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To be considering taking my dd out of school

(52 Posts)
Hando Fri 02-Oct-09 18:57:45

I am considering taking my dd out of school and Home Educating her. There are so many things to think about I thought I'd post and get some good brutal honest advice from both sides.

My dd is 5 and in primary year 1. Her school is an infants only school so she will have to move schools after next year in time for yr 3 anyway. It's not the best by any means but we moved into the area after application dates so had no chance with the best / most popular schools. The head has a very unique way of doing things, many of which I do not agree with. Nothing "serious" just policies and the way the school day is structured etc - it's hard to put into words. She isn't being bullied and isn't upset at going to school or any of the common reasons I've heard people choose to take their children out of school. I feel she isn't learning enough or in the way she could be if at home. She's bright and happy and I feel if I was able to educate her at her pace and learning the things that interest her that she would do much better. Her class is 30 pupils, a few of which require lots of attention as they have behavioural difficulties (I assume not diagnosed ones though as no TA or additional helpers in class). I could give her 1:1 attention and tuition.

I'm a single parent and I am studying part time towards my degree, this will take approx 4-5 yrs. By the time I have finished my degree and am ready to go into full time work with my degree she'd be nearly at secondary age.

So AIBU in thinking that I could home ed my dd until she finishes primary school age and then she can go into secondary school? Or does that totally confuse the situation? Will she find school environment too difficult to adapt to? I want her to be able to do her GCSEs, A levels and hopefully go on to University.

Any wise advice?

Peabody Fri 02-Oct-09 19:07:09

Hopefully a home-edder will come along in a minute and be helpful. But these are points I'd want to consider:

Will you be able to do your degree and home-ed?

What does your DD think? Does she love school? Does she have friends there who whe would miss? You should ask for her opinion before making any decisions.

BLEEPyouYOUbleepingBLEEP Fri 02-Oct-09 19:08:00

Blimey! you seem to have her life mapped out for her til she's 21! smile

Taking her out of school would mean that she'd miss out on the 'hidden agenda' that schools teach, like having to get on with people you don't like, and not having the adults 1:1 attention all the time ie they're not the centre of the universe.

It's a hard lesson to learn and can only be taught on the job so to speak. I'm sure there are lots of pluses for home schooling, but you might be just exchanging one set of problems for another?

HKT Fri 02-Oct-09 19:08:32

You ANBU at all - if you feel her education isn't going the way you want it to, and you are capable of home schooling her, go for it.
We had a similar thing with my dc1&2, the school had a really good reputation, but my two were going nowhere fast. If I felt I could have homeschooled them ,I would have done, but I thought they would probably end up anti-social hermits, like me
In the end, we looked at other schools in the area, and found one that suited them better.
Could you look at other schools? If nothing else it might help you put your finger on what's bothering you about this school.
If you decide to go down the home schooling route, I think local councils have lists of contacts so you can meet up regularly with others who do, and get the children doing sports together etc.
Good luck in whatever you decide

ReneRusso Fri 02-Oct-09 19:12:55

A year 1 class of 30 pupils with no TA? That sounds highly unusual. I would be addressing that with the head and finding out why. And why they aren't finding ways to extend the brighter children.
Given that she would have to move schools in yr3, what school is she likely to move onto and what do you think of it? I think that has got to be a part of your considerations.
Also, would you have time to keep up your studies if you are home educating your dd? I have no experience of home ed but would have thought it is pretty much full time.
If you chose to keep her at school, there may be other ways you can stretch her and stimulate her with activities outside of school.

Hando Fri 02-Oct-09 19:14:47

Thanks guys. I can study part time (about 15 hours a week) so have loads fo time left over to home school her. After all I wouldn;t be sitting doing "work" with her for 6 hours a day, I would take the more informal route and encourage dd to "learn as we go".

HKT it's the risk of making her into a social outcast/hermit that I'm most worried about. I am outgoing and we have lots of friends but not a huge number who have children. I knwo there are loads fo groups and classes so would definitely attend those for the social interaction part. Will call the council in the morning.

Hando Fri 02-Oct-09 19:15:16

Oh, my spelling is terrible in that last post! blush

Bathsheba Fri 02-Oct-09 19:20:23

Maybe I'm just looking at the practicalities, but the 15 hours a week you are at Universtiy, who is looking after and educating your DD then...?

Childminders and Nurseries etc quite often won;t take school age children during the day, so do you have childcare in place? Creches and playgroups definately wont.

There are many reasons why I couldnlt home ed (despite the fact that I'm a qualified teacher) - one of those is that I don;t think its particularly good for me to be with my children 24 hours a day (I'm with them about 23.5 hours a day though...)

piscesmoon Fri 02-Oct-09 19:20:38

I don't think that socialisation would be a problem -there are lots of HEers about. I think it would be a shame-there is far more to school than the lessons. I would ask your DD, I think it should be to suit the DC-not the parent.

piscesmoon Fri 02-Oct-09 19:22:04

If you want serious advice on this I would move to the HE forum-you are more likely to get the positives.

Hando Fri 02-Oct-09 19:32:11

Thanks piscesmoon, didn;t realise there was one - I shall go and have a lurk over there now. I would defjnitely consult dd before making any major decisions, but I think a 5 yr old isn't really going to know what's best for their own future or education. I do see you point though!

Bathsheba, sorry I didnt say I am studing with OU so can quite easily do my studies in the evenings or weekends. We have a few HE childminders in my area, but don't think they'd be necessary as I won't be working. From what I can figure out, HE is much less formal than school, meaning my dd doesn;t need to be doing "work" 5 days a week anyway as it will be 1:1 rather than 1:30

alexfs Fri 02-Oct-09 19:35:05

As the mother of teenagers i look back at the early years of primary school as far more than just teaching. The quality of the school matters far more as they get older.

At this age they are learning social skills and building their confidence. I wouldn't want to risk turning my child into a loner or social missfit. She only has two more years there and then she will move on.

Could you do some school work at home(hopefully in a fun way) to fill in any gaps?

Try and relax - the early school years are more about Noses and Knickers!

jjbean Fri 02-Oct-09 19:48:13

I'm a Reception Teacher, have to agree that 30 children in a Year One without a TA is very unusual. I always encourage parents to get involved, ask questions, the Head may not like you but this is your child's education and you want to make sure she gets the very best. If something is really troubling you and the Head isn't being helpful, get in touch with OFSTED.

Children are really learning to be social at your daughters age, she needs to be around other children.

slowreadingprogress Fri 02-Oct-09 19:57:43

Agree that the infant years can be so many-faceted in terms of what they get from school and I personally think that in so many ways it can be wonderful

DS has got lifelong memories of trips, plays, costumes, celebrations, nativity plays and forming into a strong little band with his classmates etc etc and I wouldn't have wanted him not to have that

Personally, if this was me I'd be more inclined to remove from school at secondary age when schools become three times the size and behaviour is often even more of an issue etc etc!!!!

AMumInScotland Fri 02-Oct-09 20:05:51

If you get involved with a group of home educators, there's no reason why your child should have any issues socially. Also there are lots of other opportunities for children to spend time in a group of children and not being the centre of a single adult's attention - rainbows, sports groups, music, drama etc. Very few HE children spend their time with just their parent - they can have as rich and varied a set of experiences as you want. The difference is that you have to think about these issues and make plans yourself, rather than assuming that school will provide both academic and social skills.

But I would say that your daughter needs to be involved in the decision, since she is already at school - you will be taking her out of an environment she is used to and not unhappy in, so you may find that she has no wish to change.

slowreadingprogress Fri 02-Oct-09 20:13:26

I can imagine HE being alot of fun but isn't it also rather expensive if you do alot of group stuff?

Brownies - cost
Drama - BIG cost, usually
Sports groups - cost
Music - another biggie

Of course there are libraries and museums as well and meeting up as a group for nothing but the stuff you get for free at school inc drama, sports, music are not to be sniffed at in my humble (and poor person's) opinion!

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 02-Oct-09 20:28:20

Shes only 5, they learn through many different means so just because shes not writing for the entire school day doesn't mean she is not learning. They learn so much more than just reading and writing, they learn teamwork, to play together etc. They also have great fun doing school plays, projects etc.

Financially, if you are a student single parent, can you afford to support both of you when single parent benefits cease when she reaches age 7?

She's still so young, seems far too early to be stressing that school is not teaching her enough.

puddinmama Fri 02-Oct-09 20:29:35


Im studying a degree part time and I home edd, my two kids ds1 is 6 so primary 3 here in Northern Ireland.

I think if its something you think would be good for u and her then great go for it, I am nearly passing my first year and I love it as does my kids and no they arent social hermits they are normal happy children, who also know how to cope in the big world.

I happen to be one of those peoples who thinks childhood is for well childhood and it is a time for growing and learning and most importantly play, the idea that children need to learn to fend for themselves or take care of themselves and stand up for themselves, is in my opinion not what childhood is about, of course they cant be shielded for ever, but we also need to admit that schools do not prepare children for the 'real' world in fact alot of the times its the opposite.

My kids will learn from the real world by being a part of it with me, and then when the time comes they can do it themselves, i feel with home edding this time will probably come sooner than later as they are always out in society so its only natural that they will adjust more easily out there, I hope my point is coming across.

I should point out that am not anti school and right now am taking it year by year and seeing how we get on

there are some great books you can get, if you go to the the home ed section there is a post there where they are listed as well as some websites as well.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 02-Oct-09 20:32:57

If you leave her in school you will be able to get your OU degree much more quickly. I did 120 points this year and last year with three school age children. I was able to work in school hours and spend evenings and weekends with them.

OrmIrian Fri 02-Oct-09 20:33:55

Can you not 'teach' her what she is missing in the evenings and weekends? DH and I think of school as the place where they teach the things that children have to learn. Home is where they learn the extras.

valhala Fri 02-Oct-09 20:37:11

Brownies - £15 per term. Drama here in my town £25 per year (a professional group which hold lots of productions).

Sports - the park, £2 per session swimming etc?

Music - heaven knows, tbh it wasn't top of my agenda when I HE-ed (although knowledge of musicians and their work was part of it, my DC didn't play an instrument).

If the school is not right for your child, HE is a great idea and it can be achieved by a lone parent who is studying for a degree/masters - I managed it.

However, if you find the perfect school you may never entertain the idea of HE, it really does depend on what is available to your children and how they fit in at school/whether they are happy and successful there. There is no right or wrong answer.

This area is one where you will get a lot of detractors and a lot of judgement tbh. As has been suggested, so the best advice is to have a word with the welcoming folk on the HE section.

Please just remember one thing.. being a lone Mum and studying is no reason not to HE.

Good luck, whichever choice you make.

piscesmoon Fri 02-Oct-09 21:49:47

'I happen to be one of those peoples who thinks childhood is for well childhood and it is a time for growing and learning and most importantly play

This is why I sent mine to school-they get all that-I loved it as a child-there are hours and hours at home to do all you want to do, the school day is short.I would have thought that you could have used them to study and then you would be able to put your studying aside when she came home.

puddinmama Fri 02-Oct-09 21:56:14


I suppose ur right piscesmoon, alot of kids have very positive experiences at school

home edding hasnt prevented me from doin my ou degree, but of course everyone is different.

although i think the school day is really long

piscesmoon Fri 02-Oct-09 22:00:43

I think that since OP DD has started school she should be consulted. I loved it at 5 yrs and even tried to hide the fact if I was ill, I didn't want to miss anything. I would have been able to tell my mother that I didn't want to be HEed and would be more than annoyed if she then said I was too young to decide! My brother would have loved the chance to stay a home. All DCs are different and one size doesn't fit all.

jennifersofia Fri 02-Oct-09 22:14:51

One of the things I am increasingly impressed by as my children get older (currently 1.5, 7 & 8) is how the relationship between peers begins to overtake the parent/child relationship. It does not (hopefully) replace the parent/child relationship, but the 'weighting' changes. Obviously, this can be very good, or very bad, depending on the peers. It feels entirely natural - another step towards the child's increasing independence. (A friend of mine once said, "We raise them to go away")
I am not saying that it is impossible to get this with HE, but the immersion would be different.
It is wonderful to see you child grow and mature in ways that you can't teach them, because you are not their peer. I hadn't really understood this when my children were around the age of 5.
I would consider these issues especially important for a child without siblings.

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