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Hello New here-to home ed or not? Please can I have your thoughts?

(13 Posts)
sugaplumfurry Thu 24-Oct-13 12:02:41

chocolatecrispies I have just joined the facebook group, Thank you. It's refreshing to see faces next to the names! smile. I have already had some great advice and experiences from others. I have hit a massive glitch but I'm sure someone will put it in to perspective for me soon. Thanks again everyone...I think my mumsnet days may be coming to an end (now everyone can breath a sigh of relief smile).

chocolatecrispies Sat 19-Oct-13 21:15:43

Sugaplumfairy can I suggest you join Facebook? There is a lot of home ed support there and you can also access people to help you writing letters to the LA. mumsnet home education is a closed group to start with.

sugaplumfurry Fri 18-Oct-13 12:47:52

Saracen and ommmward It was a parliamentary website that I came across while trying to find information, this had a link which supplied where the info was supplied on my LA's 'other' website..which then led me to a page on the official LA website with an email to contact the Home education officer (or something similar can't remember off the top of my head). So I presumed that was what information I will be given if I contact them. Sorry that was me getting confused!!, I'm guessing the policy no longer exists but if it does (but isn't on show) I have now had guidance on what to do so will cross that bridge when I get there. Thank you.

I have taken into consideration what you have all mentioned. I see it isn't forever and if I feel that I am not doing an adequate job I either revise or return him to school. Either way right now he needs to be out of the school environment before it's too late. So I will start to draw up some kind of plan??? and speak to my husband this evening, I have already suggested it but I think we need to discuss it properly.

Thank you for your posts.

Saracen Thu 17-Oct-13 23:56:08

The home ed activists have been onto that LA for years, ommmward. It features regularly in parliamentary submissions as a prime illustration of how some Local Authorities disregard the law. I am astonished that they haven't yet been shamed into removing some of their most blatantly illegal policies from public view.

This does not mean they will succeed in bullying you, sugaplumfurry. As ommmward says, they haven't a leg to stand on. They are likely to back down as soon as they know that you are aware of this.

...blood boiling...

ommmward Thu 17-Oct-13 23:46:50

I am shock at your LA. We need to get the HE activists onto this - the LA are totally ultra vires, and need telling so.

My advice at this point would be to wait for them to write and say they plan to come and visit you, and then send them a very polite letter back, where you say that you are of course willing to provide evidence about the HE you are providing, once you've had a settling in period of [insert period - 3 months is pretty standard], as per the 2007 Elective Home Education guidelines. But you are a bit confused about their website. It seems to say that they will refer to "blah de blah vulnerable and corporate parenting" anyone who chooses to provide evidence about the education in written form rather than having a meeting. Could they explain how this is in harmony with the 2007 guidelines, or point to the guidelines that have superseded the 2007 ones? If it is indeed the legal requirement that you will allow them to visit your home and see your children, then of course you will comply, but you'd like to be reassured that this is indeed the legal situation before allowing strangers into your home [hint: they have no legal leg to stand on; they are bullying you]

It would be very helpful to know which LA this is so that home edders can put pressure on them to mend their ways. if you send me a PM, i'll get word out without linking it back to you.

Saracen Thu 17-Oct-13 23:37:16

The OT sounds like a good idea, and might turn up some useful information regardless of which educational path you end up following.

i agree with ommmward that school is not a great place to learn social skills. School is pretty all-or-nothing, in that it presents children with situations which may be too extreme or too relentless for their developmental level. For instance, simply being in a room with 30 other people for six hours a day may be draining (it is for me!) and can leave some children without the energy to socialise positively. At the same time, spending long stretches at school limits the scope for children to observe and participate in real-world situations: asking for and giving directions (or watching mum do so), making small talk with adults in the corner shop, behaving appropriately on the bus, fielding a variety of phone calls confidently. School gives exposure primarily to a very specific set of school-related social skills, not more general ones.

As for whether you will fail your son... not to put too fine a point on it, if you leave him in a situation which is clearly not working for him (school) without trying other viable options then you will be failing him. Likewise, if you try home education and it is a greater disaster than school but you nevertheless stick with home ed doggedly for years without adapting your methods or considering a return to school, you will also be failing him.

You already know that school hasn't been working. You don't know whether home education might work. It has to be worth a try, doesn't it?

morethanpotatoprints Thu 17-Oct-13 23:16:44

Hello OP, this was my ds2 a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
I didn't know about H.ed then and he hated school throughout.
I so wish we had taken him out I know he would have had a much happier child hood.

We now H.ed dd for different reasons, but significantly she hates written work. For the past year I haven't pushed her to do any except suggested she kept a diary/journal.
Her writing has not only improved beyond recognition but she is really enjoying it now.
That is the joy, when they have a need or see an importance to something they will do it for themselves.

I say go for it, what can you lose. If it doesn't work out it doesn't have to be permanent, and if he is so unhappy any improvement will be a huge bonus for him.

sugaplumfurry Thu 17-Oct-13 22:52:45

Thank you ommmward When you put it that way I can see that . It's just been a constant battle so far and it's been just over 3 years of his school life with many more ahead. I would just rather put my energy into something positive instead of draining it because I'm trying to fight 'the system' meanwhile I'm watching my Ds losing the will to learn when, if done properly (tailored to him), he would love it and go far.

I have read the guideline for Home ed but our LA states that failure to allow them to visit the home and see the Dc will result in an immediate referral to the Children & Young People’s Department Vulnerable Children and Corporate Parenting Division being made.

ommmward Thu 17-Oct-13 21:22:12

If he has social/communication issues, then school is the last place where he'll learn those skills with confidence, surely? I think school is a great social set up for children who are gregarious and socially confident. The others learn that they are wannabees, not queen bees, and can take years to recover IMO. Home Ed gives you great opportunities to support your child in building their social confidence at the level appropriate to them, not necessarily the level appropriate to their chronological age, which might mean hanging out with younger or older people, depending on their interests.

ommmward Thu 17-Oct-13 19:08:44

Just quickly:

Do some reading about home-based learning. My children hardly write at all. I mean, At All. But when they need to, they can. So much of that writing at school is completely pointless make-work.

And someone will be along soon with a link to the national home ed guidelines for Local Authorities, but the short story is that NO, you do NOT have to have visits or ongoing monitoring. If the LA want reassurance that you are educating your child according to your legal responsibility, you can choose how you inform them about it, and a lot of home educators recommend not allowing them near (a) your home (b) your child or (c) any written product with a barge pole. There are other ways of informing them - you keeping a learning diary that you share with them, or you writing an educational philosophy (which is a page or two of explaining what you think education is about, and what sorts of opportunities you are offering, and approaches you are taking). Don't worry, we're here to help you find you feet with all this!

sugaplumfurry Thu 17-Oct-13 14:40:26

Thank you Saracen. let me give you an example of his dislike of writing..math homework he will do no problem. Will answer in seconds so long as he is writing it in numerical form but if there is 3 questions half way through that homework that requires the number to be converted into written form that is a different story, he explodes and the remainder of the homework will not be completed no matter how easy.

We have arranged a private occupational therapist to do a full assessment of his fine/gross motor skills just to rule out any issues there because to me it seems more of an issue dependent on the amount of writing he has to do or the amount of information he has to add (creative writing is also an issue)..if that makes any sense? and I just need to pinpoint exactly what is causing these outbursts. Is it brain to paper or mechanics. The school don't seem to of noticed these differences which is understandable as you have mentioned they do not see this 1-1.

My worries are first and foremost that I will fail him. Secondly he has social/communication issues and maybe by taking him out of school I will limit the things which he could potentially learn from going to school..but then on the other hand I could also reduce some of anxiety that he has because I am removing him from this situation. Lastly, I have had a look at home ed information for my area and they visit, monitor and check on the progress of children who are home if I can't get him to write how can I show them he is learning? confused

Saracen Thu 17-Oct-13 14:00:07

Sounds like a good idea to me! Your son sounds very sure about what he likes and dislikes and doesn't seem to think that school could be improved for him, so why not try something different?

You don't have to make him write at all. Writing at school is largely done so that teachers can assess their pupils when they don't know individual pupils well and don't have time for long discussions with each of them. That doesn't apply where you are able to work closely and individually with a child whom you know well. You can just talk to him to find out what he does and doesn't understand.

Is it the mechanics of writing with a pen or pencil which he specifically dislikes, or composition as well? If it is just the former then he could use a computer if he wants to write. If he dislikes the entire process then you could wait until he actually has something to say in writing which is so important to him that he is willing to tackle it. For my older daughter, this moment came when she wanted to swap information and chat on internet forums related to her special interests. Plenty of eight year olds would not have reached this stage yet. School pushes the skill early and hard "just in case" children may need it, but with a tailor-made curriculum you can adopt a far more relaxed approach and wait until the child sees the need.

What are your worries about home ed - what makes you hesitate to try it when your son has been so clear and consistent for some years about his dislike of school?

sugaplumfurry Thu 17-Oct-13 13:24:02

Hi I will try to give you some brief background if I may (this will be quite long but please bear with me...I really need some advice please)

Ds 8 has SEN. He hates school with a passion and has since he went into YR1 (he is now in YR4). There is no specific part of school that he hates, it is school on a whole. I have spoken to him about moving to a different school but as he says 'school is school and I hate it'. Please note my Ds isn't this negative about anything other than school...honest blush. One of the main issues while at school is anything involving written work which as you know spans the entire curriculum. I have had meeting after meeting because of this and have now grown tired of it, I don't want to spend the rest of Ds's school life seeing how much he dislikes it or going around in circles because we are trying to force a square peg into a round hole for want of better words! I know in my heart that his attitude just is not going to change no matter how much support he gets at school.

The question is should I home ed? If a child dislikes school/writing so much would it even be a good idea to home ed?

I don't know, I have been arguing it out in my mind for some time now and still do not know what to do. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


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