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Have decided to HE, what do i do?

(25 Posts)
LadyEvenstarsCauldren Fri 16-Oct-09 19:25:49

DS1 has had years of being bullied in school. He has started yr7 in september and here we go again.

I have made the decision to HE but have no idea what I need to do....

can anyone help me please??

QueenOfFrighteningEveryone Fri 16-Oct-09 19:32:13

Write to the school telling them that he will no longer be attending as he will be HE from now on, and you would like him to be removed from the register.

Then, stop sending him and instead do what seems right for him smile

Have you thought about the way you want to HE - autonomous? Curriculum based? Either way I'd allow for a time for him to 'deschool' and get used to being at home and away from that stress.

LadyEvenstarsCauldren Fri 16-Oct-09 19:36:15

Queen, thats what I need help with....understanding what the different ways are.....I know I know I sound thick!

chatterbocs Fri 16-Oct-09 20:00:01

If you want to go down the exam route then there are distance learning courses. There is one called Little arthurs they send you all the work, the child completes each assignment & then they mark it & tell you when your child is ready to sit exams. They also just do core maths & english etc.

Or there is also a company called Galore Park & their text books are brilliant! You can download samples from their site & then just shop around to see whose cheapest.

Once you dereg just sit back & decide what you want to do.
There's some sample letters here.

ommmward Fri 16-Oct-09 21:12:46

different ways of doing it:

1. boxed curriculum. Lots in the US. Some with a charmingly Christian flavour ("if jesus has 2 loaves and 5 fishes and there are 5,000 people to divide them between, how much is there for each person?" oh no, hang on a tick...) Here are some here

2. semi-structured. Follow a curriculum for what you consider the core - maybe maths and english, but follow your child's lead for the rest

3. topic based. rather than doing history/chemistry etc, just take whatever your child's current passion is and use that as the focus for learning about all sorts of areas. Volcanos: history of them, making a very little one in the kitchen, art history, reading Pomepii, making one out of papier mache, watching and critiqueing Dante's Peak... whatever

4. keeping the whole curriculum going - get the National Curriculum and, well, follow it.

5. eclectic - do whatever suits your family and be proud of it

6. radical unschooler. Read Sandra Dodd's website or the Joyfully Rejoycing one (Joyce Fetterol) and see where it takes you. Me, I'm a radical unschooler - I never do formal lessons with my children, I only provide them with workbooks if they want them, we just chat as the day goes by, and somehow they are learning all sorts of wonderful things, some of which even translate into the sorts of things other children their age might expect to be taught in school.

ommmward Fri 16-Oct-09 21:14:00

My advice: spend NOTHING for at least 3 weeks or a month. THere are so many people with unused educational products languishing on shelves where noone was ever interested in actually using them...

LadyEvenstarsCauldren Fri 16-Oct-09 21:17:50

I am not ignoring you all I am reading and taking it all in....

Keep it coming ladies!!!

preciouslillywhite Fri 16-Oct-09 21:18:30

ommmward If you do semi structured, does everyone else (structured/radical) shun you?

[nosy emoticon]

I'm a bit interested in this- specially in the light of the Cambridge Review!

LadyEvenstarsCauldren Fri 16-Oct-09 21:28:54

I am already confused!!!

Basically what is happening is the work in his school is well below what he is used/able to do. He is doing work in yr7 that he did in yr5....his junior schools fault as they work the children 2 yrs ahead iyswim?

I need to keep him learning at a level he is capable of but also he needs lots of structure and is very inquisitive....

lilyfire Fri 16-Oct-09 21:32:40

I would also do some research and find other home educators locally if you can. There may be a group that meets regularly that you can get to, or at least some people who are happy to meet up one to one. It's really helpful to be able to talk to people about what they do, especially a whole group, as there are so many different approaches. Also will prob help your son to realise that he's not alone and there are lots of other children who are home edded, some of whom will also have been bullied at school. Check out the thread on Home Ed topic on finding other home educators.

LadyEvenstarsCauldren Fri 16-Oct-09 21:35:02

Lily, when I mentioned it to him he was over the moon.

Will have a look at that thread!

LauraIngallsWilder Fri 16-Oct-09 21:36:25

Hi ladyevenstar - fantastic news that you are going to HE
I always find it heartbreaking to read threads of ongoing problems that kids experience in school - that was me too until recently!
I deregged mine at the beginning of this term - just a few weeks in life is good

The best advice is to leave him to his own for several weeks/months at least to find his own self again.
Take him to the library, parks, museums, swimming etc

I spend ages reading the MN HE threads, HE blogs all sorts of HE stuff online which has been very helpful

At the beginning of the summer holidays my ds and dd were like wild feral children for several weeks - it has taken several months for them to become themselves again, they are so much happier now

Velvetbee Fri 16-Oct-09 21:46:35

We're semi-structured.

After a while you get used to looking people straight in the eye and saying 'Oh, we've tried several approaches but this suits us best.' nobody can really argue with that.

Bit nerve racking to start with though, when you feel that everyone else is completely sure of themselves. (Though, in my experience most have doubts when you unpeel them/get them talking)

FlamingoBingo Sat 17-Oct-09 08:12:45

How exciting, Lady Evenstar!

What autonomous means is 'child led', and that may well mean structure. Structure is not autonomous if it's imposed by the parent IYSWIM.

So if you and your DS have a few weeks doing 'nothing' (which means doing whatever you fancy - going to museums for fun, watching tv, playing, using the computer, doing workbooks for fun), you may find that you and he can sit down together and decided what will work for you both.

It may be that you both realise he's learnt so much in the few weeks since he left school that you decided to continue with totally informal learning - take each day as it comes. On the other hand, he may say that he finds it irritating that he's not getting anything done that looks like study and could you spend two hours every morning working on a couple of subjects and have the rest of the day to 'play'. Or maybe it means being very free-flowing, but planning a series of visits and books to read and programmes to watch around a topic he has developed an interest in.

And I don't know about semi-structured HEors feeling shunned - if they do, it's probably a feeling that's just within them, more than anything other HEors say (although I can only go on what I've seen locally!). My children are completely autonomous, but I've never shunned any structured/semi-structured HEors - I can't say whether or not that was their experience of any exchanges we had though.

lolapoppins Sun 18-Oct-09 17:36:01

We are structured and have been totally shunned - to the point of having to leave two groups we used to go to due to constant nasty comments. Def not something that is within!

ommmward Sun 18-Oct-09 18:03:16

We have factions round here, I am gradually working out. There are some formal classes which structured families generally go to, and some socially-focused things which tend to be the informal types, but there is also a weekly gathering which I'd say all styles go to and fit in at. And some children join in the formal activities, and others hare around outside having a lovely time

I'd also say that there are a lot of families whose child-led education involves syllabuses and classes and quite structured stuff, and some avowedly "structured" families for whom that means an hour or so of core curriculum stuff per day and the rest of the day completely child led and play based. And these things shift according to, wait for it, the age, ability, aptitude and any SEN of the child... (to quote the education act at you wink So you might feel you have a quite different philosophy from someone, but your days actually look pretty similar.

ommmward Sun 18-Oct-09 18:04:04

oh - not to say that the children doing the formal activities are not having a lovely time too [removes foot from mouth]

FlamingoBingo Sun 18-Oct-09 18:06:04

shock lolapoppins! That's awful sad

Well nothing like that has ever happened at any of the many groups I've been too, and if it has at the groups I go to, then it really is a misunderstanding.

Tinuviel Sun 18-Oct-09 18:08:45

There were certainly issues from an autonomous home educator at a group I went to a few years ago when we were flexi-schooling our eldest. Her opinion seemed to be that she was doing it the 'right' way and that we were barbarians 'forcing' our children to learn! In fact she took my money for the 'newsletter' then never sent it and never informed us that they had changed to meeting termtime only! I think she regarded me as one step away from the devil as I am a teacher as well!!shock

She was only one though and I've met some great autonomous home edders since at another group, Even though we couldn't get there that often, they made us feel welcome.

FlamingoBingo Sun 18-Oct-09 18:10:42

Oh FGS. We have teachers at our groups, people considering flexi-schooling, steiner curriculum followers, and totally, totally autonomous home educators. I assume that we are welcoming as we have such eclectic groups of families.

lolapoppins Sun 18-Oct-09 18:45:40

I am sure your group is very welcoming, I was just sharing what happened to me. I think I have just been incredibly unlucky. The way I teach my ds does not seem to be the accepted way of doing things with most of the home educators I have met in my area, and quite a few of them have been very vocal about it to me. I posted on here a while ago about a bad experience I had at a group.

FlamingoBingo Sun 18-Oct-09 19:10:08

sad lola. The FGS wasn't aimed at you, but at the unwelcoming people at the groups you've been to btw.

lolapoppins Sun 18-Oct-09 19:14:49

Sorry blush I am just so used to having so much slung at me from all angles (other home educators, people I know who send thier kids to school, family, people where I live) I am used to having to explain myself!

SweetFanny Wed 21-Oct-09 00:30:37

@lolapoppins - it's a shame you've had to put up with so much crap. Ultimately,there is only one right type of education - the one that is right for YOUR child. Do what you like and love it while you're doing it.

@Lady - I've never looked back. Once you and your son make the decision for definite you'll wonder why you waited so long. Have a bit of fun de-schooling. If the local authority gets in touch, don't be forced into meeting them and agreeing all sorts of things that might not pan out. Tell them that you need some time to deschool as your son had a stressful time with bullies, that you need to find the right way of working that suits you both and that you'll contact them when you're ready. Don't be talked into time frames (always say "when we're ready") also don't agree to using time tables or following the national curriculum or anything too solid, even if you intend to. I'm not saying your LA will use your words against you but making sure you don't make promises you may not be able to keep is a very good idea. You never know what home ed will bring, but there are sure to be surprises. Good luck with it all.

Lisa xo

sarahs95 Thu 22-Oct-09 18:09:59

I remember it seemed such a big deal when I removed my children from school - quite scary!

Now, it is just normal, but I think you have to go through that uncomfortable feeling.

My daughter was bullied at school and it destroyed her happiness and confidence, but there was a cure - HE! She is so happy now and is a lovely, grown up, confident, loving 11 yo.

Meeting some local home educators would be a good idea. Where are you?

I am kind of semi-structured but everyone has been friendly to me!

For an easy way to get started, how about thinking about one of these (or all of these) ideas:-

Sign up for Education City (you can trial it)
Get some great books to read together or to read to your son.
If you feel safer being structured, you can get free maths curriculum here

There is SO MUCH available, it can actually be a bit overwhelming, so you could just start with a few things and avoid the "spend loads of money" thing! This site gives you an idea of what's available, though you don't need all this!!!

Try here

Many parents teach brilliantly with very little, but I think this may come with confidence and experience - I bought a curriculum for the first year from (which is Christian) We loved the books and it made ME feel much happier anyway. After that I had learnt a lot about what did and didn't work with my kids and felt confident to do my own thing.

Ask for more help if you need it. The HE network is very supportive and you will get help once you connect with the networks, which are online for the most part.

Best wishes to you and your son.
Sarah O

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