Considering Home Ed not out of choice

(15 Posts)
Ahmawa Fri 19-Apr-19 15:00:05

Now each person will have their own reasons to consider Home Ed, I was wondering what was your motivation to do it?

In my case I am starting to look into it because I fear that the new Free School that my DS attends may never get a school actually get built. Currently they are housed in portacabins which was only going to be for the first year of reception but as of today no building work has even begun so it looks like a minimum of another year in temporary accomodation.

I have been looking around on the web and there are so many ways for teaching the national curriculum.

I prefer a structured approach so I can guage progress rather than try download worksheets. My preference is buying a complete set of workbooks or a programe for Maths and English.

OP’s posts: |
Glamdring Fri 19-Apr-19 15:47:42

Don't make this decision lightly! Remember school is not just about the curriculum but also social and emotional development.

Children need to spend time with other children and also need other adults and people in their lives to help them develop.

Also teachers train hard to understand how to deliver the curriculum and have access to a good range of resources to do this - do you really think you can offer that?

Will you be able to create a destination from mother to teacher? Will you be able to overcome your subjective perspective of your child to push and encourage them appropriately. I would also question if it is healthy for two people to spend such a significant amount of time together. Relationships often work best when people are able to spend time with others and outside the family home.

Home schooling can work but usually if there is a specific need/reason not just because there is no building!

I would strongly discourage you from doing this based on your reasons

itsstillgood Fri 19-Apr-19 15:52:09

My initial reason is that I believed (and still do) that the primary level National Curriculum is a disgrace. I left my teacher training degree because I couldn't bring myself to teach it and when I had kids about 5 years later it seemed the right thing to not put them in to a system that I'd rejected as not fit for purpose (all I had wanted to do from the age of 6 was teach so giving up was a huge thing - still is 20 years later considering life post HE I still have no idea what else to do when I think of going back to full time work). My dh 's motivations were different but compatible. I was happy to look at alternative provision as at the time not so anti school as a whole just the NC but he was of the view that if we were going to be skint we may as well go for home ed.
Never regretted it for more than a passing 5 mins every now and again after a tough day.
Initial reasons have been extended over the years and now the reasons why we home ed over school are too many and complex to list.

Saracen Fri 19-Apr-19 18:07:31

Glamdring, may I ask whether you have home educated and if so for how long?

Your view is one which is shared by many people who have no experience of home education. It really, really isn't as you imagine. (It can be, initially, if parents think they have to make it look exactly like school. But usually it doesn't take long for families to figure out that replicating school is unnecessary and counterproductive.)

There is a wide range of academic approaches to choose from, but even those which are most structured don't usually resemble school in their delivery. Most of the training which teachers undergo is specific to the environment in which a large number of children are being educated in a group by a small number of adults, and isn't relevant to home education.

Ahmawa Fri 19-Apr-19 20:29:48

Saracen could you point me in the direction of good Home Ed providers and actual teaching material.

As I pointed out I am only considering it at the moment - it could end up with no School and being put in a school I do not want so I don't want to be rushing around like a mad person. I would rather be prepared with a plan B ready to go.

OP’s posts: |
Saracen Sat 20-Apr-19 00:05:50

Hi Ahmawa!

I'm not the best person to advise, because my family prefers autonomous education. I do know that is popular with my friends who use curricula, so you might like to have a look there.

Many British home educators use a pick and mix approach for the different topics, because you might find that you like one provider's history lessons but their maths programme doesn't suit your child, for example. One of the biggest mistakes which people say they made in the early days is investing too much money early on. It can take a while to discover what works best for your own child, and you don't want to be stuck with a stack of books which are all wrong for him. See what you can borrow or get on free trial first, or just buy the first book in the series. Local home educators will be happy to show you what they are using or may even lend you some of their books to help you decide.

Because one-to-one attention focused on your child's individual needs is so beneficial, you will find home ed more efficient than school, so you won't have to sit working for six hours a day. Most parents of under-8s do just a few hours a day of formal work at most (and some like me do none at all, but have our children learn entirely by following their interests). You also don't have to worry about your son "falling behind". For one thing, he will learn quickly when he gets stuck in. For another, you can go at his pace, so it really doesn't matter what his level is. Unlike at school where there are dozens of other children whose needs must be met and who can't wait for him to catch up, you won't have to plough ahead and leave him behind if he isn't ready!

Because of that, you don't need to have everything completely arranged before you start home educating. You can experiment, make alterations and add subjects in as you go.

A schoolteacher can't turn up unprepared on the first day of term. There is a curriculum which must be delivered, and besides that there would be chaos if all those children crowded into one room together had nothing productive to do. It's a different story for you. Even though you plan to have curricula in place eventually, you can still do a variety of things as you work towards that.

Suppose that at the beginning of September you still haven't settled on a maths scheme. You can keep looking for the right one while you visit a museum, let your son choose a load of library books for you to read to him, watch a history video, and try a birdwatching challenge. You'll figure out the maths plan in due course and you can start it whenever you're ready. That might be later in the month or later in the year. Education is a long game. There's no deadline.

itsstillgood Sat 20-Apr-19 13:12:30

The site Saracen linked is excellent but pretty much dead now a day's as people have moved to Facebook. I am only on GCSE level groups now but have a search on FB for groups and you will find loads.

I am going to second Saracen's note of caution about planning too much ahead. I've supported a lot of new home educators over the years and without fail those who struggled the most and had the highest return to school rate were those who had a strong plan and had focused lots of energy on choosing and sourcing resources ahead.

Even those who end up quite structured in approach (I might have rejected the NC but that doesn't mean I reject structure, my colour coded planners are legendary in local home ed spheres - more as an excuse for teasing than anything) find that home ed is very different from school. School starts with the curriculum and how best to pass that knowledge on to the children, home ed is about the child and how to help them access and learn skills and knowledge. For home ed to really work well you need to work with the child you have, all learn in their own unique ways. There are loads of excellent resources out there but what works for one won't for the other, it really is trial and error. As Saracen said it won't matter if you don't get it right from the start, home ed is much more efficient, just avoid expensive mistakes by trying free trials etc. I have 2 kids and it is only at GCSE level (where there are few alternatives) have I found myself using the same resources for both.

While I don't agree with most of what Glamdring said she does raise the point that education is more than an academic curriculum. I have always found the academics the easier side of home ed, I am not naturally sociable so I have had to work hard over the years to give my children good social lives, team working skills etc. It is very doable as we have a huge local home ed community and lots of activities but from a personal perspective if you are considering home ed then you need to consider and plan for this side. Facebook is the best place to look for local groups.

Glamdring Mon 22-Apr-19 04:34:45

Saracen I have professional and personal experience of both. I am also not against homeschooling just wanted OP to be mindful that there is much more too it than the educational aspect.

I do think this can work, and have known parents to have done this successfully. Through from my experience it has been a small minority who can make it work.

My professional opinion would be that this should really only be considered if there were some specific reasons for this and homeschooling would be in the best interest of the child and there was a clear idea of how the child's variety of needs would be met.

Only the OP knows the exact details of the situation and weigh up the positives and negatives for her child and family. She (and her family) can therefore be the only ones who can make a decision based on sons reasoning.

Ahmawa Mon 22-Apr-19 08:13:33

Glamdring, My preference is to send my child to school but if the school doesnt get built and its shuffling from one porta cabin to the next and the schools nearby are full then I really am limited to my choices.

1) First choice is the school gets built and gets enough pupils so doesn't close down.

2) Get a place somehow at a nearby school but they are all oversub.

3) Homeschooling

Lets say even if the School gets built there will always be the fear if they don't get enough children attending they could just pull the plug as has happened to some schools - then you might be in year 3 or 4 which isn't ideal.

OP’s posts: |
Glamdring Mon 22-Apr-19 09:39:02

Th one thing I can say is that the local authority had a leafs duty to provide school places for all children - so it is probably worth talking to them about the future of the education and schools in your area . That may help your decision.

Porta cabins aren't the best but I had three years of it in primary school and it didn't affect the ability of the teacher if the effectiveness of the education.

Glamdring Mon 22-Apr-19 09:39:26

Legal duty to provide education!

Thesearmsofmine Mon 22-Apr-19 09:45:40

I home educate out of choice, I felt it would suit our family and it has worked for us so far.

You don’t have to follow a curriculum but if you do want to go down that route then I suggest joining one of the structured home ed groups on Facebook and ask for their advice on what would suit your son.

MimblesDaughter Thu 30-May-19 16:42:54

@Glamdring do you HE? A lot of teachers I know have decided to quit to HE their own kids, which I think says a lot about the state of the system currently...

We are HE for SO many reasons. The freedom to follow our daughter's interests and give her 1-2-1 teaching, meeting her needs rather than trying to teach 30 kids at differing levels the same thing at the same time. The ability to spend more time with her. Diverse socialisation with children and adults of all ages. More rigorous education. Avoiding draconian classroom "behaviour management" policies. Abundant time outdoors in nature, moving, riding her bike, swimming.

We are not HE out of necessity - I appreciate this is a privilege - but out of glorious choice. It feels like the luxury option!

tortuman Fri 31-May-19 02:21:33

@Glamdring I will tell you a well kept secret that may rock your world. In this country teachers use mostly worksheets downloaded from the Internet, especially from a famous site called twinkl that is actually also used by most parents in the whole kingdom.
In this country, unlike most other Western countries and most of the world, teachers do not use textbooks , they think they are bad teachers if they do, and they must create their own resources because it is part of the job and it is one of the boxes to tick on inspections and supervision.
Another secret is that creating your own worksheets and resources is actually not rocket science and anybody with a brain and access to the Internet can do, especially if you download something and adpat it from sites like Twinkl or Tes... so, no teachers do not have the holly book holding the knowledge to "resources". You would be surprised that teacher training in this country boils down to the trainee getting to grips with how things are done in this country, and what Ofsted wants. By the way the teacher training is only one year... compare that to 4 or 5 years in most other countries... mmm

tortuman Fri 31-May-19 02:29:55

@Ahmawa, I would not worry about the National Curriculum. You will not find textbooks or methods teaching the NC because there is no incentive for publishing houses to invest money on research, writers and editors, as they would never get the money back given that schools here do not use textbooks, they would rather spend more money photocopying stuff.
Secondly, the NC is not a syllabus, it is guidance and schools adapt what, when and how they teach.
You are better off joining FAcebook groups of home educators, there are a couple for "structured" HE and ask other families for suggestions on resource packets they are using.
However, as somebody said above, there is no need to follow the NC and if you home educate, enjoy the freedom. You can still be structured, but do not feel you have to find resources that follow the NC.
On the other hand, personally rather than focusing on how temporary the building is, I would focus on finding out the quality of education of your school and if your child is happy and learning there. It does not matter if the building is ugly or temporary. I have taught in schools with the latest technology and brand new buildings and the teaching and behaviour was horrible, while some private schools have no technology and appallingly old buildings and they manage great education.

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