My partner and I have always been set on home educating our little girl, now coming up to 3. She’s always been incredibly sensitive in all aspects of meaning, particularly finding it very difficult in new situations and very stressful with other children. Recently though she seems to be wanting to make friendships- with caution. Her and her cousin (2) have been playing alongside each other beautifully and its been amazing to see my little girl blossom. She is much less cautious than she has been when we’re in the park with regards to other children nearby but still can go into panic mode very quickly. We have a fairly active home ed group where I live however there are not very many children around her age at al, which I don’t see as a problem as my daughter is fairly eloquant for her age and seems to do fine with older children if not better. Our new baby is due in september and I keep wobbling about home ed or whether to see if she’d like 2 mornings at a local play school which is on a working farm (so would provide the ideal setting for her) but as soon as I imagine her there I retract my thoughts and instantly imagine home edding again! I don’t know wjat I’m expecting anyone to write, perhaps just some personal experiences? I’m still erring towards not sending her to play school more than to send her. Thank you. X
briefly, she’s very young, and everything you describe is totally normal for her age. Kids don’t often play much together before around 3, unless they have older siblings or sibling type relationships (they do something called “parallel play” where, if you look closely, they are really playing separately rather than co-operatively. Both my older two were pretty shy as young kids, not sure you would guess this now, its totally normal especially for an oldest child, IME. HE wise, we hadn’t even started going to groups when my oldest was 3, so I wouldn’t worry about how many other kids there are around, they will probably emerge when closer to school age.
I agree with Edith. My youngest is 3 too. We go to home ed groups for her older brother, she has no ‘friends’ there her own age, she will occasionally play with some of the older children but not always. We also meet up with a couple of families who have girls her age they are not yet at the stage where they are really playing together. I have no plans to send her to play school, nursery or anywhere else. When she is older she will make friends and play, but that time is a long way off yet. We joined home ed groups when my eldest was approaching five, any earlier than that he would have found it totally overwhelming so I waited until I thought he would get something out of it.
Thank you both for reassuring me somewhat. I guess I just feel like she is starting to branch out and with a new baby I will find it difficult getting to groups as we do everything on foot and I would hate for her to be missing out. But I guess by being home with me and the new nipper will be a lovely brilliant special experience for her. I would hate to ship her off to pre school and see her miss out on that bond with our new baby. I worry sometimes as she’s so bright and switched on that I’m not going to bee able to fulfil her needs educationally as she grows and thrives. I know this is something many parents worry about from time to time with HE. Also, at the moment I worlk 2 days a weeks because financially its impossible for me not too, however we’re really hoping to come up with a solution to this so that I don’t have to return to work after maternity leave this time but IF that’s not viable I worry that working 2 days a week would be a problem in terms of home edding the little ones (the days I work my daughter is with her dad one day and my mum the otjher who are both supportive and in agreeance with plans to home ed) I’m just rambeling again now!! Thinking out loud I think!
It might be worth asking the local pre-school if they’d let you stay and see how she would settle and have baby in a sling. My pre-school will let you stay, but some don’t. They don’t really like other moving kids with you, but a newborn would be fine. You can always remove her if it doesn’t work. And one or two mornings a week would be her thing!
You are the one who knows her best. Hope you find a really great place to be.
Just because you may be planning to HE doesnt exclude a play school…...especially if it is one which fits with your ethos and style and you feel comfortable with the idea….
We are HEing (and always intended to) but all three have been to a local Play Group- where we felt very comfortable- very old style- with a painting table and a sticking table and self directed progression….
Remember just because they get 15 hours of vouchers- doesnt mean they have to go that much and you don’t have to use the vouchers at all. DS1 went for x2 sessions a week, DD went initially x 2 but upped to x4 (at her request), DS3 currently goes x 3…
Another thing to remeber is that is you are planning to HE they can stay in that setting yntil their vouchers stop (term after 5 birthday) which for DD meant an extra 2 terms there and for Ds3 it will be a whole extra year (July boy)...
With each their strting fairly closely coincided with a new baby in house (except DS3 of course)- it meant I knew that theyu still got things like painting etc even though I couldn’t face doing it at home….it also gave me a reason to get up and out ( I need that for my sanity!!)
Hi, I don’t know if this is any help at all, but we have a HUGE home ed network where we live with so many ages. The thing I love best is that my son whose nearly 7 plays with his own age one minute, then is off playing football with some amazing teenagers from the group (i cannot believe the patience and care they show, it’s truly inspirational) and then he’ll be singing songs with the little ones. I love the fact he socialises with children of all ages - my DD doesn’t have many her age, either 2 years too young/ too old, but they make the most amazing games and she has learnt so much patience and care from helping the younger ones and watching the older.
But your nursery sounds fab - you could use the free places while you settle with baby and make up your mind