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What is HE like from the child's pov?

(23 Posts)
OryxCrake Sun 29-Sep-13 12:46:17

My two are grown up now. The older dc didn't want to do HE and was at school all the way through until 18. The younger one was HE from the age of nine and never went back to school (was bullied and hated it).

We went the autonomous route, following dc's interests and aptitudes and he loved it. It also allowed him to pursue a sport to a very high level.

He did some IGCSEs (including maths and English) and two A levels (including maths) in case he wanted to go back into the system. For most subjects we just downloaded the relevant syllabus and figured it out together although he had a bit of tutoring for a modern foreign language and did one online course for HE kids.

Both dc are now at university and both say they were very happy with how their education panned out.

The dc who was HE is at university abroad on a sports scholarship (and is enjoying the study as well as the sport); the dc who stayed at school took some time out after A levels to work before going the UCAS route and is studying in the UK.

The rambling point being that there are lots of different ways to go about education - and no right way! I should add that I'm lucky enough to work from home so could continue pt and still HE. I loved it and wouldn't have missed the opportunity to HE for the world.

I do think that my dc who chose to stay at school would have hated HE and absolutely thrived in school, so it really does depend on the child, the parent, the family and the set-up imo.

moobaloo Sun 29-Sep-13 12:13:29


I was home educated from the age of 13 and now I'm in my 20s and expecting my first child.

I can honestly say I loved being Home Ed!

I was bullied on and off during school and also wouldn't work if it was pointless, preferring to daydream. When I did apply myself I was told off for reading too far ahead into the book or going to far into the workbook questions!

My main reason for leaving school was, as someone mentioned earlier, it took FOREVER to get through a day! Going between classes, up to half hour waits whilst teachers quietened children down long enough to take the register, people messing around... I was so bored and I figured if I had to be there I might as well be doing something, but I couldn't because of everyone else!

Being home schooled was brilliant because I could work when I wanted largely, if it was sunny and nice I was outside helping with gardening, car cleaning, riding my pony and looking after the field etc. evenings or when it rained I studied, by myself mostly, and got loads done in a couple of hours as opposed to wasting a whole day at school.

I did GCSEs as an external candidate and enjoyed doing the coursework and experiments (particularly biology - we had exploding yeast in the kitchen!) and linked a lot of study in with my actual life and surroundings. I also worked, getting my first job at the age of 14, just four hours a week but it gave me some pocket money and powered up my work ethic so much that when I was offered a job aged 16 I took it with no hesitation and I haven't stopped since smile

So yes, from an adults point of view, I'm glad I was home educated and I truly wish I could have been from day one as opposed to those wasted, miserable years I spent in school!

musicposy Thu 05-Sep-13 20:32:18

In my experience science and maths A levels do need the required GCSEs because the govt are now pushing colleges to insist on that as a requirement. We've just come up against that as DD2 would have liked to do Biology A level this year, has a good GCSE in it and two others besides but they would not bypass the maths GCSE requirement (even though she is easily GSCE standard which we offered to prove but hadn't yet taken it on account of being only 13!)
All colleges are different and set their own rules but yes, you may struggle in the most academic subjects. However, our college is as a result of new funding and my complaints input, looking into ways they can accomodate students on these without the required entry qualifications so I suspect this may change.

I would advise to speak to the college well in advance and see. All colleges are different so it's often a case of persuading the right person.

piratecat Tue 03-Sep-13 00:37:58

that's very interesting. when you say portfolio for college, do you mean one for arts type courses.
for really academic studies do they not need to take exams to get in.
i really wish my dd wasn't going to secondary school. she likes school but that is all she knows iyswim.sad

musicposy Mon 02-Sep-13 00:17:59

I know quite a few who have got into college on portfolio alone, including one of DD2's best friends who is just starting a level 3 art and design course at only 14. I've seen quite a few home ed children grow up now, with many different approaches, and not one is NEET. You can't say that for the general population wink

piratecat Sun 01-Sep-13 23:50:48

that's really interesting to read how you approached this.

I've a friend who is a HE'der, and am not sure if her child will do any sort of exam, which sometimes worries me tbh.

musicposy Sun 01-Sep-13 17:36:35

We downloaded the syllabus for each GCSE from the exam board website, bought the recommended text books, studied them (mostly DD alone but with interest and support from me) , and took them. She took them at a local private school who accepted her as a private candidate. She did 3 in Year 9, 4 in Year 10 and 4 in Year 11 (I know that adds to 11 but we did Maths at foundation before higher to get a good grounding). It was very little pressure. We started the GCSEs in the September and took them in the summer each year. It took about 3 hours study a day at the very most. So, 9am to midday working, rest of the day completely free (though it sometimes worked out as a whole day free and a couple more hours a different day, just whatever worked). This is a huge contrast to Year 11s at school who have a whole school day and then homework in the evenings.
Her college friends were saying how easy 6th form was and she told them they were joking! She found all the time wasting at college annoying. No time is wasted at home, you study what you want or need and no more.

piratecat Sun 01-Sep-13 01:13:06

oops, it's late posy not pony blush!

piratecat Sun 01-Sep-13 01:12:37

musicpony, how did your dd take the 10 gcse's? was this independently.

How did she learn for the subjects? genuine interest here. thanks

musicposy Sun 01-Sep-13 01:05:05

DD1 is 17, now at college, and was home ed for 4 years from 12-16. She tells all her friends how great it was, what fun, and how little work she did! (this complete lack of any work gained her 10 GCSEs....) I think she looks back on it as one long holiday and will probably always remember it as a very happy and charmed part of her life. She likes college but misses it just a bit, I think.

DD2, 14, has just started her 7th year of home ed. She cannot understand why anyone would choose to go to school. A few of her friends have returned and she is utterly bewildered by their decision, which says it all, really.

MariscallRoad Sat 24-Aug-13 11:52:28

I feel you should try it. Your child will have choices how and what to learn at his pace. DS was very happy with HE, we tried different directions in learning, unstructured for periods and most of all what suited to the Child’s pace, some times we did one or two subjects with a set syllabus. Children learn best in quiet environments.

Betelguese Sat 24-Aug-13 11:41:14

The child feels very special when H-ed, indeed.

maggi Thu 22-Aug-13 10:01:00

From my ds pov it is a very unstressed lifestyle. He was just about ready to meltdown at school. (He'd just begun secondary and the workload was too much for his dyslexia to keep up with- he could do the learning but not the writing. School dealt with this by sending him for 10 mins a week to read to someone??????huh?????? so we took him out). As previous post says, the curriculum at school is broad to cover all bases in the hope the children will find something they excel at. At home we tailor what we do to just one child. I bring in as many aspects as possible to his interests to broaden his general knowledge.
We are just about to trial a gcse this year. We work when he is most alert which happens to be 7.30am to 9.30am. We have trips most days. He has time to explore art (always worn out before) and has shown us a hidden strength in drawing that we would never have known at school.

He has returned to being my son. We have a wonderfully close relationship now. He is happy after always struggling at school.

PS we have also made huge progress in his writing ability

snoozysleeper Thu 22-Aug-13 00:46:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Justfornowitwilldo Thu 11-Jul-13 10:03:44

Are there any adults out here who were homeschooled and could share their perspective? Particularly those who now have children of their own.

throckenholt Thu 11-Jul-13 09:59:32

interesting maths

grin dh does what he calls "interesting sums" with ours - one DS calls them "brain rotting sums".

LittleSporksBigSpork Thu 11-Jul-13 00:12:48

I asked my older two (8 and 6) about their POV earlier, they just went on about it being awesome and great, the 8 year old going on to say that it means he can do his interesting maths and science.

For my eldest, being able to control the distractions is absolutely essential, I've watched how much it has effects him. That to me is part of HE, learning together not just about the world, but about ourselves which leads to slowly learning what we need and how to manage these things in a wider world.

Saracen Tue 09-Jul-13 08:44:08

It feels like the school holidays to us too. Having acres of time and plenty of flexibility gives a different quality of life.

My older dd tried school for a while. When someone later asked her how the learning at school had compared with home ed, she said, "I think I learned about the same amount at school as I did at home - but at school it took ALL DAY to do it!" While at school she really missed having time - time to do hobbies, see friends, read, play, and relax.

Another of my children has a very short attention span and is quite distractible, but outside of a school environment it doesn't seem to matter much. She just learns differently. She has no sense that anything is "wrong" with her, because no one is expecting unrealistic things of her.

throckenholt Sat 06-Jul-13 18:14:15

We are more formal than the others who have answered. For us it usually means doing 3-4 hours academic work (maths, science, english, languages, history, geography etc) 4-5 days a week for maybe 46 weeks in a year - with varying amounts of adult input. The rest of the time is a mix of watching documentaries (maybe 1 hour every couple of days), cooking, building things, going out and about, cycling.
Lots of stuff comes up in conversation, often while we are eating. And we often end up veering from one subject to another as the mood takes us.

We tend to have weekends off, meet up with friends etc. And tend to go away somewhere in UK for maybe 3-4 weeks in the year.

We don't have fixed hours. We have been doing it for a few years now and the kids have no inclination to return to school at present.

chocolatecrispies Fri 05-Jul-13 16:35:56

My ds, aged 5, says 'When you don't go to school you can learn yourself at home by thinking. Like me, I thought and thought and then I turned a somersault in the swimming pool'. He also says he is never never going to school because it's more fun to be at home and he gets to choose more than children at school. We are autonomous learners...

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Jul-13 10:51:30


I think it is freedom to do what you like when you like and agree with the comment about middle week of the summer holiday.
We do a little bit of structured work but it is mostly freely chosen by dd. The greatest benefit afaiac is the freedom to start at 10pm if you like, finish at 2pm if you like. Just recently dd can be involved with something in terms of her music and she'll say, I wouldn't be able to do this if I was at school. The freedom to come and go as you please with no restrictions is a huge benefit imo

ommmward Sun 30-Jun-13 17:48:31

Depends on how you do it.

For unschoolers like us, it's essentially like the middle week of the summer holidays, but every week of the year (and even usually with authentic summer holiday weather - rainy, cold, windy...)

The children play and explore and ask questions, and we go on local adventures of various kinds (like, a trip to the supermarket or the park).

People who do more sit-down learning, with adult imposed agenda have a different experience, obviously.

zirca Sun 30-Jun-13 17:37:04

Just musing that in the future I will be working full time to afford to send my DC to private school (our local schools are dire). Seems silly really. I did not enjoy school and neither did DH, due to our personalities really. We are both quiet, prefer small groups and hate crowds etc. I have ADD and struggled to conform also. I see children like I was drift and do all I can to help, but it just isn't the right environment. Too many people, too many distractions. I know my children may well inherit these tendencies. By the time we are thinking of school, I would be able to quit work financially also So, what is it like?

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