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AIBU to go back on my word to my children rather than go against DHs wishes?

(96 Posts)
wholefttoastonthestairs Fri 11-Nov-16 09:15:28

Last year we took our 9 year old son out of school to home educate him. It wasn't something we really planned or felt strongly about but he was falling seriously behind at school, he was crying everyday and having panic attacks at the thought of school. It got to the point where we felt that for his mental health we had to pull him out.

We also have 5 girls, one baby but 4 primary school age. At the time (of course) they were pretty indignant that they were still going to school and ds was not. To calm down the situation I told them we would talk about the idea with them at Christmas this year. I had assumed that they would go off the idea once everything had settled and they realised I wasn't just letting ds play computer games and watch tv all day!

Now the time is approaching and the homeschooling has been a run away success in so many more ways than I ever imagined!

Ds is happy and confident he will now happily go to activities such as cubs and karate without tears. I'm not claiming he has become a genius overnight he obviously hasn't ( he is year 5 and the work we are doing is year 3/4 level) but the point is he is making steady progress something he wasn't doing at school.

Of course the girls have seen this, they keep talking about how they will be joining him after Christmas and talking about what timetable they will have. (We use a timetable and workbooks rather than unschooling etc).

The thing is that they have no problems at school, the girls are all working above or at age levels. The 6 year old struggled socially but is not upset by it. So there is no concrete reason to change things apart from the fact that they want to and I stupidly implied they could without thinking it through way back then!

Tbh if it was just me I would probably say what the hell why not?! I have loved homeschooling and so has ds.

BUT although dh says the choice is mine as I do all of the work (he works long hours) his argument is why rock the boat when things are fine. I get his point and I don't want to do anything that he isn't totally on board with.

So now I'm about to go back on my word to the girls rather than go against dhs wishes and I feel terrible . I have been trying to make it seem like a less attractive option for them but it's at the point where if I say no I'm going to have to outright say no .

Aibu to do this?

allowlsthinkalot Fri 11-Nov-16 09:21:54

I think YABU to do for one what you won't do for the others and to put your dh above your children on this.

If you've promised a discussion with them I think you have to have that conversation.

FleurThomas Fri 11-Nov-16 09:22:16

Homeschooling one child isnt the same as homeschooling more. Chances are they might all be worse off if they were all together distracting each other - but I don't think this is about school. I think this is about DS getting more time witu you. it's prob a good idea to take the girls away just you and them and explain why you're doing it for your DS & that it doesn't mean you love them less, but that your DS needs more help that schools can't provide, while they don't & it's temporary. Be honest. If they are clever or intelligent or doing well at school, mention it - make your DS want to go to school too.

wholefttoastonthestairs Fri 11-Nov-16 09:23:22

I should have added the current plan (agreed with ds is that he will be applying for secondary school as normal)

honeylulu Fri 11-Nov-16 09:24:24

You didn't say you would take them out of school though. You just said you'd discuss it at Christmas. You can still have a discussion.

allowlsthinkalot Fri 11-Nov-16 09:24:53

Home educating five is challenging. There will be a lot of people along I'm sure to say that you won't be able to educate five children and a preschooler effectively. That isn't true.

But whether you want to is another matter.

Are their schools oversubscribed? Would you be able to give it til the end of the year and reassess things then?

Bluntness100 Fri 11-Nov-16 09:25:00

But uou didn't commit did uou? You simply said you would discuss it. I'd start off by reminding them of that and very clearly. It's simply a review. A check point, a discussion and that although happy to discuss they should assume the status quo remains .

Homeschooling six children is very different to home schooling 1. You son is already one to two years behind and he needs to catch up. Home schooling so many could be a distraction and hinder his progress.

You also need to think about secondary education. Do uou expect uour son to go to secondary school? Because that means you've got to complete four years in the next two.

ElspethFlashman Fri 11-Nov-16 09:26:46

It would be CHAOS.

How does it work in real time with all those different classes? Do you know anyone who's done it? Would they have a desk each etc?

Lucked Fri 11-Nov-16 09:27:12

I think it could be detrimental for your DS, I also think he is thriving because of the one to one time. HE 4 children and a baby would be quite chaotic I think.

Yawninghippo Fri 11-Nov-16 09:27:19

I home ed my 8 year old, have done since Jan 16. My 4 year old started school in September and as yet hasn't questioned the difference. If she ever does then I will discuss it and base my decision on the outcome. I understand 'not rocking the boat' but sometimes the best changes are the ones you don't really intend to make. If you are finding home ed a success and they want to join you then I'd say go for it.

Arfarfanarf Fri 11-Nov-16 09:29:08

What you said was you'd discuss it.
So discuss it.

But dont talk about your son's struggles because kids aren't dim. They'll mimic those behaviours if they think it will get them out of school.

But also from what you say it isnt actually against his wishes.
He has said it is up to you. He has just given his opinion.

Is it that you think you wont be able to manage?

Homeschooling 5 is very different to homeschooling 1. Plus the baby.

wholefttoastonthestairs Fri 11-Nov-16 09:30:26

Sorry I didn't make it clear in my post my son has struggled with learning and development since birth, when he was in year 4 he was working at a year1 level. He had one to one in school but it wasn't enough.

Realistically i don't know if he will be "caught up" by year 7 . I just expect him to be progressing.

wholefttoastonthestairs Fri 11-Nov-16 09:32:33

I don't worry about coping with all the children but I DO worry about having less time for things like housework and just relaxing!. That's probably my main concern.

Yawninghippo Fri 11-Nov-16 09:39:36

I know what you mean, about housework and relaxing! I always work part time so squeezing it in can be tricky! My DP helps with the house though, and I find myself and my daughter can relax together by finding something educational to watch on TV ( she loves nature programmes) and I can just chill out for half an hour, it would difficult but you'd find a routine. My daughter also helps with the house so that teaches her some basic skills and responsibilities and gets jobs jobbed!

ElspethFlashman Fri 11-Nov-16 09:40:36

Well if you're even thinking about it, a cleaner would be essential. No way would you have time for all that jazz.

LikeTheShoes Fri 11-Nov-16 09:44:58

Would your daughters not miss being around their friends etc? What about lessons you can't do (as easily) with HE like PE and drama (although I guess with 6 you almost can get a football team together and have a comprehensive Nativity!) Could you spend the next couple of months highlighting the benefits of mainstream school for them (obviously not saying that it is better than HE for your son) -mine were desperate to be homeschooled until they realised that meant no snow days, no 48hrs off sick, and school at weekends*

*We probably wouldn't have made them do school when sick or at weekends, but they don't need to know that!

notbankinonit Fri 11-Nov-16 09:45:32

You said you'd talk to them about it at Christmas, so you have the agreed talk, but be clear about what you want the result to be, and steer it that way. You are in charge.

wholefttoastonthestairs Fri 11-Nov-16 09:46:39

We have a nanny once a week who take the baby on Fridays so I can take ds out on trips every Friday - we do a 4 day a week school time table and a trip each week. She also does cleaning for us sometimes so I could possibly get her an a tea day for that. God that make me sound really lazy confusedgrin

wholefttoastonthestairs Fri 11-Nov-16 09:48:11

Like that is one of my worries - friends . The 6 year old no she has no friends at all even her teacher called us in to tell us that hmm. But the others I worry about that although they say they don't care.

LikeTheShoes Fri 11-Nov-16 09:48:32


You have 6 children, you home school and you have a baby!

If they're even halfway functional you're not lazy!

wholefttoastonthestairs Fri 11-Nov-16 09:50:47

Elspeth - the other major worry is that my 7 year old is actually further ahead is reading and writing than my son so I would worry about him seeing that. Although I suppose he sees it anyway I wouldn't want to rub it in...

WiIdfire Fri 11-Nov-16 09:56:28

Have the discussion. Make it clear it will be a joint decision. Write the pros and cons down for each situation. The girls maybe think they are missing out on trips out - do they get one on one time at weekends at all, or similar trips?
You didnt promise you would HE them, only that you would discuss it. You can do that.

wholefttoastonthestairs Fri 11-Nov-16 09:58:26

Wildfire they do get one on one trips, on the weekends with either dh or me. Obviously not as often - because it's one child a weekend. I think they do realise though that if they were all home they would ALL be on trips etc.

I will tell them that it isn't just a question of them choosing (which they seem to think).

ElspethFlashman Fri 11-Nov-16 10:03:02

The thing is, when American families do this (HS multiple children), they tend to have a classroom. They have a prefab or have converted the garage etc.

I just don't see someone managing it around the dining room table. Have you even the space to have them all studying simultaneously?

wholefttoastonthestairs Fri 11-Nov-16 10:03:53

Elspeth yes we have a playroom and a study

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