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Anyone HE with a big age gap?

(7 Posts)
MrsSimonNeil Mon 15-Feb-16 16:50:39

I currently HE my 12 yo dd and am fairly new to it all as we only de registered her last October. My 4yo son is due to start school in September and I really don't want to send him. I also have a 6 yo dd who is currently at school but would like to HE her too.

The only thing that is stopping me is that we live in a very small community and both little ones have brilliant friendship groups that have been built up over the last 4 years . I also wonder if I can meet everyone's needs with such a big gap between the eldest and youngest.

Advice please?

MrsSimonNeil Sat 27-Feb-16 20:14:01


Saracen Sat 27-Feb-16 22:04:07

I have seven years between my two children, and haven't found it to be a problem at all. There are many ways to tackle it. In our case, for the most part the kids do totally separate things. But because home education is so much more efficient than large-group instruction, it isn't a case of me sitting with each child for six hours a day.

For example, last night my teen and I were up till an unearthly hour learning Spanish online together - we've just discovered the excellent free language teaching website Duolingo and have got a weeny bit obsessed with it. My younger one wanted to get in on the game but it isn't suitable for her because she can't read yet, so instead she will do the annual Junior Language Challenge when that starts up shortly.

Then this morning while the teen worked on her drawing upstairs, my younger dd and I were making a stuffed snake and she asked me to google some images of snakes. Then we had some questions about snake anatomy and behaviour and got quite sidetracked by reading about that, only returning to the project at hand after half an hour.

My ability to multitask is not great, but sometimes that works too. This evening dd1 was cooking the family dinner and kept calling out for advice on that, while dd2 was sewing the snake and kept asking me to tie knots etc. Neither was getting my full undivided attention, but neither needed it.

One thing we do always do together is going out to interesting places. Last month we went round the Houses of Parliament and all of us took away different things from it, but we all liked it. Sometimes we split up in these places if we want to look at different stuff, in which case I might bring along one or two of my older dd's friends so it will be more fun for her.

It's quite rare to find any destination which only appeals to one of the kids. I might take dd1 to a play next month for which her little sister wouldn't be able to sit still, in which case I will send the little one to be looked after by one of her friends' parents. We do a lot of kid-swapping around here.

MrsSimonNeil Mon 07-Mar-16 14:40:12

thanks for replying Saracen, I think you've confirmed how I imagined it might go, and I guess how the days are when my ds isn't at pre school. As dd has built up a bit of a network now with activities and friends I might try and find a network for ds and build him a friendship group. He has some lovely friends at the moment who will all be going to the local village school and my heart breaks to think he will lose that. BUT I don't want him to lose his lovely zest for life that I know can happen in when they go to school.

At the moment I feel like I did when I was going to take dd out of school (anxious and nervous one minute, excited the next) and that has been a brilliant decision. Hopefully this will be too smile

Saracen Mon 07-Mar-16 20:05:50

Will he lose his friends though? As it is a small community, will they not be playing together in the afternoons and weekends?

My older daughter tried school briefly and one thing she found frustrating was how little opportunity there actually was to play at school. The teachers seemed to think they should be spending their time on other things for some reason, LOL. She had more chances to play with other kids when she was HE.

Saracen Mon 07-Mar-16 20:11:42

If you are a SAHM, you may find your family very popular with your children's friends' parents if you offer to have their children round occasionally when the parents have a childcare crisis. You could borrow a child for an afternoon or for a day in the school holidays. I have done the school run at all the local schools! And then they may return the favour by taking your kid to the park or zoo one Saturday.

MrsSimonNeil Tue 08-Mar-16 18:11:59

That's true, I do socialise with a lot of his friends parents outside of school so he will definitely still see his friends. I just worry that they will move on in the friendship and he will be left behind. Argh its all so difficult, I wish I'd ever sent any of them to school confused

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