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what are my kids missing by not attending mainstream school

(146 Posts)
redberries Sat 19-Oct-13 01:07:50

I have a four and six year old I'm constantly being told they are deprived because I home ed

Picklemom Sat 19-Oct-13 01:14:28

Well, to start with the obvious, they are missing the opportunity to have time away from their mother and other family members.

And they are gaining the opportunity to have lots of time together with their mother and other family members.

Which of those things would benefit your particular children more is not for me to say.

Elsiequadrille Sat 19-Oct-13 01:15:05

That's quite rude of them to say so. Though it's possible they have little understanding of how home education actually works.

Elsiequadrille Sat 19-Oct-13 01:16:32

They're not deprived or missing anything (in answer to your question).

redberries Sat 19-Oct-13 01:20:20

Thanks for your replies, my six yr old had been to school previously and does not want to go back, I was just wondering if these people's opinions could be vaild

claraschu Sat 19-Oct-13 01:26:14

At the moment, I doubt they are missing anything.

In the medium term, I think many HE kids end up not being particularly good at fitting in to a pack without being bothered. They often struggle to be true to themselves while getting along with everyone else.

All of our children have had a mixture of school and HE, by the way.

redberries Sat 19-Oct-13 01:55:56

Are home ed kids academically. Their school ed pairs?

claraschu Sat 19-Oct-13 02:54:43

I don't understand the question-

Sunnysummer Sat 19-Oct-13 04:13:04

Depends a lot on you and on the child, and on both of your temperaments and talents, as well as what groups and social networks you have. Some children miss out on the opportunity for lots of friendships and being stretched by specialist teachers. Other children miss out only on school bullies and disappearing in a crowded classroom.

My siblings and I had a mix, as we moved around a lot. and I think that HE was fantastic for my non-conformist and self-motivated eldest sister, fun and supportive though less necessary for us middle 3, and a bit disastrous for my lovely less motivated (and fairly self-focussed) youngest brother. It also makes a big difference if you have a good circle of other kids to be around socially and the ability to provide extracurriculars like sports or music.

We are on the fence about HE for our DS, I'm more pro it than DH but we'll see how DS turns out and what the schools are like when we do our next move. You are the best judge at this point, I wouldn't listen to the people who judge without knowing your circumstances!

redberries Sat 19-Oct-13 04:18:30

Sorry that should have been are home ed kids generally behind academically

Sunnysummer Sat 19-Oct-13 04:18:35

Do you mean are their academically behind their peers? When they are so young it probably depends on your skills as a teacher more than anything else - a lot of HE kids we knew were well ahead in many areas (though sometimes with some very big gaps in areas that they weren't keen on or mum/dad were unable to teach).

redberries Sat 19-Oct-13 05:30:20

Yeah that's what I meant academically behind their peers

WaitingForMe Sat 19-Oct-13 05:35:11

I think a lot depends on your area. I was at a soft play with baby DS and there were 3 mums with what I assume were HE kids as it was too early for the schools to be out. They were catching up on a much needed gossip while the kids played. I imagine that network for socialisation of both parents and children is important.

SatinSandals Sat 19-Oct-13 07:16:11

At the moment they are not missing anything because the youngest is below the age of going and many countries don't start formal education until they are 7 yrs anyway.
After that it depends on how sociable you are and how many experiences you can give them.
I would say the main thing is a huge pool of friends that they can make without you organising, but that is assuming it would be a large school. Probably the main thing is the opportunity to see friends everyday, to cement friendships, and the opportunity to see ones everyday that your mother doesn't necessarily like. My mother didn't like my best friend so I am sure that she wouldn't have made access easy and yet she is still a very close friend 50 years later.I can't see why my mother needs to like her, I don't like all my mother's friends.
They miss having to sort out problems for themselves when things go wrong, but perhaps you are the sort if person who can stop interfering and let them get on with it.
They miss a sounding board for ideas and all sorts of different views and opinions. e.g. If you are doing maths someone who comes up with a different way of seeing things, people to play number games with on a daily basis. E.g. If you want to write a story you miss the exchange of ideas, you miss seeing what others wrote. E.g. In history you miss someone having very different views on a person or event, something that you might have missed. I mention those because it is what I found particularly exciting about school.
You miss access to the school library which is OK if you get them to the public one at least once a week.
You miss group work to do things like science experiments.
You miss access to equipment e.g if you are doing work with electric circuits the school has all the batteries, crocodile clips etc.
You miss a kiln.
You miss team games on a regular basis and a hall with climbing bars, ropes etc.
You miss visiting theatres etc who give talks and put on plays etc.
You miss a different adult who might get completely different things out of your children.
You miss being part of a wide community. You miss having a life away from your mother and the chance to only tell her what you want to tell her.
You miss being in plays and performing for a wide audience ( it depends on what groups you belong to).
You miss getting away from your siblings.
A lot of this depends on which groups you belong to, if lucky you can manage a lot if it yourself and how much effort you are going to make and how much you are happy to give independence and get paint out and have messy activities like clay and generally getting dirty.
You can do drama, dance classes etc but it will be costly, instead of free, and if you live in a rural area you will need to run a car.
You can do it all but it takes a lot of effort on a daily basis.
Secondary school is more difficult, when I think you need the specialist knowledge for the subject and the exam syllabus and the equipment problem is more acute.
Lots of people will be able to say they don't miss this, it is only my opinion.Your mistake is to explain and try and justify to people, it is not a requirement!

musicposy Sat 19-Oct-13 10:47:36

SatinSandals, my DD is home ed and does just about every single thing on your list. I'm not sure why you think home educated children would not get those things. There are so many inaccuracies in your post, I'm afraid.

Secondary school is more difficult, when I think you need the specialist knowledge for the subject and the exam syllabus and the equipment problem is more acute.

Not true at all. DD1 got 10 brilliant GCSEs at home, mostly A and A*, with no specialist teaching at all. We have a lot of science equipment at home and DD2 goes to a group once a week where they can access a school lab. We've been to visits at the Royal Instiute of Science and accessed a lot of their equipment there.

I cannot understand these people who say you miss a life away from your mother. DD2 is hardly here! When we do groups we lift share so they go with their friends and only one parent acts as taxi. She is on constant sleepovers and social gatherings with huge groups of friends. She has a complete life of her own away from me and can talk to friends, teachers of her singing/ ballet/ youth theatre group/ parents of friends/ other relatives. There are so many people she can chat to for adivce who aren't me.

You miss team games on a regular basis and a hall with climbing bars, ropes etc.
We get all this. Our home ed group meets regularly for team games and there is a climbing wall that gives us discounted rates, just to name a couple.

You miss visiting theatres etc who give talks and put on plays etc. I think we get more of this than schools do. Schools can only do a trip or two a term. In our home ed group there is something going on like this every week. All the people who run things for schools will also run them just the same for home ed groups. My DDs have done things they would never have been able to do in school.

I will say, though, that all this takes more effort on the part of the parent. If you just sat at home all day then yes, you would miss out.

musicposy Sat 19-Oct-13 11:14:08

You miss being in plays and performing for a wide audience
This weekend DD is performing in Swan Lake with English Youth Ballet. She's also in the last two years been in two other English Youth Ballet productions, in David Copperfield with the local amateur dramatic company, in Henry V as part of the Shakespeare schools festival (despite not being at school!), in The Tempest which our home ed group put on to a proper audience, in the ice panto at our local rink and the professional panto the year before that. I have to put a stop on the amount she does.

You miss getting away from your siblings. I had both of mine home ed for 4 years and they were often not here at the same time. When they are together, they get on really well, much better than when they were in school.

My mother didn't like my best friend so I am sure that she wouldn't have made access easy This is just your mother and you can't assume other mothers would act like this. DD has a huge circle of friends to choose from and not all of the ones she chooses would necessarily be my choice. We've had all the same issues you would get with a teen in school with friends of hers getting blind drunk, swearing in ways I don't like, big group mixed sleepovers which I'm not so happpy about etc and I have never tried to stop her seeing or doing any of them. What I do is talk about certain behaviours and how they are risky/ how she is underage/ the dangers or pitfalls of that behaviour/ how to behave in a way that keeps her safe. One parent doesn't approve of my DD because DD has very vibrant dip dyed blue hair - which this parent really doesn't like - and she has said she is worried her DD will want to follow suit. But has never tried to stop her DD to be friends wiith mine. She's just told her child she thinks hair dye is unsuitable for under 16s and left it at that.

I think you have this image of a controlling mother only alllowing certain things and suffocating the child. In fact my DD often seems less dependent on me than her schooled peers. She often turns up to events at her ballet school or youth theatre to find she is the only one who has taken herself there on the bus and is not being accompanied and watched by a parent!

bamboostalks Sat 19-Oct-13 11:25:43

Many of the HE children I have encountered are rather odd. Obviously, everyone who home eds will say they are quirky, individual, non conformist, confident, articulate, mature etc bit in my fairly broad experience of these children, odd is the most accurate word to describe them. Some people value that oddness, and I do not use the word perjoratively at all. Many of these children are rather sweet too but there is common thread of oddness that inhibits their lives and that they struggle to shrug off as adults.
School is not a perfect institution but its generally preferable to being educated at home. Home ed is more for parents in the majority of cases than children.
Statistically, they are less likely to achieve academically than school educated pupils. Fact. Obviously an enthusiast will leap on here and counter all these points as above but they hold true.

Depends whether you're bothered.

BurberryQ Sat 19-Oct-13 11:31:18

what are they missing?
being pushed around and insulted.
being bullied by nasty dinner ladies and obese SENCO's
being recorded as being 'racist' cos someone misheard them say 'knickers' or something equally ridiculous.
having horrible teachers who really don't like children screaming in their faces and making them cry.
having a totally stressed out parent.

NewBlueShoesToo Sat 19-Oct-13 11:34:14

I've always wondered how robust HE children's immune systems would be.

BurberryQ Sat 19-Oct-13 11:35:28

conversely, all these are life lessons - if one reaches the age of 18 without knowing that a significant part of the general population are total cunts, then one might struggle in the 'real world'. Son is doing GCSEs at a college with some home ed kids whose parents have panicked and signed them up and he says they are a bit odd.

curlew Sat 19-Oct-13 11:36:24

Because that describes school exqctly hmm

If I used similar language to describe HE ( and I could, some HE and HEers are crap) I would be rightly pilloried. But it's absolutely fine to be totally dismissive of school, and parents and children who use schools. It really pisses me off. You are not better because you HE. You are different.

BurberryQ Sat 19-Oct-13 11:42:08

did you mean my post Curlew? grin well it was IME ......

BurberryQ Sat 19-Oct-13 11:44:56

and if you continue and read my second post, you will see that I have not been 'dismissive' of schools at all, just presented some downsides that we as a family have encountered.

I certain wouldnt home ed though - the secondary school my daughter attends have done way more with her specific learning difficulties than i ever could have.

AMumInScotland Sat 19-Oct-13 11:57:20

Some people choose HE because their children are never going to fit in at school. They won't turn out any more'odd' than they would at school, and are likely to be very much less stressed.

A few parents HE because they (the parents) have intense worries about school, or social situations, and are may be at risk of socially isolating their children.

But most parents who choose HE do so witha clear view that they will need to provide opportunities for their children to socialise away from their parents, work in teams, learn to get along with different personalities, etc.

So long as you make sure they have age-appropriate opportunities to do those kinds of things, your children are not going to be made 'odd' by HE.

Bunbaker Sat 19-Oct-13 12:10:48

There are too many variables, I would agree with SatinSandals in my case because we do not have access to many of the things mentioned where we live, nor do I have the skills to motivate DD or inclination to teach her.

I think that parents who home educate are far more motivated to teach than I am.

DD is an only child, she needs school to socialise, make friends and learn how to deal with people she doesn't like. As PE is compulsory she does it. I can't make her do any kind of physical activity at home, and she certainly wouldn't join any kind of sports team. (She does have joint problems that make it difficult, but I have written to the school and the PE department have been very understanding). But at school she does get to do sports that she wouldn't at home.

She has teachers at school that she really likes and who motivate her in a way that I can't. As I am her mother I don't hold the same kind of authority that a teacher does. She would never want to not hand homework in on time because of the threat of detention, but I have to remind her several times to do it. In a commercial world when there are tight deadlines to be met this is really good training.

Someone I know decided to home educate her children. Sadly it didn't work out as she didn't have the skills to work out that there were problems - dyslexia. As soon as they started school the problems were spotted straight away and the children received the support at school that they weren't getting at home.

Lastly, much as I love my daughter, we need time to be apart. I work part time and love my job. We are older parents and have no other family nearby and I feel it is essential that DD learns to look after herself and be independent. And being an only child she needs to learn how to be a team player.

Also, how do home educators deal with things like doctors/dentists/hospital/hairdressers appointments if you are always with your children?

These are the reasons why I choose not to home educate. I take my hat off to those who can and do it very successfully, but it isn't for me.

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