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'group' home education?...

(13 Posts)
lazygaze Thu 30-Jan-14 23:34:21

Firstly, please excuse my ignorance.. But in the light of the latest news story about the government discussing whether school children should be doing 9am - 6pm school days, I'd like to ask whether there is such a thing as 'group' home education? There is no way i would send my children to school if 9am-6pm became the norm. But i doubt my capabilities of home educating them myself. For years i have have wondered if there is a sort of middle ground, where small groups of likeminded parents and children get together and gather at each others houses or go out on trips, sharing the education using their specialist subjects?!This sounds idyllic to me.. i really hope you all come on here to say 'Yes! This is going on already!'.. Looking forward to any comments! Thanks x

bochead Fri 31-Jan-14 06:25:22

Depends where you live. This is the closest I've seen to what you describe There are groups like this dotted around the country.

Though I suspect some parent run free schools will VERY quickly spring up that will run "traditional 9-3 school days" if 9-6 for 45 weeks a year becomes the norm in maintained schools- especially for KS1 pupils. I'm not sure that Gove has the power to impose these hours on academies either.

EauRouge Fri 31-Jan-14 09:06:20

There are a lot of groups like you describe in Cambridge. Anywhere where there is a large number of HE families, you will find more formal groups springing up. Even in towns with not so many HE families you will find people meeting up for group activities.

Have you looked on Facebook or Yahoo groups to see what's active near you?

Nigglenaggle Fri 31-Jan-14 09:23:42

This is the exact same news issue that started us thinking about it smile DH found some local groups from a Google search, we are quite lucky in our area clearly (well guess it depends what you class as local - we need to both be able to drive). But sports, music and drama groups all exist. We hope to meet some this summer to see what we think...

EauRouge Fri 31-Jan-14 09:41:08

Don't forget there are also all the same groups that school children use. DD1 goes to Rainbows and ballet which are both out of school hours, and lots of privately run after-school clubs for all sorts of subjects.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 31-Jan-14 09:42:41

If you're in London or nearby, yes there's an extensive network of home educators here and you can find something like you describe any day of the week, really quite professional, ex teachers etc.

Saracen Fri 31-Jan-14 23:20:09

Where I live there's lots of individual subject-specific classes. For instance you could join a French group led by a tutor, or a series of parent-led history sessions, or a sports course. They are easy to join in with and you can easily leave if you don't like them.

If you are talking about something more extensive - say a day or more per week of formal lessons - that exists too but on a much smaller scale. The vast majority of HE people I know do not belong to such school-style co-ops. I take it that for those who do, it can be tricky to ensure that everyone wants to do things in the same way. Usually it seems to be "invitation only" as they don't want to risk having a loose cannon amongst them.

Seems to me that if you are wanting to join a proper fully-fledged co-op then it would make sense to find your feet first. Home educate on your own for a while in order to discover your own educational style and what environments work for your children, and get to know other local families well, before jumping into what could be a big commitment to work alongside near-strangers.

A great many parents do initially doubt their own ability to educate their children outside of school. You may find that as you learn more about home education, you feel that you could do it after all without necessarily needing a proper home ed co-op to support you from day one. Then you would have more options to go it alone or with other people in various scenarios.

lazygaze Sat 01-Feb-14 01:00:25

Wow, amazing! I posted this last night and then I worked all day today and this evening, and when I returned i came back to some really helpful posts. Thanks so so much every one. I should have said I am in London so there is zillions of parents and children around me, so I am probably in a good place to find like minded parents/kids if I put my mind to it.
I also should have said that I have 2 kids; an extremely self motivated 13 year old DD who would take herself out of school and still get straight 'A's if these laws were ever passed (it's not her I am worried about), and an extremely lively 3year old DS who I doubt will ever thrive in a 9-3 traditional school environment, let alone an extended one (his dad grew up in the circus and I think he is destined for the same). I am a self employed performer and I feel like I could whole heartedly offer my son (and potentially some other similary aged children) a full 1-2 days education in music or the Arts/performance. But I couldn't educate him all day every day, mainly due to limits in my own areas of expertise (ie I am rubbish at maths, science etc), work commitments and personal reasons (ie- I love my son but educating a bunch of 4-5-6+ year olds full time is really not my true calling). Hence me wondering if there was a job share to be had out there smile
Any more comments gratefully received! Thanks so much xx

Nigglenaggle Sat 01-Feb-14 11:20:13

If you are in London then you also have a number of excellent free museums, which you will be able to access easily without queueing outside school hols - I'm quite jealous smile

morethanpotatoprints Sat 01-Feb-14 11:30:18


I too thought I wouldn't be able to educate dd myself but it is fine. I think once you start and find out what works for you its surprising what both parent and child can achieve.
We too use lots of museums and libraries for learning, dd loves the environments. Summer time is lots of art and science in our towns park, about 30 seconds away grin
If you are in London, I think you'll be fine, so many great venues and people to socialise with.

My dd is a keen musician and most of her time at present is taken up practising, rehearsing, performing, recording and filming.
Next week, the filming/recording stops and she'll be doing something else. None of this she could access if still at school.
The LEA run groups are open to H.ed dc as well as schooled children and dd still attends those she did when she was at school. Plus many more now as well grin

JustGettingOnWithIt Sat 01-Feb-14 21:29:32

From my own experiences I'd echo Saracen's post, esp last two paragraphs.

Knowing what works for you or not, or may be deal breaking clashing points could save you getting into awkward situations later.
(ie discovering grouped parents who didn't believe in telling their or another's children off for unpleasent behaviour to others vs me not believing in not, or knowing it to be seen as desirable, is one I fell at the first hurdle with, just in attending a social group.)

I've only previously known one set of parents belonging to a full on education 'co-op' and the mum's perceptions of it did sound a bit marshalled and fraught to me tbh, but know lots of individuals happily skill swapping (inc caring) in twos and threes, and net working as part of h.e. mutual support and back scratching.
(There are a few fee charging circus skills, and arts performers popularised by H.edders, so I’m sure there’s a possible ‘market’ for skill exchanging.)

Having said that, I’m aware of two new London one's starting up currently. One's a group of estate based parents who've recently lost their local school and are unhappy about it, and are grouping and sharing responsibilities for mutual support against common misconceptions. the other's a high flying group looking to skill swap, who seem (I could be wrong) to be veiled self-restricting to quite highly educated parents with reasonable finances.

BTW being 'rubbish' at something, only matters if you're under the impression that you should be handing down your knowledge, or are unable to access resources. Being openly unknowledgeable seeking to learn, and allowing your children to accelerate past you as you tackle things together, can be as good a way of creating independant learners and helping them get educated to a high standard, as any.

picnicinthewoods Wed 05-Feb-14 13:23:04

yes all that kind of thing happens around where we livesmile Loads of co-operative groups, families joining together and sharing the load. Lots of organised groups for all kinds of subject matter and all ages catered for. Lots of social get together's too. It's a fab lifestylesmile

lazygaze Wed 05-Feb-14 23:06:16

Thanks so much everyone for all your comments, sorry I haven't been back for a few days again. I still don't feel I could educate my child by my self every day, I am just not cut out for it, though I truly, truly wish I was. And getting together with other parents and kids to educate is an idyllic idea, but I can see how dealing with other parents different parenting styles would make me want to punch them could get difficult. However, I am still going to look into 'job sharing', so if anyone knows anything going on in Maida Vale then do let me know ;)

JustGettingOnWithIt .. You really made me think with your comment:

BTW being 'rubbish' at something, only matters if you're under the impression that you should be handing down your knowledge, or are unable to access resources. Being openly unknowledgeable seeking to learn, and allowing your children to accelerate past you as you tackle things together, can be as good a way of creating independant learners and helping them get educated to a high standard, as any.

You are very wise! Am finding these insights into Home Educating extremely interesting. Thank you everyone!

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