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Thinking of homeschooling - anyone else?

(39 Posts)
AlabamaArkansas Thu 21-May-20 18:05:14

My 4 year old is due to start school in September. However, if he goes back at all it's increasingly looking like there will be social distancing. I understand the need for this but I just can't fathom sending him to a place he won't be able to be physically comforted if upset. I have mulled over homeschooling before for a lot of reasons and was considering trialling it for his first year of reception to see how we get on.

I currently work part time, but I do freelance work for charities which can be done in the evenings. I would probably have to cut down my hours a bit, but could continue to still earn. DH is the main wage earner and is in a secure job.

My main concern is around social interaction. I'm quite introverted and this seems to have come out in DS too - he enjoys nursery, but seems to be able to take it or leave it - hasn't been missing it at all since lockdown closed it and is happy pottering about at home. But obviously he does need to socialise with other children.

My other concern, and I'm really sorry if this offends people but I don't know how to say it, is that the "type" of person I usually see home schooling their children can be very sort of hippy in their beliefs (I see a lot of anti vaxxers for eg who home school) and I'm not like that at all. I don't disagree with screen time for eg which in the home school facebook group I joined seems to be a big thing.

Has anyone experience of this? How did you get started?

AlabamaArkansas Thu 21-May-20 19:32:35


daisypond Thu 21-May-20 19:36:18

Why assume your DS would or could be upset? I think that’s an odd thing, especially as you say he can take it or leave it with nursery.

whoknowswhichwayisup Thu 21-May-20 19:50:59

Hi! We home educate my 6 year old and have done since the beginning. I would say, join the Facebook groups, go to stuff, meet people. You find your groove. We are also pretty mainstream. I formula fed my babies, vaccinated them and have screen time limits, and yes there are people who have made different choices but a) it's nice to mix with all sorts of people, good for the children and I've made lots of friends with all sorts of different home set ups & beliefs etc, b) there are plenty who are similar to us as well.
I would say though that I've had to be quite proactive- I don't want my children to see me shying away from social interaction, so I have had to be brave and introduce myself at groups where everyone already knows each other. But we were all in that position once. Pm me if you like, best of luck, home ed really is wonderful.

BendingSpoons Thu 21-May-20 19:54:04

I'd have a think whether this is a short or long term plan. You can start school the term after you are 5, so depending on when his birthday is you could potentially defer for a term or two. Longer than that and you would probably lose his place, so might need to be a longer term plan.

There are a range of home schooling types, you would need to find your tribe. I imagine you would have to be quite proactive with social interaction e.g. joining groups, which might be harder if you are both introverts. Good luck deciding.

AlabamaArkansas Thu 21-May-20 20:22:43

I would initially be thinking of it as a long term plan

daisy i think he would be upset because any young child would be upset at not receiving physical comfort from a carer, and he is a particularly sensitive child. He copes with nursery because it is tiny and very nurturing.

DC3dilemma Thu 21-May-20 20:26:55

I have found myself having to think about it.

There’s no escaping the fact that my 6 year old with ADHD has made huge leaps at home, since lockdown, compared to how things were before.

Much as I wouldn’t choose this, I don’t think I’ll be able to live with his education grinding to a halt again if he returns to school.

sauvignonblancplz Thu 21-May-20 20:31:28

It’s definitely an option, I would have loved to be brave enough to do it .

IndecentFeminist Thu 21-May-20 20:33:31

I would be very surprised if any school tried to implement social distancing in reception tbh.

IdblowJonSnow Thu 21-May-20 20:47:19

Doesn't appeal to me. I have a good friend who did it successfully for years but in the end they had to go back to school as their circumstances changed and she needed to work during the week.
It's a hell of a commitment especially when they're so much older and dont necessarily want to do their work as teens.

ParkheadParadise Thu 21-May-20 20:50:51

No way would I homeschool dd it would be a complete disaster🤣🤣.

Dd is due to start school in August. I'll be first in line with her (socially distancing) at the school gates.

daisypond Thu 21-May-20 21:19:51

i think he would be upset because any young child would be upset at not receiving physical comfort from a carer

I still think it’s odd. It’s school. Teachers are not carers. What sort of physical comfort are you imagining should happen? In what circumstances?

AlabamaArkansas Thu 21-May-20 21:44:33

I would be very surprised if any school tried to implement social distancing in reception tbh.

Ds's future school have already sent out a letter saying they will. That if they get upset there will be no physical comfort provided, that if they wet themselves they will not be helped at all to clean up, that they will sit at separate desks and remain in their own squares in the playground. These are 4 year old we are talking about.

AlabamaArkansas Thu 21-May-20 21:45:22


I've worked in schools for years and reception pupils are always given a little cuddle if they're distressed confused

Makinganewthinghappen Fri 22-May-20 08:58:51

We homeschool our 6 children. My eldest is 15 the youngest 4 so we are at both at the end and start of the journey grin

I can’t imagine sending my 4 year old off to school in September at in fact nothing will change for her at all as we follow a waldorf curriculum so she won’t start a more formal curriculum until age 7.

Thisdressneedspockets Fri 22-May-20 10:22:37

There's a huge range in home ed and in my experience the differences in belief when children are young become less as they get older.
I have no idea what the majority of my home educating friends believe about vaccination and I don't really care. It doesn't generally come up.
We are also broadly supportive of each other (screen time, structure/less structure etc) , as we recognise there are as many ways of home educating as there are home educating families and what works for my family might not work for other families. My approach is even different with each of my children and that's the beauty of it. It is tailored to every child at whatever stage of development they are at. It's agile and if an approach doesn't work or stops working and something different is required, we can change it. I've re-evaluated many of my beliefs as time has gone on.
As for attending groups, there's no need to push it if it's not meeting the needs of your child. Up until now we have had lots of choice and have found something to suit us. Many dip in and out until they find their own small friendship group, then drop off to make plans between them.

MrsCrosbyNRTB Fri 22-May-20 10:26:56

@DC3dilemma - I have a 7 year old with likely ADD, we were going through the assessment process before lockdown. I’m finding it really tough with him! We have 2 other DC who are great at just getting on with the work that they school are set but the 7 year old needs far more support (far more than my friends children of a similar age). Do you have any Top Tips? I’d be soooo grateful! Feel free to PM if you’d rather. Thank you! smile

DC3dilemma Fri 22-May-20 16:48:26


We started the process not long before lockdown too...we went private as there was a long wait in our local area and our boy has a massive problem with impulsivity so was at risk everytime we went out the house. He was diagnosed with combined type ADHD, and we were told was pretty severe. Medication was recommended even though he actually isn’t quite 6 yet and it’s off licence.

The fact that we went private has actually proven to be a blessing as they have kept up treatment with Zoom consultations. He has trialled variations of methylphenidate and is now on lisdexamfetamine.

So part of the benefit certainly comes from being on medication.

But the medication doesn’t treat the social and behavioural consequences of the ADHD and he is still prone to tantrums and emotional explosions...very low frustration tolerance....and I think that will still be a problem at school.

At home, learning by 1-1 just seems to work, as long as I remember lots of small steps add up, rather than trying to get too much out of him at any one sitting.

I have two main apps -Maths Whizz and Reading eggs (also with activity books). We agree we are going to do 3 tasks each day- Reading (on Reading eggs), writing (the activity books and age appropriate stuff from and maths (maths whizz). Carol Vorderman 10 minute books with the timer work well to keep him focussed too. He is really good with the apps -they move quickly and he doesn’t get too bored. I do need to sit with him to prompt and sometimes to stop him reacting too quickly without thinking. He has less tolerance for writing. The reading is reinforced at bedtime with the books that accompany Reading eggs.

Each day, he knows he has to do 3 things before “choosing time” (usually Xbox/tv/tablet). Some days he’ll do some work between 9 and 1pm, other times just a couple of hours. I am firm that 3 things must happen and after a week or two, to my surprise he just accepted that.

He does loads of arts and crafts stuff otherwise, I never need to set him any “work” of that type. He enjoys baking and doing his 8 year old brother’s science experiments etc. So I stick to enforcing those 3 key things and he ends up doing plenty of other stuff too.

With this approach he has moved from barely making marks to writing and reading whole simple sentences, and his Maths “age” according to Maths Whizz has gone from 3.5 to 6.5. He actually corrected his brother’s Maths today. This is all just in the past 7 weeks. This is my dilemma now...

MrsCrosbyNRTB Fri 22-May-20 19:48:36

@DC3dilemma this is so incredibly helpful. Thank you so much. This home ed business has served to really highlight what I’ve thought for a long time. Unfortunately just as the school was FINALLY beginning to listen to me BANG the small matter of a pandemic......

He doesn’t so much have tantrums but he absolutely has zero impulse control and very little ability to focus unless it’s something that really grabs him for example maths games so I’ll definitely get the maths whizz app.

Thank you again!

ScreamingKid Fri 22-May-20 20:07:14

I cant believe people are suggesting teachers role doesnt include comforting small children.of course it does. Theres no way I would be sending my 4 year old to a school where the staff went comfort them if they're upset or clean them up if they wet themselves. How do they plan on dealing with children with SEND? Schools need to get a grip.

DC3dilemma Fri 22-May-20 22:41:59


You’re welcome.

Maths Whizz is kind of pricey but the best app we’ve tried for Maths. The kids take a test first to start at the right place for them, and it moves forward at their pace.

StillMedusa Fri 22-May-20 22:55:45

Screamingkid That is exactly what is being proposed... I work in primary Special Education, but on a joint site with a mainstream school and the plans, are frankly , miserable.

All the things that Nursery/EYFS/Yr1 have access to, learning through play... gone. No sand, no water play, no soft toys, very very limited toys at all.. no sharing (all the things we work so hard to encourage)

I have worked throughout the lockdown with keyworkers' children and those in because they are at risk, and it is a whole new world, and the instructions now being issued would make me keep my young child at home. It is NOT school as you know it.

Our children have disabilties so in some aspects it HAS to be different.. I'm changing nappies still..and we have pupils who at 16 are still in nappies so they obviously have to be touched, but everything else is now distanced, disinfected every time they have touched it, physical interaction is minimal. It's horrible, and not what we have ever done.

Mainstream is going to be utterly restricted... classes won't even see other small groups at play time. Two meter lines are being marked out down the corridors.. everything the children know, is changed.

I miss my own class terribly but I don't want them back yet, now while we can't make school a fun place to be!

ScreamingKid Fri 22-May-20 23:38:04

The whole thing is madness. It's not the plague.Most people will be fine.

If it's going to be that restrictive then I cant see the point in going back on June 1st. Ot should all be scrapped until September. Or when people get some perspective about the risks of this virus .

sauvignonblancplz Sat 23-May-20 08:54:17

@ScreamingKid OP is asking a genuine question about homeschooling- no need to be rude.

Homeschooling is a very viable and successful option which a lot of people overlook.

Camomila Sat 23-May-20 09:53:04

I've got a 4 year old due to start reception, the way I see it he's never been to school before so if they all end up at desks facing the front (unlikely) he won't know reception isn't usually like that.

I am working in making him more independent though, eg - dressing, shoes, using a knife (all stuff he can do but he can be lazy and I end up doing for him)

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