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Home ED from the get go.

(24 Posts)
Kit2015 Mon 11-Apr-16 09:57:02

Hello, I was wondering if I could pick your brains about the benefits of homeschooling from the off.
My DD is only 1 so we are a few years away from having to decide anything but the more I look into home ED the more I would really like to do it.
However my DH is not convinced. He thinks she'll lack the social side that school brings. He says because it's not the norm I have to prove to him why it is better.
Though reluctantly I have got him to agree he has to prove to me why formal education is better.
All the information I have got though seems to be from children being home ED later than actually having never gone to school.
Sorry for epic post but my questions are
What does a day look like?
Are there lots of socal groups we could get involved in? ( I live in south wales)
How much input do outside agencies have when you home school? Does anybody check what you are doing?

Thanks for reading.

itsstillgood Mon 11-Apr-16 17:49:36

If you home ed from the start you have no involvement with outside agencies under the law as stands.
I have been home educating from the start and never had any involvement with LEA. Mine are 10 and 14 this week. Although oldest chose to go to secondary. Our view was HE to 7 for definite and then it became their decision.
Social side has been an issue at times but I struggled socially at school so I think personality plays huge part there and for children who are not naturally social HE allows them the space to do what they feel comfortable with. My 10 yo is a very comfortable with a good group of friends. We are out at least twice a week for HE groups and usually more if you count seeing friends outside of 'group' stuff plus 2 evenings a week of scouting and often weekends. I think though people confuse socialising with socialization. Mine have confidently gone into shops alone from 4yo in our village, order in cafes (and now go alone occasionally), chat with neighbours and strangers, catch bus etc they are more comfortable dealing with some things and people than I am!
I love the life home ed has given us, my kids blossomed socially and academically. Although my eldest is happy in school and I think his school is trying academically the standards expected are dire. Academic standards expected are ridiculously high and pointless and stuff is introduced too young at primary and then it goes to the opposite extreme at secondary.
If you are on Facebook look for a group home ed bloggers and you'll be able to follow story of lots of home eders many doing it from the start.

Kit2015 Mon 11-Apr-16 19:33:43

Thank you so much for your reply.
Can I ask you a couple of other questions?
What was your response when you told family and friends or people in general your decision to home ED?
Also when your eldest started comprehensive how did they adjust academically and socially?
I feel very strongly about wanting to do it till at least 7 but the more I read the more I would like to do it for longer.
Husband not convinced but I hope to win home around.

itsstillgood Mon 11-Apr-16 20:42:23

My iLs didn't really understand still think they think we do it to 'hothouse' but have never said anything remotely critical and try to support.
My family was very positive from the outset. Embraced the fact that it meant they would see more of the kids as we would be a lot freer to visit as they live some distance away. However home ed had reared it's head before in our family as I had dropped out of a teacher training degree (I'd wanted to teach since the age of 6) about 3 years before as I had no time, respect or trust in the NC and about the same time my sister had considered HE for hers ( her DH not supportive and she moved so got them in to a better school so she didn't). The first thing my mum said when my sister first mentioned it was 'I wish I'd known you could do that, no way would I have sent itsstillgood to school' smile.
Over the years I have had few negative reactions. Most people can see the Ed system is flawed even if they would never consider HE and it is also plainly obvious the dcs were/are thriving. I also have a very thick skin and have very few people who's opinions matter to me so probably have missed or laughed off the negative. Having a huge amount of confidence that this is the right thing for us and dh very supportive helps.
We had never followed the NC but academically DS1 had no trouble slotting in to school. Socially in a yr group of about 350 he knew about 50/60 from outside activities so was in a similar position to those from the smaller feeder primaries. Lots of people have children enter school later for various reasons. Most cope well with the transition.

ExAstris Tue 12-Apr-16 07:42:16

I'm still at the very start of HE, but DS would be in reception if he were in school. We knew from before birth we wanted to HE so didn't apply for a school place. I say 'we'... smile my DH was similar to yours early on. I planted the seed, and then watered it by very so often sharing a pro-HE or anti-school study, article, piece of news or rant from family members with kids in school. Several members of his family are teachers so them criticising how the government was/is messing with the NC and the behaviour of their students helped my case, though they didn't mean it to. I joined local FB HE groups early so DH could see how many social opportunities there were. By the time admissions applications rolled round, DH had agreed HE sounded definitely like it could be superior if done right, and agreed we could try as long as at the end of each year we checked DS' progress against the NC to make sure we were doing ok. :D He now sings the praises of HE to anyone who'll listen.

To answer your questions:

We have no outside agency input (my MIL assumed OFSTED would assess, and was shocked and horrified to find they don't, though she is on the whole bemusedly supportive).

Search Facebook for <local town> or <county> or <local city> <home ed> and see what's around. Literally, we could do a different social meet-up every day of the week, though that would be too much for my introvert, possibly SN son so we don't. I pick and choose what suits him and we are also intending him to join various non-HE activities in the next year or so, such as martial arts, scouts, etc.

Will have to answer your other Qs later, baby is demanding my attention!

ExAstris Tue 12-Apr-16 07:43:35

*every so often

Kit2015 Tue 12-Apr-16 08:00:31

Thank you both for your replies. I am getting quite excited about it.
I did tell a friend last night who by the look on his face was horrified but by the end of our talk was saying he could see where I was coming from.
Can I ask about siblings? We plan to have another but not until DD is 4/5.
Has anyone got an experience of HE with an age gap like that?

ExAstris Tue 12-Apr-16 08:31:54

To answer your question about what a day looks like, pretty fluid atm. I don't want to be too formal when he's only 4. I encourage a small amount of maths, reading, writing and Spanish daily but if I meet resistance I back off. I use games etc so he is generally happy to practise. He tends to get obsessed with something when he's ready to learn that skill, so I support that. Other than that, we play, he plays independently, we go out and about doing errands, we see family, we go to HE meet-ups and a fun Spanish class, he plays educational apps and watches things like Numberjacks and Alphablocks, and he asks LOTS of questions! He goes to his childminder still three 5-hour days a week, as his funding runs till this summer and it is allowing me to spend some extra time with DS2 and get a bit further with setting up my self-employment before he's home fulltime.

People's response was mixed. My family generally supportive, though my sister (a TA) raised the whole socialisation thing. ILs are ok, tend to be very much in the school mindset as a number of them are teachers but they can see DS is doing well so are accepting. Helps that I don't take any buggering about and can quote studies and the law. ;)

I have 4 years between my two. They will be 5 and 1 this summer. What were you wondering about?

Temporaryanonymity Tue 12-Apr-16 08:42:50

My DCs are both in school but when they were younger I did think about keeping them out. DS is 9 and there is no way my stubborn, independent child would study at all unless forces by his teacher. My younger one might.

i also took a critical look at my own motivation. I know I wouldn't have the energy or the patience to make sure they would have access to learning opportunities. As much as they would want to crack on with minecraft I'd be thinking about the washing up or the hoovering or my book. So off they go to school and I go off to work.

Which leads me to my final point. You will be giving up the opportunity of paid work for some time if you home ed. Think carefully about this. I could have afforded it then but I separated from my husband and now I have to work. I'm glad I never gave up my career as I am know solely responsible for these two boys.

Kit2015 Tue 12-Apr-16 09:01:23

My worry is how I could facilitate both of their individual learning needs, at such different ages.

My motivation for doing it is I believe our education system asks for too much from such a young age.
I don't think I would be doing it forever. Just until 7 and then we will see.

I have the get up and go to do it, though I do worry about when I would get me time.

I work currently in a job where I do two and a half days. I could still do that if I decided to HE. It's a job I love which is by no means challenging or stressful. I also have a the opportunity to go full time and progress whenever I would like too.

Financially we are fine. We are not rich but we own our own home with no mortgage. So that's not an issue for us. Though I understand where you are coming from you never know what's going to happen.

OrionsAccessory Tue 12-Apr-16 09:39:25

We have he from the start smile I have an 8 yr old a 6 yr old and a baby. We follow an autonomous approach so they learn what they want when they want to. As such, every day is different! Yesterday dd1 started sewing some pyjamas for her toy (she made a design then all of the measurements before she started the actual sewing) dd2 did lots of drawing and Hama beads. After that we walked the dog, the girls fed some birds while we were out then got a toy stuck in a tree and rescued it. Dd2 helped me cook later on while dd1 text her auntie. I think there was Lego and tv in the afternoon.

This week they'll go to two home ed meet ups, have a friend round to play and do rainbows/brownies and Spanish class.

We've had mostly positive responses from friends and family. Mil is a bit bemused about it all I think but generally supportive.

I think if your husband will agree to he until 7yo then review the situation then you'll be sorted! It's enough time for him to see how well it works.

Saracen Tue 12-Apr-16 10:26:44

It's a huge subject. The longer I HE, the more reasons I find to do it.

Just starting from the social angle, since that is what your partner mentioned, here are a few questions to consider:

Given that the main objection people usually make to HE is the notion that home educated kids will lack opportunities to have fun with other kids and learn social skills, I think it's interesting to question how successful school is at both of these aims. There's no doubt that some kids enjoy the social aspect of school and learn good social skills there. But that isn't an explicit objective of the education system and it's very hit and miss. There's also no doubt that many kids suffer socially at school and that it can teach kids social skills which don't serve them well elsewhere.

The lack of freedom at school restricts children's social choices, which can have unhealthy results. Is it desirable to socialise mainly with a single fixed group of children who are exactly the same age? Does this encourage unhealthy comparisons which can have an impact on peer pressure, exclusion and bullying? Why is bullying so much more widespread and difficult to resolve in schools than in other environments where children spend time together? What are the social consequences for children who are not average? What do their peers learn about how to treat people who are different?

What happens when people who must remain together all day every day need a break from each other? What do they do when they have a bit of a headache or are just fed up with being with other people and want some peace? How many adults would be willing to work in an office with so many people in it, and under such crowded conditions? If we wouldn't tolerate such an environment happily, how can children do so? How do people behave when they are under constant stress, even if it is only low-level stress? Does it encourage them to be kind and patient with one another? My younger daughter doesn't like being with crowds of people for hours on end. The more she is crowded in with people against her will, the less she enjoys their company and the worse she behaves toward them. What lessons would that teach her?

When children need help and coaching to resolve their differences, how much adult attention is available to them? When 20 to 30 children are sharing the time of just a single busy adult whose primary job is to educate them, and when there are no older children on hand to act as role models, how do they learn what to do when someone whacks you, or when you are feeling left out, or when you feel annoyed by somebody and don't want to play with her but you know she'll be lonely if you don't? With a tricky social challenge at school, who has the time and interest to observe what is really going on and discuss it with the children to help them find productive solutions?

What proportion of the school day is available for proper socialising, by which I mean playing and talking in an undirected way? Add up all the school playtimes and breaks - does it actually add up to more hours than you'd get from going to the park or having playdates a few afternoons a week? My older daughter used to spend solid days playing nonstop with her friends, not the odd half-hour here and there. These long stretches of time created a different quality of play and different type of social interaction.

I could go on. Oops, I think I did go on, LOL.

Kit2015 Tue 12-Apr-16 11:06:28

Thank you all for your replies. It's really giving me more to think about. I think my DH would love to read this thread later, so keep all the benefits and negatives ( so I can say I am not being biased) coming smile

BertieBotts Tue 12-Apr-16 11:23:51

I think that the difficulty is, there is no clear "better". School based education will suit some children and families and home education will suit some children and some families. Many children will thrive under both. Some children can't tolerate school. Some families can't cope with home ed. (I think it's rare for a child to not tolerate home ed or be unhappy home educated, and rare for a family not to cope with school. But that is totally an assumption - happy to be proved wrong.)

I adore the idea of home education, especially autonomous home ed, but for me my own personality makes it too demanding. I don't have the self discipline to get myself off the computer and do things which need doing in the house, let alone keep up with various activities DC want to do. I struggle without an externally structured routine (self structured doesn't work nearly as well). I am bad at fulfilling promises. I have lots of ideas and little actual motivation or organisation. I'm also prone to depression and I struggle a bit with constant children's company because it's so exhausting with little reward (even though I always thought it would be rewarding!)

It makes it more difficult to work of course. Although temper this with the fact that you won't have mass stress at holiday times trying to work out a solution, you'll be forced to basically work something out which works all of the time.

I was a bit (okay, a lot) sad about it because I so love the idea of autonomous education and I think it's a brilliant, brilliant thing to do and the most perfect, tailored, in depth education system there is when done well. I'd love to be able to do it. But I've accepted that it's not me and I've come to realise that I like the school culture now. I like the fact that it's different to what I would do, we actually live abroad so I am fascinated by the differences and similarities with my own school life and I like educational establishments anyway, schools, universities, colleges, I just love the feel of them and the buildings. Something about it. So it's not all bad in the end. I recommend that you both spend time researching your own option but also it's a good idea for you to research schools and him to research home ed independently too. I think that you'll find it's much less black and white than you'd thought. A lot of the arguments against schools are based on older practices which don't even happen any more. I find a lot of modern schools are great at engaging children and not at all hothousy. It does, of course, depend on the school.

Good luck anyway! smile

Catmuffin Tue 12-Apr-16 11:40:03

You've made some really good points there Saracen which i hadn't thought of.

Catmuffin Tue 12-Apr-16 11:41:34

Re socialisation i mean

Absofrigginlootly Thu 21-Apr-16 01:25:10

Watching this thread with great interest..... I was actually coming to this section of MN to start my own thread about the same idea as the OP......although I'm pretty sure I would like DD to go to school at 7.

I'm a SAHM so she wouldn't be starting conventional school until 5 at the earliest as I'm 99.9% sure I'm not putting her in preschool (all the current talk of assessments for 2-4 year olds!! shock)

DH is not convinced about the idea of HE from ages 5-7 and then starting school..... For those of you above who've said to do your own 'research' where do you start?!

Any websites or books you can recommend?
Hopefully OP doesn't mind me asking that?! blush

RattieOfCatan Sun 24-Apr-16 07:50:34

I'm just marking my place. I've known for a long time that I'll be HEing when we have children and I'm pregnant with our first now.

One thing I'm interested about is if you know from the start that you will HE, when do you start joining groups? I know some areas have toddler groups but I'm guessing that you have to join to find out? We are moving from an area with an amazing HE scene to one that I'm not sure on, but I know that there is a decent HE group within an hours drive so I'm not too worried. My family know that I plan to home Ed and I think they think I'll "grow out of the idea", it's been a while since its been spoken about so I sense some fun conversations once bump is coming up to 5!

Absofrigginlootly Sun 24-Apr-16 18:27:49

OP since I muscled in on your thread blush I thought I'd link you to mine which has had a lot of responses that might be interesting for you? smile

Saracen Sun 24-Apr-16 23:44:40

Rattie, it's never too soon! We've had people come along to our HE groups with their first bump or a tiny baby. It's always been just one or two fact-finding missions and then they disappear, returning when their child is a toddler: I think when you have a small baby your focus tends to be on other things.

Depending what's on offer in your area, you might find that when your little one is two or three there are some home ed activities you'll both like.

If I were you I'd go along earlier rather than later. It is relaxing to be with people who understand why you might not be planning to send your child to nursery or school. It's also nice for your child to grow up feeling that HE is a normal and familiar thing to do, whatever Granny may say about it. It can be hard on a child if most of the people around her are saying negative things about HE and the child doesn't even really know what HE is. If home education simply means "not-school" then it may feel like a deprivation to the child, especially considering how much people "big up" the joys of starting school when speaking to children in order to jolly them through what can be a difficult transition. But if, to the child, HE means pond-dipping and running around with friends in the park and trips to the museum, then it isn't going to feel like a deprivation. My older child explained to people that she just didn't have TIME for school, LOL. You don't have to go to home ed groups regularly, of course.

RattieOfCatan Fri 29-Apr-16 07:03:54

Thanks saracen! I am concerned about people bigging up school and outright telling me that they think it's a shit idea in front of my child. A (married into the family later in life) relative's son was home educated and they go on and on about how weird he is and antisocial. What they don't acknowledge is that both he and his dad, the relative, seem to be somewhere on the asd spectrum, which is bloody obvious if you recognise it for what it is (which my family should as we have a couple of children on the spectrum in the family and numerous others with other additional needs!), and then added to the fact that they admit that he had no social opportunities growing up and his education was relying on two people who had a crap education themselves and refused to acknowledge that, he was not in the greatest position. But he still gets trotted out as the perfect example as to what home education does to people hmm

They also believe massively in the social opportunities that school provides hmm it doesn't help that my child's cousin will be 17 months older and in school too. I've faced a lot of rolling eyes and arguments about home education already over the years! I think that I should have been home educated in secondary and I have nannied a home educated child, so I've been looking into this for ten years already, it feels weird that I'm so close to starting it with my own child!

shiveringhiccup Thu 02-Jun-16 19:27:08

I know this is an old thread, sorry.

Just wanted to say thank you all of you, especially to Saracen, for such thoughtful and thought-provoking posts smile

Saracen Thu 02-Jun-16 22:06:51

blush You're welcome!

1tsonlyme Fri 03-Jun-16 22:27:07

I wish I had done it from the beginning, took mine out in year 3 and 8. If I had home educated from the beginning they wouldn't have had to go through the soul destroying years at school. But on the other hand I now know it was the right decision for them also the experiences they had they could make an informed choice to try it.

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