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Not Sure Where To Start...Can anyone guide me please?

(8 Posts)
interflora Tue 23-Sep-08 19:37:55

Hi, can anyone please give me some idea as to how to go about home educating 4 kids aged between 4 - 7 years.

I just want to know how to start - if anyone could tell me what they did on their first day or first week etc. just to give me a push start!!! I am absolutely 'blank' having thought about it for so long and everyone having their own experiences!!

If anyone can hold my hand and guide me til I can stand on my own two feet please!! thanks

Runnerbean Tue 23-Sep-08 20:48:05


Where in the country are you?
My first bit of advice would be to join and find your local HE group.

I only have 2 dd's 5 and 9 but I know quite a few families with 3+.

Are your dc's in school/nursery?

milou2 Tue 23-Sep-08 22:09:52

If your children like Lego, play Lego...It's sort of like the summer holidays, but the change is in your head and theirs if you have been in the school system until now.

Just breathe, eat meals, dress, play with a pet if you have one. Maybe phone a friend and ask him/her to come and visit. Tell your friend whatever it is you want and need.

Pay attention to how you are feeling, and be kind to yourself, then you will be kind to the children too.

Have you deregistered yet?

Joining education otherwise was something significant I did beforehand. I did it online. Joining didn't commit me to deregistering in any way, but felt significant in some way.

interflora Wed 24-Sep-08 09:18:39

Runnerbean & milou2 , thanks for your tips.

We're in Wales

Not yet deregistered just need convincing we can actually do this before taking the plunge.

I can't get my head round the fact that we can actually 'teach' them anything worthwhile iyswim.

I see that you lot seem to go with the flow, I would also love to be as relaxed about it as you lot, but for some reason i am absolutely 'on edge' about it!! By breathing and eating and doing what they enjoy as if on summer holidays, how can we actually get them to learn anything - that's where the problem comes in, because I know full well, they would be happy enough sat on their backsides all day in front of the telly, playing sky games etc.!!hmm

Can anyone please give me some ideas as to how to go about introducing them to do 'real work' so they'd actually learn something, not necessarily what they are meant to learn at school but whatever they're interested in. I know they are very artistic - and can draw absolutely anything, but surely that won't be enough for them to step outside their comfort zone into the big world outside their front door?

Sorry if I sound silly, but I am just so cautious as petrified of deregistering the kids only to have to re-register them again at some point.

The freedom of home educating is most appealing also, fed up of being forced to comply with school rules all the time.

Any tips gratefully received, thanks.grin

AMumInScotland Wed 24-Sep-08 09:47:52

Children that age are like sponges - they just absorb information from everything around them. If you read to them, they will gradually pick up the idea and want to be able to do it for themselves. If they see you using numbers in everyday life, they will want to be able to work things out for themselves.

There's nothing wrong in watching TV or playing Sky games - though it might be an idea to stop them from doing it all day every day. But lots of childrens TV has educational value - how things are made, stuff about animals, life in other countries etc. And games can teach them about cause and effect, fine motor control etc.

onwardandupward Wed 24-Sep-08 10:37:59

IF you want "official" reassurance, get hold of "How Children Learn at Home" by Alan Thomas and Harriet Pattison (Continuum, 2007). It is a serious (but readable) adacemic book about how actually children spending all day pursuing their own interests all adds up to a good education

If your children are coming out of school, I'd expect a couple of months where it is mostly TV and computer games and trips out for fun, tbh (and my goodness me, what fantastic learning resources TV and computer games can be!)

milou2 Wed 24-Sep-08 11:59:42

It's the 'getting' DS2 to do things which is the mindset which leads me to get all cross and coercive and harsh.

Once I return to the 'observing' what he is doing and having a chuckle about a clip on YouTube alongside him, I am happier and he is happier.

He was the one who wanted me to watch Sex Education on TV last night, so I happened to be happy about doing that, though I got pins and needles! I want to note down in my book of what gets discussed each week something quick like 'watched prog re sex education/labour/erectile dysfunction/men's muscles'. Job done, but no stressy shouting and pressurising. In fact he was the one leading the exploration, knew what time the programme was on and did a countdown to 8pm for us. All I did was be there.

He strongly encouraged me to watch wrestling clips on YouTube yesterday too, I was a bit iffy about it, but then I started asking questions about why the doctors bothered to attend, surely nhs should refuse to encourage such events because it is encouraging unnecessary injuries, he replied that they had private doctors there all the time. I didn't know that, maybe he is wrong, but one of us would have to google it to find out.

It's the hanging around at home while he does his hoovering up information which is hard, I just do laundry, washing up, mumsnet, reading yet more information about how Home Education is for other families etc in the times between him asking for an information injection from me. It feels very passive in some ways, but I'm really in charge from a very hands off position.

Actually there is something very profound going on, if he says he has a headache, I now automatically believe him and offer remedies. I speak more truthfully to him and he knows I will believe him most of the time. And that enables the many brief discussions about the world which could be regarded as educational and intellectual.

jollydo Wed 24-Sep-08 14:51:06

Some ideas that I am planning on doing with my ds1 (4 1/2) in the next year (the 'planning' is mostly I'm sure, to make ME feel like I'm doing something and to justify myself to family etc.)....

A few regular activities like swimming, gym, music group.
A regular "nature" walk in either local free country park or elsewhere (actually went this am and along with playing on slide we found oak leaves, teasel and talked about poisonous berries, which ds2 was making a bee-line for, and rose-hips - ds1 asked if you can eat them and I said I think you can make jam but not sure what else so we will find out).
cooking - arty stuff - messy play like sand & water - lego or other construction stuff - bead threading
visiting educational places like farms, museums
regular library visit and lots of reading
social visits

I feel the need to have a few things around that I think might 'aid' learning - like phonic sounds and letters on the fridge which ds1 likes me to write things with. I might get one or two puzzles & games like lotto etc.(but not many as ds1 not currently that interested in them & I'm not going to push these, just let him play with them if he wants.) In between all that I'm sure there will be TV watching, computer games and lots of playing.

I'm new to this too, so I suppose I also feel that I need to have something in place so I feel more confident in what we are doing. Even though from what I have already seen he IS soaking up information, working out letter sounds and numbers including addition by asking questions, constantly asking all sorts of questions (like just now - why don't I have 3 eyes!) and really learning autonomously.

Good luck with your decision.

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