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To think home schooling should be better monitored?

(677 Posts)
Mollymoo78 Fri 09-Sep-16 21:05:37

One of my FB friends from my toddler group days has announced on FB that she's home schooling her four year old. She was always very very attached to him and never had a moment away from him ie a night out. She breast fed him well into his fourth year and carried him in a sling when he got tired. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm genuinely wondering if her decision to home school has more to do with her being reluctant to let him go.

Her comments on FB are "well I have no precise plans as to what I'm going to do but they learn through play at this age anyway so it doesn't matter". I just felt quite uncomfortable reading that. It all sounds very vague. My dd has started school recently and loves it - the socialisation with her peers and older children, the physical activity, getting independence and rewards for her achievements. She's playing yes but she's also being taught to read and write. But what if this boy isn't given these things - who is going to be checking up on the education he's being given?

I don't mean to put a downer on homeschooling - I've no doubt it's the perfect option for those whose children don't gel with school but shouldn't you at least try school first? Am I wrong to question this in my mind?

Waffles80 Fri 09-Sep-16 21:08:46

YANBU. But there'll be people along who say that schools and teachers simply can't be trusted to enchant, inspire, educate and develop their precious little darlings, using our years of expertise and experience because we go into the profession for the pay.

Spiderpigspiderpig Fri 09-Sep-16 21:11:05

Yabu. Read up on home ed before judging.
Unschooling can be very successful

longdiling Fri 09-Sep-16 21:12:22

I don't think I've ever read that on a homeschooling thread waffles. Genuinely. Usually the reasons given are their child being a bit of a square peg... Or not being entirely happy with the education system (many teachers aren't either).

Anyway, op, the kid is 4. He's very little still. In many countries he wouldn't even be expected to be in school. It's fine for her to not have a precise plan at this stage. Also, this is Facebook, maybe she has plenty of stuff planned but why does she have to share it with the world?

MindSweeper Fri 09-Sep-16 21:14:17


If an untrained person is responsible for educating someone they should have to be audited, this is simply because a bad education can have such a detrimental effect on that child's future.

It doesn't have to be anything scary, just informal checking up. Examples of work etc.

Mollymoo78 Fri 09-Sep-16 21:17:27

Thank you Minesweeper that's how I feel!

CancellyMcChequeface Fri 09-Sep-16 21:18:03

YABU. 'Try school first' isn't any better advice than suggesting all parents try homeschooling first, and only send children to school if homeschooling is impossible or unsuccessful.

Different approaches work for different children, and not every child or family is 'school-shaped.' Responsibility for educating a child lies with the parent - most parents choose to delegate most of this to a school, but if anything I think it should be the default option for fewer, not more children. Homeschooling sounds as if it fits in perfectly with your friend's parenting choices so far, and hence her value system.

witsender Fri 09-Sep-16 21:18:06

Yabu. Simply because you don't know anything about the subject really. As a teacher, the majority of my training was crowd control and teaching don't need that on a smaller scale.

You sound very judgy about her parenting choices full until 4 is very normal, as is using a seem to be trying to portray those things as a sign of unhealthy/abnormal attachment?

He sounds very young, and certainly not in need of formal teaching as yet. Home education isn't just for those who don't gel with school, it is a perfectly viable option in its own right. Not every agrees with mass education.

AlwaysDancing1234 Fri 09-Sep-16 21:20:13

I think YAB a bit U.

I homeschooled our DS for a few months when it became clear school had destroyed him and removed his desire to learn.
Once he was stronger we placed him in a new school which is so much better for him. They actually agreed that we did the best thing by homeschooling for that period. (He's now undergoing assessment for ASD)

I do agree though that it's not monitored well enough. One letter to the LEA was all it took to remove him from school. I was careful to record and copy any work he did but in 3 months not one 'official' person even so much as rang to ask what education he was getting.

witsender Fri 09-Sep-16 21:21:19

The issue with assessing work, is who assesses and on what level? Home education isn't intended to replicate school at home.

KC225 Fri 09-Sep-16 21:23:40

There was a woman where I used to live who claimed to homeschool her 6 and 8 year old daughters. She had a one year old baby and I'd see her and the kids doing a big shop in ASDA at 10.30 before going into Town to post some stuff. The girls looked so bored. I remember commenting at the time that I couldn't see how you could home school properly with a baby under one.

witsender Fri 09-Sep-16 21:27:10

Define home school properly? Why wouldn't they be in a shop at 1030?

AlpacaLypse Fri 09-Sep-16 21:30:13

Hmm tricky...

I can see why you're a bit worried that she's over-invested in her child. Does she have any other children, a partner, a career or hobby?

fisherypokery Fri 09-Sep-16 21:30:28

Plenty manag though kc. I know a bunch of home edders (not one myself), and their kids are without exception bright, thoughtful, open minded. You can do the same at home in far less time than it takes to do at school as you don't need to crowd control. You can be lead by the children's interests so that they are really motivated in their learning. And you can do your shopping at a time when the supermarket is less crowded and your kids can be as bored as any school kid will be being dragged around the supermarket. Would you advocate pulling all kids out of school if they looked bored for part of the day? I know that I was bored plenty at school.

One home eddying friend of a friend has 9 kids and they manage.

Op - YABU and judgy. Read up on it first, then meet some real home edders and their kids, then form an opinion.

ExcellentWorkThereMary Fri 09-Sep-16 21:37:38

YABU! Why should home schooling only be an option after school has been tried? Home schooling is as valid an option as school education. They are equal options, and I don't understand why school should be tried before homeschooling is decided on.

Educating at home generally isn't about not wanting to "let children go" and I am not sure about the relevance of extended breastfeeding?

The current school system is extensively flawed and educating at home is a very real and worthwhile option. It isn't second choice!!

EnquiringMingeWantsToKnow Fri 09-Sep-16 21:40:05

YABU about this particular case, because you seem quite ill-informed.

But YANBU that we should have better controls over children who are not in school, because IMO the beneficial freedom that the UK gives to bona fide home educators comes with concomitant risks to children whose parents may have ticked the box marked "HE" but actually want to keep them out of school for less benign reasons.

seasidesally Fri 09-Sep-16 21:40:08

YANBU and think there needs to be regular checks on home schooling

DrLockhart Fri 09-Sep-16 21:40:54

Really KC? You're judging them on a trip to Asda? I get bored round Asda so kids will be too.

School is 9-3.15pm 5 days a week, minus lunch and breaks, that's 4.5 hours per day with a teacher. 121 time with a teacher is less than 30 min a day (I am probably being generous). That family probably have more 121 time with their mum than with a teacher.

I have several friends who home school, many with 3-4 children. Their children are intelligent and great learners as well as sociable. If I was to compare to my dd (who attends school) they're equal IMO.

The monitoring of HS is pointless. The HS parents I know make decisions with their children in mind, not from rules or recommendations from people they don't know. They'll seek advice / guidance when needed (they'll speak to teacher friends, or someone who might know something about a topic they're learning about).

Liara Fri 09-Sep-16 21:42:04

I home school, in a country where it is closely monitored.

The result is a never ending and increasing hostility between the home ed community and the authorities, who usually don't know the first thing about home ed and expect to come to the houses and find children doing exactly what they would be doing in school.

It does not lead to a good dynamic.

As a result, all the children in our large home ed group (that are old enough to understand what is going on) hold the government and the authorities in as much contempt as the parents do.

So you have a group of well-educated, articulate, numerate children who all think that the government are a bunch of wankers and that confrontation with the authorities is the norm.

Not necessarily the outcome they were hoping for, I suspect.

It is just not realistic to expect inspectors to be enlightened and cooperative, so probably best let home ed parents get on with it, and only have interventions in situations where there is some reason to suspect neglect of some kind is going on.

Your comment about trying school first is a weird one. My children would probably do fine at school, but I would rather instead of spending so many hours learning so little that they learnt at home and had a whole load of free time in which to explore other activities.

School is an inefficient way of learning, due to being in a group setting where necessarily the needs of each individual cannot always be driving the pace of learning, and many of us who have the option of teaching in a more efficient manner choose to do so for that reason.

brasty Fri 09-Sep-16 21:43:36

You are right OP. Some home schoolers educate well, some do a terrible job. There should be some oversight.

Dontyoulovecalpol Fri 09-Sep-16 21:44:05

Can Unschooling really be very successful spider pig? By what measure? Are there 30 year olds who were unschooled that you're able to look at to find success?

brasty Fri 09-Sep-16 21:45:54

The research shows that children who are home schooled do better than average on English, and worse on average on maths. Probably because you really do need to be taught maths from someone who knows what they are talking about.

TheGruffaloMother Fri 09-Sep-16 21:46:25

YANBU. More closely monitored doesn't mean discouraged or disallowed. A couple of family members have recently announced (why it needed an announcement I'll never know) that they'll be homeschooling their DC. I don't think their DC have ever played with a child they aren't related to (and there aren't many youngsters in the family). They're both cripplingly shy and the eldest doesn't seem able to function socially at all outside of her immediate family. Early years socialisation is far more important than many give it credit for. I wouldn't consider either parent to be able to do their children justice on an educational front for a great many reasons.

A friend of mine home schools her 3 DC. I've never met a more capable woman in my life and she's absolutely brilliant. Her children have definitely flourished under a more customised method of education.

A lot depends on who's doing it and why. But I really believe that some parents who choose this option are doing an enormous disservice to their children and that better monitoring would keep those families on the radar.

ourserendipitoushome Fri 09-Sep-16 21:47:16

I have home educated all 5 of my children. I like to call it home education, because it is NOT school at home. Despite qualifying as a teacher, I decided very early on, that education could take place in a variety of ways, so they simply never went to school (until they decided on an alternate educational route to home).

My kids ages range from 22-9. I have one university graduate (with honours), two more in or about to start university, one at school and the last still at home. They have all been home educated, until they chose education otherwise (school or college).

I also have lived under a registration and monitoring regime in N.S.W Australia.

This, turned out to be a farce.

Happy to discuss it with those wanting a genuine discussion.


brasty Fri 09-Sep-16 21:48:30

Some on MN though defend home education no matter how inappropriate. I always remember some on here encouraging a poster to home educate when she said she couldn't manage to get all her children ready for school and there in time in the morning.

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