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Cant beleive I am really considering this!!!! to me about HE please!

(61 Posts)
becaroo Mon 19-Oct-09 10:27:57 son is 6. He has got some slight developmental delay but is doing really well. However, he is not happy at school. He has never been that into it, and there have been bullying issues which I have tried to address, but with little help from the school sad

Anyway, he told me this morning that he was repeatedly punched in the stomach on thursday playtime (by the same child we have had difficulties with since nursery!) and I am so fed up with it.

Last Oct at parents evening we were told he was "struggling" but not given any advice about how we could help (I did ask!) I went online and have been helping him at home since with good results (we have used an online early reading programme and I am now using the toe by toe teaching method) and he is getting much more confident with his literacy. He enjoys numeracy too.

He will begin "training" for the age 7 SATS soon which I am really not happy about - I dont agree with them at all and am already planning to ask if he cannot do them.

I would LOVE to HE him, BUT;

1.I am not a teacher and have no experience and was planning to restart my own OU degree in feb next year.

2.I have a 1 year old would I manage to HE my older ds1?

3.Would he miss out on all the social interation with his peers? (Some of the children in his class are lovely)

4.Would I get any time away from him?? (Much as I love him!!)

5.I am RUBBISH at on earth could I teach him? My dh is goos at mahts but obviously I would be the main educator.

6.I know I could take him swimming and he goes to karate 2 x a week for the physical ed side of things, and I love trips!!! but I am worried about the cost also, i.e. text books, workbooks atc

7.Please help!!!!!


becaroo Mon 19-Oct-09 10:29:39

Good grief...all the typos!!!! Maybe this wasnt such a good idea after all!!!!! grin

FlightAttendant Mon 19-Oct-09 10:32:25

Sounds like a fab idea. I didn't want to not answer, but not entirely sure on the answers to your questions.

From what I know I think it might be easier than you reckon smile

Good luck, will be back later to read.

QueenOfFrighteningEveryone Mon 19-Oct-09 10:41:51

1. You don't need to be a teacher and IMO the fact you want to study too is a positive thing - your DS will see you learning, it will motivate you both and mean you remember what its like to learn new things.

2. HE doesn't need to be time consuming and formal - amazing how much they learn just through day-to-day life. I find with my DD (also 6) that we fit a lot into short slots of interaction at odd times - think how little 1-1 time they get at school and you can only do better tbh.

3. You can arrange for him to still see the ones he gets on with socially. And there are lots of HE groups and activities to join in with - look up Eucation Otherwise, get on the local HE newsletter list etc.

4. Family and friends in my case - would they be supportive and take DS every now and then? I am lucky as my DM does things with DD a lot.

5. Doesn't matter really - DH can do some, and again think abut how much it is possible to learn without actually being taught. Cooking, dealing with money, playing shops for example - all will teach basic maths!

6. How much do you spend on uniform/dinners/trips? That will go some way towards any costs. Much of the stuff I have bought for DD, I would have bought anyway. A lot of things can be second hand and a lot of activities are free.

7. Good luck!

giveloveachance Mon 19-Oct-09 10:46:42

dont know much about HE, but I do know that there are a lot of support groups out there, there is bound to a group local to you. have a chat with them before plunging in as it is a huge step and commitment.

1. Most HE are not teachers by profession, but as a mum you have already been your childs first teacher!

2. Some of it could involve your one year, old, any quiet work requiring concentration you could do with your 6yo while i yo naps or is looked after by friend / relative?

3. Play dates, and getting together with other HE in your area - make it a regular thing.

4. Yes, as you can book him into activites that you dont need to be there for sports, crafts etc, or help from tutors for specialist subjects - bit costly though.

5. see thread on primary maths, every one starts in the same boat with the new ways...

6.Cost it out, looks like you are thinking things through really well....first step must be HE help / support groups...they will know all the joys and pitfalls.

7. hoope this helps...

be aware though, what will you do once he is 11 - will you want to tackle secondary ed too?

there has been a report recently that HE children are more like NOT to go into further education (ie post 16) or work or training.....

QueenOfFrighteningEveryone Mon 19-Oct-09 10:55:36

giveloveachance - what report? I've never heard that one before.

nettie Mon 19-Oct-09 10:58:41

Was just about to ask same question Queen.

giveloveachance Mon 19-Oct-09 11:06:27

it was in the papers - will retrieve from recylcing...

anastaisia Mon 19-Oct-09 15:29:18

the NEETs thing is part of the Badman rubbish. It was from things said at the select committee.

Thing is, as far as I can tell, it only meant between 16-18. But if a home educated child is home educated between 16-18, they're still in education, even if Connexions haven't got details for them. I think once they included over 18s the figures looked very different.

QueenOfFrighteningEveryone Mon 19-Oct-09 15:32:34

Is this what you meant?

There is a discussion on the 'story' and the way the statisics were gathered beneath the article.

ommmward Mon 19-Oct-09 16:34:10

Oh yes - the proportion of HE children becoming NEET is staggeringly high. Graham "best friends with Ed Balls" Badman was hauled up in front of a commons select committee last week to explain why he produced a report on HE based on dodgy statistics which the DCSF then welcomed with open arms and an unseemly scramble towards police-state legislation.

In preparing his defence, he pulled together another steaming pile of poo statistics which purport to show that HE teens are more than twice as likely to become NEET. Only problem is that, while NEET can mean dealing drugs on street corners and doing nowt but watch daytime TV at taxpayers expense, iut can also mean that a teen looks at what the Connexions service can offer them and says "pile of nonsense" and shoves their questionnaire into the bin. And guess what, lots of HE children are highly likely to do that. Did you know that, inBadman's stats, 100% of HEed children in Birmingham become NEET? 100%. There's either some serious educational failure going on, or some seriously dodgy reporting by Mr Badman.

julienoshoes Mon 19-Oct-09 16:53:26

oommward I missed that!

LOL PMSl! Must put that juicy bit of gossip onto the Birmigham list!
I know of about maybe 30 previously home young people from Birmingham and every one of them is successfully employed self employed or at FE College or Uni!

Wish there was a *shakes head in disbelief* emoticon!

sarah293 Mon 19-Oct-09 17:13:21

Message withdrawn

lolapoppins Mon 19-Oct-09 17:30:48


I have a six year old son too (turning 7 in a few weeks, so would be in year 2 now). He did a couple of terms of reception before we took him out of school.

1.I am not a teacher either! We do HE in a very formal/stuctured way, but I have found that I actually enjoy all the planning etc. I have not found it to be a problem.

2.I only have one ds, but I have a friend with a seven year old and 1 year old twins. SHe teaches while they nap in the mornings, sets them up with toys on a mat. SHe managed to work round them.

3.This has been a real problem for us as we live in a small village and have had issues with the other childrens parents. However, we joined a few HE groups, found one we liked and ds has made friends. He is also doing an activity most nights and he has made a couple of really lovely fiends at a kerate class and a drama one. Can your ds not stay in touch with school freinds he has now?

4.Can't help on that one tbh, we are 24/7 together (with dh too at weekends and when he works from home) unless I go to London for a weekend to go out with friends once in a blue. Plus, he's only little once. Easy for me to day with just one child, I know!!Oh, apart form one hour or so a night when he is in one of his activities, but I live so far from anywhere that I am usually hanging out in the waiting room or sat in the car!

5. We have a maths tutor. We looked around on the internet, local papers etc and found a lovely old lady, a retired maths teacher. He loves her and she comes for one 2hr lesson per week. £20. But, I have found that teaching him maths from the ground up has also helped me. Plus, we do it all from workbooks so it is simle enough to understand.

6.I am sure there will be others who will come along and tell you about resources, and some who will tell you how they get it all for free from the internet/don't bother etc, but I can only tell you about what I do, and yes, it is expensive. Kerate, Swimming, drama, dance, music, french classes and tutor all total about £300 a month. I live in a very rural area, nearest towns are an hour away do I travel 350miles per week getting him to and from those, so I filling up the car for £70 per week as well.

Because we are very formal, I buy workbooks, exercise books etc. I plan ahead for each term, this tems materials cost about £150 I would guess. But, if you were not going to be so structured it would be minimal.

I don't mind the cost tbh. If he were at school, he would be at a private one as we had such a horrendous time at the village school, so we would still have school fees and petrol costs, and I know he would refuse to do anything at all at school, so I would still be buying the resources for him to do at home anyway - and spending almost as much time after school doing it as I do now.

Good luck if you decide to go for HE. I dithered so much over our decision, but getting school out of our lives and all the hassle that was going with it lifted a weight off all our shoulders.

Don't worry about the secondary years yet - it's a long way off and you never know how you will all feel in a few years anyway.

becaroo Tue 20-Oct-09 13:20:23

Thank you very much for your replies smile

Am very interested in this...have so many questions though!!! Please forgive me if I sound really dense, ok?

Do you have still have "school holidays" if you HE? blush

If any of you pulled your dc out of school - what was the atitude of the LEA?

May I ask, for those of you with kids old enough...are they going for GCSE's or a diploma?

I feel if I did HE I would like to do it in a structured way so i could be sure he was covering all the bases so to speak.

I am worried I am being overly dramatic about my sons unhappiness at school - he had a lovely day yesterday!!! Will wait for the next parents evening (17th Nov) and see what they have to say about his progress....wasnt impressed at all with his year 1 teacher and his attitude so will be very interesting to hear what his new teacher has to say.

Thanks again!

lolapoppins Tue 20-Oct-09 13:56:40

We take the short holidays, but to be honest, the big long summer one would be far too long a break for me to get back into the swing of things again, so this summer we continued with reading and wrote a story/diary extract everyday, and did one week work, three weeks off. Worked well.

If you want info on structured stuff, then ask away, we've been doing it all along and I have really got into the swing of things with rescources etc this year.

We pulled our ds out of a private school, so it was a bit different, but we contacted the LEA ourselves and registered him as HE and requested a visit. They have been fine (completley disinterested in anything we do and reluctant to arrange visits or stay for more than 5 mins when they are here though) but I know other people have had not so good experiences, and I think I am in the minority for contacting them and chasing home visits myself!

Good luck whatever you decide to do.

becaroo Tue 20-Oct-09 16:20:02

lolapoppins, thanks for the info. Would be really interested to hear how you plan your lessons and weeks if you ahve the time to tell me!

lolapoppins Tue 20-Oct-09 19:19:58

Yup, sure. If you change your settings to recieve CAT messages, I will email you. It's all a bit long to put on here!!

SweetFanny Tue 20-Oct-09 23:55:47

1. I'm doing an OU degree too and have my 10 yr old daughter and 7 yr old son at home. I don't have formal teaching qualifications either. But you know your son better than anyone else, you're already his ideal teacher.

2. I'm thinking about having another baby grin

3. The case for children needing interaction with a whole bunch of kids for 30 hours every week is rather thin, and I'm pretty sure this is what causes all the playground dramas. There are plenty of groups all over the country. I recommend joining yahoo groups (you'll need a yahoo email address though). UK home educators is a good one, although most people on the boards are from the south east, there are links to other local groups. They do all sorts of activities, theatres, museums, swimming, trampolining, ice skating, etc. If you have a car but are a bit low on cash, local country parks are fantastic for all curriculum areas - check out the nature detectives website for activity ideas.

4. Probably not wink

5. Remember you don't have to follow the national curriculum unless you want to. My kids' main project is building their own website; At your son's age, maths is fairly simple - basic arithmetic, time, money, shape, measuring, etc. Kids love weighing and measuring stuff, you just have to make sure you teach them all the relevant units, grams, ounces, centimetres, inches, etc. And workbooks come in handy, as does BBC schools web. I have a massive list of useful websites if you want it. Science Museum web and Natural History Museum web are great! Maths and science do overlap a lot.

6. Don't be tempted to spend too much at first until you get an idea of the kind of things he responds to. Some kids hate workbooks, my daughter for instance! Library, internet, book tokens for Christmas, whatever it takes.

7. If your son is unhappy, and you are unhappy, home ed can be the ideal solution. It sounds like you're giving it a lot of thought. Do be prepared for less than enthusiastic responses from family though. It sometimes takes a while for them to come round and, in some cases, they don't even try hmm. Hopefully, you will have a supportive family though.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Lisa xo

becaroo Wed 21-Oct-09 12:17:21

Hi and thank you!

lola Have altered my settings do can receive CAT.

SF Thanks for your input...your dc are very lucky!

There is a parents evening next month and I will see what happens then...if I am still not happy and if ds1 is still not happy then I think HE may be the way forward for us.

Thanks again.

anniemay193 Wed 21-Oct-09 16:35:45

lolapoppins - hi would love to hear your experience in the more structured home ed - just started with my 6 year old DS myself (although the other 2 are in school/nursery - so far we've been doing quite srtuctured work.......would love to pick your brain.....

FlamingoBingo Wed 21-Oct-09 19:53:49

Hi Becaroo

There are many more reasons to home educate other than just that your child doesn't enjoy school. I would suggest that, now your interest is piqued, you get hold of a copy of Range Education which will tell you loads about how home educators manage in all sorts of different ways, and also about why they chose to home educate.

For us it's about lifestyle, and togetherness. I think autonomous learning is very efficient - in fact recent research has shown that that is actaully the case. While you're ordering Free Range Education, stick a copy of Children Learn At Home into your basket smile.

Anyway, to answer your questions more specifically:

1."I am not a teacher and have no experience" Me neither - we learn a lot of stuff together. "and was planning to restart my own OU degree in feb next year." I want to do an OU degree some time soon - I studied for a diploma from when my oldest was 1-4yo and it all worked fine.

2.Do read books about autonomous or informal learning - lots on the internet too. If you want to do structure, like Lolapoppins enjoys (and like I think I would too really) then do it, but it does involve a lot of planning (which you may love!) and coercing at times. It's not necessary to be structured though. I bet if you set yourself 6 months of no structure, and just wrote down every day what you'd done, you'd be surprised at the end of it quite how much your DS had learnt.

My DD1 learnt to read without me teaching her; although she did that very young for an autonomously eduated child, but the fact remains, she did it without being taught.

Yesterday we had a huge conversation in the car about war - in Afghanistan, and WW2 and Hitler and invasion. So a lot of history was covered, geography - all in about 10 or 15 minutes of intense conversation at a time that was right for them at the level that is right for them. All the informationw we covered would have taken far longer to do in a lesson and may not have been taken in as well.

3.Would he miss out on all the social interation with his peers? (Some of the children in his class are lovely)

That's up to you! We go to lots of home education groups and my DDs have a circle of friends over and above the number of potential friends she'd have in a class at school of all different ages. It's just lovely to watch them all playing together.

4.Would I get any time away from him?? (Much as I love him!!)

That's my only downside of HE for me. My parents come twice a week and I go out to work for 2h on one of those days, and they take them out to the park or for a treat on the other so I can be at home on my own for a couple of hours. DH makes sure he takes them to his parents for the whole day every few weeks too. My parents sometimes babysit so DH and I can go out for an evening meal too.

5.Read all the stuff about informal learning. Get workbooks. Involve your DS in every day life. He will learn maths from cooking (get balance scales so he can really understand what he's doing), shopping, planning your week, playing with lego. Loads of maths ideas on the internet.

6.I know I could take him swimming and he goes to karate 2 x a week for the physical ed side of things, and I love trips!!! but I am worried about the cost also, i.e. text books, workbooks atc

Yes, I worry about the cost, but you can download a lot of free resources from the internet now and there are loads of good educational games online for free. Use the library. And remember that school isn't actually free - there are lots of costs attached to going to school too.

FlamingoBingo Wed 21-Oct-09 20:10:01

Forgot to say, no we don't have 'school holidays' because life doesn't have holidays grin.

lolapoppins Wed 21-Oct-09 21:16:27

As FlamingoBingo says, if you are very structured it does take a lot of planning! I sometimes feel as though I am doing a teachers work for no pay. I have just spent the past two hours cross refrencing maths workbooks and worksheets and printing for the second half of this term!

It all depends on what suits your child. A more autonomous approach would not suit my ds at all, we have to be structured as that is the best way for him to learn, but also it is the only way I can do HE. I need to be structured in the way I teach him, and the way I plan my life. I need to 'see' what I am teaching him, what he has learned, thats just me. I am very book academic and DS is a lot like me, so it works out well and we are both happy.

Do have a quick look there is loads of worksheets etc to download on there for free, it will give you a good idea of what is out there. I use them to suppliment workbooks and to make our own projects (eg this term we are doing shape and symmetry for our practical maths, using a WH Smith shape and Symmetry work book and printouts from that site). The site also contains information on what you should cover for each subject in the year for each year group/key stage.

becaroo Thu 22-Oct-09 11:13:57

Thanks FB - that was very halpeful. And thanks for the CAT message LP - will be in touch.

I feel instictively that I would want to be more structtured (at first anyway).

Will have a look at those books FB x

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