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This weekend my husband and I are putting the suggestion to A’s grandparents (both sets, it’s a fun fun family dinner for eight :S) that we’re not going to send her or any siblings she has in the future to school. I would like to be able to provide them (more my parents than Hubband’s, I have to admit) with some reasoning other than our reasoning, so I was wondering why those of you who home educate do so and if you’d be willing to tel me your reasoning.

Thanks in advance…


“That cat is too simple for a complex…”

Mum to Ari, June 2012, and Susie, July 2014

I normally just say ‘because it works for our family’. However i know thats a big vague for grandparents!! I would explain your reasons. I quite often point out that school does not provide everything a child needs and that if its socialising they are worried about, there are lots of other ways in which socialising happens outside of the school framework. I do know someone that says they will be HEing until 7 like in scandinavia where children do not start formal learning until 7. She has every intention to carry on past 7, but finds this is the easiest way to word it for now.

We are home educating more because the school we were offered is horrific!  But it had been at the back of my mind.  I think my daughter would end up squashed in school.  She loved pre-school but was really well behaved all the time.  And then at weekends she was a total nightmare!  This summer she’s relaxed back into being more even in her moods and I think that is in part because she can be herself all the time at home. 

We are unsure of going beyond 7 but we’ll take one term and one year at a time.  I won’t say never school but just not yet.  And home ed isn’t about doing the same stuff they do in school at home, but doing what works for your family and helping a child develop a deep love of learning and opportunity to see learning in almost any activity. I hope mine are learning the value of housework as well as the value of numbers.

If your little ones are still pre school age, I would just say you intend to carry on as you are as you see no reason to send them to school, yet.  It’s a good idea to say you are looking at home edding for the early years, as you think kids in this country start too soon, and in Scandanavian countries they start formal ed at 7, yet still outstrip UK kids at age 12, in terms of reading and academic performance.  You could say you believe that young children learn best through play, and that you are going to take it a year at a time and review.  Then, hopefully when your kids gets to that magic 7, home ed will be going well, and your families will be convinced and you can just say it’s working so why change? smile


We home educate because we don’t like the national curriculum.  It is too structured for us and does not, as it is ‘advertised’ to, meet the needs of each child as an individual.  If they don’t achieve a particular standard at a certain time they may have a hard time catching up.  We also don’t like the testing that is part of it.  I realise that each school uses this curriculum differently and that some schools manage it very well but as a framework for learning I am opposed to it.

It is important to us that our children can learn and are not taught so that they maintain ownership of their learning.

We also chose not to send out oldest to school because I am very sure that he would have found the number of other pupils in his class very stressful which would have hindered his ability to learn.  This is a very personal reason for us and may not be part of everyones decision making and is not a reason not to sent our youngest who I think would be ok with this.

We have a couple of different answers to this depending on who we are talking to. Both are true though!

If they are supportive of home education then we say that we would like our children to have freedom to learn, to learn to love learning and to have fun! We also love being with our children and feel that this time will go so fast so we want to make the most of them.

If we think/know someone is not very supportive then we will say about how oversubscribed schools are in our area, how badly the local school performs, how other European countries don’t go to formal schooling until 7 and that we are seeing how it goes, taking it year by year.

I find these seem to work well. No one has yet been negative about it to us.

Can I ask, are you putting this to the grandparents out of courtesy or will they have some say in your child’s education? If its just out of courtesy then you shouldn’t let it affect your decisions if they don’t agree….but if they will be expected to play a role then I can understand why their opinion would be important.

Good luck for the dinner xxx

Unschooling Mama to River (7), Rain (4) and Blossom (2) xx

It’s a courtesy thing more than anything, but both sets of grandparents want to have some kind of input into their grand-child’s (grandchildren if we ever get round to having any more) life, so they’re being nosy beggars.

It’s more my parents, as Hubband’s mother took it in her stride when it first became a discussion, but mine responded with “oh, no, you don’t want to become one of those weirdos.”

“That cat is too simple for a complex…”

Mum to Ari, June 2012, and Susie, July 2014

There are lots of reasons! Most importantly for us, I wanted to follow my children’s natural development. They learn at a pace that’s right for them and in a way that’s right for them. As time has gone on, I have been able to really see the benefits of this. I can teach DD reading/spelling in a very unique way using her extreme visual strength which I can pretty much guarantee no-one would have done with her in school! Also for DS who needs experiential/hands on learning, I can provide this.
Another big advantage for us is the freedom we have. We can be as busy as we like because there is so much in our area for HE’s, or we can go slow and have quiet days.

Other than those, our local school has been in and out of special measures, so I’m very confident that I can do a better job! Also having been a teacher myself, I couldn’t really get my head around sending my own kids to school and then going and teaching someone else’s. I love being with my children (well, most of the time :D).

Having said all that, if they wanted to go, I wouldn’t stop them, but I certainly wanted to get them to 7 or 8 being home educated.

We can also take holidays when we want and no-one will fine us!!

To dare is to lose ones footing temporarily, to not dare is to lose oneself.

LETS number 137

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