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why home educate?

(48 Posts)
seahorse4 Fri 05-Nov-10 02:03:34

I have been home tutoring my son who is 15 since february. He is the 2nd child of 4, and has had many problems around school since yr 7. he was in a school provision for anxious and vunerable children, although this did not help, so i withdrew him altogether. my eldest went through school, with a few hiccups, but is now doing really well in college (19yrs). my third eldest is 13 and has been a school refusal for 2 yrs and is now at a provisional school, although is being intergrated back into ms school 2morrow smile. my youngest has been on a little roller coaster over the last year with all that has gone on with the others, thankfully, we have turned a corner and he is back enjoying school. as for the 15 yr old I am still battling at home teaching him what i can.
I would really like to know is why do parents withdraw their children from ms school in the uk to home schooling? (the reason for me asking this, is, I am currently studying education at university and as this is a subject close to myself, I have decided to make this my dissertation subject, so any help would be gratefully received!!)

mumof4darlings Fri 05-Nov-10 08:00:23

I had no other option for my son, he had a mental health breakdown at 11 years old when he couldnt cope with the transition to secondary school.Taking 18 months for him to recover from, now left with severe anxiety disorder. Home education gave him back a life he could manage in and happiness, and he is doing things in his own time when he is ready.Home education suits some children as does school, I have 2 in school and 2 out and each method works well for their own personal needs.

NotAnotherBrick Fri 05-Nov-10 08:51:27

Can I suggest you search the archives on here, seahorse?

I don't mean to be rude, but this very question has been asked so many times on here. I think HEors are more than happy to say the same things over and over to people who are asking because they want to HE themselves; but if it's for a dissertation, I, personally, have got more important things to be doing.

However, if you search the archives, you'll find my reasons for HEing all over the place. Look for this name; but also FlamingoBingo and MrsWobbleTheWaitress.

seahorse4 Fri 05-Nov-10 09:43:32

thank you too both of you for your responses. mumof4darlings, i'm glad to hear it's working for you! smile
NotAnotherBrick, thanks for the heads up, i will look further on hear thanks. i did consider whether to be honest and open and explain, or be deceitful. Honesty works for me!

NotAnotherBrick Fri 05-Nov-10 10:52:28

No, I'm glad you were honest! It's just when you're busy home educating, if you're going to take time out of that to explain to someone else why you're doing it, it needs to be for a very good reason smile

seahorse4 Fri 05-Nov-10 11:26:40

I understand, as i explained i am also home educating, so thats resonable. just trying to get a good start on the research, so i can fit my own studys in with my sons. this seemed the easiest way, and not too time consuming (I hoped! lol)
i also thought maybe of another link to see what peoples views are on state education and whether it is letting down our kids! what do you think?

Saracen Fri 05-Nov-10 11:58:30

You could also look at some of Alan Thomas' research on the subject. I haven't read any of his books properly, but I think that "Educating Children at Home" includes a chapter on why parents choose home education.

minimathsmouse Fri 05-Nov-10 12:21:48

Hello, well done to you studying and Home Ed, wish I could find the time.

Was it P Rothermel who studied Home Ed in the UK and found that people Home ed for a variety of reasons incl unhappiness with the provission in state schools.

I withdrew DS1 aged 9 in June 2010. He was assessed as working well within key stage 3 for his maths but the teacher said according to her assessment he was working below this. We struggled for 3 yrs, with my son wanting to be home ed. He was bored in school and starting to make disparaging comments about his teachers maths and her inability to control the class. He said school was noisy and chaotic and he often didn't know what the focus of the lesson was or what the learning outcome should be. He basically wanted more autonomy and he wanted the school to teach him maths at level at which he was working.

He is now doing IGCSE maths (started a 13+ programme and the tutor moved him up) he is studying biology with me to gcse standard and has just started to plan his own work.

What started out as a response to a specific set of circumstances has now converted me! I am questioning institutional education. DS2 aged 5 now home. We were asked to "top up" his education to such a degree that I felt we may as well take overall responsibility.

I work in schools but seriously question a system that sets unacheivable targets,(low targets but unachievable in that environment, with large class sizes and teachers who fail to reflect on their own practice) lets almost all children down, fails to educate and expends most effort into the so called "social education" of our children.

Good luck with your dissertation.

anastaisia Fri 05-Nov-10 14:01:19

Do you only want to hear from people who withdraw children or do you want people who have been home ed from the start?

seahorse4 Fri 05-Nov-10 19:01:28

saracen- thanks for the advice, i need to look at secondary research as part of my literature review, as well as conducting my own research, so i will follow up on your lead!

minimathsmouse- you sound as if you have a very bright little boy. i have also worked within a primary school for 10 years, and its a shame, that brighter children are not pushed. the schools seem to feel as long as the child is reaching the national targets then thats fine, instead of looking at what the child IS capable of acheiving.

Anastaisia - thanks for asking, although for the moment just parents which have withdrawn, as there maybe an underlying question, that may need answering. have you withdrawn?

NotAnotherBrick Fri 05-Nov-10 20:41:01

Well, more specific questions are easier to answer smile

Personally, I can't see a way that a system that wants to suit such a large number of individuals could possibly not let down the majority of them. So, yes, in a way, one of the many reasons I am HEing is because I think the state system lets down children...but I think that the private system does too...and every other mass education system.

My children have never been to school; and never will go unless they want to...which would suggest it's the right thing for them at that time and would be good for them IYSWIM.

seahorse4 Fri 05-Nov-10 21:08:08

NotAnotherBrick - can I ask how you were educated? and how old are your children?

Saracen Fri 05-Nov-10 22:32:10

A word of caution about the whole subject of research into home education: it isn't possible to say very much with any certainty. No matter how you hunt down HE families, samples are bound to be biased in some direction.

For example, if families are contacted by means of HE organisations, perhaps you'll be likelier to reach to people who need or want support, who are sociable, and who can afford the membership fees. Chat with people on Mumsnet and you find people who like to use the internet and have good access to it. Ask Local Authorities to forward your request to families known to them, and you'll only contact people who are in touch with their LAs. This will mean those who have withdrawn children from school without moving since (which excludes travellers and children who were HE from birth), or those who've chosen to contact the LA because they want help from the LA and expect to be able to get it (ie not the ultra-confident politically aware types).

Either for philosophical reasons or because they've been persecuted, or simply because they don't have time, some parents won't want to talk to you. I think people who have positive feelings about HE are more likely to want to help you than those who don't. See what I mean?

I can imagine certain groups who would be under-represented in research: those who HE in the short term, those who lack internet access, those who aren't sociable, those who get all the support they need from some other community (close-knit religious group, for instance) and don't need it from the HE community.

Being a big believer in the value of HE, I'd love to be able to quote research about it. But because of the problems above, I'm really not comfortable with anything other than longitudinal studies. My faith in HE is based largely on anecdote and observation.

Which isn't to say I wouldn't be interested in your findings!

musicOfTheNightposy Fri 05-Nov-10 23:24:27

Hi there, I'm home edding my two aged 14 and 11. 14 year old came out of school at 12 mainly because her little sis had been out for a year and she could see how much better life was for her at home!

Youngest came out at 8 because they put her in a class of 11 year olds because she was quite bright and they claimed it was making the teacher too much work in the younger class. hmm Home ed has been brilliant for her because she can be a little girl again - in fact, most of her home ed friends are a year or two younger, and academic ability is a complete non-issue with all the friends she has.

Hope this helps!

Cezzle Fri 05-Nov-10 23:54:54

I took my son out of school at 5 (after 1 year.) He could read well before he started school and they put him on books without words telling me they taught everyone at the same level. He became more and more miserable at home until we found out about Home Education and took him out. He's now 13. Our 2 girls have never been to school.

NotAnotherBrick Sat 06-Nov-10 07:13:08

Seahorse - I went to school. My children are aged between 2 and 7 (4 of them). My greatest supporters are my mum (a primary school teacher), my uncle (a secondary school teacher) and my FIL (a psychotherapist). That gives me a huge amount of confidence that we're doing the right thing; and I get very suspicious of teachers who seriously doubt HE as a valid option. Professionals who can't recognise their limitations and those of the system in which they work are not to be trusted IMO!

aviatrix Sat 06-Nov-10 07:50:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seahorse4 Sat 06-Nov-10 14:15:24

saracen - thanks foe your comments i will certainly take them into consideration, whilst looking into the subject. My supervisor stated that i will possible find a lot of parents say 'it was bullying', although as you can see from the comments that hasn't really been identified. as i only have a short space of time to actually conduct this research i know there will be a range of parents that will not be represented in my study. thanks again!smile

MusicOfTheNightPosy- your comment really helps, thank you.

Cezzle - thank you for your comments, can i ask, have any of your children asked why they don't go to school? As i assume they have friends at home that attended. I know they say what they haven't had they dont miss?
NotAnotherBrick - wow thanks, thats was really interesting, to see that although you are surrounded by those in state education, you have chosen to home ed. Can i ask when they get to secondary age, will you be following curriculum guidance?

aviatrix - do you home ed? hope all goes well with your masters, i didn't think i would get as far as i have! lol

NotAnotherBrick Sat 06-Nov-10 15:50:11

No, we won't, seahorse. We will continue following our children's interests.

SDeuchars Sat 06-Nov-10 16:28:23

My DC have been EHE throughout. DS (now 16) has never been to school.

DD (18 and now at uni) went into Y5 for a term and then attended school in Switzerland (about 6 weeks) and Germany (about 5 months) when on exchange.

I have provided support to people in my local area for over 10 years. Paula Rothermel asked "Can we classify motives for home education?" but the article seems to be no longer available online (even in a cache). Mike Fortune-Wood has also done some research, published in The Face of Home-Based Education. In my experience, people deregister (rather than not registering in the first place) for the following reasons:
- SEN (officially identified or not) not being met by school
- bullying (child either the bully or the victim)
- under-achievement
- over-achievement
- school's philosophy not in line with parents' philosophy

NotAnotherBrick Sat 06-Nov-10 18:11:06

I have to say, seahorse, there are so, so many reasons why we home educate. I could list them, but it would take forever, and every day I find a new reason why HE is better for our family than school. I suspect this is the case for a lot of other HEors.

ommmward Sat 06-Nov-10 18:47:19

i'm another who home educates and is from a family of teachers

there are a surprising number of university lecturers who HE. I can think of 3 families just in one faculty at our local (Russell Group) university, off the top of my head.

and there are a LOT of ex-teachers who HE. I think this has less to do with confidence in their ability to teach and more to do with their inside knowledge of the institutional setting of school (i.e. they see it as suboptimal)

we have many many reasons for HEing too.

seahorse4 Sat 06-Nov-10 20:30:51

SDeuchars - can i ask why you decided to EHE both of your children? also what was the reason for your DD to go into school for a term in yr 5?

NotAnotherBrick - although my main question is 'why do people withdraw their children from uk schools to home schooling' i am also interested to see if there is a common factor and if there maybe an underlying problem with the state education'

ommmward - can i ask please how many children you have that are being EHE and what made you decided to?


seahorse4 Sat 06-Nov-10 20:32:29

Am i assuming that all the comments are made by women, as it's mums net or are their some dads out there too that EHE?

NotAnotherBrick Sat 06-Nov-10 21:06:51

Well, if the woman is living with her partner, then of course the dad is home educating too. It's a whole-family lifestyle.

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