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Help with getting started?

(5 Posts)
BadSeedsAddict Thu 12-Sep-13 20:46:08

Hi, just wondering if anyone could offer any advice? I have 3 children, the oldest being eight. I've been looking into home ed for a while now but because I have ADD I have focus and confidence problems. My family think I'm mad to consider it. We heard today that my son, who has always been the smallest in his class, has experienced some bullying behaviour from older children in his class (we live in a small village and year groups are combined within classes). He's really upset by this. And it has infuriated me, because I know from working at the school that the children in question do so many things like this, all day, that virtually nothing is said about 'minor' things like this.

Basically what I'm asking is, is there an easyish way to get started with home ed, until we are able to find our feet? I already struggle with confidence and the anti home ed stance my family have taken really bothers me, which I know seems silly. My husband wants us to take each child out at the end of primary school, but I think that could be too late. He is saying the social side of it makes it worth it. We also have very little money and that is a concern too.

Saracen Fri 13-Sep-13 09:59:39

The easyish way to get started is to give your son some time off initially from any enforced academic work. Let him do what interests him without worrying about its educational value. (Regardless of how easy or hard it may be, many HE families recommend doing this "deschooling" for a few months initially anyway. It allows the child to recover from any school trauma he may have had and reconnect with what he likes to do.) After that you could look into autonomous education, which involves letting the child choose what and when and how to learn indefinitely.

As for the family, if they get too nosy about what you are doing, tell them that this deschooling phase is a well-recognised procedure. One quick and easy way to boost your own confidence and get the relatives off your back somewhat is to go out and explore. Such is the educational value of going out to new places, I bet there is hardly a teacher in the country who doesn't dream of being able to take the class out on frequent field trips. You are in the enviable position of being able to go out as much as you want. You don't need the right ratio of adult helpers, or signed permission forms, or to get finance approved. There's no pressure on you to ensure the kids get to their scheduled swimming session or practice for SATs. Take a nature walk and see what you can see. If there are museums or historical sites which are easy to reach and affordable, check them out. Go to the library and take out any books that catch your son's fancy. Look into the history of your village and go out to look at buildings from different times. See if you can identify different types of clouds. But only do the things your son wants to do, so you aren't at loggerheads with him. Learning is meant to be fun.

BadSeedsAddict Fri 13-Sep-13 10:49:09

Thank you Saracen. I'm absolutely up for autonomous, child-led education - husband isn't. I think he would gradually get there but needs something transitional to feel safer about doing this. We're very interested in following their interests but have that fear of letting them down and doing the wrong thing. So curriculum seems like the safe, preferably temporary option. I've read most of John Holt's work and understand how children learn best, to some extent. We do a lot with them out of school too. It's the fear of getting it wrong, and the rough plan of it, that I need to get sorted.

byanymeans Fri 13-Sep-13 15:11:34

Hi Badseeaddict,
We too had been looking to and researching Home ed for our son. At the start of the summer 80% of the family were thinking we were mad but over the summer we let him do alot of free play and then craft (kits/projects) for an hour or so each day at the table. We set on set time but we did sit down and look on pinrest together for ideas of what to do so he was exscited about the ideas and I had time to find the bits cheaply. Due to forced nauture of his schools work and bullying, along with being told that he was behind and should rush by his teachers(he is only6) he is honestly in fear of writing real words or reading. For the whole summer we have playing, sewen, crafted he can even us a old hand crank sewning machine on his own now, he confedence has bomed again. He has lots to show family that he has been making and he even asks to have mummy or daddy reading time again but we read horrible science as he love them and act out bits as we go.

The differnce in him was great but had yet to make a choice so he returned to school, 2 weeks of upset and going backwards again we have deregister him this morning.

Now after seeing the work he has done out of school and comparing it to work from last year at school each family member has started to carm and support us though they still think me.
As we start our HE path we are going to exporing space rockets which is his current love along with Doc Who. We will be taking lots of pictures of what fun things we do eg making a moon cake or a free trip to the scince museum and putting it together into a project book or folder that he can show nannys and family. I hope this will help building his confidence and mine as I will be able to show family that he is happier and learning the way he needs to and with lots of play free time for him to explore his own interests like his love of cooking and music.
I have read very little on deschooling because from what a did read it wasnt for us but I do think for us play is going to be a big part of the next few months at least but I personal what to see he is learning, even if it just random facts on rockets till chirstmas.

Sorry this is long I hope a bit.

BadSeedsAddict Mon 16-Sep-13 09:41:26

Byanymeans no not too long! Really helpful thank you smile that all sounds great! My DS loves Dr Who too. That's sad about fear of reading but you sound like you're doing loads smile

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