Starting HE tomorrow! Arghhhhhh!(16 Posts)
Am deregistering DS5 from school tomorrow. He will not be going in. He is extremely happy with our decision. The school was making him very unhappy as he is a difficult blend of being very bright but refusing to write. (He is not good at it so avoids it as much as possible and he is VERY stubborn). The school's approach was to be 'very angry' with him.
So, I'm a qualified secondary school teacher (English) but have been a SAHM for the past 4 years. I also have DS2 who is almost 2 and the biggest whiner ever. How am I going to to this? I've got to meet both their needs and also not go insane in the process. Any pointers?
Have joined a local Home Ed group (in S.Manchester) but one big drawback is that I used to be good friends with one of this group and we had a MASSIVE fall out about 3 years ago and I think she will be at a lot of the meet ups and in the crowd. I am very nervous about the whole thing. Mainly as DS1 has been very difficult for the past week, DS2 has cried non stop (cold) and it is raining and we are skint.
It'll be fine but be kind - give yourselves time to settle down into whatever works for you. Get used to not having to get them up at a specific time and rush around to be ready to school's timetable. Do the things you enjoy doing for at least a month and see how it goes. Forget about being a school teacher - it is not really relevant to home ed.
Does DS have a particular interest that he wants to pursue?
Can you arrange for a friend to look after your toddler for an afternoon so that you can have quality time with your eldest and reciprocate at some later stage ? You could give your eldest things to do on his own while you have a bit of quality time with your youngest? You will have to see what works for you. I just did one year of home ed with two teenagers to fast track A levels. The only way it worked for us was having a routine, getting up at a certain time etc. We had a timetable which we did not always stick to but it formed an outline . There was "school time and leisure time"We also set targets which were often moved ,but they gave us a goal. With younger children it is easier to make it fun so things like baking a cake can be used to learn weights etc.. You will probably find that he learns much faster at home as he has one to one . You will be able to take him on lots of excursions and he can write about them when you get back as a project. HTH
I would give him a (probably fixed time) holiday! Then use that time to think through the future and decide how you intend education to take place. ie:autonomous, structured, bit of both? etc
If it's autonomous you may wish to extend the holiday, but with the other two options, you may prefer to keep some of the structures he has and keep it short.
Oh and I'd start him touch typing on the sly. What age he is might determine all sorts of things. (for me)
Go easy, you have plenty of time. There are no deadlines. You don't have to have a big plan just now.
I think if you focus exclusively on your not-going-insane goal then you will one day notice that both of your children's needs ARE being met as a byproduct of that. Live for the moment, and do whatever seems to make all of you happy. Then after a few months of that, look back and think about how it has been going and what changes you might want to experiment with.
I can see why you would be nervous about the home ed group. Perhaps you could steel yourself to go to one or two meetups, ready to grimace politely at your former friend and make a beeline for the opposite end of the group. Network like crazy and see whether anyone will agree to a one-to-one playdate at your house or theirs, where you can be more relaxed. Or can you approach people online - is there an email list? Just do an introductory post explaining that you are new to home ed and would be delighted if any families would like to see you individually. No one will be surprised at this request; there are many people who don't get on well at groups for one reason or another.
And don't be embarrassed to ask for suggestions of good low-cost activities that you could do locally on your own or with other HE families. You won't be alone in needing to watch your outgoings! There may be some great local tips which people can share with you.
PS Congratulations on officially starting home education! I am sure you will have a great time once you get used to it.
Thanks everyone. Have had a pretty awful day today actually, with both kids really unwell and moaning etc. I've decided to start the 'educating' bit next week to give us all time to get our bearings!
I think being a teacher in my past life (and I intend to go back at some point) may actually make it harder to home ed. I need to take off my teacher's hat and be more laid back about the whole thing. I just find it hard to remember that learning isn't about having neatly filled in exercise books! (Which is precisely the type of learning my son is rejecting at school and hence our decision to home ed.)
doigthebountyeater: I've decided to start the 'educating' bit next week to give us all time to get our bearings!
Erm, you are already doing the educating bit. What did you do today - read, watch TV, colouring, listen to music? With children of this age it is not possible for them to learn nothing (even if it was only the colour of bodily fluids when ill ). Trained teachers often say that they have to unlearn their training when they home ed.
Science is great with little ones - you can do all sorts of things and some of them you can eat. Yeast gives bread and ginger beer and is great to watch growing. Bicarb and vinegar makes great volcanoes. And you can make soda bread and watch the bubbles make it rise. And you don't have to right any of it down. With reading, you can read aloud all sorts of things that he is not yet able to tackle himself (fiction and non-fiction). Audio books are great as are documentaries on DVD - my DS at the same age was word-perfect on Walking with Dinosaurs.
Eurgh, sorry - you don't have to write "any of it down^
I was the same,worked in childcare and was worried how we would do. We are doing fine but it did take us about 6 months to settle and find a sort of loose pattern that worked for us.
Congratulations! As others have said, take it easy. I thought I could go straight into it but that absolutely failed. Took 6 months of unschooling for my nine year olds.
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