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To home ed my dd

(213 Posts)
Mishmashfamily Fri 31-Jan-14 20:16:01

After reading posts and posts about unhappy kids/parents at school I'm really considering it. Also I hate the fact that strangers that are apparently 'in charge' of our educational welfare can dictate when we take our children away, what they are taught ect....

I came out of the school system with nothing and had to learn every thing through college , taking courses. I think I could do a better job.

Would you do it?

lljkk Fri 31-Jan-14 21:17:04

What does the child's other parent think of HE?

I think it's better to HE for positive reasons, not negative ones. A lot of your reasons are so very negative.
These are good reasons:
I can share more of my child's learning
I will have more confirmation of their learning
It fits my lifestyle
I know I can do a good job.
I will enjoy it
My child likes the idea

Coldlightofday Fri 31-Jan-14 21:17:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

weirdthing Fri 31-Jan-14 21:20:46

Coldlightofday - when I was teaching and DS1 was with a childminder I spent much, much less quality time with him than I can now so, yes, it does make a difference. Of course I still loved him as much as I do now but the extra time together benefits our relationship.

SnowAway Fri 31-Jan-14 21:25:43

Makes a difference to you perhaps weirdthing. There are others who feel that allowing their children to be independent benefits their bond, or even that the bond is healthier.

ommmward Fri 31-Jan-14 21:31:29

FiddleDiddleDiddle: good teachers are exceptionally good at persuading a mixed ability class of 30 children to be more-or-less on task, undisruptive etc. I respect and admire what they do. Trained teachers learn a huge amount about crowd control and persuading children to be learning on their agenda in a manner that makes the classroom a safe environment.

But those skills that good teachers have don't translate to educating your own children. Really, there's no comparison. Trained teachers who home ed very often say that the first thing they had to do was stop thinking with their teacher hat on.

You might be interested in Paula Rothermel's PhD research at the university of Durham. Against all expectation, what she found was that educational outcomes for home educated children were much better than for their schooled peers, and that the differential was much higher for children whose parents had themselves received minimal education. I know that doesn't fit our nice middle class assumptions about highly educated people being the best placed to impart knowledge and understanding to their children, but that's what she found.

Yes, home educated children don't get the same social opportunities as school educated children. They are different opportunities. Better/worse/whatever.

Many home educating families don't follow a curriculum, let alone the NC. It can indeed make it very hard when HE'ed children try to reintegrate into school - because they know all sorts of other stuff, and have gaps where most children their age don't have gaps. I don't think this means we should all follow the NC just in case we decide we need to use schools at some point, if the NC isn't in the best interests of our children (Which it isn't likely to be, since what we can offer so easily is a truly personalised education according to the age, ability, aptitude and any SEN of our children).

And yes, home educated children can suffer going into school later. Children who didn't do nursery can equally find the transition into school hard. school is a unique culture. I think the important thing is to do what is right for the child and for the family now, and deal with the challenges that life throws at us as it throws them. I wouldn't advocate putting a child in nursery just so they'll be ready for primary school, and into primary school so they'll be ready for secondary. What a way to wish a life away, if nursery/primary/secondary isn't the optimal environment for the child in question.

I think it's worth reminding posters that many many home educated children have special needs of one kind or another. School is hell for many children on the autistic spectrum in particular. In the end, many of their parents stop fighting for the provision their child needs within state education, and start to provide an education themselves, that will suit that child. If/when those children go back into school, shock horror, they still have autism/OCD/deafness/other challenges, and posters on internet threads can still say that the difference between them and other children is "painfully obvious". Do you think their parents haven't lived with that "painfully obvious" since the child was a year or two old? Being in school from 4 wouldn't make any difference to that.

weirdthing Fri 31-Jan-14 21:33:31

My children actually are very independent. Many HE kids have a maturity and sense of self which comes from the self-confidence that HE brings about. My long teaching career in secondary schools led me to observe that is not independence but neglect. Questions left unanswered due to class size/time constraints. No time to deal with individual children, just the group en masse. I don't think that is the best way for children to dvelop and learn about themselves and the world. I do understand that many parents would not want to HE as it is hard giving up a career to be at home.As I said, it is not for everyone.
An excellent book for those who are genuinely interested is:

SnowAway Fri 31-Jan-14 21:39:37

Can't actually be bothered arguing this one, as the HE crew have to zoom in and defend their decisions and (understandably) can't cope with the idea that their decisions might be damaging their children.

HE children do struggle to reintegrate into school, and yes, I think every responsible parent has to parent in a way that helps to prepare their child for the life ahead, especially if that segment of their life is the key to the whole rest of their future, a future which does not involve Mummy spoonfeeding them.

Yes, the difference between HE children and school children is painfully obvious and no, not because they have special needs, but because they are far less socially capable than other children their age - which puts them at a massive disadvantage in life, regardless of how much Seamus Heaney poetry they read.

LosingItSlowly Fri 31-Jan-14 21:40:56

As someone who was homeschooled growing up, I would never do it with my own children, but that's only because my own individual experience was so very negative. I think it would have been a lot better, however, if my parents had:

a) made provision for some socialisation (we had none!)

b) followed the national curriculum (so that our knowledge base was broadly the same as our peers).

They kept us very isolated, and although I have done well academically/career-wise, I find socialising painful and awkward, to the point that I'm almost phobic.

However, my childhood was also very abusive/neglectful, so that obviously had an impact too. However, the younger of my siblings who were sent to school have fared much better socially.

WoTmania Fri 31-Jan-14 21:45:03

Blimey Snow - that's a bit of a generalisation grin FWIW I know plenty of HE children, like my DC's school friends they are quite a big mix ranging from extrovert and outgoing with wonderful to people skills to introvert and awkward with everything in between.

OP - if you want to HE go for it - check out your local HE groups and what's available in your area. There are also lots of resources online and groups on facebook.

AwfulMaureen Fri 31-Jan-14 21:45:35

I've thought about it a lot. the argument that many come up with about "socialising" doesn't really wash...because school is the most unnatural situation EVER to place kids into....home educated children get to experience a lot more than those in school in terms of "real" life.

AwfulMaureen Fri 31-Jan-14 21:46:52

Snow the children that I know who are home educated are excellent socially. They mix a lot with all kinds of children. Maybe the ones you know don't?

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 21:57:44

I do it. It's the best thing we ever did.

My ds has ASD and dyspraxia. At school he was aggressive, destructive and would run away and hide in dark cupboards and corners any chance he got. At the last school he was at he would be restrained daily by up to three adults. He would come home covered in bruises and abrasions. In the last few weeks he had regressed to being almost non verbal, was self harming and attacking us. He never lasted more than an hour or two before I got a phone call to pick him up.

I pulled him out and he is a different child, people who don't know him don't even realise he is autistic. He is chatty, engaging, gentle, his melt downs are rare and can almost always be headed off when they do come, he's empathetic and willing to try anything.

His case worker at the LA tells me she does not recognise him from the boy she knew and that I should be proud for what I have done with him. I'm not proud because I only did one thing and that is remove him from an environment that was torturing him.

Schools ok for some. My dd attends and is doing well, she is autistic too but for others, like my ds it's a hell hole and they shouldn't have to endure it if there's another option.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 22:00:24

I am sorry but school is not "socialising". School is learning to keep your head down amongst 30 other kids your own age and hoping you're one of the popular ones so that it's bearable. It's totally unnatural.

WorraLiberty Fri 31-Jan-14 22:00:58

After reading posts and posts about unhappy kids/parents at school I'm really considering it.

Yeah but wouldn't it be a bit weird if everyone whose kids were happy at school, started a thread saying so?

I think your view is skewed to be honest because it's more natural to post only when there's a problem.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 22:01:50

How many HE kids do you know personally Snow just out of interest. Must be a fair few for you to have that kind of opinion I would have thought?

hamptoncourt Fri 31-Jan-14 22:08:09

You also need to think about the possible effect on you OP.

A friend of mine Home Educated her twins and when they went away to Uni she had a total breakdown. She even left her husband to go and live in the city they were students in but they didn't want her there and she had to come back. She was totally dependent on them for her sense of self worth and lived vicariously through them.

It took three years for her to regain her mental health.

I am not saying all parents who HE their DC have such an unhealthy relationship but you need to have a degree of self awareness to gauge what the impact might be on you personally.

ImASecretTwigletNibbler Fri 31-Jan-14 22:19:35

Snowaway, that is the silliest and most ignorant post about HE that I've ever read.

zoezebraspartydress Fri 31-Jan-14 22:22:50

Snow That's a very ignorant post with some sweeping generalisations about HE.

Losing it - I think it's easy to think the grass is greener on the other side. You might have had a brilliant time at school, or you might have had some very negative social experiences. I'd hope that a facilitative approach to HE would equip my children to go out and learn anything they might need. I see the National Curriculum as very restrictive TBH.

OP - Google Paula Rothermel and have a look at her research into outcomes of HE - one of which is that HE children tend to outperform their schooled peers on social and psychological measures as well as academically, regardless of the parent's level of education.

fiddle - much of teacher training is about behaviour management and classroom skills, rather than how and what to teach. There are some amazing teachers, I know, there are also some who are not. Children get very little personal attention in the classroom and it is impossible to tailor their education to them. Many of the Home Educators I know are teachers who have worked in a mainstream classroom and they explain very well why they do not think the classroom environment is the most effective for learning.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 31-Jan-14 22:28:38

Hello OP, hope you come over to the other side, we are very friendly.

Personally it has/is working fine for us atm and dd is loving it, doesn't miss school and is making good progress.
We didn't have a problem with school, this suits dd better for now.

KayHarker1 Fri 31-Jan-14 22:30:16

For anyone keeping score, my children were HE'd until the eldest was 10. They then went into mainstream schooling. They adjusted quickly and well and are all in top sets for everything. They have friends and interests and have suffered no ill effects from starting out as HE kids.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 31-Jan-14 22:33:29


My dd is the most confident person I know when it comes to socialising. She has friends of all ages and I mean all ages. She communicates well and can talk to people on their level.
She is tactful and diplomatic and mature beyond her 10 years.
She was like this when she was at school, only now she has more opportunity to socialise and communicate with others.

TamerB Fri 31-Jan-14 22:38:44

No, when I look back on my childhood my lovely primary school was one of the best things about it. My children were all very happy at school and different teachers get so much out of them. You don't miss out at home, the school day is short and there is plenty of time to do things as a family.

IHeartKingThistle Fri 31-Jan-14 22:38:48

OP how can you be jaded? Your child isn't in the school system so it's your experience that is making you jaded, which is really nothing to do with her and is a bit worrying tbh. Have you been into schools recently? 'One hat fits all' is at direct odds with the personalised learning and Every Child Matters agenda that has been in effect for some time.

IHeartKingThistle Fri 31-Jan-14 22:41:45

Sorry, just to clarify, I don't have a problem with HE - I'm just concerned about the OP's motivations for wanting to HE.

brokenhearted55a Fri 31-Jan-14 22:43:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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