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Interested in home educating but so many worries...

(25 Posts)
onefunkymama Mon 01-Sep-08 20:47:12

Hi

I am interested in home educating my two children. I hate the whole institutionalisation of schools and would love to tutor my kids myself but I am very scared of taking the plunge. My main concerns are

1.) Time, I have a pt job that I would not be able to give up
2.) Socialisation, how can I ensure that my kids have a decent number of peers to play with, have playdates etc . Are there groups of home educators who get together regularly?
3.) How would I know what to teach them?

Any thoughts welcome, I'm keen but scared of doing the wrong thing

julienoshoes Mon 01-Sep-08 22:16:31

hello onefunkymama

I'd suggest reading around this subject-as these fears are very common for families who are new to home education.

Where abouts do you live and how old are your children?

There are a few threads on here started to answer questions just like yours. The one about finding other home educators in your area, should help deal with the socialisation worries. If you follow the links there, you may well be able to find others near to you. They will them offer help and support and squash your socialisation worries.
Knowing what to teach them depends on a number of things. Some folks prefer to be more structured in their home ed, doing school at home. A few follow the National Curriculum. Others follow bought in curriculums- some of us don't follow any plan at all, instead following the child's interests entirely.
There are some books that may help you understand a bit more about this-and there is a thread about that, as well as one about websites about home education.

If you have a look at those, I am sure you'll get some answers. I'll go bump all the relevant threads right now for you.

misi Mon 01-Sep-08 22:17:38

contact the home education advisory service HEAS www.heas.org.uk/
they are good. depending on where you are, there are some very good local HEAS's. my one in essex is about the best I am told, so much to do you have to be careful you actually do any educating grin

julienoshoes Mon 01-Sep-08 22:21:04

Forgot to mention that many of us do work part time around home educating. Most of us seem to be on a limited income one way and another!

Some folks have grandparents or other relatives willing to help out-perhaps doing some cooking (my mom did this) or some other activity with the children.
Other home edders use home ed friendly child minders-there is a list of these somewhere, that could be found, if you are interested.

Some find other home ed parents willing to share child care, when they work part time too.

Others here may come up with other ideas.

onefunkymama Mon 01-Sep-08 23:26:38

Hi people, I find this all so daunting. I'll have a mooch through the other threads- I'll be interested to see what's on them.

onefunkymama Mon 01-Sep-08 23:47:30

The socialisation one is the one that worries me the most. DD (5) adores having friends around to play and spend time with at school. Do HE Mums and Dads have organise regular get togethers for their children? I'd feel so bad if DD did not have the opportunity to form 'proper' friendships rather than just meeting people for half an hour at a dance class or something. I teach music and would be intereted in offering a regular music group to HE parents (if I was home educating) and it would be nice if we were to get together with the same children most days to do an educational activity. Just wondering or is this more structured than most people want?

cheesesarnie Mon 01-Sep-08 23:59:19

i was going to post a thread similar to this!my main worries are my children are 8,7(so already at school) and 2.5 so worry about 3 different ages and abilities plus that im maybe not clever enough!

onefunkymama Tue 02-Sep-08 00:05:52

My DD is at school (Yr1) DS hasn't started yet. Humm, what to do, think I'd better go and buy a book!

julienoshoes Tue 02-Sep-08 00:26:38

"Do HE Mums and Dads have organise regular get togethers for their children?"

I've bumped a thread about finding local home educators to you.
Hopefully you'll find someone from those links, that will lead you to local activities.

This is our local HE group webpage to give you some idea of what things can be like.

When we started nearly eight years ago, some folks met locally at one family's home and we had meet up's in the park. Then a parent found a local community gym that we could use weekly, bery cheaply in term time-and then other parents found other things and it just grew from there.
Each of the things you see on our local website, is organised by a different parent.
One time I found out about a local museum holding 'Needle Scouring Workshops' where the children dress up as Victorian apprentices and have a try out for a job as a Needle Scourers apprentice.This was something that really interested dd2 at the time, as she was really interested in life in the Victorian era-so I costed it, advertised in the local home ed newsletter and plenty of people asked to join us and we ran two workshops.
Other parents have done other things, as you can see from the website.
If you were to offer a regular music group to our local group-we'd snap your hand off! We have one lady who runs regular drumming workshops and another who has run regular drama workshops.
I know other groups are very successful at applying and getting funding for group activities-Sheffield home edders come to mind and they get up to all sorts of things-we have done a little of this but it comes down to the enthusiasm and and interest of the families involved-and whether they are into form filling or not!
Our children have loads of friends they see regulary locally-and they are not restricted to after school hours or at playtime. We often had other children over for hours-and as they got older says at a time.
And now as we have joined in with HE camps and gatherings over the years the children have developed friendships all over the country-and often travel to stay with them and they come to us.

Does that help at all?

julienoshoes Tue 02-Sep-08 00:28:46

cheesesarnie
I don't worry about not being clever enough-that is what the internet is for as far as I am concerned!
Everything I could possibly need to know is here for me, to learn -alongside the children sometimes!!

julienoshoes Tue 02-Sep-08 00:30:12

Sorry, that should read

"and as they got older days at a time."

cheesesarnie Tue 02-Sep-08 00:33:03

thankyou juliesmile.how about the different ages?also ds1(7) has no concentration and low attention-do i just hope that something leaks in grin

julienoshoes Tue 02-Sep-08 06:48:22

There are lots of us who home educate three or more, including one rather well known in the home ed community who home educates all 12 of her children-or is it 13?
wink

Muddle-Puddle is a great resource site for families who HE children under 8 and there are plenty of early years home ed blogs to read to give you an idea of what life is like and how folks do it.

And all three of our children had similar difficuties with concentration and attentions, home educating in a child interest led way is great for this, have a look at some of the Autonomous home education information (called Unschooling in the States, such as Joyfully rejoycing
and to have a look at how it worked for us, see A month in our lives

seeker Tue 02-Sep-08 07:25:57

I think you should have really definite reasons for home educating your children. What I mean is that I think you need to be pro-home ed, rather than anti-school, if you see what I mean. And please forgive me if I'm stating the obvious, but schools have changes a lot since any of us were in them - make sure you're basing your decisions on what your children would get from school now rather than what you got from school x years ago.

My credentials for pontificating on this subjects - I was home educated, have many friends who home educate, but chose (with many misgivings) school for my own children. So I come from lots of angles at once!

mumtoo3 Tue 02-Sep-08 08:00:29

i too had the same worries but what i did was:-

we do not do 9-3 we do about 2-3 hours and fit it in around everything else so start at 8 and work till 9 then an hour from 7-8 and then all the sports they do take up the rest of the hours easily i work part time as well and it works out really well.

social wise they are such social kids and i struggle to keep up with there social calender they are always being invited out and having friends round to play

there are so many different approaches to HEing your best bet is to meet some other families and get on some forums and chatting, then talk to your child about there interests we follow quite a classical approach and it works for us she is very happy

keep asking questions everyone is really helpful here and can point you in the right direction

mumtoo3 Tue 02-Sep-08 08:00:37

i too had the same worries but what i did was:-

we do not do 9-3 we do about 2-3 hours and fit it in around everything else so start at 8 and work till 9 then an hour from 7-8 and then all the sports they do take up the rest of the hours easily i work part time as well and it works out really well.

social wise they are such social kids and i struggle to keep up with there social calender they are always being invited out and having friends round to play

there are so many different approaches to HEing your best bet is to meet some other families and get on some forums and chatting, then talk to your child about there interests we follow quite a classical approach and it works for us she is very happy

keep asking questions everyone is really helpful here and can point you in the right direction

mumtoo3 Tue 02-Sep-08 08:03:56

sorry forgot to mention mine are dd1 5.5yrs (year 1) we dereged her in march following bad bullying ds is 2.5yrs and starting preschool in january and then will be HEed after and my dd2 is my little baby whos 9 months and got a really sore throat sorry to waffle

Litchick Tue 02-Sep-08 08:33:50

We have always said that if we have to travel with work we will HE rather than put the kids in a succession of international schools.
My biggest concern is the range of stuff we will cover.
I know I am the type of Mum who will centre everything around the arts. I know nothing of maths or science. How do you ensure that things are not too weighted towards your own interests.

onwardandupward Tue 02-Sep-08 10:39:05

The really important thing IMO is that whatever happens gets weighted around the child's interests Because when someone is interested in something, they just hooooooover up information about it

(I'm another unschooler - the whole motivation/ getting children to do enough "work" issue/ balancing needs of different children within the family thing kind of dissolves when you turn your role around into supporting them in learning what they are interestd in right now, in a manner which is as formal or informal as suits at the time)

onwardandupward Tue 02-Sep-08 10:45:12

Oh - and work not a problem as long as you have suitable consistent childcare for the relevant hours. I flexi-WOHM and the daddy and I juggle between us.

mumtoo3 Tue 02-Sep-08 21:22:24

the best part of HEing is being able to do a curriculum around your childs strengths, so dd1 is on target for english and maths but is on a year 3+ for science, geography and history, we do music and art appreciation, ict, dt, spanish, latin, poetry, bible studie and loads of sport which she loves my interests are maths and history, but she has a scientific mind! i am awful at art so mil does art with her but i do art appreciation with her, so if you are unsure of a subject then ask your friends and family for help

mumtoo3 Tue 02-Sep-08 21:22:34

the best part of HEing is being able to do a curriculum around your childs strengths, so dd1 is on target for english and maths but is on a year 3+ for science, geography and history, we do music and art appreciation, ict, dt, spanish, latin, poetry, bible studie and loads of sport which she loves my interests are maths and history, but she has a scientific mind! i am awful at art so mil does art with her but i do art appreciation with her, so if you are unsure of a subject then ask your friends and family for help

onefunkymama Fri 05-Sep-08 19:03:26

Thanks julienoshoes for the link to the Worcester home educators website. I would love to know what its like to home educate from someone who's already doing it. How would I know that the kids are 'doing right for their ages?' I would hate them to be behind at secondary school stage and will, in the long run, encourage them to go into further education if that's what they would like.

julienoshoes Sat 06-Sep-08 20:53:14

"I would love to know what its like to home educate from someone who's already doing it"
Here you go then:
A month or so in our lives
must get round to updating as so many more things have happened since last I wrote there as dd2 has now started her first OU course.

milou2 Sat 06-Sep-08 21:16:27

OAU - I so agree with the 'hoovering' up of information which people of all ages do when they hit on something that fires them up.

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