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Why not school?

(31 Posts)
mamacool Sun 08-Jul-07 19:53:28

Okay so I've asked why you choose to HE now I'd like to ask why not send them to school?

I personally don't think that schools are perfect but I don't think they're all bad either, however I do think the benefits of HE are greater.

The way I put it is like this 'I like strawberry ice cream but if I had the option of chocolate instead then I'd take it'.

Dp on the other hand thinks that if something is okay, why look for something else? I said that HE is okay so why look for something else? But he's not quite on board yet. He had a great experience in school and doesn't want our son to miss out. In his opinion I can still do all the things I'd want to with our son in the hours that he's not in school.

My only real concern is that he isn't given the freedom to become his own person without feeling the need to conform. I've loved watching him discover things all by himself and seeing his enthusiasm and curiousity grow by the minute and I'm worried that he might lose that if I put him into school. I love the montessori philosophy so if we do choose to send him to school we'll probably stick to montessori.

Anyway I'm just rambling now sorry. I just wanted to pick your brains

LaDiDaDi Sun 08-Jul-07 20:00:49

Personally I won't be doing HE as I work full-time but even so I think that I wouldn't HE as I would find the 24/7 contact that it would mean for dd and I claustrophobic, definitely for me and possibly for her (she's too young to know yet really).

I do like the learning by experience model which I think is much more suited to HE but I do think that some of the things that are cited as being negative about school, such as the need to conform, are actually useful things for children to learn to do so long as they are able to think about and discuss the rationale behind it.

mamacool Sun 08-Jul-07 20:10:45

When I say conform I don't mean follow rules and work within boundaries as we have that at home anyway, he has a certain amount of freedom but I think it's important to consider your safety, other people and your surroundings in order to live happily and peacefully within society.

However I don't want him turning into a sheep 'baa' and worrying about things that I consider insignificant eg the latest fasions etc I'd rather he found his own likes and dislikes without refering to others for acceptance if that makes sense.

sarah293 Sun 08-Jul-07 20:13:50

Message withdrawn

NKF Sun 08-Jul-07 20:14:50

I think this idea that children become clones if they go to school is misleading. Of course a child might start to worry about something the parent considers unimportant but I think that's normal. It's partly how they show that they're different and a way of developing their individuality.

ShrinkingViolet Sun 08-Jul-07 20:17:11

for us it's because both DD1 and DD2 spent far too long sitting around and waiting at primary school. DD2 may go to secondary in two years time, DD3 may go to junior school when she's older, but for now, they're happier at home, learning far more and about a wider variety of stuff than they would at school, and don't have their personalities "squished".

mamacool Sun 08-Jul-07 20:40:31

I agree about schools schooling and not educating but do you not feel that you could educate your children when they get home from school?

If I do send him to school I'm not going to hand all my responsibilities over and do nothing with him myself.

Also in response to him being concerned by something I find unimportant, I know this will happen anyway as things that seem huge when you're a child only become unimportant when you get older and have to battle with new issues which in years to come will also seem unimportant I'm sure. I don't believe this developes their individuality though, I think it hinders it.

NKF Sun 08-Jul-07 20:42:39

I think schools do educate. Of course it's not always the case but some children have a ball at school. Friends, interesting lessons, pride in belonging to something, projects with children of different ages, meeting people unlike their family.

ShrinkingViolet Sun 08-Jul-07 21:58:07

mamacool - if I was to "educate" DD1 out of school, the poor child wouldn't have enough time to sleep LOL. She has around 1-2 hours of homework per night, plus reading around the subject/relevant TV programes (eg the BBC Battlefields series).
DD3 was so wiped out with 3 full days at school that all she was capable of was vegging in front of CBeebies. No time for anything new.
And anyway, shouldn't "out of school" be for playing/mucking around with mates/wandering around the garden poking at worms rather than "let's sit down and go through these decimal fraction problems"?

Julienoshoes Sun 08-Jul-07 23:14:14

Shrinking Violet
Our home education is exactly like that-all "playing/mucking around with mates/wandering around the garden poking at worms rather than "let's sit down and go through these decimal fraction problems"? "

It is all learning! We haven't done any formal lessons at all in the last 6 plus years and still got our eldest teenager to a level where he is expected to do very well with his A levels this summer!

Plus when you home educate then you don't have the exhausted child who has to do "around 1-2 hours of homework per night, plus reading around the subject/relevant TV programes (eg the BBC Battlefields series)".

You have so much more time for everything when it isn't all wasted sitting round waiting for lessons to begin, reviewing the last lesson, waiting for others to shut up, stop messing etc etc. On a one to one basis any sort of home education is much more efficient than schools, where one teacher has 30+ children.

I asked our children the "Why not send them to school" and they said "Why would you, when home ed can deliver absolutely everything that school can and so much more?"

But then our children have been to school and know the difference. Their social life, as I have said elsewhere, is the envy of their schooled cousins and friends. The range of activities and workshops and team events that they have the opportunity to undertake is outstanding-and we can choose to spend the whole summer camping with hundreds of home educating families. Be on the beach when it is sunny, sledging when it is snowing and not stuck indoors in a classroom.

Mamacool, where abouts do you live and what does your Dp think your child will miss out on?
Maybe we can find out about local HE groups for you to go and visit and see what is going on.
Where we live in Worcestershire, there are workshops activities and visits happening at least weekly during term time-sometimes it is so busy we have to book a day at home!

sarah293 Mon 09-Jul-07 08:43:58

Message withdrawn

mamacool Mon 09-Jul-07 11:32:33

I agree. If I choose to HE and he asks to go to school I'd let him and if I choose to send him to school and he asks to leave I'd let him, it's just the initial decision on whether to send him or not.

I personally would rather start with HE and use school as a backup if it didn't work for us but dp would rather we used HE as a backup if school doesn't work out.

When I said school doesn't educate I was just using someone elses words from a previous reply. I do feel that they learn a lot in school academically and socially but no more than they can at home. As for teaching decimal fraction problems etc when he gets home that's the opposite of what I mean by educating. I feel that learning about nature and cultures and looking after yourself (money handling, shopping, housework etc) etc is far more important, and I don't mean pulling out the text books I mean getting out there and experiencing it for yourself.

ahundredtimes Mon 09-Jul-07 11:36:55

The reasoning behind HE always rings a little hollow. Why don't you just say, because I can do a better job of it? Because that's the truth. It's absurd to suggest that a child who goes to school doesn't know how to use money, of course they do. HE allows the education to be personal though, and for the child to lead it, rather than an adult.

ahundredtimes Mon 09-Jul-07 11:37:50

I mean, children who go to school DO ALSO go to the shops, and have pocket money and look at worms and collect beetles. It's not always one or the other.

mamacool Mon 09-Jul-07 11:41:37

Thats what I said in an earlier thread. That I can send him to school but still make sure he learns all that I want him to when he's home. That was the point in this thread, not to tell me why keep him home but rather why not send him to school.

ahundredtimes Mon 09-Jul-07 11:43:11

I don't understand what you're saying. I'd thought it was obvious why you'd send a child to a school isn't it? It's hardly a new idea.

singingmum Mon 09-Jul-07 11:47:34

Just came on and want to add my view.
My ds went to nursery.He was 3 and was there for about 4 mnths(sept-dec)
Before he went he could read and write his alphabet and name.The teacher at nursery kept sending him home with baby board books for his 'story time with parent' folder.He came home wet regularly and she said he had thrown water over himself she thought but didn't know as never saw him doing so, we later discovered that there were 2 girls who thought it funny to get him told off.She told him to write his name as he obv couldn't like the others in class couldn't because of his age ignoring us completely when we tried to explain that he was bored with it.
In short he was bored and fed up.The final straw came when she informed us that he was, and I quote(these words still ring in my head), "backwards as he could not hold a stencil still"
I informed her that neither could I sometimes and that I felt that had nothing to do with being backwards just happened to not be his strong point.She replied she was reccomending he spent another extra year in nursery bored out of his mind.My dp and I removed him shortly after and started looking at our options.
It took until he was 6yrs old to get him to read and write again(he stopped)When he started doing so we asked why he hadn't for 3yrs.His reply was shocking the teacher had told him that 3yr olds are not supposed to read or write and that only 6yr olds should.We were well and truly livid at this.3yrs wasted because of a stupid comment like that.
So why not school?
Answer:- I know my son and his capabilities better than anyone and same now for my dd.I can help with their prob areas and also encourage in their strong ones.I will not have another child messed up because of the stupidity of someone who believes they know my children without ever trying.

ahundredtimes Mon 09-Jul-07 11:53:59

Child can learn what they want, do not have to conform, can have their education tailor-made rather than standardised and collective, are released from unhappy peer pressure, can have a more imaginative engagement with their own learning, won't be unhappy at home but might be/have been at school.

Surely the question, why not school? Is the same as Why at Home? Different question, same answers.

mamacool Mon 09-Jul-07 12:04:58

Not really, as I said I feel that home schooling is the better option but I don't think school is bad. I'm asking because I want to know why some people believe school is bad not why HE is better. Singingmum has just given me a very valid reason why she chooses not to send them to school, I was wondering how many of you have had experiences like hers that have put you off the schooling system IYSWIM.

ahundredtimes Mon 09-Jul-07 12:08:15

Ah I see, you want school horror stories? How odd.
Ok, will leave you to it. Good luck

mamacool Mon 09-Jul-07 12:19:37

In response to riven's holding pen comment, I guess in reality thats how I think of it which is why I'm not so keen. To me it's just somewhere to send them while we work etc but I feel that the real learning happens at home.

I went to two primary schools and had two completly different experiences. My first was horrific and I feel that it made a very negative impact on my life, the second was wonderful and I'd send my children there in a heartbeat if I knew it'd be the same for them. I'm just not happy taking that risk as it can take a long time to get over a bad childhood experience.

mamacool Mon 09-Jul-07 12:35:42

Not necessarily horror stories as they're usually quite personal and down to specific schools and teachers but if you have any general dislikes about school I'd like to know what they are.

Basically I have the arguement 'why HE' but don't have a great arguement 'why not school'. The next time I have this discussion with dp I'd like to have a valid arguement not just 'because it doesn't feel right, or because I can do it better', I was hoping you guys might be able to help me realize why it feels so wrong to send him on to someone else to learn what I'm capable of teaching him and possibly risk messing with who he is and will become.

VioletBaudelaire Mon 09-Jul-07 14:21:36

I think school can be a good place for children, but probably only really those who are average.

I think school can cause unnecessary problems and issues for children with learning difficulties, those with emotional or behavioural difficulties, or those who are extremely bright academically.

I think the lack of emphasis that the National Curriculum puts on emotional and social development is to the detriment of most children.

And I think the government is consigning many children to the scrap heap because there educational needs are misunderstood or not catered for.

There is so much more the education than exams and league tables.

VioletBaudelaire Mon 09-Jul-07 14:37:42


sarah293 Mon 09-Jul-07 14:41:14

Message withdrawn

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