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How does anyone HE if they are not a SAHP or on benefits?

(7 Posts)
mummery Mon 14-Sep-09 04:03:04


Not going to give a massive backstory as I've already posted a lot of it in recent weeks. To summarise: DS (P2) is having serious trouble at school, is violent and disruptive, has possible ASD (we are awaiting assessment), and there has been quite a lack of support for his SEN lately. Essentially, he is bright and eager to learn but does not enjoy or thrive in school, in fact it makes him anxious and depressed.

I thought about HE before DS started P1 but decided it wasn't practical. I still doubt that it is tbh. I don't understand how people HE if they are not a) a stay at home parent or b) on benefits? I am a single parent and currently self-employed, I have no family around for childcare; does anyone like me actually manage to do it? I guess I'm looking for genius ideads for a change of career/income that might facilitate HE-ing DS (current job would not flex to fit around DS I'm afraid). Thanks smile

musicposy Mon 14-Sep-09 10:11:23

Well, I'm self employed and I manage to do it; it is possible but it does take a bit of thinking round. I do have hubby working but he's not really around to take care of the children, so I have to do that myself around my working.

Is your work from home or outside the home? I'm lucky in that I work from home, so all it took for me was to get the children into the habit of being set work, not being allowed to disturb me, and doing my work while they get on with theirs. My youngest was 8 when we started working this way, and it seems fine. When I am not working is when we do the exciting stuff, trips and visiting friends and things.

It's not easy, we started back at work last week and by Saturday I was utterly exhausted with trying to fit it all in; I don't get a minute to myself. All the time that would be my relaxation time when I'm not working is spent helping the girls. However, I know that a couple of weeks down the line things will have settled enormously and i'll be absolutely loving every minute again! Plus, my girls are so happy and doing so well in every way, I wouldn't cahnge it for anything.

And here's my other point, work when you home ed doesn't have to be in school time. It wouldn't work for us at all if it was. The girls do most of their work that they can do without me first thing in the morning while I am working, relax in the afternoons while i work, and then in the evenings when I have free time we go over any stuff they need to together. Our days off are sometimes in the week and sometimes we do stuff on a Sunday to make up for it.

So you could educate DS on a Saturday or Sunday and let hime relax in the week. At his age he won't need very much one-to-one work to keep level with what he would be doing in school - it's a very efficient way of learning.

The main issue for you is whether your son can be with you when you work. If so, you have no problem, it's just a bit of working things around. If not, it's harder, and depends if you can afford childcare, really. There are plenty of home educating childminders out there who would take your child and do lots of lovely, fun and educational stuff with them (I am friends with one!) You would find your son picking up so much that you may well not need to do any sort of formal work with him. However, that depends if you could afford the money for that option. On the other hand, you will find you save a certain amount by not going to school, so it may weigh itself out more than you think. Also, what do you do in the holidays? Could you do that all the time?

Only you can decide if it is right for you or not as an option, but I think it is certainly possible if you are determined enough.

julienoshoes Mon 14-Sep-09 14:58:19

I was a registered nurse but the job I had then wouldn't have lent it self to home educating.
I was self employed selling ladies clothes through a DSA business for the majority of time I home educated.

Then I got the itch to go back to some sort of nursing, but I didn't want the politics of the NHS or the stress of running a ward, so now I work part time as a carer, going in and out of peoples homes.
Pay is much less than if I was working as registered nurse on the wards, but I choose the hours I worked to fit round the home education and our family and it has worked very well for us.

I am married but my husband has been disabled for a long time and is unable to keep up with all of the meetings and events that we have attended -not to mention the camps and gatherings, so that has all been down to me.

We have managed on a much smaller income, I only ever have old cars, we buy things from charity shops/ebay/carboots or getting them from Freecycle.
Our holidays have been the home ed camps and short trips away using Sun newspaper vouchers or Travelodge sale rooms (from £9/night for ensuite family rooms)

Our three childrens stories were very much the same as your sons, with their SEN not being met and each of them being very stressed and anxious.
The transformation since they were home educated was astounding.

It might be worth you joing the HE-Special needs email support list
and the HE single parents email support list

I'm sure folks there would have support and advise to offer you.

Musicposy's advice about home ed child minders and not having to stick to school times is very true.

Good luck whatever you decide.

mummery Mon 14-Sep-09 19:10:27

Thanks for all the food for thought. Unfortunately I could not change my actual hours, day to day, I would still have to do 10-5 and I don't work from home, however it's feasible I could manage on 3 days a week.

I'm slightly nervous about childminders as DS has not been looked after by anyone except me, his father (who now lives abroad), one very good friend of mine, and his half-sister. None of them however are available for the hours I would need. Also I think to spend 10-5 with someone 3 days a week is rather a lot. He will probably be there with much younger children and it would be unreasonable to expect CM to educate him in any way (and by that I don't mean anything formal, necessarily, but even give him one-on-one at a stimulating interest level...doubt that would happen). Plus the fact I would feel envy about DS spending so much time alone with another 'primary caregiver'!

I haven't had much experience of school holidays as I've only been back at work for just under 1 yr. Summer holiday just passed was tough; DS's father visited and looked after him for 3 weeks while I worked, the other 3 weeks I took off, which very nearly bankrupted us blush.

Our school has been horrific to DS lately though, I am going to submit a formal complaint about the conduct of the head, which is something I feel has to be done even though it isn't going to make the whole school 'thing' any more enjoyable for any of us!

Thanks again for your tips, it's all very useful

anastaisia Mon 14-Sep-09 20:58:12

I'm single, self employed and HE.

I use a nanny, shared with another family rather than a childminder. This was mainly because I didn't want to get into the whole Early Years Foundation Stage thing and nannies aren't included in it yet. It works well because although she has no responsibility for educating DD she is happy to take her to home ed groups etc if I'm working. The other family have a school child and a baby, and occassionally our days overlap (both of us agreed we're fine with that in advance) so she gets to have other children around sometimes and one-to-one other times.

The hours I use are less than you would need to doing 3 days, but I haven't had issues with DD having another care-giver. And if you could manage three full days then you'd have 4 to spend entirely with your DS.

anastaisia Mon 14-Sep-09 21:00:56

Meant to say 'I haven't had issues with DD having another care-giver' and I think that's partially because she's still based at home, with our own things and own activities etc. And I retain more control being the employer than I would using a nursery or childminder.

But for some reason I deleted half the sentence and didn't re-type it.

frakkinpannikin Mon 14-Sep-09 21:07:33

I was going to suggest looking into a nanny. I once interviewed for a governess position which involved home-educating a 12 year old with SEN 3 days a week. There might be graduates who've done nannying in their vacations who want to do a PGCE or other teacher training who would be interested.

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