Should he go to school? Are they being fair?(24 Posts)
Hi! I’m 19 and I’m not a mum but I am a big sister to a 7 year old boy and I really need some advice from parents! So I’ve come here :-) Okay, so first of all, In your opinion do you guys think that 7 year olds are still classed as being ‘little’?? And do you think that a 7 year old is old enough to make the decision on whether they want to or should go to school?? In my opinion, a 7 year old isn’t little anymore! They’re a fully grown child! (Maybe not height wise but you know what I mean!) My lil bro who will be 7 next month is currently ‘homeschooled’ but he reeeeaaaally wants to go to real school! (If he was in school now then he would be in Year 2 btw as his birthday is in November!) But my parents don’t think that he’s old enough to make that decision yet and they said that they’re not gunna let him decide until it’s time for him to go to high school! But he’ll only be like 10/11 then which in my opinion isn’t much different then being 7 mentality wise! You’re just as aware at 7 as you are at 10/11. You just know and understand and few more things at 10/11! And when I was 7 I definitely knew whether I wanted to be in school or not and whether I should be at school or not! 😐😐 Like I said before, my parents don’t think that my lil bro Is old enough to decide on whether he should go to school or not and they both really hate the school system and to be honest I do agree that it’s quite flawed and some changes are definitely needed but in all honesty I don’t think it’s actually that bad and hey I survived through it! And they both just hate school in general because of what I had to go though and still kind of have to go through now with College! (I have Dyspraxia, Autism and Major Anxiety so as you can imagine my life has been quite the struggle and it’s just been one big fight academically!) But my brother isn’t like me! He hasn’t got disabilities like me and he’s incredibly social unlike me who is as quiet as a mouse! Everyone’s school experience is different anyway! They won’t really even let me or my bro talk about school and they always just immediately say no to my bro when he asks about it and now he doesn’t even bother asking anymore as he just knows the answer now and they immediately get annoyed and just don’t want to listen when school is brought up! (Which is now making my parents think that he doesn’t want to go to real school anymore because he’s not saying anything to them!) Even I don’t talk to my parents about a lot of things anymore coz I know what they’ll say and I know that they’ll probably moan at me! It’s been like that ever since I can remember! They are really loving and caring and supporting parents though and I’m incredibly grateful to have them! :-) But anyway, They’re basically forcing him to be homeschooled until High school! And I feel really sorry for him because he’s just so bored all the time at home and he’a always building schools on Minecraft and he literally always comes into my room so he can go on my Xbox basically leaving me with no privacy or personal space anymore! (I love my brother to death but I absolutely hate our age difference! But that’s a whole other story) So yea anyway, my brother is technically not in education right now despite being 7 years old............... I mean he’s technically homeschooled but my parents aren’t even really teaching him anything! They just tell him to go on the computer and go on reading eggs! (An educational English and Maths website for primary school age kids) So they basically just leave him to teach himself................ And even with that he only does it occasionally as he refuses to do it most of the time! He can’t take anything like that seriously when he’s at home as I’m pretty sure most kids can’t! I was homeschooled for about 2 and a half years during high school (Year 8 except the first term until Year 10) because of bullying and stuff I couldn’t take anything seriously either! And homeschooling in general just didn’t really work out for me and it was honestly more just like a much needed almost 2 year break from school for me! But my lil bro literally just plays video games all day when he should be in education and actually learning things! :| Plus, my parents are always busy with work and stuff so I don’t really get how they think homeschooling my brother is even gunna work? He does go to Forrest School but it’s only one day a week and it’s more just educational outdoorsy stuff then normal education stuff. He can’t read, spell or do basic maths yet and he won’t even wipe his own butt after he poops........... I feel like he’s so behind on everything and I’m honestly worried about him! :/ The School topic has been a constant battle in this house and I’m honestly getting really sick of it now and I wish they’d just send him to school or at least just try it and give it a chance! 😕😕 Do you think my parents are being fair? Because I don’t think that they are at all! 😐😐
So any advice on how I can persuade my parents to send my lil bro to school or on anything else that I’ve mentioned here would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this absolute mess of a paragraph and I’m sorry it’s so long!! 😂😂
(Edited by MNHQ)
Your parents are his parents so it's ultimately their decision. However, don't you get regular visits from the LEA to see how his education is going? I thought that an inspector would come and pick up on issues and escalate if needed. I doubt your parents will be convinced, though as they seem to feel strongly about things.
No, JoJo, there are no regular visits from an inspector for the vast majority of home-schooled children
OP are you American?
I agree with what you're saying but they are the parents.
I always thought you had regular visits too though?
The regular visits is something they scare home ed people into having when really there's nothing in the law for it.
7 is definitely far too young to be making such decisions. That's what parents are for!
Seven is still a very little child.
Whilst I disagree with homeschooling generally, it is the parents right to choose. They are the people best placed to make decisions about their child's education and welfare.
Your brother sounds like he's lonely and wants to mix with kids his own age. Does he have friends?
I would consider listening to him.
Say they keep him out of school and he is switched off from learning because what thry do in school may be vastly more challenging and enjoyable than what he gets at home (it sounds to me from your post that they aren't bloody educating him at all. No wonder the poor lad is bored & unhappy!)
Say he goes to clubs and keeps hearing about all yhe sports teams and events and trips and friendship groups and he resents his home schooling.
He zones out of learning. They then say ok at high school but by then he's zoned out of learning and has a lower entry profile than he's capable of. His journey througy secondary will be different than if he was engaged in his learning and making progress. He leaves with lower GCSEs which affects his choices. That impacts on his lifr chances all because your parents decided 'we don't like school and are too lazy to home educate properly'
I have no issue with home school at all. Schools aren't perfect.
But this set up is not helping your brother.
I don't think 7 is too young to make a decision that he wants more interaction from outside.
I don't disagree with home schooling, but there doesn't seems to be real schooling going on.
If your parents are at work who looks after him?
I don't disagree with home ed on principle,but it takes patience,dedication and work to do it properly (which is why Icould never do it )
Does he have any friends? Does he socialise outside the home?
Tbh it's the social side that would worry me the most.
You've talked about your parents, but what do you do to help?
This is a great example of the problems with the current home education set up in the uk, which is that anyone can say they're home edding and there are no checks made whatsoever.
More people are becoming aware that it's an option and many are not doing it for the right reasons. Your brother is being badly let down.
Whether he is old enough to make this decision is not the point here. If my 7 year old decided he didn't want to go to school, well tough! I'm the parent, I make the decisions in your best interest!
The real issue here is that this child's needs are not being met. I would seek some advice from your LEA. If left to fester, this could become a safeguarding issue. He already sounds like he's not hitting developmental milestones (bum wiping?) and could be at risk of social isolation.
If you are 19, it's possible there are some factors here that your parents have not discussed with you. You say he's a "grown up child" and yet then say he's not capable of wiping his bum. You say your parents aren't educating him (in your opinion), however, you also mention that he is doing computer stuff and going to forest school, and describe your parents as loving, caring, and supportive, so it's highly possible that you're just not seeing everything that is being done by them. Oh, and "educational outdoorsy stuff" is just as important as regular educational stuff.
He's only 6 (albeit almost 7). He is not mature enough to make the decision himself regarding school vs home education. Obviously he can have an opinion, but it's not his decision. That's what parents are for.
I'm not sure how objective you are being here anyway, but that's neither here nor there. If you have a concern, I'd suggest you find some time to sit down with your parents and discuss it with them. Be prepared for them to tell you that it's not your decision, however. That is exactly what I would tell my adult dd.
Even I don’t talk to my parents about a lot of things anymore coz I know what they’ll say and I know that they’ll probably moan at me!
Is it possible that you are at the moment struggling at school (as you've mentioned) and struggling with your parents and perhaps that is colouring how you view their decisions at the moment?
I think 7 is still very young, and actually, there is a huge difference between a child of 7 and one of 10/11. I don't think your brother is old enough to decide for himself, though his feelings should undoubtedly be taken into account.
The real problem, from what you've said, is that your parents are not home schooling your brother effectively. This is why, in my opinion, there absolutely should be some sort of regular checks on home educating families in order to safeguard the right of every child to be educated properly.
For home education, there is a check once a year. Very little education has to be done in order to meet standards and it is easy to exaggerate. There is not enough money for schools, so there is certainly no help for home educators.
It is, however, your parents decision. Parents tend to do what they see as best for their children. Could you sit down, as an adult with them, and find out why they have made the decision to home school?
Could you suggest your db does Khan Academy rather than Minecraft? Could they use the Forest school to network with other home educators and fine other things that are going on for home educators?
When my own dd was 8 or9 I remember asking her if she wanted to leave school. 6 or 7 is too young, but over the next couple of years, they should start taking his views into account more.
You are at college and so should not let this distract you from doing well in your own education. You getting good grades is just as important as him doing well in school work.
At this age, like it or not, your parents have the right to chose.
Many parents do chose to home ed for many reasons, and it sounds as if your parents have a philosophy of some sort that involes home ed.
They are totally entitiled to make this decision, and with the best will in the world, at 19, you are not his parents and may not be in the loop with all their reasoning etc.
They may be persuing UnSchooling, which is an education method you can read up on.
If you brother is really keen to go to school, it may be because he is bored, or wants friends. There are many home ed groups he could be part of, from minecraft to art, science to book club etc.
You could find one or two and offer to take him.
He may not be old enough to realize the implications of going to school, but it would give him structure, a rounded and supported education as well as friendships which are important in learning how to deal with people from all walks of life.
Ultimately it's going to be your parents decision, but a local school may be willing to give him a couple of taster days which may help him and his parents work out what really is best for him.
It does seem a shame that a 7 year old who actively wants to go to school and socialise and learn can't.
I know homeschooling families where the kids seem to love it and do meet up socially with friends lots etc but it doesn't sound like this boy is getting the stimulation he needs.
But I also agree it seems like your parents arent going to listen to what you think at 19 either! You have to let them parent as they see fit.
I agree with you that your little brother should be in school and that your parents are being unfair to him, but I disagree with you that this is because your brother is old enough at 7yo to decide for himself. If 7yo was old enough to decide to go then you would have to concede that he was also old enough to decide not to go any more after 4 weeks once the novelty has worn off - and that would be bad for his development, teaching him that it's OK to quit and that perseverance isn't important.
The sorry excuse for home education he is currently getting sounds really poor. Your parents clearly aren't caring about his actual needs, so he needs you to be his champion. Yanbu to stand up for him.
I've spent the last 5 years teaching Year 3, which is when the kids are 7-8 years old.
Last year one of my parents made the decision to remove their child from mainstream education and homeschool them. Now this was because they felt they would be better suited to meet their child's SEN needs. A decision which seems fair enough on the surface. But I cannot express enough how heart broken I was for the child.
You see, at school the kids learn as much from each other as they do from me, their teacher. It is easy to make the assumption that all learning comes from the teacher, it makes sense, they are the lesson provider after all. But trust me when I say actual lessons make up about 40-50% of what children actually learn at school.
I've seen countless times where children have gone from social recluses (for want of a better term) to the most popular child in the class, simply because they have been exposed to social rules learnt organically from their classmates. I've seen kids learn from each other, teach each other and help each other grow. Ofsted themselves have a huge focus on peer influences and development.
I'm not saying their decision is wrong, it is afterall their personal choice, but I'm sad that the child will miss out on all those opportunities.
Grant I get that home education isn't a set model that you can know for certain what a child is or isn't getting. But I removed my child from school (a special school as it happens) to home educate.
According to independent assessment he made 2 years academic progress in that year but, wait for it, 2.5 years language and communication progress and social skills. He caught up with his mainstream peers and is now in an ASD unit in a mainstream school and due to start a mainstream secondary school.
Children can, and do, make phenomenal language and social skill progress when they can access their social environment in bite-sized, carefully chosen chunks, as well as through the opportunities to have long periods of 1:1 attention.
Schools cannot provide that level of tailored intervention, with the best will in the world. Some parents can't. But many, particularly those who have chosen to take a child out of school as a plan rather than a result of school refusal/failure, can.
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