Suddenly plunged into Home Ed, panicking...(3 Posts)
My yr8 DD came home last week and announced that she wasn't going back to school. She'd had low-level teasing/bullying for some time, which we'd taken up with the school but she said nothing ever changed. On this occasion, she'd been given a behaviour mark for telling another girl to shut up when she called one of my daughter's friends a 'spaz', and I think the injustice of this was the final straw.
There don't appear to be any other school options. The schools in our town are all pretty awful, and this one was - we thought - marginally better than the others. A lot of children go to the rural school a few miles away, but DD missed out on a place by a very short distance. When I rang yesterday, this school said they were full and already had 8 children on the waiting list. And in any case, DD is refusing to contemplate going to any school.
So we're left with HE, which is something I contemplated when she was little, but decided it wasn't right for either of us. I'm coming to terms with the fact that there's no other option at this point, but am full of trepidation and concern. Some of my worries are:
- I'm a single parent, with one child, and although DD's father is very supportive and is committed to HE if that's what she wants, HE would inevitably mean that DD and I spend even more time together than we already do, and I'm worried about the effect this might have on our relationship - neither of us has the most relaxed character and I'm worried that our already fairly intense relationship might suffer
- I currently work from home but that work is coming to an end and I'll need to get a job. I don't want to leave her home alone for hours every day
- there doesn't seem to be much of a HE network where we live, and I'm worried about DD spending far too much time on her own. She's not keen on attending HE groups anyway, as she's a very quiet and shy child and finds socialising with children she doesn't know very difficult
- On the positive side, she's bright and motivated by particular things (at the moment she's crazy about Shakespeare) and it would give her a chance to follow her interests. Besides the bullying at school, I was doubtful that she was learning much as the quality of teaching appeared very poor.
- My other worry is that I don't know where to start, having not anticipated this eventuality. Deschooling seems to be advocated by a lot of people: is it best to just let her have some time out to follow her own interests without pressure for the time being? I'm a real worrier and can see myself worrying about whether she's learning enough even though that makes no sense given how little she was learning at school.
Any advice/reassurance very welcome!
You could have a look at inter high. It's a sort of online school where she would get structure and guidance in studying.
Given the situation, a period of deschooling where she can follow her own interests might give you both breathing space to consider what home schooling might eventually "look" like for your dd. eg how many hours a day, totally autonomous vs some structure and curriculum, whether you/she think GCSEs should (eventually) be part of the picture.
On a separate note, I suggest you put your dd's name on the list for the rural school now. You wouldn't have to accept a place, if offered at some point, but it wouldn't hurt to have the option if one comes up.
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