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Did any of your he children ask to go to school?

(71 Posts)
bubbleymummy Fri 20-Aug-10 13:29:44

What did you say/do? DS1 is 4 and due to start p1 in Sept but we have decided to he. Today he said he wanted to go to school he's obviously picking up on it from books etc and I don't know what to say to him or how to explain HE. When I tried to explain it he laughed and said 'you're not a teacher!' . This may just be a temporary thing, we're just seeing how it goes so I don't want to say anything that would put him off school in the future but how do you explain the benefits of HE to a 4 yo?!

sarah293 Fri 20-Aug-10 13:31:49

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AlgebraRocksMySocks Fri 20-Aug-10 13:33:12

I was sort of in this situation. DH and I decided to HE our kids. However DD then started wanting to go to 'little school' so we put her in a daycare one twice a week and she's really flourished, so she'll be starting reception in 2011 and we'll just see how that works out.

I am quite sad, and the niggles about the state of the education system are still there, but I feel (personally) we owe it to her to let her try school.

bubbleymummy Fri 20-Aug-10 13:41:43

Thanks for your replies. I was kind of expecting to let him make the choice when he's older but at this stage do we not have to think of what is best for him? I don't want him to lose out on some of fun things at school but I also think an education tailored specifically to the child is much better and in Ds's case we've already been warned that he might get bored and I really don't want him to lose interest in education because he's bored.

sarah293 Fri 20-Aug-10 13:44:16

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bubbleymummy Fri 20-Aug-10 13:56:12

What age is reception in England? We're on a slightly different system in NI so I'm not sure if that is equivalent to preschool or p1. I wish we had a kindergarden type thing that he could go to a few mornings a week or something. Maybe I should start one!

sarah293 Fri 20-Aug-10 14:01:09

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julienoshoes Fri 20-Aug-10 14:01:52

The other thing I would suggest is taking him to meet other home educated young people-they would help describe what it all means and help him to see that it is normal for some children NOT to go to school.

bubbleymummy Fri 20-Aug-10 14:08:04

Hi Julien. I did actually try a couple of HE meetups but we didn't love them tbh. It's just such a big decision and I don't want to mess up and have him hate me for it!

AlgebraRocksMySocks Fri 20-Aug-10 19:44:25

BTW, I didn't mean to sound like you're being 'cruel' or anything for not sending him to school. it really has to be down to what you feel is right. if I wasn't 90+% sure that my DD will absolutely love school, I would still HE probably.

Tarenath Sun 22-Aug-10 09:38:04

Hi Bubbley,

Ds is 3.5 so we're starting to encounter the same problems as you. I work as a nanny and my eldest charge is already at school and youngest will start nursery soon.
I've started having my eldest charge ask about ds going to nursery now because "he's 3" and I patiently explained that some children go and some children don't. I expect we'll encounter similar resistance next year when youngest starts nursery and ds is 'supposed' to start school.

With ds, I've started getting him into a couple of clubs which he started referring to (on his own) as 'school' and 'class'. I'll probably have to correct that at some point hmm I've also explained to him about eldest going to school and one of the first things he asked was "Will you and me go to school mummy?" so I explained that if he went he would be at school all day and that I wouldn't be allowed to stay with him, but if he wanted he could stay at home with me and we could have school at home.
We also have a school prospectus at work and we've looked through it and pointed out all the stuff we already have at home, and where we would go to find the other stuff.
I'm also hoping to introduce him at the local HE groups soon so he can make some friends there and get used to the idea that not everyone goes to school.

He might ask to go to school in the future and we'll discuss it with him. We might even decide to send him when we move elsewhere. At the moment though, the ball is in our court, and as his parents we believe the best thing is for him to be home educated.

bubbleymummy Mon 23-Aug-10 20:40:17

Thank you so much for all your responses and sorry I'm only back now! Taranath that sounds like a good approach. I must have a google and see if I can dig up the curriculum. DS is starting gymnastics in Sept and I'm looking into art/music/French classes so hopefully that will qualify as enough 'school' for now . We made tge mistake of bringing him with us to open days last year when we hadn't decided what to do so he has a nice idea of a colourful classroom with lots of toys and games. I think the novelty would wear off v quickly Though when he realises he's there everyday and he can't decide what he wants to learn about and has to relearn things he already knows.

colditz Mon 23-Aug-10 20:45:03

I will never understand why you don't just let them go to school if they want to.

If I was actually capable of teaching my children and they wanted to be taught by me, I would allow this. Why would you deny a child the chance to go to school if school is available?

bubbleymummy Mon 23-Aug-10 20:50:30

Because the school have openly told us that they wouldn't know what to do with him. They are a small country primary with limited funding and their TA is allocated to helping children with special needs so DS would be left to his own devices while the class are learning the alphabet and how to count to ten. He gets bored easily if he isn't stimulated and I don't want him to become disruptive in school because of that.

Believe me Colditz, this has not been an easy decision ! Of course it would be easy to send him to school. Would it be the best thing for him? No, I honestly don't think so.

colditz Mon 23-Aug-10 20:59:14

So send him to a different one!

he's very clearly telling you that he wants to go to school.

And you are either going to have to say "Ok son, I'll find a suitable one" or "No. You're not allowed."

Because that really is all it boils down to.

SacharissaCripslock Mon 23-Aug-10 21:03:14

My 5 year old mentioned about going to school and I said he could go when he is 7 if he still wants to go.

He doesn't get that choice now as he is only 5 and doesn't know what's best for him. All parents make choices with what's best for our children in mind. I don't say, "Oh darling, would you like to go to the dentist - it's your choice."

bubbleymummy Mon 23-Aug-10 21:08:22

Right Colditz. Do you honestly think we visited one school and decided to He? We looked at at least 10. Unless we are willing to drive 90 mins each way (45 from our old house where we were living when we started looking) then there isn't anything suitable Tte one in question was the best within a reasonable distance. Unless you happen to agree with the headmistress who thought DS should just sit and learn phonics with the rest of the class because that's the way they do things - even though he's been Reading fluently for a year and a half. hmm

we haven't ruled out school completely, we just don't think that there is any point in DS wasting his days in a classroom not learning anything new. Would your children like to stay back for a couple of years and relearn the same things? I very much doubt it!

colditz Mon 23-Aug-10 22:12:30

My ds1 relearned phonics when he started reception. He also learned many other things that I hadn't even thought of teaching him.

Nobody's child is so fantastic that they are too fantastic for school if they want to go. there is more to life than being 2 reading years ahead of your peers.

colditz Mon 23-Aug-10 22:13:57

I was a fluent reader when I started school. It didn't mean the rest of my education got neglected. It also didn't mean that I stayed academic - I just happened to read much earlier than my peers.

SDeuchars Mon 23-Aug-10 23:36:44

I agree with SacharissaC - it is not really up to a 5yo. It is up to his parents to see how his education fits with the needs of the rest of the family.

Bubbleymummy's DS will undoubtedly also learn much that she has not thought about as I am sure he will be playing an active part in shaping his education.

BTW, my DD asked to try school at 9 so I enrolled her in Y5 and she attended for a term. I would have been very reluctant to enroll her at 5 because she did not know what EHE would be like at that age and all the propaganda books, TV, etc. aimed at that age-group talk about school.

Bunbaker Mon 23-Aug-10 23:56:51

I know someone who took her child out of a perfectly good school because she wanted to home educate her (also because she doesn't like getting up early in the morning).

Basically she didn't get much of an education and when the child asked to go back to school she found it a traumatic experience because she was so far behind the other children academically that she really struggled.

Two of her other children also asked to go to school (they had never been to school) but fortunately they love it.

I think this mother hadn't really thought things through. She was in love with the idea of not sending her children to school, but wasn't prepared to put the work in herself.

I realise that parents like this are very much in the minority and most home educators want the best for their children. In this case I think the mother did it for herself, not her children.

Tinuviel Tue 24-Aug-10 02:40:22

DD (8) couldn't make up her mind at 4. She attended nursery for 5 terms and quite enjoyed it but would change her mind from day to day about school. How can they make a decision based on something they have no experience of? In the end, we made the decision to HE her as her brothers were already HE.

Last October she said she would like to go to school, so I said to have a bit longer think about it and we would discuss it at half term. We also had a chat about school and I found out that basically she wanted to go so she could spend more time with a specific friend and so she could wear gingham dresses!! I pointed out that she wouldn't wear the dresses all year round and that the school her friend was at was over-subscribed and that she wouldn't be in the same class as her friend (different years) and left her to think about it. By half term she had more or less forgotten about wanting to go!!

I think at 5 it is perfectly reasonable to make the decision for your DS and offer the choice a little later. We always discuss every year whether they want to go to school and will be looking at secondary schools next month for DS2 as we did for DS1 so he knows what he is saying no to.

Saracen Tue 24-Aug-10 05:03:40

"Why would you deny a child the chance to go to school if school is available?"

You might do this if you feel that school would not be the best place for your child to be, and your child is not yet old enough to make that decision. There are a lot of things that are available to young children which I would not let them choose to do, certainly not for six hours a day.

One might turn this question on its head and ask, "Why would you deny a child the chance to be home educated if that option was available?" Plenty of parents would not allow their young children (or even their older children!) the opportunity to try a year off school just because the child didn't want to go to school. Parents have many reasons for insisting that their children attend school, but it boils down to the fact that the parents feel school would benefit their child.

It is the same with home educating parents: we choose to home educate because it seems the best route for our children. Home educated children do, in general, have more choice about this, though not necessarily from the age of four. I know very few older HE children who are denied the opportunity to try school... whereas the number of older children attending school against their will is truly staggering!

anastaisia Tue 24-Aug-10 11:18:52

I wouldn't let DD try school when her friends went to reception. I felt it was very much because their nursery/parents/tv viewing was making a big thing of school being the next step and a GreatThing! and that this was influencing her opinion too much for it to be a really considered one. I said we'd talk about it over the year and if she still wanted to go for Y1 we'd consider what that would mean for us all.

In the end she changed her mind about wanting to go after the first half term of her friend's being in school and realising they had to go every day and couldn't come and play when her home ed friends could and that she'd have to miss home ed group and the activities we go to on week days if she went to school.

She now says she's never going; but if she decides to try it later I'll be supportive of that now I know she's making the decision of more idea about what school actually involves.

bubbleymummy Tue 24-Aug-10 22:33:56

Thank you again for all your replies and experiences! Definitely getting a few ideas about how to approach things! I just want to reply to a few things...

Colditz, I don't really want to get into the whole 'what my DS can do' thing so let's just say that there's more to it than being a couple of reading years ahead and leave it at that We know our son and it would a complete waste of time for him to sit and relearn these things in a classroom when he could be at home learning about something new that he is interested in.

SD, it is definitely coming from books etc. I would be happy for him to try school out at a later date (we are also taking it one term at a time) if he is still interested but as most of you have said, I think 4 is too young for him to make this decision himself.

I just wanted some ideas about how to explain the concept of HE when all he sees in books is the classroom scenario with the teacher at the front. Are they any books out there involving HE children who have a brilliant time learning all sorts of interesting things and not being confined to a classroom/NC etc ? Maybe someone here should write one! Preferably a whole series!

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