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Home schooling, where do I start

40 replies

SassySheila · 29/09/2022 09:43

Sorry, I'm shamelessly posting in AIBU for traffic!!

I have a year 6 school refusing dd, I've considered home schooling over the years for various reasons but never actually taken the plunge, one of the reasons is we live quite rurally.

I'm now seriously considering it due to dd's school refusal and anxiety, plus I strongly suspect she's somewhere on the ASD spectrum so sometimes struggles socially.

The think is I don't know where to start 🤷‍♀️

Could any homeschooling parents out there point me in the right direction.

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TaylorsSecond · 29/09/2022 09:45

depending on your child you can choose to timetable subjects or you can deschool/unschool and be child led. Learning can happen anywhere not just at a desk!

you don’t have to follow any curriculum- you just have to prove in a yearly report that you are offering an appropriate education and document progress to your LA home education department

we home educate (for similar reasons. Asd and adhd) it’s been amazing

there are quite a few fb groups

good luck

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MonsterChopz · 29/09/2022 10:10

I'm in a similar situation with my 11year old. I'm at the point now that I am almost certain she won't be going to high school (we're in Scotland) next year and instead will be home educated. She has suspected ASD, PDA along with attachment disorder and general anxiety. School is just too much for her.

The way I look at it is, she needs to be in a safe and regulated state of mind to be able to retain anything that is being taught. She is not in that state of mind in the school environment so its actually pretty pointless her being there and suffering.

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Katapolts · 29/09/2022 10:11

I have a similar child, have home ed in the past but now flexi-school which is a good compromise for us - he attends school 3 days a week now.

In some places there will be a big home ed community with regular meet ups etc. Or farm or forest schools that do home ed sessions.

There are lots of online resources if you want to follow the national curriculum. We use White Rose for maths, there's also Oak Academy that's free. Lots of stuff on BBC Bitesize and you can get lots of workbooks an Amazon from CPG and Collins.

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mayflower21 · 29/09/2022 10:13

Just curious so when home schooled go to universities or work force how do they do?
My child is very young but also refuses (pre school). I suspect we might have to do that, as she gets super anxious around other children

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Katapolts · 29/09/2022 10:13

Lots of info here:
educationalfreedom.org.uk/
www.educationotherwise.org/

Education Otherwise have a goo facebook group. You can also search your area + home ed and should find local groups.
There's also a helpful Flexischooling UK group if you choose to go down that route.

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SpinningFloppa · 29/09/2022 10:14

There’s some good Facebook groups if you are on there Home Education For All is one of the ones I’ve found very useful.

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Katapolts · 29/09/2022 10:14

mayflower21 · 29/09/2022 10:13

Just curious so when home schooled go to universities or work force how do they do?
My child is very young but also refuses (pre school). I suspect we might have to do that, as she gets super anxious around other children

Pretty impossible question to answer as it's going to depend on the child, their needs, what kind of education they've had.

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PropertyGeek525 · 29/09/2022 10:20

Home education UK on fb is a great group. It’s been going a long time and there are lots of experienced home educators are on there.

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HobnobsChoice · 29/09/2022 10:20

I know a few adults who were home educated. One owns a specialist bookshop with his partner, another is a photographer,. Both did arts degrees. A couple of others did GCSEs and A levels as private candidates and went on to University and did humanities degrees. We are all late 30s early 40s when home education was less common I think.

I know of a couple of late teens who have finished their home education and are now starting to work, they are all in eco/sustainability type jobs but I would say that is more due to the family/personal values and connection rather than being the only route. None of then are neurodiverse as far as I know, parents just wanted to home Ed/don't like the English school set up/exams process

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Thesearmsofmine · 29/09/2022 10:23

Find your local home ed group on Facebook, look at what is available close to you.
Legally you would need to deregister from school and provide a full time education suitable to your child’s age, aptitude and ability. How you do that is left for you to decide, it will take time to settle into what works best for your dc.
In my family we take a middle of the road approach where we do a mix of structure and child led learning.

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isittheholidaysyet · 29/09/2022 13:50
  1. If you have definitely decided to home educate, then you send a letter to the headteacher of the school, telling them you are deregistering to home educate. (This is presuming you live in England, other countries, such as Scotland have different rules)

  2. search Facebook for your nearest city/big town/county/area name and 'home education' to find local home Ed groups and ask to join. They will tell you what groups are going on locally. (Currently it does all seem to be mostly on Facebook)

  3. join national Facebook groups for advice on books/courses etc you can use.
    There are loads of free and cheap resources to use, I would suggest Internet access makes home Ed a lot easier.
    You have to provide an education suitable to their age, aptitude and ability,taking into account any special needs.

  4. have fun and enjoy learning.
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pompomdaisy · 29/09/2022 13:54

Personally I would choose kings InterHigh and sit with dd until she settles in but it will take much of the stress out of it.

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Thatsnotmycar · 29/09/2022 14:02

Personally, unless you actively want to EHE, and don’t just feel pushed into it due to DD’s needs, I wouldn’t EHE. Parents often find it easier to get support when on a school’s roll, even if DC can’t attend. Crudely, you are someone’s ‘problem’ whereas it is all too easy for others to brush DD’s needs under the carpet if you EHE, and the LA will say you are making suitable alternative arrangements and they are relieved of their duties.

Whereas, if you don’t EHE but can’t attend school full time the LA have a duty to provide suitable alternative arrangements under section 19 of the Education Act 1996. In addition to this you should also apply for an EHCP which can then include additional provision and therapies, if there isn’t a suitable school this can be via an EOTAS package.

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SassySheila · 29/09/2022 16:41

Thank you for the help lovely vipers!!

The pressure that year 6 is put under for SATS is ridiculous and lots of DD's friends are looking very anxious.

The whole system seems ridiculous when the children are only taught how to pass an exam, with their well-being going out the window.

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Saracen · 29/09/2022 17:45

Echoing others who have mentioned Facebook. Most local stuff is organised that way. You can glean a lot of information and ideas online, including on the Mumsnet Home Ed board. However, if you can get along to a local home ed group then it is a much quicker way of getting your questions answered.

Chatting with various parents can give you a picture of the many different ways people can home educate. It's very individual, and it's important to find an approach that feels right to you and makes your child happy. That typically requires some experimentation, which is totally fine and to be expected. You do not have to have all your ducks in a row before you take your child out of school. You can figure it out as you go along. Many experienced home educators recommend starting off with a complete break from all formal adult-led learning to give your daughter a chance to recover and reconnect with the things she enjoys. I imagine if she has been school refusing, her anxiety levels are very high and she may not be in the right frame of mind yet for learning.

Once the pressure is off and she starts to feel better, you can gradually start to introduce academics, starting with her favourite subjects to ensure she gets off on the right foot. Or if she is resistant to school-style learning or you see that she is thriving without formal learning, you can follow a more child-led approach. Both of my kids (now 22 and 16) have been educated this way, by learning about what interests them in whatever way they want to do it. It has served them well.

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ThisShipIsSinking · 29/09/2022 17:54

De schooling is really important, lots of good adv ice on youtube etc, interesting to see how other families chose to HS. Most families find their own way through trial and error.

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Saracen · 29/09/2022 17:56

Year 6 is an ideal time to try out home education if you aren't sure. As you say, SATs prep can be a pressure cooker. In some schools it's all about teaching to the test rather than about education. I've known a number of families who usually prefer school but took Y6 out to home ed.

Unlike in other years, you don't have to worry about the possibility that you might decide to return to school and your child might not get her place back at her old school (if she had friends there or was settled - though of course some kids would want a new school anyway). If home ed doesn't work out, you can apply for secondary as usual and she can start alongside all the other new Y7s rather than feeling like the odd one out. She will have had a break from school and a chance to try out a different way of learning.

I do know families who have tried home education for a while and then gone back to school. I don't know anyone who says they regretted trying home ed. At worst, if home ed doesn't suit, a spell of home education provides an experiment, a break, a chance to realise that school has benefits after all which you didn't realise at the time. At best, home education might open the window to a whole new world where your daughter will be much happier and learn more effectively than in recent years.

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Grandeur · 29/09/2022 17:58

With respect, if she struggles a bit socially already then homeschooling and reducing social interaction could ultimately make this worse, especially if she has ASD and is slow to pick up on social skills. And she'll be going into her teenage years soon - the most important years for social development.

School refusal and anxiety is normal at this age with all the new hormones kicking in. I have first-hand experience dealing with these children due to my job. Removing the child from a normal schooling environment is typically the last resort.

Another thing to consider is are you fully equipped to teach KS3 and GCSE? Even in home-schooling situations, this level of education is normally handed over to professional teachers and tutors, rather than just a parent.

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Pashazade · 29/09/2022 18:10

Yeah once you've put her in her required home Ed cupboard under the stairs, socialisation is impossible!!!
She will be fine socialising, as others have said scour Facebook, there are meet ups and study groups for older kids, general gatherings and local events, as much or as little depending on the child. All the home Ed children I know are perfectly sociable apart from the ones who suffer crippling anxiety (but then school wouldn't help that either).
Now is a good point to try it out. Good luck.

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gnilliwdog · 29/09/2022 18:14

I would say if a child struggles socially then EHE is very helpful. We have a very popular home education group with children ranging from pre-school to early teens. What I find interesting is how the older ones grow in confidence to organise activities. Nobody gets left out, not a phone in sight, such respect between boys and girls and kindness from older to younger children. it's fascinating to me to compare them to a group of secondary school children who often seem unhappy, sexually precocious, unkind to each other or just bored. It does children a lot of good to be in respectful environments and to have freedom to organise themselves rather than a place where they are unhappy, misunderstood or feel trapped.
At secondary level you may want to look at part time alternative schools, private tutors and online schools. Bear in mind that college at 14 is now an option also, for GCSEs.

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Grandeur · 29/09/2022 18:18

Pashazade · 29/09/2022 18:10

Yeah once you've put her in her required home Ed cupboard under the stairs, socialisation is impossible!!!
She will be fine socialising, as others have said scour Facebook, there are meet ups and study groups for older kids, general gatherings and local events, as much or as little depending on the child. All the home Ed children I know are perfectly sociable apart from the ones who suffer crippling anxiety (but then school wouldn't help that either).
Now is a good point to try it out. Good luck.

Nice reach. I didn't say homeschooling would cut off social interaction entirely, just reduce it, which is obvious.

OP also said she lives rurally, which will most likely limit the number of groups, clubs, etc that her daughter can attend.

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SassySheila · 29/09/2022 18:19

If I do decide to home school I would look at doing it alongside something like Kings InterHigh and combining more child led education alongside that.

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gnilliwdog · 29/09/2022 18:24

SassySheila · 29/09/2022 18:19

If I do decide to home school I would look at doing it alongside something like Kings InterHigh and combining more child led education alongside that.

Yes, I think keeping things flexible is useful at first. Also allocating time to particular interests. Have you read any books about home educating ASD children? That may be helpful, although you don't have a diagnosis it may give you some ideas.

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Thatsnotmycar · 29/09/2022 18:24

OP do look at medical needs tuition and applying for an EHCNA. Online tuition, including providers such as Interhigh, can be funded. The added benefit is that an EHCP can include therapies without the need to sit on normal waiting lists.

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Grandeur · 29/09/2022 18:40

SassySheila · 29/09/2022 18:19

If I do decide to home school I would look at doing it alongside something like Kings InterHigh and combining more child led education alongside that.

That's great but if you live rurally what kind of clubs, groups, activities, etc will she be attending?

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