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Survey: do you consider yourself autonomous, structured or somewhere in between?

(33 Posts)
Fillyjonk Thu 05-Jun-08 08:35:14

And how old are your kids?

And did you HE from the start?

Am trying to get an idea of what % of HErs do what, for nowt but my own interests really.

Runnerbean Thu 05-Jun-08 08:52:52

DDs are 5 and 9.

Have been HEing for two years. (so one in school til end Yr2 and 1 HE from the start).

Started off structured but have evolved into a much happier autonomy.
I think that tends to be what happens, quite often, you start off structured because it's all we know , it's how we were educated, but as the parents de-school they reach enlightenment and the autonomous approach makes a lot more sense.

HE becomes not an educational choice but a lifestyle choice.

AMumInScotland Thu 05-Jun-08 09:16:57

Very structured - DS is using an internet school to study for iGCSEs, so has a set timetable, curriculum etc. He's 14 and we only started last summer.

Legally this is still counted as HE, though it's probably very different to what most do smile

mumtoo3 Thu 05-Jun-08 09:31:46

mine are 5.4yrs, 2.4years and 7 months.

dd1 spent about 5 weeks in school, and started to self harm so we took her out and it was the best decision we ever made, as a few months later we found out she was being bullied physically in school!

we plan to send the younger two to pre school and then HE from there.

we are structured in we have a diary with activities and books to read etc for the day but no set times so reading at 6am or 7pm is normal!

julienoshoes Thu 05-Jun-08 11:09:02

'children' are now 21, 18 and 15 (Where did that time go?)

Home educated for seven plus years they were 13, 11 and 8 when we deregistered them.

Apart from that my answer is exactly the same as Runnerbeans!
Started off structured -then did the deschooling-took us as long as it took them!-Eventually became 100% autonomous educators and this spread to all aspects of our lives.
I'd say we parent without boundaries now.
LOL! I have learnt such a lot since we have started home educating- I remember the first time I came across this idea at our first HesFes and commented "I don't think I could do this children's autonomy thing"
My friend burst out laughing and said "that much is quite obvious!" hmm
Look how far I have come! wink

"HE becomes not an educational choice but a lifestyle choice. "

julienoshoes Thu 05-Jun-08 11:17:58

BTW I am interested in the results-my feeling is that this will show a bell curve as in so many other things, with folks like us being at one end and AMumInScotland and others who do complete structure at the other-and with the majority in between.

(remembering of course, that autonomous home educators do structure if the child wants it)

But I too would consider us all to be home educators AMIS.

KayHarker Thu 05-Jun-08 11:48:45

Somewhere in the middle. Children are 7, 4, 3 and 1.

We use some workbooks for a few hours a day (not all at the same time, though) because I've found that they like to have something tangible to show Daddy when he comes home. It's also a useful thing to be able to show grandparents and others who have a certain preconception about what education is.

But essentially the workbook stuff is primed for learning to read, write and discover maths. I figure if they have the basics down, that opens up the world for them so they can explore, which I'm already seeing happening.

Other than that formality, they spend the day exploring, reading, investigating the world around them and so on. At the moment, this tends to involve 'making a den' that ties in to whatever we've been looking at recently. This past month it's been 'the Celts', so the den has been a Celtic fort grin

I would imagine, as they get a bit older, it will get a bit more formal, but I just had the biggest smile on my face the other day when my eldest was sitting reading the her younger sisters, reading words like 'phlegm' and 'feign' confidently and with expression, and I realized I've actually acheived something, because I've taught my daughter to read. Sorry, nothing to do with the topic, I just got carried away there.

So, anyway, yes, in the middle for us.

ForeverBlowingBubbles Thu 05-Jun-08 15:03:45

Autonomous really. Child aged 9, left school to be home educated halfway through Year 3. I'm just not very good at structure and neither is she.

Fillyjonk Thu 05-Jun-08 17:14:14

very interesting!

more answers please!

its really just for my own curiosity


terramum Thu 05-Jun-08 17:35:04

DS will be 4 next month & has been HE from the start, no nursery/pre-school etc. We are completely autonomous letting him learn through living/playing.

pinkdolly Thu 05-Jun-08 18:59:49

I have 3 girls ages 6 in 2 weeks, 4 and 2 next month.
They have never been to school.
We started off very structured and have also evolved into a much happier autonomous lifestyle.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 05-Jun-08 19:01:49

Message withdrawn

RemindMe Thu 05-Jun-08 19:41:14

Mine are 6, 5, 2 and 12 weeks and we are somewhere in between. We do formal stuff in the morning and unstructured stuff in the afternoon. Some days we are out all day.

My eldest tried school for a few weeks but we have HEd for the last year and a half. DS2 never went at all.

I would like to become more autonomous - I think it's fear holding me back. If I had more time I would read up on it a bit more grin

AMumInScotland Thu 05-Jun-08 20:42:20

Starlight - internet schools are a lot like bricks & mortar schools, but the teacher and the children get together via the internet using web conferencing technology. DSs school covers years 7 to 11 (Link here). There's a couple of others in the UK too.

redpyjamas Fri 06-Jun-08 01:12:24

Mine are 7 and 5. Never been to school.

I'd say we're inbetween. Like RemindMe, it is fear that stops me being autonomous. I'm too compulsive a list-maker, and I start to panic if I think things are getting stagnant.

However, practically speaking, we don't spend all that much time doing work-booky type stuff. My lists are more inclined to stories, activities, games, visits, art etc. And if something is not interesting to them, I leave it (apart from basic skills).

wabbit Fri 06-Jun-08 01:20:03

Started off structured and like so many here learning became child led over time. dd's been homeschooled for 2 years now but will be going to college in Sept. only thing I regret is not taking her out of school earlier - I was homeschooled so I have no excuses.

jollydo Fri 06-Jun-08 12:39:59

Just starting out with ds1 who is 4. Had applied for school place but then looked into HE and decided it sounded great and would suit him at least at the moment - so school place for Sept has been declined.
Pretty much autonomous for now, just carrying on with all the playing / talking /reading we've been doing all along. We do the odd bit of workbook/puzzle book (counting, matching letters, spot the difference, etc.) very irregularly, only because he seems to enjoy them. Don't know if I'll get tempted to try some more structure later, but I don't think we'll do much as I'm pretty much convinced by the reading I've been doing about autonomous learning etc. (Thanks to MN for all the info/ideas/links smile.) I suppose it'll depend on how we see he's getting on...

Winetimeisfinetime Fri 06-Jun-08 13:05:42

My ds has been HE since age 7. We were fairly structured as we always wanted to ensure we covered the National Curriculum in case he wanted to get back into mainstream school.

He is now 14 and like AMumInScotland's ds he has been at an internet school { one of the other schools though} for 2 years now and is studying for iGCSEs.

SummatAndNowt Fri 06-Jun-08 13:56:41

ds is 4 and he went to nursery for about 3 months, Sept-Dec.

Autonomous makes most sense to me personally, but I see it as something more suited to older kids. With ds only being 4, his knowing what is out there, what questions to ask etc. is limited. So we have books on a lot of things and I guide him somewhat. That might well be what autonomous means at this age!

I did get some learning to read and write workbooks a while back, before I chose the home ed route, and it's up to him whether he takes them out or not. I'm not too fussed about when he learns to read, in my mind I'd like him to have started learning when he's about 7, and he probably will have, as he's already asking questions about words and letter sounds.

ibblewob Fri 19-Sep-08 20:27:43

Hallo, didn't know whether you still wanted more replies?

We're just starting as DS (3) won't be going to nursery, so I guess we're officially 'out of the system' from now. Also have DD (6m).

I don't plan to do anything structured at all until DS is 6 (a la Sweden etc). Then, in my head, we'll do very short lessons in the mornings and have the afternoons free. But 3 years is a long time!

Heartmum2Jamie Sat 20-Sep-08 14:02:55

My children are 7 & 4 and are expecting a brother at Halloween. Ds1 went to nursery, reception and we de-registered after 3 months in year 1 when it was obvious that aside from family issues (ds2 was very poorly and spent alot of time in hospital), something was not right at school either. He had returned to daytime wetting and suffered regular tummy aches and migraines, although the school insisted nothing was wrong. Ds2 has never been registered with school.

So far we are semi-autonomous. We try and keep up with or ahead of the NC with maths & english but then go with the flow. I would like to go fully autonomous really but like the others have said, fear is holding me back a little.

rooftop Sun 21-Sep-08 01:51:11

I'm mom to ds 9.
Semi-structured (bit of formal maths and literacy most days!)
He will quite often surprise me with a new word or piece of information that i havent 'formally' taught(!) him and when I ask him where/how did you know that, he looks at me in amazement and quotes me "learning happens all the time" !!!!
The structure reassures me more than it teaches my son I think.
Interesting to read other's replies.

rooftop Sun 21-Sep-08 01:51:13

I'm mom to ds 9.
Semi-structured (bit of formal maths and literacy most days!)
He will quite often surprise me with a new word or piece of information that i havent 'formally' taught(!) him and when I ask him where/how did you know that, he looks at me in amazement and quotes me "learning happens all the time" !!!!
The structure reassures me more than it teaches my son I think.
Interesting to read other's replies.

Beeper Sun 21-Sep-08 12:14:03

We do mostly structured stuff. We do about 2-3 hours a day but I mostly do the three R's and leave other stuff like history and geography and science for reading and general discussion. I have to force myself to do structured stuff as I know darn well that we would do nothing, like he would play on the computer all day. And I know people say they get fed up and do other stuff but I have tried it and he just keeps on playing on it.

I also have a tutor that comes in once a week for a couple of hours to give me a break and to provide some support teaching

Most afternoons are taken up with group stuff and visits etc.

milou2 Sun 21-Sep-08 19:38:23

My son is 10. I took him out 9 months ago in yr 5. He had a couple of weeks of yr 6 this September, but started to get edgy and distant, lost all his confidence by the first evening in front of some homework, got all stressed out by the next back to autonomous living. He also told me he wasn't learning anything. And he had been so sweetly keen to go back in even the night before.

We deschooled for 3 months, then he wanted several subjects a day, then he stopped that for the summer holidays with his older brother 13. Now we are at the stage of discussing whether to focus very loosely on Vietnam as our history topic. He asked me about it and I confessed I didn't know why it started, why it continued or how it stopped, nor the years it covered! He said that we were getting back into the swing of home educating after I said we could focus on Vietnam.

He plays a lot of computer games and is so proud when he tells me what levels he has just done. I read Sandra Dodd on line to get even more chilled out about game playing.

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