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Im very seriously thinking of home educating my youngest two children.Smallest is only 3,but his older sister is 10 and at school (steiner) and Im really struggling with the decission of whether or not to take her out.First of all she is very happy there.She has lots of friends and does well academically .But she is a very homey person and often has days off school anyway as she just FEELS like being at home ,which I have no problem with at all.I have been considering HE for a few years now but time just goes on and I havnt done it and the school they are at is lovely(but expensive)Now smallest has got to an age where he would be joining school soon and Im really struugling with making the decission to send him.And the more I look into it,the more I wonder why I ever sent any of them to school.My elder two are 17 and 14.17 yr old is at art college and 14yr old is just about to start his final two yrs and rally wants to see it through,so its only the younger two Im thinking about here.Also the school fees are massive and we never have any spare money and I think that we could do so many things if we werent having to pay that every month,but equally I wouldnt want to send them to a state school(no offence to anyone who does) And I feel like Im missing out on their childhood.When my eldest finnished school last year,it was such a shock to realise she was pretty much grown up but had spent most of the past 10 /12 yrs in school and we hadnt had all that time together I had imagined when she was little.I dont think I want that to happen again.But Im worried my daughter (10) will miss her friends and being part of a class….am I thinking about it for selfish reasons???Any way sorry to ramble on .what i would really like is some advice from people who have done this.And how has it worked?Any tips?thoughts?Also can anyone recommend books for me to read on this subject as I realise I know very little.Thank you xxx

Mummy to 4

What does your 10 year old think? I have a 10 year old and it would have to be his decision (once I had decided it was an option… which it is not for us!). If she is a mature 10 year old and as she knows what school is like and is old enough to be able to discuss what HE would mean for her and you all then I would be looking for her to make the choice (knowing that it is not a forever-decision, depending on how it works getting places at your school, she could always go back if she was not happy with HE).

have a look at what HE groups there are in your area, there are 2 regular meetings a week where we are, and other stuff going on too so friends are not hard to find, if we were more isolated my 10 year old DD would definatly feel a bit lonely, also school friends won’t instantly disappear if you home ed, the closest ones will stick around and the rest just drift off naturally.
My 2 chose to be home ed and know that they can go back to school whenever they like (DD is currently planning on being at home until 14 then going to engineering college for her GCSE’s, no idea if DS will ever want to go back) but 10 is easily old enough to know what will suit them best,
Also, nothing is permanent, at 10 they could always have a year off to see how it works for all of you, and then decide on senior schools next year. I can’t think of any family ( even the ones who later put their children back into schools)Iwho has regretted taking their child out, but several who regret leaving their children in the system when they weren’t happy there.
Good luck

My children have never been to school so I can’t help with the transition / who should make the decision as my two would not be able to very easily (decide whether school is for them that is). However I agree that at 10 they can make decisions and I would be asking for their opinion and discussing it with them at that age.  My eldest is 10.  But in the same way that my children know nothing about what school is like, would your eldest know what being home educated is all about and how it would look in your house?  I think if it was me I would think about that before opening a discussion with my child so that the decision you all finally make is an informed one.

When I was looking into home ed, when my eldest was three, the first book I read was Free Range Education which I found in my local library.  It was in the end the only book that I returned to and which helped me make the decision that was right for us.  I did read some of John Holt and John Taylor Gatto books but although they were excellent reads, I didn’t find them as informative as that first book I read when it came to thinking about how home education might actually look in our house.

Absolutely what Gill said xx

Home Eding Mama of 2 gorgeous boys! Trying to live magically on this wild and crazy earth.

To find out info, rather than reading books I’d suggest joining some HE facebook groups (if you’re on Facebook and if you’re not, sign up, even if just for your HE groups!). As far as I can tell most HE groups run via facebook so it really is the easiest way to get information. I belong to a few local groups but also a few national ones too and I’ve learned SO much on these over the past year or so. We are going to HE our 3yr old and our 10yr old has asked too - although he keeps changing his mind so not sure right now about that one. His real reason for asking is because he’s apprehensive about secondary school so I’m trying to convince him to give it a go first as I’m certain he’ll be fine once he’s settled there as he really loves school and is thriving there - but I’ve told him I’ll certainly consider it if he’s totally set on it.

As for friends, I do think they would lose their school friends eventually - unless they’re local friends who they see out by themselves. Only saying that because my daughter moved to a different secondary school to most of her group of friends and the only ones she kept in touch with were the ones who were down the road who she would go and meet up with herself. The ones who lived further afield who needed a bit more of a planned visit they drifted apart much quicker. Obviously this is just my dd and I’d say very close friends may stay close. But agree with others, if you go to some HE meets - maybe during the summer hols (I told my 10yr old we’d do that so he could get a feel of what other people do and to meet some other HEd children) you can kind of do a test run of “life” without school.

We’re not actually even HEing yet as my little one is only 3 so I’m only making suggestions rather than based on experience. Totally know how you feel though about missing out on their life. Have felt this a lot over the past couple of years. I try and do more one-to-one things with all of them now so we can really make memories to look back on. DD (12) and I did a girlie trip to London a couple of months ago. Just one night but two whole days of grown up sight seeing. It was such an amazing bonding experience and we’ve said we’ll make sure we do more regular things like that more often. Having a girlie shopping trip tomorrow. x

I would echo what sustainablemum said, even down to her book choice:) Maybe your daughter could also read some of the books. I would agree that 10 is old enough to have input into this decision but she will need to know more about what its like. She can go to the odd group or whatever on the days she stays home or during holidays if they’re running. You’d need to know you had enough going on for her locally HE wise, so Id definitely dip your toes in and see whats happening nearby.
Ultimately she is only going to know what HE day in, day out is really like & what the real pro’s and cons are if she’s actually doing it. I would have thought at a fee paying school they’d be happy to take her back if things don’t go well.
Let us know how you get on:)

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

LETS number 137

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