NC Home education network.

This evening I've used the amazing to make the journey Drupal>BuddyPress>Dolphin and have landed in your delightful company!

I'm a home educating parent of a 6 & 8 year old in London UK. 

The home ed community is mostly reliant on the usual email and fbk groups and I can see a lot of opportunities for us to be better organised with some hyperassistance if you know what i mean :)

I have been speaking to friends and acquaintances about setting up an online home education network and the following models came up: My Night Off is a timebanking/babysitting circle, having tried it out with a friend we can see where this could be adapted. Schoology is akin to Moodle (whose support forum I've returned from) I've also tried this out a little. For us home edders the distinction between Parents, Students and Teachers are more fluid.

I would like some advice about how to mix and develop those sites into something great ... 

I think it would be good to start with some kinda very basic holding page and a questionnaire/feedback thing with perhaps a trial private forum to start off with where few friends can discuss...

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts & suggestions 
  • Hi Simon,
    Welcome to Elgg.
    Perhaps you should first install Elgg locally and try out its features. This will give an idea about what's missing. This community works best when you have an idea about your requirements, we can help fill in the gaps. Broad discussions like this one are hard to respond to: are you asking us what plugins would help you achieve your goals, are you seeking out other educators and looking for their experiences etc?

  • Thank you Ismayil!,

    To be clear my/our requirements as I imagine them would be for an "Elgg advisor" to help us create a useful online supplement to my/our little home education network with a view to opening it up to other home educators in future. Though this immediately brings up privacy issues. Also it brings up issues of children having online accounts which is kinda new territory for everyone I guess... I imagine we'd do this through a combination of bi monthly meetings and ongoing feedback online over the next 6-12 months... How would you imagine going about things? I am unfamiliar in this area please let me know whatever is appropriate.

    I have already sought out the experiences of other home educators and indeed intend to go on doing so as part of an ongoing feedback/improvement (uservoice - style) loop both in real life and online via google/facebook groups. I would be glad to hear of home educators within the elgg community if that's what you meant? Their experiences would of course be invaluable. I saw something interesting with 

    As for our requirements, that in itself is an open question but of course I do have a couple of concrete examples of the kind of thing I hope we might synthesise, which I intended to illustrate with the examples of MyNightOff and Schoology.

    I'll try to be more specific about how I'd like to see those adapted:

    My Night Off as a model is a little too simple, but the core idea is perfect. It is essentially is a way of keeping tabs on who has looked after who's kids for how long. It is in effect a time bank. Simple but the effect is very binding, socially. and for home educating single parents, the benefits are massive. There is the ability to put in a request for next Thursday evening 6pm-2am and an email gets sent asking is anyone free. As home educators we need this to be able to take account of slightly finer gradations of activity than just babysitting, as different activities have different value. (eg spending 2 hours on public transport taking a baby to and from a drop off is quite different to running a 1:1 photography class with a teenager for two hours)

    Moodle & Schoology as models, on the other hand, are a little too complex with their levels of grades, faculties, etc although an aspect of that does certainly appeal to homeschoolers. The user roles of Parent, Teacher and Student are quite different in home education, more appropriate might be Guardian, Organiser and Inquirer for example but even then these roles are also much more fluid than in a school setup (eg. Inquireres often being sudo-organisers and Guardians becoming Enquirers). 

    We could also do with a way of coordinating preparations for future events but I have no model for this other than perhaps Basecamp but I am not at all familiar with that any more.

    Those are the main 2 models I've unturfed, I know there are many many others out there and so I'd just like to reiterate the importance of a feedback thing to get a strong idea of what other home educators want.

    As far as installing goes...

    I had installed elgg using's webApps and am waiting to hear from them why I got this in my browser when i visited the url 

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '[' in /home3/crazyhom/public_html/engine/classes/Elgg/Di/ServiceProvider.php on line 20

    I think I saw an explanation involving FTP but I don't really understand it... I look forward to trying out Elgg's features once I get going.  

  • Hi, welcome to Elgg!

    I believe that parse error indicates you're running an older version of PHP than is supported in the current version of Elgg.

  • Thanks Matt, 

    All set up now! So any thoughts about the timebank / moodle / basecamp scenario I mentioned above? And this is the appropriate area to be finding an Elgg adviser right? 


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