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First hand advice....What do you love??? Any Regrets??

(12 Posts)
horseshoe Sun 28-Sep-08 22:24:38

I have read so many articles on this and its something I am so interested in doing.
I have weighed up the pros and cons and in my head I have decided that ultimately I can a) spend more time educating my child (I work in a school and find that the ability range is so extreme, certain groups get missed out)
b) I see it as an important part of rearing my children

On the con side my main issues are
a) My eldest child is already in school and this would be a major change
b)Can I do this??

I just want first hand advice really....any regrets????

Runnerbean Mon 29-Sep-08 08:18:55


Before HE, over two years ago, I volunteered to help out in my dds class as I was doing a classsroom assistants course, with the intention of going on to a PGCE.
It was this experience (amongst many others) including as you say, the extreme ability range, that really led me to investigate HE.

My dd was in year 2, doing exceptionally well (3c's at end of yr) and was happy, BUT something didn't feel right.
The 'extreme ability range' meant my 'bright' dd was bored.
Being in the classroom though I appreciated fully that the teachers concern was those struggling NOT my dd. It seemed to make perfect sense to me to take her out and let her learn at her own pace at home.

She was reluctant at first but we met some local HE families and talked lots as a family and I had many sleepless nights and feelings of terror doubt.
My family and friends thought I was bonkers!

2 years later my youngest dd has never been to school and never wants to. Elder dd loves HE and has no desire to return to school.

Any regrets?

Yes I wish I had never sent my dd to school in the first place!

jollydo Mon 29-Sep-08 09:31:50

Runnerbean, have your family and friends now changed their mind? We are just starting out and while some people are very supportive and think it's a great idea (including, interestingly, ALL the friends who are teachers that I trained with - one who is now an assistant head teacher) others, understandably I suppose, know very little about HE and clearly think it is an odd decision.

(Sorry for thread hijack. We are too early on to really say very much, but so far I love the freedom and letting ds1 (4) learn and become independent at his own pace. So far, no regrets.)

jollydo Mon 29-Sep-08 09:34:18

I suppose the only thing I find hard is being in a minority and doing something so different to the norm. Feeling like I have to explain myself!

Runnerbean Mon 29-Sep-08 09:55:15


My in laws in particular were very against it, however, they now think it's fantastic and my FIL gave me a big hug one day and said "Well done!"
They get to see their grandchildren most days and grandad gets to take my eldest to his golf club for golf lessons (which he pays for) and dd then she gets to chat to all his old cronies!

My parents don't say very much but then they've never been that interested in my dc's. sad

Interestingly the friends who were a bit hmm about my decision don't say much either, and surprisingly often have a moan about problems their dc's have at school.

There is a huge HE community in SE London/Kent and I see HE friends most days as well as helping to run 2 HE groups so I don't feel like I'm in a minority at all!

If I lived somewhere more rural I guess it would probably be more difficult the HE community support is so important.

Runnerbean Mon 29-Sep-08 10:01:56

Just want to add that the reason the HE support is so important is that it is not an easy decision to make.
Some days are crap and I 'threaten' to send them back to school, it can be a lonely thankless task, I have sacrificed my career and don't earn any money, so am dependant on dh.
It can be tiring, relentless and you constantly worry you're not doing 'enough'.

However, all HE'rs I'm sure feel like this and once we've all had a rant to each other and know we are not alone you can start to focus on the positives, which are many many more than the negatives!

julienoshoes Mon 29-Sep-08 12:22:46

No regrets none.
My children were older than yours, when we found out about home ed, but very unhappy in school and struggling as they all have dyslexia/dysgraphia/dyspraxia to different degrees and the schools were simply not meeting their needs.

I am not saying they have been angels all of the time, nor that I have been a perfect parent, but overwhelmingly the decision has been positive and we have had such a good time together.
People have often said over the years, "Home educating three? That must be very difficult", but they have no idea. Sending three very unhappy children to school every day was incredibly difficult. Home educating them has been a pleasure.
The difference instantly in the relief of the stress suffered by our children was enormous.

What I have loved from the start, was to see the return of the sparkle in their eyes, the skip in their step. The return to their relaxed happy preschool personalities, with a return in self confidence, self belief and happiness.
I have loved watching them blossom in their very own directions-each has taken a completely different path in their education.
I have loved going to meetings and events, watching our children try out all sorts of activities not offered to the children when they were at school, due I suspect mostly to pressure on time imposed by the NC.
I have really enjoyed meeting with the home ed community -mixing with like minded people, who have helped in so many ways.
We have all adored the home ed camps and gatherings we have been on, spending long weeks in the summer camping at different places round the country in the company of good friends.
I have enjoyed the company of the home ed teens- a nice bunch of people, a pleasure to be with.

Our 'children' are 21, 19 and 16 this week, so we are right at the end of our home ed journey, but it has been successful for all.
Our offspring are positive that they will all home educate and be completely autonomous educators, facilitating the children's needs.
They used to say that they would think of sending their children to school, so that when they came out they would know how lucky they were to have escaped but that seems to have changed now.

In a discussion recently, amongst a big bunch of home ed young people, staying over at our house, they talked of there being a bigger number of families choosing to take their children out of school and saying talking to those children, about how awful school has been, makes them realise that they will never risk sending their own children in the first place-unless the children chose to go
"But given the choice of the sort of life we have led, that is not going to happen anyway is it?"

Litchick Mon 29-Sep-08 12:50:46

I don't HE myself but have two close friends who do.
The first family do it because their DD is a very talented athlete and she cannot do her training to the extent she would like and go to 'normal' school. They are very happy as is their DD.
The second family are large and HE as a lifestyle choice. They have their ups and downs but overall love their life.The Mum is a very 'mother earth' type and is very content. Dad sometimes worries that the DCs are all learning enough and tries to assess where they're at. I think he needs the reassurance.

musicposy Mon 29-Sep-08 20:24:30

Hi there, horseshoe. My children, like Julie's, were older when they came out of school. DD2 was 8 and came out a year ago, and DD1 was 12 and has just started - she didn't return to school in September.

Any regrets? One big one. When DD2 was only just 4 I thought I "had" to send her to school. An August birthday and very youngest in the year, she wasn't ready and nor was I. I was appallingly depressed after she started- my Mum was quite worried about me. At the time I thought it was something wrong with me, but I've since read some excellent books, (most recently "How children learn at home" by Alan Thomas) and something just clicked - little children were never designed to be wrenched away from their parents at 4 years old.
The last year has been our happiest ever, mine and my daughter's. I can't ever imagine her going back into that school environment - unless she wanted to, of course. She is also the most sociable and independent she has ever been -so school had it the wrong way round.
So my one regret? That I didn't know not to send her in the first place.

Of course, we have grotty days like anyone else. Days when the girls fall out with each other or when I feel I just cannot help with one more question! And, just occasionally, I feel the lack of "me" time, time to just chill out all alone. But I wouldn't change our decision for the world. I think it's the best thing we ever did. It felt very scary making the move, but very easy afterwards. My advice would be to do it soon.wink

Mung Tue 30-Sep-08 15:00:08 two children are still very young, so I cannot really comment on much. However, your comment about 'feeling in the majority' is something I can empathise with. I remember when I was trying desperately to make my DH see the benefits of HE and how it was a viable option for our family. I felt in the minority because I didn't know any other Hedders, except for on here. Then I started to meet people who Home educate and I feel so different now. The HE community is huge and varying and it is wonderful to be a part of it. I have no regrets with the decision we have made for our children...I just need to convince the rest of the family about the benefits now!

Its worth meeting people who are or have been HE so that you can feel more at ease with your choices.

ibblewob Wed 01-Oct-08 09:49:48

My DS is just coming up to 3, so, because he won't be going to nursery, I finally feel like I'm in the HE club! grin

I think I can do this, and I'm sure it would be fantastic for my DCs and us as a family. I would, however, echo everyone who has said that one of the hardest things is doing something so totally different from the rest of society.

I'm just starting to get the 'so where / when is he going to nursery?', 'what about socialisation?' (ARGH, he's seen different people everyday for the past 3 years, but obviously from January I'm going to keep him shut up in a box! Sorry) etc. In my head I'm so confident of all the answers and reasons why this is a great and totally valid choice to make, but when faced with actual questions I turn incredibly wishy-washy and feel on the defensive. TBH I can't see this changing anytime soon, so be prepared!

Good luck with your decisions.

musicposy Wed 01-Oct-08 10:12:55

I think, ibblewob, that people's reactions are harder to deal with at this point than when you get to compulsory school age. We didn't send DD2 to preschool because she hated it, and the comments I had then were far more negative than now when I HE her at 9! I think it's because people feel that if they keep on enough they might change your mind. Be prepared to develop a thick skin for 2 years!grin
Oh, and all the people who said I would ruin her for life by not sending her at 3, were wrong wink

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