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home schooling

(36 Posts)
birdieswifey Wed 07-Mar-12 09:25:01

Hi everyone!
On the advice of another member (thank you ommmward) I have started this threat for others who are also dealing with the fear of home schooling. We have just decided to remove out 12 yr old son from school. He is borderline dyslexic which seems to mean "yes you need help, but no we don't have the budget to give it" the stress he had at school has made him suffer from headaches daily and he has become a lost soul sad We feel that if we don't support him, he will end up going off the rails and we really don't want that. So we are going to home school him. We collected him from school yesterday and made the decision. Any advice would be great as we are worried that we can get into trouble or how to make sure we do the best for him. Also, we are from Swindon Wiltshire and would really appreciate any others who are in the same situation, also are there any social groups for other children in our sons position? Thanks everyone!

Marjoriew Wed 07-Mar-12 09:39:32

Hello, birdieswifey. I home educate my 12 year old grandson and have done since he was 6.
There is a Facebook group for Mumsnet posters and another FB group for UK home educators.
I'm not much good at links but I'm sure if you Google it, it will come up.

birdieswifey Wed 07-Mar-12 10:24:47

Hi Marjoriew, Thank you for the information. I have joined the facebook groups and am off on our first book shopping spree today! do you know of any help we can get with resources or funding? thanks smile

Marjoriew Wed 07-Mar-12 11:16:31

You won't get any funding or resources. Have a look at The Works, they are excellent value, ebay, Amazon, charity shops.

SDeuchars Wed 07-Mar-12 13:59:49

birdieswifey, I am in Swindon and have PMed you with local info inc my phone number. There'll be a bunch of HEers at my house tomorrow if you'd like to meet people.

I'd suggest that you don't buy too much until you find out what your HE looks like! A common mistake is to spend a fortune on resources that do not get used.

Have you officially deregistered your DS from school? That's the first step and most important to ensure that he is not truanting.

birdieswifey Wed 07-Mar-12 17:46:21

Hi there!
We are sending the letter tomorrow to get the ball rolling, but he has only had one day off. Already he seems to be uplifted and his little spark is back which is nice. I will look at the msg you have sent me, many thanks for the invite for tomorrow, but I can't make it sad long story lol It's great to know that we are not alone, as the prospect of dealing with this is very daunting! We just want the best for our son. We just need to know more about what is expected of us and if there are limitations as to what we can teach him. Thanks again everyone! x

ToffeeWhirl Wed 07-Mar-12 18:25:12

Hi, birdie, I am also home educating my 12-year old son. I have been through this before (a year ago) and spent what would have been his Year 6 at primary home educating him. He then made a huge effort to attend secondary school, with lots of support from the school and an Educational Outreach Worker. He did really well, then started suffering unexplained stomach aches etc all over again. In the end, he was just so ill with the stress of it all that he couldn't attend. He has not been back since Christmas.

I have not deregistered him as he is off sick at the moment (he is being treated for OCD and anxiety issues; he was also, originally, diagnosed with dyslexia, but has lost that diagnosis now), so we are still getting work from the school. However, having spoken to him last night, I really don't think he will be able to go back - at least for the foreseeable future. It is scary, but sometimes you don't have any choice. I just want DS to be happy again.

I know lots of people here are autonomous home educators, but I don't have the courage to do that (yet), so I have drawn up a fairly flexible timetable. At the moment, we are trying to do Maths, English and Science every day, plus a project on Spain (because we are going on holiday there in June. That is, if we can get DS1 there because at the moment he can't even go out of the house - the holiday was booked before this episode). Some days, like today, DS just spends far too long on his computer playing Minecraft because DH and I have been busy. That's when I worry. However, I think his mental health is more important than his education at the moment.

I have ordered a Galore Park Maths book on the advice of someone on this board and it's great. Apart from that, we are just following BBC Bitesize and other internet resources.

Must go, but will pop back another time if I get any good ideas! (Or to borrow some wink).

birdieswifey Wed 07-Mar-12 21:43:23

Hi Toffeewhirl!

Thanks for the message..... seems we have a bit in common, especially the bloomin minecraft lol you are right, you can't put a price on the mental wellbeing of our children. That is what pushed us to this decision. Although I keep questioning myself, I know it will be best for him. I have msgd you, so if you want to chat, or have any tips just drop me a line. smile

julienoshoes Thu 08-Mar-12 10:04:38

have you actually played Minecraft??
There are LOADS of educational aspects to it!

julienoshoes Thu 08-Mar-12 10:17:29

birdieswifey I think I may have answered your thread on the UK Home Education FB page?
The lady I referred to there, as knowing about dealing with the LA, is SDeuchers here......

SDeuchars Thu 08-Mar-12 10:48:50

Thanks, Julie. We've talked this morning as BirdsWifey is in my area.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 08-Mar-12 11:11:34

julieno - I agree with you about the educational aspects of Minecraft. I think it is very creative and DS has explored music, sculpture, architecture and art through the game. He has also attempted to learn programming skills. And he is learning all sorts about the use of materials to make stuff. Oh, and it's sociable too because he plays it with his friends.

The only drawback is that it is completely addictive and DS would do nothing else with his life but play Minecraft if he were allowed! I just wish he wanted to go out in the real world a bit more and had more varied interests. Yesterday, when I was too busy to check on him, he spent three hours doing Minecraft and 16 minutes doing BBC Bitesize hmm. And that makes me feel a complete failure at home educating him.

(oops - sorry for thread hijack, birdie).

FrancesPorter Thu 08-Mar-12 13:38:33

Hi all
Just been for a visit at school we have been offered and altho looks good feel that as its double the distance (8miles from us) further away than our nearest sch (4 miles which we didnt fit in their catchment area!!) logistics will be a nightmare. my DS has borderline dyslexia also and he has bad days at sch he doesnt like the noise and finds the other kids distracting, but my concern about home schooling is will we be restricting him further from making friends and making him different?? What is a realistic home schooling timetable??
So many questions anyone in my area?? Ockham, Surrey

julienoshoes Thu 08-Mar-12 13:51:24

We felt like that too, when we first started, when our son was very very keen on Balders Gate.
Partly because we had been indoctrinated that sitting down and doing something 'educational' was the only way to learn, for far longer than our children had.
It took us a lot longer to see that this wasn't true.

Your son has only been out of school since Christmas. he'll need a longer spell than that to get it out of his system (and you'll need longer still!) before he'll really regain his love of learning.

If I gave you an Educational programme and it covered music, sculpture, architecture, art and programming would be delighted with it wouldn't you?

But because it's not labelled educational, you see it as a bad thing. To me (now) it just shows how boring BBC bitesize is........

Our LA agrees that games like Minecraft are very educational!

My lad was so damaged by school it took him a long time to willingly go out and about. he would spend every event at my shoulder saying "Can we go home now? Let's go home now"
That changed slowly....sometimes frustratingly slowly when my daughters were raring to go places.
But change it has.....and at his own pace my son is now at Leicester Uni reading Psychology and doing very well.

So all those years playing computer games, Warhammer, role playing games, and weeks spent in fields at home ed camps and gatherings have paid off! There's a page on Joyfully Rejoycing, that you might be interested to read, which addresses [[ All my son wants to do is play video games

julienoshoes Thu 08-Mar-12 13:58:31

Sorry I'll do that last paragraph of links again!

So all those years playing computer games, Warhammer, and role playing games and weeks spent in fields with friends at home ed camps and gatherings paid off!

There's a page on Joyfully Rejoycing that might be useful to read, as it addresses "All my son wants to do is play video games"

Just because you feel like a complete failure, doesn't mean he isn't accessing exactly the right education he needs right now!

julienoshoes Thu 08-Mar-12 14:05:41

All three of our children were/are dyslexic (youngest VERY severely so). We home educated them completely autonomously-without any formal work at all, just followed their interests each day, without any timetables or formal work at all.
Home education is a much more efficient way of providing an education!

They had a social life that was the envy of their schooled peers and cousins and they are all doing well in University level education now. My children are bo no means exceptional, I literally now know hundreds of HE young people, who are doing just as well, and I don't know a single one who is not in education or employment!

and this page lists FOUR home ed groups in Surrey so it looks like there are loads of people down your way!
I'd get in contact with them and talk to folks local to you.

FrancesPorter Thu 08-Mar-12 14:17:30

Thanks yr speedy reply am just overloading myself with all the sites, will contact local groups. thank you again and have a nice day

birdieswifey Thu 08-Mar-12 17:55:42


Hi there, we too are new to this which is why we started a thread (Hijacked by Toffeewhirl HAHAHAHAHA! ) our 12 yr old is also boarderline dyslexic and really struggled with distractions form others. He finds it hard to concentrate and sit still (unless it's computer work) and we have just taken him out of school this week. Already he is seeing how interesting and varied the world is, he is so excited that we are having to calm him down as he is climbing the walls at the moment. I am expecting a meltdown any time soon lol Everyone on here has been fantastic support and I honestly don't know what we would do without them so THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!

Just remember, children are not all the same and individuality is something that should be embraced.......

smile Sarah

ToffeeWhirl Fri 09-Mar-12 09:42:12

Apologies, birdie <hangs head in shame>.

<whispers> julienoshoes - thanks for that link. Makes very interesting reading.

Frances - my son was initially diagnosed with dyslexia too (has lost that diagnosis now and gained new ones confused) and has always been stressed and unable to concentrate at school. Maybe you should give home ed a try before committing yourself to a school that is going to be difficult to get to. You can always change your mind later.

Out of interest, what does today hold in store for those of you already home edding? I have just finished the school run and am eating breakfast. DS1 is still in bed, but I will be nudging him out of there for some breakfast in a minute. We are going to start the day with some discussion of, and writing about, 'Holes' by Louis Sachar (I may have to act as scribe as DS has problems writing), then DS can do some work on MyMaths. I will see if he can have another attempt at the Galore Park workbook too. For some reason, he can do the addition and subtraction sums perfectly well on the computer, but gets incredibly stressed by worksheets (ok, there's a clue in the having problems writing area blush). That should take us through to lunchtime. Maybe I can get him to learn some Life Skills by doing some housework with me wink.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 09-Mar-12 10:44:40

Hmm, DS1 not well, so now tucked up on sofa with a hot-water bottle. The best-laid plans and all that...

birdieswifey Fri 09-Mar-12 14:56:20

We have no idea where to start with our son. We know that he is keen to learn Spanish and being that my family is Spanish, the children all have some grasp of the language. Apart from that, I guess I need to figure out the best way to get him to concentrate before we tackle work, as he doesn't really seem to retain information very well. We find simple instructions have to be repeated over and over before they sink in. Not sure why, as the school just implied he is lazy?? which isn't really constructive.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 09-Mar-12 16:21:54

That sounds fairly typical of dyslexia-type problems, birdie (simple instructions having to be repeated). Although it could also be a sign of a boy who has more interesting things on his mind wink. My boy is just the same. My mother was astonished to find that he was unable to follow her instructions to put the washing in the basket ready to tumbledry. The basket was upside down and he balanced all the washing on top grin. I think that he was simply trying to get the job done as quickly as possible so that he could get back to more important stuff, like Minecraft.

If your DS is keen to learn Spanish, that sounds like a fantastic start to his home ed.

birdieswifey Fri 09-Mar-12 20:30:15

Hi Toffee!!

Yeah I think some of it could be down to "selective hearing" lol I do know that his self confidence is low, so when we give him an instruction, he is too bothered worrying about not being able to do it, to actually listen to what we are saying lol I think we shall take it slow, as he appears to melt at the thought of any work!!! mind you, it has only been a couple of days, so he needs to de-stress ( and help out with the housework) hehehehe ;)

I am just nervous about getting something wrong, I am not even sure how best to try and teach him as according to his last assessment he is (watch the spelling)...... a Kinaesthetic learner (hopefully spelt correctly) so if anyone has any tips, we would be very grateful.


ToffeeWhirl Sat 10-Mar-12 03:21:14

There are some tips on teaching kinaesthetic learners here, birdie.

birdieswifey Sat 10-Mar-12 06:55:28

Morning Toffee!

WOW that link is fantastic!!! thank you. thanks That totally explains why he didn't get on at school, in fact, it couldn't have been a less productive atmosphere for him. Oh and by the way, it is totally weird that you call me Birdie lol that was my husbands nickname when we were growing up! grin sorry.... but it makes me chuckle as he calls me Mrs birdie lol.

Anyway, I am off to read more on that website..... Once again, thank you grin

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