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Not got a concrete "reason" to try HE

(62 Posts)
daisychain76 Thu 23-Jan-14 13:45:26

Hello everyone, I am seriously considering HE (have met HE families locally, on local web groups). I have found quite a few families have gone down the HE route because their children were very unhappy at school or there was no suitable place at school for them. My dcs are actually quite happy at school, ups and downs but nothing major. I just feel HE would give us a lot more quality time together, plenty of opportunities for field trips and so on, which we just don't get in the school routine. I know it will be very hard work, but just feel it could be incredible fun and very rewarding too. I am just wondering if anyone else has done if for this reason as friends I have spoken to clearly think I am being a bit daft rocking the boat (and perhaps a bit selfish?!). Thanks!

JustGettingOnWithIt Thu 23-Jan-14 15:22:05

I think an awful lot of people traditionally h.e. for exactly the reasons you're considering. IMO there has been an upsurge of people (like me) falling back on h.e. in the last decade or so, as many (not all) schools have become more difficult places for some kinds of children to thrive, but from what I can see the majority of h.edder's are still families seeking a different way of family life as a whole.

I'll always be so grateful to all the parents who just chose to do it with no reason other than because they believe in it. They possibly don't know what a gift they gave others with less positive beginnings.

In our family I'm now as a response to circumstances, but my dgs are now being h.e. as a response to seeing what can be achieved and a different way of achieving it. smile

You can argue that's it a bit selfish to not provide whatever form of education you think would suit and create the best family life and future for all, just through being afraid of rocking the boat.

EauRouge Thu 23-Jan-14 16:19:48

We don't have a 'concrete' reason either. We have lots of little reasons why we think HE suits our family better than school would, and that's enough for us.

School is seen as the default choice and HE something that you do only if school doesn't work, but it doesn't have to be like that. Choose the best option for your child, which is not necessarily the most common one smile

daisychain76 Thu 23-Jan-14 17:21:57

Thanks Just and Eau that is reassuring. I do worry that it is me who doesn't like the school routine more than them as they are getting plenty of time with their friends and it is a nice school, so it is a hard decision to make.

EauRouge Thu 23-Jan-14 17:50:58

There's nothing wrong with taking your own needs into account too. I know some people who think their children would love to be HE but the parents just don't feel it would suit them. You have to take the needs of the whole family into account.

Do their friends live nearby? My DD1's social life is packed and she's never been to school or pre-school.

It is a hard decision though- but it doesn't have to be permanent. You could set a time-scale of a term or two terms to see how it goes. Would you be unlikely to get back into the same school if you de-registered?

daisychain76 Mon 27-Jan-14 12:41:27

Thanks Eau. After a lot of thought, I am going to go for it and offer my dcs the change (starting after Easter, to give me the chance to get a bit organised!). I am fairly sure they would get back in the same school if it goes horribly wrong. I am sure they will keep some friends too, but I am fairly quiet and shy, so a bit worried about that side of things as I can't "network" for them very well!

sedgieloo Mon 27-Jan-14 13:10:28

Daisy - good for you! It sounds like you have little to lose and well you won't know if you don't try and I get the idea at the very least you will have a fantastic and memorable time however long you continue with it. I haven't yet decided about HE, but I see all the advantages and I wanted to say ...All the best!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 27-Jan-14 13:25:28

Hello OP

We had a concrete reason[s] for H.ed but since starting have realised several other aspects that have benefitted dd, that we hadn't considered prior to starting.
I'm not sure you can know all the pros and cons before you begin.
I think the reasons you state are as good as any other reasons I have heard, and you seem to be saying that a good education isn't limited to a classroom, which imo is true.
Wishing you all the best.

ImperialBlether Mon 27-Jan-14 13:37:39

Sorry, but I think you're being selfish. Your children are happy as they are and you are doing this purely for yourself.

curlew Mon 27-Jan-14 13:41:37

What do the children say? I think that's important.

sedgieloo Mon 27-Jan-14 14:23:49

ImperialBlether - that made me laugh. I imagine for most parents it is a selfless choice requiring quite some sacrifice on their part. Rewarding perhaps but a responsibility and commitment. Not an easy choice lightly made and why I for one hesitate greatly.

Nigglenaggle Mon 27-Jan-14 19:13:44

I'm so glad you posted, we are wrestling with just the same dilemmas at the moment. Really, we feel we would like to home ed, but are concerned that we make the right choice for the kids and not just for us. We are lucky enough to have good schools in the area, but my concern is that they work primary school children much harder now than they used to, and don't seem to allow time for childhood. On the selfish side, I often work weekends and worry I'll hardly see them when they're at school. It's good to hear from others wrestling with the same issues grin. We are still far from decided on what we will do.

curlew Mon 27-Jan-14 19:38:54

I think imperial blether's post was uncalled for. But I do thing it's very important to look at your motives before you decide to HE. And to listen very carefully to what your children say- remembering all the time that children will often say what they think their parents want to hear.

ImperialBlether Mon 27-Jan-14 19:55:55

OK what I said sounded harsh, but I was simply repeating what the OP said:

My dcs are actually quite happy at school, ups and downs but nothing major.

Friends I have spoken to clearly think I am being a bit daft rocking the boat (and perhaps a bit selfish?!).

I do worry that it is me who doesn't like the school routine more than them as they are getting plenty of time with their friends and it is a nice school.

Nigglenaggle Mon 27-Jan-14 20:09:34

Curlew you are right. But it occurs to me that parents whose children are unhappy in school and don't home ed them (because they don't want to give up work and the financial security of work) don't usually get called selfish. I don't know what the answer is, or I wouldn't be reading these threads, but just a thought.

curlew Mon 27-Jan-14 20:26:10

Niggle- that's why if said ImperialBlether's post was out of order. But actually, I would call out parents whose child was unhappy in school and they were doing nothing about it.

sedgieloo Mon 27-Jan-14 21:00:45

Imperial ok yes but I still don't see how it is selfish. Maybe the OP is thinking there is a better way to spend a childhood and receive an education. If so and if she really feels she has the desire and circumstances to offer that then I think she's got to do it. Shouldn't schooling be more than 'plenty of time with their friends and....nice'. This is how I am thinking anyway, as no doubt obvious!

curlew Mon 27-Jan-14 21:16:05

Oh, it is possible to choose to HE for entirely selfish reasons. Letting go of our children is incredibly hard and to a greater or lesser degree we all find ways to avoid doing it. HE for some is an extreme version of this.....

<please note the word "some">

Saracen Mon 27-Jan-14 23:20:51

Sure curlew, but I don't get why would-be HE parents should feel obliged as a matter of course to do major analysis of their own motives. For goodness, sake, the OP isn't even proposing to take the kids out of school against their will, only to offer HE to them as an option!

We don't require the same of parents who are planning on school, though some of them may be doing so for selfish reasons. When have you ever heard anyone criticise a parent who said:

"My kids are happy enough at home, but I want to have more time away from them and focus more on my career. I think our relationship could improve if we spend more time apart. I think I'll offer them the choice of going to school" ?

Nowhere, even in the deepest depths of the most rabidly pro-HE circles which I often inhabit, have I ever heard anyone respond to the above with anything other than, "Good luck! I hope it works out well for all of you. And if it doesn't, you know you can always return to home education."

morethanpotatoprints Mon 27-Jan-14 23:35:02

I am happy to be proved wrong, but can't see how the decision to H.ed could be selfish one.

We all took a long time to make sure it was the right decision, as far as we could considering we hadn't experienced it before.
Our dd was completely happy in school her 2 brothers had gone all the way through school and we had no intention of H.edding.
It was an important decision that would affect the whole family and dhs business. It's not a decision most people rush into without thinking.

curlew Tue 28-Jan-14 08:48:28

Well, maybe people should examine their motives more before sending their children to school?

But I do think that before we do anything which goes against the norms of the society we live in, we need to think carefully about why we're doing it, particularly when we're making the decision on behalf of someone else. I'd have loved to HE my ds, for example, but it would have been entirely the wrong decision, and would have been based on what I wanted, not what would have been right for him. He is a "school-shaped" child. (And that does not, by the way, mean that he is a sheep, or has been taught not to challenge or question, or is being put through a sausage machine.....) Another child I am involved with, was obviously not "school shaped" from the first day of reception, and is now thriving at home.

All I am saying is that it is a complex issue. A lot of HEers both on here and in real life take a "LTB" approach to school. It's not as simple as that!

morethanpotatoprints Tue 28-Jan-14 09:48:36


my dd was a school shaped child as well and was very happy in school. There wasn't anything wrong at all. She is still in contact with friends she wanted to keep and we visit every week to collect her friend.
Her old teachers are still just as supportive now as they were when she was at school.
There are so many reasons people choose H.ed and I'm sure that most do it with the children's well being in mind.
DD is thriving at home and looks like she will reach her goals and realise her ambitions.
I think if they are happy at school the decision has to come from the child, otherwise I think it is fine for parents to make the decision. Some dc have never been to school so maybe couldn't make the same informed decision.

curlew Tue 28-Jan-14 11:22:53

iiRC, morethan, doesn't your dd have particular gifts that are best supported without fitting in to a normal school day?

sedgieloo Tue 28-Jan-14 11:32:18

Curlew - I can't disagree with anything you say there. Except that I was school shaped as you describe it. But I'm still glad I was HE later on and I wish it had continued as it afforded some opportunities educationally that school never can. I'm glad I experienced both in a way, but where I would be if completely HE, I will never know. My children are too young to take a view so I've got to make the best informed decision that I can. But it's not forever in any case.

curlew Tue 28-Jan-14 11:35:45

My ds gets lots from school that he could never get at home. And he gets lots from home that he doesn't get from school. I think people forget that school is only 6 or so hours of the day.

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