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What are people's thoughts regarding home education? I myself have strong feelings about it. Wondering if AIBU

(94 Posts)
HomeEdwoes Sun 17-Jan-16 04:26:30

I have personal experience of HE. I went to primary school but didn't go to secondary school at all. I was home educated primarily by my mum during those years. While I don't think of it as abuse, I feel that I missed out on a crucially important part of life by not going to secondary. I view those years of my life as an empty space where school should be. I consider not going to secondary to be the biggest mistake of my life and feel it still affects me as an adult in my twenties. I very rarely discuss it with anyone as it's a very sensitive subject for me.

Though I am sure that there are plenty of HE children who are thriving, I do find myself questioning the motives of parents who do decide to HE. I can understand doing it if the child has special needs that a school would not be able to meet, but that didn't apply to me. I did not have any SN. Also, it concerns me that parents who HE are not required to inform their local authority of their decision, and LAs are not obligated to monitor HE children in their area. I feel that all parents who HE should be required to register as home educators, and they should also be subject to occasional inspections as schools are. I feel the current system allows children to fall completely off the radar, with no monitoring taking place to ensure they are receiving a suitable education. Can I ask what people's thoughts are about HE generally, and whether you agree or disagree with my points?

honeysucklejasmine Sun 17-Jan-16 04:30:35

I do agree that it can be all those things you're concerned about. But I also recognise that it usually isn't and can be of benefit to the child in certain circumstances or indeed the only option.

But then, I work for the LA dropping in on kids who aren't in mainstream school to tutor them, so I see a lot of kids who aren't in school and for majority of them, its for the best. (I know being tutored by professionals in own home is v different from being HE.)

sits on fence

TheHouseOnTheLane Sun 17-Jan-16 05:21:48

On the flip side, my secondary school years were the most terrible, traumatizing and violent years of my life.

IamCarcass Sun 17-Jan-16 05:50:45

As with The house, secondary school was awful. I think leaving me there was my parent's biggest mistake, can't help but wonder what would have happened if I had broken free.. .

ExAstris Sun 17-Jan-16 06:25:03

I think perhaps it is easy to look through rose-coloured glasses at something we didn't get. I think I'd have been so much better home educated, but who knows? What exactly about senior school do you feel you missed out on, OP?

A quick straw-poll of my friends and family shows all of them were bullied to one degree or another, several of them with lasting self-esteem damage through to middle age, two of them to the point of feeling suicidal. I feel a lot of my time in school was an education in how unfair and bureaucratic people in power are often for the sake of it, a lesson in how shit not fitting in feels, and being taught how to submit to others' ideas of how I should be, act and learn.

I went to a nice private school, btw, my friends and family a complete mix of various state comps, grammars, private and boarding.

AllMyBestFriendsAreMetalheads Sun 17-Jan-16 06:26:33

I think I fell off the radar at high school, personally. I started in year 7 as a bright kid with high grades but by the end I wasn't arsed. I knew that we were being taught to pass the exams so I did the bare minimum to get half decent grades in the exam. I did barely any homework for the last 2 years but I was quiet and did my coursework and nobody seemed to give a shit. I suppose it makes more sense for the school to try and get everyone up to C standard than turning some kids B grades into As.

It's a one size fits all approach. Which is fine for lots of children. But not all.

However, I can understand that you feel you missed out on something. I didn't enjoy the social side of school at all. I really struggled finding friends and I don't see a single person from school now and if I could go back and choose to be home educated, I think I would. But if I hadn't gone to school at all, I don't know how I'd feel, because I wouldn't have known that I would find it so awful.

What do you think you have missed out on by not going to secondary school?

charlestonchaplin Sun 17-Jan-16 06:32:12

I think there is something rotten at the heart of the British state education system that you can't see if it's all you've ever known. Aspiration and hard work are routinely mocked and bullying is endemic. Also, the standard of written English is generally quite poor and it isn't uncommon to find immigrants who have learnt English as a second language coming to the U.K. with better written English skills than the natives. I wonder if this is reflected in other subjects.

I wouldn't happily subject my child to the British state education system, so if independent education is not an option (very likely) and neither is grammar school, then it would most probably be home education or emigration.

Soooosie Sun 17-Jan-16 06:34:56

I know loads of HE's. Some do fail their children but others do it amazingly.

Op what is it you missed about not going to school. HE is often very social

Washediris Sun 17-Jan-16 06:46:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheHouseOnTheLane Sun 17-Jan-16 06:49:39

Everything CharlsetonChaplain said. While some kids do FINE at an ordinary state comp, MANY do not.

There is something wrong with the way it's managed.

I've moved heaven and earth to ensure my DC don't go through what I did at a state comp.

Washediris Sun 17-Jan-16 06:54:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charlestonchaplin Sun 17-Jan-16 07:20:59

I didn't make it clear in my previous post that my comments relate to secondary education. I think primary schools can be good.

I do realise that grammar schools are state schools, but the main difference with them is that students are not embarrassed to do their best. Resources are overrated. My secondary education was in a third world country, admittedly at one of the better schools, but there are certainly many schools over there whose students excel with very few resources when you compare them to a typical British school.

I chose the school I attended because it was the closest I was going to get to a British education, which I held in high esteem. A classmate moved to the U.K. with her family and I thought she was really lucky to be able to attend a proper British school. The letter she wrote to us to tell us of her progress made no sense to me. It just described a scene of utter chaos, which didn't seem possible at a British school. When I attended a British college I began to notice the cracks. It wasn't disruption in my case, more a lack of spelling skills, so teachers had to spell out loads of words.

Introducer Sun 17-Jan-16 07:22:00

I've considered HE for dd (4) but feel it isn't personally for our family for many reasons not related to the OP.

I have spoken to many HE friends though to assess its effectiveness. They tell me how easy and relaxed it is. Their days are not rigerously planned; their DC are socialable and interactive and the parents feel a sense of satisfaction from watching their children grow and develop and it being down to their guidance.

I question if it is better from 4 to 10 year olds as opposed to 10+ (secondary school age) as secondary seems important to me for the future (eg GCSE's, Alevels mapping out a career). But I dislike the need to clone every person to be at a certain level for certain topics.

As you can see, I'm still on the fence grin

I was a primary teacher (who used to get Good and Outstanding in inspections) and I know I would have struggled to provide the adequate resources and planning for different aged children let alone teach it to a good enough standard on a full time basis in the home environment

Washediris for me, I don't believe home education is about hitting Ofsted 'satisfactory' or 'good' evidence criteria. It's about allowing the child to develop and learn at their own pace (with some guidance); normally developing their own passions or interests and using them to expand on key skills like communication, literacy, maths, problem solving and resilience. As such, you wouldn't need to be 'good' or 'satisfactory' as a parent, you're guiding the learning at the pace of the child.

My friend explained to me that her 2 ds loved dineosaurs. She got books out of the library; downloaded a BBC documentary, had a Pinterest board of ideas of what each dineosaurs ate, habits etc. And over a month used this topic to inspire and educate both young DS (3 & 5). They knew more about dinosaurs then I do! Do they need to know it for Ofsted? No not at all. Have they enjoyed the learning? Absolutely. The 4yo was telling me all about his favourite one for 10 minutes.

I do like the relaxed format of HE.

CigarsofthePharoahs Sun 17-Jan-16 07:30:48

I can well appreciate how HE can be used as a cover for bad things - we've all read the news stories.
However I personally know a family who have HE all their children. They're all doing very well, the two eldest are now going to college and don't appear to be at all damaged by the experience. One of them is fairly certain she would not have coped at all in a standard secondary school environment and is very glad she was able to develop her learning and social skills in a much quieter setting.
I was 50/50 about HE my eldest child. I knew it would be a big commitment, but I also know there are a lot of resources and support out there. In the end he got into the local very good primary and seems settled and happy so for now it's mainstream ed. I'll review things at senior school age.

Washediris Sun 17-Jan-16 07:35:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pointlessfan Sun 17-Jan-16 07:37:49

I'm a secondary teacher and I've taught a number of kids who have been home educated. Some have had an amazing education at home and are sociable, well-rounded and have done brilliantly in school. Others (the minority) have been completely unable to cope, very low reading level, poor social skills etc and have needed a lot of intervention.
I love the idea of HE and I'd love to do it myself but I don't think we can afford for me to stop working and I know there are areas where I wouldn't be able to teach DD properly but I absolutely think it can work.

Loz1975 Sun 17-Jan-16 07:37:50

Social needs of the children? I have a child in school and one home educated. My DS home educated gets exactly the same and more social opportunities. What makes you think home ed children are on their own all day? Most I know learn with other children, he's with others children every single day doing maths, arts etc or swimming. He still does Beavers and all the activities my dd does. He's in the real world socialising every day talking to children and adults not in a forced association group like my daughter classed with only her own aged peers. If there are any concerns from the LA that your child is not receiving an appropriate education then they can intervene and check up in the exact same way if there were concerns that you were not feeding your DC then they would check up. It is assumed you are feeding and looking after your child and if there are concerns then there are procedures, exactly the same for home education. It's the parents responsibility to ensure their child recieves an education , whether you choose the services of a state school, a private school or tutor groups or private tutor then that's up to the parent according to the law. One size can never fit all as everyone is so different and for some children being taught in a class of 30 is a complete no go. For some they can only truely learn outside of a school environment. Just because something is mainstream doesn't make it the correct way for everyone.

fidel1ne Sun 17-Jan-16 07:41:45

You sound strangely concerned (and stilted) about monitoring concerns as opposed to your regrets about your education.

How would registration have made a difference in your case?

Devilishpyjamas Sun 17-Jan-16 07:43:02

What did you miss out on OP? Do you feel your education was limited or were you lonely?

I loved my school years, but I know others (including at my school) HATED them. HE is presumably the same - great for some, difficult for others.

What is your relationship with your parents like now OP? And have you had any counselling about the way you feel?

Loz1975 Sun 17-Jan-16 07:45:16

Truly (typo)

thinblueline2 Sun 17-Jan-16 07:47:25

the house "I've moved heaven and earth to ensure my DC don't go through what I did at a state comp.".

It's this aspect of HE that concerns me most.

It's a very subjective and skewed reason for home education.
Many children have a very positive experience of school, my kids are nearing the end of secondary education and school has been a huge positive impact in their lives.

Copperkettle Sun 17-Jan-16 07:48:52

Well I went to an inner city state comp. they were the best years of my life and I did well and went to university as did many of my friends.
I think HE at primary is different to secondary. Maybe I'm missing something but how can one person teach all the subjects at a level needed for GCSE. Teachers are highly trained for a reason and do an axing job ( and no I am not a teacher).

thinblueline2 Sun 17-Jan-16 07:51:56

copper I agree. I feel sorry for the HE kids at secondary level trying to self teach.

Devilishpyjamas Sun 17-Jan-16 07:55:52

There are lots of ways that people can be home edded at secondary if they want to take exams. Including online schools where you can be taught by teachers. HE at secondary isn't usually a parent standing in front of the child covering all the topics

TheCatsMeow Sun 17-Jan-16 07:58:07

YABU. Secondary school was awful and I would have loved to be educated at home

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