Home schooling advice.

Any issues with what nappies to buy, home schooling etc. In fact if you have kids or are planning to this is the section for you.
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green_pea
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Home schooling advice.

Post: #232152 green_pea
Tue May 17, 2011 10:17 am

hello everyone,

my partner and i are mature students at university (i study biology and education; he is studying english, history, and education) and we have been in discussion recently about (when the time comes, of course!) whether it would be best to home school our children.
We plan to move away and buy a smallholding when we have graduated, we are quite lucky to be naturally very frugal so we will be able to buy a place outright. We currently grow all our own fruit and vegetables and theres nothing more we love in the world, so want to make a life of it! However, we have come under A LOT of scrutiny from our ''friends'' especially his brothers wife, who quite brutally and maliciously informed us there was no way in hell we could ever manage without a full time job, how we were cruel and selfish for wanting to home school, and how we would end up in the gutter.
(We all have very different experiences of schooling, her parents paid for her to go through a very nice private all girls school, whereas we both went to 'normal' school and had a horrific time at it! My partner got no GCSEs because of the state of his school and we are now at one of the most prestigious universities in the country doing v.well! :roll: )
Now, that was a bit offensive to say the least! Most people don't really take it seriously, but still show a curiosity toward it and will be interested in what we have to say. I wanted to bring this forward and see what people thought, is home schooling really that bad? My partners dad was saying to us how he got on average 11minutes per pupil/per week one on one in his class of 30 kids! Obviously socialisation can be an issue but there are plently of extra activities for children to attend. I can understand that if the parents are not broadly educated then this MAY be a problem, but we will both have degrees in very different subjects and my partner used to teach in a school in Russia (and is considering taking his PGCE if we think it will be useful at the time). The only way we would consider home schooling would be if we felt totally adequate as teachers, and if we knew we could offer a better standard of education in a wide range of subjects to our sprogs, is that ever so cruel?

Anyway, sorry for that little rant! What I really wanted to say was that if anyone had any tips on home schooling, and related things than we would be very grateful if you could post them here! Anything from books, to lesson planning and structure, do you teach spontaneously? in a classroom setting? What works, what doesn't work, and what is your advice for successful teaching?

:flower:

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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232167 Mabu
Tue May 17, 2011 11:27 am

I've put a lot of thought into this really, the main problem is the community you're living in. You can most likely teach your children anything you like, however you like. I take it you're not stupid parents and you're not going to raise a child unable to keep up with children in school and end up being harassed by child protection so that's no issue. It's the community that makes problems. You and the child need to be around people who share similar values, if you raise a child knowing they are different, their friends go to school and enjoy themselves but for some reason they are not allowed. Their friends have totally different values but they have to do as mummy and daddy say. That seems like a good way to raise a child with social difficulty that resents what their parents are teaching them.

Anyway, for teaching... keep the goals long-term. Every second of every day is a learning experience so you need to have the time to be there to make sure your capitalise on this. Sitting down with books for a set time is unnatural and intimidating for children, find the learning objectives and go outside and teach them a fun way. If you can find a like-minded group you can find ways to share the teaching and give your child that secure environment and identity that he/she needs.

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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232171 MKG
Tue May 17, 2011 11:34 am

Considering the standard of education these days (I think the word I'm looking for is "low". Yes, that's about right) a single day of tuition by caring parents would be the equivalent of a whole term in a state school. Do it. You will end up with literate, numerate, inquisitive kids with real interests. Those are educational aims which appear to be ignored under present policies.

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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232192 Rosendula
Tue May 17, 2011 12:49 pm

I've never understood how thinking of your child first and foremost, putting your child's needs and happiness before money, sacrificing your career and devoting 18+ years to a child can be considered cruel. Your SIL doesn't know what she is talking about and her nice all-girls school education has obviously been wasted on her if she is unable to think for herself, outside the box, and believes in order to be happy you have to be the same as everyone else. There is a big difference between education and schooling, which is why so many of us (especially in the UK) prefer to use the term 'home education'.

Go for it. You can change your minds at any time. There are children who are being home educated and absolutely thriving yet their parents have few or no qualifications. You don't need to be a teacher - knowing how to get the kids to pass tests, how to have a perfect classroom setting on the day of an ofsted visit and how to break up a fight are unneccessary in the home ed environment, so the PGCE might be a waste of money if this is the only reason your OH is considering doing it.

Also, check out some of the home ed websites. There's a wealth of information out there to help you cope with the sheep. I particularly like this site - http://edheretics.gn.apc.org/
Rosey xx

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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232203 green_pea
Tue May 17, 2011 1:28 pm

It's refreshing to hear all of your opinions and encouragement, thanks for replying!

Mabu: do you have any suggestions for meeting like-minded people? My partner has considered taking up some casual teaching to make end meet which we wouldn't be able to provide ourselves (council tax, NI payments etc) I think you're absolutely right about the community being the main issue. I think that we would allow the children a say, if they desperately wanted to go to school then it would be cruel to not let them at least try it and do complimentary teaching on the side.

Mike: I think the main reason we didn't want to school the conventional way is the fact that learning IS fun, I loved it as a child; I was inquisitive and eager to learn about everything and anything and as a result of that I learnt a lot of things on my own as in schools, children who excel in anything are generally told to 'wait for the others to catch up' rather than being encouraged (that's what happened to me, anyway) the way that schooling works just sapped all the enthusiasm I had right away, which is why we both went the long way round to getting a 'proper' education! Another thing is last year I lived with some trainee teachers and (I am not saying they are all like this, I have met some brilliant teachers) they we're mostly below what I would consider appropriate intelligence and had chosen that career because of the salary and long holidays, not because of wanting to help children learn at the most crucial stages in their development. Not really the kind of people I would trust to ensure my children had the best start in life to say the least.

Rosey: Thanks for the site, do you teach at home? When talking about her and her husband having children (he also despises kids and doesn't really want to have any, but has given in to please her - nice environment for a child, eh?) she said she wanted to 'get back to work as soon as physically possible after she had given birth'! and she is lecturing us on good parenting. The rest of the jist of the argument was that anyone who lived an alternative lifestyle didn't contribute to society and shouldn't be allowed access to healthcare.

Ahhh, her loss anyway! I'm sure ten years down the line we will be the happier ones with the most content children!

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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232225 red
Tue May 17, 2011 3:19 pm

One of the downsides of home education is that you will meet people who will make a point of telling you how wrong you are. Sometimes quite nastily too. I think people feel wrong footed having the 'normal' as they see it pooh poohed.. somehow it threatens them. So if you do go the HE way - expect to be defending your position all the way through :icon_smile:

I have home educated my son for some years now.

There is quite a thriving community of people doing it, from all walks of life.

The most important thing to remember is it is not a yes or no decision. you can give it a go, and still change your mind later. Lots send their kids to school at secondary age - i did it the other way around :icon_smile:

Your days will be very full if you are going to mix smallholding and home ed - ask me how I know - and we only have a 2 acre holding. But it is entirely possible, and lots do it.

Whether you can afford to live without wage is a difficult one.
Red

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Mabu
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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232226 Mabu
Tue May 17, 2011 3:20 pm

green_pea wrote:It's refreshing to hear all of your opinions and encouragement, thanks for replying!

Mabu: do you have any suggestions for meeting like-minded people?

HAHA! Nope. That's the hard bit, I've been to home-school conventions before and it was just a bunch of travellers getting together for a piss-up. No joke.

Personally, and I go to an extreme in a lot of things, I am going to move to another country to a very specific place because I know the children would be raised better there. When you're settled down with commitments it is an impossible idea... so I don't know. Are there people in this group you are near, or could be near? You could trawl through the internet and probably find some groups around.

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green_pea
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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232236 green_pea
Tue May 17, 2011 4:14 pm

Mabu, we are probably (well, almost certainly) going to be moving abroad. Both because it would be more affordable for us, because my other half would then be a fully qualified with lots of teaching experience so it would probably be much easier for us to have a reliable source of income, and also because of what you just mentioned. Oh and the longer growing seasons would be a bonus. :roll:

From what I have seen (I have lived all over Europe the past few years) of rural areas, I think children wouldn't feel they were missing out on things the other children have as much, as there are less "goodies" to be had (less of a disposable culture I guess). Shame about the meeting things, imagine the possibilities if they attracted the right people...
:flower:

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green_pea
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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232237 green_pea
Tue May 17, 2011 4:15 pm

Also, if anyone else has any other tips on home schooling we would be very grateful :iconbiggrin:

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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232240 Lilyfae
Tue May 17, 2011 4:33 pm

As a teacher ( and studying for masters in advanced educational practices) the most important part of education is teaching kids how to learn ( ie recall,describe, explain, consider, judge & postulate - ie think) but due to modern school regulations this is difficult to fit in as governments only want people to recall (too bolshy otherwise) whilst industry wants the rest!

I would advise getting a copy of blooms taxonomy which is about framing ever more difficult questions to develop thinking abilities- constantly question, teaching is not telling, my students are taught to question EVERYTHING even me so they can come to their own decisions in the future.

For basics Ian Gilberts thunks are brilliant for stretching thinking by asking questions like 'if you borrow £1million are you a millionaire?' and 'how do we know blue is actually blue?' by giving reasons and building argument your children will be in much better spate than those who can recite the Henry viiis wives mnemonic!

However, please consider two things-
One the social aspect of school is immeasurable in terms of psychological development whether they are unhappy or ecstatic at school
Two- your children's futures, wherever you end up you need to know what qualifications your children will NEED to access the careers/futures they want ie in the UK mAny employers now consider GCSE English & Maths as absolute minimum but that wouldn't get the average 16 year old on the college/a level courses they want. Now I know that many people get by with nothing/1 o level etc but the majority of school leavers today will struggle without paper behind them (even though in the long run those bits of paper mean very little) and its only going to get worse as economic shifts continue. So you need to make a decision, are you capable of getting them to the educational level they deserve to access their future? I getting a homeschooled girl next year for a level history as her parents had taken her as far as they could go & she's doing great in year 12; they look at her in awe!

Just my tuppence- I think it's a great & worthy idea but it needs to be done right & with Long term planning

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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232245 green_pea
Tue May 17, 2011 4:56 pm

Absolutely, that was why I came here for advice in the first place. I don't want to make a rash decision just because I have the opinion that it would probably be better. I need to KNOW and be certain that it will be the best thing to do! I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it if I had a little bit of doubt that it wasn't in their best interest. Long term planning is essential I agree, and if things didn't work out, like the others said it is still possible to send them to school. I think that the education part of our degrees will come in useful as they concentrate on what you mentioned above (psychology of learning etc.). Thanks for the advice on the texts, I'll definitely try and scout out copies (they sound as though they would be useful for MY education at the moment!)

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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232247 Lilyfae
Tue May 17, 2011 5:06 pm

You can get a breakdown of Bloom for free on the net - google it - the best ones have actions and questions for the stages.

Good luck, I suspect I will have to make this decision myself in the future too- I know too much about the failings & misfocus of the education system (though leading a quiet one-woman rebellion behind my classroom door!)

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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232248 chickenchargrill
Tue May 17, 2011 5:07 pm

Do it! My kids' school is supposedly the best primary in the city having been awarded outstanding status. But still, my girls' learn more in an hour at home with us than a whole week there. My youngest was kept on low level books, a single, simple sentence per page, whilst at home she was reading Roald Dahl. The only reason myself and their step-dad don't teach them at home is their dad.

Yes, you have to take the social side of things into account, but you are the one that knows your children and what would work for them.

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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232250 Lilyfae
Tue May 17, 2011 5:16 pm

chickenchargrill wrote:Do it! My kids' school is supposedly the best primary in the city having been awarded outstanding status. But still, my girls' learn more in an hour at home with us than a whole week there. My youngest was kept on low level books, a single, simple sentence per page, whilst at home she was reading Roald Dahl. .


Hence why I wouldn't be a primary teacher & would be likely to hometeach for primary- but you are more likely to find teachers with my philosophy in secondary (though far & few between) as there is far more accountability in secondary

You must be so frustrated, that sounds like my experience of primary school - I would start discussing thunks at the dinnertable- get them thinking!

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Re: Home schooling advice.

Post: #232251 Zech
Tue May 17, 2011 5:23 pm

I've no experience of home schooling, so can't offer any advice there (apart from a general impression that yes, it is a good idea, provided you make sure the children get plenty of social contact) but I do have some thoughts on difficult relatives. When we talked about moving to a more self sufficient lifestyle, my sister and brother in law seemed quite scathing about it. Over time (and it's still less than a year), I've come to the conclusion that they were actually just jealous because they've saddled themselves with debts, so can't afford to do it themselves. They've become much more positive about it over the months, too.

As for meeting like-minded people, try moving to mid Wales - there seem to be lots of us here :iconbiggrin:
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