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Thread: Any other home-educating families out there?

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    Va'amish Heartsease's Avatar
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    Question Any other home-educating families out there?

    My son (life-long vegan), age 10, has never been to school. At this moment he is immersed in a computer programming book and is ..."designing an insurance application form in HTML".
    Iym curious to see how many vegan parents home-educate/unschool or are considering it.
    "You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation" ~ Plato

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    Not Giving Up Pisces's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I'm actually not a parent, but I'm very pro-unschooling for many reasons, including having such an awful 12-year experience of mainstream/compulsory school. It was not right for me and I'm certain that I would have learned much more from unschooling, since I learn more from life/experiences on my own than I do from required/biased textbooks.

    Anyhow, have you heard of this woman? I think her first name is Rosie. She lives in Scotland and her children are unschooled. She's really cool---and for an added plus, her family is VEGAN!

    She has a website along with many useful links. www.veganfamily.co.uk . I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't already.

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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    As a teacher I am intrigued by homeschooling. I can see that, done right, it can offer a much more holistic and individual education than the threadmill of school and produce fab kids.

    However, where do the children stand when they go out to work? Will you submit your child for exams later in life so that he has qualifications, or not?

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    Cake Fairy Cherry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I'm really interested in home schooling too AMF. It's something that one of my sisters has considered.

    I'd love to know how long is spent each day doing school-type stuff (as opposed to trips out/life) and how people decide what their children need to know. I also wonder if people intend for the children to be homeschooled when they're younger and then go to school for the exam years, or the exams as AMF asks.

    I didn't realise that the veganfamily children were home schooled. I think her name is Lucy, not Rosie.

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    cherished emmapresley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    i have an aquaintance who has home-schooled her two boys..recently though they've started school again..they're approaching gcse age and have fitted right back into the system. i know they spend 'school hours' at home doing curriculum based work..she is quite structured with it..and maintains the boys friendships with plenty of other kids their age from outside of school groups and what have you. they're a sunny couple of kids..thoughtful.

    well, this hasn't really benefited the thread much..i just wanted to say my little bit
    ahronli sed ah dunit so thid tek thuh cheyus graytuh offa mi nihbles

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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I'm unschooled, and if I ever decide to have children they will be unschooled too.

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    Va'amish Heartsease's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Every home-educator does things differently, I guess. Most of what I have learned, that is actually useful to me, I learned in adulthood.

    It is very common for children to lose motivation when adults apply adult logic to the non-adult thought processes of a child.

    The world of home-ed is as diverse as any other. Many home-ed kids becum entrepreneurs (they decided that 'qualifications' were unneccessary)...some jump from home-ed straight into Uni without anything 'on paper' to support their application. Some take exams without entering the 'system'.

    The law indicates that a child must receive an education....whether in school or without. How this occurs is up to the family...and, it is hoped, the child.

    "When we plant a seed we don't tell it what to be" ~ Erm...I forget where I read that....
    "You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation" ~ Plato

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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I never considered home education for my children. I've no doubt that all academic redquirements can be met at home, but I think the valuable experiences at school are more to do with social interation. My children now 7 and 9 enjoy school but they do come up against difficult situations which I help them deal with. I think this is good preparation for life. They mix with children and adults from different walks of life and learn that not everyone is the same as them or their imediate family and friends. They learn a lot of independence and I think that being away from your parents for a few hours a day but still in a safe environment is good for children. After all, I am meant to be preparing them for life away from me!
    On top of this there is no way I can work full time and have children at home with me all day. As I'm the only adult in the house, this would mean very little money.
    I enjoy talking with my children a the end of the day about what we've all being doing and I think it's healthy for families to spend time apart as well as together.

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    Va'amish Heartsease's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Cookey, I am interested to know what you mean about the social interaction in school. When I attended school I spent most of my day with people of almost exactly the same age as me....yet as an adult I find this is seldom the case.

    Independence is great but I do not agree that that is achieved through schooling. I went to school and was very dependent as a child. My son, who is self-educated, is highly independent. I think if your children (and myne) are thriving and independent it is more likely down to our parental attitudes than whether or not they are home-educated.

    I am also the only adult in the house and run a business full-time. I agree about the pleasure talking about what we've done in our thyme apart.....home-educating families don't neccessarily spend all their thyme in each others pockets
    "You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation" ~ Plato

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    cookey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    By social interaction I mean mixing with other people. My children mix with other children in the playground and have a whole world of social experiences without my involvement. Something which I think only a diverse range of children can offer and I cannot.I realise that this may mainly be with other children their own age but still more varied than I would be able to give them through visiting other parents. They will also see bullying and difficult situatioins being dealt with and I wouldn't want them to grow up not having had experience of how to deal with this.
    I am interested to know (without it sounding like I am disaproving of you), Heartease, how your child gets this type of experience?
    From an outsiders point of view, homeschooling seems like a very insular existence where the adult in the house is the main influence on the child and the children the child mixes with are chosen by the adult. As I have never tried or considered it, I don't know what it is like so, yes, I would imagine that the family would be in each others pockets. It sounds as if this is not the case in your household, but I can't imagaine how this would work?
    I'm also interested as to why you chose to homeschool rather than through the state school system?
    I don't think the state school system in the uk is by any means perfect, but I think the best way of changing it is by being a part of it and fighting to make it better. I also think that children learn an amazing amount from mixing with other children on mass and I cannot think how else this can be served.

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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    How desirable homeschooling is must depend partly on the parents' lifestyle - how sociable they are, for example? My parents were very unsociable and so if I hadn't gone to school I wouldn't ever have met any other children, and would probably have ended up even more of a troglodyte than I actually am

    If I had children to educate I'd also be worried that I couldn't teach the full range of subjects, but I've read that some parents get together with others whose knowledge complements their own.

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    Va'amish Heartsease's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Quote cookey View Post
    I'm also interested as to why you chose to homeschool rather than through the state school system? .
    Oh....I don't really have the thyme to get into a really long discussification about it ( I wish I did). I think that school is an artificial environment. In that I mean that it in no ways reflects the life outside that most adults (and children) participate in. For me it wuz initially a purely instinctive thing....I simply don't see the point of school....indeed the only compelling reason I have heard since (from friends who once home-educated ...and yourself) is that it is convenient for parents/carers to have somewhere else they can place their children while they go to work. Society is not currently geared toward healthful integration. I have seen first hand how old people are also frequently pushed to the edge of society. It's possible I am an idealist but I strive for a world where people are not segregated becuz of gender, race or age. I do not believe that the world is full of bullies and by exposing my child to them at school (should that be the case) would give my child unrealistic and harmful expectations of the world.

    'Home-education'...hmm....I can see how that term can give the idea that a child is cooped up with mother in the house. Butt I used that term becuz that is the one the media is most familiar with. Life is education. Children learn to walk and talk without formal instruction. We learn all the thyme and retain that which has real value to us. A home-educator no more chooses the people and experiences their child receives than you do when you send yours to school. We have'nt 'home-educated' in that insular way....we just live our lives....and that currently involves a 5 month holiday in Canada. There is a big world full of people and places to explore! Anyhow....we must all do what we think/intuit is best for ourselves and allow or children to do the same. We can learn so much from them! Considering my lack of thyme I have finnished my post with quotes. (Thanks John, Ivan and my child).

    “Next to the right to life itself, the most fundamental of all human rights is the right to control our own minds and thoughts. That means, the right to decide for ourselves how we will explore the world around us, think about our own and other persons' experiences, and find and make the meaning of our own lives. Whoever takes that right away from us, by trying to “educate” us, attacks the very center of our being and does us a most profound and lasting injury. He tells us, in effect, that we cannot be trusted even to think, that for all our lives we must depend on others to tell us the meaning of our world and our lives, and that any meaning we may make for ourselves, out of our own experience has no value.” – John Holt.

    “School is an institution built on the axiom that learning is the result of teaching. And institutional wisdom continues to accept this axiom, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.” ~ Ivan Illich

    (When asked, age 5, if his mummy taught him at home) "No. I teach myself." ~ My child

    (When asked, age 7, if he'd rather go to school 'like other children') "No! Who would?" (he was genuinely shocked)
    "You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation" ~ Plato

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    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    i agree with harpy in that how successful the home education is surely depends a lot on the type of people the parents are? thats my opinion anyway.

    i have one child and i wouldn't consider home-schooling her as i think it can be a very isolating experience for an only child. she loves her school and has made local friends which is important as the junior school she went to we had to drive to and she didnt have any friends from that school who lived locally to us.

    i would definately have considered a steiner school but there is nothing in my area and again i dont believe in driving many miles to a special school when theres a distinct possiblity that no-one else will live locally for her to interact with.

    in my experience both for me and my daughter, home schooling wouldnt have worked, for others, its different.

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    Rentaghost Marrers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I can't imagine being able to home school a child because I am not smart enough or knowledgable enough myself (not meaning to be rude but how do you manage with your unconventional spelling Heartsease?) I could only teach them what I know or what I think is important. I'd be really interested to know what adults who were home schooled think of the education they recieved, if they feel there were any gaps, anything they got that kids at school didn't get, and whether they wish they had gone to formal school or taken exams if they didn't do so. (Any comments FogStruck or anyone else in that situation?)

    There was a home schooled 9 year old on Wife Swap this week. They made it look like the decision to home school was mainly taken because of the negative experiences the parents had at school.
    It seemed from the film that the child had just one hour a day of 'sat at the table learning'. I always imagined that parents / carers had to prove how they were educating the child and that they were meeting certain standards - is that not the case?

    I remember my mum keeping my little sister from starting school until she was actually 5 yrs old ( she was born in December 1980) and the education authorities were all over her for it. With all these targets for education surely things are even worse now?
    Last edited by Marrers; Apr 24th, 2007 at 03:03 PM. Reason: to add a few bits
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Whilst I can see the benefits of Home Schooling in matching the curriculum to a child's educational appetite, unfortunately in practice the many kids I've met (as it's quite common near me) have parents who have made no attempt whatsoever to socialise their children beyond a very small number of children who are deemed 'safe'.

    I think it's sad when some parents home school their children because they want to filter their child's learning from certain aspects of the outer world (other faiths as one example). It's not natural, and leads to extreme naivety and ultimately the child suffers.

    If children are encouraged to be as sociable as possible then I see no problem with it.

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    Va'amish Heartsease's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Quote Marrers View Post
    not meaning to be rude but how do you manage with your unconventional spelling Heartsease?
    Oh...bless you! But I am actually an excellent speller.

    My 'unconventional' spelling is my second language....you've no idea (or maybe you do) how many people critisize it. But I enjoy playing with words.

    And....erm.... I don't see how the ability to spell (or not) is relevant anyway, since my ability to learn is separate from my child's.

    Anyhooooo...Iym withdrawing from this thread now....if any home-educators wanna contact me they can do so privately, I think.

    And much hugs to all.
    "You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation" ~ Plato

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    Rentaghost Marrers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Oh, it's a shame you are withdrawing as you've sparked a bit of interest here! (And awareness of home education). I was hoping you'd give your thought on some of my other comments.

    With regard to the spelling I was just thinking that a home schooler would be responsible for checking / correcting any written work done by their child so it would be important to be able to spot mis-spelt words for the child to learn correct spelling.

    My sister-in-law is French and bringing up her two kids to be bilingual. My 4 year old nephew only speaks French with her but English at school and with most other people. At the moment he is confusing some words - is saying he/his when referring to a female. My sister-in-law does not experience him speaking English very much but if she did not realise that as a mistake she would be unable to correct him (most other people would probably hesitate to correct someone elses child).
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    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    yes, please dont withdraw hertsease - its an interesting thread.

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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Very interesting thread

    As a child I found the experience of public school very damaging to my social development - bullying resulted in many years of awkward shyness and great difficulty mixing with and being able to trust others, and although I loved learning itself I hated going to school. It was sheer torture. And I gather kids are getting even nastier nowadays...

    I think home-schooling is a great idea, providing the parent is suitably equipped and prepared for the responsibility. Learning to interract socially with others, together with intellectual development, is of utmost importance. In the case of home-schooling, the parent has a great deal of control over who their child mixes with, which in my opinion is a good thing. Personally I'd like to know that my child was mixing with people who would be a good influence and have a positive effect on their development. Although I can also see how it may narrow their experience of the world and deprive them of "learning from experience".
    "Born on the same planet, Covered by the same skies..."

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    Va'amish Heartsease's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Erm.....it's a bit embarrassing (oh! not really!!).....I decided to withdraw from the thread becuz I found it ....er ....a little thyme-consuming (what with me digging about for suitable quotes...hee hee)...butt ....I received notification that peoples were still responding and my curiosity got the better of me.

    And....yeah....it's thyme-consuming butt I do kinda sorta still wanna respond....
    Marrers: That thingum about spelling....
    I don't 'correct' my child's spelling anyway...even though I can usually spell well. He does ask for spelling somethymes......so I guess it does help that I know...yet we both have access to dictionaries and other people we could ask. Primarily he learned to spell by reading ....and he taught himself to read. It had almost nothing to do with me. I think that's great!

    It's not that I did'nt originally (many years ago) intend to 'teach' him.....just that he made it clear (as a very small child) that it was'nt neccessary and had the potential to put him off entirely. Luckily we found this out early on.
    "You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation" ~ Plato

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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I think home-education can work well, but only if the parents are commited, knowledgeable enough, and are able to follow some sort of curriculum to make sure the child is not missing out on important learning (the day will come when the kids may want to apply for college.)

    It's an undertaking I would not want, because it's an enormous job (when done properly), especially if you have numerous kids, and I'm not knowledgeable enough to be responsible for a child's learning through high school. Neither is my husband.

    I would be less worried about the social aspect of it - there are so many ways to socialize a child other than through the conventional school system. However, I think that gives the parent even more to do. To make sure he or she has enough friends and activities, and to constantly find "enriching" environments, can be full time job itself.

    If my mom would have chosen to home school me I would have been in trouble, but if my father did, I would have done REALLY well, I think. They are just very different when it comes to knowledge, learning and teaching. Still today, everyone in my family (adults and kids) goes to my father for help with everything from home work to help with running a business.
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

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    Rentaghost Marrers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Quote Heartsease View Post
    Primarily he learned to spell by reading
    I hadn't really thought about that - mind you, I read but I don't think it improves my spelling! (I could spell better when I was younger but seem to have forgotten much of it now and often have to check words.)

    Impressive that he taught himself to read. Sounds like you have a really smart kid on your hands there and that home school was the best option for him and his learning style. How old is he? Is he planning to enter for any exams or hasn't he decided yet?
    Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything. - Floyd Dell

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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Your little boy seems to be doing really well Heartsease. It sounds as though home-schooling is the best thing for you and your son.

    My little girls are 3 and 4 and they go to a tiny village school on Mon, Tues, Thurs. and Fri. in the mornings. I have dug my heels and refused to let them stay all day. We have had a lot of pressure from the teachers who say that they should be there from 8.50 - 11.50 in the morning then 1.30 to 4.30French law states that they don't have to be at school until the year they are 6.

    I feel as though they learn a lot playing together in the afternoons and going for walks and listening to music and stories with me. I speak in English with them all the time and they are both very good at it and at school they speak in French and do well with that. They also learn to be part of the group at school and we hope that they will gain in confidence like this. It's also nice for all the family to be part of the village community via the village school.

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    Va'amish Heartsease's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Quote Marrers View Post
    How old is he? Is he planning to enter for any exams or hasn't he decided yet?
    He's only 10. So he's not totally decided. We can look into whether or not anything 'formal' is needed for his chosen type of career and he can study appropriate subjects and take exams if he wishes.

    I did'nt have to choose my subjects until secondary school so he has a wee while yet to explore his interests, methinks

    Crikey, when I was 10 I wanted to be a vet.....
    "You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation" ~ Plato

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    Va'amish Heartsease's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Quote kriz View Post
    I'm not knowledgeable enough to be responsible for a child's learning through high school. Neither is my husband.
    This is a common comment encountered by home-educators. When people study in university they 'read' a subject. When one goes to school the teacher demonstrates what they have 'read'. Certainly there are examples where physical work may be required (ie. in the sciences) but most of my formal education involved 'reading' or listening to someone else 'read'.
    But even those other more practical subjects are frequently studied by home-educated children.

    Our intellect is formed in the womb and in our first few years. If we have nurtured our babies and allowed them to witness our interactions with other people. Let them see how we deal with life on a day to day basis. Answered their questions (which can very reasonably involve an honest "I don't know...let's find out") and let them learn through their own enthusiasm and play..then they will be more than capable of learning all they need for healthy and happy lives.

    When I was still only considering home-education I was fearful about being the 'fountain of knowledge' for my child...for that would be so limiting to him ....and a source of stress for me. It amuses me now how I worried. Through teaching himself to read he has opened up a world of knowledge that has no end. And he has always felt relaxed about asking people questions (and they generally love to answer). There are NO limits to what one can learn. I am learning something new every day. Indeed ....home-education could feel like a big responsibility....but that feeling arrived for me the moment I knew I was pregnant.

    Education is not just about learning to earn a living...it is learning how to live ~ Sai Baba (I may be misquoting somewhat)
    "You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation" ~ Plato

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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I havent been on this forum for a while i got really busy and i just seen your post...my son is nearly 2 and i really wanna home-educate, i've met up with another girl in my area who has 4 kids and home eds them. I want to do it but am just really nervous about the flak i will get off relatives and friends - also although theoretically husband thinks home ed is a positive thing - i think when it comes to the crunch it would take a lot for him to agree to home ed because he is very traditional (not sure how else to describe it!!) and well basically it would be a HUGE thing for him to agree to.

    So basically the main thing that puts me off is the pressure i will get from others and the only worry i have about homeschooling itself is that my son might get a bit isolated from kids his own age cos i dont have a lot of friends with kids at all and there are very few kids in our neighbourhood too...so i am a hopeful home educator - we've got a few more years to hopefullywork through our fears or whatever!!

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    Va'amish Heartsease's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Quote Chocs4me View Post
    So basically the main thing that puts me off is the pressure i will get from others and the only worry i have about homeschooling itself is that my son might get a bit isolated from kids his own age cos i dont have a lot of friends with kids at all and there are very few kids in our neighbourhood too...so i am a hopeful home educator - we've got a few more years to hopefullywork through our fears or whatever!!
    I wuz wunce a 'hopeful home-educator' too.
    (Please note that my spelling 'mistakes' are intentional! )

    The irony is that isolation is actually very common in schools. I would'nt worry about that...but it is nyce that you are concerned. I found the most helpful thing for me wuz meeting other home-educators and also in getting support from the home-ed organisation EDUCATION OTHERWISE (lots of 'hopefuls' join as they make their decision/transition). You can read about all the more positive and uplifting stuff...the people saying " I wish we'd done it sooner!" ....as well as legal and practical advise.

    My son chooses which people he wunts to spend thyme with according to how he gets on with them....neither of us feel that their age is important....one of his his best friends is in his fifties.

    Hugs x
    "You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation" ~ Plato

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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I totally know what your saying about isolation in schools - that was exactly my experience and much more - it was just like a living hell for me - like having to go to a torture chamber everyday for years and years on end - but at the same time i realise that that is not eveyones experience and that many people actually enjoy school (my sister loved it) although i could never ever in a million years imagine why anyone could like school no matter how much someone tries to explain to me why they liked it!! Thats why when people go on about socialisation being a function of school it makes me wanna puke because it actually just made me extremely shy inhibated extremely socially awkward and totally undermined my confidence - after leavin for university at 18 i underwent a complete transformation - i became the real me rather than the one that had been forced to stay inside her very strictly confined egg shell for all those years -total waste of the first years of my life - school days are definately not the best days!!

    Anyway, after that diatribe...Initially my lean towards home ed, when i realised there was such a possibility, was because of my own negative experiences but now i've done a lot of reading up on it - my reasons are also very much because of the positives of home ed rather than just the negatives of school.

    I was looking at hesfes on the internet - it might be too late to book this year i suppose but i thought that might be fun to meet lots of people who also HE but also a little daunting as i can be shy when i first meet people! I might look at joining education otherwise - i was made up to meet up with the girl i mentioned who lives not too far - she's lovely and her kids are ace we've been up to see them quite a few times now which is brill!!

    Anyway, was really pleased to see your post, i was suprised more people on here werent of the home ed inclination actually but then i dont think a great percentage of people on here are parents - but i may be completely wrong!!!!

  29. #29
    Sluggie's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I have two children, a 15 year old boy whom I home educate, and a 13 year old girl who attends a special needs school (she is autistic).

    My son was desperately unhappy at school. He was bullied, socially isolated and by the age of 11 was getting into fights everyday. I pulled him out of school after exhausting all the options school and educational 'experts' had tried.

    I was expecting opposition from everyone when I first mentioned the idea, but received support all round - from the school itself, my parents, my ex, my son's psychologist, and most importantly, from my son himself.

    We haven't looked back since. His behaviour and general mood improved immediately and has continued to do so ever since. His social and language skills also improved out of sight within the first six months out of school. Until then, I hadn't realised how little time we spent together in conversation at home, and I don't think he had much at school either. His social interaction with his peer group was mostly limited to fighting!

    We meet up with our local home ed group several times a week - for swimming, ice skating, trampolining, occasional trips to museums, etc. We also meet one morning a week for GCSE study groups in English and maths. There are quite a few other things going on as well, but we have to leave some time for more formal study. We are very fortunate in having grandparents living locally who are keen to help. My Dad teaches my son history and geography and my Mum teaches him maths. I do ICT and English with him. Science is on hold at the moment, as I don't want to stress him out with too much study. He has no talent for (or interest in) foreign languages, so we haven't bothered.

    I am planning on putting him in for 4 or 5 GCSEs: 3 next June and 2 the following November, though we are flexible about this. You only need 4 GCSEs to do A Levels, and as he doesn't yet know what he wants to do, I'm not pressurising him to do more. If he decides he needs more, we can do them later. Leaving it for another year is cheaper too. After 16 you can sit exams for free at local colleges, but before that age you have to pay for them, which can be expensive. They often cost more than £100 per subject!

    Hm, I'm beginning to ramble now, but there's one other point I'd like to make. People have expressed a lack of confidence in their own ability to teach, or worry that parents may not be qualified enough, but studies have shown that although home educated children tend to do better educationally and socially than their school-going peers, the social group where that advantage is most pronounced is in those from the lowest socio-economic backgrounds. It seems that one-to-one attention even from an unqualified and poorly-educated teacher can still be better for the child's progress than to be in a large class taught by a professional.

    Sam

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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I have found reading this topic really interesting as I have never really thought about home schooling before. I have never heard of any home schooling in Australia. That leads me to assume that it is not possible here. I think that you guys are blessed to have freedom of choice. I don't know what I would think if I had kids and the choices.
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Actually home-schooling has been well established for a long time in Australia, partly because of children living on isolated sheep farms. Check out this website if you are interested:

    http://www.home-ed.vic.edu.au/

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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I have a friend who grew up in very isolated New South Wales who was educated in "School of The Air" where they had class over the two way radio. I thought that was different to homeschooling but maybe that is a form of it. It was completely structured though. To be perfectly honest I thought it was not 'legal' here to completely take your child out of the education system before the 'drop out' age. This is an eye-opener.
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I think I'm right in saying that there are few places where you can't 'un-school' - but I know Germany is one of them . I think it's the familys right to make that choice .

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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Hi Sluggie,
    I found your post so interesting and positive. Your whole family must be so much happier as a result of this change you have been able to make.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    For sure, home life is much easier now, without the stress and unhappiness that my son was bringing home with him. He still has his moments, but he's fifteen, so there's probably nothing unusual about that!

    Cobweb, I think you're right. Germany is the only country I know of where home ed is actually illegal, though the laws vary a great deal around the World. In Britain we have a great deal of freedom. The law only states that parents must ensure their children receive a "full time education suitable to their age, aptitude and ability, with regard to any special educational needs they may have, either by attendance at school or otherwise". There is no legal definition of "full time" which makes that part a little difficult to enforce.

  36. #36
    vegan pizza! thecatspajamas1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I have been thinking a lot today about homeschooling and how I really think it is something I would like to do when I have children. Mostly because I cannot stand the public school system here in the U.S. I saw right through it even when I was a little kid going to school. My mom would let me stay home when I felt like it, because I was the smartest in the class anyway and could just easily make up whatever busy-work was missed that day and never was behind.
    I was reading some things last night about how the public school systems don't have enough money so companies will sponsor the schools and give them money, and in return the kids all have to sit and watch advertisements for their product IN SCHOOL! And they can't read or look away- they have to watch it. Is this true??? If so, then I am definitely homeschooling, no doubt about it. Also, I know that the dairy industries give schools money and so kids have to get all these pro-dairy pamphlets in "health class" and there are milk promotion posters in all public schools (haven't you seen them?). The USDA subsidizes school lunches, so every lunch comes with a milk. I mean, if my kid went to public school I would just send her with a healthy lunch, but with all that meat and dairy propaganda being forced, I would get so mad!
    It would also be easier for the child- and parent- to be homeschooled because thing of all the obnoxious nonvegan situations: snacktime, class parties, nonvegan school trips, like to the zoo, etc. I remember being in school and every year we went on a class trip to McDonald's! I bet the kid would get so stressed out having to be "different" just because the school makes unhealthy choices and doesn't care about including the vegan children. Plus, it would be so much easier as a parent to not have to deal with that. Like, bringing in a vegan version of whatever some other kid's parent is bringing in, so that my kid can eat too. I would so much rather homeschool my kids and let them have tons of trips and playdates with other families I know and trust, and I can make my child healthy meals everyday and not worry about what's getting forced on them in the public schools!

    wow, that was a long post. i am very passionate about this!
    I eat nutritional yeast by the spoonful.

  37. #37
    vegan pizza! thecatspajamas1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I found this online... I think it's ridiculous!

    Some examples of commerical advertising in schools:


    • Book covers: free book covers with ads, such as Frosted Flakes and Lays Potato Chips, are distributed to students. In 1998 over half of American students, 25 million, received book covers (Consumer Reports, 1998).
    • "Educational posters" in hallways advertise candy such as Skittles, 3 Musketeers and Starburst (Education Digest, 2000).
    • School lunch menus. Brand name foods are served, advertised and promoted in school cafeterias (Education Digest, 2000).
    • Reward coupons: McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza provide coupons for pop, french fries, burgers or pizza as a reward in reading programs (Education Digest, 2000).
    • School buses: Some districts have sold ad space on the sides and even the tops of school buses (Time Magazine, 1999).
    • Teaching materials: industry teaching units, videos, and contests may incorporate products, brands or corporate viewpoints (Consumer Reports, 1998).
    • Channel One: Viewed daily in 12,000 middle schools and high schools by about 8 million teenagers, students are required to watch a 12 minute program: 10 minutes of info-news and 2 minutes of commercials (The Center for Commercial-Free Public Education).
    • Commercial search engines, web sites and student newspapers (United States General Accounting Office, 2000).
    • School Web sites supported by businesses that include direct advertising aimed at students and parents (The Christian Science Monitor, 2001).
    • Athletic fields, scoreboards, gyms, libraries, playgrounds, classrooms: Corporate donors are recognized for their donations by placing their names or logos in prominent locations (New York Times, 2000).
    • School events paid for or sponsored by corporations, i.e. Homecoming sponsored by Dr. Pepper (Time Magazine, 1999).
    • Soft drink machines: schools are bargaining for exclusive contracts with soft drink suppliers like Coke and Pepsi (Manning, 1999).
    • Fundraising: school groups receive a percentage of sales of branded products (United States General Accounting Office, 2000).
    • Student organizers and other products sold in schools to students. The school receives a small percentage for items sold in return for advertising (United States General Accounting Office, 2000).
    I eat nutritional yeast by the spoonful.

  38. #38
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    don't know if this would be useful to anyone;

    go to the books section on amazon and type in 'the homeschooling handbook'.

  39. #39
    Not Giving Up Pisces's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Quote cobweb View Post
    I think I'm right in saying that there are few places where you can't 'un-school' - but I know Germany is one of them . I think it's the familys right to make that choice .
    Sadly Switzerland is one of those countries too. Germany does have alternative schools such as Montessori schools though.



  40. #40
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I haven't read this entire thread but just wanted to say that we homeschool our 9 year old son and love it!

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Hi Vegmom.

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Quote Vegmom View Post
    I haven't read this entire thread but just wanted to say that we homeschool our 9 year old son and love it!
    Hi Vegmom! It was me who started this thread. Nice to meet you.
    "You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation" ~ Plato

  43. #43
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Hi Everyone,
    We have been happily home educating for nearly 5 years, and it has been a wonderful experience for all the family, we wouldn't change it for the world. From what I've read here it reminds me of veganism in that it's very little understood, especially by those who are not doing it!
    I wanted to tell you about a vegan gathering in Berwick-on-Tweed on 16th-18th May at Haggerston Castle caravan park. There are lots of home educating families going, and it's going to be a great weekend. So far, about 12 caravans have been booked up. We have 4 more caravans left at £150 each, they are big luxury 3 bedroomed caravans which you can share with friends if you want to economise. After that, the price will go up, as it costs more the nearer you get to the date. It is a non-profit event run by volunteers. You can even take just a room if you are on a low budget, if you don't mind sharing.
    The focus will be on enjoying the facilities, eating good food, being on holiday, and socialising. There is loads for the kids to do, including swimming, kids clubs etc.
    If you want the information and booking form, or if you have any queries, just email me, fj.flanagan@btinternet.com.

  44. #44
    Making changes Est's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    I attended school until age 12. I absolutely hated it - I found it a very artificial environment and, despite being a sociable and smart person (or perhaps because of the smart!) I was on the receiving end of a lot of bullying.

    At age 12 my parents sat down with me and my two brothers (respectively one and two years younger than me), and asked what we would prefer to do: continue in school-based education, or be taught at home by my mum.

    We unanimously chose home education!

    We had some advantages in that my mum had been a high school teacher in the past (languages). She also worked as a school book salesperson with Heinemann, and had been able to buy many official textbooks at heavily discounted prices. From meeting other successful home-schooling families, these things are not essential, and were simply a useful support for *our* chosen style of home education.

    Our education was a broad mix of activities. There were some sit-down lessons round the dining room table. Other times we would work separately on our shiny new ZX Spectrum learning programming and so on. We met with other families from the Education Otherwise network and went on walks and events. One of my brothers joined me in woodturning classes with our retired next-door neighbour. I did a GCSE art class on evenings at a local college, along with metal jewellery making. My youngest brother did an astonomy GCSE evening class with my mum.

    Our lives were filled with variety, interest and the most enormous range of people - different genders, ages, backgrounds, interests, socio-economic situations and so on. My confidence increased dramatically, as did my communication skills and empathy.

    For exams, which we all wanted to take, we registered as external candidates with the exam boards and attended local schools for the period of the exam. I gained 11 GCSEs, all at grades A-C, and I believe one of my brothers ended up with 15 (not all in the same year, I hasten to add!) We all gained maths, English, a minimum of one science-based subject and a minimum of one other language, plus other topics of our choosing.

    We all went on to college for A-Levels and then to university - I did both of these a year early as, both academically and socially, I was more than ready for this.

    Home education can work fantastically well, and ultimately it will be what the parent/child choose to make it. Our version of home education is one of many different approaches - some people choose a totally informal, organic approach; others recreate a mini school by themselves or with other families; some attend internet classes... There are so many choices and options out there.

    In my opinion, nobody should feel home education is out of their reach if it's something they would like to explore. We all have capabilities that we will never be aware of until they are tested!

    Great thread btw heartsease - thanks for starting it

  45. #45
    Sluggie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    That sounds like fun Angel. It's the middle of exam time for us though.

    Est, that's really encouraging. My son is sitting 4 GCSEs this year. He doesn't fancy college, so we may leave at that unless he decides he needs more qualifications in the future.

    He just did a lifeguard course this week, and passed the exam on Friday (thankfully! - I couldn't have afforded for him to do a resit!)

    Once he has his GCSEs, he will try to find a job as a lifeguard while he continues to train in the sports he needs to become a stuntman. He is currently doing gymnastics, trampolining, swimming, and tae kwondo, and will also need to start fencing and competitive driving. He also needs to do 60 days in front of a camera to qualify for the stunt register, so we'll be trying to fit in the odd day here and there working as extras.

    One of the great things about home ed is that it allows you to play to your strengths and spend time pursuing the activities that you are most suited to. If my son had been at school, it would have been very hard to find enough time for all these sports with the amount of homework he would have had.

  46. #46
    Making changes Est's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Wow, that's fantastic about the lifeguarding Sluggie - please pass on my congratulations to him!

    Stuntman sounds like an awesome career choice and far more interesting than leadership and management training (what I ended up in)!

    Interestingly, given what you say about playing to one's strengths, this is one of the next Big Things in leadership training too. Marcus Buckingham in particular has done some inspirational stuff around "signature strengths" which made a whole lot of sense when I stopped to think about it.

    He talks about it a little on this page if it's something anyone is interested in

  47. #47
    pat sommer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    ...never thought I'd consider HE. I was so happy to pack my little one off and have a little time. But we are not coming back to the UK soon and she is on the home-stretch of Montessori Kindergarten; The British School when added up is $22,200/£11,350 annually.

    Suddenly, mommy-can-read-with-you is a possibility. I know I can do it but I will need anti-depressants.

    Seriously, can you find time for everything else?
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  48. #48
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Thanks Est.

    Pat, it depends on the child to some extent. Some children are self-motivated and need only a little guidance. Others need constant attention. At the age yours is, you shouldn't need to spend much time on formal education. Playing, talking and reading together will probably be more valuable.

    It's good to have some time apart from each other on a regular basis though. Babysitters do wonders to keep the anti-depressants at bay!

  49. #49
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Thanks Sluggie

    I have 'til summer to consider and draw up a plan. My little one does enjoy constant interaction which is lovely and draining. If I can come up with a support network..... possibilities.
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  50. #50
    Angel of the North's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any other home-educating families out there?

    Quote Sluggie View Post
    That sounds like fun Angel. It's the middle of exam time for us though.
    Hi Sluggie, sorry about the bad timing, I think a few other people will be doing exams around that time as well. I'm hoping someone else will do another similar gathering next year, as I won't have time to do any more for a while, and maybe June would be better once the exams have finished. We needed to choose a time when the prices were low as well to keep it affordable, as the prices on these caravan parks can get quite high during certain peak times.

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