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Just wondering....

(11 Posts)
volley Sat 22-Sep-12 21:42:05

How many of you that are Home educating were Home educated yourselves?
I am considering taking my DD (4) out, but I am struggling with my ingrained experience of mainstream school and that this is 'just what you do', I think I mainly feel pretty afraid of going against the 'norm' and that I wouldn't be able to give my DD all she's needs if she was at home. I was just wondering if others have felt this way, or if many of you already had experience in HE as you were HE'd yourselves and that this gave you the confidence to decide to HE your own children?

morethanpotatoprints Sat 22-Sep-12 22:34:10

Hello Volley.

Yes I felt like this and had no idea what H.ed was about when the idea first entered my head in April this year. In fact all I had heard years ago were negative comments about parents and children being weird freaks and out casts in the community. This was the general thread in those days.
It is normal to feel as you do, it is a huge step to take. Don't worry, it doesn't take long to get the idea of school out of your head. My one regret is that I didn't have the knowledge earlier as I have 2 older ds's 21/17 who went through the system.
I learned about H.ed by listening and posting on here, people also put on good links and if you look you'll find some links for good reads.
I'm sure you would be able to provide all your dds needs and certainly more than any school could as you can offer 1 to 1.
Good luck and keep posting, we are mostly a very friendly bunch on here.

Saracen Sat 22-Sep-12 23:10:54

Hi Volley!

I wasn't home educated and only know a few second-generation HE families. It wasn't such a popular or well-known option a generation ago.

The straw to which I clung when starting to home educate my older daughter (who didn't start school at four) was the fact that in a great many countries children don't start school until later. In fact, I didn't start school myself until five, and then it was half-time and play-based for the first year. That thought allowed me to reassure myself that it would be no disaster to keep my dd home for a few years, and then I could see how it was going and think about maybe sending her to school later.

It didn't take long for me to see how well she was learning without school. We also met families whose older home educated children appeared to be very happy and well educated, so that helped too.

Have you met some other home ed families near you? That might help. Perhaps then it wouldn't feel so much as if it were just you going against the norm, because you'd see a number of families for whom home education IS the norm. I never feel so normal as when I am with HE families! (Come to think of it, the home ed mindset has become so much a part of me that I always feel normal now!)

ommmward Sun 23-Sep-12 09:52:10

I wasn't home edded though my mother was interested in the idea. It was just so unheard of in the 1970s and 1980s that she was never brave enough to take the plunge.

For me, it's a matter of meeting the needs of my children now. If school is right for them later then we'll put them into school - it's bot as if they'll all have closed! - but they are thriving and learning and growing without so meh why bother?

I think of schools like I think of health visitors. I'm delighted they exist,I know where they are, I have a good idea of the flavour of advice and support they offer, and were we to need them we'd use them. But at the moment we have no need of the service the schools offer - it wold be suboptimal for my family - so we go it alone.

ommmward Sun 23-Sep-12 09:59:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

volley Sun 23-Sep-12 10:10:27

Wow, thank you all for your replies, I am hoping to try and connect with some HE families this week. Luckily we do live in an area where there are quite alot of people looking for alternative routes and I think this will help in the long run. My DD just seems so unhappy 3 weeks into school and is already saying she is bored and that all she does is sitting and lining up to move around the school! The rest of the time she is crying and sad and I am thinking, 'why am I putting her through this?' but literally until last week I had not even thought of HE as an option, had no idea about it at all, but the more I find out the more I think it may suit my DD and us as a family.
Yet still I have that 'fear' fear of being judged (mainly by family and friends who won't get it) fear of just generally making the wrong decision for my DD.
But then I think about how I have parented for almost 5 years, always following my instincts and now suddenly I'm doing what I think I should even though my instincts are screaming that it's wrong......
I know that part of this is because we missed out on our schools of choice and ended up with our 4th choice, which just doesn't seem to suit our girl. But then is it too soon to make that judgement call? Can you tell I'm in a muddle?!

Saracen Sun 23-Sep-12 11:46:42

Oh, your poor little girl! That doesn't sound fun. I think learning should be fun, and if it isn't fun then there is no point.

Is it too soon to decide? That depends how big the potential benefit of school is in your eyes, and whether there's anything to lose by delaying school. If you thought it could be a brilliant thing then maybe it would be worth sticking it out longer. Of course, it might also be that this is the wrong school or that your dd is just too young to benefit from a school environment, in which case it might make sense to take her out and sit on the waiting list for a different school or just try the same school again in a few years' time.

If you're going to take her out and try again later then I think you should whip her out ASAP before she develops an even worse impression of school than she already has. I mean, if I were keen for my child to take up ballet and she wasn't liking it after the first few weeks, I'd take her out quickly rather than risk her being put off ballet for life. Maybe I'd look for a different teacher or just wait a few years.

Yes, I also find it strange that parents are encouraged to trust their instincts about what our children need, right up until they reach nursery/school age and then suddenly we know nothing and are supposed to do what the experts tell us and send our kids even if it feels wrong! You are considered a perfectly competent parent who is able to provide everything her child needs for the first four years and then suddenly you're thought to be so incompetent that your efforts must be supplemented by 30 hours a week of instruction elsewhere.

Would the fear of being judged or of doing the wrong thing be less if you just consider home ed to be a temporary solution? Decide to do it for a year and then see what happens? The doom-and-gloom predictions of relatives and strangers with respect to home ed are usually long-term concerns. They may not be so bothered if you say it is just for a while. Many people do think that four is too young for school and you may get support from some surprising quarters!

volley Sun 23-Sep-12 15:06:09

Thank you saracen very wise words. We are on the waiting list for our favourite school and are currently 1st inline, I think part of my dilemma is, what if we take her out and tell her we're going to HE and then within a few weeks we get offered a place? Then again we may not get a place for 2 years or ever, I don't want to confuse DD by chopping and changing, but I can't shake the feeling that this current school just doesn't suit her, I was never able to 'see' her there, whereas the one we wanted I got very emotional each time we visited as it felt so right and I really felt it would be the right fit for her.
I keep trying to imagine if we and her would be feeling the way we are if she was at the school we wanted or if we would still be going through this wherever we had ended up because maybe traditional school really isn't for her...... see muddled muddled muddled!!

Jamillalliamilli Sun 23-Sep-12 15:22:38

Hi Volley. I’d never come across it, or met anyone who did it. The first time it was suggested in yr1, I was annoyed blush and thought the teacher was copping out (she wasn’t, she was a very wise experienced teacher who could see the future disaster looming) I saw h/e as 'school failure', blush and was convinced no one like me could possibly make a decent job of it. Made worse by being poorly educated w/c on an estate and not the educated m/c, decent home so called home ed ‘norm.’ (But it was the lovely children from those ‘normal' h/e families who cheerfully accepted mine as a new friend, and accepted him in a way that had never happened before.)

It was only when things became so awful that I couldn’t do a worse job, that I started to realise the stupidity of letting my child be a permanent failure in exchange for reassurance that I was ‘doing the right thing.’

However while we did it in desperation, t’s been so successful and life transforming that my grandchildren are now doing it as a positive choice. smile

Your child gets one childhood, if it’s being ruined by how/where they're getting educated, or you know you can offer a better one, change it.

ommmward Sun 23-Sep-12 16:21:30

To leave the door open, just say to her 'well that school is totally rubbish. What a disappointment. We'll just play and hang out with other families, and when there's a space at st Egbert's we can decide together whether that would be more fun.

No need to explain to anyone that it is anything other than a temporary thing. Of course, 6 months along when a place comes up at the school of your choice, she might be raring to go. Or you might both be having such a ball that the idea of school is just crazy!

volley Sun 23-Sep-12 17:44:42

Thank you ommmward when you put it like that it seems so simple and obvious!
It is incredible what an internal fight I am having with myself over 'should', 'expectations', ingrained society methods and general fear of being judged and what others will think (boy I am my Mother's daughter even though I have tried to separate out!)
Thanks again everyone so much for your thoughts and advice, as always MN is so valuable and such a supportive place.

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