Anyone able to answer a few questions about home schooling from reception age?

(4 Posts)
Crunchymum Mon 12-Sep-16 11:02:54

Hi all,

I want to be honest and upfront and if we home school it will be as a last resort. I am not anti home education at all but I knowing my DS as I do I think school is the best place for him.

This is not a "If I don't get a place I'll home school" hissy fit. This is something I need to consider and weigh-up as we are unlikely to get a place in the only local school I want him to attend.

What I want to know is:
1) How many days per week and hours per day would I be looking at actually "teaching" him? I work 3 days per week and have a younger child. Is it unrealistic from the get go?
2) What do I have to do legally if we home school? (who do I inform?)
3) Is it easy enough for me to all the information I need? Syllabus etc?
4) Can we home school until a school place becomes available?
5) If he has been in FT preschool will he struggle with home schooling?

I hope I am not being too disrespectful to those who do home school.

My DS has already completed almost a whole year of FT pre-school (and will now do another year) so by the time he is due to go into reception he would have been at preschool from October 2016 - July 2017, so I know that the school environment suits him.

Any advice you can offer is much appreciated.

TIA

ommmward Mon 12-Sep-16 16:10:33

How many days per week and hours per day would I be looking at actually "teaching" him? I work 3 days per week and have a younger child. Is it unrealistic from the get go?
Even the most structured and formal home educators I know (NB none of us call ourselves home schoolers - because it really isn't school-at-home) wouldn't do more than about an hour of formal "work" in a day with a reception aged child. I mean, half an hour is much more likely. Just treat it as an extension of the kinds of things you do with him now. Best way to teach literacy is to read to him lots, answer questions about letters and sounds and stuff as they come up. Best way to teach maths is just to do games with numbers... Apart from that, do fun low key trips to the supermarket (so many educational opportunities, especially if the child is in charge of the list, of any counting etc etc), local museum type places, and meet up with other home edders. Having another child is no problem at all - at that age, it's really just about having a cheerful family life, with parents answering the cihldren's questions and helping them learn to navigate through the world.

What do I have to do legally if we home school? (who do I inform?) You don't have to inform anyone, unless you are removing your child from a school. If you get offered a place at a school you don't want, just tell them you are making alternative arrangements for their education. CAll the LA, get yourself on the waiting list for the school you want. If you want support, get yourself onto facebook and searching for the local home ed community (they will give much more expert advice than any LA advisor...)

Is it easy enough for me to all the information I need? Syllabus etc? information - yes, in the age of the internet, you can't fail to come across wonderful ideas. Don't buy too much educational "stuff". You won't use 3/4 of it. Go to home ed meets, get into the hive mind smile

Can we home school until a school place becomes available? Yes

If he has been in FT preschool will he struggle with home schooling?
Er... only if he hates being with you at weekends and holidays!!! Do get your life busy enough but not too busy, so that he gets his fill socially with other children. Otherwise no, I can't imagine a child would be unhappy to spend lots of 2 to 1 time with an attentive and supportive parent rather than being in an institutional setting, however kindly!

Crunchymum Mon 12-Sep-16 18:43:58

Thank you for all the wonderful information and thanks for correcting my terminology. Rookie mistake and won't happen again. smile

My worry is mainly that school has been able to provide a lot of structure and teach him the basics.

Prior to preschool DC1 had a wealth of knowledge but was missing the 'basics'. IE he loves space so knew all his planets aged 2 but didn't learn wheels on the bus until preschool... I guess what I am getting at is how I will get down to his level and make sure he is on the same track as his peers? He is a smart child and the snob in me says preschool has kind of dumbed him down but really it's just made sure he is more on par with everyone else.

He has lots of cousins of similar age and I have friends with kids his age too so we socialise a lot but it is the structure of the school day I find helps him most if that makes sense? Left to his own devices he can be a bit lazy!!! He would choose a book over the park most of the time and I worry home educating will mean he becomes too used to home.

As I say thank you so much for your advice thus far. It makes very positive reading.

Saracen Tue 13-Sep-16 01:01:26

1- 4 What ommmward said.

5) If he has been in FT preschool will he struggle with home schooling?
I'm going to differ from ommmward for the first time ever ROFLMAO and say that there may well be an adjustment period, though it should be fine thereafter.

Kids at school (and most preschools) are accustomed to having huge amounts of structure imposed on them. There's a fixed time for going to preschool, going outside, having a story, eating a snack, going home. When this structure is removed suddenly, the child is left to figure out what he actually wants to do, and when and how. Some kids find that adjustment easy, but others need a few months to discover their own agenda. In the meantime they moan like crazy, can think of nothing they want to do, and demand to be entertained or taken out constantly.

Even among home educated kids, this pattern may be seen when the child finishes an intense week of stage school or football camp or spending a large proportion of their time in front of a screen. It almost seems as if they've forgotten how to play. This is just temporary, however. Stick it out and your child will rediscover the joy of building with Lego, splashing in the sink and watching ants on the doorstep.

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