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home education and when/how to start

(11 Posts)
pinkkoala Fri 19-Dec-08 10:30:14


i have posted on here before, it was any home educators in northants.

i would like to ask when is the best time to try, my dd has just turned 4. How do i go about starting, where can i get some educational stuff from so that i know i am teaching her the right stuff.

what are the best books/websites that you all use for home education.

my mum is getting on to me about going to school and not home schooling, she says she should be able to write, read, know the alphabet, do basic maths and more.

she can count, do basic adding, draw people and houses, knows colours and shapes, knows some letters, but she loves singing and dancing.

any suggestions on any of the above would be v helpful.

TeenyTinyTorya Fri 19-Dec-08 10:38:36

She sounds bright and happy for a just turned 4 yr old - your mum has high expectations IMO!

You don't have to do anything formal or school like at all, your dd will learn a lot through playing games and having fun. Encourage her interests, and just spend lots of time with her and talk to her.

If you want to do some work on reading and writing, you could try books such as this or this or this.

Here is a site for early years home-ed - here and you can get general information here here and here.

HTH! smile

pinkkoala Fri 19-Dec-08 11:59:50

thanx for that

are these books that you have used yourself, or is there any other books people can reccomend.

what about all the other skills like, geography and science do they teach that when they start in reception class.

do most people who home school join these different websites, i have read about one where you pay per term and they send you a pack near enough based on national curriculum and then you can return it to see how the child is getting on, any ideas on these.

i feel she is small for her age and i think that 5 is too early for a child to start school, also i have always worked until june this year and feel i haven't given her enough of my time, so would like to try home schooling maybe for a year.

TeenyTinyTorya Fri 19-Dec-08 12:51:36

I have used the last two myself, and there is another book called "Montessori Read and Write" which I have used, but couldn't find a link for. My ds is too young to HE just now, but I was HE myself and HE my younger brothers and sisters.

With regard to science, etc. you can incorporate that into everyday life. Do baking for weighing and measuring, look after an animal, learn about life cycles, do water play to learn out floating and sinking, etc. Nursery and reception should be doing most of their learning through play anyway, there won't normally be formal "lessons" in those sort of subjects.

Personally I wouldn't bother paying to join a website, the ones I linked to have free ideas and support, and HEAS have resources that you can borrow. You don't have to follow the National Curriculum if you HE, you just have to provide a suitable education, which can be autonomous or formal.

If you're more comfortable doing something more formal, and working towards certain targets, you can get the National Curriculum attainment targets here. Don't feel that there's any pressure though, I know many HE children who have never done any formal work in their lives, and have joined late primary or secondary schools without a problem.

pinkkoala Fri 19-Dec-08 13:21:18

will you be home educating your ds when he is old enough

lindenlass Fri 19-Dec-08 14:16:08

Hi pinkkoala

Your DD sounds very bright and happy so you're obviously already doing all the right things. In a lot of countries, formal schooling doesn't start until 7 so I'd say relax and just carry on living life - you'll be surprised quite how much she'll learn in that way...actually, you probably won't be if you consider what she's learnt already just by living life smile

Just include her in everything you're doing and leave the formal stuff for if/when you really need it - she's quite clearly doing brilliantly. Have you read anything about informal/autonomous learning? John Holt? Or the new HE book by Alan Thomas (How Children Learn At Home, I think it's' called) is meant to be really helpful wrt this sort of thing.

Sending off for curricula would probalby work out very expensive, particularly when it's probably not necessary. Have you looked at Education City? That's a fun website for children which is curriculum linked if you want to follow the NC - you do need to pay to subscribe, but it's good value for money IMO and you can get a reduced rate if you get in touch with them and tell them you're an HEor - also 3m free if you use someone's tell-a-friend code. You can sign up for a free 10 day trial, and they extend it a few times if you don't subscribe straight away, so do that for a while before they stop extending it to see if you and your DD like it.


pinkkoala Fri 19-Dec-08 14:26:47

thanx for the message, do i take it that you teach at home.

we have visited our local schools as she should start next sept, but i don't feel happy in my mind that school is the best place for her.

julienoshoes Fri 19-Dec-08 15:58:26

There is an Early Years HE Support List where most people will have children of a similar age to you-and who will be happy to talk this through with you.

There is also a book called One-to-one: A Practical Guide to Learning at Home Age 0-11 By Gareth Lewis, a home educator, that may be of help for you to make a start.

believer07 Sun 21-Dec-08 22:03:50

Its up to you but 4 is very young to start any formal type of education. Girls it seems are more prone to doing things like drawing and colouring under their own steam. I would just go with the flow and not worry, one of the biggest mistakes that I have made is going online or into shops and peeking at age related work books to see if my child is up to that. Recently I made the mistake of panicking about the fact that I did not think that my son could not pass the 11+. I then started comparing him with others in school and then got into a depression because I thought that he would have to go to school because I was failing him. Then I had a think and went through all the reasons of why I took him out and realised that it is not academic success that makes a person, rather it is how they treat others.

You know what is best for your child, as you are the person that has taught and nurtured her for since she was born.

lindenlass Mon 22-Dec-08 09:01:36

Yes, pinkkoala, I HE our four DDs but only our eldest is of compulsory education age at 5.5y. DD2 is nearly 4 and could start reception next September but won't be. We don't do anything formal here at all - the girls like playing on education city and other websites. My PIL are getting DD1 the computer game Zoombinis for Christmas which I think she'll enjoy. They help me with my chores and errands, we read and read and read, we play, we bake, we shop etc. etc. - DD1 has learnt to read on her own and is now pretty fluent - my estimation based on looking over reading age tests is that she's somewhere between 7 and 9 for a reading age - no teaching at all smile. She can add, take-away and is just getting into multiplication and division - again, no formal teaching. They really don't need lessons and curricula at this age. Just enjoy life together smile

mumtoo3 Tue 23-Dec-08 08:54:24

hi i am a bit late joining in here, but our dd1 is nearly 6, we took her out of school in march, and not looked back, we do things a bit more structured here, she loves science, geography and history, she gets to do experiments in the kitchen or garden wink she has just finished doing volcanoes which she loves (she got obsessed with you tube volcanic eruptions!!)

you know your child better than anyone, and you have to trust your instincts

hth mt3 x

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