Home educating pre-school and reception(18 Posts)
I am considering HE my twins for reception year next year as they are summer born. They currently attend a pre-school in the mornings but I would like to start doing Pre-school activities with them in the afternoons also just to give HE a bit of a trial run before next September I suppose.
For those who have/who are HE children of the same age, please could you tell me a list of subjects/activities I should be covering during these years?
Thanks very much
In reception year 'back in the day 'before this countries educational policy went mad, reception year school children would be expected to count to ten, add and subtract by one, know and write the alphabet and read simple sentences. Even if you decide to give up on home ed after the first year and go to school, your chances of being able to achieve this with the adult to child ratio you have are very high. So relax, enjoy and concentrate on keeping it fun and getting out and about seeing people and learning life skills 😆 Mine also enjoy age appropriate board games and science experiments, others will be in to art and craft. Remember children in reception will be spending a lot of time playing too.
At the moment we do the following:
- Numbers - they can count and recognise numbers to 100 - I would look at expanding this to simple addition, etc.
- Letters - can recognise all letters - they are keen to learn to read words, so will do this next with flashcards or similar.
- Arts and crafts - they're not overly keen but we do a couple of activities a week
- Lots of playing with toys, imaginative play, etc.
- Two days out to children's museums/farms/library, etc a week.
- A couple of sessions per week of stay and play, playgroup or softplay to see and meet other children.
- We're just starting to look at other activities - e.g. preschool gymnastics, music classes, etc
What can we do to expand on this for reception year? I am aware that a lot more learning takes place at this age.
I have twins. One of the greatest gifts you can give them is time apart. Nobody needs to be with anyone else 24 hours per day. Mine have always been in different classes at school, they have their own friends and interests. That wouldn't have been achieved if I was home educating. You sound like you enjoy watching them learn but also like some structures to the learning. I would let them give school a go. There are lots of twins (5 sets in my dds year), summer born-loads of them. Schools are used to it.
Are you planning to send them to school the following year, in Year 1? If so then compared with parents who are intending to HE in the long run, your priorities are likely to be different. Families who have no immediate plans to send their kids to school can "go with the flow" more in terms of what and when their children learn. (For example, my first child didn't start working on learning to read until she was six, because she had no interest and there was no urgency about it.) You may like to have a look at the National Curriculum to see what the expected levels are at the end of Reception. It is possible you'll get better advice on this from teachers than from HE parents.
There will also be the practical skills such as independent toileting, dressing, eating etc which will be of benefit to them in a school setting.
By the way, if your children enjoy preschool then don't forget that they remain eligible for the preschool funding right up until they reach compulsory school age (which in their case is the autumn after they turn five). So they could have another year at their current preschool if that continues to suit them.
As Saracen said, you probably need advice from a teacher. What are your reasons for wanting to home ed them? If it's just because the are summer born and you want to let them catch up with the others, I would just send them- from your post above they sound fine education wise. If you think they need more time to mature, then you probably want to concentrate on going out into the world rather than looking for new things to teach at home-don't forget a lot of academic learning will happen this way too, and you can bring in money and time as topics which schools have to teach in a classroom but are really real world topics. Follow the children's interests and slow it down a bit. Take time to look at and talk about things they take an interest in on a trip out, then follow it up online or at the library.
Are they only of compulsory school age from when they start Y1 (i.e. Are you planning to apply for their school place but not send them until the last possible moment?) . If you don't apply in the normal admissions round you may also want to think about the potential difficulty of finding school places in Y1 as classes may already be full. Fine if you are prepared to HE for longer, but Not so great if hat isn't what you want.
"If you don't apply in the normal admissions round you may also want to think about the potential difficulty of finding school places in Y1 as classes may already be full."
Good point. If that is a worry, then you might want to apply for a place at the "usual" time i.e. the winter before they reach Reception age, and then defer their start. In the case of summer-born children, the latest you can keep their school places reserved for them is the start of summer term in Reception. (I think that's unfair, as they won't even be CSA then, and parents shouldn't be under pressure to send their children to school before CSA in order to have a fair chance of securing a place at their preferred school. But that is what's on offer under the School Admissions Code.)
Hi all - thanks for the advice so far. At the moment we are unsure as to what to do. We will definitely be applying for schools for next year but we would also like a back-up plan in case we change our mind and decide to HE.
I should note that one of my twins has ASD, which has swayed our decision slightly towards HE. In another almost two years, I'm hoping he might have caught up a bit with his speech and understanding, etc and we could look at going to school for year 1. Although pre-school has given him the chance to learn a bit of independence and practical skills, all learning to date has been done at home with myself.
Talk to the schools.
My school really went above and beyond to support me and my child to get a reception year that was right for her.
I would have made worse decisions if I'd just assumed what they would and wouldn't agree to.
I should also note that I would've also considered part time reception but not sure whether schools would let me do that?
That's what school offered me. They said as a summer born she didn't have to be at school until term she turns 5 - so they were happy for me to pick the attendance pattern that suited her best. They also proactively laid on a lot of support for the 'issues' which made me concerned about her starting school. It's made a world of difference to have an open dialogue with the school - and the feeling that it's a collaborative approach - and I'm glad I spoke to them.
(It obviously very much depends on the particular schools/ head involved though. I didn't 'engineer' it - our head was just already sympathetic to the concerns.)
"I should also note that I would've also considered part time reception but not sure whether schools would let me do that?"
Yes, you have the absolute right to choose part-time attendance for them until they reach compulsory school age. After that it is at the school's discretion.
From what I hear, some schools are quite positive about this option and other children in the class may be doing the same. Other schools would really rather not have any part-time children, allow it reluctantly, and try to pressure parents into going full-time.
FrogandBear have a look at the Facebook Group Flexible Admissions for Summer borns which has all sorts of information and support for those in your situation. As Saracen says it is a legal right to send them part time until Compulsory School Age (CSA) which, if they are summer born will be the following September.
Just wish to add that I'm currently flexi-schooling my summer born 5 y.o. who joined RY in September so you are not alone. If you have any questions, do ask.
Other people have offered lots of good advice, but I just wanted to pick up on something you said - about teaching reading with flashcards? People's approaches vary, but if you're putting them into school soon-ish you'd be best teaching phonics IMO as that's what schools do now. We did phonics even though we're not planning on putting DS in school for the foreseeable future, and it worked really well. We used Alphablocks, Teach Your Monster to Read, etc.
I have a summer born - school were more than happy to let me are age part time attendance and it worked well.
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