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My daughter is going to 'Unschool' her DD

(102 Posts)
Fishandchips Tue 03-Feb-15 18:33:55

Hi - this is my first ever message on this site (if there's a 'new members introduction' section to say 'hello' I'm afraid I didn't spot it).

I just want to let off steam to say how sad and upset I am about my daughter's plan to 'unschool' (her version of home schooling) my little granddaughter, about to turn four years of age. She isn't going to register her for school at all.

My DD is a single parent - with no monetary support from her ex - and has embraced the hippy lifestyle. She has walked away from her career and thinks it is her right to live on benefits. My spouse, myself and extended family members are appalled.

My granddaughter is delightful and recently when she was visiting she saw our neighbour's kids getting onto the school bus. I asked her if she would like to go to school. She replied that she will not be going to school 'because I will be bullied because I am small' - she is tiny for her age and my DD has clearly told her about bullying. sad

As far as my daughter is concerned she is adamant that she doesn't want her daughter to be 'indoctrinated' by 'The System'. My GD has never been put into any kind of routine and in regards to bedtime, she is usually still up after 10pm-11pm and sleeps with her mum.

I googled 'Unschooling' and there was a Daily Mail article (9th Dec 2013) on a family in Scotland where the children don't go to school and 'teach themselves with computer games and life experiences'. This sounds exactly what my daughter plans to do. She told me that in the Steiner - Waldorf schools, children aren't taught to read until they are seven, so she will do this too.

I despair, I really do. I truly believe that my DD is being unreasonable in denying my GD a decent education angrysad

Mishap Tue 03-Feb-15 18:42:33

Don't despair - there is more than one way of getting an education and there is a lot of evidence that small children don't need to be getting into reading as early as we do in this country.

Once the child is 5 your DD will have to register the fact that she is going to home school her (which is what this amounts to) and she will be monitored.

It is unfortunate that she has set up a negative expectation about bullying if she goes to school, but that cannot be undone now.

The school of which I am a governor does allow for children to be part educated in school and part home schooled, so there may be other options as time goes by.

Your DD has her own views on life and it is hard to stand back I know but getting too heavy about it at this stage might lead to a rift that might inhibit you staying in there to provide other valuable influences.

I would not worry about the lack of routine as long as the child is happy - I have seen lots of children brought up in different ways and it all comes out in the wash - certainly don't worry about the bedtime and sleeping with Mum. Once upon a time we all slept with our Mums.

The school environment can be great for some children and a real trial for others - it should not be seen as the only way forward. Successive governments' interference has been detrimental to schools.

MrsPickle Tue 03-Feb-15 18:45:23

I would despair too, F&C.
Life is hard enough, but to wrap them up in cotton wool will be like holding a polybag full of air under will pop up somewhere, totally unprepared for real life.

Having said that, I have known some very successful home schooled children, who have benefitted from a wide range of experiences, mainly from secondary age onward. One has gone on to gain multiple degrees at Oxbridge and is now a lecturer. A well rounded young man indeed.

However, I do believe (and we are all different) that children benefit from structured routines, being set parameters within which to conform and learning friendships and sharing.

I have no solution to your dilemma, but know I'd feel the same, given the same circumstance's.

Leticia Tue 03-Feb-15 18:50:34

I would be upset too. The very term 'unschooled' irritates me because you can't possibly unschool someone who has never been!
I think that she will find that she can't do it on benefits- she will be expected to work. I would just bide your time - there is nothing you can do at the moment.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 03-Feb-15 18:53:12

I think you can be comforted by the fact that the local authority will keep a close on her. T hey will make sure her education progresses satisfactorily. It isn't only schools that get inspected. She is still very young. I wouldn't worry just yet.

granjura Tue 03-Feb-15 18:54:28

Could the 2 threads be united please our dear moderators- thanks.

Leticia Tue 03-Feb-15 18:55:51

Unfortunately, and surprisingly to me, this is not the case jinglebellsfrocks. She can refuse any visits! The LA can only insist if there are real causes for concern.

Ana Tue 03-Feb-15 18:59:04

But I thought it was the law that children have to receive an education, whether at home or at school. How can a parent refuse visits to show that the law is being adhered to? confused

Leticia Tue 03-Feb-15 19:03:56

A good question but they can.

Mishap Tue 03-Feb-15 19:07:27

I am not sure that is right. I know people who home school and they submit their plans to the LA. I would not say that the inspection process is faultless, but it is definitely there.

Leticia Tue 03-Feb-15 19:14:10

I am a long time reader of Mumsnet and I can assure you that they can refuse visits. I know people who homeschool and they always have visits and co operate, but they know others who won't even answer the door. They don't have to co operate.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 03-Feb-15 19:17:58

Leticia is right It seems very un-regulated. Amazingly so.

Leticia Tue 03-Feb-15 19:19:28

It is all explained here
They are monitored more if withdrawn from school. The LEA won't even know about OP's grandchild- it is much easier for them to slip through the net.

Leticia Tue 03-Feb-15 19:22:49

Long time reading of Mumsnet and the fanatical types told me so. They stand upon their rights- and their right is not to have any supervision from LEA. I disagree entirely. I think the LEA should give this mother a few months and be in there- but they can only do that if invited or do done has real cause for concern for the child's welfare.

Leticia Tue 03-Feb-15 19:24:38

Sorry - invited or someone raises concerns for the child's welfare. A rather hippy type mother would not be a cause.

merlotgran Tue 03-Feb-15 19:25:40

I think this is a wind-up.

There are five threads on this now. hmm

Leticia Tue 03-Feb-15 19:26:08

I would have thought the best bet was not having benefits paid. As a tax payer I don't want to finance it!

granjura Tue 03-Feb-15 19:26:51

Ah well- much cheaper for the State, not to have any responsibility for a child's education and welfare. I shall be blunt- but I'll call it child abuse and neglect. Every child is entitled to have a good quality education.

Leticia Tue 03-Feb-15 19:27:29

I don't know why there are so many threads but I can't see it as a wind up- lots home educate against grandparent's wishes.

Mishap Tue 03-Feb-15 19:33:40

If they don't co-operate then the LA can take them to court.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 03-Feb-15 19:39:40

Five threads! confused grin

soontobe Tue 03-Feb-15 19:52:46

Are there different rules for LEA supervision depending on where in the UK home schooling takes place?

soontobe Tue 03-Feb-15 19:53:18

Thinking about it, I havent clicked on the links, so my question may be covered there.

rockgran Tue 03-Feb-15 20:02:58

School Attendance Orders
"If it appears to the local authority that a child of compulsory school age is not receiving a suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise, then they must begin procedures for issuing a School Attendance Order5. The order will require the child’s parents to register their child at a named school. If they fail to comply with the order the parent can be prosecuted." Seems clear enough to me! I suppose it depends on how the LEA view it.

durhamjen Tue 03-Feb-15 20:22:22

I am a grandmother, and I home school my grandson three days a week; his mother teaches him the other two.
Not all home schooling is against the grandparents' wishes.

When you decide to take your child out of school, you have to send a plan to the education authority. His mother had to send a couple of ideas for lesson plans. We have not had a visit yet from the authority.
He is autistic, and was statemented. The authority no longer pays anything towards his education. I pay a lot.

I keep a diary of what we do every day, but nobody has asked to look at it yet.