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Temporarily HE out of necessity rather than want - would love your thoughts!

(9 Posts)
MurderOfProse Mon 15-Oct-12 13:39:22

DD1 is in Y1 and thriving at her current outstanding school. She is very bright, her levels are a few years ahead in most subjects and she is on the G&T register for reading. Her current school is very used to mixed ability groups as we're in a deprived very multicultural area, so she's getting work set to her ability which is why she's doing so well.

We're relocating in a few weeks to a completely new area and of course all the decent schools are oversubscribed. We're moving really close to one of the decent schools, but it's a one form entry so who knows how long we would have to wait, especially as until next September when DD2 would hopefully get a place there, we wouldn't have sibling priority.

The only schools with spaces available don't immediately appeal as they're waaaay down the rankings. I don't believe such a school could support DD very well (after all surely most if not all of the brighter children would be at the better schools) and her current teacher unofficially told me as much herself, that they wouldn't know what to do with her. I worry that without proper challenges she'll get bored and all the issues that come with that, even if we still support her at home.

She is a sensitive and fairly naive child who could easily attract bullies for being bright and the new kid, much as I did at her age when I changed schools when moving. She also does not like change and will be experiencing enough upheaval as it is with the move. I worry that it will do her more harm than good to send her to a less than ideal school for a few terms before swapping her again if and when a place became available.

I'm a SAHM. DD is very self motivated and can concentrate on work better than I can. She already thrives on the various exercise books we buy her at home in addition to her schoolwork. She would be a good candidate for HE, far more so than her ditzy younger sister!!

It makes sense to home educate her, but I can't help but feel we'd be doing it for all the wrong reasons. I fully support HE and would of course do my very best for her and commit to it totally, but it was never something I imagined I'd end up doing, even temporarily. I feel like I'd be doing it for all the wrong reasons (out of necessity rather than want) and that it is only a temporary thing, so for those reasons it may not be such a good idea.

I'd really appreciate any thoughts on this - are there people here who are home educating for similar reasons? How is it working out?

Thank you!! smile

PS - Also if we turned down the offered place the LA give us, does that mean she would no longer be on any waiting lists for the good school/s?

racingheart Mon 15-Oct-12 18:15:38

I don't home ed but have lots of friends who do. I would HE rather than send to a lousy school, so don't think you are making the wrong decision.

But I do think it's crucial that she meets people her own age as soon as possible after the move.
Can she join rainbows/brownies and a dancing club or drama club? If you go to church she might meet some other children her age. Also, look up HE groups in your local area as they may meet up from time to time to do days out or workshops.

You can pick up curricular books very easily on Amazon.

In our LEA, turning down one school doesn't negate your interest in another school that's full, but LEAs differ, so do check.

tiggy114 Mon 15-Oct-12 20:42:28

Hi there. Just thought i'd tell you my experience. With my son who has needs, the local crap ofsted school was better than the high ofsted school je went to first. The governer said to me that ofsted partly goes on sats grades and some schools make year 6 cramand cram for weeks to get good grades whereas this school doesn't believe in that. What i'm saying is, don't always take ofsted on face value. She could always do a monyh and you could pull her out again. Thats your right. Also you don't have to worry about curriculum. She can learn what she's interested in. Google autonomous schooling for info. As for socialising, you will no doubt bemeeting up with other home ed kids all the time so no worries there.

Saracen Mon 15-Oct-12 23:10:21

There are no wrong reasons. If home education is the least unattractive of the options available to you then how could it be the wrong decision?

However, in view of the fact that you would prefer your daughter to go to a good school rather than be home educated, I do think you should have a look round all available schools before ruling them out. If you don't, you could be overlooking a hidden gem on your doorstep.

If you look at the schools and they are as bad as you expect, home ed must be the way to go.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 16-Oct-12 15:58:34


Hello. We have been H.ed for half a term now and our decision was due to dd being g&t for music. The school could not cater for her needs so it was her decision as she wanted to prioritise her talent.
I don't think there is a wrong reason either. Although as I have said on posts before it is my opinion that dcs need to really want to do it, otherwise there could be issues. As long as your dd is in agreement I can't see a problem.

MurderOfProse Tue 16-Oct-12 20:27:56

Thank you everyone, it is good to hear people's thoughts. I'm glad to hear you don't think it would be totally wrong to do it, given it wouldn't be my first choice.

If we did home educate, I would definitely make sure to sign her up to a bunch of clubs. She already does swimming which we'd be looking to continue with, but something where it's easier to chat such as Brownies would be good too.

I definitely wouldn't take an Ofsted on face value. When looking for nurseries years ago the local "outstanding" nursery was absolutely dreadful, I felt like Ofsted had been to the wrong nursery. The one we sent her to was a "good" and wasn't exactly being praised from the rooftops in the report, but it's been a fantastic nursery and I'm very sad to take DD2 away from it!

I am going to visit the only local school with spaces this week or next and hopefully make a decision then - it isn't fair to rule it out just on the paperwork. Although I'll admit the fact that in an area with oversubscribed schools, the fact this school only admitted 17 out of 30 into her year group does make me wonder a bit.. heh.

I asked her about it this morning in fact and if she would mind.. she seemed quite keen on the idea! I have to admit I love the idea of teaching her more about the world around us than she would get in school too.

Saracen Wed 17-Oct-12 01:55:21

About using clubs for social opportunities: my older dd was a social butterfly and choosing clubs which allowed her to make friends was a high priority. I found it impossible to predict from the type of club whether it would meet that need. One Brownie troupe may be chatty while another is so highly structured with one activity after another that the girls never get to know each other properly.

We tried one gymnastics class where there was nowhere to wait beforehand, so people stayed in their cars. Once the children were inside, the coach required them to practice in complete silence: even if they had arrived five minutes early they were supposed to get to work at once rather than talking. Beyond the first session, parents weren't allowed to stay and watch, and therefore they didn't chat with each other. People dispersed quickly after the session.

The following week we went to a gymnastics class with an attached cafe where people often hung around before or after the session. The children were allowed to do a certain amount of messing around socialising while queueing for the apparatus. There was almost nonstop talking. Parents sat watching, also chatting with one another. (Given your daughter's age, the friendliness of the other parents is just as important as that of the children if you hope your dd will be able to invite other children home.) No prizes for guessing which class we chose! I'm sure the standard of gymnastics was lower in the second class, but it was just the sort of place my dd wanted to be.

So with a sociable child, I found it paid dividends to visit each class for a trial session and pay particular attention to how everyone was interacting, how much unstructured time there was in which the children could play and talk, and what happened before and after class.

MurderOfProse Wed 17-Oct-12 11:39:33

Great advice, thank you! There's a lot of waiting around in her current swimming lessons so she has made a few friends, but I'm very aware that not every teacher tolerates chatting like that, and of course she's leaving that lesson behind shortly anyway. I've made a few mum friends at swimming too so it's been good for me as well as I've felt quite isolated in the past.

We've been blessed here because as luck would have it, the mother I got on best with outside the school gates on the first day turned out to be the mother of the child my DD made best friends with on that first day. And they live opposite (the joy of London, never knowing your neighbours, ha ha!) The mother remains by far my best local friend and our DDs are very close. I doubt we'll get that lucky again, but I do intend for us to visit often at least in the short term.

As you say, we'll try a whole bunch of places and see what works!

VolumeOfACone Tue 23-Oct-12 15:55:16

We are moving soon too and we will be HE until a place becomes available at a nearby school.
I am pregnant 3 months pregnant, so I am just hoping we get a place before the baby comes!

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