Can we do this?(5 Posts)
Hi, looking from advice from the wise. This is long so I apologise in advance.
My 10 year old son is desperately unhappy at school. He has been bullied on and off for a couple of years. We have worked with the school and other parents, and individual instances have been dealt with effectively at the time, but there always seems to be something. I think some of it is just him, he has become "sensitised" by it all and sees criticism/bullying in innocuous behaviour now.
He is really looking forward to moving up to secondary school, and there's less than a year to go, but he is very keen to get away from the school he is in. We have looked at alternatives: the only other school in the area we/he want is full and would require appeal to get into, difficult half way through the last year.
So to the Home ed question. I work maybe 60 hours a week as the sole breadwinner, DH is in the final year of a Part time MA and wants to do well: he is keen I think to get funding for a PhD. This is the new direction he has found after nearly 10 years as a SAHD, and it has lifted him out of quite a serious depression.
I can free up one day a week, have to work the rest. DH needs to be at college two days a week, and needs some time for course work. Realistically he could manage a day a week to teach. If we were to consider home ed, how would we manage the rest? I have wondered about throwing money at the problem and seeing if I can get a friend who is a supply teacher to teach him for a couple of days a week at home, for her usual rates of pay.
Home Ed sounds great if you are at home as a parent all the time. But what if you have to work? Can it be done?
I've met people who get around the problem in various ways - au pair, nanny, grandparents, childminder...
It might be that if you could find someone au pair like who would take your son out and about, for instance to HE groups, museums, swimming or whatever sport he's into it would work well. You don't need a qualified teacher, but someone who is able to cater for your son's enthusiasms and go and help him explore them.
I know of one local family, who sound very much like yours.
They have home educated their lads in a totally autonomous way, by using the services of an au pair. When the parents are free, they spend time with their children, the au pair is there for the rest of it and brings the lads to any of the local home ed events/meetings that the parents can't make. Mom has managed to take a couple of holidays a year to come along to a couple of the home ed camps.
They are autonomous educators and the boys follow their own interests and have gotten themselves a damn good education along the way.
One of the lads decided to go back into school after a few years and was right up there with his peers in the public school apparently. He didn't like it too much though and after a year or so is back out with us again.
I also know of a few home educators where the grandparents are equally involved, when parents are working-we often see Granny or Grandad coming along to a home ed meeting/ camp. This is likely to happen with a neighbour of mine, who is a single mom and has to work full time.
I'd suggest reading some of the books in the 'Books on home ed' thread here -especially 'Free Range Education' 'Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to quit school and get a real life and education' and Alan Thomas latest book 'How Children Learn' at Home by Alan Thomas and Harriet Pattison.
Then there are others there too, that might be of interest. But those will give you some idea of how some people go about home educating.
There are some interesting websites on home ed, also worth a read-again there is a thread here.
Where abouts are you? It would be worth perhaps meeting some local home educators to chat with as well.
But for me, the answer to your original question is-without a doubt you can find a way to do this. It may not be the way others do it-but hey that is one of the glories of home education, each family finds what suits them best. And at the moment at least you are only talking short term.
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