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How would home educators feel about...

(12 Posts)
Leoboy Sat 29-Sep-12 12:59:26

...workshops to support/compliment the work you do at home? Am fully aware that you all have your own perfectly valid reasons for home educating and that my idea could be shot down in flames. I am a qualified primary school teacher with two dcs thriving in school. I have been a sahm for 6 years since the birth of my dd. my ds has just started school so I am looking to go back to work. I can't face the restraints of school teaching as my passion is for teaching and not paperwork. I have therefore had the idea to set up workshops which home educated children could come to, lasting a couple of hours, a day, a week, whatever suited. Maybe a science camp, a history workshop, a writing workshop etc. I feel this would enable kids to be inspired by other kids ideas, it would support what you do at home. What do you reckon?

lisad123 Sat 29-Sep-12 13:00:41

The HE network near already do this grin

Leoboy Sat 29-Sep-12 13:18:52

Thanks for replying. Am in north Yorkshire. Will have to see if there is anything here. Do you pay to send your kids to them or is it free?

lisad123 Sat 29-Sep-12 13:23:18

I don't use it but because we decided to try private school before home ed but had joined all networks before deciding. They charge yes per activity and per child

catnipkitty Sat 29-Sep-12 13:49:37

In theory it's something we would use...but some HEd parents I know already offer this kind of thing on a reciprocal no charge, just swapping skills, and in my experience most HEd families have minimal spare money - we have 3 children so would be unlikely to be able to afford workshops x3. Personally we prefer to have a flexible timetable so not keen on committing to something weekly, but on a one-off basis we would.

Leoboy Sat 29-Sep-12 13:53:28

Was thinking more of a one off thing catnipkitty. Was thinking people could use it to cover the curriculum areas they felt less confident with.

GoodPhariseeofDerby Sat 29-Sep-12 14:07:33

It's probably best to contact your local group(s) and to go through them. We have various groups here, they pay per session (in advance by term for the most popular or just by session) for the instructor and space and most with instructors have waiting lists so there is certainly a market in some areas.

You could also do weekend/half-term/holiday ones as well to get a larger market, personally I would prefer this as our weeks during the school year is full of Rainbows and Local Youth Groups but they all fall away during their holidays which gives us a bit to much down time.

Also, video lessons/workshops is another popular area that is booming lately. The Happy Scientist, Supercharged Science, Numberphile, it's a big growing market (some are by ads so free to consumers, others have a few free bits with most by prescription or by product).

ThreadWatcher Sat 29-Sep-12 21:39:21

I would ask around locally to you - you might find a few that will be keen.

Ideally for this sort of thing you would need a niche market/subject.
Just saying "ooh I will offer workshops in subjects a, b and c" is unlikely to be popular for several reasons. Partly because such things need a venue (which costs as well as the fee you would require - and for that you would need a minimum number of kids). Venues require insurance blah blah.
Ideally you would want to run it on a multiple week basis (which many HErs are often not keen on.........) Just as a one off isnt going to make you a living.
The main problem as I see it is that most HErs are already accessing what they need anyway. (and finding money for additional things can be difficult, as well as the lack of available time factor) I find it easier to access what I need via the internet. (going out mostly for social reasons not knowledge reasons)

Plus people (mostly teachers!) frequently ask similar to your op...........Teachers frequently think of offering their services to HErs - search this section of mumsnet and you will find quite a few!

Finally (if I havent shot you down in flames already!) its rarely a good idea to tell HErs you have children thriving in schools........... either because they will smile and nod, or tell you "give it time and you'll be joining us!" or point out how lucky you are because their own kids had an awful time in school!

Sorry to be so negative and blunt blush

BrittaPerry Sat 29-Sep-12 21:57:10

Could you register as a childminder? Just that I know that the main thing we use school for is childcare. If we could use tax credits to pay towards a few hours a week of workshops to give me chance to study/work/sit still and to cover areas that we aren't so confident with education wise , then that would swing the balance to HE for us.

julienoshoes Sat 29-Sep-12 22:37:12

Leoboy you seem nice, so please don't be offended as I am going to speak directly and reiterate what the others have said.

I own a HE local group website and a couple of Yahoo email support groups and moderate HE FB groups.....and am constantly inundated with information from tutors looking to sell their services/make money out of home educators.

Almost every time I just delete the message...I get so very many, I usually don't have time or energy to reply.

All that you have suggested happens already in all the local groups I have been involved with in nearly 12 years.
Up to a quarter of home educators are or were teachers, so sorry, if we wanted the sort of structure you are suggesting, we'd already be getting it from local home educating families, at little or no cost.

"I feel this would enable kids to be inspired by other kids ideas"
HE kids in all the groups/workshops/gatherings and camps are inspired by others beyond that I have ever seen in long years experience in schools, and in saying this, it seems to suggest that you think our kids don't mix with others to have that I wouldn't say that if you do approach other HE groups.

as I say, you seem nice, but I can't think of another way of saying this without sounding blunt. Sorry.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 29-Sep-12 22:42:20

I think the idea is good in principle, but not sure you could make a business out of it, just because with H.ed families only you have created a niche. I also doubt if there would be enough clients to make it viable. However, I think if you called yourself a childcare / educator it could work. Then if you didn't have enough dcs for workshops you also had another string to your bow. You could also open up the workshops for schooled kids during the holidays. I would attend one off workshops, but wouldn't be prepared to commit to a regular time. You also need to consider the the spectrum of views on education that H.ed parents have. For example you mention curriculum, some parents including myself aren't too concerned with following the n.c. In some subjects I am completely avoiding it. I wish you luck, but feel you need to consider more than H.ed dcs.

Saracen Sun 30-Sep-12 05:25:17

What everyone else said. And:

In the few cases where I have seen local parents to be enthusiastic about what you suggest, it is because

1. The provider has a great passion for a certain subject and a talent for communicating it. Nobody will want to know that you are qualified to offer workshops in science, English or maths. If you live, breathe and eat Shakespeare (or topology, or archaeological excavation) - ideally something hands-on - then you might get some takers.

and 2. The provider already has close links with the home ed community. We want to know that you "get" our approach, that for most parents the goal is to enthuse the children rather than to impart specific knowledge, that a sizable proportion of HE kids have special needs, that the workshop won't look anything like school. I'd probably only consider such a thing if it were done by another HE parent, or recommended by other HE parents, or I'd seen the teacher in action elsewhere. I'd think it somewhat less likely that a qualified primary school teacher whose kids are happy at school could deliver what I wanted than that someone else could.

Sorry if that isn't what you wanted to hear!

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