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Any mums who were HomeEd themselves? What are your views now?

(16 Posts)
babyowl Sun 19-Jul-09 16:42:11

I'm soon to be 33 & I was taught at home by my mother until I was 15 & went to school.

My lessons consisted of working slavishly through English & Maths exercise books, reading excerpts from encyclopaedias & watching educational tv (e.g. wildlife documentaries, Sesame St, etc).

I'm now toying with the idea of teaching my own or going the flexi-schooling route, but here are my list of pros & cons.

- I learnt lots of stuff at my own pace.
- I found the joy of reading
- I've additionally learnt (mostly by comparison with how learning happens in educational institutions) that you can't rely on just sitting in classes & waiting for "enough for the exam" knowledge to be spoonfed to you.

- Though not exactly a shrinking violet or a must-have-my-own-way person, I've always felt that lacked social/people/reading body language skills
- I've never got out of seeing my mother as "mum" rather than "teacher".
- To this day, I still cringe at the sound of David Attenborough's voice (as well-meaning & interesting as he is).

Does anyone else have a similar experience & what are your pros & cons & what did you finally decide/come to that decision?

Happy to hear your thoughts, even if you haven't had a similar experience.


lilyfire Sun 19-Jul-09 22:16:56

I wasn't HE, but am HEding my children. We are mostly quite autonomous and do v little work books at the moment. I don't think my son would think of me as a teacher at all. I think he more sees himself as sorting out his learning, with the help of various websites he likes. I think if you are motivated to do it, you might find that you could sort out the cons quite easily by choosing a different style of learning, or changing or adding bits. You'll probably find that there are lots more HE groups around now than when you were doing it and so it's a lot easier to be social. There are probably a lot more after school activities or weekend groups for different interests. The internet has made it v easy to access HE trips and group education sessions at museums and out and about. For us it's been a v social experience so far. Have a look at the recommended book thread. Hopefully you could find a way to keep the good bits and remedy the bad bits.

piscesmoon Sun 19-Jul-09 22:44:34

I wasn't, but I would avoid flexi schooling-it gives the DC the worst of both by never actually belonging. Either do one or the other, would be my advice.
I can't really speak for HE but I would have thought the rigid timing of going into school would make spontaneous things with HE groups difficult.
School is about so much more than just the lessons- and the friendship part is very difficult, if they are not there for large chunks. My nephews tried it and it was very difficult for them.

julienoshoes Mon 20-Jul-09 08:29:55

My children are now all past compulsory education age.
We home educated for more than eight years.
We were autonomous home educators, after finding that a 'school at home' mode definately did not suit our family-and I am their mom not their teacher.
Autonomous education is a fabulous way of educating children-with you as a facilitator.
Following their own interests, children can't fail to learn.

Our children left school with so little self confidence and self belief, it was so distressing.
Autonoms home ed has changed them into confident, articulate, happy people, who will talk to anyone!
We've just spent the last week in the company of over 1000 home edders and I can confidently say that socialisation was not a problem!
Was chatting to a researcher who spent most of the week there, a film crew who came along to make two short films about HE, the catering crew, and several other none HE people, who were blown away by the confidence of the children and just how well everyone got on together and how learning was happening so informally all around us.

Where abouts do you live babyowl?
it would be a really good idea to find home edders in your area and chat to them, I'm sure that would help address some of your concerns.

I'd also recommend reading Alan Thomas and Harriet Patterson's 'How Children Learn at Home'
Chatted to Alan too during the week, and he is still as convinced of the efficiency of this type of learning and how the children enjoy learning so much, as he ever was. grin

and lastly with autonomous home ed, they will chosse what they liten to and watch-and so , by defintion, won't overdose on one particular type of programme

sarah293 Mon 20-Jul-09 08:50:38

Message withdrawn

maverick Mon 20-Jul-09 15:28:18

I'm in my 50s and was home educated until I was 9 yrs old. We lived in E. Africa, far away from any schools most of the time. My mum was a trained teacher and used the Charlotte Mason materials to educate me.

Back in the UK, my 2 older children sailed through school but my youngest son had problems with reading -and bullying because he was quiet and shy. I removed him from school from age 6-12 and taught him myself. He turned into a confident and socially able child and recently left university with a 1st.

babyowl Tue 21-Jul-09 15:21:46

Hi, thanks for the thoughts so far.

I agree that availability of info on the internet (both in terms of answers to questions as well as access to linking up with social networks) does add a completely different dimension to the HomeEd resources that were around when I was younger. (I'm still a newbie, so at some stage I'll have to figure out what all these different learning styles are & what these mean in practical terms. )

Thanks also for the warning against flexi-schooling. That sounds as it would make sense. I've heard stories of a colleague's girl (full-time) getting so upset about the rumours circulated during her sick leave that she insisted on going into school the next time.

I'm in the central/north London area & have been contemplating a move to an area with "good" schools. (dd still <2yrs, but I'm a planner/worrier type) But with over-subscribed primaries & uselessness of education stats/reports, I feel I need a back-up plan (maybe moving to an area with "good" schools & a friendly HomeEd group?)

For me, though I went on to get lots of quals after HomeEd, I still feel the cost was my relationship with my parents who I feel were too pushy & put too much emphasis on academic success. Perhaps it was just the post-war period mentality combined with other circumstances. Anyway, if I do HomeEd, I would want to be certain to break this cycle as I have seen it repeating with my nieces (who go to school). I probably need to read up more & look at more examples of how HomeEd could work.

Kayteee Tue 21-Jul-09 16:31:57

Hi Babyowl,

this is a North London message board

this is a Central London group

If you sign up to these two to start off with you will be able to meet up with HE families in your area if you like. If you want to ask any questions the people on there will be very happy to help you or point you in the right direction.

There's a lot going on in the HE world and, if you're on the net, you're sorted! It does tend to go a bit quiet over the Summer hols but there are still lots of outings, events and such-like to get to know people and find out more about how HE can work for you.

You don't have to follow the NC and you really can style your HEing in any way you and your dc are comfortabble with.

I don't see myself as my dcs' teacher, more a facilitator, iyswim.

Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide.

Kayteee Tue 21-Jul-09 16:57:23

comfartabbble??? blush

logi Sat 15-Aug-09 02:32:53

I wasnt HE but always wanted to be i hated school and cried most days i can remember the feeling of being in the classroom i cant for the life of me see how forcing a child into a situation can possibly make them more socialable i didnt enjoy any aspect of school and at 14 i refused to go anymore,being legally free from school was one of the best days of my life.I still suffer from anxiety and wonder if things would have been different if i never went to school, i wouldnt have went to sleep at night dreading the next school day.Im not anti-school i have had 2 children who fitted in and enjoyed it,1 child who i took out at 14 and one HE after 1 week he is 5 and i wish i hadnt tried him.schools dont/cant cater for individuals.

Wallace Sat 15-Aug-09 07:19:50

We were home educated for a short while when we lived in Africa.

My mum did a fantastic job and it wasfun and interesting. The best thing was we would start at 7am, and be finished by 11am. Rest of the day to play! grin

wastingmyejumication Sat 15-Aug-09 08:02:54

I went to school and 'lacked social/people/reading body language skills' describes me perfectly!

FlamingoBingo Sat 15-Aug-09 08:06:11

I love that you've written that, wasting. So many people think that HEd children will be socially awkward and 'unsocialised' when there are plenty of schooled children like that but no one (except home educators wink) takes issue with schooling because of it!

Same can be said for most arguments against HEing!

piscesmoon Sat 15-Aug-09 08:10:24

Sadly you have just tried the wrong schools logi, many can and do cater for the individual.
However I think there are some people just not suited to school. One size never fits all. The important thing to do is what suits the DC.
You sound as if you are doing the best thing,logi, by treating yours as individuals and acknowledging that DCs have different needs, within the same family.

logi Mon 17-Aug-09 01:41:08

I agree wasting..same here.Hi pisces moon im sure some schools can cater a little more than others but i wasnt suited to that sort of enviroment.I have worked in a few schools and have been disappointed with what ive seen,ive seen parents evenings where vandalised areas have had tables put in front of doors so parents cant enter rooms and these tables are used to serve tea and coffee from so no-one asks to go in,ive been a class room ass. and see disruptive children jump from table to table an when ive tried to stop it been told by the teacher to just leave it (some children were frightened by this),i was once toldby a teacher to make sure i pick a good book for one particular child as his mum checks and will come in the school,ive also taught p.e. lessons and once took over a class from someone who could no longer cover it and when i got to reception i expected to show identification ect. but was told to go ahead after only giving my first name i was left lone in charge of a group of children all undressing for p.e. ,no checks whatsoever,i just dont trust schools anymore.

piscesmoon Mon 17-Aug-09 07:51:22

In that case I would say that you are right not to logi! I supply teach and would never go back to schools as bad as that-luckily I haven't come across them, but I don't doubt they exist.
I think that yours is the healthy way of making decisions because you didn't offload your own experience on your DC and you didn't treat them all the same.

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