What does a HE day/week look like for a teenager? And how do I find HE groups?

(8 Posts)
PhilPhilConnors Fri 12-Feb-16 19:41:18

Dh and I have decided to offer ds1 (15) the chance to be HE. He doesn't fit in school, is bullied and isn't getting anywhere academically.

I don't have a clue where to start, what we should be doing, what we should aim for ds to do.
We feel it's important for him to be writing regularly (he has very poor writing and spelling) and doing some sort of maths, even if we're not going to follow a GCSE curriculum.

What do your days and weeks look like?

Also, I'd quite like to find some groups. I've read there's a MN HE group which is be interested to join, but I'd like to find local groups as well, if anyone can point me in the right direction.

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QueenStreaky Fri 12-Feb-16 20:53:01

My teen has just gone to sixth form college - we HEd from age 10 to 17.

The MN HE Facebook group has very little traffic so it's maybe not worth joining. You'd be better off doing a FB search on Home Education or Home Schooling and your town/area and you'll find local groups.

Teen HE days are all different, just like any home educators. Depends on the teen's interests really, what they want to work on. There seems to be less in the way of organised meets as they get older, as most teens want to do their own thing and make their own arrangements. That was certainly the case in my area. My son was involved with more community activities - drama, science group, volunteering and work experience, Duke of Edinburgh etc. Don't forget that you don't have to just do HE stuff if you're HEing. All the other things at your local leisure centre, gym, community groups are still available and you can tap into those if you want.

Academically, my son worked on two or three IGCSEs at a time and we structured our week around tutor availability (we used student tutors from our local uni, so had to be flexible around their commitments), and built in social stuff and other work around that. But you do what works for you and your circumstances - there's no right or wrong way.

You might find it helpful to look at the current legislation here

Also Ed Yourself is probably the best source of general information on HE here

PhilPhilConnors Sat 13-Feb-16 16:28:06

Thank you, and for the useful links!

I think socialising and joining groups may be a tricky one - we are both extreme introverts! He is very reluctant to join anything with people he doesn't know, or people who may banter (which he doesn't get). He's much more comfortable with adults.
Dh is trying to get some of his friends involved who may be able to teach some mechanics and engineering skills, which ds would love.
Do you think lack of socialising with teens would be a problem?

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QueenStreaky Sat 13-Feb-16 17:18:57

Tbh you're very much in the early days of planning, so I probably wouldn't worry too much about any of it at this stage. Your son will most likely need a period of deschooling, just some time to adjust to not being in school, and to relax, clear his head. Because of his age, it's tempting to rush in and aim to keep up with his schooled peers but it's really not necessary - let it take as long as it takes, and reduce the pressure.

I do think socialising and socialisation are important, for all of us, but if he's not ready for it yet, then he's just not ready. You might want to present it as needing to interact socially with lots of different people, and there are different ways of doing that. Eg the relationship you have with the bus driver or the woman who serves in the shop isn't the same as your family, or a teacher, or the vicar. We interact with all those people on different levels but it's important to know how to ask for a bus ticket, and buy bread and milk. It doesn't need to be an intimate exchange.

I don't think it hurts to develop social skills with adults to begin with, but with an eye on the future when he will need to interact with peers, eg if he chooses to go to college or university later. Small steps for now though, I'd say.

And yes to joining local HE groups. You'll find out a lot about what's happening in your area that way, and what's available might be just what you're looking for.

PhilPhilConnors Sat 13-Feb-16 17:57:15

Thank you smile

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knittingwithnettles Sat 13-Feb-16 18:20:12

ds2 (home educated recently) is 13/14 and just started a touchtyping class.
He used to go to a mixed age home ed group (we are in London) which met in different parks every week. There were usually a few teenagers there, and ds liked meeting slightly younger children too.

He does Drama on Saturdays (regular not home ed)

Tbh we did a bit of writing skills work, spelling worksheet type of stuff because ds liked the structure, and I think despite ds's low levels of literacy it might have been worth (in ds2's case because he has ASD and likes to know where he is) following a curriculum for perhaps one or two subjects, rather than it being child led. Ds liked to feel he was achieving something and seeing the evidence.

I would say I made it up as I went along, meeting and talking to other parents was incredibly helpful, then you find what suits you and your child.

Ds2 liked seeing people, the right people though wink. Very stressed by people in school, and full of anxieties about being left out, ostracised. Soon very different after a few good experiences with home educated children and chance to take things slowly, little dips in the social pond etc rather than full on school day.

Ds now does some 1:1 and group tuition..certainly there are co-ops for home educated teens but we used a Crested provision which we paid for. Getting a tutor to come to your house (uni student) for a few short sessions a month might be worth a thought - ds liked the attention. You a need far less formal education 1:1 than in school but I think ds liked a bit of that sort of thing!

knittingwithnettles Sat 13-Feb-16 18:24:43

Home ed groups often offer outings or workshops and most of the children are quite different from your ds's former experience of school children, they really engage when taken to a museum or a science workshop. So many opportunities really, sometimes not time in the week to fit them all in, so you can pick and choose something that really suits your ds's interests.

knittingwithnettles Sat 13-Feb-16 18:28:16

I also found that just one thing a day to start with was enough. So if ds could be persuaded to do Judo, then I didn't try and overdo the demands on him for the rest of the day. Again a far cry from quite a packed school day.

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