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Anyone else just starting to home educate thier 4/5 year old this year? We 'start' in Feb and would love to have a little support club thing...

(20 Posts)
Astrophe Wed 07-Oct-09 15:50:56

DD is 5 and a bit, but the school year starts in Feb for us (Australia) so we officially start home ed then. Lots of opposition so far and I am not feel hugely confident tbh. Anyone else new to this with little ones?

Bleatblurt Wed 07-Oct-09 15:59:50

Me. grin

My DS1 is 5 in November and would have started in August (or next August as I deferred him initially then decided to HE)

I feel like I should be doing 'stuff' but we are just doing our usual everyday things. blush

shockers Wed 07-Oct-09 16:01:21

I'm not but have looked into it before I found a really lovely school.
Have you looked at an organisation/charity called Education Otherwise?

Astrophe Thu 08-Oct-09 00:39:49

great to meet you buttrball. Are you well supported?

shockers - I have seen and read some of their stuff. Thanks

Bleatblurt Thu 08-Oct-09 00:44:33

Support? You must be joking! grin
I'm thankful for online HE forums so that I don't feel like the only person in the world doing this.

I waver between being really positive about HE and being terrified that I can't do it and I'll fail my DSs.

Astrophe Thu 08-Oct-09 02:42:14

me too. it is even less common here than in uk.

I want to do lots of interest led exploration with her - but also want to keep an eye to curriculum in terms of reading and maths, as we may send her to school for year 1 or 2 and don't want her to be 'behind'...although I don't really believe she would be.

Astrophe Thu 08-Oct-09 02:44:49

at the moment we just do normal life, and she gets pretty much zero individual time as things are v busy with DS 3.5 years and new baby dd 10 weeks. Hopefully by next year DD2 will be a bit more settled, and we have a kindergarten place for DS 9-3 2 days a week, so that should give us more time to really get stuck in to themes she is interested in, and spend focussed tiem reading etc.

whats your plan/approach?

tilbatilba Thu 08-Oct-09 05:28:22

Where are you in Aust? We are in Victoria and there is a lot of support here. We have home schooled for 3 years and met many other families doing the same thing. Lots on in our community for home schoolers from riding classes to art/sport/drama/music etc.
Once everyone starts school you will probably find the home edders more visable.....
Good luck. We have found it brilliant for our family.

Bleatblurt Thu 08-Oct-09 13:14:34

My approach is to just go with his interests and secretly panic that I'm not following a curriculum. grin He loves those numbers and letters workbooks so we have some of them and he does them as and when he wants to.

He's into birds just now so we are going with that at the moment. Lots of outdoors time which is fun for us all.

I also have a DS2 who is 22 months (and is chewing on me right now - he's such an animal!) so he has to be kept entertained too!

Astrophe Thu 08-Oct-09 13:48:12

butterball you sound like me, with the secret panicing. I have decided I will be a little more focussed with teaching reading - and i confess its for myself entirely - as it will boost my confidence and give me some ammunition agains the sceptics who think she will never learn anything outside a school.

tilbatilba - We're in Sydney. I'm sure there must be people out there - I am gradually making some contact with friends of friends of friends...but I have never met anyone who home eds here. Hopefully once I know a few, we will meet more people easily.

Astrophe Thu 08-Oct-09 13:49:53

DD is seriously inot listening to books on CD...which works well as I am pretty busy with baby, and we just moved house. Listening to books on CD is educational...isn't it??? <panics>

robberbutton Thu 08-Oct-09 16:24:29

Hi - can I join? My DS is 4 on Monday, and so I guess would be starting school in January (unless they don't do staggered intakes any more - it's so lovely knowing that I don't have to know or care about school stuff!).

At the moment we're in survival mode - also have DD1 18mos, DD2 a week overdue, living with my parents and moving house, so as far as actual work or routines are going - eek. Not that I really want to do anything formal with him at the moment, but I would like to be more consistant with things like arts and crafts, reading to him, cooking together etc.

Had a bit of a wobble recently as some of his friends started nursery and DS was asking when he was going to go. It's everywhere - books, children's programmes etc. I know that HE is a brilliant option for him, but I really don't want him to feel like he's missing out!

Anyway.. hello!

Astrophe Fri 09-Oct-09 01:41:17

hi robber

We just moved house too - and were previously living with my parents! I also don't want to do anything very formal, but would aim to be more consistent in terms of nice activities, outings etc...but these will come in time I'm sure.

I hope your little one arrives soon and the house move goes ok. Be kind to yourself - I found the move (when DD was 9 weeks) hugely stressful, and I'm not normally a very stressy person.

FlamingoBingo Fri 09-Oct-09 08:07:51


My DD2 would have started reception in September, but I'm not entirely in the same boat - DD1 is 6 and would be in year two.

Mind you, I never considered us ever officially starting HE - we just carried on as normal. They are learning so much - it's so much fun. Fully autonomous in our house smile.

Hope it all goes well for you.

robberbutton Fri 09-Oct-09 19:17:47

I'm torn between what method to adopt - I love the sound of the outstanding/rigerous education provided by doing it the Charlotte Mason or Classical way, but I've also seen how much DS has learnt just by picking things up for himself, which is SO exciting. I know there's no one way to do HE, and we'll find a mixture of what suits us eventually.

Well, am off to be induced tomorrow (40+10) and aiming to be home for DS's birthday on Monday... [phew!]. Thanks for the good wishes

Bleatblurt Sat 10-Oct-09 00:27:36

Flamingo, I am hoping to go the autonomous route in my house too but I didn't realise how hard it would be! Surely it should be the easiest method, lol. grin

I know it's going to take time for me to relax into things. I think the negativity from my family makes me stress out more than I would otherwise.

Robber, good luck with the induction, hope all goes well and SOON. grin

Astrophe, books on CD most definitely must be educational. They are the only thing that give me peace from DS1 when in the car so at the very least they are educating my DS to SIT STILL, BE QUIET AND JUST LISTEN. wink

FlamingoBingo Sun 11-Oct-09 11:18:20

Robber - I also love the sound of doing things very structured. Appeals to my inner control freak grin. But I have to recognise that informal learning is more efficient, and more fun, and creates more trust and happiness within our family.

Butterball - autonomous is far from easy! grin We have to do random things at random times of day - my DD's most productive time is about 9pm in the evening! That's when they suddenly decide to write a book, or do some random sums or pick up their knitting or whatever.

I would recommend trying to change your ways of thinking so that you don't say 'that's educational' and 'that's not educational'. Just trust that everything will have educational value somewhere in it, even if you don't have the capacity to really see it. If it's fun, it's good - that's my motto!

We do things because they're fun, not because they're educational - whether that means playing on the computer, playing tag, or doing a workbook.

Astrophe Mon 12-Oct-09 00:04:32

Interesting that a lot of us seem to be struggling the with same thing - autonomous v structured balance.

Philosophically, I think autonomous is the way forward, but practically, we need to do some structure (esp with reading and maths) so that DD can go back to school after a year. And yes...also for my peace of mind, because I am a bit control freaky too blush.

Nice to see you have been at it for a few years then flamingo...encouragemnet for us newbies

was tongue in cheek re the CDs being 'educational'...its one of the only things we do that even the naysayers believe is educational actually (..." but Astrophe, she's 5 1/2 and not even interested in reading yet...but at least she'll listen to story Cds...thats something...") Grrrrrrr.

Psychomumma Tue 13-Oct-09 09:08:01

Robberbutton - I've fallen in love with Ambleside online too; and have just read A Well-Trained Mind which is extremely intimidating (though quite inspiring, oddly), and quite depressing in view of what schooling I - as an allegedly well-educated person - received myself... :-(

I have a 7 yr old, a nrly 5, nrly 3 and nrly 1 yr old, and have been putting off blush trying to fit a little more structured learning into our lives. Not because, philosophically, I'm not totally on board with the autonomous way, (we've been living it up till now) but just because there is such a wealth of knowledge, history, fabulous books out there, which I would love my children to have maximum exposure to them, that I think demands a bit more implemented structure/scheduling just to have a hope of fitting stuff in!

FlamingoBingo Tue 13-Oct-09 16:28:34

Why would you need more structure to do that, though? Just show them the books/visit the places...

Autonomous learning doesn't mean 'don't plan stuff' it means 'go with what people want'. You don't have to wait for children to 'happen upon' a topic - you can, for instance, say to them 'shall we go and visit that castle some time soon? Maybe we can go with some friends.' and then get them a book about castles while you're there, for instance.

There's a wealth of things they'll learn autonomously that they could miss out on completely if their life were more structured IMO.

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