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Home educating for a few weeks a year when we go "home" - would that be flexi-schooling?

(84 Posts)
gaelicsheep Thu 25-Oct-12 23:12:47

I've trawled the net and haven't found any reference to this specific type of situation. All I've found is stuff about home educating for part of each week, or stuff applicable to travellers which we're not (although we feel like it sometimes!). Has anyone done this? Pros and cons?

I also read about dual registration, but in our case one school would be in England/Wales and the other in Scotland and DC would be jumping between years, so I think perhaps not the best idea!

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:06:26

"Home" is the house we own, where I had my children, where I had PND, where I struggled with and conquered breastfeeding, where my DS went to nursery and school, where all our friends are. Just because you stay in a rented house temporarily because you need to work in the place does not make it home. Home is where your things are, your memories are, and where your heart is. Why is this such a difficult concept for everyone (on here and in the council)?

Emandlu Fri 26-Oct-12 00:08:29

I am not trying to be upsetting, really I'm not. I am saying how it looks from the outside, not knowing the whole story.

If your ds is attending school near your place of work and that is where he is mostly living then the school will see that place as home. If you then live some of the year elsewhere then it appears, rightly or wrongly, as though you are taking extended holidays to the place you think of as home.

I do understand that you do not see your place of work as home, and that you therefore do not see going home as a holiday.

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:08:58

Yes Emandlu, that's exactly what I had in mind, I'm most definitely not talking about letting him lol around on holiday for weeks at a time. We're at home just now and that's exactly what I did and we're doing work with him each morning, but we did have to sign a "term-time holiday" form which I hated doing and which I wouldn't want to do regularly (and I think it's limited to 10 days a year anyway).

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:10:15

At this rate I'm thinking I'm going to have to jack in the job to conform with "society" sad

BrittaPerry Fri 26-Oct-12 00:11:36

There isn't a legal right to flexi school - it is entirely at the schools discretion.

Sounds like an awful situation. It is confusing though.

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:12:27

I think everyone except me would find this easier if I commuted the length of the country every couple of weeks sad

Emandlu Fri 26-Oct-12 00:13:38

A flexi-school arrangement would cover this, but most heads are reluctant to go with flexi-schooling unfortunately and it would be totally at the head's discretion I'm afraid.

I hope you manage to find something that works for your family.

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:18:24

OK Emandlu thanks, that gives me an answer to the original question, which was would this come under flexi-schooling.

I really really don't understand why this is confusing though. Rather than me spend most of the year away from my children we've chosen for the whole family to stay away from home with me. Surely this type of situation can't be that uncommon in this climate of difficulty finding work?

NonnoMum Fri 26-Oct-12 00:22:18

OK - I understand your obvious attachment to home.

So, I suppose my next question is about the job. I imagine you must have a highly specialised job that you have to be so far from home so regularly that you have to take your DC out of school?

i.e if you were a shelf-stacker in the supermarket, couldn't you do it down the road? So, you must be something that is very well paid in order to warrant the distance from home?

EvilTwins Fri 26-Oct-12 00:23:37

I am amazed that this wasn't something you sorted before taking the new job. Surely that level of disruption to your DC is never going to be good. Extended amounts of time away from school will stop him making friends, quite apart from any academic impact. I am astounded that you consider this to be the solution. Either take the job and move the family or put up with the commute. You come across as very selfish.

Emandlu Fri 26-Oct-12 00:24:05

I guess that most people would just move for work rather than continue to see where they have lived as home perhaps? Probably for all the reasons you are now coming across.

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:26:08

It's a specialist job, obviously I can't go into detail. It is above average pay for a single person - just enough to support a small mortgage and pay rent plus two lots of council tax without totally bankrupting ourselves, although it feels like we're heading there fast - but our family income is well below average as I'm the sole earner. The other dimension to this is that DH has depression and moving away from everything he knows and loves is making him sink fast, hence the need to be able to get back home regularly.

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:27:18

Thanks for the helpful input EvilTwins. You come across as a lovely person yourself. I guess you would be very happy to commute 500 miles and spend most of your time away from your children.

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:29:11

I think it might be wasting my time here. I really don't have to justify myself to strangers who are really not getting it. Being called selfish is just about the last straw when I spend my whole god damned life worrying about DH and my kids and trying to do my very best for them. sad

Emandlu Fri 26-Oct-12 00:31:53

Gaelicsheep, I hope you find a solution that works for all your family. I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
Good luck with it all!

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:33:30

Thanks Emandlu, but after this I am rather less hopeful than I was before.

EvilTwins Fri 26-Oct-12 00:33:54

So why take the job then? In response to your question, no, I wouldn't be happy to do that, so I wouldn't have taken a job which put me in that position. DH has been offered assignments away from home which would mean only coming back at weekends. When the DCs were tiny, we decided it wouldn't work for us as a family. Now they're slightly older, it would be a bit easier, but he'd go and the kids and I would stay. Moving everybody for 6 weeks at a time, then back again seems madness. And getting cross because no one will offer you a solution to a problem which seems pretty unique and in no one's best interest isn't that helpful.

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:36:09

Oh I'm not going into it all again EvilTwins, I really don't have to justify myself any more here. My job was untenable and felt insecure, this job came up - dream job, wrong place. We tried moving, I love the job, DH hates where it is. He's getting ill, DS misses his friends. What the hell am I supposed to do?

BrittaPerry Fri 26-Oct-12 00:38:37

It sounds terrible for you, but does sound like a unique situation. Most people would just move the family where a job was, or not take it if they really couldn't move, so I'm sure you must have very special reasons for keeping the old house yet still taking the job and paying rent on a second home.

I am sure you have thought long and hard about that aspect though, so, to answer your original question, I have heard of, say, child actors having lots of time with tutors on the sets of films, then going back to normal schools in breaks. No idea how that works, but could be worth looking at.

Could ds go to school in your original own, then take time out to visit you in the new town?

EvilTwins Fri 26-Oct-12 00:39:33

That makes it different- why didn't you say that earlier? Sounds like you're between a rock and a hard place. How long have you been in the job? Is it viable for you to try DH and DC at home and you going back at weekends? Would that be any worse than the situation you're now in? Obviously having DC registered at two schools in two different countries won't work- could DH HE full time?

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:43:09

I guess we're not most people. And I guess we'll find a way to make this work somehow, we usually do. But I really am astounded that this seems so unusual. And no I cannot live away from them, I just can't. And I cannot leave DH to cope with the kids on his own day and night for extended periods.

EvilTwins - hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it? Have you ever done something thinking it was the right thing and later realised it might have been a mistake? Yet you were in an impossible position because the status quo was also impossible?

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:44:26

x-posted ET sorry. I didn't say earlier as I'm trying not to give too much away. Given this is so unusual anyone who knows me in rl will now know who I am! I might have to get the thread deleted actually.

gaelicsheep Fri 26-Oct-12 00:46:09

It really isn't viable to commute weekly - I have thought about it a lot. It's a difficult journey from home to work to do every week, would take hours and hours and involve hiring a car at the other end and be hopelessly expensive. I could do it twice a month for 3-4 days at a time and break even on our expenditure now, but not every week.

Saracen Fri 26-Oct-12 09:09:05

That sounds like a really difficult situation. I have every sympathy with what you want to do. I agree with others who have said that the "system" (LA and school) would be unlikely to help you accomplish what you have in mind. Still, it can't hurt to ask. In certain situations they are obliged to help, for example where parents work in a job which requires seasonal migration. However, as you say, there's a good chance that you wouldn't qualify.

Among many people who work in the school system or send their children there, there is a strong belief that children's education will suffer without fairly continuous school attendance. This is the justification for the truancy laws, and you will fall foul of them if you take your child away for extended periods without permission. Regular absence from school is also widely regarded as disruptive to the education of the other children, because it isn't easy or quick for the teacher to set work for the child to do while away, and the teacher may need to spend extra time with the child on his return to explain what he has missed. If you feel that this wouldn't actually be a problem, you will be seen as lacking in respect for the role a teacher plays in the child's education. So... I think some people will express outrage at the very idea of what you want to do.

I wonder whether in your situation it could be worth exploring the possibility of full-time home education more thoroughly? If you children don't attend school at all, you can go wherever you like without requiring permission from anyone and the family can stay together. Your children could have continuity in their education. You say you have some reservations about your children's current school anyway. I know you mentioned concerns over your depressed dh having to cope with the children on his own if you lived away from the rest of the family - do you have similar concerns about how he would manage if he were looking after them every day while you work? There are families who home educate in all sorts of situations, including where the parents are struggling with depression. So home education isn't necessarily something you'd have to rule out on that basis.

ChiefOwl Fri 26-Oct-12 09:19:17

It sounds like an awful situation. Who is he'ing your children though when you are home as presumably you are working? Is it dh?

I have to say I woud think it preferable for your dc to be in school at home where there friends are especially as they get older, otherwise I think they may have friendship issues. How old are they?

I would thinK it might be better to he full time, however I can't see how you can do this if you are working (am presuming dh is not is this something he would want to do?)

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