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We don't seem to be doing much

(10 Posts)
angelstar Mon 06-Dec-10 20:23:09

I just took my 11 yr old out of school 3 weeks ago and I finding it hard sometimes as she doesn't seem to be doing much and I'm so used to a school system. She isn't really interested in doing any formal learning or workbooks. She spends a lot of the time saying she is bored but isn't interested in 90% of the things I suggest. I'm getting worried that I maybe did the wrong thing and she should go back to school or she will never learn anything. I did want her to do GCSE's etc as she has always been a high achiever at school.
I withdrew her from school as she hated it and was refusing to go, she asked to be home educated.

AMumInScotland Mon 06-Dec-10 20:44:58

It's very normal for children to take time to "de-school" before they are ready to really start into studying again, so please don't fret if she seems to be doing very little for a while. Think of it like the long summer holiday between school years, and just give her space to do other things, which don't look like education at all. Just vegging out is fine, but if she's bored, then what would you have suggested if it was the summer holidays? What kinds of things does she enjoy? Trips out to the library or museum or park - though maybe not so much in this weather! Baking, gardening (weather again....), wildlife documentaries, reading just for enjoyment.

Don't start thinking about GCSEs or formal studying until she's had a chance to get sed to not being in school, and to get a feel for what she does enjoy doing. Or what would help towards the kind of job she'd like later

Even if/when she starts doing things you'd recognise as studying, it will probably only take an hour or so to cover what they'd get through in a whole day at school - there is so much time lost moving between classes, going over what they did last time, handing out homework etc.

Basically, give it time, and take the pressure off for a few weeks - I'd say the Christmas holiday starts now, and goes on till the end of January - by then she'll have relaxed out of the school stress and be ready to think about new things.

ommmward Tue 07-Dec-10 11:42:50

What AMiS said. Rule of thumb: allow a month of recovery for every year spent in school.

Starting to think about explictly educational things in February would actually be rushing things a bit IMO. I'd wait until after Easter. Until then, just have FUN together (and from February or so, you could just gently observe how she is coming out of her shell and taking an interest in things and learning heaps even though it isn't explicitly educational)

angelstar Tue 07-Dec-10 11:53:23

Thanks, I guess its I'm so conditioned to schooling that I guess I need to "de-school" a bit too. She has been so much happier the past couple of weeks and is getting on better with her siblings.

Saracen Wed 08-Dec-10 00:32:57

"She has been so much happier the past couple of weeks and is getting on better with her siblings."

That is absolutely fantastic!! I am really glad to hear that the change to home education is making your daughter so happy. That sounds very promising.

I can't remember whether it's an accepted part of educational theory or just a home ed truism, but many HE parents say that children will always learn if they are happy, and cannot learn much if they are unhappy. It certainly seems likely to me: I know that at times in my life when I've been anxious or unhappy I haven't had the mental energy for much else.

This business about improved sibling relationships always interests me too, as it seems to be a very common phenomenon.

SDeuchars Wed 08-Dec-10 08:45:26

Also, what were your reasons for taking her out? Whether educational or social (and you say she is happier), there may be some trauma she is getting over. She needs time to do that. If she has always been a high achiever, then she should start to do things - but perhaps not if she (feels she) is being pushed into workbooks.

Many EHE kids seem to get into learning Japanese following an (obsessive) interest in manga.

Does she (or would she like to) play an instrument? Now she has time to try things out. Can you get her involved in cooking, shopping, etc. All the "hidden" work that goes on at home which she didn't see before because of school, homework, etc. she can now be part of. And you know it's important because the government is talking about adding it to the curriculum.

BTW, my two (now 16 and 18.5 and always EHE) did nothing much formal until they started Open University courses at 13-14yo. DD is in university studying Law on the strength of OU courses. She says that many of the others are reluctant to speak in tutorials or lectures and have no idea how to prepare and deliver a presentation. In her first assignment, she was in the 52% who scored the middle grade band, but with a score towards the top. All the stuff about not learning to get up in the morning or to turn in work on time if you don't go to school for 13 years is a LIE!!!

In fact, I think that being able to choose what she wanted to do for those 13 years and to organise her own time has given her a great grounding (more than I would have said 6 months ago) for university. My socially inept child has turned into an adult who is arranging a house-share with a group of friends and is helping others to fit in. Home education rocks!

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Sat 11-Dec-10 17:06:47

what kind of things is she generally interested in and what were her favourite subjects when she was at school?

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Sat 11-Dec-10 17:09:59

Now would be a good time of the year to teach her to bake and there are so many nice books especially made for children or for parents baking with/for children. I think if she is saying she is bored, maybe an hour a day of some kind of structure is what will help her get into the swing of life away from school.

Tinuviel Sun 12-Dec-10 18:01:44

She may be saying she's bored because she doesn't know how to go about organising what she wants to do and may need some guidance to do this.

My DCs genuinely like the fact that I organise what they do. They help choose what they are going to learn/what resources we are going to use but then I organise the work plans and timetables. DS1, in particular, struggles if he doesn't know what he's doing. He can spend 20 minutes deciding what to do next and gets quite stressed. Whereas with a timetable that says "English", he still gets a choice - there are 3 books he uses - but it's a guided choice.

It may be worth sitting down after Christmas and asking what 'subjects' she wants to do in the New Year and then look at some resources together and choosing. Then you can set some time aside to do those and let her choose to do other stuff with the rest of the day.

needahouserightnow Thu 16-Dec-10 18:57:13

We found that when the pressure of having to be with own age children is taken away the children do get along better with a wider range of people.
I agree with Tinuviel about giving a guided choice. it can be helpful though every HE is different.

I wanted my chidren to go to private school, I wanted them to be high achievers with grade records and exam results to prove to the world just how clever they are. Secretly I would love for them to do this but at present this would be purely for my benefit not theirs.

What I guess I'm trying to say is look at it from her viewpoint not yours and try to take a step back as even if it looks as though she's doing nothing you'd be surprised at what's going in.

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