Home vs School Education

Initial Thoughts

Since my eldest daughter was born, I have been nervous about her being at school. As an ex-teacher, you might think that a strange thing to think, and perhaps it is, but nevertheless, I was. Although I was certain I could provide her with a more enriched education, I was eventually guilted left right and centre into sending her so she didn’t miss out on important interactions with children her age. Education always appears to be in the media, and a recent list of things children don’t do, along with a Twitter post from Zara, re-ignited my doubts of the British education system.

Life in School

She’s now in her second year at school and is in Reception. In her first year, I was told to essentially ‘back off’ from her literacy and numeracy skills because she would be ‘too far ahead’ in her next year. I was instead told to concentrate on her ‘social skills’ with things like taking her coat on and off by herself. Phoebe has always had a natural interest and enthusiasm for learning. She loves to read, spell, write and count. There was no way I was about to switch her learning off aged three.
There have been instances where she has come home with unexplained bumps or cuts that I wasn’t made aware of, instances where despite me sending in a spare set of clothes in case of accidents, she has come home in boys shorts and pants out of the Lost Property Box. I don’t need to tell you how demoralising that can be for someone so young.

Still, I persevered with the school and things have seemed to improve, slightly. I have worked in a variety of schools and would like to say that perhaps this situation pertains only to this school. Sadly, however, I can’t. The positive to her being at school is that she is around other children on a daily basis. This means she has learnt to hit, kick, growl (?!) throw things and argue back. She has also began wetting the bed at night where she was once dry. I am not ‘teacher-bashing’ either, far from it. I know how hard they work! I am merely questioning whether the school system is the right thing for my child.

What Is It Like & How Could I Improve It?

School

  • She is around other children
  • She is (VERY slowly) learning routines
  • She has time away from me
  • In literacy, there are so many errors, it’s ridiculous. Some staff can’t even spell her name correctly!

How Could I Improve It?

Home

  • She would have 1:1 tuition from a qualified teacher (who also knows what differentiation is!)
  • She would learn life-skills instead of a largely redundant curriculum
  • She would still have social interaction with the friends she has made, as well as other interactions from places she would go.
  • She would eat a nutritious lunch, as opposed to half-eating a lunch she doesn’t like, before coming home and eating me out of it!
  • I could go on forever I think. Ultimately, however, I know her best. End of story.

Decision?

There are still a lot of decisions and discussions to be made. Whilst it sounds like an ideal situation for me to be in, I also know the reality would be different. I don’t have copious amounts of money to be able to give her the experiences of taking her to places the school might be able to or providing specialist resources like a school can. I do know that I wouldn’t be pigeon-holing my child so she fits in with the masses.
What do you think? and more importantly, what would you do in the same situation?

Mummascribbles
Binky Linky

5 thoughts on “Home vs School Education

  1. Carolyn

    I found this very interesting to read. I’m also a Primary School teacher who has worked in Nurseries (and Early Years – yr 6) and taught children in many schools as a permanent teacher and supply, and I am very surprised you were discouraged from teaching your daughter Literacy and Numeracy skills! I feel that if you think you can provide a well rounded education, are prepared for the commitment it takes and on balance feel the benefits of homeschooling outweighs any negatives, then go for it. If it turns out it isn’t working for any reason you can always change your mind. I know it probably isn’t as easy as that though!

    Carolyn #twinklytuesday

    http://stylishmemories.com

    1. Laura Post author

      Thanks for your reply Carolyn 🙂 I was a Middle School teacher, but obviously had to train in Primary and Secondary schools, so, like you, I’ve seen quite a broad range of ages/learning styles. Being discouraged from encouraging my daughter’s thirst for learning certainly shocked me too. I’m under no illusion that it would be a massive thing to take on if I were to home-school her. There is just a very persistent thought that perhaps she would have a more enriched, and ultimately better education from me.
      Lots of thinking to do still!
      Laura x

  2. Kim

    Unfortunately I think the only positive experience is the daily interaction with other children. However, the inappropriate learned behaviour often outweighs any positive social skills she may acquire. As a qualified teacher and with her enthusiasm for learning, I think you should seriously consider home schooling. I am unfamiliar with the process, but if it doesn’t work she could always return to the school system.
    As for missing out on planned visits etc, most schools no longer have the budget available for such activities. Simple things such as nature walks, trips to museums and baking can nourish a child, emotionally and intellectually.
    If you don’t try you will never know and could be missing out on an amazing period of her life.

  3. Lisa (mummascribbles)

    I think that if I was in your position, I would seriously be thinking of home schooling. I agree that the social aspect of school is a benefit but I bet there are groups around for home learning students and mummies. I think it sounds like her school is not very good. You should have a chat with Martyn Kitney over at http://insidemartynsmind.blogspot.co.uk – he home schools both his boys 🙂
    I hope you come to the decision that is the right one for you all.
    Thanks so much for linking up with #twinklytuesday

  4. Emily

    I’d love to home ed and have looked into it. Sadly at the moment thought it’s just not practical for us.Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

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