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Home Schooling

(41 Posts)
Notso Mon 20-Jan-14 16:58:27

I'm hoping to pick the brains of the Gransnet Teachers Posse and anyone with experience of Home Schooling

My 7.8 year old grandson has been assessed as dyslexic. Across all of the testing spectrums he scored highly on only 2 aspects and had low scores for the remainder, so it seems like quite significant dyslexia.

It's only Day 1 of knowing this so my daughter is exploring all of the steps that can be taken for additional support etc etc.

One of the things she is considering is Home Schooling. There's endless information online about this but I'm trying to track down information about the day to day realities of Home Schooling.

Do you have to provide a whole 9-3 school day? Do the Education authority provide teaching resources? Can parents who educate at home access SEN input? To what extent is the home schooling provision monitored and assessed by the Education Dept?

I believe there's a flexi scheme where a child can spend part of the week at school and part at home being educated by the parent. I wonder how on earth this works and what it does to the school stats?

Any thoughts or information would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

durhamjen Mon 20-Jan-14 17:04:03

Education Otherwise is the site that gives you all the information you ask.
Education is compulsory, school is not.

Notso Mon 20-Jan-14 17:10:52

Thank you jen, I've just had a quick look at that site and I'm sure it will be very helpful.

Roderick Mon 20-Jan-14 17:10:56

Hello,My son and daughter in law taught their 2 children at home and they used Education Otherwise

Notso Mon 20-Jan-14 17:13:01

Thank you Roderick....did either your son or daughter in law have a teaching background?

grannyactivist Mon 20-Jan-14 17:58:46

My youngest son was partly home schooled. He did 2 days a week at school and the other three days at home (or it might have been the other way round confused ).
We didn't have a rigid timetable and that meant he sometimes worked for much longer/shorter hours than on school days, depending upon what he was learning and how engrossed (or otherwise) he was in the subject. He developed excellent study skills and went on to get Triple Distinction* at BTEC and won an Academic Bursary to go on to study for an Engineering Degree at university. He's in his first year and his grade average is almost 90%.
Do the Education authority provide teaching resources? No.
Can parents who educate at home access SEN input? No.
To what extent is the home schooling provision monitored and assessed by the Education Dept? It isn't, by and large.
^ Local authorities have no statutory duties in relation to monitoring the quality of home education on a routine basis. However, under Section 437(1) of the Education Act 1996, local authorities shall intervene if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education. This section states that:
"If it appears to a local education authority that a child of compulsory school age in their area is not receiving suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise, they shall serve a notice in writing on the parent requiring him to satisfy them within the period specified in the notice that the child is receiving such education." Section 437(2) of the Act provides that the period shall not be less than 15 days beginning with the day on which the notice is served.^
Hope this is helpful. On a personal note I think you need to be really committed to get the best out of home education and it can be very intense, but it was worth the effort in my case. smile

Notso Mon 20-Jan-14 18:19:46

Thank you ga, it's really helpful to hear from someone who has actually carried out home schooling, particularly the 'personal' comments. The part school, part home element is interesting.

How lovely to hear of your son's achievements. It's always rewarding to learn that your child is making great progress, doubly so for yourself, having played such an active part in his education smile

Ana Mon 20-Jan-14 18:31:12

Your post is very interesting, ga. I'm curious as to why your son was only partially schooled at home (although of course you don't have to go into details if you'd rather not).

I'd have thought that he would get the worst of both worlds, in that he would obviously miss some school lessons which you would have to cover (and know about in advance), and he'd only have part-time school friends, and so miss out on the social development aspect.

I'm very glad it worked well for you all, though!

Notso Mon 20-Jan-14 18:54:13

I suppose I'd look at it the other way around Ana...part school and part home educated could offer the best of both worlds.

I couldn't have contemplated any degree of home schooling when my children were younger. I would have been overwhelmed with the responsibility....too scary, and I admire anyone who takes it on.

The shared responsibility for educating provides for flexibility and if the school are fully on board, it could be very enriching. So many different ways of looking at it, and very challenging to come up with the right solution for your child.

I'm just grateful that I'm only gathering information and I don't have to make the decisions about this!

Ana Mon 20-Jan-14 19:14:46

Oh yes, Notso, I know it must have been the right decision in ga's case, I was just wondering how the part-time aspect worked. I suppose I'm thinking back to my own school days - friendships foundered if someone was deemed to be 'different' in whatever way!

Penstemmon Mon 20-Jan-14 19:21:15

Part of my DH job is to visit Home Educated children to make sure that they are being educated. Basically he checks that the child/ren are doing some learning appropriate to their age range. He talks to parents, child/ren and looks at the work they have been doing. If he assesses ( not in any formal way..just through what he observes at the visit) they are making reasonable progress and their education is not being ignored it is OK!

I have had home educated children join schools where I have worked..some have been totally fine in settling into a school environment and others found the interaction in a group of up to 30 very hard. If your DD goes down this route I suggest there is a lot of joining of clubs: e.g. cubs or similar, sports teams and so on so your DGS does not miss out on developing/learning more skills of social interaction and team work and does not become too isolated and cut off from social circles. If of course there is a substantial group of HE kids locally that will fill the school friend gap! Though remember like schools HE kids/families are a very mixed bunch and will be motivated by many different reasons to HE.

Most schools do understand how to support children with a specific reading disorder but it is important your DD has confidence in the school to do this. Once parents feel a school is not doing a good job it almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as the child/ren hav a second sense with things like that!

Notso Mon 20-Jan-14 20:00:05

It's a minefield isn't it Ana?

It's helpful to know about the monitoring aspects Penstemmon and your comments about the social interaction issues are very relevant. DGS already has involvement with sports etc outside of school and if home-schooled, I'm sure this would increase.

Your last paragraph gives food for's all about having confidence in the system to do the right true. It's early days yet in the process of finding out what help will be available should DGS remain at school. DD is currently casting the net far and wide to gather as much information as possible in order that the right decisions can be made.

Everyone's comments are really helpful additions to that pool of information...thank you smile

Penstemmon Mon 20-Jan-14 20:35:34

I have to say most of the schools I know/work with do manage the needs of dyslexic children well. To be honest, whilst there are some specific strategies that help dyslexic children, e.g not using black print on white paper, breaking writing activities into small chunks etc most of the things that support a diagnosed dyslexic child can help any child struggling with reading and writing and this is a teacher's bread and butter. things have moved on a long way since our kids were in school.
Is this a private assessment your GS has had or is it via school? I ask only because I do know of some assessment centres that also provide specialist lessons. These centres are not, as far as I am aware, monitored or regulated so there are one or two 'con' artists out there. Most are perfectly reputable but hope your DD did good research before assessment.

Notso Mon 20-Jan-14 21:03:56

It was a private assessment Penstemmon, fully researched, long established etc. DD even checked that their methods/qualifications/diagnosis etc would be accepted as valid by the Education Dept.

Your comments about schools managing this are very encouraging. I'm sure that once DD starts to explore the options with the school, she'll have more confidence about the way forward. Thank you.

Penstemmon Tue 21-Jan-14 15:27:25

Good luck, it is worrying for parents when children struggle with basic skills.

A good Inclusion Manager or Special Educational Needs Leader in a school should be able to demonstrate easily how the school can support your DGS's reading and writing needs so he can make some good progress.
Was the school worried about his progress?

durhamjen Sat 01-Feb-14 15:20:25

Wow, my son has just been round to ask me if I will help in homeschooling my grandson.
He has a statement for ASD, but gets on well with people, grown-ups in particular. However, I have known that he is always upset on his way to school. He has tears in his eyes, and is always saying, "Don't worry, I'll be alright, Daddy/ Mummy/ Granny," all the way down to school.
Annyway, his dad asked him about playtime, and he hates them. He is always on his own, nobody talks to him. Even in his class only one of the other boys talks to him regularly. He goes to a club every lunchtime so he does not have to wander round on his own.
I have always maintained that as a family we can teach him everything he needs to know. The point of going to school is the social side of education. If that's what's upsetting him, the idea of him going through that every day for another six or seven years is quite upsetting.
So I said yes.
His mother works as a teaching assistant for two and a half days a week, so she can be at home the rest of the time.
His dad is an FA coach and runs a team that he plays in. They both go running, and swimming, so that's PE and the social side sorted.
He plays on Xbox with kids he was friends with in primary school, but never sees in school now.
We have a friend who teaches the piano, and my other son is a head of music. His wife is Spanish and teaches languages. I think we have as many bases covered as we need to.
I used to teach special needs myself.
This is going to be interesting.

Nonnie Sat 01-Feb-14 15:39:36

My niece home schooled her four and she has no qualifications. One is now doing a PhD after coming top of her graduating year. The second one is in her first year of med school. The other two are still at home and one of them has special needs. It has worked very well for them. I know they are part of a biggervgroup who poll resources.

Please PM me if you have any questions you would like me to ask her..

durhamjen Sat 01-Feb-14 15:49:31

Thanks, Nonnie.
His mother will be coming round on Monday to discuss it, as we do not want to say anything yet in front of him until we've sorted out the practicalities. Fortunately his six year old sister loves school and would be devastated if the same idea was put to her.

Aka Sun 02-Feb-14 10:01:27

Good luck Jen

It does sound as if your GS is a perfect candidate for home schooling and you seem to have every base covered. My eldest GS was very much like this and I suggested home schooling but my daughter wouldn't consider it.

Mishap Sun 02-Feb-14 16:58:40

Good luck with this eminently sensible venture. If I had had sufficient patience I would have done the same for mine. It works very well for the right children.

I have always felt that when it comes to education, one size does not fit all. That was why mine went to different schools and why the transport in this rural area for them was a logistical nightmare!

durhamjen Sun 02-Feb-14 23:56:42

Aka, my son has said this before. We thought my grandson would be able to cope but the thought of him going through the rest of his school career not wanting to go but having tears in his eyes as he bravely goes through the gate every day is too much to contemplate.
The strange thing is my grandson had a sleepover last night, and after taking over my computer for much of the time, we spent a couple of hours doing maths games today, which he enjoyed.
When he left, he told me not to worry as he would be alright at school tomorrow, blinking back tears again. Extra hug.

gillybob Mon 03-Feb-14 07:51:20

I was very sad to read that your DGS is wandering around the playground on his own durhamjen. As you are aware I do not often have a good word to say for the school my DGC attend but this is one area in which I have to say they do excel. Both of my DGD's take parts in a school "scheme" called the "Buddies" . The eldest (7) was asked if she would take part and the younger one (6) volunteered. Basically it means a child volunteers to "give up" 2 or 3 play times/lunchtimes to spend his or her time with a lonely, challenged or less able child. They both thoroughly enjoy this. They do lots of things they wouldn't normally and the eldest is always coming out with "facts" that she has picked up from one of her (very clever) buddies ! smile

gillybob Mon 03-Feb-14 07:52:44

Meant to add I think it is hugely important that children do have some company of other children. They cannot be with adults 24/7 .

Iam64 Mon 03-Feb-14 08:22:01

Serendipity to have the OP followed so quickly by jendruham's post. Jen, I do sympathise. Our grandson found school difficult, and like yours, was 'brave' is the word that springs to mind. High high school gave him a role in the library, so he escaped there every lunch time in order to avoid the nightmare that the playground was for him.
Notso, good luck with whatever your family decide is best for your grandchild.

Aka Mon 03-Feb-14 08:47:00

We actually solved this problem by moving GS1 to a school where there are small classes (max 16) and where each child is valued and treated as an individual. In the 4 terms he's been there he's morphed into a confident, happy child.