What do you think about flexi schooling, can it be the best of both worlds? ??(10 Posts)
Hi, my 6 year old daughter has recently told me she's lonely, and wishes she had some more friends to play with. She's an only child and although she goes to 3 clubs a week, that's the only time she plays with children of her own age really. She rarely goes to home ed groups, as I work nights and don't drive. When I sleep, my mother in law has her, but wouldn't take her to the meet ups.
I also feel very much in need of a break, I have to be her mother, playmate and learning facilitator almost every hour I'm awake. It's getting to the point, where I see her as hard work instead of someone to enjoy being with and having fun with.
I mentioned flexi schooling to her and she seemed interested. She even said "But if it's a lot better than my old school and I make friends, will I be able to have more days there?
She'll be starting a holiday club at a local private school soon, so that should help her to make friends and have fun with other children. It'll also get her used to being away from us again. It'll only be 1-2 days a week, but it'll be good. (I hope)
I'm going to see which schools do flexi schooling, hopefully our local will agree as it's probubly the best school for her.
My main concernes are bullying, as she has some SEN's and very noticeable language difficulties, also statmenting as once she has that in place, they will be checking up all the time to see if we're doing everything at home (or so I've heard).
Have any of you done this? It would be good to hear the pro's and cons. Thanks
I think it can be, but it can be the worst of both worlds too. Sometimes a child can feel like they aren't a real member of the school and can feel a bit marginalised as they miss out on what happened the previous afternoon etc.
I think one of the problems may be that she would be there for the numeracy/literacy etc. but she would miss out of the fun stuff that she enjoys like music and the story at hometime.
Would a phased return to full-time school be appropriate for her?
One of my dcs has GDD too although he isn't in school yet (starts Sept 2012) and I am worried about he will fit in due to his language problems etc. but I think the best place for him is in a school with good SEN provision and experienced teachers. I might not think like that if I had had the experience that you had with Lucy's previous school but with her statement she should get some more appropriate support. Private schools are notoriously shite at dealing with SEN <sweeping generalisation>.
I was thinking more of 2-3 full days rather than just mornings or afternoons. That way we'd still get plenty of whole days to go out and do things with her.
I think the problem in private schools is that if you need anything extra or out of the ordenary, you have to pay for it. I'm not sure if they do much training in SEN's either. I'm sure her last school didn't.
She may well decide she wants to go full time after a while. I think my DH would be devestated though. He gets 2 days off work mid week and likes to spend time with Lucy then. He usually gets one day off at the weekend, but not always.
Watching classroom secrets made me feel quite uneasy about sending her to school even for 2 days a week! That school was rated good by ofsed. I think I'd need to find one that was outstanding, either that or just small class sizes. The reason she'd be going is mainly social, but I don't want her acting the class clown either.
"That school was rated good by ofsed. I think I'd need to find one that was outstanding"
Not necessarily. Ofsted's priorities might not be the same as yours, and you might find that a school which doesn't measure up to their expectations is still right for your daughter.
For example, one of my local secondaries gets criticised by Ofsted for failing to do enough to encourage high attendance levels. This is related to the fact that a large proportion of pupils have extended family abroad, and their parents take them away for long holidays to maintain relationships with their relatives and strengthen cultural ties. The school, while not actively encouraging this, does nothing to discourage it. I think this is a positive attitude and far from putting me off the school, it would encourage me to send my daughter there.
Ironically, Ofsted does recognise that parents are involved with the school and have a high opinion of it. They also recognise that the school does an excellent job of nurturing pupils' cultural identity. Either Ofsted is too blind to see that the school's holiday policy contributes to these positives, or it's politically unacceptable for them to acknowledge that it isn't possible to have it both ways.
Another school I visited got slated for taking the pupils out of the classroom for walks in the local area too much without a focused learning outcome, and for not pushing reading heavily enough in Reception.
Sorry to sound like someone's mum but...you seem to be still working nights. Have you been able to cut down on your hours all?
If you want a flexi arrangement with a local primary you really need to find one with falling rolls ( google is your friend here, put name of council + school + primary + falling rolls )so that you can call the shots. More info here:
thank you both. I'll have a look at that link. I heard that one of the schools we went to look at does flexi schooling. I'll have to find out. We liked the look of it when we went to see it. One of our friends daughters has just left there and she was very happy. Their report says that they provide very high quality care and support for children with SEN's which is good.
I have a friend it was working very well for. Her DS went into school on the days they did PE, forest school and drumming and was able to have the time at home he needed too. However, the Head last year decided to stop allowing flexi-schooling so she is taking him out as he doesn't want to be there full time. The main problem I can see is that you are at the mercy of the head, or school could get a new head, or, or...
I think that it gives the worst of both worlds-school is about so much more than the lessons- and the the rest are forging ahead with friendships etc while she isn't there.
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