oooooooh this hurts... I'm really thinking of home ed for DS, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me advice

(32 Posts)
hereidrawtheline Tue 15-Sep-09 09:40:35

DS is 3 and has been going to preschool 2 mornings a week since Feb (2.6 at the time) He used to love it but no longer. He has some SN but not sure what really - he is certainly very hyperactive, extremely bright, mad, creative, restless, obsessive, has some ASD traits, and a lot of emotional insecurities. He is an odd child, for example he identifies food by what part of the body they strengthen i.e. scallions are good for your immune system which has soldiers who fight viruses, spinach gives him superhero muscles and so on.

Anyway his behaviour several months back was actually pretty atrocious and me and DH were at our wits end. Summer break and things gradually got better and we were thinking this is so weird how his behaviour is like a cycle rather than a constant. Well he has been back at preschool 2 weeks and you guessed it he has been the 3 year old if not from hell certainly from a very dark and bitter place. He has said every day but the first day back at school that he does not want to go. Today I overheard him telling one of his "friends" he doesnt want to go. He started growling at me and hitting me. To be clear I have never ever left him there crying. When he gets in the door he settles and is in the main ok just grunts at me if he is really cross.

I said to him, look if you stay here today we can talk about whether or not you will come back on Thursday. And I spoke to his teacher, who is lovely. She said she can show me pics she takes of him throughout the session where he is laughing and smiling and playing and he seems happy while there but that she understands where I am coming from.

The thing is it only just clicked with me that his really bad behaviour has exactly coincided with his return to school and ended pretty much with the summer break. And I realised how much he developed over the summer weeks. So I'm thinking of home edding.

My concerns:

I live in a small village and dont drive: will we get out, will he see enough other children?

Will I ever get any time away from him? He doesnt self entertain at all so this is a concern as I was rather looking forward to several hours a day on my own.

He is so hyperactive, what if I cant get him to sit down to learn lessons?

And anything else I havent thought of! Thank you!

MissisBoot Tue 15-Sep-09 09:44:56

hey there - why don't you give Mung a call or put a thread on the local section - I'm pretty sure she's HEing her dc and I'm sure would be more than happy to chat with you.

hereidrawtheline Tue 15-Sep-09 09:50:22

oh that is a good idea! I dont have her number but I will link to this thread in local! thanks!

anastaisia Tue 15-Sep-09 09:57:04

The thing is that your DS is only 3. You could take him out of pre-school without needing to make a definite decision about school/home ed just yet.

You have time to experiment with having him home, seeing what's available and what you both enjoy, without doing lessons or anything. And if its going well, then you just don't look for a school. If you feel you need to try him with school again for whatever reasons you can.

Hope you find someone close by - that makes things easier

pooter Tue 15-Sep-09 09:59:56

hi herei. is there any possibility of you learning to drive? it would open so many more possibilities for you both.

the sitting down to learn - not an issue with autonomous ed - they are free to learn kinesthetically/musically etc - imo one of the best aspects of HE.

i think the isolation is your main issue - there is SO much going on for HE'ers around here - but you have to get there.

xx

hereidrawtheline Tue 15-Sep-09 10:00:12

well I have just always felt that he would never settle in to reception unless he went to preschool first... so that is part of my worry. But maybe I need to get over that too.

hereidrawtheline Tue 15-Sep-09 10:03:47

pooter I just am so crap about learning. I cant afford lessons for one thing. I suppose I could try again I havent tried in a few years. I can drive an automatic but not a manual. I am really badly co-ordinated.

MissisBoot Tue 15-Sep-09 10:16:58

why don't you get an automatic car then? it would make such a difference to you.

hereidrawtheline Tue 15-Sep-09 10:22:04

we will do eventually but couldnt do anything like that til I get a proper job, which I am looking for. But that is going to take a long time because I am looking for a job writing (as I can do it from home!) and its what I am good at grin

hereidrawtheline Tue 15-Sep-09 10:26:35

well on to the next problem, DH says he doesnt think we could do "anything worse" to DS than pull him out of preschool because of his already poor socialisation. But I dont want to take him in on Thursday. Damn it.

MissisBoot Tue 15-Sep-09 10:38:50

Could your dh take him on thursday?

How much 'power' does your ds in determining what he wants/gets?

I think lots of children get angry for being left somewhere - even if they have fun - dd was furious yesterday with me - because she had to go to the cm's after school - despite her having a wonderful time there and not wanting to come home - so don't take it as a problem that is related to your ds only.

I don't know anything about SN - but have you spoken to your HV/GP about your concerns - what about the nursery - they should be making constant assessments of him in terms of behaviour/needs etc?

cousinsandra Tue 15-Sep-09 10:42:51

my 3.5 year old's behaviour deteriorates hugely during week/term time - he's still only at morning nursery but I think because he's tired and that much more desparate for attention his behaviour is worse. He loves going though and his older brother is there, it's just when he gets home he is mad, hyper and very naughty and sometimes cross. I too wonder if it's the right place for him...

hereidrawtheline Tue 15-Sep-09 10:43:15

yeah I dont know. DH says DS shouldnt control what happens as in not having all the power. I dont think he should have all the power but I think this is an area he should have enough power, if that makes sense. Ugh. sometimes I hate being a parent!! It is so bloody hard tyring to get it right all the time!

MissisBoot Tue 15-Sep-09 10:48:17

I think I agree with your dh - your ds is three years old and does not have the maturity to influence decisions such as these - fine to for them to make decisions over what they want to wear etc - having power on a small scale like that gives them a chance to start developing those skills.

It is bloody hard being a parent and sometimes you have to make difficult decisions that won't make your children happy all the time. You can't be a friend and a parent.

hereidrawtheline Tue 15-Sep-09 10:50:01

but for him to be so persistently unhappy about going to preschool, to me, sends a message that it isnt right for him, for whatever reason. And I want to listen to that.

I dont know. I am going to go to sleep though. I go to collect him in a bit and I'm going to take a little nap I'm shattered. Thanks for talking.

MissisBoot Tue 15-Sep-09 10:52:54

Of course you do - try not to beat yourself up about it. Don't forget to set your alarm!

MissisBoot Tue 15-Sep-09 10:57:22

Just had a thought - when you pick him up do you ask him lots of questions about what he's been up to?

You could try the 'not bothered' technique of parenting and not ask him anything about nursery - just carry on with your day as normal. Sometimes I think they pick up on the pressure that we put ourselves under in wanting our children to have good experiences and being able to provide this for them. ie we want to be able to control their environment and if they aren't having a good experience then we feel responsible for that and in turn question our parenting choices...

poopscoop Tue 15-Sep-09 11:03:13

Can you take him out of nursery, then give yourselves a bit of time to see how you get on with HE?

He doesn't have to go to school and if he does you dont have to start until the term after his 5th birthday. This should give you enough time to test the water and see how you get along.

anastaisia Tue 15-Sep-09 11:50:26

I don't read it as though their DS is making the decision though. He has clearly demonstrated that a situation is making him unhappy and his parents are considering the options they have. They will make the decision but they will do so taking their child's feelings and needs into account. Just like parents do all the time.

The two of you disagreeing is difficult. Maybe meeting up with some families near you might help to make your DH that if you choose HE it is the end of DS's social life? And you can do that without having to make a decision either way.

anastaisia Tue 15-Sep-09 11:51:02

help to make you DH see

CommonNortherner Tue 15-Sep-09 12:44:49

If it is making him so unhappy then it seems only rational to take him out. It doesn't mean you are then home educating him because he's still little yet. He could well be ready for school at 5, or not, but you don't know that yet. What you do know is your child is intensely unhappy.

And your son doesn't actually have any power at all! What an odd thing to say, at that age he's completely powerless. Because you may decide nursery is having an adverse effect upon him and your family life and take him out has everything to do with parental power through logical decision making. He is at your complete mercy and power for every aspect of his life right now!

Also, being "socialised" is not just about cramming a certain number of other children around a child. How strange it is to imagine that hanging around other socially immature youngsters is going to "socialise" a person, rather than having behaviour modelled by already "socialised" adults.

Mung Tue 15-Sep-09 16:46:13

Hi Hereidrawtheline.

Some people have given you some great advice on here. I am with Anastasia and think that pulling him out of pre-school doesn't mean he doesn't have to go to school. It does give you a chance to see how it goes and if its making him unhappy then I believe there is very little point in leaving him there. He will not settle and 'socialise' if he isn't happy and surely this is detrimental to his development. But, its you who can really see how he is getting on.

It would make your life easier if you could drive, as Pooter says. There is so much going on in the area with regards to HE that you would be overwhelmed by the fantastic opportunities for your little man to socialise at his own pace and do what he wants. In fact, Pooter and I keep thinking about starting a regular get together for our young HeEdders to meet up and have fun...it only happened once and we have been very slack over the past year.

I'd also recommend getting hold of a few books about HE to really find out a bit more about it. The local libraries have a few you can put on hold and you are welcome to borrow some from me (and probably Pooter).

I found that reading, meeting other Home Educated children and parents and just facing the fact that I was going against the family grain made a huge difference to me and now I really enjoy being at home with my DCs...all those worries of 'me time' and 'how can I put up with them all day' seem to have gone away. Its hard at times, but on the whole I am always busy and we have fun.

If I can help at all then let me know.

Mung Tue 15-Sep-09 16:47:26

Oh and the whole sitting down thing...don't worry about that...if he isn't at school he doesn't need to be sat down to learn. i didn't learn French sitting on my backside in a classroom!

pooter Tue 15-Sep-09 16:54:47

oh yes - thanks for reminding me mung - i have LOADS of books on HE that you are more than welcome to borrow! Just be aware that you will be convinced that nothing less than HE will be good enough for your DS after reading them!

I had similar problems with dd earlier this year. She was absolutely distraught at the thought of me leaving her at pre-school and not particularly happy when she was there although she didn't just sit and cry. I decided that it just wasn't fair to force her to go if she wasn't enjoying it so we pulled her out. Pre-school isn't compulsory! She had plenty of opportunities to socialise in happy surrounding.

I'm not sure the bad behaviour coinciding with the start of term is necessarily directly due to going there, could well just be tiredness. DD was like that even when she was enjoying pre-school!

She has just started school and I'm had some issues dropping her off this week but we'll have to see how it goes. She's come home telling me what she's been up to today (MB I agree with you about not asking as well, she never says she's enjoyed if I ask directly!)

Might be worth getting some advice from someone about the SN if you're concerned. Maybe he's just got a lot of energy! Not sure who decided what a 'normal child' is anyway?! You might be able to get some ideas for strategies to help you and him cope anyway.

Sorry, huge amount of waffle, but best of luck with your decision.

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