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How much social contact does/should your home ed child have outside the home?

(16 Posts)
NotWoozy Mon 11-Apr-11 20:02:04

Ok, bear with me. I have met a home ed mum today and have some questions. Her eldest child is 9 and is home educated. So far, so jolly. Now this is the bit I want to ask about - her dd (aforementioned child) spends all her time with her parents. All. of. her. time.
Not one minute is spent out of their sight. The reason this came up is mum and dad need to meet someone to discuss medical needs of another child. They are evading every possible solution being offered to allow them attend without their children, as the news is devastating and not appropriate for children to hear in that setting.
There are no friends, no family in the picture. No social support. Any offered is refused. Point blank.
Surely this is not the usual/average?

Jamillalliamilli Mon 11-Apr-11 23:04:39

Surely this is not the usual/average?
I don't mean to be rude, but surely that's obvious?

As to how much social contact does/should mine have; gone from being painfully isolated and horrendously bullied, without friends throughout his whole school life, to having a social life I can't keep up with that constantly tries to get in the way of his education.

Saracen Mon 11-Apr-11 23:22:21

Of course it isn't average.

However, I'd be more concerned about the devastating news the family is getting about their other child. Compared to that, the question of whether one of the kids should be spending time away from the family seems somewhat insignificant.

I hope they'll be able to get whatever help they need at this difficult time. This may not be the same as the help which other people think they should want.

seeker Mon 11-Apr-11 23:28:44

what a bizarre angle to be approaching this from!

oh, and of course this is not normal/average - but the HE element is not relevant here.

The proportion of bonkers parents Heding and sending their children to school is probably about the same.

Jamillalliamilli Mon 11-Apr-11 23:47:37

Thank you Saracen. All I could do was edit out a rant.

NotWoozy Tue 12-Apr-11 19:21:28

Thank you for your responses, if I have offended anyone that was not the intention. The HE is relevant only insofar as I feel it is being used as a way of enabling the parents beliefs that isolating their children is a valid choice, in that their contact with networks of any sort is limited.
I have clearly not described this as perhaps I would in real life, so if it seems a "bizarre angle" then that is my fault. But I still believe this was the right place to post, as your replies have shown,
thanks.

Jamillalliamilli Tue 12-Apr-11 21:03:44

Not offended (me) just touched a raw nerve that you'd have no reason to know about.

You said you 'met a home ed mum today' therefore I can only guess that all your information came from her/them on that day as a reaction to being told to find care and present themselves, and it begs the question as to if the child really spends all the time only with her parents and sibling, or if the real answer is there's no one they feel safe/ can ask/ leave them with, but are tired of having to justify why not x,y,or z, and have gone for fait a complice not realising/accepting the news is going to be devastating.

It's also possible the child has hidden or unhidden SN's and is very difficult to manage and they know from bitter experience that leaving her with others is a quick way of ending up accused of all sorts.

My experience of parents who are really seeking to isolate children is they don’t announce it.
Just thoughts.

NotWoozy Tue 12-Apr-11 21:53:56

thanks Just, it wasn't just the one meeting, lots and lots of history that I do know about and both children are always with parents. I totally accept that they may not feel safe/trust anyone else to leave their children with. That is something they could need support with, and I suppose the challenge is to be able to offer that support in a way that won't compromise either their children's wellbeing or their life choices. They haven't announced they are isolating their children at all, in any way. Their actions and life/lifestyle choices (over a number of years) have given rise to this observation.
Thank you for your thoughts, they have given me much food for thought.

compo Tue 12-Apr-11 21:57:00

Did you offer to have their child over to yours while they go to their appointment?
It does sound sad though, no grandparents, cousins etc, no 'playdates' sad

NotWoozy Tue 12-Apr-11 22:07:08

Yes. It was refused.

ommmward Wed 13-Apr-11 08:55:55

You know, I know several home educated children who spend all of their time with their parents. All. Of. Their Time. Where grandparents and friends are very welcome to join the family, but one or other parent will still be in the vicinity.

IME, there is always a very good reason for it, usually involving a special need of some kind, even if that special need is never openly discussed. And it's often an extension of an AP-stylee beginning for those who find themselves with a child on the autistic spectrum, whose needs are very challenging, and who cannot easily express themselves to other people. The parents are very tuned in, and that's the only way they keep things smooth.

Of the families in that situation that I know personally, there are often one or more siblings who the parents wave off for days/weekends away with other people without a backward glance.

I know other families where a neurotypical child has had a bad nursery or school experience which takes them months or even years to recver from, with total screaming abdabs at the idea of separation from primary carers. Taking the child out of that situation was a point of no return for the family, who are working long term to regain the child's trust and build up their confidence.

You haven't mentioned what the parents were planning to do for childcare with the other children, but your OP does make me wonder whether this is one of those situations, in which case I'd advise to you take your judgeypants off and try walking a mile in that family's shoes before assuming that failure to feel comfortable with using non-family caregivers is a matter of overprotection rather than of responding appropriately to a child's developmental needs. Of course, I may be totally wrong, and these parents may be the king and queen of smother. But I'd want to give them benefit of doubt if poss.

logi Thu 14-Apr-11 21:51:19

My son 7 ASD is home ed. and he spends all his time with us we do have young grandchildren but we dont have hardly any playdates or friends his own age.

Unfortunately i wish he did have more friends and i have tried to find some but havent been very lucky or on the odd occasion we have they havent came back but there isnt a lot i can do about it .

I think because he can come across a little rude/different people back off sadly,on a couple of recent visits to the park other children were offish with him and some older ones said he was weird and i guess this makes me very over protective of him.

confidence Fri 15-Apr-11 01:00:59

@ seeker,

"oh, and of course this is not normal/average - but the HE element is not relevant here.

The proportion of bonkers parents Heding and sending their children to school is probably about the same."

Surely there's an important difference though. When bonkers parents send their kids to school, the kids at least get the experience of all the other people at school - teachers and other kids - to learn and grow from, as a foil to their parents' shortcomings. When bonkers parents HE their kids and cut them off from any other contact like this, then their parents' single distorted worldview is all they get.

Which is not to say the conventional schooling parents are any better, or less bonkers. Just that the effect on the children will be more diluted.

SingOut Fri 13-May-11 18:49:24

I completely agree, confidence. I'm seeing a bloke whose kids are in this situation, and it's very sad and frustrating to watch. In my limited understanding, it's a combination of the parents and/or their kids having various non-typical behaviours or issues. And no, It's not normal to isolate your kids totally, generally speaking.
<gnaws knuckles in frustration>

tarah47 Sun 15-May-11 19:19:38

How do you know all that you know Notwoozy? How can you know they spend every single minute together - all of the time? I found your post weird. Are you their neighbour? Do you spy on them even if it is unintentionally? I am sure there is a perfectly good reason. If you offered help and it was refused maybe the parents are a)either shy, b) don't trust offers of help made like this, c) don't know you well enough. Can you explain your relationship to these people? You seem to know an awful lot about them. What are you implying by your post? I am curious. Tarah

JazminKennedy Sat 04-Jun-11 22:32:56

I spend every second with my children, well when they're awake! Their bedtime is MY time woohoo!!grin

Its funny how its actually ok for children to be sent to scool everyday, then go straight to after-school club/childminder and then wait to be picked up, only to go straight to bed! Now that is just not normal to me

I don't see the point of the thread, we do not know the family and their situation? The Qs posed here should be asked to them first. Get all your facts and then make a formal opinion?

I homeschool my kids in their pyjamas, now to a lot of pple that is weird!shock I remember the postman, of all the pple to comment, said "if they were at school they wouldn't be in their jammies!" Errrrrm, that's why they're not in school!grin

My neighbours, because they see my kids play in the garden, just assumed that my kids never went out to socialise, drove me mental with their comments! My kids go Gymnastics, Drama, Swimming, visit their friends/grandparent, Home ed groups and i run my own support network once a month at my house! If the silly woman and her silly husband bothered to ask me these things i could've filled them in rather than hearing gossip from my other neighbours! Apparantly i was sufforcating my kids with too much attention and this wasn't normal and that my kids needed to be with other pple!!!!!angry

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