Not sure where to begin, so I will just jot things down as I think of them. I would be grateful for any advice or experiences you might have had.

My wife and I are considering home schooling our daughter Beth who is 4 years old (she will be 5 in July)

We have discussed HE a lot and really like the idea of home schooling. Some days I wake up thinking HE is a great idea. Other mornings I think she should go to school.

I guess I am worried about the social side of things and that she will not make friends if not at school.

My wife has a degree from university but I left high school with only 3 standard grades. People keep telling us we cannot home school and that it will be bad for our child. You would think we were guilty of neglect the way some people look at us. In particular, the head teacher of Beth's nursery reported us for not registering our child as it was against the law. We looked into it ourselves and we are doing nothing wrong.

We have already started educating Beth with simple English and Maths but have been warned by other people not to let her get too far ahead as she wil be bored in primary 1 or 2 if she already knows it all. This seems insane to me as I am a firm believer in letting children learn at their own pace. I do not want Beth to get bored at home though. If she does a few hours work a day, how will she pass her day? Will she ger bored? Will she rebell?

I guess I am worried too that my wife will not be able to educate beth properly. We talked about this and Sharon shares the same concerns. How else will we know though unless we try? I work and I am away ay 7.45am and dont return home until 6pm as I work in Glasgow and have to commute. I feel guilty if I had to leave Sharon to educate Beth alone.

Another thing we strongly believe in is, "if you are going to have children, you should raise/educate them yourselves". We do not see the point of having children and then handing them over to someone else to raise from 8am to 6pm, and you only get to see them really at weekends properly. I know the flip side is people have to work to earn cash to support their child.

We are in the position though that my wife has a long-term illness. It is not life threatening but it does get her down soemtimes and leaves her tired. I wont go into detail suffice to say she is sitting with an open would for over a year now which leaves her drained. We both have also struggled with depression in the past. Sharon is back on medication at the moment, I would say she is coping great though.

She is a great mother and one of the kindest people I have ever met. We take great care of Beth and I really want to do the best for Beth to give her a good start in life.

I want to make the right choice but I'm unsure that there is such a thing. Either choice has pitfalls. I am not impressed with what I see and read about schools thesedays. I myself was bullied and never told anyone. It was 11 years of hell.

Apologies for the long-winded post but I would be grateful for your opinions. I'm so worried we mess up her education.




:welcome: to the forums.

Your concerns are both understandable and healthy as you want to do the very best you can for your child. Reading through some of the forum threads about others' experiences will probably help reassure you somewhat. :)

Since you are in Scotland (and from your description somewhere in the central belt), you may be interested in attending one or both of the talks by Sandra Dodd in Edinburgh this coming Saturday and/or the Schoolhouse camping weekend at Beecraigs. Both would give you an opportunity to meet other families who have taken the plunge into HE.

It's good to see you have done your research and found that the schools/nurseries routinely misinform parents about 'registration' in Scotland. As long as your child does not attend school after she reaches compulsory education age, you need not inform the LA, although they are likely to make enquiries about your provision when they become aware of your HE status.

You can be pretty relaxed about your daughter's education at this stage as she is still very young, and remember you can always change your mind later if you feel school would be a better option.


Hi Concernedfather,

Well done for taking the decision to home educate Beth. There are many routes to home education and one my family follows is the autonomous route. That is, the child decides what he or she wishes to study. The curriculum is an unproven mess, in my opinion, and a ragbag of odds and ends which make no sense when you look into it. When a child is the author of her education she can decide what she needs to do. It leads to an all rounded person who studies what she is good at instead of what doesn't interest her. We seldom make careers of something we are rubbish at.

As to socialisation, it is a myth that schoolchildren are effectively socialised. The children actually are discouraged from socialising with their peers in the classroom and are severely limited in the styles of interaction they can employ. There's also the bullying and intimidation.

Home educated children socialise with people of all ages and in all walks of life which produce much more understanding and adept socialisation. There's no comparison really. A lot of home educated children can argue and debate, are slow to take anyone's word for anything and are not easily biddable. Much of school is constructed to induce conformity in youngsters. If you want to read more along those lines, may I suggest that you get a copy of any of John Taylor Gatto's books. Once you've read them I'm sure you'll feel so much better about stepping off the treadmill and treating your daughter as the unique and amazing human being that she is.

Hi Glen, and welcome :)

Home ed is often so much easier than people think it will be. Most children are naturally inquisitive and want to know more about what's around them. I agree with you that it's bonkers for people to say that you shouldn't let them learn too much because they'll be bored in school! I think one of the problems with school is the sort of herding mentality of teaching according to age rather than ability and interest.

I've heard lots of parents say that their depression has lifted once they start to home ed! I think for some people the pace of your life changes for the better and you find you have more control over how you are living, which is always a good thing.

With regards to filling your day (or your daughter's day, more specifically), again, you'll probably find that there aren't enough hours for her to do everything she gets into! We've always got lots of different things on the go and no-one is ever bored in our house :) As for making friends, you'll probably find some sports clubs your daughter might like and you can always keep in touch with children from the nursery if she has any special friends there. One of our best friends now is another home educating mum that I got chatting to in a park one afternoon; there are home educators lurking everywhere!

It's very natural to have doubts and worries but honestly, most people find that once they get going they never look back. School is always there as an alternative if you find you really don't think it's working, but you sound like a natural educator (as most parents are) which is really more or less all you need.

Good luck! :)
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Well-known member

I guess I am worried too that my wife will not be able to educate beth properly. We talked about this and Sharon shares the same concerns. How else will we know though unless we try?
I wouldn't be concerned. Beth will be fine. Even if you try hard you'll find it difficult to teach her less than she'd learn at school.
Try it. You have nothing to lose and a huge amount to gain. You have obviously thought long and hard about it.


ps re the point about "boredom" - I have found that HE kids are much better at amusing themselves. Boredom afflicts the spoon fed.
Try it. You have nothing to lose and a huge amount to gain. You have obviously thought long and hard about it.


ps re the point about "boredom" - I have found that HE kids are much better at amusing themselves. Boredom afflicts the spoon fed.
Completely agree. My friends with school children loathe the school holidays because they have to come up with endless ways to entertain the children who get bored very quickly and very easily. Lots of people comment on how good my son is at finding something to do and how he doesn't look to me to entertain him (in fact he spends most of his time telling me to get lost because he likes doing things on his own and then showing me the finished product which is really lovely ) :)
Thanks everyone.

We are going to definitely home educate our daughter when she turns 5 in July.

Technically we've kind of started already with small stuff.

Looking forward to it !

Wish us luck :cheer2:

Glen, Sharon & wee Beth x

(no longer concerned)
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I'm glad you've been reassured, Glen and Sharon (and Beth). You can now look forward to the time when other people are coming along wanting to home educate and you reassure them!

It won't be long at all.