How to begin?

Hi everyone,

I'm a mum to a 5 year old boy, and have begun HEing recently (at the start of the new school term) I faced fierce opposition from most members of my family and OH, with them stating all the usual things people who are against HE state. The only compromise OH and I could reach was to give HE a go, and see how we get on.

So we've been doing this for 2 weeks or so now. My OH (and my mum who's also against it) ask on a daily basis what DS has been learning. They think that at least 3-4 hours per day need to be set aside for learning time. I'm beginning to lose confidence in myself though, as it's like they're looking for holes to pick at and let everything unravel so that DS will go to school :pout:

We do workbooks on phonetics and maths (suitable for his age) but other than that I feel pretty lost. I know what he likes to do, how he learns etc but those around me are so bogged down in traditional education that they feel the need to criticise my approach.

Does anyone have any ideas about how to proceed? We'd ideally like a semi-structured routine. I've done endless searches online, but can find very little in the way of curriculum (we're in Scotland) guidelines. I feel if I don't do something sooner rather than later, the pressure will firmly be on to send DS to school. Are there any books/websites etc that would perhaps be a good starting points for us?

So sorry for the looooong post! Any help or advice would be great.


You are doing a great job! We are also home educating and get fierce negativity everyday! We are half structured and half unstructured! You will become fascinated by what your children learn throughout the day even when you think you are not doing enough! One of my sons learned all the numbers through his love of buses!

I tell people that I am home educating rather than homeschooling! You can decide the structure of the day that suits you and your family!

My other half had wobbles at first but he is seeing that it actually works and they are learning!

Enjoy the journey and you will find a programme that suits you! Feel free to pm me if you like!

Good luck!!!:cheer2:
It sounds to me like your family are going to pick holes regardless so I would work on focusing on what you want to do and how you want to do it, not avoiding criticism from them (which is very hard, I know, but works wonders if you can manage it!).

When I started with my boy (he's 13 now), I had a good think about the way I would like him to be as an adult, in terms of what he can do and what sort of person he is. Alongside the traditional education, we all need to be able to cook and look after a home, get on well with other (sometimes difficult) people, manage a budget, do a grocery shop, read a bus timetable and so on. So that was what I based my approach on; working backwards from the ultimate outcome and deciding what to focus on and when, keeping in mind what he could do and what he was interested in (my son has special needs so his development is different to many so that's affected the way we do things).

I found this website which I assume is the curriculum in Scotland but I'm sure someone else will correct it if it's wrong:

If you read through what he would be doing in school you'll probably find you're covering all of it without even meaning to so hopefully that will make you feel a bit more confident?

Other than that reading up on 'other than school' education helps you to feel more confident about what you're doing, there are masses of books on the topic in general as well as lots of home ed blogs (again do a search on home education blogs and masses will come up with lots of ideas and suggestions). Plus groups, are there any groups in your area?

It's such a personal and individual approach that it's difficult to tell someone else what to do, if you see what I mean, but as time goes on you'll feel more confident (you're probably already doing more than he'd be doing in school anyway!).


Do whatever you want to do. Children learn what they want to learn regardless of what we want them to learn. Equally they do not learn what they are not interested in.

People are besotted with schooling. Yet schooling does not deliver what people think it delivers (an education), and, if everyone thought about what schooling does deliver, they wouldn't send their children to school. (Please see 'Dumbing Us Down' by John Taylor Gatto for what schooling does deliver).

Most people are so lamentably dependent upon the Matrix which screeches 'school' at them from morning to night that they don't question what school actually is and actually does (or doesn't) do.

We have been wearing blinders. Truth is that children, and adults, are perfectly capable of learning whatever interests them. Sometimes they need a little help to achieve their learning (which aid often comes from the parent as facilitator) but they definitely don't need school and they don't need the overwhelming rubbish that school promotes.

Tell your family and friends to look into home education and get an education before they are qualified to tell you what to do or not to do with your own children. You know best what is best for your own youngsters. Don't let the frightened sheeple try to con you into believing that home education is wrong for you and yours.
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