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Home schooling from the start

(14 Posts)
stmumschool Sun 28-Aug-11 20:18:53

DD has just turned 3 and we are not starting nursery. We looked round but no-one could offer less than 4 sessions which is too much for us. We go to many groups, library, swimming, have zoo membersip etc and are v happy. DH and I are pretty sure that we are homeschooling for Reception year aswell. I have been a Primary Teacher for 17 years and have many reasons. Would people suggest that I join/contact some local HE groups now? Don't want to push it but thought there might be some other children same age. Can anyone suggest how I go about it please?

ommmward Sun 28-Aug-11 20:40:08

there are lots of local HE groups. We've got a really active under-5s intending-to-HE group around our area at the moment (like, 2 meets a week active).

Where in the country are you?

julienoshoes Sun 28-Aug-11 20:44:05

I would definately suggest contacting your local Home Education Groups now, I think you'll find yourself welcomed and it will be great for your DD to meet other children who consider it normal NOT to go to school.

There is a thread here about finding local home educators-but you can just google 'Home Education +(insert LA name) should find your local group.
For eg 'Home Education Worcestershire finds us !

There are also threads on books about HE and websites about HE which you may find useful, here too.

NotJustKangaskhan Mon 29-Aug-11 10:47:16

I agree with others, do a search for Home Education [your area] should bring something up. If not, try doing a general search for Home Education - there are groups on Yahoo and Facebook (including one for MNers!) for general HE that may help you find yours if it is more elusive.

Finding one early on will allow you get a feel for a group and see what is on offer before any panic of 'needing' comes in. My local groups had many activities for either families or specifically for younger kids so the age shouldn't be a problem. If it works out, great and if not, you have time to look through alternatives.

ommmward Mon 29-Aug-11 16:03:17

Also bear in mind that you may need to do a little networking among the HEers you get into contact with via online forums. The group that's just got going in my area has splintered off from the online forum into a yahoo group (not in a nasty way, just in a concentrating on getting to know each other and do lots of meet ups way), so it'd take some detective work to find us I think, though we are really welcoming when people do!

stmumschool Mon 29-Aug-11 21:03:27

WOW EVERYONE!! If there is only one reason to home school it is that lovely warm response! Thank you so much for all your suggestions. We live in Bedfordshire/ Hertfordshire area. I'd better start my homework now and start networking!

Scout19075 Mon 29-Aug-11 21:09:17

stmumschool, I am in a similar situation -- ToddlerScout is just that, a toddler (22 months old yesterday) and MrScout and I know we're going to home educate. I've been in touch with my local group for a year now (I started going to meet people and ask questions) and it has been one of the best decisions I've made while deciding to HE. Even though when I started going TS was the only little without older siblings, I've met other parents with children of varying ages and have been able to tap into their experiences, advice, etc. Definitely worth going and starting your network when the littles are little!

And while TS and I do a lot of the standard toddler groups, baby (now toddler) swimming, etc., it's nice to get away from the "school" discussions that are really creeping into regular conversation now that he's almost two.

Saracen Mon 29-Aug-11 23:01:41

Another vote for finding local HE groups. Even if you don't meet up with them much just yet, it's good to know they are there and have a few contacts.

I was taken by surprise at how suddenly my dd's friends from toddler group evaporated off into nursery around the age of three and how much it bothered her. In theory we could have kept meeting up with them, but they were too busy and too tired. This coincided with her really wanting regular consistent friendships. We were left rather high and dry and had a difficult year or so. At the time there were not many organised HE meetings in the area and it took a while to make friends.

However, even the occasional meeting did help quite a lot. As Julie says, it is very useful for a child to feel that what she is doing is "normal" so she doesn't think she is the only one not going to nursery and feel deprived and odd. My dd loved trailing round after older kids at the HE group, so she could immediately see that that would be a benefit of being home educated!

Saracen Mon 29-Aug-11 23:23:42

My younger daughter is five. As a result of being brought up in contact with the home ed community, her experiences have been dramatically different from her big sister's. Home education is her world, her normality. Most of the kids she knows well are home educated. The little one has never had the kind of identity crisis which her conformist sister had at the age of 3/4/5 when "everyone else" went to school and she became the odd one out.

In fact, it hasn't yet crossed her mind that school is a place she could go. Admittedly she is quite young for her age, so perhaps that isn't so surprising. But still, I find it refreshing. A few months ago we were driving past a school. She asked what it was, I told her, and then she asked, "What's a school?" (She does know what a school is, sort of, she was just fishing for more information.) So I told her that a school is a place where some children go in the daytime because their parents don't home educate them. She accepted this without comment. I don't even know whether I was joking, but it amused me to be able to define school in the negative rather than standing by while people define home education in the negative: "not going to school" as if the children must be missing out.

Tarenath Tue 30-Aug-11 09:14:23

I would definitely try to get in contact with your local groups. I'm in the position at the moment that because of work commitments I'm not able to go to any of our local groups, and all of ds's friends go to school so recently he's been asking every other day when he's going! I'm hoping that once the holidays are over and his extra curricular activities start up again he'll lose interest. He's only 4 and everyone he knows seems to go to school sad

EauRouge Tue 30-Aug-11 10:09:03

We're in the same boat too, DD1 will be 3 in October and we are planning to HE. All her friends from toddler group have gone to nursery and I was getting a bit of 'ooh, socialisation!' from some people so I went online and found some other local families that are HE. I was surprised at how easy it was. We've met up with them a few times and it was great fun. I did get rejected from a couple of yahoo groups because DD1 is not school age yet, some groups seem very secretive but overall people are really helpful.

I found people through facebook, HE websites, local noticeboards, yahoo groups (there is an early years HE one) and asking around at parent and toddler groups.

I'm not a million miles away from you (Cambs), I know there's a lot going on in Bedford and I've heard there are some groups in Flitwick too.

northernmumto3 Wed 31-Aug-11 19:47:29

Definitely - we started when ds1 was 3 (more for my benefit than his). I was made very welcome..As previous poster mentioned, don't presume the group you find is the official group, there are quite a few more than that in our area that do take some finding...and also if the first group you try isn't a good fit then keep trying with different ones, as they all have their different quirks..

Maamaa Thu 01-Sep-11 12:01:31

Hi, we're thinking about HE too though dd is only 1. I haven't been in touch with a local group yet as I'm worried it's a bit early though I guess HE starts at day 1 anyway! I was in my local library recently and noticed a group had a poster up inviting people to come along to weekly meet ups. Just to let the OP know that their local library may have similar adverts.

stmumschool Wed 07-Sep-11 17:17:46

Have been camping for a few days and yet still more responses!! Thanks again everyone. We started back at our Toddler groups today and I can hear lots of mums either fretting or discussing school worries. They know I'm heading down the route of HE and know that I am a teacher which seems odd I guess. I'm already feeling a little on my own with this. I think it may take some research to find groups. Thanks EauRouge, it is a bit tricky looking for others! I know I'm being thick but can you tell me how to find the 'yahoo groups' please. Wishing you all well.

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