Is DD just being 'naughty' or is her behavior a sign of deep unhappiness at school/has anyone else experienced similar? ?(19 Posts)
Plan 'A' was to home ed, DD desperately wanted to go to nursery and then of course wanted to join the others at school...so off she went, it seemed to make sense at the time for various reasons.
She is in year 1 and I feel as though I am on a hiding to nothing! We have wobbles and lateness, I sort out the issues that she presents me with and then more issues arise and she doesn't want to go again.
The thing is that lately when she is unhappy like this her behavior is awful, usually is is very gentle but if she is putting up a fight not to go to school she will kick and bite and rage at me. It's awful.
Recently we were all ill (she has 2 younger brothers) and DD had just over a week without school, she turned back into herself again. Same in the holidays. Her confidence improves as well and she will quite happily sit writing letters and drawing pictures, but at school she says that she hates writing...
DP has suggested that we look for other schools AND is happy for me to trial home ed in the Easter holidays with a view to moving to doing it permanently. My parents would be supportive.
All of this is fine, except I am worried I'm sending her a message that bad behavior = getting what you want. The 'pro schoolers' in my life think that she just needs a firm hand. I also want to be able to teach her that there are times in life were we need to do things we don't want to do.
Does anyone have any wise words? or has anyone experienced anything similar?
I want to get what I want, don't you?
Yours is a tricky situation. First up, do you think she might be happier once her siblings start school - does she feel that whilst she is at school you are off doing all the fun stuff? If so, a trial period of doing 'dull' stuff whilst she is in school, then maybe a few treats/outings etc afterwards might help.
Looking at it more widely, what is your gut feeling? Is she gradually getting more and more unhappy? How is her behaviour in school, and what are her friendships like? If there are problems in these areas, and they have been there a while, I would probably give home-ed a trial. It is possible to put her back into school if things don't work out, but do make sure you give it long enough to see! There will probably be a honeymoon period, then she may actually be angry with you for a while for taking her away from her friends and the fun of school (great pair of rose-tinteds!), then hopefully you will come through that and things will settle and be fine! I guess what I'm saying is that if you expect a period of unhappiness, and know it is just a natural phase, you are less likely to panic and put her back into school.
And if you do decide to put the boys into school, then there will be 2 clear opportunities for her to re-join.
The fact that your parents and DP are supportive makes it a lot easier to go for it! We took our DD out of school in KS2, after years of unhappiness. I wish we had done it earlier as her self-esteem has taken a real hammering. Her sibling are both in school, so we are always careful to make sure the 'fun stuff' is balanced between them all.
Not sure if this will be much help - it seems like I'm rambling! Keep in touch x
My gut feeling is to Home-ed, at least for a bit. Funnily enough I don't get up to that much when she is at school because we always need to be back for school pick up, if I'm going to pay an entrance fee to anywhere I want to relax and leave late to get my monies worth!
Thanks for the advice, especially about the honeymoon period. DD did make some home ed friends at a group that we used to go to so she may/hopefully would enjoy catching up with them.
...and yes, I do want to get what I want to, perhaps when all reasonable avenues have been exhausted we all start being a bit unreasonable.
" DD had just over a week without school, she turned back into herself again. Same in the holidays. Her confidence improves as well and she will quite happily sit writing letters and drawing pictures, but at school she says that she hates writing..."
I think you've answered your own question...how else would a five year old demonstrate unhappiness?
She's too young to articulate it, probably too young to fully realise that it's school that is making her feel bad...
"I also want to be able to teach her that there are times in life were we need to do things we don't want to do. "
Yes there are.....but putting up with something day after day, with no hope of anything changing for the better, that makes you feel so bad that you kick out at someone you love, is not one of them.
As adults if we are in that situation, we have a choice whether or not to change it, at the moment, she doesn't.
You wanted to home ed anyway so do you think you might be making more of the issues so that you can do this?
Also do you think that she is picking up on your feelings about her being at a school? If you are not very positive she won't be either.
I get the impression that your dh doesn't feel the same way as you about home schooling, is that right? So do you think you might be making more of these issues so that you can convince him that home schooling is for the best?
DP is fairly relaxed either way, he works long hours so most of the day to day things with the DC's is down to me (although he love maths and is really good with DD, it was him who helped get her confidence back up and start enjoying numbers again...).
School has been great for me tbh, I've met some lovely Mums and made some really nice friends in the village...I'll miss it if we home ed. The routine of it all suits me as well so I've been really positive about it.
I find the thought of the process of withdrawing her from school thoroughly daunting!
I came to he relatively late with my youngest, having schooled the rest, not wisdom, but some benefit of hindsight. A couple of things jumped out
She may simply not be ready for school, or she may be a child who doesn't suit school, or you could argue she may be a diva, but the fact she's a gentle creature when not being forced into the slot raging so fiercly against it, and her confidence is down at school, (why? Would you expect school to knock her confidence? It shouldn't imo) would make me think very hard about why I needed her to fit that slot.
I am worried I'm sending her a message that bad behavior = getting what you want.
I wouldn't have thought at that age there was any good reason for her to truely connect her behaviour to your descision unless you presented it as such tbh.
The 'pro schoolers' in my life think that she just needs a firm hand. She may well do at times, my home ed ds and dgc's get one.
I also want to be able to teach her that there are times in life were we need to do things we don't want to do. Even if you don't teach her that (and I'm sure you will along the way many times over) life will.
What kind of education you choose to give her shouldn't be chosen with that goal as an overiding one in mind imo.
Firstly: there will always be issues which are non negotiable, home educating or not, things like seat belts in cars, using the loo, walking on the pavement instead of along the road, paying for things...so don't worry about having to create opportunities for a child to know that they have to toe the line. Bad things happen in life anyway, you don't have to go around ensuring they happen! (I used to refuse to leave church services which my son was clearly fed up by on this basis. Luckily I gave up on that pointless exercise after a while.)
Secondly: I made the mistake of strongly bonding to the school set up, liking the ease of meeting other parents in my village, enjoying the sense of order and liking being part of something. I liked getting to know all the other little children and the teachers. I was proud of knowing people's names and who was related to whom.
The price for this was my relationship with my child. There are no ways around the fact that I was paying for my general sense of order by my child's sanity. It was only his absolute desperation which got through to me. Don't be as slow and dense as I was.
If a child's behaviour is shouting 'I am happy with you, Mummy, and I am hopeless and unhappy when I am forced to go to school', just listen to the child. Your actions are not causing the pro-school adults you associate with to be desperately unhappy, but your tiny daughter. Who is more important? Who have you been getting up in the night for these past few years, it's not them...
Thirdly: How great that your husband and your parents are letting you make your own decision on this and would be supportive of home education. They are giving you the time and space to come to your own decision. That is amazing.
All the best and do join your county's Home Ed Yahoo Group if there is one to help you connect with local home educators if this would help you with where you are at the moment. Many home educators have gone through a tricky period while considering whether to home ed or not. This decision process, whichever way it goes, can be really painful.
I have one at school and one being home educated. The school one had a time of being very unhappy with secondary school, but the crucial difference was that he kept on telling me that he wanted to stay there, so that is what we finally achieved. My younger one was 100% wanting to leave his primary, so eventually that is what I arranged. If these changes had been sorted out in a few days they would have had happier childhoods.
That was long!
Thank you for your replies. More stress again last night, I was a bit calmer this time and we were able to have a talk afterwards. I have some time to myself today so I can do some thinking.
Update...we decided to withdraw DD from school last Friday, I took the letter in on Friday afternoon and that is that! The head was actually very lovely about it all (especially once she knew that I had the letter with me).
DD is much happier and was very keen for me to take her uniform out of her wardrobe. She has had the odd cross patch but nothing like the rage that she would get into before. In general things are much calmer and happier here.
DP's parents are a bit wobbly about it, tbh most of their concerns have been answered in your replies which is really helpful too.
Thank you all again!
That's great, Molly . The fact that your DD wanted you to take her uniform away says it all really. I'm so glad she seems happier already. It must be a weight off your mind.
Enjoy your time together!
(And, incidentally, that was an excellent post by TooJung).
Good luck with it! Many people say that the hardest part of home educating is deciding to do it in the first place, and I hope that will be true for you.
Arriving very late at the discussion. I just wanted to say that I am in the same boat with a child going thorugh the same thing and we are considering whether to leave DS in school or go back to HE. I feel like the post could have been written by me. I wish you luck in your HE journey and I am glad your DD is already a bit happier.
You know that all kids are different in the holidays than they are in term time don't you? We get a chance to reconnect with them. They get more sleep and the benefits of freedom from routine. They are ALL like it.
Just a different perspective.
BitOut: Is that a different perspective? It sounds like you are saying that all kids would benefit from being home educated.
Many HE parents report that that sense of being connected with their kids, and of having happier kids, is permanent.
'We get a chance to reconnect with them' I definitely agree with that. The thing is, if I am not connecting with my children during term time, then who is?
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