Not Back To School Picnic, early September, Nottingham area

One afternoon in early September 2019, there will be a Not Back To School Picnic. This is an informal community meetup for play and chat. Newcomers are very welcome.

"Not Back To School Picnic". The words appear against a background of green grass. "Not" is at an angle, as if added after "Back To School". Picnic is in sky blue. The dots of the letter i are in yellow like the sun.

If you’re a new home edder or potential future home edder, and you want to find out when & where it is, you could:

More about the picnic

People taking part will bring their own food to a park. The children will play while the adults chat. (Or sometimes the children chat and the adults play!)

If you’re new, we’ll try to introduce you to people with similar age children or similar interests, or people from your geographical area.

This year, we hope to include the parachute game which has become popular at the “teens-ish meetups”, enabling any shy young people to get to know each other a bit without having to talk.

Teens-ish meetups, Nottingham, typically one a month

For teens-ish non-schoolers who’d specially like to meet others of similar age.

Date:  currently usually a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

Time:  1.30pm to 3.30pm, or up till teatime depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

Venue:  a Nottingham park.

Price:  Free.

Age range:  Primarily 12 to 17, and see further info.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about 11-year-olds?  What about 19-year-olds?

There’s no strict age limit;  it’s mostly about wanting the teenager-ish hanging-out flavour.  So even a 10-year-old could join in if that’s what they’re looking for. 

Can younger siblings tag along?

Yes, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Is it open to new people?

Yes, any home edders are very welcome, as well as people seriously considering it for their family.  Please do come along!  It’s a good opportunity to dip your toe into the local networks.

Can teens come along by themselves?

Yes – some have. 

Can I drop off my teen(s), go to do errands, and come back later?

Usually that would work fine, yes.  Unless your errands take a very long time or the weather gets bad, it’s quite likely that a good number of people would be staying on till whenever you’d be back.  Whether you want to do it like that is basically between you and your young person, and any other parents you enlist to keep an eye.

Can parents come along by themselves?

Yes – parents are welcome to drop in with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.  If you’re at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage, this is a lovely meetup to visit.

What if it rains on the day?

If it’s really wet, we’re quite likely to postpone to another day.  If it’s just drizzly, probably some people will still want to go. 

How do I find out the date and place?

There’s now an email announcements list which is specifically for organising this and similar events, for Nottingham non-school teens. (It’s only for occasional announcements of practical news – not a discussion list.)

To get on that list, if you’re not already on one of the main lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, please email teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk, and introduce yourself.

Would we need to book in advance? 

It’s not essential.  Typically there’s an announcement of a possible date, and then the event will only be confirmed and go ahead if a reasonable number of people say they’d go.  So if you’re pretty sure you’re going this time, it’s useful for the event organisation if you say so.  But there are often a few extra people turning up on the day as well.

What should we bring?

Things for being comfortable whatever the weather is 🙂 E.g. water, sun cream, warm &/or cool clothes, snacks, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches.

Also, a way to write down other people’s contact details, in case you meet people you want to keep in touch with. 

Description of a typical meetup

As of mid-2019, we’ve evolved a pattern along the lines of…

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

Soon after the official start time, the young people play a parachute game, where we call out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category runs underneath the parachute and swaps places.

This game is a good one for people who feel shy, as it’s a way of getting to know everyone else a little bit without actually having to say any words. 

Then we go for a walk. This usually includes people mingling around a bit and chatting. Some young people get straight to talking with friends old & new; some prefer to walk together with their parent(s) till they settle in. Whatever they feel comfortable with is fine.

Some people leave at the end of the walk, or even part way through if they have to be somewhere else. 

Then we find a place that’s comfortable for parents to sit. Some people have brought drinks and food for this stage. Depending on where we are, this could be near a playground. (Yes the teens are not too cool to go on the playground still 🙂 )

Typically some of the young people will sit with their parents for part of the time & join in the general conversation, others will prefer to hang out & chat with each other.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm or 6pm, though some had to go earlier, and in summer, it might even be later.

Access:  If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning.  Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Wednesday 27 March

Date:  Wednesday 27 March 2019.

May be postponed if weather forecast changes too far in the direction of rainy!

Time:  1.30pm to 3.30pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

(Please note, that’s a slightly later meetup time than some previous ones.)

Venue:  a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Price:  Free.

Age range:  Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger siblings along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Parents at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage are welcome to visit with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.

Booking:  No need to book.  However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

For young people who’d specially like to meet others of similar age!

We did a few of these meetups before.  Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

New families are very welcome.  There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Some of the teens-ish people might go off for a walk together while the parents stay back at base and have a chat.  Or this time, as it’s chillier weather, perhaps we’ll all go off for the walk.

Sometimes, we’ve played a parachute game where we call out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category would run underneath the parachute and swap places.  This helped people to get past feeling shy.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm, though some had to go earlier.

Things you might want to bring:  sun cream, warm clothes, snacks, water, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.  Also, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches – though at the time of writing, the weather forecast is fine.

Access:  If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning.  Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Monday 11 February

Update:  this meetup is CANCELLED – not enough families could make it this time.  We’ll look for a better date later in the year.


Date: Monday 11 February 2019.

May be postponed if weather forecast changes too far in the direction of rainy!

Time: 1.30pm to 3.30pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

(Please note, that’s a slightly later meetup time than the previous one.)

Venue: a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Price: Free.

Age range: Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger siblings along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Parents at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage are welcome to visit with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.

Booking: No need to book. However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

For young people who’d specially like to meet others of similar age!

We did a few of these meetups before.  Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

New families are very welcome.  There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Some of the teens-ish people might go off for a walk together while the parents stay back at base and have a chat.  Or this time, as it’s chillier weather, perhaps we’ll all go off for the walk.

One time, we played a parachute game where we called out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category would run underneath the parachute and swap places.  This helped people to get past feeling shy.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm, though some had to go earlier.

Things you might want to bring: warm clothes, snacks, water, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.  Also, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches – though at the time of writing, the weather forecast is fine.

Access: If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning. Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Wednesday 2 January

Date: Wednesday 2 January 2019.

May be postponed if weather forecast changes to rainy!

Time: 1pm to 3pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

Venue: a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Price: Free.

Age range: Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger siblings along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Parents at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage are welcome to visit with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.

Booking: No need to book. However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

For young people who’d specially like to meet others of similar age!

We did a few of these meetups before.  Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

New families are very welcome.  There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Some of the teens-ish people might go off for a walk together while the parents stay back at base and have a chat.  Or this time, as it’s chillier weather, perhaps we’ll all go off for the walk.

One time, we played a parachute game where we called out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category would run underneath the parachute and swap places.  This helped people to get past feeling shy.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm, though some had to go earlier.

Things you might want to bring: warm clothes, snacks, water, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.  Also, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches – though at the time of writing, the weather forecast is fine.

Access: If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning. Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Not Back To School Picnic, September, Nottingham area

One afternoon in September, there will be a Not Back To School Picnic. This is an informal community meetup for play and chat. Newcomers are very welcome.

"Not Back To School Picnic". The words appear against a background of green grass. "Not" is at an angle, as if added after "Back To School". Picnic is in sky blue. The dots of the letter i are in yellow like the sun.

If you’re a new home edder or potential future home edder, and you want to find out when & where it is, you could:

More about the picnic

People taking part will bring their own food to a park. The children will play while the adults chat. (Or sometimes the children chat and the adults play!)

If you’re new, we’ll try to introduce you to people with similar age children or similar interests, or people from your geographical area.

Advice meetup, Bestwood, Thursday 19 October

A few “veteran” home ed parents, some with grown-up children, are kindly offering to chat at this informal library meetup with other parents who’d like their advice.  This is for parents newly home educating or seriously considering it, or people who’ve been home edding for a while & would like to confer with someone more experienced.  (Not for people with a purely professional interest.)

Date: Thursday 19 October 2017.

Time: 1pm to 3.30pm.

Age range:  All ages welcome.  While the parents are chatting, children & young people can browse in the library, play on the park, try the nearby skate park etc. Southglade Leisure centre is on the same site, inc swimming pool with flume.

Venue: Southglade Park Library, Bestwood, Nottingham, NG5 5GU.

Area: The library is on Southglade Park, on the number 16 brown line bus route (also not far from 15, 17, 79, 89, threes, 141 – see travel info below). It’s about 3½ miles north of the city centre, just east of the Hucknall Road.

Price: Free.

Booking: No need to book.

Southglade Park Library page on City website
Southglade Park Library page at Culture24
Southglade Park Library page at Leisure for Kids
Southglade Leisure Centre (inc swimming pool with flume)

The words "Advice meetup" appear in elegant cursive writing against a background photo of a map and compass. The map is of Nottingham.

Advice Meet-up

Due to the high number of new home educators and others asking for information or support, four of the admin team [of the Nottingham/Notts home ed Facebook group] are going to be available to try to answer questions and offer advice where needed.

We will be at Southglade Park Library. There will be access to the public library, there is a play park and skate park in the same area. We look forward to meeting you. The Admin Team. 🙂

Map showing Southglade Park Library:

Bigger map showing Southglade Park Library

Nearest bus stop: “Padstow Road“, on the 16 route, Brown Line. It’s near the gate to the park, and the library is about 200 yards away.

“Gala Way” bus stop is on the Hucknall Road, about 500 yards away to the west. Trent Barton “threes” & 141 stop there.

“Eastglade Road” bus stop is the nearest on the Beckhampton Road, about 850 yards away to the east. Buses which call there: Brown Line 15, Turquoise Line 79, Purple Line 89.

“Gorse Court” bus stop is about 900 yards away, on the Hucknall Road, and the number 17, Brown Line, stops there, before turning off to the west.

Trams:  Bulwell tram stop is about a mile to the west.  You’d need to be on a Hucknall tram.  Tram information.

Parking: Car parking is available at the Southglade Park site.

Access: Access info not available yet, but from photos it looks as though the whole building is on one floor. Will update if we find out more.

Not Back To School Picnic, September, Nottingham area

One afternoon in September, there will be a Not Back To School Picnic. This is an informal community meetup for play and chat. Newcomers are very welcome.

"Not Back To School Picnic". The words appear against a background of green grass. "Not" is at an angle, as if added after "Back To School". Picnic is in sky blue. The dots of the letter i are in yellow like the sun.

If you’re a new home edder or potential future home edder, and you want to find out when & where it is, you could:

More about the picnic

People taking part will bring their own food to a park. The children will play while the adults chat. (Or sometimes the children chat and the adults play!)

If you’re new, we’ll try to introduce you to people with similar age children or similar interests, or people from your geographical area.

Teens-ish meetups, Nottingham, Monday 3 & Thursday 20 July

Update Thursday 20 July: Yes we are still meeting! Weather forecast predicts that rain will stop around 1pm and sun might appear later.

Dates: Monday 3 July & Thursday 20 July 2017 – choose one or both of the two dates.

May be postponed if weather forecast is for lots of rain that afternoon.

Time: 1pm to 3pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

Venue: a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Price: Free.

Age range: Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger siblings along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Parents at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage are welcome to visit with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.

Booking: No need to book. However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

For young people who’d specially like to meet others of similar age!

The first one of these, in June 2017, attracted a dozen local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as a few younger siblings.

At the end, lots of people said they’d like to meet up for a similar thing again. Plus, we knew already that some interested families hadn’t been able to make that first date. So these two dates are the follow-up.

New families are very welcome. There will probably be a mix of people who came to the first one and people who didn’t. We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

The format at the first meetup seemed to work OK for everyone, including a few autistic/Aspergers young people who happened to be part of the group. So we’ll probably do roughly the same sequence next time, although it could vary if people have other ideas.

We did an introduction circle where people could say their name and something they’re into, such as dance, gaming, music, gymnastics, books or art. At this first meetup, lots of people had never met before, so at first, the overall flavour was a bit quiet and cautious.

After a while, we got playing a parachute game where we called out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category would run underneath the parachute and swap places. This got more raucous and friendly.

Then a load of the teens-ish people (anyone who wanted to) went off for a walk together while the parents stayed back at base and had a chat.

Some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm, though some had to go earlier.

Things you might want to bring: sun cream, sun hats, umbrellas, snacks, water, picnic blankets, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.

If you want more other meetup opportunities, bear in mind that some teens have been coming to the Thursday Free Play meetups.

Access: If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning. Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.