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if you home educate - what on earth do you do all day?

(63 Posts)
debs26 Tue 24-May-05 09:16:24

we are trying out keeping ds1 at home in the mornings because he is having a lot of problems at school. he has now been at home for 8 days and i have run out of ideas. we have his numeracy book from school and have found some great games on the net. have also been to library and have a stack of books but we are both bored. i need to be able to look after ds3 (nearly 1) while we are doing whatever. any help?

aloha Tue 24-May-05 09:22:36

How old is he? What arey his problems? What is he interested in? I (and my mum who has him two mornings a week) find with my ds that you can follow his interests (I don't home educate btw and ds is only three and a half) - go to museums and day trips, eg to Greenwich (history, languages, science all in one). He does puzzles, reads with us, and just does normal things. with an older child could you make cakes and weigh the ingredients (maths and science), do stuff with sand and water, painting, mixing colours, going to the park (PE), going to the local wildlife garden, watching a French video with you....stuff like that. I'm assuming he is still pretty young. Does he miss the social side, is that why he is bored?

moondog Tue 24-May-05 09:24:07

I sort of home educate dd while we are abroad 1/2 the year,but she is only 4 however!What about....

gardening (biology)
cooking (maths,physics,chemistry)
CD Roms
painting and art

How old is he?
i was home educated for a few years as we lived somewhere very far from schools but we followed a curriculum via an Australian correspondence school.

Why home in the mornings out of interest? Wouldn't it be better to either attend f/t or make a complete break?

debs26 Tue 24-May-05 09:36:39

he is 6. he keeps getting sent home because he is being naughty and none of us can figure out why because there appear to be no triggers. he goes in the afternoon so he doesnt miss all of the social side and afternoons are easier than mornings for him because the learning is more play-orientated.

we made biscuits the other day and we do pretty much what he wants to do (but i make him do some writing related to whatever we are looking at). think ds3 is making things harder because he is constantly trying to climb over the sofa and i keep having to rescue him and break off what we are doing! whole day seems really unstructured and i seem to spend half of the morning on computer because it is sited half way between where ds1 is doing stuff and where ds3 is playing!. might go and get the paints out now, maybe get ds3 involved. as long as he doesnt eat too much of it im sure itll be fun

moondog Tue 24-May-05 09:43:11

Unstructured time at home may make it worse....
Does the school send him home?
i make sure my dd sits and 'works' with me for at least an hour as i don't want her to lose this ability to concentrate when we are away. The rest of the time is more unstructured.
Must be hard with the baby though-I've got one too! While we work he likes to sit in his high chair and abserve.

Lonelymum Tue 24-May-05 09:43:23

Can you ask the school to provide you with some material? They haven't washed their hands of him completely if he is still attending in the pm, so I think they should give you lesson material or at least ideas so he is covering similar areas to his classmates.

aloha Tue 24-May-05 09:44:12

Switch the computer off! You can't home educate if you are doing something else at the same time IMO.
What do you mean by 'naughty"? Ds's nursery never uses that word, they say things like 'unkind' instead.

moondog Tue 24-May-05 09:44:57

Agree lm. I get stuff for my dd every term. it isn't A level Physics or anything (lol!) but it reminds them that I am on the case and provides a tangible link with the school when we are away.

moondog Tue 24-May-05 09:46:13

And agree with you aloha. Something very unsociable about sharing the same space as someone on a computer. (Says she,typing like a dervish!)

aloha Tue 24-May-05 09:47:00

I'm thinking that maybe this school isn't the right place for your child. He shouldn't just be sent home all the time with no help or advice! What do his teachers/the head suggest?

Caligula Tue 24-May-05 09:55:01

Have you tried searching for a home ed support group in your area? You may find that there's a good network (are in some areas, aren't in others) and you can link up with other Home Edders and go out for little trips plus get more ideas for activities/ lessons.

moondog Tue 24-May-05 09:56:45

There was an excellent article in the Observer about a month ago on this with a whole list of websites and forums. All seemed very organised and interactive.

Lonelymum Tue 24-May-05 09:57:03

To me, this isn't home educating. Home educating is a real commitment - a proper job really - and the parents choose to do it over sending their child to school. It might be what you want to do, but at the mment, this situation is different. Your son is being sent home from school or limited in his time at school and it sounds as though he is missing the important bread and butter work that is usually done in the morning. If I were you, I would go into school this week and demand that your son is given a programme of work to d when he is at home. It should be seen and assessed by the teacher too IMO.

debs26 Tue 24-May-05 09:57:14

i really cant fault school, keeping him at home was my suggestion and school thought it might help.

by naughty i mean things like disrupting the whole class by crawling around at carpet time, hitting other kids, stabbing a teacher with a pencil... there is quite a list.

i am on the computer while he does his numeracy as part of his problem is that he cant work on his own and i want him to have a go at it

he only gets sent home when things get really bad, unfortunately they have got to that stage quite often recently. we are in a rather unhappy situation with his git of a father making life v hard for us all and this is obviously upsetting him. staying at home will hopefully make him feel a bit more secure emotionally.

we are just having a trial run, if we carry on after half term then they said they will supply me with more stuff, i already have some but he doesnt want to do boring school work. i only wanted some suggestions for what to do with him!

moondog Tue 24-May-05 09:58:49

debs..don't think it is feasible to be on the computer while he is working (tempting though it is). You need to be hovering and involved,even if not helping directly.

Lonelymum Tue 24-May-05 10:00:00

Agree Moondog. Getting child to do work unaided is not the same as leaving them to get on with it. You need to be sitting with him, talking about what he is doing and reassuring him he is doing it right. (Sorry, ex-teacher here!)

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 24-May-05 10:04:14

It sounds difficult for you! With a 1 year old around, it's v hard to do anything really focused with ds1.

Does your 1 year old have a daytime nap? If it's in the afternoon, can you re-engineer it to late morning. This would then give you uninterrupted time with ds1.

He's likely to be missing out on the literacy and maths at school as this tends to be covered in the morning, so obviously this is an important chunk of the curriculum.

How did his withdrawal from mornings come about?
Was it solely your decision? What is the school's view? How much support have they given you? How long has his behaviour been this difficult (ie enough to take a decision to withdraw)? What else was tried before this? How was his progress in school? Has anyone eg spec needs co-ordinator, ed psychologist assessed him?

Sorry to bombard you with questions, but you are in a limbo situation at the moment. If he's out for only half the day, and missing a v critical part of the day in terms of the curriculum that is covered, the school needs to be providing you with some materials to ensure your ds does not fall behind, as that would make the "mornings in school" problems worse for him.

aloha Tue 24-May-05 10:04:18

Nobody's having a go at you! Though I do think you should turn off the computer so you are more 'available' while your son is working. You'd hate it if his teacher flicked through a magazine or wandered off while the kids were working in the classroom, wouldn't you? I can afford to be smug atm as both my kids are out of the house btw!
And seriously, the situation at school sounds really wrong. I think he needs more help to stay in school than he is getting. You are all obviously having a hard time atm, and letting you take all the burden of your son's problems isn't right, I think. Obviously there are things that need to be tackled, but it sounds to me as if the school isn't playing its part fully.
I happen to think that numeracy can be learned well by doing stuff that is fun - counting your steps as you walk along the pavement, discussing the price of things and the number of things you have bought as you go around the supermarket ('We've got three things in the trolley, how many would we need to make five?") and while making biscuits - we have two eggs that weigh X grammes, we need the same amount of flour, sugar and butter, how much will it all weigh...let's find out" etc etc.
I also suspect that right now he will need extra hands on support while he is learning. He is only six after all. I think it might help him to sit down with him and really work alongside him.

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 24-May-05 10:04:48

sorry - you've answered some of my post while I was writing!

aloha Tue 24-May-05 10:06:26

Most of all though, I think he needs to work towards being reintegrated at school. And they have to be fully committed to that. If not, then I think this is the wrong school for him.

dilligaf Tue 24-May-05 10:30:00

I have a vey similar situation with my ds who is 6. He goes to school part time because of behaviour issues. we have seen every professsional going and the general consensus is no problem that can be diagnosed. We are trying to get a statement but without a diagnosis it is difficult. Just waiting for an OT assessment in case hes dyspraxic as he hates writing. His behaviour sounds very similar to your ds he crawls on the carpet, hides under the desks and is generally disruptive. Very hard for the teachers and the other children. This morning he was begging me to take him home again the head had to calm him down so I could leave. I find it all very distressing. We do Kumon maths , follow a reading scheme and he either does some art/craft activity or some general learning. I am considering home ed but want to see what happens with the statementing first.

debs26 Tue 24-May-05 10:56:01

thanks dilligaf, if you do get anywhere please do post because it would be a great help to know how it goes.

lonelymum, this is not long term home educating. this is trying to help my little boy get through some emotional problems and tbh, school work is not as important as that. we have seen the ed psy (useless) and have been referred all over the place but nothing has happened yet.

i am on the computer for help because we seem to be stuck in a rut of numeracy, bit of writing, having a look thru books and on the net at some subject which interests him and then playing a few educational games on the computer.

one of his problems is that he cant work alone and is constantly after attention from the teacher. i want him to learn that he can work alone. i leave him to it when he does his numeracy because he is incredibly bright and can easily do the work without help. counting steps is way below his level of intelligence, he needs more stimulation than that and it is a struggle to do baking etc when ds3 is around (no he wont sleep during the morning, i have tried). i am in the same room and talking to him while i am on here but if he has too much of an audience he just acts up. believe it or not, leaving him to it means he gets two pages of his book done in about 20 mins, whereas at school he will often take over an hour and not finish one page.

school are fantastic and have worked with me every step of the way. does anyone really think he should be allowed to stab a teacher and not be punished? it was my idea to try staying at home, not theirs. i was trying to help him get through a really hard time emotionally. im not planning on home educating forever, this was a trial and i wanted to know if anyone could help, not be told that everything i am doing is wrong and that school is rubbish. i have posted asking if anyone had any ideas how to help with the emotinal problems and no one else on here posted to say they had been in this situation so i have to say i think most of the advice on this thread doesnt apply as i assume you would have posted on my other thread if you knew what we were going through.

he is having a glasss of milk at the moment, hope no one objects that i am not stood over him telling him the best way to hold his cup

thanks for the suggestions of what to fill the days with. i will now go and crawl back under the rock i came out from

Lonelymum Tue 24-May-05 11:01:09

Oops sorry debs did not mean to offend you. I thought I was showing I was on your side as I deeply believe that you should not be left to get on with this on your own. Not because you are not capable of it, but because the local education authority has a duty to educate your child and at the moment, it sounds as though they aren't doing it.

Have you tried buying any of those books you can get in bookshops or supermarkets with Maths and Literacy exercises in them? Bit dull I know but my children like doing them occasionally and at least you would know you were covering the same stuff as at school without putting your ds off it because it won't come direct from the school.

Lonelymum Tue 24-May-05 11:02:23

I don't know much about the emotional side of things, but I am sure that continuity (whatever form that takes) is important in your ds's life right now. Strive for that.

debs26 Tue 24-May-05 11:05:51

i have the books lonelymum, but he doesnt like them and after 30 mins or so he has done more at home than he does in an entire morning at school so i dont want to force him with the dull stuff. thanks for your suggestions, dont worry, you didnt offend.

the reason i am doing this for him is a very long story and i didnt want to get bogged down with the behaviour problem aspect, just wanted to know what people do that might be fun. maybe i should have posted all the reasons but that wasnt what i was asking for advice about and was hoping to avoid big debate. ho hum

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