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Please come and tell me about how Home Ed works for you.

(10 Posts)
morethanyoubargainfor Wed 24-Aug-11 09:19:41

I have a ds 8, he has said that he isn't going back to school and wants to be home educated. Can you please telll us how it works for you. I am a fan on HE and wanted to do it from the start but ds refused.

He has a range of SPLD and currently goes to a private school for children with SPLD. He doesn't want to go back.

Any help would be aprreciated as we have promised him we will look into HE for him.

FionaJNicholson Wed 24-Aug-11 10:24:49

There is a dedicated discussion list for home educating families whose children have special needs. Linked from here

morethanyoubargainfor Wed 24-Aug-11 17:01:11

thanks i will look into that.

CheerMum Wed 24-Aug-11 18:17:07

i would also recommend searching through the Yahoo Groups for Home Education xx area to find your local Home Ed groups.

Saracen Wed 24-Aug-11 19:48:46

Hi MoreThan, I'd be glad to chat but don't quite know where to start! So I'll ask you questions instead wink

Back when you were first interested in HE, what was there about it that appealed to you? Were there things that put you off or concerned you?

What about your son? I guess if he has spent several years in school before wanting to leave, there must have been things about school which he enjoyed. Have those positives melted away, or are they still there but overshadowed by bigger negatives for him?

Just trying to get a picture of which things will be pleasant or difficult about HE for both of you... but if you are both keen then I think it is very likely you can overcome any obstacles anyhow!

lilyfire Wed 24-Aug-11 20:19:49

I HE my nearly 8 yo son and his too younger brothers. I second visiting your local HE groups to see what's on offer locally. We sort of structure our week around the local HE groups/activities that suit us, which means that usually 4 out of 5 days during term time we'll be doing some group thing for part of the day. We fill in the rest of the time with day trips, play dates and learning or hanging out at home. My 8 yo does quite a bit of listening to audio books, while he builds lego. He does various educational sites on the computer - like Mathletics, BBC bitesize, Education City and Brainpop. We do a small amount of work book maths and English on some days, on some weeks, but it's not a lot. We do science experiments. We get a few informative magazines and he watches documentaries sometimes. We are in London, so we do museum trips and sometimes the RIGB lectures. The groups we go to have some semi-formal learning opportunities. He also does after-school type clubs for drama or sports. There's a junior history club locally he can go to. I always think we don't do very much, but actually writing it down, I guess we have a fair amount organised. What we do has changed with his interests as he's got older - being able to tailor it to these, is a big part of the point of HE for us.
If you go to a group it'll give you a chance to talk to people about the different ways they HE. Some people who go to our groups are loads more structured than us and follow a curriculum and some don't do anything formal at all.

NotJustKangaskhan Wed 24-Aug-11 21:27:08

Saracen's questions are very good - take a step back, look at yourself, your son...there as many different ways to go at home educating as there are families - some take one approach seriously, some go for an eclectic mix to make their own way.

I would really recommend looking through this [[ planning series - the site is Charlotte Mason-based, which is the closest to me family's approach to home educating, but the planning series' basics are very good for anyone, especially the first section about looking at the big picture. Thinking about your goals, what you want for your son at the end, what does he want for himself...then break it down backwards into the hows and whats (having a clear picture really helps when looking at resources).

For us, short lessons and different types of lessons are the key. Having a break or an active lesson after one or two sitting lessons keeps everyone a bit more sane here. We have a weekly schedule rather than daily - some subjects we only do once a week (science experiments, nature study trips), some we do daily (reading, writing, maths...), some are activities we do across the week little-by-little (spelling, my eldest particularly likes to have a goal for us to work on like showing off a new skill for when X comes over). We have some things we do as a family (Reading aloud to them, even at the older ages, is a great way to start things for us or just to spend those tired days), others are one-on-one or autonomous (computer-based activities). But it all comes back to the big picture goals as well the goals my kids set for themselves.

NotJustKangaskhan Wed 24-Aug-11 21:28:57

this planning series. This'll teach me to preview more posts more.

morethanyoubargainfor Thu 25-Aug-11 09:08:47

Thanks for all your replies.

Saracen to answer your questions, I have always been a fan of HE but up to now my ds always said no. I like the fact that there appear to be so many more oppourtunities for children that are HE. I don't like the institution of school and i don't like "one size fits all" as i don't believe this is true. I believe there is so much more to an education rather than just the 'academic' side. I can teach him all this but in a tailor made way, to ensure he gets the best from life. I don't believe teachers ever get to know the child adn can not offer the same level of understanding. There are 3 things that have stopped me from doing this before, DH, DS and my distinct lack of confidence!

Your second question is hard to answer, because to be honest i am not convinced that he has ever enjoyed school but feel he has gone along with it due to expectations of others and he hasn't ever known any different. School and home life have never crossed paths, We don't ever go to school (at ds request) but equally school friends are only ever seen at school. It is very much a case of out of sight out of mind for ds. He would never want his school friends at home. He likes his life to be in compartments!

I think the biggest negative for him right now are the teenagers! He has a fear of this unique species wink. He started a new school in January and it is a private school for children with SPLD. The age range is up to 16. My ds has one friend to whom he is very close to, and apparently the 'teenagers' laugh and point at them and the games they play. My ds has said that it worries him and make him feel scared sad. He is very aware of others and the actions of these few make him feel very intimidated. My ds won't stand up for himself (but he does have the mummy mafia to do this for him!!) he would rather just stop doing whatever it is that is causing the issue in the first place IYSWIM.

He also doesn't believe that his teachers understand him as they have questioned him on a couple of thins (mainly his physical disability). I have to say sometimes i feel the same as him. We have written a letter of complaint to the school about this.

I hope this gives you a little more of an insight into our dilemma! apparently DS is never going to set foot back inside a school again, unless it is the school of mummy grin.

Saracen Thu 25-Aug-11 10:37:09

Sounds like it is a done deal then, and you will both be very happy!! Has your dh accepted the inevitability of home education yet or do you still need to work on him?

I can well understand your son's discomfort around teenagers who are in a pack. I always felt the same, even (maybe especially) when I was a teenager myself. I didn't realise what a damaging effect it was having on me until I left school and was suddenly surrounded by people who treated me like a human being. I no longer had to be on guard at all moments and guessing what I was supposed to be doing in order not to get teased.

You can reassure him that teenagers can behave like normal people when not in a school environment. I had my first exposure to large numbers of HE teens at a home ed camp and found that they chatted away with me in an ordinary way, helped me, and had not a trace of "attitude". Teens who usually go to school can also be very nice in certain environments, when they are relaxed and not under pressure to impress peers. Sorry if that seems obvious, but it never was obvious to me until I began to spend time with teenagers who weren't at school.

My 11yo dd just returned from a week-long camp (not an HE one) for ages 10-16. She said she didn't enoy it as much this year as last year, because there was a larger proportion of older kids. Not only did their behaviour make her a little uncomfortable, it also influenced the behaviour of the younger ones. Even though dd spent most of her time with others of her own age, she felt they too were trying to act like the teenagers in order to impress them. That isn't a problem with her HE friends. Some of them are 14 or 15 but they don't think any less of her because she acts like an eleven year old. They have a great deal of common ground.

This article may interest you and your son. The author contends that this "teen behaviour" is the result of teens being segregated from the rest of our society and given no opportunity to take on adult responsibilities as they feel ready or to play with younger kids. He says that preindustrialised societies don't regard the teen years as a special phase and that their young people have no specific problems with behaviour or alienation. Needless to say, he supports home education as one cure for the problem!

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