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what were your reasons to home ed?

(14 Posts)
Flojo1979 Wed 26-Sep-12 22:22:44

I never really realised it was an option until I saw so many threads on MN.
No one I know has every done this.
I'm wondering if I need a huge, monumental reason to choose this option.
What were your reasons?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 26-Sep-12 22:54:23

Hello Flojo.

I think many come into H.ed with a monumental reason of which I have heard several on here. But I don't think it need be. Sometimes some parents just don't want a school education for their dc, or have a few niggling doubts that add up.

For us it was April this year and dd was shattered as she performs alot and was doing her usual I'm too tired for school. I packed her off and then it was like a light went on and I started to research the possibilities of Home ed. She left school in July and though its early days we are all enjoying it and dd gets to follow her dream. The benefits far out weigh the negatives, I would advise reading over the past posts. I learned so much from the Home ed community on here.

maggi Thu 27-Sep-12 08:48:53

Have 2 sons. One thrives at school, the other has just not adapted to school. It began to show as soon as year 1 at school. He was unwilling to write and had trouble with making friends, the school did their thing of rearranging the class groups, twice in primary years. The school said splitting up close friends encouraged children to widen their friendship base. It just made my son miserable.

Tried for a new start at secondary and it all went pear shaped with no friends but plenty of people who bullied and my son quickly began to bully as well and came home so stressed and violent and shop lifted and lied all the time. Oh what a mess he and we were cards...meetings.
Finally my hubby agreed to HE.

We instantly saw a change. He had obviously had a great pressure lifted. For the first week we held our breath everytime something irritated him and then we looked at him in wonderment. There were no tantrums or door slams or shouts, just peace and us trying to remember to breath again. Only 4 months on and he is being complemented by all who meet him as to how well he looks and behaves. He is not only willing to learn again but is seeking to learn for himself!

Ironically he had been top or second stream despite his loathing to write. (He has some dyslexia and an eye sight issue with double vision so that explains the writing issue. School's solution was to give him extra reading sessions instead of register - which in my opinion just made his eyes more tired ontop of all the class reading he had to do.)

So for us the reason was our son's stress levels.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 27-Sep-12 10:25:25

DS1 (now 12) found school difficult from the start. He had a major crisis about going to school when he was nine (tears every morning), but we got him through that with the help of CAMHS, a lovely TA and two good teachers. I took him out in Year 6 because he was miserable, had an unsympathetic teacher and also was being bullied. Had a year of home ed, then we sent him to secondary school. By then, he had a diagnosis of Tourettes, OCD and social anxiety and was receiving treatment. We had loads of support in place for him at secondary and he had a great start, but it quickly became apparent that he couldn't cope with it in spite of the help.

We remained in the system so that DS1 would receive teaching from the LEA, but it was stressful for DS and me and I knew I could do better.

Deregistered last summer. Am enjoying home ed hugely. I don't expect DS1 ever to return to school and I'm fine with that. DS2 is still at school and is happy with it, but if he started to go through the same issues as DS1 I wouldn't hesitate to take him out.

DS1 is much happier being home educated and is learning more because he's not anxious all the time anymore.

ommmward Thu 27-Sep-12 10:38:02

no big crisis here.

We always said that school is such a huge commitment for a child, and such a challenging environment compared to the real world that we'd support any child of ours who wanted to go, but that the desire would have to come from them.

They know all about school - all but one of the families we play with regularly (just by chance - the diary is full - it's not that we avoid other HEers!) uses school. Unfortunately, none of those other children give my children the impression of school as being somewhere someone would volunteer to go... at least two of them constantly give their parents hassle about "but why can't I be home educated too?"...

FionaJNicholson Thu 27-Sep-12 10:46:32

always felt that there was a better way to spend our precious time than in school

Flojo1979 Thu 27-Sep-12 22:05:29

Those with younger DC's, do u ever get a break? Time out from the kids when u HE?
And those with older kids, isn't it hard to teach GCSE level work?

Saracen Thu 27-Sep-12 22:08:23

My first child was outgoing, confident and autumn-born. She could have coped as well with school as anybody. But even with such a child, I felt she was much too young to have people tell her exactly what to do all day.

I think the business of young children is playing. And by that I don't mean "play-based learning" in which somebody directs children's play toward a goal they wouldn't spontaneously choose. I mean that at four she still ought to be allowed to spend most of her time doing whatever she wanted, whether that was playing with soap bubbles in the sink, singing loudly while spinning in circles till she fell over, or planning an expedition to South America.

I thought a time would come when it would seem right and natural and necessary for my daughter to be sitting in a classroom receiving instruction, and then I'd send her to school. However, I've changed my mind about that! She'll be 13 in a few days' time and still seems to be reaping the benefit of a playful mindset. On the surface some of her activities have begun to resemble ones done at school, but the motivation is entirely different.

Second child, different reasons. She so clearly wouldn't meet a school's expectations of a child her age. She wouldn't manage it physically, socially, academically or emotionally. If she was really lucky and the staff were exceptionally well-motivated they might make it OKish for her by tailoring everything to her needs. It would take a big effort on everyone's part. But then what would be the point of being taught in a large group of her age peers if she was doing different PE exercises, pre-reading while they did sentence writing, counting while they multiplied? A large proportion of what she'd be exposed to would be all wrong for her. There would be constant reminders of her differences. Though everyone would make a point of speaking in positive terms about her achievements, the very environment in which she performed measurable academic tasks alongside other children would serve as a constant reminder that she couldn't do what they could do. That's if she were lucky.

If she weren't lucky, her teachers wouldn't "get" her. She'd be punished for things she couldn't help, given work she couldn't do, and would come home exhausted and frustrated. When 29 other children in class could meet the targets and she couldn't, would she decide that something was wrong with the targets or that something was wrong with her?

It could be argued that I'm just speculating and that unless she tries school we'll never know what it could be like for her. This is true. But I do know she's learning cheerfully outside of school, and I have no need to prove that school would definitely harm her. Mum's instinct tells me she is in the right place.

maggi Fri 28-Sep-12 06:38:38

Well you do need to like your children as you will spend a whole lot of time with them. You have to arrange times to be on your own if they don't come naturally. For me, even time in the shower is counted as 'me' time. But you might decide to pay a baby sitter once a month or you may afford a childminder for one day a week. (Hope you have a positive image of childminders.)
It could be hard to help children get to GCSE level. Mostly it is fairly easy. It must be easy if a school can get 70% of its pupils to pass when they are in large disruptive classrooms. You can start when your child is ready, you can go at their pace (which is usually must faster than a school), you can use the big wide world as your resources. You can buy all sorts of books, use the net, get tutors, link up with other HEders.
By the time you get to that stage you'll be practiced at this teaching/learning business. If you can't get your child to GCSE then the school wouldn't have been able to either.
The one proviso is that if you have a fear of a subject or complete lack of knowledge (music theory for me), then get some sort of tutoring. Not every parent is omnipotent - much as we'd like our children to see us that way.

SDeuchars Fri 28-Sep-12 12:25:04

Flojo1979: Those with younger DC's, do u ever get a break? Time out from the kids when u HE? And those with older kids, isn't it hard to teach GCSE level work?

I guess it depends on what you mean by a break. I worked part-time from home throughout HE (20 years from the birth of DD) and xH (mostly) had them during that time. As they got older, I could work while they also worked.

As for GCSE-level work, most of us do not "teach". We facilitate the young people working for GCSE-level exams by themselves. This might mean any or all of buying the books; marking assignments (from the answers given in the back of the book); finding an exam centre; letting the DC explain a problem; paying for a tutor or a distance-learning course; enrolling the DC in college; or teaching the material. I think most people will do different things for different subjects.

catnipkitty Sat 29-Sep-12 09:20:26

Our reasons:
I read 'Free range education' and had a friend who HEs and it just made so much sense to me
Our girls are quiet and thoughtful and the packed, small, noisy classrooms 'did their heads in' as they said! They'd come out of school pale, exhausted, with headaches, no energy to enjoy eachothers company, no sparkle for learning or life...and then we'd have a horrible battle to get them to read and do 'homework'
CofE school was overly religious and basically teaching things we didn't want them learning.
Peer pressure for 8yr old was getting excessive even in year 3.
I just 'knew' it was the right thing to do, that they'd thrive and learn so much better...and avoid all the playground politics!

We took them out of year 2 and 3 last year and really have never looked back. It did take a long time to make the final decision tho, researched HE for several years and then had to persuade a reluctant DH...!

Hope this helps. There are some good books, blogs etc that are worth reading.

C x

catnipkitty Sat 29-Sep-12 09:24:52

Forgot to answer you other questions: you do have to be prepared to have limited time to yourself if you have noone around to help. Unfort my parents live too far away to help me much so it is quite full on, but there are times when the girls are occupied withut me and I get to do my own thing. I do miss not being able to go swimming during the day like I did when they were at school, but I know that in a couple of years they'll be good enough swimmers to swim with me! I do work part-time about 12 hours a week and DH works from home and the girls just get on with their own thing.

Flojo1979 Sat 29-Sep-12 09:56:33


mumette Sat 29-Sep-12 21:08:36

i took mine out of the system due to bullying, then realised afterwards that one of them was dyslexic which was never picked up on in school. ive often wondered if i should put them back, but then i look at how happy they all arr now, and how much more confident they feel. we do have loads of fun doing our own thing. my 8 yr dd school friend asked if she would ever go to a 'school' like my dd one day........

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