Preschool, homeschool, public school???

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  • Little man is approaching the age where going to preschool is recommended. I'm not sure to take him just yet and would like to know if any of you chose to take your kiddies and how old were they? Did you find it beneficial or did you find something else better suited to them?


    This has also got me thinking about homeschool v public school. Any advice you can give? Or any information to you can direct me to, to help me choose what will be best for him when the time comes.

  • I am not a parent, but the book school is not compulsory is meant to have all the basics. :)
    I think it is great that you are considering all the possibilities and what is really best for your child :thumbup:

  • I'm not a parent but when i do have kids i don't want to send them to state or private school, i'd rather do it at home but...kids miss out on learning important social skills and how people behave in the real world, i know few a fully home schooled people, there nice people but a little odd and sheltered, but i guess that is kinda subjective, personally i'd send em off to a state school, as long as the schools stats are good and the place is nice, i was fully state schooled, a lot of it was horrid but i came out all right with good grades and good friends. Once again maybe a little subjective but i don't believe in private education, it breeds prejudice and out dated toffery in a lot of young minds , since i went to uni i've met loads of privately schooled people and 90% of them are opinionated toffs, that said there are a few nice ones but most are immovable douche bags (I'm basing all this on my experiences, could be wrong, lol) At a very young age i think home schooling is good, you can teach kids things they'll never learn at school but when it comes to juniors and seniors i think state is the best way, kids learn the social graces (although some not so nice) that i believe are crucial to becoming a rounded person.

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  • i'd rather do it at home but...kids miss out on learning important social skills and how people behave in the real world, i know few a fully home schooled people, there nice people but a little odd and sheltered. At a very young age i think home schooling is good, you can teach kids things they'll never learn at school but when it comes to juniors and seniors i think state is the best way, kids learn the social graces (although some not so nice) that i believe are crucial to becoming a rounded person.


    I agree with this, I think kids miss out on a full range of opportunities for social interaction when they're home schooled, but the English state school system is very rigid and based on testing and statistics, which I don't really believe in when you're teaching small children. In Wales we have the Foundation Phase which is based somewhat on the Montessori approach and the success of Nordic schools, where children learn holistically through their senses and at their own individual pace, but in England you don't have that option unless you go private and pay for a Montessori nursery.


    If it was me, I'd send him part-time and see how he gets on, but I'd go on Ofsted first and have a look at the reports of local nurseries to see how they score, paying particular attention to the parents/guardians questionnaire results section, they will give you the most honest accounts of their kids experiences in school:p.

  • hi,
    wow its a big decision... i remember being in the same quandry when my eldest became of school age... we decided to home educate and have never looked back. it is a big commitment but then so is having your children in the first place so we thought .. in for a penny! i think both educational pathways are good (ie school or home education) but if it helps here is (Briefly) our experience: freedom = it gives us the freedom to choose our own learning journeys and learn at our own pace, this is priceless as for learning towork it has to be interesting to the child. we also have the freedom to live our lives the way we want as a family ie we can travel when we want. we feel the experiences our children have when away travelling are crucial to their development and enrich their lives and create great memories! this was up there as one of the big plusses when we were making the decision. family time = we thought 4 was too young to start full time school for the next umpteen or whatever years and you will never get those years back. we actually want to be together and spend time doing the things that are important to us as a family. thats kind of about it really, there were no minus points for us other than our house is always er, not exactly spotless¬! but it wasnt before we had them either! also im not sure how i would manage if i didnt have my mum and my partner or the huge group of other home educating families that we interact with on a very regular basis. also, a note about socialization/interaction or whatever: our kids do not miss out on any social front, in fact within our group/community/family/friends/uncle tom cobley and all there is no end of opportunity to socialise = too much in fact!! a trip to the launderette can end up being a social for our kids. its all about opening your mind to all possibilities - and its certainly possible to socialise outside of the school system! good luck on your journey.


    zed and gang

  • As far as Home-ed is concerned, I'm a big advocate :) 'Unschooling' or 'Deschooling' is about the most natural thing in the world to do, if you ask me. I have found my children have absorbed more in a year at home than they ever did at school.
    You can choose the approach, whether you go with autonomous (child-led) learning or more structured. In fact, let me point you to a couple of places that have cracking info. 'Education otherwise' has some great info about everything including the boring legal bits, and for moral support try 'learning under the trees' on facebook.


    Good luck with whatever you choose :)

  • I'm not a parent but when i do have kids i don't want to send them to state or private school, i'd rather do it at home but...kids miss out on learning important social skills and how people behave in the real world, i know few a fully home schooled people, there nice people but a little odd and sheltered, but i guess that is kinda subjective, personally i'd send em off to a state school, as long as the schools stats are good and the place is nice, i was fully state schooled, a lot of it was horrid but i came out all right with good grades and good friends. Once again maybe a little subjective but i don't believe in private education, it breeds prejudice and out dated toffery in a lot of young minds , since i went to uni i've met loads of privately schooled people and 90% of them are opinionated toffs, that said there are a few nice ones but most are immovable douche bags (I'm basing all this on my experiences, could be wrong, lol) At a very young age i think home schooling is good, you can teach kids things they'll never learn at school but when it comes to juniors and seniors i think state is the best way, kids learn the social graces (although some not so nice) that i believe are crucial to becoming a rounded person.


    Not true. Most home-ed kids are more socialised than publicly schooled children! Common misconception though :)

  • Izzy's being home-edded as you know, and doesn't go to nursery, but we go to a couple of playgroups each week and get involved in lots of activities and a really good playscheme they do at our local surestart centre during the holidays so she gets to meet lots of different children and has made some really good friends (going round each-other's houses type friends).


    She's also going to be starting football club on Saturday mornings (expensive) and a ballet class on Mondays (surprisingly cheap) which will be her first go at being in a group situation without me with her. I think it's going to be great for her confidence and she is SO keen! And it's amazing because a couple of months ago she was a million miles from being ready for that. That's one of the really important factors for me - the ability to let her do things when she is ready, and enthusiastic.

  • As far as Home-ed is concerned, I'm a big advocate :) 'Unschooling' or 'Deschooling' is about the most natural thing in the world to do, if you ask me. I have found my children have absorbed more in a year at home than they ever did at school.


    How long are you planning to homeschool for, right up to 16 or for a shorter period?

  • How long are you planning to homeschool for, right up to 16 or for a shorter period?


    With my eldest, probably until she reaches adulthood. I can't see her ever being comfortable in a conventional school setting. With the others, that's up to them. Of course I would prefer it if they didn't choose to go to school, but I'd support their decision if they chose to attend.

  • Thanks for all your comments and sharing your experiences. I think if I were to homeschool it wouldn't be for the whole of their education, just the first few years maybe. I'd like to find out what learning styles would suit him best because not all children will thrive in the way they teach in schools because not everyone is the same.


    He is quite a clever boy on the things that he is naturally interested in books/counting/building/gardening and does prefer to be outside a majority of the time - I looked at forest school which seems awesome but so so far away :-( there is one in west meon area in Hampshire ( maybe reachable for PTM depending on public transport?) I wish he could go to to try out.


    He loves reading so starting to take him to toddler library groups to see a few local children . I used to take him to the park in hope of some interaction but it would seem most kids are in full-time nursery while the parents are working and you may get a couple of kids there the weekend but a majority of the time it's 12-15 year old having a sneaky cigarette on the swings .......I may be wrong but it would seem children don't have much freedom to play anymore and are often taken to somewhere to play with other children. In my area there are never children playing on the street not even in the summer holidays

  • We did get some brochures for a couple of private (or public, whatever you want to call them) schools when Rhiannon was much younger and although I can see a range of benefits the cost was (and is) beyond us. I've also considered home ed but I'm not the appropriate personality for that - I have low levels of patience and am not particularly sociable when it comes to other parents and children. If I tried to home ed Rhiannon I could see my reacting like my dad used to, metaphorically rolling my eyes if Rhiannon didn't understand something straight away. It was bad enough me trying to teach Rhiannon to ride her bike the other day - the fact she kept pushing the peddles backwards instead of forwards was causing me a whole load of frustration which I was starting to struggle to keep a lid on. Having me home ed her would be way too damaging at the age she is now :S

    I considered the local Steiner school for a bit which about 6 miles away from me but having visited it as part of a parent/toddler group I found it an uncomfortable experience. That leaves normal school which suits me fine. Our local school is Welsh medium and rural with about 100 children between the ages of 3 and 11. That being said, if it doesn't suit Rhiannon then I'll reconsider all the options.


    Thing is, she's been going to nursery from the age of 4 and a half months - and the first 6 months of that was 5 days a week, 9am to 5pm until we moved back to Pembrokeshire. Since then she's been in nursery 1.5 - 2 days a week, and although I've always been of the opinion that if she didn't like it or I thought it was harming her in any way I'd remove her, at 3 years old she's bright, articulate and seems very happy. From that perspective school is just a progression of our current way of doing things :shrug:

  • I'm not a parent either but it seems to me home ed kids gain far more than they loose. If I had kids they be educated at home for as long as we could afford it or they wanted.

  • Im just starting out with home ed. With Nursery i found it changed the boys a lot. For Reuben not for the better. He is no longer the happy boy he was. He was due to start another Nursery this term but we will be pulling him out now. For Home ed we will be joining some home ed groups. We will go to home ed meets. We also do Tae Kwon Do class and will be doing swimming class. There is also the bonus that my children will learn things as they are ready to not when the system thinks they should be. Socially id say they are better off. As long as you join groups/classes. Go to parks often/Have other kids visit

  • Hm, it depends on whether or not you want them to follow the National Curriculum? Since that's the main point of school, a basic knowledge of all subjects as decided by the state, though not every child thrives that way. It's hard to home ed after school has begun, though many 'alternative' parents choose that way, because they realise school comes with peer pressure and sometimes bullying, etc..... And if you change your mind about home ed you can always register your little one at school, any time. Studies-wise there is evidence that children who are around adults for longer as children learn better and quicker than those who are surrounded by young children- it used to be thought that the latter was better but actually parents and adults can teach children better than their peers, while they are still pre-school age at least. Hope that helps x