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Friend of mine is home schooling for her 4 year old in September...

(54 Posts)
Lotkinsgonecurly Sun 31-Jul-11 14:36:20

And all of my friends dd's peers my dd included) will be going to the local small village school. The main problem is that my friend is basing her objection to school on the fact that she was a teacher in the late 1980's and I along with other people have suggested that things have changed in the last 20 years.

However, I really want to be supportive to my friend and have just mentioned when asked why I am happy sending my dd to the local ( good but not outstanding) school.

Friends dd is an only child and I am overly concerned for the child's lack of socialisation with other children of a similar age.

I know its completely her choice etc but the dd has been at playgroup and the mother has loved time away from the daughter to do her own thing in the mornings. I think she'll have a bit of a shock to be honest when she starts home schooling her in September. The local school have offered to do flexi schooling if she wishes Monday - Thursday mornings which are the same days as the playgroup were.

I must just add I'm an only child and was home schooled for a couple of years during primary years and found it so isolating as I was rarely mixing with other children. When I did start school after months of me constantly asking my mother to I found it really difficult transition period.

FannyPriceless Sun 31-Jul-11 14:39:59

Sorry OP, but how is this your problem?

QueenOfFeckingEverything Sun 31-Jul-11 14:44:09

Lost as to what any of this has to do with you tbh.

Unless there is major stuff you are not telling us, it sounds like she has made an informed choice to do what she feels is best for her child and you should find something else to worry about.

Lotkinsgonecurly Sun 31-Jul-11 14:45:48

I don't know really. Kind of just having a rant or putting down some thoughts kind of helps get things in perspective. Its her child and she will do completely as she wants with her child and doesn't and shouldn't have to consider anyone else other than her DP and child in the situation.

It just got me thinking really, that this little girl is possibly going to have a similar start to the one that I had, although there is a strong HE group around here so hopefully the mother will link into that.

cornsilksy Sun 31-Jul-11 14:46:42

None of your business OP

Lotkinsgonecurly Sun 31-Jul-11 14:49:24

Point taken. ! Helpful to be told that really grin

julienoshoes Sun 31-Jul-11 14:59:22

So it's not okay for the mother to base her education ideas on her experiences of 20 years ago.............but it is okay for you to do so?

relating to her experience as a teacher you say
"I along with other people have suggested that things have changed in the last 20 years."

Well I am strongly suggesting that things have changed on the home ed front in the last 20 years as well!

you seem to realise this as you indicate there is a strong HE group in your area

but even if there wasn't, as other's here have said, none of your business really.

ZZZenAgain Sun 31-Jul-11 15:02:33

well if she was a teacher in the 1980s she knows what the socialisation at school is like (good and bad) and will be aware of what she might need to do to create an approximation of the positive sides of that whilst removing the negative ones from her dd's experience.

If the socialisation/lonliness angle is very important to you on the basis of your own chilidhood experiences, why not think about ways you can help her include her dd in afternoon socialising - at your home or at other things the girls will be doing and come to your notice.

notatschool Sun 31-Jul-11 19:00:18

Yep, definitely make sure you still include the mum and her dd in things.

Were you on here for reassurance about HE? If you want people who agree with your concerns you're prob best off looking on one of the school threads.

Lotkinsgonecurly Sun 31-Jul-11 19:20:02

I will make sure I include the friend and more importantly her dd in after school activities etc.

I put it on the HE board because I felt that the answers would be more frank and honest and pro HE rather than the primary board for example.

I'm happy both of my dc's are and will be at school and want to support her choices but as has already been mentioned really nothing to do with me!

JazminKennedy Sun 31-Jul-11 20:38:47

What pple have to understand is that 'socialising' is sooooo over rated!! Are you seriously telling me parents send their kids to school for socialising?? shock My mother sent me to school for an education! I am a teacher, have taught for over 10 years, both primary and secondary and i can tell you the only time the kids get to 'socialise' is at playtime and lunchtime, if they're lucky to have friends! In a class of 30 students, they're not all friends and they do not all 'socialise' together!

You obviously have been psychologically affected by your "isolation" And I hate to sound bitchy but you really need to take that up with your carer. My kids have been homeschooled for 6 years now, they are not socially constipated! They have friends who are older and younger than they are, which they would not have if they were in school! I have nothing against school, i just know i am BETTER at teaching MY own children! Why the heck would i think one teacher would be able to meet the requirements of my kids in a class full of 30+children?hmm

And i completely agree with you that things have changed in schools in the last 20 years, not for the better though but for the worse! At least 20 years ago teachers got respect but nowadays we're lucky if we come home alive! And that's just not in secondary, i am appalled at the behaviour of kids in primary schools! Children are not taught from right and wrong anymore, they are taught what is allowed and what isn't! Its a lot to do with parenting as well, its this attitude that they're sending their kids to school for 'socialising' but in reality its their kids who are hindering the children who have actually gone to learn something!

AMumInScotland Mon 01-Aug-11 10:40:13

I'm sorry to hear that your experience of HE was isolating, you are clearly worried about your friend and her dd because of that. But their experiences will not automatically be the same as yours - you've said yourself that there's a strong HE group in the area, and that the mother enjoyed getting time to herself (so is not a "clingy" mother who won't want her daughter to have a life away from her), so I don't think you need to feel its likely to be a problem.

If you want to support her, then show an interest in what she's doing (and don't sound too judgy that her dd is not covering the same things your has in school) and include them both in activities in the afternoons and weekends. That way her daughter will have friends locally even if she stays HE, and would also know people if they ever change their minds and want to try the school.

LIZS Mon 01-Aug-11 10:47:53

Put your eneriges into being supportive,inviting her dd around to play after school hours/holidays and sharing ideas for activities she might enjoy but may not hear about otherwise. It may be that once your dc is at school she gets curious and asks but other than that it is only your role to be a friend, assuming you have more in common than dc at the same playgroup.

barbiegrows Mon 01-Aug-11 11:03:27

You really ought to have put this on the primary board OP!

Many of these Mums will not have grown up dcs with the hindsight and experience of home educating. Socialising is one of the most important factors in human development. Children that are isolated, suffer. I think you are trusting your gut instinct based on what your actual experience was, not on a theory of home educating and that should be respected.

If most of your child's dcs friends are at the nice village school, your friend's dc's will not be included in that rich and varied life. Your friend's dc's social experience will depend entirely on how her mother decides to have her socialised. The child will learn a completely different set of skills. At a mainstream school, children get to choose (and lose) friends - it's a vital part of growing up. The level of stimulation is enormous because it is so varied.

The foundation stage at primary school is about learning through play, adopting traditional Steiner and Montessori methods (although they wouldn't admit it, that's what they are doing). I would talk to your friend and suggest that she tries mainstream for a while and then takes dc out if it doesn't work. There's no harm in trying.

I think you are right to be concerned, and very brave to post your concerns on the Home Ed thread!

organiccarrotcake Mon 01-Aug-11 11:31:48

"Your friend's dc's social experience will depend entirely on how her mother decides to have her socialised."

Surely that's better than the social experience being dependent on how observant and supportive the playground staff are?

I know, between my child's school's playground staff, and me, who I would trust more.

Just one of the reasons I'm considering HE.


barbiegrows Mon 01-Aug-11 11:52:22

Playground staff can be amazing people, most of them do it because they love their job. They don't do it for the money these days - cleaning pays more.

I stand by what I said above. There is nothing to be lost by trying mainstream education.

Blu Mon 01-Aug-11 12:03:36

It sounds as if you have made this your business to worry about because you are projecting your own unhappy experience onto this little girl

But hopefully her parents will be sensitive to her needs, and will know if she is unhappy. Most parents of only children are very aware of the need to create as many social opportunities as possible and to make sure their childen have company and friends.

Just relax and continue to welcome her dd as a friend of yours, and be very sure not to make assumptions or out-of-turn comments that will be counter to that relationship. Neither of you need feel at all defensive about your choices - and by observing what your friend does to enable her dd to be educated you might get some inspiration for out of school activities to share with your own dd! Treat it like another resource to which you have close enough access to draw on.

barbiegrows Mon 01-Aug-11 12:27:17

Please don't tell OP she is 'projecting her own experience'. She has been bold enough to ask for advice about home education on the home ed thread!

She is trying to help a friend, she has been through the isolation of home-schooling herself - she knows the impact it can have. She is offering support.

Jamillalliamilli Mon 01-Aug-11 13:31:51

Home-schooling doesn’t cause isolation. Parents who fail/are unable to meet their child’s needs do.

Just as sending an SEN child to school doesn’t cause it’s isolation. School’s who fail/are unable to meet that child’s needs do.

Lotkinsgonecurly, just carry on being friends. It’s well meant of you to ‘support her choice’, but she probably doesn’t really need you to, any more than you need her to support yours. As you say there is a strong h/e group, so no real reason for this child have the same experiences as you. If she does, she can always enter the school system.

My youngest child’s gone from horrendous isolation throughout his school life to having a busy and fulfilling social life through becoming h/e. He had a difficult transition period into h/e, before finding success, but we don’t rely on h/e for social opportunities either.

He was totally rejected at school from the age of 4 ½ upwards for visible differences, and school's allowed it and even used him as an example of what other children should worry about . It doesn’t mean that I assume this will happen to all children with visible differences who go to school for their education.

You say “and I am overly concerned,” I think you are, though it doesn’t mean you will turn out to be wrong, or right. Just relax and stay friends, hopefully you’ll both learn from each other. smile

julienoshoes Mon 01-Aug-11 14:24:09

"There is nothing to be lost by trying mainstream education"

Tell that to the parents who call me as their child is so desperately unhappy in school.......... (I have had four enquiries about HE to our local list, just because of bullying, just this week!)...........tell that to the families whose children committed suicide due to bullying.

Tell it to my three children who were so desperately unhappy in school.

School suits some children. It dosn't suit all.

School is the lonliest place if you don't fit in.

My passion is that home education is known to be a viable legal option, equal in status to school, so that parents can make informed choices about what is right for their families at that time.

For a family who is set on HE, there are no advantages in trying school, and masses to loose-not least that a shy child may become very badly damaged by the experience and also that you will then be known to the damned LA!
Parents are the people responsible for ensuring their child gets a suitable education, it's nothing to do with anyone else.
I really don't go around questioning other people's choices to send their children to school...........

"Many of these Mums will not have grown up dcs with the hindsight and experience of home educating"
and many of us have grown up dcs and are still here because we know HE works!

"You really ought to have put this on the primary board OP!"
Now that would be like asking a butcher for his views on vegetarianism!!

MerylStrop Mon 01-Aug-11 14:30:53

Homeschooling can be a great thing and th ebest thing you can do as a friend is to support her.
But it seems to me that the school's offer of flexischooling is a really good one and that she might be wise to consider that - gives her the best of both worlds surely and the chance to make a decision based on direct understanding of the specific situation.

MerylStrop Mon 01-Aug-11 14:32:09

and her daughter's needs, of course!

julienoshoes Mon 01-Aug-11 14:39:27

It's a parent's responsibilty to choose, some would choose flexi schooling as best for their family, but to me that would be the very worst of both worlds!
You'd be known to the LA, have someone else ideas of what constitutes an education imposed and you wouldn't have the total freedom that HE brings.

Flexischooling? My kids and I would have said "EEEK! why on earth would we want to do that? No thank you!"

CareyHunt Mon 01-Aug-11 14:43:22

Can't post a long reply as I have to take my 3 home educated children out to meet friends at the beach, before we rush home in time for a sleepover for 9 other children, and I've still got to catch up on the washing from the 2 weeks we spent at home-ed camp with 50 other families.
I know your concern is genuine, but it really is a frustrating myth that home -ed kids 'miss out on socialisation'. It drives me mad to hear people suggest we' give mainstream a try'. How about all school kids get to give home-ed a try?!

You sound like a really lovely friend, but I think in this case your apprehension is misplaced. They'll be fine!

ZZZenAgain Mon 01-Aug-11 14:53:16

can't see any reason at all why the OP's friend should "try mainstream education". HE is a perfectly viable and legal option, there is no compunction for her to try anything else

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