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UK Home Schooling Year 3 & 4 children - where to start...?

(15 Posts)
JOJOHNSON23 Tue 25-Feb-14 19:11:11

Sorry, I'm sure it's very tiresome to all the experienced home schooling Mums and Dads to see questions like this but I am going round in circles looking on the internet at national curriculum, SAT levels, etc. So, I have two children currently in Y3 & Y4 in a private prep school but I want to take them out at the end of this term (so end of March) to home school them as I'm seriously unhappy with the education they are receiving. I seem to do so much with them after school and at weekends, often teaching entire chunks that the school has sent as homework but not covered in class. If I'm going to teach them I'd rather do it between 9-3 rather than from 4-6 and weekends and not pay £7k a term for the privilege! But, I have no clue where to start. I could format a timetable, I have a few contacts for tutors, for 1:1 art and 1:1 music with friends that will trade skills for skills not money (yay!) but how do you find the information to know what to teach. EG. Year 3 maths. I know they've started fractions but what's next? Sorry for the long post. I'm really down about what to do and where to start. I don't want to screw them up by teaching them the wrong stuff so when they go to senior school they are helpless. (I wouldn't want to HS at secondary, I don't have the skills). Thanks so much.

ommmward Tue 25-Feb-14 21:38:27

You'll get lots of advice and support here: alittlebitofstructure.webs.com/

We are unschoolers (no curriculum, no lesson planning, no timetable) so I really really can't help you with the details of structured HE. But there are lots of families who DO do structured home ed too smile

I'd advise that you read How Children Learn at Home by Alan Thomas and Harriet Pattison. It's a real eye opener about how efficiently children learn at home (and how actually oodles of planning isn't necessary).

Good luck!

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Feb-14 21:51:44

Hello OP

We are semi structured and enjoy not having to follow the curriculum, although most of what dd does relates to it somewhere along the line.
in terms of what next after fractions, it really doesn't matter.
You can do shapes, percentages, weights and measures, mental arithmetic, etc.
There are lots of useful websites with free resources that you can find with a simple google search or you can buy formal or informal KS books from stationers.
I don't think you can teach them the wrong things, if you look at the topics for each subject. You can find these on websites such as tes or guardian education, both online.
Maybe, if you want to keep the subjects taught at private school you could pay for some tutors, this will be cheaper than 7k a term. For example my dd has an Italian tutor, some tutors for music.
Then dh does the other musical stuff, and we share Maths, English etc.

JOJOHNSON23 Wed 26-Feb-14 08:25:23

Thanks guys. My main worry is that I won't have prepared them for when they start secondary school, as I know I wouldn't be able to HE them at that stage. I'm happy to jump around and teach them whatever and whenever as long as by the time they reach eleven they have all the skills and knowledge in the main subjects to allow a smooth academic transition back into a school. I really don't like the pressure put upon primary children when really they should, in opinion, just be learning the foundations really well but they don't necessarily need to know a lot of the other guff taught in school. There never seems to be time for having fun any more.

richmal Wed 26-Feb-14 08:40:15

WH Smiths or Waterstones have sections with KS2 books. We work from the Letts revision guides and workbooks for maths and I also get the Mythical maths for extra practice. There is a corresponding series for English. CPG also do a revision guide and workbook. I think it is a case of just going along and seeing which you like best.

On line, Khan academy is also excellent for maths. (I think they also do science and ICT) It gives them a starter test to see what level they are at then gives them appropriate work. Nrich and the primary maths challenge are also worth a look at if they get really interested in maths.

Hope some of this helps.

richmal Wed 26-Feb-14 09:17:33

Also I forgot; if you are wanting them to return to any kind of selective school for secondary then the eleven plus forum is worth a look as they will most likely be taking VR and NVR tests as well as maths and English.

Tinuviel Wed 26-Feb-14 11:17:21

Lots of structured home educators use Galore Park textbooks - I'm not so keen on their English books but I love their maths as there are plenty of exercises if they need the practice but they can do alternate ones or just a few orally if they've already 'got it'.

It might be worth looking at all the lovely American resources out there - we've had a go at lapbooking and I really like the Evan Moor History Pockets, which you can buy as an e-book and print out as and when you need it, on to card where necessary. Lots of cutting and sticking and then lots of reading on the topic as well.

completelybonkers Wed 26-Feb-14 11:32:32

We removed our DS [currently Year 4] from a private school nearly a year ago for very similar reasons to you. We want him to learn things that matter but, like Morethan, are not tied to the National Curriculum. However, we use workbooks to keep the momentum going and just choose the level appropriate to his ability. This works well for us particularly for maths and science. I found "So You Really Want to Learn French" a good book to follow. Most of our English is done through exploring various topics - anything from the Wright Brothers to Marie Curie, from looking at the Russian Revolution to discovering Australia. I have lots of fun making up comprehension sheets for him, maybe adding a task at the end such as writing a letter or a description of someone or something. We're lucky enough to have a "big brother" at uni who is starting him off on Latin.

The Bond books are good for Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. Art, music, ICT, drama, sport etc all get fitted in quite easily along the way.

In general, three hours work a day is sufficient - in other words, we start at 9am and finish at lunchtime, with a break around 10.30.

I can assure you that he is doing a great deal more than at school and he doesn't have to do all the time-wasting things!

Good luck.

Crowler Wed 26-Feb-14 19:12:59

OP I'm in the same boat as you - my son is in year 6 (prep) and I'm appalled at the instruction. I can't pull him out now (haven't given a term's notice) so I've determined that I will do home augmentation until next year when he starts at a new school.

Wish I could just do it myself though and keep the fees.

Saracen Wed 26-Feb-14 22:17:32

Hi OP,

You mention that you plan to send your kids to school at secondary age and you want to make sure they are well prepared for that academically. A number of other posters on this thread have suggested resources and ideas for a formal approach, which will be helpful if you want to do that.

However, I want to mention that there are lots and lots of ways to tackle home education. For example, you could simply and purely follow the kids' interests for the next couple of years. ommmward alluded to this style of learning, which is called "unschooling" or "autonomous education". You could do project-based learning where, for example, you study Roman Britain and use it as a springboard to cover not only history but also maths, creative writing, biology and architecture. There are many possibilities.

Roaming more freely through education like this does allow the possibility that by secondary age your children will be "behind" in some curriculum areas, while "ahead" in others. However, with individual attention from you and work which is exactly right for them as individuals, it isn't hard to address that. You'll find that they learn incredibly fast. Some of my friends have HEd in a free-and-easy way for nearly all of primary despite intending to send their children to school for secondary. A few terms before the end of home education, they assess their children's core skills and then spend a few months bringing them up to speed in whichever areas they may need to work on. It may be that you find they don't need anything whatsoever, or you might decide to zoom through a maths workbook, say, to identify any gaps and fill them in.

My point is that so long as you are planning to home educate for more than a few months, your intention of returning your kids to school at a later stage doesn't have to dictate any particular style of home education in the meantime. Have a good nose around, take your time, and find a way which suits you and your kids. If you later find that it isn't quite right, don't be afraid to change. It is easy to tinker with your approach.

mumof4darlings Thu 27-Feb-14 08:22:27

Another option would be briteschool primary.its an online school.my daughter loved the primary classes?six hours a week tuition kept her at a level to re enter school.she did go back to home ed again though .

JOJOHNSON23 Thu 27-Feb-14 09:00:56

You lot are brilliant. Thank you so much. xx

Kidsncats Fri 28-Feb-14 08:45:52

We are in a similar position...I posted about deregistration from a private school a few weeks ago.
We have 5 weeks to go until 'pull day'. The battles we've had this week with DD have been draining, but it's reinforcing that this is the right thing to do.
Just remember that you need to give a full terms notice before leaving a private school. We will have to forfeit next terms money unless I can work a miracle.
I've been looking at things like Conquer maths, Collins Science, Minimus for Latin etc. Even things like educationcity or mathletics can tide you over whilst you find your feet.

bochead Wed 05-Mar-14 16:27:43

For literacy- a love of reading is a fantastic start that I think often gets overlooked in modern primary schools. Home ed means you can take the time to really enjoy some good books. DS loves factual history projects combined with a work of fiction from the same time period as he feels that gives him a real flavour of what it was like to live that time period.

amblesideonline.org has a fantastic free literature library full of classics graded by year/ability to download onto pc or kindle.

CIMT at plymouth university is a complete free maths curriculum you can download. It's helpful to purchase the workbooks at £3 a pop. All lesson plans are included (there are 175 for each school year). It aligns to the national curriculum and is great if like me you want to be sure you are teaching the newfangled way of doing things ; )

DS does briteschool primary online, and I find it well worth the £100 month fees. 3 afternoons a week + homework gives you plenty of time to do your own projects etc but you keep the the benefits of school like a bit of timetabled structure to your week.

Madz81 Thu 10-Aug-17 03:49:59

@jojohnson23 I just came across this thread and going through the same dilemma of homeschooling my daughters in year 2 and year 4, I was wondering how you got on?

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