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Advice for a new(ish) home edder.

(6 Posts)
englishpigdog Mon 01-Oct-12 19:38:01

I removed my 6 year old from school just before the summer half term. He would be in year 2 now. I just wondered how much I should be doing with him, I try to do a little reading each day and we are doing projects (we have just done an autumn display in my hallway) It just feels like we are not doing enough and all he wants to do is play. I really would like to give home ed a good go but at the same time i don't want to fail my ds. thanks for any advice.

SDeuchars Tue 02-Oct-12 00:28:39

Don't worry! He's only 6, he'll be getting plenty of learning just by doing the things you want to do. Keep on reading and doing whatever interests you and him. At Christmas, look back and think of all you've done and see where his skills have improved. At this age, cookery and craft are good, practical ways to do science and maths. While the weather is OK, it is good to get outside. Do you have a quirky museum or art gallery near you?

englishpigdog Tue 02-Oct-12 08:13:20

Thanks for your reply, sadly no museums near us but we live near a beach so do get out quite a bit.

itsstillgood Tue 02-Oct-12 14:26:49

I have one the same age and it sounds like you are doing fine.
We are more structured than most but even then we do approx 15/20 mins maths, 15/20mins English and project work if free flow.

Finding my feet a bit at the moment as I have a 10yo who started school in Sep so we have had big upheaval. It seems as if we are not doing as much as we did, when in reality we are probably doing more but in a lot less time as I am not splitting myself/keeping him quiet while his brother is working.

We play, I let him play alone (I work from home so need him to entertain himself a bit), we bake, make stuff, walk, see friends...

If it helps this is what I did with my oldest (although obviously he did more by age 10 but not a huge amount more) and he went in to school in Sep having never been and with no prep (he decided 3 weeks into the school holidays he would like to go - made for a manic last week I can tell you!) and he is having no problems at all and is in the top group for everything they group on ability by. He's bright but by no means exceptional. Home ed is just so much more efficient - take out breaks, assemblies and all the faffing about and you'd be lucky to add up to an hour of focused activity in a school day

Mayamama Wed 03-Oct-12 09:39:19

Wow, itsstillgood, reading your message made me feel so much less concerned. We are just in the middle of deciding whether we are able to home-ed and it is a very very frightening decision to make. One thing that worries us is exactly the time -- how much should we do? As I have very flexible work BUT lots of it (I pretty much have 1.5 jobs at the moment and my husband is sitting two exams within the next half a year or so, on top of his very demanding job) I am mortified thinking I will fail my DS (5.5) because I do not know whether I can deliver. Of course, I know at this age, the competition is ridiculous, but it is still out there and makes me feel really, really worried. FOr instance I came across some teaching materials for KS1, and some of the puzzles and exercises seemed just way too advanced! Perhaps they are meant mostly for the later stages, i.e for the end of year 1 but still.... I am no good at maths myself, I must admit, so perhaps it is just this old fear returning smile
But yes, your entry calms me down a little although I still suspect it might be more about you being a great teacher (which I very much doubt that I am for my DS - and one should not doubt...!) and your sons being rather exceptional...

itsstillgood Wed 03-Oct-12 12:56:02

But yes, your entry calms me down a little although I still suspect it might be more about you being a great teacher (which I very much doubt that I am for my DS - and one should not doubt...!) and your sons being rather exceptional...

Mayamama, everyone doubts and we all have bad days. This morning DS2 seems to have forgotten every bit of maths he has ever known. 4 years ago when I was here with DS1 I'd have felt like a complete failure. I now have enough experience under my belt to know in all likelihood he will be fine tomorrow.

Children learn in fits and starts, you can go months without seeing any noticeable advance and you feel a complete failure. Then suddenly it is like a switch, something clicks and they're flying and you are running in their wake wondering why you ever doubted. With my two I can see a definite link between physical growth and mental growth - our slack periods when we don't seem to make any progression tend to correlate with physical growth spurts.

I'm not a great teacher, I lack patience and energy all too often. And in my opinion every child is exceptional, it is why we home educate so we can let them be exceptional in own particular way. What I do have though is experience, both personal and through sharing and discussing with others. I now have the faith to know that bad days are exactly that and they pass, even when they seem to drag on (many home eders seem to struggle after Christmas for example).

I'll be honest and say working and home educating is difficult, even when your work is completely flexible, I am often up at 5am to grab a couple of hours head start on the day and can still be working at 11pm. If possible I sit alongside my son with something that I can easily look up from if he needs help while he works. I make use of computer based stuff such as Reading Eggs and Education City where I sit near him to help if needed and get on with bits of work. Fitting in trips and outings requires juggling but is worth it.

^ I am mortified thinking I will fail my DS (5.5) because I do not know whether I can deliver^ At this age it is pointless to worry about what will happen when he is 18 and looking at University/work there are too many variables between now and then. The issue is NOW, what is the best thing for now? I do not know why you are considering home education but to me the most important things at 5yo are that they are happy, secure and confident - plenty of time for academics when you've got those three sorted. If you take him out you are not burning your bridges, schools will always be there for him to go back to if wanted/needed. Neither is HE the only answer - moving school, flexi-schooling (temporary or longer term) can be worth considering.

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