Home educated child starting in school(18 Posts)
Anyone has any experience on this? How well or badly did you or your child adapt in school after only ever being home educated? Our plan was to home educate our dd for the first couple of years and then start her in school but my worry is how will she adapt...
A friend has 5 kids, all home ed until recently. The oldest wanted to sit the 11+, did so and got into a local grammar. She said it was a learning curve re getting used to time restrictions, not being able to decide to just go somewhere because of school finishing times etc. Regular bedtime became more important as they couldn't sleep in in the morning. Also homework and learning how to handle that was a factor. But, child is settled and happy at school (now yr8).
A younger sibling has just started year 4, and is happy too.
The other 3 are all still home ed.
Were they accepted in by the other kids? Have they managed to make friends? And do you know by any chance which one had easier time adapting? (I'm thinking age wise does it make any difference)
I'm interested in this as i constantly toy with the idea of home ed for reception/ks1.
I have 2 in school doing well but they are so tired and family time is hugely affected and I'd love them to be HE or go PT or flexischool so we had more time/energy for outdoor learning and trips etc.
However, many of the HE families I've spoken to locally are very sure HE is 'best' and school is 'bad/wrong' <gross oversimplification> etc that I can see that transferring back could be really really hard, not just for the children but maybe even more so for the parents. I almost feel I need to keep dc as they are as I don't have major issues with school as it stands but I can see readapting after a period of HE may be v hard for me!
They've both fitted in well and have made friends - the younger one had friends at the school anyway so is with them. The older one joined at the start of year 7, so was one of many new kids - and the grammar is super selective and takes children from over 80 primary schools, lots don't know anyone when they start.
From what I've heard I think the younger one has had a slightly easier time, as there's less pressure and the school know their background. There's not such a personal relationship with the school once they get to secondary level.
As a secondary teacher I've had experience of a couple of home ed students joining for yr 7. They both stood out by miles as the most polite, well rounded, mature and interesting students in the class. One was in an all girls grammar and I think she fitted in really well, adapted easily and made friends. The other was in a mixed comp in London and tbh I think he found it really hard to make friends as his interests were so different to the other children. Having seen them and how open and non judgemental they were I would really love to home ed for primary then send to secondary school. If you can afford to not be working for 10 years then absolutely go for it but pick the school really carefully. I have no experience of primary schools but it seems that kids learn to be afraid of what others will think and learn to judge each other on their choices, so the longer you can put that off the better!
I like your idea of home ed for primary and then school for secondary! Only problem is that I'm not sure I would be able to provide the education for that long, financially we could afford for me to stay home but how can I teach something like maths when it starts getting complicated?
Could you get a tutor once a week or so? Work on nrich or the Khan academy website? There's quite a lot of online resource for maths I think.
DD in year 5 (at school) uses Sumdog and Education City, but there are others.
Thanks I'll look into it! I really hope I could home ed as long as possible!
Once you settle in you realise that you act more as a facilitator providing the right resources rather than teacher. Obviously it helps a huge amount if you understand it but you learn along side. in some subject areas my 10yo far outstrips my knowledge, because he is interested and I am not. A HEer doesn't become expert in all subjects but the skills come in knowing your child really well and being able to guide towards places, books, people, online resources that are right for them and researching these things in the first place and finding information on subjects and helping children learn to learn.
In answer to your real question though, my eldest chose to go to school in yr 6. We had not followed the NC (one of primary motivations for HEing) but DS1 had no trouble academically. Far ahead in maths and English (needed bit of help bringing handwriting up to speed), didn't matter that he hadn't covered the same topics in history/geog as they don't build on stuff. When he went to yr7 and I spoke to his subject teachers they didn't know he had been HE. Socially he knew a lot of the children in the school (why he wanted to go) through scouts and just hanging out so it wasn't a big issue slotting in at all. We're now on 5th year of school and he's fine. Academically it has not been great at all even though it is a good school, socially it suits him though.
DS2 has no interest in going much to our relief.
My daughter has just gone into year 6 having been home ed all her life. So far, so good both academically & socially. I think it was developmentally just the right time for her to try it. We had basically taken an unschooling approach with a very play-based style up to age 8, she is now 10 and despite spending all those years playing, she is not behind at all. I think she finds the actual lessons in school pretty dull & says she watches the clock a lot, but she is enjoying all the high jinks, passing notes around and chasing the boys at break time basically!
I'm glad she hasn't gone until now though, the school is pretty rough & she has to be quite feisty to survive it all. There is also zero family time because she gets a stack of homework and I am totally unimpressed with the actual education part! The over-riding feeling I have is that school go for quantity and home ed is more about quality.
I still home ed my son who thinks she mental, so I feel a bit like I have the worst situation now with one in and one out, but my son would struggle and having started home edding him, I feel the need to see it through for as long as it meets his needs.
Did your daughter want to go to school and how outgoing is she? My daughter is very shy and I worry how she would adapt. In ideal world I would like to home educate our daughter at least until secondary school but maybe longer, my husband however just about agreed to until year 2 or 3....
My son has just started school in Year 9. He's settled in ok, although he finds a lot of things (assembles etc) very tedious. He already had some friends from the local cricket and football clubs he's been in: they have been very helpful and welcoming to him at school.
He finds most of the lessons pretty unstimulating but enjoys some of them. The only area he isn't in top set for is art.
So far, it's ok ish for him, but he has 4 choices: unschooling (which he was doing), traditional school, internet school or local college part time at 14. His choice with us supporting him.
I know at least two home educating families whose children went in Year 7 after many years at home. However, they asked their children what they wanted; in one case although the older sibling had gone back to school for secondary, the younger one continued in home ed as it was working so well as is planning on doing Gsces from home. All these kids are highly "educated" literate types, home ed certainly hasn't held them back socially or academically.
One of things we notice about ds2 now that he has gone back to school is how respectful he is of the teachers! Compared to the other kids...who seem to be anaethesized to the idea that there is anything to "learn" whereas ds2 is geared up to the idea that lessons are "interesting". However, ds2 is not in the top sets, which is perhaps why. Still a bit sad that so many kids in these schools are so bored in lessons and acting out.
Both of mine went in at 6th form level so may be a bit irrelevant but it's worth me telling you the good and bad!
Friendships, no worries whatsoever. Both made friends really easily - more easily than their schooled peers who found the shake up of suddenly being in with different people for 6th form hard to deal with. Both have had comments "we'd never have believed you were home educated" and DD1 had "but you're so normal!" . DD2 is the one I would have worried over as she's a little more quirky and struggled with friendships during her brief time in primary school - but has had no issues whatsoever. I think home ed has really helped her in this area.
Academically, no worries. Both had been educated at home through GCSEs/iGCSEs with a combination of self study and me helping. Both have coped with A levels as well as their peers. DD1 got good A levels and is currently at full time performing arts school in London having a blast. DD2 is doing A levels in Physics, Maths and Biology (and holds Psychology AS which we actually did as home ed) and looks set to do well and go on to a good uni.
Only issue we had was DD2 going into a school 6th form and coping with the pettier of their rules. If she thought something was pointless, she would say so, and this got her into some trouble. For example she was told off for wearing a dress with doc martens. Others were wearing dresses and doc martens, but not in the same outfit. She kept pushing them to clarify what exactly was wrong with it and as they couldn't, the teacher got flustered and just punished her anyway. She found these kinds of things hard to take and do was pretty unhappy by the end of the year. She also refused to go to things she thought were wasting her time such as some of the PSE lessons, or if she thought she could make better use of her time studying at home, and that landed her in trouble too. She expected the teachers to reason with her as though she was an adult and couldn't cope with it when they treated her as though her view was not valid because she was the pupil.
I must add that we have suspected all her life she is on the spectrum, but have never had her tested for Aspergers as she doesn't want to be (though she recognises it in herself). This year she has transferred to college where they don't do "rules for rules sake" and she is very happy and it's all going very well indeed.
It depends what your home - ed life is like, and your child. It is hard to generalise about what home - ed kids in general are like, because some forms of home ed are vastly different from others. Four of my children have started secondary schools after home education - each started at a different age. One stayed home till 16, others joined at various earlier stages, and I know other home educated children who have gone to school too. We attended lots of group activities and did sports classes etc so it was not all new. It takes half a term to a full term to settle in and I think you have to commit to giving school a proper chance. None had any trouble making friends and all have done well academically. However, there are many different ways of home educating, and some may be easier to make the switch to school from than others. If you had not been going to social groups, or your child was naturally very shy then it would be harder. We had always done some structured work, so they had some study skills in place and found they were behind in some areas, ahead in others. One of mine said that having to wear uniform and follow rules was a small price to pay for the academic support.
Husband has taught in several schools in different areas and with different age groups. From his personal experience two thirds really struggled adapting to the level of school work and the consistency. Social interaction was another issue along with over confidence which affected friendships with peers. However with the majority of the that struggled looking at what was or not being taught really was the major influence. Unfortunately for a few of the children the potential learning opportunities just weren't used. On the flip side the other third settled in very well and produced good GCSE results
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