I would love to home ed our children.. I have doubts as to whether I would be a good enough mama to HE and whether I would meet their educational needs but I’ve come to realise that actually this is more reflective of my own self confidence (or lack of!) rather than anything else. I went to a home ed group this morning and loved it, hubby was excited to hear I’d been when he happened to ring me on the way home and said he couldn’t wait to hear about it. However. I know he is expecting they’ll go to school.. I can’t work out whether this is from a conditioned approach that says children go to school or a dislike for home schooling. What books can I get to read read read on the subject? And how do I know what to teach? I mean I understand a lot of it is event triggered learning in that we were watching human planet the other day (the one where they lived in tree houses and were bf monkeys) and I said to hubby there would be so many things you could take from that as a learning opportunity.. I don’t know if we’d want to go down a complete unschooling route, I think I would want some structure to their learning but can I offer them even a patch of what a school could in terms of experience and equipment? I realise equally that one could ask the sane question the other way round in that could a school offer a patch of what I could in terms of time/individual focus and child centred autonomous learning though..
I can’t imagine it going down well with MIL who is a retired primary teacher, I adore my mil and (thankfully, compared to lots of people it seems..) we do get on very very well but she looked aghast when I said 18 months ago we were thinking of home ed..
Would people be kind enough to point me in the direction of some books I can read on it and where people get their materials from.. Also to give me very honest highs and lows.. I’ve got a year and a half yet to completely make my mind up but I would like my decision to be as informed as possible..
Hello! Firstly, it’s great that you’ve found a home ed group that you enjoyed, that would have been my first suggestion as nothing beats actually meeting other home educators and talking to them. Meeting my first home ed family was a real turning point and I came away knowing that ‘normal’ people could and did home educate!!
Bookwise, I think “Learning Without School” by Ross Mountney is a really good book to start with. She covers all the worries and common questions about home education, along with quotes from parents, in fact, I wish this book had been around when I first thought about home education about ten years ago!!
I think if you have an interest in learning yourself, like being with your children and helping them learn, then that’s half the battle. For what it’s worth, I went to a ‘secondary modern’ school (ie - I failed my 11+ exam) and really struggled with some subjects (like maths) and was good at others, so I’m realistic when I’m teaching my own children and understand what it is to not ‘get’ something and need more time/ a different approach etc.
My DH was very against all notions of home educating, but without any reason. He hated school himself and couldn’t wait to leave, but he had this idea that it was a ‘right of passage’ that each child should endure, because that was normal!! It frustrated me because he refused to read or research anything to do with home education, to back up his reasons for not wanting our children to be home educated, so in the end, I made the decision for him and none of the children have even been to school and DH now thinks that home education is great and is really pleased with how the children learn.
The downsides? People’s attitudes obviously. Most people are supportive actually, but you do get interrogated at annoying moments - like when you are packing your groceries and the little old lady behind you enquires why the children aren’t at school. Sometimes, this gets tiring and I’m not a very extrovert person, so I found it very intrusive to have to explain myself so often. But if I can grow a thick skin (and I have), then anyone can and you get used to answering the same questions (exams, socialisation etc) with a big smile on your face. The advantages are great though, for example being able to go on holiday whenever we want, not having to watch the clock each day, no uniform, no packed lunches, no homework, freedom to use different approaches to learning (like whether to use phonics for reading or other methods).
Equipment wise, the internet is great regarding workbooks, study books, online videos etc. I have bought things from schools catalogues before, things like maths cubes and excercise books, though to be honest, you’d find these things on places like ebay more and more nowadays, so I haven’t used school catalogues for years and wouldn’t need to now. The HEAS have a brilliant book called ‘The Big Book of Resources’ which lists no end of shops, organisations, clubs, educational suppliers etc etc and all their websites and information and I think it costs around £9. My copy has been well thumbed and well worth the money.
Hope I’ve been helpful, if I’ve missed anything, ask away!
We are not entirely autonomous we are child-led. I think there is a difference, in my mind anyway. Anything by John Holt is a good place to start. I have ‘How children learn’ and ‘Teach your own’ if you’d like to borrow?
In our area too we are lucky to have access to the entire curriculum with lesson plans and printables by age range. We dip in and out of it as it suits but it’s fantastic to have that resource there if we want or need it.
For us, it worked by sending DD1 to school for the first term.
She did about half of it, but actually experiencing the stress of school uniforms and early morning rush, overtired child in the afternoon, and allowing her to express her opinions on it ( ie “I hate having to do what the teacher tells me so much, when i want to run around and play”, V’s the days off of lying around in bed making up stories, the girls making dens and bouncing on the trampoline was enough confirmation for us and for her.
We’ve only been on the H/E path since the end of last term, but apart from the daily niggles we love it. The freedom in learning and daily adventures is great, and the relief of knowing my childrens learning will follow their own path is reason enough for me to stick to it. I highly recommend H/E!
I have to add, having a solid network of like-minded folk was definately a ‘must have’, for me. It really helps to feel supported.
Don’t be suprised if MIL is not overly against the idea, my MIL was an infant teacher her whole career, M’s other Grandma was also a teacher, and my Mum, so Step Granny was also a teacher, though not for very long before I came along. None of them were particualy againts home education. I really turned arround to the idea of full term (to 16+) home education after training to be a secondary teacher and deciding the whole system was useless, the academic ones are limited by the ciriculum, the less academic ones are made to feel like failures, the ones in the middle are basicaly ignored, I could go on but I won’t. I have heard of many teachers and ex-teachers who home educate or would like to - don’t know any personally though.
I agree. Both dd1 and her DH are primary teachers and support home ed. In fact ds-i-l, who is a deputy head was giving a presentation about self directed learning and said he realised there was no real ’ need’ for schools!
Hi, not really any info but im in the boat too! Ive got a bit more time as DD1 is just 2. Ive just been on amazon and got a few books to read through, quite excited about it actually! One i got was called Free Range Education and ive just had a quick flick and it seems to be quite good.
Ive had promises from my mum with lots of books and info as schooled my sister who is now 13. So im all set up to do it just have that slight nagging in my head. Its hard as I think we are all programmed into thinking school is great when actually i think it really isnt for alot kids.
Personally i was held back at school as i could read when i was 2 and at school they didnt know what to do with me! I used to spend all breaks staying in the classroom writing as i couldnt get a release for that creative side. My mum said she would have had me at home but she had 3 under 5 and mu dad was away alot so she thought she wouldnt have managed.
I just want my boys to learn the things they want too and when they are ready to.
Well let me know how you get on seeing as you may well be there before me! Any hints and tips greatly recieved!
Hope no-one minds me posting even though we aren’t HE, but reading through, I find it rather sad that disillusion has put off people from teaching (no offence meant to anyone who has taught or is teaching, just thinking). I know the education system isn’t fantastic everywhere but it’s the good ones that are needed to help change that in my opinion. I’m pretty well clued up on education choices, school is working for us at the moment (only primary) but who knows what the future will bring but I’d like to think I’d get involved in bringing a change in schools if I saw things that were unsatisfactory. I know we are lucky with our school and the teachers - very different to the norm, forward thinking and passionate, just a shame it isn’t the same elsewhere. I always say that school is only part of the learning experience, dd is a real self learner and amazes me with what she wants to learn about at home - I often think of her as home educating herself at home and she has other opportunities with things we do and people we know to learn things not taught anywhere in schools.
I think I can see myself becoming a challenge to schools in the future if I see apathy in them. Flexi-schooling appeals to me for later ages, but will have to see what dd feels as she loves school at the moment, she’s aware of the different choices available to her.
I agree with this, Eden. At my secondary school, there were some really good teachers, my old art teacher springs to mind as one of these and she was such a patient, kind lady as well as being a good artist in her own right. Most of her lessons were spent disciplining (or trying to) discipline the kids who had just taken art as an ‘easy’ subject to mess about in. On numerous occasions, she had to physically prevent lads (aged 14+) from opening the large windows and leaping out to join their mates on the playing field for a smoke, this was a very regular thing and the poor woman was never strong enough to stop them. I can see why she went into teaching, she was really, really good at, but she hardly got the chance and whatever the government was paying her for this daily abuse, it wasn’t enough (at that was my opinion as a 14/15 year old).
At the same school, there were some really rubbish teachers. Women who just didn’t like children, didn’t like the job, never marked anything and never said anything nice or encouraging the whole time we were there. I’m thinking they were probably paid the same as the poor art teacher and yet their lessons were dull and miserable.
I have complete respect for teachers (good teachers), I’ll always remember teachers like my art and English teacher as they gave me such a lot of confidence and put themselves out to help, when they could easily have been like the other teachers who just turned up for the wages it seemed. At our school, teachers were in such demand, so I suppose they couldn’t afford to be choosy.
This was a pretty rough secondary school for girls who had failed their 11+, many of whom came from very poor homes and with a lot of personal problems, even MORE reason to need and value those teachers who cared and were passionate about teaching. I believe it’s a real vocation and some people are fantastic at it and must make a huge difference to so many children, but it’s such a hard job and I can remember feeling sorry for these teachers when I was at school as they often never got the chance to do what they so obviously loved doing and it must have been so disheartening for them. I’m very grateful that they were there though, as the good teachers made the difference between a good day and a bad one.
Yeah, just sad really, I too remember the good and the bad ones, and a couple of truly awful ones too. Luckily it was the good ones that left the best impressions though. I guess it’s the same in lots of areas of life but I won’t get all philosophical about that
Thank you mamas.. Hubby is still really unsure, I’ve asked that we can both keep an open mind while making our mind up and that we read as much as possible so that our choice is an informed one. I might see whether he’ll come to the home ed group after this little squish is born so that he can talk to people there. He’s mainly worried that I wouldn’t ever have any “time off” as such where as he would when he works. I can see advantages to me with them being at school but equally I can see so many advantages, not only to me but also the girls, were we to HE!
How do people on here find it having your children home all day every day? I don’t see it as a bad thing at all but hubby is worried that I would find it mentally very tiring - but isn’t life regardless?!
Hope no-one minds me posting even though we aren’t HE, but reading through, I find it rather sad that disillusion has put off people from teaching (no offence meant to anyone who has taught or is teaching, just thinking). I know the education system isn’t fantastic everywhere but it’s the good ones that are needed to help change that in my opinion. I’m pretty well clued up on education choices, school is working for us at the moment (only primary) but who knows what the future will bring but I’d like to think I’d get involved in bringing a change in schools if I saw things that were unsatisfactory.
I really agree with this. I would like to maintain my teaching links with mainstream schooling. I have no intention of leaving the profession, I feel I would like to work within it (in some way) to help create change. You CAN make change from the inside, but you have to be willing to dedicate a lot of time to the cause and you also have to be strong enough to take the knocks. I am passionate about education and I believe strongly in a decent education for ALL children.