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Can I home school without deregistering?(4 Posts)
My two sons have both been off school for two weeks as we were self isolating then the school closed. I hadn’t heard anything from the school so last week I decided to give home education a try with them and we are all loving it. However today I received an email to say the boys now have google classroom logins and should register and check in daily for work being sent to them.
At present we do three hours of homeschooling a day, between 9am and 12pm. One of them is autistic so I want to keep the structure and routine of getting up at the same time Monday to Friday as best I can.
Since we began homeschooling I have really noticed some things that have me concerned. My autistic son is in primary 6 and my NT son is in primary 7. Neither of them can competently tell the time from an analogue clock. They cannot name the months of the year in order. My primary 7 sons handwriting is almost unreadable. My autistic sons learning level seems to be at first stage (primary 1-4) even though he is smart and very capable. Obviously I know him very well and understand him so since home schooling he is coming on in leaps and bounds.
I don’t, however, want to deregister either of them. My autistic son benefits from his school in socialising and some other specific areas.
Can I just homeschool whilst the schools are closed then discuss with the school when open again, what to do going forward?
Have you looked at what has been set by the school?
Because the win/win here would be if you found at least some of what they set fitted your ideas of what you were thinking of doing with them anyhow. That means they are not completely adrift from what's the school wants them to cover (this is only a consideration because you want them to return) but still gives oodles of scope for your own initiatives.
In the long run (after schools resume) it sounds like flexischooling (part-time attendance coupled with part-time education provided by parents) could suit. I take it you are in Scotland? I don't know the details of flexischooling legislation there - in England it is usually at the discretion of the headteacher whether to allow it; the exceptions being that parents can insist on part-time attendance for children who are not yet of compulsory school age, and also if flexischooling is written into the EHCP then the school cannot refuse.
This could be a great opportunity to see how your children respond to education provided by you, and then later discuss flexischooling with the head. There's a Facebook group called Flexischooling Families UK which you might like to join in order to check the legal standing of flexischooling in Scotland. I understand that if you need permission from the headteacher, it would be wise to have done some preparation before approaching them, in terms of proposing exactly how you see it working, knowing what the possible objections are and having a plan for overcoming them etc. In England, heads tend to be quite resistant, in part because it now harms their attendance figures.
On the other hand, in the case of a child with special needs, flexischooling means the school doesn't have to spend as much money on the child as they otherwise would (for example if he needs a TA whenever attending, and he only attends part-time, they'd only have to pay for a part-time TA), and yet they receive full funding for him, so it can be appealing to them for that reason.
By the way, you probably already know this but if you ever do decide to deregister, in Scotland unlike England you must obtain the consent of the LA to do that. It is meant to be a fairly quick process and they shouldn't withhold consent unreasonably but some LAs need prodding with a sharp stick to get them to comply, so you might need help from Scottish home ed advocates.
Rancid talks a lot of sense. See what's there - even if the actual work set isnt useful, the resources might be.
Deal with some easy wins from school if you can. Follow the stuff you think will benifit your boys. Do what is right for your boys for the rest.