a bad school experience themselves and unfortunately project that onto their own dc.
I'm a teacher. I know schools aren't perfect, but I think it is generally good for kids to be in a school setting.
Also I cannot understand how so many people think they are capable of teaching all the subjects themselves. I certainly couldn't, and I'm actually a teacher!

TheWordFactory Wed 07-May-14 22:28:55

Though my own DC attend school, I believe that HE is a right worth protecting in UK law.

We all have the responsibility to educate our own DC. If we choose to use schools as a resource, then that's fine, if we don't, then that is fine also.

I have met and represented many home schoolers. When it is done well it is utterly admirable. When it is done badly it is shocking. Much like school.

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