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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!

sedgieloo Tue 28-Jan-14 12:07:36

Agreed. That's why I'm finding it a difficult call. I get the 6 hours thing and yet for my dd a full day at preschool completely dominates that day, and the day before (early night) and the day after (lay in and a bit tired still through the day) ok she is still very young and that will change. But school hours are such that I don't know that I can fill in the gaps outside of school hours. There's the flexischooling option I guess.

curlew Tue 28-Jan-14 12:26:36


Yes, I think that pre school is a very different thing. But I know what you mean- it does feel overwhelming, particularly when they are tiny.

Flexischooling- if you can make it happen, is an option, but to me it seems sometimes to be the worst of both worlds. Certainly the three families I know who did it only stuck at it for a couple of terms- one went back to full time school- the other two to HE. I think my ideal would be school for the horrible dark cold winter months- say October to March,then HE for April to September. When I'm world dictator I'll make that happen.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 28-Jan-14 13:18:43


she is very gifted and yes she gains a lot by not attending school, but school was still very good for her and had she not known what she wanted, I suppose she would still be there.
I think the point I was trying to make but very unsuccessfully was.
She has gained in so many ways that we wouldn't have imagined before she left school. Not just the time and fewer constrictions which was the main reason for H.ed but within her academic subjects too. The biggest change is she wants to read and write for pleasure and has improved beyond recognition. Her attitude to learning is far better and confidence in her ability is soaring. We are so happy that she is content with her learning now and gone is the reluctance to try new things. She believes in herself in many things now, when it just used to be her musical talents.

TamerB Tue 28-Jan-14 22:02:00

Have you actually consulted your children? Much more important than asking strangers on the Internet! They are bound to have opinions- probably strong ones.

BigBoPeep Wed 29-Jan-14 15:33:28

I think wanting to spend more time as a family IS a concrete reason, it's one of the big reasons we want to! I actually like my children and it's no hardship to have them around.

It gives me The Rage that this is described as selfish, when countless children are forced to school unwillingly every single day and their parents would NEVER be described as selfish. I think it says something slightly strange about our society that yo uare considered 'selfish' for wanting to spend time as a family more than 'usua'.

TamerB Wed 29-Jan-14 15:44:21

Is it however a concrete reason for the children? I would have been set right against as a child. I cried if I was ill and couldn't go. I hated missing anything!

BigBoPeep Wed 29-Jan-14 15:58:01

Yeah I used to cry and DREAD going to school as a child and nobody took any notice, I went come hell or high water. Love how it's only valid to take the child's POV into account if it's a certain way round.

curlew Wed 29-Jan-14 17:13:26

"ink it says something slightly strange about our society that yo uare considered 'selfish' for wanting to spend time as a family more than 'usua'."

But that's certainly not what I'm saying- can't speak for anyone else. I do think that some people do home school for selfish reasons- or at least for reasons which are not child centred. Wanting to spend more time as a family is a good thing. Wanting to spend more time with your children regardless of their wishes is not a good thing.

curlew Wed 29-Jan-14 17:14:17

" Love how it's only valid to take the child's POV into account if it's a certain way round."

Has anyone actually said that?

BigBoPeep Wed 29-Jan-14 17:44:38

I don't really know if anyone's said it specifically here but I've heard it often enough and it's glaringly obvious in every day life that when parents send their children to school, no matter how much the children DON'T want to go, nobody EVER accuses the parents of being selfish for sending them. A heck of a lot of people quite casually admit to sending their kids to school to 'get rid of them for a while' and indeed I have been told in the past many times 'oh you'll change your mind about home ed by the time they get to that age, you'll want to be rid of them then'. That would be the selfish reason for sending to's not seen as such, but I would be selfish to take them out of school if they were enjoying it hmm

curlew Wed 29-Jan-14 18:00:21

Would it be a good idea to address points that people have actually made on the thread, rather than things other people have said at other times in other places? I am managing not to bring up the appalling things that some home educators say about people who use schools........

TamerB Wed 29-Jan-14 18:52:23

I think that a lot of people are HEeding precisely because they have listened to their child. It is one of the things that would make me do it. Sadly not everyone can afford to listen to their child, they have to work full time and that must be heartbreaking.
People are reading their own situation into it. OP started by saying her children are quite happy at school and she has not mentioned asking them what they think. I would put that first.

TamerB Wed 29-Jan-14 18:54:26

I would have been utterly horrified if my mother had suggested it because she wanted to do it and expected me to want the same. I wouldn't have been too happy with her asking opinions of strangers before she asked mine!

daisychain76 Wed 29-Jan-14 20:30:15

Thank you for your encouragement sedg and more than and bigbo. I would be interested to hear what you decide niggle. Tamer and curlew l have spoken to my dcs several times, but it is very hard to really get the concept across to them and what they say can vary depending on if they are tired, had a goid day at school and so on. It is something that we will discuss in a gentle way over a few weeks. l realky just wanted to find out about others reasons and experience to supplement the reading l am doing and the few HE families l have been able to meet with. Having done a lot of thinking l don‘t feel l am being selfish ~ l can see so much potential for enriching their learning experience and fostering a real love of learning while having fun together (l do also realise l will need to actively seek ways to encourage their independence).

morethanpotatoprints Wed 29-Jan-14 20:57:14

I don't think it is necessary to talk to your children until you know its a viable course of action anyway. Why rock the boat if you and your partner decide against it.
We talked it over for a long time before realising it was a possibility and then we involved dd when we knew enough to answer her questions.
My original threads on here are asking lots of questions, gaining knowledge and insight.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 29-Jan-14 21:03:45


Not trying to boast but an example of enriching their learning.

My dd sings in a famous choir, she lives for the concerts and other work associated with it.
There is no way she could have done this had she still been in school and the opportunity to do this is a complete dream come true for dd.
This is only one example of the freedom she has found since H.ed.
She knows she is lucky to have the chances she has and works hard, showing huge commitment.
If we have to make sacrifices as parents to support this then so be it, what else are parents supposed to do?

BigBoPeep Wed 29-Jan-14 22:46:58

I am staying on topic thanks curlew, it was suggested that the OP talk to her children to avoid potentially being selfish. My point is that it is no more selfish than sending them to school without consultation which is what happens the VAST majority of the time.

Nigglenaggle Thu 30-Jan-14 19:54:06

I guess what you could do, Daisy, is home ed for a year with the option for them to go back to school after if they want??? I have been thinking an option for us if they ask to go to school would be the opposite - let them go for a term or a year and make a more permanent decision after that.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 30-Jan-14 20:14:19

I agree with Niggle

What harm is there in giving it a go, it might be the best thing you ever do. If not, they can always go back to school again.

TamerB Thu 30-Jan-14 22:10:00

The harm in giving it a go is that she hasn't asked them in the first place!

BigBoPeep Fri 31-Jan-14 08:05:33

but given that barely anybody asks their children if they want to go to school why is it such a crime the other way round? hmm

TamerB Fri 31-Jan-14 08:21:53

Because most people can't ask their children if they want to stay at home. Most families have both parents working and not for extras- just to live. Have you not noticed that there are families who can't even provide that and use food banks?
HE is a luxury most can't afford. You don't ask your child if they want to go to Florida and then say 'it has to be a tent in the New Forest'. If it can be Florida it might be nice to ask them ,if they are over a certain age.
Education is more important than a holiday and children have opinions if people bother to ask them!

Nigglenaggle Fri 31-Jan-14 08:52:12

Guys she clearly said in her last post that she had asked them, did you even read it? Please stop bickering.

Nigglenaggle Fri 31-Jan-14 09:02:02

I respectfully disagree that home ed is a luxury most can't afford. It would mean DH never goes back to work full time, it will mean our purse strings will remain pretty tight and we will have to give up some luxuries yes, but we can afford it, and we are far from rich. I guess we always planned for DH to work part time and bring up the kids so we've lived within the bounds of one income as far as housing, cars etc goes, and maybe others have more debt. So probably it's harder for some than others, but I genuinely believe that it's possible for most, if you really really want to do it. I know plenty of people worse off than us too, who have one parent stay at home.

TamerB Fri 31-Jan-14 09:28:41

You are jolly lucky then Niggle, there must be lots of people who would love to be in your position and just cut back.
You also need to think of pension provision if you are cutting right back like that.

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