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Year 7 DD would like to ask you some questions

(9 Posts)
MEgirl Thu 04-Dec-14 20:09:24

DD is in Y7 state secondary. She has to write a discursive essay about Home Educating. She would like to know what your reasons are for Home Ed and why you would choose not to.

Would you be willing to help.

TIA

ommmward Thu 04-Dec-14 20:43:57

Reasons for HE:

It is the best educational solution for my children. As in, for their particular constellations of skills and needs and interests.

It is really efficient. It just saves so much time. They can learn what they are interested in, when they are interested, in the way they want to learn. Learning to write or read really doesn't take anything like as long as school takes over it, if you're ready and interested.

It is really fun. For the whole family - we get to hang out with really interesting people, do really fun things and go to interesting places. It's basically like the middle week of the summer holidays all year round, and I mean that in a good way not a "we are all so lazy way" - we are busy and engaged and having fun with stuff.

Why would I choose not to:

I wouldn't HE if my children wanted to go to school.

MEgirl Thu 04-Dec-14 20:48:31

Thank you. I'm sure she'll be delighted with your help.

Bonsoir Thu 04-Dec-14 20:53:14

My major argument against HE is that I believe that learning to function in an institutional context is a major life skill in itself.

streakybacon Fri 05-Dec-14 09:37:54

I home educate my son because two primary schools failed to support his additional needs (autism and ADHD) and he was badly harmed by their lack of care. With home education, we can tailor his work programme to his specific needs, working on his strengths and weaknesses to give him a good academic ability whilst also addressing his personal development, particularly around his diagnoses. We can work at a pace that suits him and limit anxiety, stretching him when he is ready and not when a school thinks he should be ready.

It has been absolutely the best provision for him because he has had opportunities that wouldn't have been available to him in schools, because he was always too stressed to access them. He has a strong self-esteem because he's not constantly being punished for presenting in a manner consistent with his disability - instead he is encouraged and supported, and given good, clear direction. Now, with a calmer temperament and an understanding of his personal needs, he can function almost as well as other young people without his diagnoses.

My only regret about home educating is that I didn't remove him from school earlier to begin repairing him sooner. With hindsight I probably wouldn't have sent him to school at all. I would certainly advise that parents of children with similar disabilities to my son's should consider HE as an alternative, in their children's best interests.

maggi Fri 05-Dec-14 17:39:11

My ds had many minor issues which put together added up to loads of stress at school.

His story(if you need it): Began to struggle in yr 1 when classes were shuffled and he lost his best friend to the other class. He suddenly had no friends and couldn't make more. He was a slow runner and was bullied for being fat when he was just naturally a very broad build. Didn't get on with yr 2 teacher. In yr 5 he announced he had double vision. Then we found every school teacher had been sending him for their dyslexia tests. But he always passed by having an age appropriate reading age. He was unhappy but not distraught at junior school.
Then he began secondary school and kept falling over. He was found to have severely flat feet which explained his inability to run so he had physio and special shoes. Coinciding with this, he was fitted with braces. He was also given glasses for a few months to see whether it would help his double vision issues. They tested for dyslexia and he showed up as borderline on organizing (dyslexia has reading, writing and organizing problems).
To recap within 6 months of starting secondary school he had braces, glasses, special shoes and kept falling over. He is bright and was in first or second stream for all his subjects so the school couldn't afford to give him any aid. In their word, "There are far worse children waiting for help".
Why did all this matter? Well secondary school is all about writing. My ds could barely write 3 lines in an hour. He couldn't copy down homework from the board because he wasn't fast enough. He was exhausted trying to keep up. So what did he do? He suddenly became a bully, he stole, he disappeared for hours after school and he became rough (almost violent) towards us at home.
We have since learned much more about dyslexics. There are hidden dyslexics who develop strategies to hide their difference from friends and teachers. For example one teacher said ds was brilliant at writing in 3 words what others took a paragraph to say. The teacher didn't realize that this wonderful skill of summarizing was actually a way of hiding from writing. We have found out that expected reading age is dependent upon IQ. In other words ds with his really high IQ should have had a reading age of +4yrs (his age + 4yrs), when in fact he had his age +1yr. Dyslexics also typically have problems making friends as other children perceive them as odd. All of this should have alerted teachers to a problem existing.
What were we doing during all these years? We were relying on the school, they were after all the experts in education and had ELSAs and SENCOs to treat children who needed it. Turns out we were very misguided. The school knew he could learn anything they threw at him so they ignored the fact he couldn't write it down and didn't see the signs of lower reading age, inability to make friends, skills at summarizing, vision issues and high IQ as indicating dyslexia.

The good news was that the instant we let him home school, he changed character. He became so relaxed, so non-violent and so plainly grateful that we'd rescued him. We learn more about dyslexia and find more and more signs that were missed. 3 years into home schooling he is doing fantastically. We have no pressure to write and he will now write a page easily and will even put in a bit of punctuation.
We also have ds2 who is thriving at school (gifted in 3 subjects and in top stream for the rest). Plus I have been a school Governor. So we are not against schools but now know that they don't work for every child.

JustRichmal Sat 06-Dec-14 09:42:40

I too have a dd in year 7 who was home educated for two years. I thought it may be nice if she wrote a reply.

I started home education because I wasn't learning much in maths but my mum kept asking me if I was sure I wanted to do home education.

It was fun but I missed my school friends. I went to home education groups and made new friends but still missed my school friends.

I worked at weekends but got two days off in the week. My mum was excellent at teaching me (she told me to say that). I had to be taught all the subjects not just maths and science which I like.

I have now gone back to school and am enjoying school because they are teaching me more than in primary.

MEgirl Sun 07-Dec-14 00:08:03

Thanks all for your replies. I'll pass it all on to DD. Fascinating to hear your experiences.

plasticinemachine Fri 02-Jan-15 15:22:24

Hi MEgirl, my children have been home educated from the beginning so have never experienced school. Having spent many years teaching before I had children & having seen the numbers of children with SEN increase over those years, I felt very strongly that children do not need to be taught academic skills at such a young age. I wanted my kids to develop at their own pace and be allowed time to play from 0-7 years old. Looking back I can now see my instincts were right & both have learned to read. write and so forth when they were ready. Both are passionate readers and love to learn. They have a lovely social circle and the freedom to choose school if that is what they wish. When you home educate, your whole world opens up and you see life very differently. I want my kids to reach their potential, but not just academically, but as human beings. I believe kindness is the highest form of intelligence and don't subscribe to the idea of knowledge as power or the best marker of success.
Having said all of that, I do think schools are excellent places for some children who are perhaps neglected at home or whose parents could not home educate for various reasons, such as health issues. Home educating requires that the parent must be very engaged with their children, even if they choose to 'unschool' & it requires a sacrifice in terms of finances. I cannot easily get paid work & we have to manage on one income but it is worth it.
Best of luck with the assignment, Id love to read it!

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