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Working full time and thinking of home ed(7 Posts)
Hi, old mumsnetter but new to this board. I've always had home ed in my mind as an option, and know many other people who home ed. DS is in year 1, and a couple of things have made me think I might just want to take him out of school. There are some specific things that I'm unhappy with (we're on our 2nd school already!) but in a more general sense DS is kind of young for his age, and whenever I see him with children his own age I just feel sorry for him, he always seems on the outside of things, whereas in a mixed group with older and younger children he gets on a lot better. I've never liked to idea of children spending all their time just with children their own age.
Other than that he's great. Academically a bit behind his peers, in keeping with his general immaturity, but progressing, loves doing 'work' etc. Some minor problems with behaviour (generally angelic but can become angry quickly and then loses all control) but I feel this might be partly due to stress from school. I should point out that he LOVES school, but I still feel it creates an underlying level of stress in him.
I work full time but do 4 long days. DH works about 30 hours a week self employed but does evening and weekends so he can look after DS2 in the day and do school runs. So if we home schooled we would be doing it as a team, and it would have more effect on DH's life than mine at the moment. We are well educated in completely different areas, so between us we could offer him a range of skills. I'm not sure if I'm being realistic thinking I can home ed while working full time? I'm relying on the fact that as home ed is 1-1 the actual sit down time you would need would be signficantly less. So we could do a couple of hours a day the 3 days a week when I'm at home, and then I could leave him with workbooks, supervised by DH (who would also be teaching him his own stuff including 2 langauges). Also lots of learning through play/activities etc.
At the moment I'm thinking this age is a good age to try it out. He hasn't formed close friendships and school yet (part of his immaturity I think), so we could try it, and if it doesn't work get him back into school and I don't think he would have lost much.
DH is hesitant, and really I feel the decision rests with him, as it will affect him more. Partly I think he's less familiar with home ed than I am, and I'm trying to break down his perception that he will need to run a 'school house' at home. Also, he and DS1 currently rub eachother up the wrong way a lot, but I feel if they were spending more time together they may get back the relationship they had before DS started school (lots of lovely time spent building and fixing things!). Should also mention he and DS2 are very close, lots of lovely play together (as well as fighting!).
I'm not sure what I'm asking really but just wanted to put my thoughts down and see if my situation resonates with anyone here who could share there experiences?
It can be done - the most difficult bit IME is finding time to do all the lesson planning, ensuring you cover everything in the curriculum, etc. (Although I know someone will jump on here and tell me that isn't necessary, and you absolutely do not need to follow the national curriculum, but it was important to us.)
I've always worked full-time (at home) and my youngest has been HE since the last year of primary. For the earlier years, we used WES - www.weshome.com/ - who provided the bulk of teaching materials/lesson plans/equipment/some tutor support. This removed the most time-consuming element for me, so I could focus on making lessons really enjoyable and planning extracurricular things. (If you decide to go this route, please join a HE facebook group so you can check out provider reviews before you choose one - WES are excellent and I have no hesitation in recommending then, but some other providers for this age group have terrible reviews.)
If you have quite an active HE group in your area you might also find there are also group activities/lessons, etc., that you can attend to fill out your schedule more.
Re. your son being on the outside of things - does this bother him or is he kind of oblivious? One of my sons, who was later diagnosed with ASD, was always alone at playtime, etc. The HT said they had noticed but they weren't worried because he seemed to prefer it that way - it was a long time ago, he's an adult now. That and your son's meltdowns when frustrated/overwhelmed are slightly suggestive of ASD to me, so that maybe something to consider. My ASD son wasn't diagnosed until in his late teens; at the high functioning end it isn't always picked up right away.
Thanks for the advice RE WES, that might be something we could consider, we would want to follow the curriculum, so it might give us the structure that we need.
ASD, that's a new one to me. It's never crossed my mind before. He doesn't prefer to be alone, he's very sociable, but seems to lack awareness that he is not quite accepted as part of the group. When I've seen his interactions he tends to be a bit over friendly, and then seems kind of unaware that he's been rejected. He's hugely imaginative, but does seem to struggle to discuss feelings (but I thought that might be normal for his age?). For example I saw some school work where he had been asked: how can I be a good friend? His answer was 'by playing football'. if I try to discuss feelings with him, he seems to guess the answer: sad? happy? And that's about it!
I don't think his 'meltdowns' are serious or often enough to be a cause of concern really. They are rare, only occasionally severe and can be avoided by avoiding hunger and tiredness, and me and his Dad remembering to handle things properly.
I would be interested to know your thoughts though!
I've just looked at a few ASD checklists and I'm pretty sure the way he is fits in better with being a bit young for his age and so slightly out of synch, but thanks for flagging that up.
It sounds as if the issues could be just down to immaturity and not really being ready for school? I don't think this is unusual in boys (I have 4, and 3 of the 4 definitely took a lot longer to mature emotionally/psychologically, etc. than my daughters.) - the issue is often more that school has unrealistic expectations or isn't providing an environment that suits the child (square peg, round hole), rather than a child issue, per se.
Re. ASD - It never occurred to me (or any of his teachers) that my son might have an ASD until he reached mid-teens, until that point his problems had been mostly dismissed as social anxiety, sensitivity, etc. but the pressure of exams coming up made it very obvious all of a sudden. Looking back I should have realised much sooner (especially as I have qualifications in psychology and education) but it just wasn't on my radar.
* should add, my ASD son was assessed by a psychologist in infant school, and they decided that as he was performing very well academically, there wasn't enough of a problem to warrant further exploration. That may partly be why it took so long to work out what was really happening.
Yes, sorry, missed your last post, I agree it sounds more like just immaturity.