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Longing to HE but not brave enough

(11 Posts)
looseleaf Fri 26-Apr-13 02:15:27

We live in central London and children are 6 and 21 months. I don't know anyone who HEs near us and once went to a meet up but children were much older and we didn't really click with anyone not that that matters as that can take time.
Dd and I love being together and I feel her (very good state school) push her very hard while I'd rather foster a love of learning following her lead as well not just pushing things at her.
DS meanwhile is very demanding in terms of time and very bright (eg knows where 80% of European countries are on a map, loves learning their capital cities, huge vocab etc). And I already wonder about skipping preschool if he's still hypersensitive about being anywhere without me as feel he'll be more confident in the long run.

Sorry this is long but has anyone any advice? DH is pro HE but doesn't understand it doesn't HAVE to be highly structured and pushy which is the way he'd want it; he also doesn't feel I'd be up to it in terms of time to teach but I feel I would as teach them so much through play / them asking for books and I just feel DD and I both want her at home more (she's really happy at school too where has lots of lovely friends).

Any thoughts so welcome as I sort of feel I'll never take the plunge and wouldn't have family support/ approval.

milk Fri 26-Apr-13 09:43:45

Watching smile

FionaJNicholson Fri 26-Apr-13 10:14:51

I think you need to work out what you want to achieve, convince yourself that you're right, and be blindingly certain that you will succeed. After that, nothing anyone else says or thinks is relevant really. Failing that (which I do recognise is impossible and also not conducive to "a happy marriage") I'd hook up with more local home ed groups and just hang out with the younger one.

Saracen Fri 26-Apr-13 10:20:38

Your dh's main concern (at least, the one he has mentioned - there may be others which will emerge later) is that you won't be able to invest enough time in formal teaching. You don't want to go entirely that way anyhow. So it seems to me that the main task in the first place is convincing him that autonomous education / unschooling (or anyway an approach which is more relaxed than what he has in mind) could work for your children.

There are various ways you could do this. You could do lots of reading on the subject and pass your dh some books. You could work on getting to know some local families, especially those who are doing autonomous education, especially those with older children who are very bright like yours. Some of my friends with extremely bright children started off trying to teach them but soon discovered that this just didn't work. As your husband recognises, trying to stay one step ahead of such a child is pretty near impossible. However, that isn't an argument against home education: it is going to be equally true for your children's schoolteachers. For example, it's quite likely that your toddler has already surpassed any future teachers he might have in nursery and primary in the particular area of European geography. What happens when he can do arithmetic better than they can, but must still sit through endless arithmetic lessons? He may or may not learn to tolerate that aspect of school, but it won't be fun or challenging for him.

It sounds like there is no great urgency about the situation. Your daughter is happy enough at school and your son is still very young. So you have some time to look into the idea of autonomous education and convince your dh that it is worth having a trial of it.

...come to think of it, are you formally teaching your little boy? If you are, what about stopping that? Then you can use him as an example to your dh: "Look, it wasn't MY idea for him to learn all the European countries. It was his. I just helped him get the books he wanted so he could do that. I haven't been teaching him; he has been teaching himself. Can you see how well he has been learning? Why should we change that when he is three/four/five years old?" It's one of the arguments that autonomous educators often use: "see how well it has worked so far".

looseleaf Fri 26-Apr-13 10:52:14

That's a great idea to try local groups with DS who anyway loves older children (his 'best friend' is an 8 year old boy on our street who comes regularly to play).
I will try harder to settle DH's fears/ increase his understanding that learning can work brilliantly when autonomous. Learning the countries came from me showing DS one and him repeatedly bringing us the map and asking this one? to learn the rest. Similarly he seeks out books with new things all the time so dismisses the books about farms and likes volcanoes or lightning, especially things he hasn't seen before. He's such fun to teach as both our children curious as most children are.
Your replies have given me a bit more determination to at least try but I'll need to be quite strong as DH talks a lot about how crucial education is (I agree) and how much we need to push DD to get into a good secondary. I just feel upset thinking how much more space she needs to develop and this am was in tears as tired and needing a break

looseleaf Fri 26-Apr-13 10:53:20

She was in years I mean!

looseleaf Fri 26-Apr-13 10:53:40

Tears even...

chocolatecrispies Fri 26-Apr-13 20:00:26

I would read and read and read. Alan Thomas, John Holt, Sandra Dodd's website and the free email series at One thing that really decided me was another mum who said 'I don't want to look back and feel they went to school because I wasn't confident enough to keep them out'. Join some FB HE pages and ask questions. Also join the Home Education in London FB page and organise a meet up or join another one. It is a life changing decision but so exciting.

lubeloo72 Wed 15-May-13 18:43:27

Hi there, I'm in a similar position- I really want to have the confidence to go with HE but need to convince dh that it would be a good idea. DS1 is happy, well liked and doing well at school but I feel the system is very limiting and I would love my children to have a more holistic and wholesome learning experience. My belief is that he would get a better education at home- like your DS he is really easy to motivate and has a wonderful degree of curiosity that I find incredible- being a primary teacher myself I know that the amount of 'work' he can produce in a short period of focused time with me at home is so much more than you might get out of children in school where they are more likely to be distracted or disinterested (let's face it- despite our best efforts!) in what they are learning.
But HE must be an enormous challenge-in terms of intensity, no real breaks from each other etc, but hopefully balanced with wonderful shared experiences. Our other problem is that I need to bring in some income so how easily I can manage the two without getting burnt out I don't know! All I know is that it's all I can think about at the moment!

LucyBucy Wed 15-May-13 21:31:57

Looseleaf you're in a similar situation to me. I have JUST taken the plunge this week and emailed our head teacher to tell her we're leaving school to home educate our daughters. My DH was sceptical too, and actually quite afraid of taking the risk but I did my research, read everything I could, and managed to persuade him that I could do a better job and our DD1 would be happier at home.

I do intend to have some structure as I want to keep my options open as regards secondary. But as I understand it, it is much quicker to teach one child than a class of 30 so I'm going to try for structure in the morning and leave the afternoons open for anything else. Also, I don't want DD's learning to be dry, I intend to make it fun as she's already lost her love of learning (after only 2 years of school?!) so this is something I intend to concentrate on.

Could this be a compromise between you and your DH? You could do half structure / half autonomous to begin with and see which is the most successful?

P.S. I'm in London too, I tried to join a few yahoo groups to get some support while I was thinking of becoming HE and I got rejected both times! hmm. Hopefully they'll be more helpful when my HEing actually starts...

P.P.S My DD2 sounds similar to your youngest, just like a sponge! I'm hoping that I'll be able to teach both at the same time, maybe just simplifying things a little for DD2, which will save time.

P.P.P.S It sounds to me that you ARE brave enough, you just need to convince your DH that you can do it!!

Flobbadobs Fri 17-May-13 12:31:05

Watchng with much interest as I am looking into HE for my DS. I made a list of pros and cons last night, could find loads of pros and only 4 cons. 2 of those weren't even particularly relevant!!

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