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Should I consider homeschooling for this academic year?

(33 Posts)
purplerain2020 Wed 05-Aug-20 08:22:59

I have two children aged 8 and 12. My elderly mother lives with us and she has double pneumonia about 10 years ago which left lung scarring so high risk. I work part-time, remotely from home. My eldest son has asthma.

I'm getting increasingly concerned about the return to school and the fact that there seems to be minimal protection for children and teachers. I can't get my head around it be compulsory to wears masks in shops yet unnecessary in schools. I appreciate that there have been few child deaths but they are still capable of being asymptomatic and spreading it at home and in the wider community. I'm not riddled with anxiety about this but more concerned about the on/off school that is likely to take place this academic year.

I'm wondering whether just to cut our losses and withdraw them from school for this academic year. I find all the speculation about schools closing due to outbreaks/ not enough teachers really stressful and I think I'd rather plough that energy into just getting on and educating them myself. They've both excelled during homeschooling and I think in a lot of ways, I would rather be in charge of their education during this time. I can still ensure socialisation but on our terms. Both are on board with it. It would just be for this academic year. I would deregister them if they can't go back to the same schools, so, be it. I've looked into online schools, curriculum resources and private tutors. I'm confident I can do it.

What would you do? Are you considering homeschooling?

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Grufallosfriends Wed 05-Aug-20 08:28:02

I'm not considering it as I can't teach A level Maths or Physics, but if you can and can fit your work around it, then go for it!

Movinghouse2015 Wed 05-Aug-20 08:28:47

I can understand your concerns and I'd agree academically a year of homeschooling wouldn't hurt. However, my concern would be the emotional well-being of my DC, are they having any physical contact with peers?

purplerain2020 Wed 05-Aug-20 08:33:03

My brothers two boys are exactly the same age and are in our bubble so they've been spending quite a bit of time together. My eldest has been playing with one other friend physically and plays with others online. For my youngest, we've made some friends SD at the park a few times.

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mdh2020 Wed 05-Aug-20 08:40:25

Is it really fair to keep the two children in isolation for another year? How will they reintegrate back into school? There are some secondary school subjects that really can’t be taught at home unless you bring in tutors. Once other children go back to school their ties with your two will weaken. Could explore ways of keeping them socially distanced from your mother?

Movinghouse2015 Wed 05-Aug-20 08:47:15

Would you remain in a bubble if the other children in the bubble return to school?

purplerain2020 Wed 05-Aug-20 08:50:03

I understand what you are saying but as more things start to open I will consider enrolling them to a couple of clubs. They play with their cousins most weekends. If Im in charge of homeschooling we can go on lots of educational trips. For example, the Industrial Revolution is covered in the History syllabus this year and there are a few mills and related sites and visit we can go and visit.

I'm not intending to give them an education where they are stuck at home day in day out which differs from the 'homeschooling' during lockdown. We can also be in charge of the hours days that we homeschool, we don't have to stick to homeschool hours. Monday is quite heavy workwise so we could have a light day and make up for it on others. I would probably do online school for the core subjects for my eldest (Maths, English and Science) where you are in small online classes and teach the other subjects myself. My eldest really wants to go to a local afterschool coding clubs so I would enrol him for that and he also wants to do paddle boarding.

From what I've read, homeschooling can be time-efficient in that you can cover more ground 1 on 1 in less time. I am hoping this will free up extra time for some socially distanced or outdoor clubs. If you get my drift.

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PleasantVille Wed 05-Aug-20 08:52:44

What would you do? Are you considering homeschooling?

To answer your question, no way on earth would I consider it but why does that matter?

I am more than aware that there's a whole home schooling community which I assume will be getting bigger in September, I'd suggest that anyone considering it does proper research and finds out what's available locally before making a considered decision.

Lemons1571 Wed 05-Aug-20 08:55:21

Could you keep it up for 2+ years? I don’t think there’s 100% certainty that this will be totally over by Sept 2021. Could you cover GCSE’s if it came to it?

You could maybe contact a homeschool group in your area and ask them what’s involved.

pontypridd Wed 05-Aug-20 09:00:48

I actually think it would be wise to deregister and home educate. We’re considering it.

I’d stick with school if I felt it was going to be safe and that education would continue and be good/acceptable when future school closures etc happen.

It’s going to be a mess though isn’t it? This year will be another year of education lost whether schools start back in September or not.

We’d all be better off - if it was possible - making our own plans for our kids education.

purplerain2020 Wed 05-Aug-20 09:01:33

I am just literally thinking of one year. Even if it goes on longer, the country 'should' be in a better place to deal with it in regards to test and trace, treatments possible vaccine. It's early days now and we're still finding our feet. I want to reiterate this isn't coming from excessive Covid-19 worry but I don't want a school year of 'in one week/out the next' or blended learning etc. We live in a large town just outside London, we have a lot of cases and no doubt we would be hit if there was a second wave. I'm just sick of all the speculation of schools locally having to shut down etc. I keep thinking if I do it myself I no longer have to deal with the uncertainty.

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hedgehogger1 Wed 05-Aug-20 09:04:15

Have a look at your local home school groups. I know it's a very active scene near me with lots of meet ups and shared tutoring groups in specialist subjects. No need for social isolation but there is the ability to massively reduce contacts

Barbie222 Wed 05-Aug-20 09:04:39

I think the problem in a nutshell is, visiting a few mills isn't covering the Industrial Revolution, is it. I've dragged my husband and kids around many, they had a lovely time and were absolutely none the wiser. It takes discipline and humility to digest all the different sides of a subject and approach learning with the idea that it's never "done". I appreciate that the school curriculum doesn't always fill children with this sense, but I do think a little knowledge is a dangerous thing in life, and your attitude of "visit a few mills, join a few clubs and we'll cover it" plants the seeds of "I've read a few Google articles so I know best about X" in later life. It's the discipline and rigour that homeschooling sometimes lacks although I appreciate that going into it with your eyes open can mitigate this a bit. If you are nervous of going back to schoolhow about tutors?

purplerain2020 Wed 05-Aug-20 09:08:10

I think the problem, in a nutshell, is, visiting a few mills isn't covering the Industrial Revolution, is it.?

I'm not saying it is. We obviously would be studying it at home via text books, documentaries and online resources. Visits would be a top-up. I wouldn't take them to a mill and say 'Great. That's the Industrial Revolution covered.'

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purplerain2020 Wed 05-Aug-20 09:10:15

If you are nervous of going back to schoolhow about tutors?
Not nervous as such, just don't want the in-out school hokey cokey.
As above, we would be using online tutors/online school for the core subjects.

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purplerain2020 Wed 05-Aug-20 09:11:22

Whoops. I should have added, I spoke about clubs in regards to someone's questions about social isolation. I'm not suggesting that joining a few clubs covers the curriculum.

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Kolo Wed 05-Aug-20 09:17:46

I've considered it before lockdown, and being pushed into am home schooling has made me feel more confident about being able to home Ed. I'm a qualified teacher and my children took to it really well.

I'm planning on sending them back to school in sept, I'd prefer them to be with their friends and taught by specialists in each subject, with the right equipment. But if things go pear shaped in schools, I won't be too concerned about pulling them out.

It's very hard to say at this point how things in school will actually be in sept. Children are generally very adaptable and resilient.

ExitThisWay Wed 05-Aug-20 09:24:06

If you home school, your children won’t necessary regain their current school places, the school wont hold the place. You might end up wanting them to go back to school in the future, but the school having no spaces for them.

Waxonwaxoff0 Wed 05-Aug-20 09:24:53

It's not something I'd ever consider as my DS needs to be in school for a variety of reasons.

But if you're confident you can do it then why not? I actually think it's a great idea
if parents who want to and are capable decide to homeschool, safer for their DC and safer for the teachers and children who do need to be in school if there are lower numbers.

nellodee Wed 05-Aug-20 09:27:15

I am a secondary school teacher. There is no way on earth I will be spending any time indoors with my parents once I am back at school. The risk is simply too high. If you wait until things go pear-shaped, you may be part of the pear.

Note that I am not saying that the risk of death to school aged children or their non-vulnerable parents is too high, but in your situation and with your resources, I'd pick home schooling every time.

purplerain2020 Wed 05-Aug-20 09:33:02

As I said, if they can't go back to the same school, so be it. If we have to wait to be allocated a place, so be it as well. I will just continue homeschooling until they have a place.

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RemyHadley Wed 05-Aug-20 09:34:07

I think we’re going to home educate for this academic year as well.

My children are much younger (early primary), and one is quite an anxious soul. I think the disruption of going to school for a bit, then his bubble being told to quarantine, and guidance and rules changing, and different teachers etc etc is all going to be too much for him.

I’m higher risk (not very high risk), and honestly I think it’s better for my children to miss some formal education than to deal with me getting seriously ill or having long term health complications - especially as they’re both smart and would work out that they could have brought the virus home from school.

RemyHadley Wed 05-Aug-20 09:34:44

Posted too soon (due to one of the children jumping on me) - in your shoes I think it makes sense to home school, I would do it.

yoikes Wed 05-Aug-20 09:36:15

I suggest posting on the home ed board
You will get lots of advice

purplerain2020 Wed 05-Aug-20 09:37:50


I am a secondary school teacher. There is no way on earth I will be spending any time indoors with my parents once I am back at school. The risk is simply too high. If you wait until things go pear-shaped, you may be part of the pear.

Note that I am not saying that the risk of death to school aged children or their non-vulnerable parents is too high, but in your situation and with your resources, I'd pick home schooling every time.

I think this is what is pushing me towards homeschooling - the teacher's perspective. I keep hearing time and time again from teaches, who understand the risks that there is a high chance of school closures. Not necessarily because of outbreaks but because teachers will have to isolate with a sore throat, if it is too, many schools will have to close for safety reasons. I think a lot of people dismiss this because of the difficulties it will cause them if it is the case, but it doesn't mean it is unlikely just because we want it to be so. There is nothing I would love more than to be sending my children to school in September with the way things used to be. But for me, the in-out thing will just be a nightmare.

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