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Please help me understand how home ed can work with a very sociable only child in a small town

(12 Posts)
Tintini Mon 20-Jul-15 15:25:06

I have been reading posts on here for a while and wonder if I can access some of your knowledge and experience to help us with our stumbling block.

DS is three now and will be school age by Sept 2016. DH and I like the sound of home education, as autonomous as possible really – I love all the John Holt and Sandra Dodd etc stuff. Our stumbling block is socializing. I don’t mean the 'socialization issue', as school seems an odd social group anyway, but more actually how easy it is to just see other children, as most of them are going to be in school! Clearly a good network of home educators is crucial, but I’m worried it would be hard to replicate the easy access to other children every day in school. We live in a small town (population ~8000), and the local home ed group that I’ve tracked down (in the next, larger, town) meets only once a month!

DS has no siblings and all he wants to do is play with other children, so a standard nice day for him now is playgroup in the morning, pre-school in the afternoon, then a friend over to play after that. I know that there will be afterschool activities for him to access, but I see those long days when the other kids are at school stretching out, without all the daytime groups that he currently goes to as they are just for the little children.

I guess we would need to make lots of home ed friends, but realistically, I can’t see there being that many nearby. Do your children see other children every day? I think DS would really need that. It was helpful to read the recent thread about what you do each week, but I just wondered what you thought of our specific situation and if you think it’s possible to really ramp up the meeting up with other home edders? I wonder if a lot of home ed families might be quite self-sufficient if they have several children.

Thank you!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 20-Jul-15 15:34:40

Hello OP, we are just finishing H.ed but we too had similar problems with a very small H.ed group only meeting once monthly.

It's not ideal but we kept in touch with friends we had made at school, which in your case will be nursery. We also made the most of extra curricular activities and youth/children's clubs.

I think if you had something to do every day after school dc had finished then the rest of the day would be manageable.

So, he's at home with you until say 3.30 but he knows monday is football, tuesday cubs etc.

Do you also know that you are entitled to join any of the extra curricular activities run by your LA? Obviously, not the school's own. Some of them are held in schools though, so a good idea to see what they offer.

Then, the rest of my dd socialising just seemed to be ad hoc meetings in the park, library etc. Strangely enough she has met a couple of good friends like this who she now calls and meets up with.

ommmward Mon 20-Jul-15 15:44:30

Why not start going to the home ed group now, to dip your toe in the water? You may find there is lots going on that isn't advertised online (we do 4 or 5 things a week with other home edders. One of them is advertised on facebook. And it's not that we are closed and cliquey - people who come along to the advertised event quickly get invited to all the other stuff, it's just that a lot of the other stuff is more ad hoc and informal, and no-one is bothered to make a facebook event to say "meet you all at the swimming pool like normal")

ommmward Mon 20-Jul-15 15:46:11

And yy to keeping up with friends who use school. When we started, we did all our socialising at weekends and in the school holidays, with people we had known through the pre-school years. It's really only in the last year or so that the centre of gravity has shifted, and now we have trouble finding diary space for those school-using friends because our lives are so packed with HE activities. But back then, we'd fill up almost every holiday and weekend day with something with friends, and then collapse in a heap when they all went back to school smile

bebanjo Mon 20-Jul-15 18:56:23

When my DD was 5 I met another home ed family 2 streets away. She told me that she wished there were more for home ed children in our area.
This took me by surprise, we were busy every day.
Where is your small town, are you near a city.
Are you on all your local Facebook groups, have you joined your local yahoo group.
There will be more than you think.

Also just becouse a child loves being with other children does not mean they can't benifit from time alone. My DD is a nut case, loves being with other children, can happily play alone for hours as well.

PieceOfPaper Mon 20-Jul-15 20:33:12

I wrote a reply which got swallowed up by the Internet, but it could probably be summarised as 'what ommmward said' grin

We've recently moved to a small town and it's taken us a while to find out what's going on home ed wise (mostly in the nearby, larger - but not huge - town) but it's definitely true that once you start going along to advertised meet ups, you will get invited to more informal things. I think most HE parents are very keen to facilitate their children's friendships and so tend to be very happy to plan park trips or whatever.

Tintini Mon 20-Jul-15 21:35:41

Thanks everyone. It sounds like we need to go along to the group and get a real feel for what it's like and hopefully also an idea of what else is going on. Turns out that it's this week and on my day off work so it does look like now is the time to go!

We are about an hour from a large city and I found the yahoo group for there and there seems to be a lot going on (albeit over a wide area).

ommmward Mon 20-Jul-15 22:14:48

Which part of the country are you in? X

Tintini Tue 21-Jul-15 08:34:18

We're in Cheshire, so Manchester is the nearest city. I've joined MADCOW and there seems to be lots going on there, but we're not really close enough to access all the stuff very regularly.

ommmward Tue 21-Jul-15 09:38:23

I bet the MADCOW people will get you in touch with groups in Stockport or Macclesfield or somewhere - there is bound to be stuff going on!

ommmward Tue 21-Jul-15 09:39:57

Sometimes a group happens in a village or town small enough that you would not think of searching online. Ours does, which is why we always advertise our meets in the facebook group for the county and the big city, because otherwise people would never find us. But your local groups might work more by word of.mouth.

Tintini Tue 21-Jul-15 19:46:36

Thanks, yes I've asked them!

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