ready to give up :((22 Posts)
i took ds out of school last year he was 13 then and is now 14 i have found it very hard to get him to do anything. we have managed a bit but he keeps complaining that he feels he is not learning anything and wants to go back to school. the problem is i have lots i can do with him he just doesn't want to do anything i've tried internet courses, books, games and just watching something educational on tv. he just doesn't want to do anything and moans if i try to make him, and then he is complying he isnt learning anything.
i have told him if he wants to go back to school then i am happy for him to but not his old school. they have him labeled as a trouble maker and he will just be bothering with his old friends again which is not a good thing.
any ideas on how i can engage him in learning would be much appreciated thanks
Get the book "THe Teenage Liberation Handook: How to Quit SChool and get a real life and education".
Invite your son to read it.
Think about it and talk about it together.
Are there other schools as options?
Has he got friends that he sees?
hi I will try and get the book.
yes there are other schools but he will not even consider them. when he was in school it was only to see his mates not to learn and I think that's the real reason for him wanting to go back. if it was to learn then he would be willing to consider a different school where he can get a fresh start. he does still see friends outside of school.
When you say he won't do the work, how forceful are you being? Everyone will try to get out of work if it is easy to do so. You may have to stick with it whilst he has a tantrum and don't let him get away with disappearing off. It will be hard. Try rewards eg. if he completes something, he will get a point and he needs 5 points to get a phone top up (or similar). Get him back into the work habit
Sorry to sound a bit blunt in last message. Some parents will be shaking their heads as they never 'force' thier children to do anything. Well it depends whether you want your child to work.
Are these friends the same ones that he was in school with?
Sounds to me like he is not de schooled yet.
What are you trying to ge him to do?
What is he interested in?
Will he work for you for money?
In my opinion, you really really need to investigate (a) deschooling and (b) unschooling (aka autonomous HE).
It's almost impossible to force a 14 year old to learn something on your agenda rather than his. So find out what his agenda is - and it totally doesn't have to look academic - and then help him (legally) to chase his dreams. This is a great opportunity for him to try to get work experience on a farm, in a music studio, in a restaurant kitchen, I don't know what else. Maybe learning to program, guided by some slightly older computer nerds. Maybe auditioning for X Factor (maybe not old enough yet?! But he could be getting good at music, with lessons, in preparation)
In a very few years, he'll be out there making his way in the world - help him to work out what he wants to do with his talents and time. School is very bad at that.
I'd say that having a home environment that feels pressured and claustrophobic like the school environment did is the worst of both worlds for both of you. There really are alternatives!!
It sounds to me as if the friends are the problem, rather than any sort of education. If he is going to spend his time with unmotivated friends it is going to be difficult to change his attitude.
some of his friends are form school and some are new friends. he does not see the worst of his friends from school. he has some behavioural problems I believe Adhd and odd we are waiting for a camhs appointment.
I've tried to find out what he is interested in but he just shrugs and says he doesn't know him self. at one point he was into bmx biking so we got an old box for him to restore and then either keep or sell, but even with the money incentive he gave up and got board with it.
I asked about places he would like to visit, things he would like to see and again he doesn't know.
nope middle child I have two older and two younger. he is the only home educated as school just wasn't doing him any good.
I have considered home educating my youngest if he doesn't get on in school. the school he goes to is different to the one I sent my older ds too as it never addressed his behavioural issues. my youngest school has got him extra support everyday so if things improve I will keep him in school if not I'll try home educating
Was your son involved in the decision to leave school? If not, perhaps the "I'm learning nothing at home" is just an excuse and he is just expressing the idea that he should be the one to choose. It is pretty difficult to home educate a child against his will, just as it is difficult to make him go to school against his will.
yes he thought it was a good idea at first and was very good at the beginning.
I agree with Saracen- Maggi asked earlier how forceful you were being, but you can't make a child work.( You can lead a horse to water..........,and all that). You have to get him to believe that he wants to work.The way to do that seems to be to follow Ommmward's advice.
If he has ADHD it might be difficult for him to make decisions. Speaking as someone who has it, you sort of get 'stuck' because you can have several thoughts at once about what you might like to do, and if he has had his self esteem battered by making mistakes a lot through impulsiveness and lack of concentration, that makes it so much worse. Any pressure from others makes my brain kind of 'jam' and i go into a tailspin of anxiety and self-doubt. It's very hard to get around and causes a lot of problems. Well done for getting him out of school, that environment would have made those problems worse.
Maybe you could back off, let him relax and get bored enough to start looking for something to do? He probably needs to feel useful, too, but if he has developed ODD then asking him to do stuff won't help. Leaving it up to him to do stuff then being really pleased for the help might be better. Watching him closely and providing him with materials/experiences based on what he is interested in or good at will work, so long as it's not presented in the form of something that will put pressure on him, e.g; "You've always been great at art, why don't we enrol you on an art course?". There's a great book about finding your true purpose through looking at what makes you feel like you are playing (as in when you were a child), think it's by Ken Robinson.
Might be good for you to read (not him).
I think that you will have to back of a bit and hope that boredom kick starts him. He might not want to take an interest in anything if he thinks his mother might jump on it and use it educationally (although I can see why you would).
Try a different approach - agree that he doesn't know what he wants to do. So that means he has to give everything a try, a good try, and that will help him work out where he wants to go.
So - is he hands on, a reader, or a watcher ? Maybe say trawl through the documentaries on iplayer - loads of series on BBC4. Say every week watch 2 programs on history (can include things like who do you think you are), two on science (eg horizon, science club), two on nature/geography, and 2 on current affairs. He can chop them into half hour chunks if he finds he is drifting in a hour long session.
Languages ? - lots online - pitched at all levels - a bit of googling is required.
That will broaden his horizons, give him some good general knowledge and hopefully point him towards what he wants to do.
And a pep talk. He is old enough to see adult hood on the horizon. He has to realise no-one is going to feed and house him for the rest of his life. He is going to the one responsible for himself. It would be nicest for him if he is doing something he enjoys rather than a very boring low paid job. His job now is to give himself the best foundation he can - which is broad.
Arts, crafts, sports, music - can all slot around that to make life more enjoyable - and if he is good at one - then maybe a future route to earning a living. My lot also love tinkering with wood, metal and stuff to make things.
thanks for all the advice I'll give him the rest of the week off then try some of your suggestions next week.
I haven't been trying to push him too hard. when he was in school our relationship suffered from all the arguments and stress about behaving and doing well in school so I needed to try and mend it.
as for self esteem his is low, he is always very good at things he tries but gives after a while due to getting board.
Hey foxy I agree with lots of the advice that has been given above. I homeschool all my kids and I really love the Project Based Homeschooling book by Lori Pickert. It gives some great ideas for working out what your child's interests are and encouraging them to follow them. She has some good ideas for helping them to carry on when they have tried something and are getting bogged down.
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