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Home-schooling when parents are in employment

(10 Posts)
8reasonstohide Sat 12-Mar-16 22:27:47

I can't believe I am posting this as I am a primary school teacher! grin

I am very dissatisfied with the education system. I love my ds'S local school (he is in foundation 1) and as a fellow teacher, respect the job they do under challenging circumstances. Believe me, EVERY teacher in my school hates how education is being eroded by the government and would relish the opportunity of teaching whilst not under their control.

Anyways, to get to my point.

I dislike the amount of tests primary school children are subjected to. I hate that in Reception their ability is mapped out within the first month of school, how they are tested on real and pseudonym words in Y1, tested in writing, reading comprehension and spelling and grammar in Y2 (as well as not using an exclamatory sentence CORRECTLY would mean graded as 'not achieving age related expectations), the constant need to WWW and EBI work and expect just turned 5 year olds to 'respond to marking' and the mountain of targets they have to 'hit' each year.

In my heart, I want to leave teaching (my dream would be to teach independent in a school that is 100% and truly independent of the current curriculum) and also for my children NOT to be subjected to the pressures of schooling from the tender age of 4.

As my DH works full time and myself part-time, is it possible to home-school a child even though we both work? I would plan that both children would be in childcare OR with grandma during days of work.

Is this possible? is it allowed even?

I haven't spoken to DH about it (I am 90% sure he would NOT be in favour of it. May change IF DS founders under the pressure aged 5!)and not entirely certain I would do it (logistics and fear)so am literally just wondering HOW to home-ed through the primary years when we both work.

MattDillonsPants Sun 13-Mar-16 03:28:09

Yes of course it is possible. There are as many ways of home education as there are home educators. Some people stick to a more traditional style with daily, set hours similar to an ordinary school and they follow the curriculum.

Others have a flexible approach, maybe with the child's favourite subjects taking the lead and a more creative way of approaching their least favourite subjects and yet others have a completely untraditional approach...these are known as unschoolers.

Unschooling is where the child leads through their own interests daily. It's complex but it could mean that one day the child only wants to dig in the garden so the parent will allow that and use it as an opportunity for the child to learn about worms and earth etc.

Cooking, shopping and other day to day tasks are included in the child's day and seen as learning opportunities.

You could do a combination of all of the above. There may be home educators in your area who run social groups for their children to meet up and play together or organise group visits to zoos and museums etc.

You may find that there isn't a group...in which case joining Beavers or other local activity groups will have value as your DS can mix with other children.

More and more UK parents are opting for home education.

itsstillgood Sun 13-Mar-16 06:36:07

Probably over 1/2 of home educators I know now work in some capacity. You certainly won't be the only teacher working part time and home educating, I think I know 3 or 4 in our small area. I know a lot more who have left teaching and gone in to tutoring though.

It isn't easy though. The hardest thing about home ed is trying to get the right balance between time out at groups/activities/workshops/playing (most areas have thriving communities now if you are prepared to travel a bit) and time at home. If grandparents are willing to attend HE events that is good or ask about to see if any home educators work as childminders. But if you are working two days a week you are still home 5.

8reasonstohide Mon 14-Mar-16 20:56:23

Thank you all for the messages. I hope SOMEONE who works part time or better still, is a primary school teacher and HE, can advise me as to how best to go about it.

Like I said, it is something that isn't, as of yet, going to happen but wanted to keep my options open, especially if I find by Y2 my DS isn't going to achieve the expectations and he is miserable and finding the work tough.

I know it has been discussed on the Primary Ed board about 'de-registering' your child during SATs month or even the entire year, which is another possibility as we wouldn't have any issues getting a place at the school again.

Over the past 2 years, there have been several children pulled from mainstream education by their parents and moved into HE from the school where I teach.

Saracen Tue 15-Mar-16 01:19:02

Yes, it's absolutely possible. Some HE parents like me do no formal work at all. Even if this is not your cup of tea, the advantage of individual attention is so great that you do not need to be doing formal work with your child anywhere near as many hours as school is in session. And of course your son will be learning informally even when he is not being "instructed" by anyone. Did you know that when a child is being educated outside of school by a Local Authority tutor, the LA is only required to provide a minimum of five hours a week of tutoring? Tutors report that that is usually plenty to keep the child caught up with the rest of the class.

You can educate your child during any hours you choose. It does not have to match a school timetable.

The consequence of this is that you will have no difficulty educating your son during the time you are not at work. The challenge for home educating parents who work is simply finding suitable childcare for the hours when they are working, as they are choosing not to use school for their childcare. In this respect it is no different from the situation you'd be in if your working hours didn't coincide with school, or if your child was still preschool-aged. Grandparents or a childminder are both good options.

I don't work now, but when I did, I used childminders who home educated. My daughter enjoyed playing with their kids, they were able to take her to home ed groups, and they provided an educationally rich environment. Most CMs would, I expect.

If you aren't feeling reassured by what you are hearing here, why not go along to a local home ed group? You will find a proportion of parents there who work, probably even a few teachers.

witsender Wed 16-Mar-16 16:32:17

My husband and I both work. He does 2 days a week lecturing and the rest from home (self employed) and I work 3 mornings for a local charity. There is only one day that we can't cover between us for which my 5 yr old goes to a local childmindet from 8-2.

witsender Wed 16-Mar-16 16:32:44

We are both trained teachers too. grin

BlueJug Sun 20-Mar-16 13:12:56

I found it very, very difficult. I work freelance. I turned down work in order to HE. If I left my son he did nothing. He was too old for childcare - 12yrs.

We did travel to a few groups but the age range was too mixed and mainly children under 8. Most in fact were mothers with toddlers/babies and a primary aged child that they were HEing. Didn't work for my son.

In the end I had to go back to work and return my son to a more formal set up - not a school however.

In reality leaving a child to get on with stuff even for three days a week is tricky. Others may succeed but I couldn't make it work.

Nigglenaggle Sun 20-Mar-16 20:57:59

I second the advice to go to some groups and see how you get on. We have a few teachers home edding round here so I think it's likely you won't be the only one grin Also you can see what groups you might be able to get to around your working hours and just get a better feel for how things might work, and see the options for childcare those in your area are using. If your DC can go to a care setting with a group of home ed friends on the days you are working, it's going to work much better for them than if they will be left relatively isolated for half the week.

kierschtorte Sun 10-Apr-16 22:09:24

We are HE (DDs 6 and 3) and we both work. When we decided not to send DD to school 2 yrs ago, we were both working (me 3 days and DH full time) in Mon-Fri type jobs. DH gave up his job and found a part-time job which allows him to work 2-3 evenings a week, so he is with DDs during the week and most days they are out and about at HE groups and meet ups. We looked for ways to cut costs as our income is now lower - we now have one car instead of two, holidays are something we will have to save up for a while for. I work full time but my hours are flexible and I can work from home a couple of days a week. On the odd day that DH is asked to work a day shift and I am also out, they go to my mum's for the day. It works well because neither of us has the pressure of being the sole bread winner or the sole home educator - it feels balanced. And most importantly it has freed us from the state system / curriculum and our DDs pursue their own interests at their own pace. Yes we have less money but we are all less stressed and much happier.

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