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Leaving School for Home Education end year 8

(6 Posts)
Piglette Tue 12-Jul-11 16:17:29

Does anyone have experience of leaving school (end of year 8) for home education? Its a frightening prospect but we are so unhappy with the education that DS is receiving that we have to do something before a bright creative boy ends up with 5 mediocre GCSEs. The school are unsympathetic and defensive. DS agrees that the teaching is unispired but is worried about becoming a home ed 'freak'. The only alternative schools are grammar and his levels aren't up to standard yet. Our idea is to take year 9 out and try to get him up to scratch at home and with tutors ready to apply for a grammar place in year 10.

I would love to hear from anybody who has any experience of making a similar, drastic move or any advice other mums/teachers might have.

julienoshoes Tue 12-Jul-11 16:43:35

Sorry it's been so long since my children left school, that I have forgotten what age year 8 covers.

I do have experience of removing three children from school when they were aged 13, 11 and 8. I'm guessing one of those ages would cover it. wink

When they left school, we'd been told that our then 13 year old might achieve Drade Ds at GCSEs, if he tried hard to overcome his dylslexia.
He's at University reading Psychology now.
Our Dd1 was also trailing badly in the lower sets, she also thrived, and has gotten her uni place too.
The youngest was so severely dyslexic, she had no word attack skills at when she left school and was completely unable to spell even her own name. We'd been told she would probably never read properly or be able to be completly independant. She has just achieved straight Distinctions for her Nat BTec in Music.

All three went back to FE college and fitted in really well socially and academically and far from being a home ed freak, have social lives that are the envy of their school peers and cousins.

We know literally hundreds of home ed teens and all are doing well, at College, in work or at Uni.
I have known a handful of families personally whose children have returned into the system at secondary age, with great success, but most do stay out for good.

I'm really enjoying hearing about the latest crop of autonomous home ed teens, getting their University offers and how well the ones who are already there are doing.

I'd suggest you and your hubby reading around the subject. There are threads here about books on home ed and websites about home ed.
Also go along to local home ed groups and chat to home educators. Almost with exception, they would be happy to meet you and their children will be lovely. If you can talk to their older children, I'm willing to bet they will impress.
There's also a thread here about finding local home educators.

I'll be around later if you have more questions.

Piglette Tue 12-Jul-11 21:34:07

Thanks Julienoshoes, my son is 13. Your story really lifts my spirits because it does feel like a lonely road. We are open minded about returning to the system, it is as much to reassure the boy, that he will again have a life beyond the aged parents! Also I hear it is much easier/cheaper to take GCSEs at a school. You are obvously an very knowledgeable on HE, which part of the country are you in?

Saracen Wed 13-Jul-11 00:59:41

I think your son may be reassured if he meets some other home educated teens and finds that he has something in common with them and they are not as freakish as he fears. Well, maybe some of them will be, LOL. After all, some children leave school because they aren't like everybody else. But being quirky is no bad thing and isn't contagious.

Far from being trapped with the aged parents, my 11yo finds that she actually has far more opportunities than schoolchildren to do all the activities she wants. She spent most of last week perfecting her dance routine ready for a performance at the weekend. Last night she was up late at a chess club, since she didn't have to get up early today. Today she went bowling with friends at lunchtime and then back to one of their houses for the afternoon. Tomorrow she's getting together with pals to work on a submission to the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition, which is intended to encourage 11-16 year olds to consider a career in the video games industry. Thursday is ice skating and then a session working on juggling skills. Friday she'll be at a target range shooting an air rifle. Meanwhile many of her schooled friends have had to drop extracurricular activities as their homework load increases.

Home education has rather more street cred than your son might imagine, especially if one puts the right spin on it. "Mummy teaches me" might sound uncool to a teenager, but freedom from school and the time to pursue their interests and associate with friends are quite appealing ideas in the eyes of most young people.

FionaJNicholson Wed 13-Jul-11 06:18:33

You could go along to the home educators' summer fair HESFES near Bury St Edmunds in a couple of weeks.

Parts of this short video about home education were shot at Hesfes a couple of years ago www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeBb2eSvOnM Quite a few home educated teens including my son Theo. I was a bit taken aback at the word "freak", if I'm honest.

Piglette Wed 13-Jul-11 13:27:11

Thanks for all your words of encouragement. Unfortunately the only other HE kid the boy has ever met was slightly strange with learning difficulties, hence his (and my) flippant use of the word freak - apologies - we are probably the freaks here! I have no desire for my kids to be homogenised into mediocre products of a bankrupt national curriculum. I'm just worried that we will find the transition traumatic and won't find any like minded souls within our area for reassurance. He is coming round to the prospect and loves the idea of the new freedom he will have! On the other hand, from my point of view, the prspect of having him here at home every morning is quite terrifying!

We are in Tring/Aylesbury area, so if theres anyout out there...!

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