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[Solved] Homeschooling / home education?

Trusted Member Registered

Any dads here home-schooling? What are the pros and cons in your opinion?

I'm looking into it more and more, thinking of my own school years, and what I hear from other parents.

My parents were themselves teachers and definitely opened my eyes to the possibility of passing the exams without necessarily needing the whole schooling aspect.

I'm also concerned about compulsory "sex and relationship" classes being on the cards in the UK in future.

Anyone else thinking about this?

Topic starter Posted : 29/05/2013 9:17 pm
Illustrious Member

I had sex education classes when I was at school (that's a very long way back) and I think it was a good idea, though I suspect that being generally shy probably had more effect on me than this. However, I think it's a good idea if taught properly, I think kids do need some grasp of the world around them and what society imposes on them (rightly or wrongly). I believe they are also finally gettting financial education next year.

As for home schooling, the only reservation I would have would be the social side - children need the interaction with their peers, and I know that a lot of my learning, both at school and beyond, was as a result of the discussion and debates. If you can resolve this, then I think home schooling generally gets very good results.

Posted : 29/05/2013 11:24 pm
Famed Member Registered

Hi there,

I agree with actd, the social side of things that the school can give is probably the only thing a child would miss out on from home schooling.

A family friend home schooled and thier daughter was more comfortable around adults than she was children, As said if you can get then great. Also as said discusion in class helps to develope oppinions and personality so I guess this could also be something to think about.


Posted : 31/05/2013 1:28 am
Trusted Member Registered

An old topic, but a few thoughts.

Sex and relationship education:

This was well over due. I remember when my daughter attended her primary school 'special assembly' for girls. Most of the parents were up in arms, saying it was their responsibility. Problem was most of them had done nothing about this responsibility. One of the parents, trying to be clever, decided to ask what my daughter thought about it. Her response: Not bad, but my dad was much better at explaining it.

One friend decided to inform us that our daughter would end up being a teenage mother because we were giving her too much information. Strangely she kept insisting her daughters could talk to her about anything, Strange because all her daughters were older than mine but kept going to her to ask their questions. When it came to the topic of periods she told them to ask me. I agreed but on condition their mother was present to respect her own thoughts on this subject. Afterwards our friend told us she had no idea about what I had told them, the basics. She took one of her daughter's to the doctors as her periods had not started, to find she was pregnant. Another had a couple of miscarriages before it was investigated and she was found to have several STDs. Both had been denying they were even sexually active let alone talk to their mother about 'anything'.

This brings me to another good reason why I thought this was overdue. I was often asked the question how I would feel if my daughter decided to talk to a teacher about sex concerns, or if I found out that the school had put her on the pill. In short I would not have minded and been delighted she had someone trustworthy to turn to if she felt she could not talk to me or mum.

Home schooling:

After taking my daughter out of the private school we chose to home school our daughter for a while, the intention was always that she would return to school at some point. Here are some of the answers I gave to questions raised by friends.

Socialising: I am just as capable of bullying my daughter and breaking her things as any brattish offspring. Actually if you think about it the school environment is one of the most artificial environments in our society, with the possible exception of prisons. Certainly once away from full time education when are you likely to be forced to spend so much time with others whose only connection is that you are all about the same age? There are other ways of ensuring your child gets opportunities to socialise, and I have never been convinced children should only socialise with people of their own age.

It is irresponsible: Actually it is the opposite. Parents, not schools, are responsible for ensuring their children receive an appropriate education. Indeed to many parents abdicate their parental responsibilities to the school they send their child too. A good example of this was the conversation in the playground while waiting for their children and complaining how difficult they are finding keeping their children under control, but then expect a teacher with up to 30 children to achieve what they cannot. Of course it must be the teacher's fault.

She won't learn so much: Actually she learned a lot more. Education was not confined to the classroom and not restricted by National Curriculum was much wider. Learning was not restricted between certain times and became a part of her life. Indeed when she did return to school her general knowledge and depth of knowledge was much better than her peers. As was her ability to use what she learned in one subject to another.

Teachers are trained to educate children: It doesn't mean they know best. One tool I introduced my daughter to was graphic organisers, cloud, spider, fishbone, 5 W's. These are too often over looked by schools even though they can quickly improve grades because they help to structure the student's thinking and response.

One which never came up, but as GTTS raised it I will address it.

Also as said discussion in class helps to develop opinions and personality: A key component in British education is to produce conformity, the pressures put on teachers to perform according to the curriculum and government expectations only increases this conformity. Indeed many universities have become increasingly aware of the advantages of students who are home schooled and their different ways of viewing things, self motivation and the additional qualities they bring with them, included research techniques.

I will give two examples: When she started secondary school one of the tasks given to the students was to pick an animal and choose an instrument to represent them. This is what most of the students did. My daughter on the other hand chose to do journey across Africa via different animals and in many cases not only chose an instrument to represent the animal but also a piece of music. The music teacher who set the task, to be done at home, was able to follow the journey in his mind and with the descriptions of different environments could actually picture it. Based on this one piece of work she was put in the gifted and talented program.

A second piece set by another teacher was to explain time. Most students wrote one or two paragraphs. My daughter produced an essay looking at the concept of time starting with the thoughts of early philosophers to modern science which indicating that time can be distorted. While the teachers loved this they soon found themselves spending more time marking her work than the rest of the class together, so initially they would limit the number of pages she could write and when she got past this by typing her assignments would give her a word count.

Cons: When it came time to return her to school there were two who said they had a place to offer. As one school was much superior to another we tried that one first. There was no place, the Head Teacher told us our daughter was obviously far behind her students and they would not have the resources to support her. This was based on saying hello to her. She would however be reporting us to the LEA as she now had our details. I thanked her for taking the time to seeing us and adding it wasn't a problem they didn't have the resources as I would never send my daughter to a school with such a small minded and bigoted view and before she embarrassed herself any further she might want to check the law regarding home education.

Several years later I was reintroduced to the head mistress by a councillor friend who told her I was the person he had been talking about. She obviously didn't recognise me as she began to tell me how wonderful her school was. After five minutes I stopped her and told her I had absolutely no interest on being on the governing board of the school. As they were both surprised I reminded her of when we last met and my opinion of her had not changed.

We accepted the offer at the second school. There were some initial problems, particularly in maths.This was due to the language being used, fortunately they asked the SENCO to do an assessment and she quickly realised what the problem was. A strategy was put together to catch her up and within a couple of months she was caught up where she had fallen behind.

Posted : 27/12/2016 2:00 pm
Famed Member

Fantastic post from odd father 🙂

I would say when it comes to home schooling - check out the networks in your area. Many have meet ups with other parents who are home schooling so that the children have regular socialising opportunities. Also worth looking at what after school or weekend activities are available in your area that would interest your child.

Posted : 27/12/2016 2:06 pm

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