Homeschooling for normal kids - Right or wrong

Is home schooling a good or bad option for 'normal' kids.

  • its Bad, get back to mainstream you skivers

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Great, homeschooling really brings out the best in kids

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
Afternoon all,

Here's a poll question: Is home schooling a good or bad option for 'normal' kids.

Obviously, to define normal I mean, my kids and I have no religious creationism vs evolutionism issues. I just think schooling unless you are at a grammar or one of the lucky decent schools (or paying for a decent one) to be crap. In addition, there is so little value placed on GCSE and A Levels (I got two F's when A levels actually meant something!) that I can't help but feel that a decent home curriculum cannot help but be better.

Has anyone any experience or thoughts on the subject?

To define my thoughts in context, I should add that I got sod all from school but seemed to have done OK and I don't see much that I learned at school of any use now though I recognise that some of it was 'character forming' is some way or another.
I don't think children would miss out educationally (as long as it's done right) in being schooled from home.

I have serious reservations about what sort of effect it would have on their social skills though. I've met a couple of really strange kids who were home schooled. They talked just like their parents, couldn't communicate with kids their own age at all and had no interest in going outside and getting mucky with other children.

My kids love going to school because they're with their peers constantly and after the first week of the school holidays they want to get back! Mind you, that could be my crap parenting!
There is no normal for children. It is like living with a bunch of drunk midgets most of the time.

Bear in mind that if you undertake to home-school your children, you are issuing an open invitation to the "authorities" to pay extreme close attention to them and get right inside your home.
I home schooled my last child for two years before he left high school. He was bored to tears at school and was getting no-where. He enjoyed home schooling and is better read than a lot of his peers. We had to register with the education department as he had already been in the school system and give them an idea of what we were going to cover work wise. Once I got the rubber stamp then we heard nothing else from them. If you don't ever register a child for school then certainly here in Scotland you don't have to tell anyone about your home schooling.

One thing I would say is to make sure you register to have the exams at a local school and do it in plenty of time as we didn't and he missed out in that respect although we covered the curriculum - we used online resources and past paper books to make sure we were covering the right areas.

Definitely a bad option. If inclusive education has taught us one thing, it's that home-schooled pupils miss out on the balloons and icecream handed out to the class so they don't feel left out when the mong gets them. Think of the money you'll save!

Seriously, though, kids need to knock around with their peers to develop their social skills and the healthy fear of being filled in that underpins good manners and a sense of community.
northern_sange said:
I have serious reservations about what sort of effect it would have on their social skills though.


My kids love going to school because they're with their peers constantly and after the first week of the school holidays they want to get back!
I so enjoyed the social aspects of my school days (not that I did much school work!) I learned about all sorts of things - girls, working for a wage, sport, drinking, the list goes on. How does a home educated child get all of this? Even if s/he has friends in the local area, s/he will miss out on the common, shared experiences that are the social "glue" of peer groups.

In addition, how do you ensure that your teaching is relevant to modern curriculums and exams? For all that they are sh1te nowadays, try going to a potential employer and saying "no I don't have the relevant qualifications, but don't worry 'cos my parents taught me all I need to know!"

Which also raises the question of preconceptions. No matter how good your teaching, how will it look on their CV? If they don't even get to interview, then it doesn't matter how brilliant they are.
Cuddles said:
Bear in mind that if you undertake to home-school your children, you are issuing an open invitation to the "authorities" to pay extreme close attention to them and get right inside your home.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the legality of home education. It is much simpler for parents if their child has never been enrolled in a school as opposed to withdrawing them from a school. Even schools & local authorities seem to think that regular checks or tests are needed but that is not true, see below & link.

All quotes from:

"Local Authorities have no automatic right of access to parents' homes."

"Although parents are not legally required to inform their local authority when they decide to educate their children at home, it is helpful if they do this." (Helpful to whom? Probably not the parents or child.)

"It is for parents to decide how they deliver home education. They are not required to follow the National Curriculum nor to keep to school hours."

I think home schooling is excellent for some kids, especially if they have very intelligent parents like Steven Hawkins.
Although PE could be a bit of a problem.
I certainly see nothing wron in principle with home schooling, though I think it can be a real load for the parents, but that is their choice. There ar I believe several organisations that provide support especially for dealing with the LEA, and with planning courses etc. As for exams I think in todays world you will have to plan for then and ensure the little blighters do well, so much these days sees these bits of paper as the entry level to further steps.

The big proble I see is replaciing the social interaction that children get at school, of course that is not impossible but depending on where you live it can be a challenge, especially when the kids are younger. There is also the aspect of physical activity, and choice in physical activity, keeping fit is part of the equation but so also is the child finding their own way in this so variety here should also be given.

One of the potential pitfalls is that officialdom really only considers the academic achievement bit, home educators will show that this can be easily achieved but at 16 or 18 will the child be able to go out into the world and survive socially, will they be able to chat up the opposite sex, and do what they need to do together sensibly and safely, and the grounding for that starts when they are 5 not 15.
PE is not such a problem. A local girl is home-schooled and every Wednesday afternoon she and her parents nip off for either a bracing country walk or sailing. You could miss out on team sports but then again that has become a bit of a lottery in the state sector too. As a result Saturday and Sunday morning team-sport clubs are thriving.
With the breadth of extra-curricular activities available these days, even home-schooled children have plenty of opportunities to interact with their peers.
Had quite a few home-school kids tip up in my classes in university. Hard working bunch for the most part, pretty bright... but definitely weird.

Might have been a bit of aculture shock for them though, to say the least- 18 years at home with mum and dad 24/7 to moving away to a big city and 35,000 classmates. Normally, by the end of 4 years they'll have adapted.
I've met a few people who were home-schooled. Fcuking wierdos, the lot of them. But at least they aren't as fcuked up as their parents.

Parents who go down the home-schooling route tend to be from the extremes of the political spectrum - either so pinko they're knitting their own sandals out of tofu, or slightly to the right of Peter Hitchens. Neither position is one I'd recommend. And it also strikes me that the parents in my experience are egotists who are willing to bet their childrens' future that they can do a better job than the school.

Do the sensible thing, pack the little buggers off to school where they may quite possibly not do well, but at least will learn how to interact with the rest of society, and make friends of their own age. As opposed to being stoned on sight by the local comp kids because they trot out whatever little bon mots you've taught them as if it's on stone tablets. And don't knit their uniform out of tofu.
In the vast majority of cases pupils will get the social interactions they need and the appropriate level of schooling in the education system.
EVERY kid should also be "homeschooled", in that there should be positive encouragement, negative discouragement and help offered for completion of homework or anything else that may engage the brain.
Some pupils that are homeschooled are homeschooled because they're a nightmare - their social interactions are zero. Unfortunately taking them away from that social situation can just make them worse. From a teacher's perspective? One less kid to worry about when they've got their back turned :p
I personally think that home schooling is bad option for children , I think children miss out on social skills which are very important later in life .
Being around my friends was the best thing about being in school. I come from a family with numerous teachers in it yet they never chose to home school me and I'm thankful for that as I think it best to go to a school.

I also agree with schweik, I don't know many employers who would look to employ someone with no official qualifications.
I think that most kids now can get social side from interacting via sports clubs, evening courses and so on.

I agree that homeschooling parents are betting their abilities vs. properly trained teachers with equipment but I am quite sure equally that they may not be wrong.

Remember, most schools move at the speed of the slowest pupils so education is drip fed and advancement and self improvement are seen as swots past times and therefore for the stabbing of.

If you live in a community (e.g. not a farm house/lighthouse) then normally kids play with other kids in the street even though there is no socialising at school, e.g. I played with a boy one year younger from no.6 and a boy my age that went to the local RC school opposite and a kid one year older from no.13. That was most of my weekends and school nights. At school kids get/got 45 minutes lunch and two half hour breaks.

Trouble is as I see it though, once you start, its difficult to switch the kid back into school which means you're taking on a 14 year or so responsibility. Maybe it is best considered at the end of formal education as a sort of "finishing school" where you can stream line and define the education to more applicable requirements.

In Germany, FYI, kids get streamed at about 13 into academic or non-academic. Which means you'll either be on your way to Uni at 19 or a fully qualified plumber/fitter etc.

I rather like that idea, except its a bit tough on the late bloomers..
We are currently home educating our 2 boys aged 8 and 9 because we felt that their schools were doing a piss poor job and we weren't going to sit back and wait until it was too late to get the job done properly.

We use tutors for some subjects such as maths, English, languages, but we cover the work on all other subjects and the work the tutors recommend, we get them involved with clubs etc to maintain their social side of things, but as has been mentioned before since most off the kids at their previous schools were hoody chavs in training we were never going to let them hang out with them anyway.

We can take holidays when we want to outside school holiday times, and incorporate visits to museums etc any time we want to enhance any subject we might be doing.

When you work out exactly how many hours a day a child does any actual school work during a normal school day you can see that by doing just 3 or 4 constructive work at home you can cover much more and in more detail than any school, and because you know your kids better then anyone else you can see if they are struggling with anything and get it resolved as soon as it crops up, rather than finding out when its too late to do anything.

I take them out for a "brisk" morning walk whenever its my turn over the south downs for an hour or so just so that the fitness side of things gets covered, and they also do swimming and a group gym class a couple of times a week, which is a darn sight more then they were doing before at school.

Ultimately it has to be a personal decision whether you teach your kids at home or leave it up to the school, but they only get one chance and we want it to be an enjoyable experience as well as a productive one.
Aren't you worried they will miss out on essential life skills, like knife fighting and how to disrespect authority, if you home school?
Lol, dont worry mate, i have a full unarmed combat course laid out for them once they get a bit bigger....

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