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New to home ed, 10 and 8 yr olds

(7 Posts)
NotTodayBillyRay Sun 29-Oct-17 09:46:31

Can anyone point me in the right direction with Home educating please? Links and book ideas?

We’ve had a difficult year with our ten year old, he’s been bullied and attempted suicide. Police have been involved and he’s had counselling. Our landlord also decided he wanted our house back so we decided to move out of the area and have a fresh start for him (we’re only 3 miles away but no chance of seeing these bullies again thankfully). But the local schools are full so I have to home educate 2 of my children (I have 4, one in year 8 and 4 year old).

I just can’t seem to get my head around what we should be doing. How much work should they do per day? Do I have to follow the curriculum?

I have subscribed to the school run and they have ixl on their tablets. Also have some workbooks for them. But that’s just maths and English, I need to do the other subjects and don’t know where to start.

Help please!!

NotTodayBillyRay Sun 29-Oct-17 09:49:25

Forgot to mention they are year 6 and year 3

BlackandWhitepostcards Sun 29-Oct-17 10:13:59

Are you on Facebook? I wasn't until I home educated and as much as I hate the idea of Facebook it has proved invaluable for home educating my children. There are groups to chat, advise, give free educational resources, sign up for discounts on educational subscriptions. Then there are local groups to attend meetings, activities and trips. I home educated for a year without Facebook and couldn't believe how much easier it made my life after I joined. I'll pm you some of the groups I've joined. For local groups just type in the name of your home town followed by home ed or home education or if you ask in one of the national groups they'll be able to direct you to your local groups.
As for the curriculum, no you don't have to use the national curriculum. We did at first because I was too scared not to when starting out as it seemed so daunting. But now we study whatever interests the children. And make sure that all subjects are covered within those topics, if that makes sense. So, for example, a topic on the medieval times which we've recently done (which in itself is history). We've read and written about the times (literacy), researched the layout of roads and transport - the roads were all linked from the villages to the cathedrals for the pilgrimages so the landscape looked very different to today (geography). There are so many subjects within medieval history that we talked about - the difference between how the rich and poor were treated, the role of the church (religion), we looked at how the plague had spread (bit of science there). We went on trips to various sites, we drew timelines and looked at dates, looked at the money they used (maths). Studies weaponry. There's too much to write here but you get the gist.
For me personally, it's very important that the children are able to read, write and do arithmetic as well as their schooled peers, just in case, for whatever reason, they had to go back to school. I wouldn't want them to struggle. They're actually ahead of where they should be. But as for other subjects, we do things as and when something sparks their interest. And, as I said, try to incorporate as many other subjects within that as well.
What you'll find the more you research is that under the term 'home education' there are so many styles. At one end of the scale you have very structured families who are almost like school at home who often pay tutors to come in and teach their children and then at the other end of the scale you have unschoolers who are very child led and don't do any formal work at all (unless their child wants to). Most people are somewhere in the middle.
One of the most important things to remember is that learning can happen anywhere - just something simple like taking a train somewhere. You could ask the child to work out the cost of the ticket/the change. They could even pay for it themselves to help build up a bit of independence and confidence. Chat about the history of trains (steam trains to diesel). Look at the history of transport in general and incorporate that into other topics you're looking at - say looking at transport in the medieval times of that was your current topic. Chat about the landscape going past the window. Ask them to write about their journey, get some books from the library about trains..
Take them places that will spark interests - science centres, planetariums, museums, castles. Answer questions, make projects, read books and watch factual to shows.
Anyway I will stop rambling on. I hope that's been some help. I'll dm the name of the Facebook groups if you'd like them.

DelphiniumBlue Sun 29-Oct-17 10:26:12

I think if you are intending that they will eventually go back to school, then it would make sense to follow the National Curriculum to some extent, just to make sure they don't have gaps in the areas they have covered.
I've found BBC online stuff useful, and if you look on YouTube you can often find useful videos across a range of topics. You'll have time to visit local museums and historical sites and if you can afford it use the workshops and guided tours.
I reckon they can do what they need to in a a few hours a day. You'll have lots of time for them to follow their own enquiries, and to develop their interests.

Saracen Sun 29-Oct-17 15:56:51

Home ed parents often recommend, especially for a child who has had a hard time at school, that you start off with a complete break from all formal learning. This gives the child time to recover his confidence and let go of the stress. It also gives parents time to explore some possible approaches to HE, make contacts with the local home ed community, and get used to being with the children for longer stretches.

In view of your older child's history, I would strongly encourage you to start off very gently and informally with him. Let him do all the things which make him happy, whether academic or not. Go swimming, build with Lego, read his favourite books aloud to him. Try to get him out of the house every day for a change of scene. His mental health is more important than anything, and he can always catch up on academics later. I would hazard a guess that he would benefit from having this entire year off from school to relax in a safe loving environment before possibly starting secondary school next year.

You might continue with this low-key approach in the long run; some parents find it is the only option for their children, and others simply like it best. If and when you do feel your son is ready for more formal parent-directed learning, start with his favourite subjects to get his confidence up and start off on a high note. Don't be hesitate to try different curricula, and change as needed, to find what suits him best. You have huge scope.

Are you looking to get your 8yo back into school as soon as a suitable place comes up? If so, you might just want to keep him ticking over with the basics (maths, reading, writing) and spend the rest of your time exploring any other subjects as they take his interest.

There is no fixed amount of time you must spend per day. Most of the families I know whose children are similar age to yours spend a couple of hours per day on sit-down work. Home education is far more efficient than school because you can work at exactly the right level for the child at all times. Other families, like mine, do no formal work at all. (However, it's worth noting that I never had any intention of sending my children to school at any particular age and so it didn't matter at all whether they were "ahead of" or "behind" their peers in specific subjects at any moment in time. For us, education was a long game, so it really didn't matter whether the children learned to read at four or seven or thirteen.)

Of course, you also have to look at which approach is practical for your family overall and what feels right to you personally. Look around at what other people are doing - going along to a local home ed group could be good for this and other reasons - and try something. Most families need to do a good deal of tinkering before settling on a method which seems right. That's okay; there is no hurry.

Saracen Sun 29-Oct-17 16:06:27

Further to the point about home ed requiring fewer hours than school, your kids will have lots and lots of time to play and relax. Therefore, you might get the home educated ones to do more housework than they previously did, and more than their siblings who are at school have to do.

I'm sure you have a lot on your plate and you need to find ways to make your life easier. Having them at home means more work for you and a lot less work for them!

ninaor1 Sun 29-Oct-17 16:49:47

Plan your week in advance. Just one week at a time. Otherwise you get to the end of the week and you may not have done much. Blackandwhitepostcards is right - learning can happen anywhere. Have fun - baking, visiting, talking, reading, watching and learning together. Youtube is great for learning multiplication facts, times tables and so much more. Singing is good for learning and the soul! I have plenty of resources for free. If you require anything me know. I also have lesson plans for all age groups, for each week of the year. Just drop me a line If you need anything. Nina

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