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Can I Home Ed and work full time?

(30 Posts)
prisonerofazkaban Sat 27-Aug-11 15:21:39

My DD is 14 and has been out of school since easter and has recently been tutored at home by and Home and Hospital tutor provided by the LEA. The purpose of the tutor is to stop her faling behind and help her gradually get back into school. If is becoming more apparent that DD has no intention of ever returning to school so i feel like we are wasting the tutors time. They have described her as having "Anxiety based School Refusal". She has been going to CAMHS for some time now and we have met with a EWO who have all been helpful. I am beginning to think that I should give into DD and let her be home educated. I have no idea where to start or what form it should take. Do I have to actually teach her or do I just provide her with the materials to "teach herself". Both myself and DH have busy stressful jobs and I'm not sure I could fit in teaching her aswell. I know that sounds awful but I don't think that teaching her on an evening when I'm in from work would be a good idea. We have 2 young ds and it is always chaos on an evening so I don't think that this is a very good environment for learning.

Any advice would be appreciated!

ommmward Sat 27-Aug-11 16:41:21

This would be a lifestyle change for the whole family IMO.

Why not do some real out-of-the-box thinking, where the whole family is invited to throw crazy ideas onto the table without anything being discussed or rejected, and then those ideas get put on a big list somewhere for everyone to think about for a few days?

Everyone chuck their jobs in and head off around the world in a caravan
Mum and Dad both work four day weeks
keep the busy stressful jobs bit but hire in some tutors
move to a smaller, less fancy house so only one parent has to work
take all the children out of child care of any kind and spend lots of time as a family

etc etc etc

No-one at work will ever value your contribution to the profits/performance of the operation the way our children appreciate and need our time and support (and I say that as the full-time breadwinner in our family)

prisonerofazkaban Sat 27-Aug-11 17:06:13

I wish we could do all of those things but money is really tight and we have no savings at all and are going through a debt management plan. Our house is by no means fancy and we are kind of living on top of each other and bloody negative equity doesn't help. Ooooh the thought of a round the world "learning" trip is something I would love to consider. The kids have never had a holiday so they would be blown away. I really admire families who have this approach. However, DSs love their school and friends (they are 5 and 7) and enjoy spending lots of time with grandparents (the childmiders) after school and get a lot from it.

I work full time over 4 days a week. Is it possible for me to do 1 intensive day a week with her and set her work to do when I am not there.

I work in an FE college so I could maybe take her to work with me and I could send her to sit in on a level 1 class. I think not, we wouldn't be allowed to claim any funding for her grin

ZZZenAgain Sat 27-Aug-11 17:08:50

is she the kind of child who would have the self-discipline to work through material at home on her own, day in, day out, for months at a time? At 14 tbh I am not sure if I would have done this.

You say money is tight so that of course limits your opportunities but could you possibly pay for an online school. I have read something about them on MN but for the moment the names escape me. Interhigh possibly might be one. I have no idea of the cost involved but the dc log in from home and so does the teacher if you can imagine the set-up.

prisonerofazkaban Sat 27-Aug-11 17:15:16

She says that she will do the work but I am not convinced. Can't remember the last time she completed her homework on time. But in the time that she has been off school before she started seeing the H&H tutor she did work she found on the internet with no prompting from me. She was probably bored. there is only so much daytime telly one can watch.

Paying for an online school would be out of the question. I'm struggling to pay my bills so I can't justify it really.

ZZZenAgain Sat 27-Aug-11 17:25:05

It is not that easy to decide if it would be good for her, is it? If she has strong anxiety about school already, possibly being alone at home for long periods is not really the ideal way forward IYSWIM but I can understand that she does not want to go to school and you also don't want to force her into it.

Get some workbooks and get her started on it and see how it goes?

prisonerofazkaban Sat 27-Aug-11 17:41:25

She has wanted to be home schooled for a long time and I don't know if she is exaggerating her anxiety so that I will agree. She has become totally isolated from her friends and goes nowhere without me. I am keen for her to go back to school on the first day of term because I am sure that the things that she was so worried about and caused her to be so anxious will no longer exist or will not be as bad. I am sure that the good days will out weight the bad. I am trying to persuade her that if she goes back to school and give it a try then I will look into home ed if things don't get any better.

ZZZenAgain Sat 27-Aug-11 18:10:11

shame that she has also withdrawn from her friends. Very difficult for you. Maybe she has not had enough time to recover from whatever went so badly wrong for her at school

prisonerofazkaban Sat 27-Aug-11 18:25:47

A couple of her friends contact her and she will arrange to see them but them she always changes her mind at the last minute. I guess it's only a matter of time before thay get sick of trying. Never thought I would say this but it would be nice to have to be forever giving her and her friends lifts all over the place.

It would be nice for her to be happy as it's incredibly stressful for us all but home ed is such a huge commitment and I'm not sure it would solve all the problems.

ommmward Sun 28-Aug-11 08:52:02

More thoughts from me

1. imagine your daughter decides to be a shepherd. After 6 months, she's developed a sensitivity to sheep ticks - horrible itchy red weals every few days. The other shepherds in the flock aren't really her kind of people. "I want to do something else" she says. Instead of giving her a lift to the job centre, you try everything in your power - counselling, force, manipulation to keep her going every day to her sheepherding job for another 2 years. The peculiar subculture of school is just one in which some people do not thrive intellectually or emotionally. That doesn't mean they won't thrive at college or in a job, as long as they don't have their self belief shattered by being overly pathologised before they get to try out one of those different subcultures.

2. If your daughter's social confidence is low, then IMO she needs lots and lots of time with children who are much littler than her. One of my children's best friends is 4 years older than my oldest and 9 years older than the youngest, and hanging out with my children is precisely what this person wants and needs socially at this point. Do any of your son's friends have slightly older sisters who could come and be "looked after" i.e. played with at your house? Might not work; might be fab.

3. GCSEs are not hard. Your daughter is likely to do considerably better in them if she is not stressed (sorry GTG....)

exoticfruits Sun 28-Aug-11 08:57:43

Could you invite the friends around to your house so that she can't back out?
It seems a problem because, rather than actively wanting to be HEed, she is wanting to avoid any outside life or contacts.
Could you not start by discussing it with the LEA, since they have provided the tutor?
How helpful are the school? Would they be flexible?
I don't suppose that you have any family who could help out in the short term? I just mention it because I got chatting to a woman on holiday and she was going to have her granddaugher to stay, she had been expelled from school and her parents were struggling-grandmother was going to sort her out-or at least try to.
Isolation seems to be the problem-leaving aside the education question- could you get her to volunteer for something, so that she at least gets out.(something non threatening e.g. the elderly, animals etc)

prisonerofazkaban Sun 28-Aug-11 09:58:53

A lot of the problem lies in her head. I really think that school is the right place for her and if she can learn to deal with the minor problem which causes her anxiety then she would be able to enjoy school again. The last term she was at school some days she would come home and be excited about school and say that she had the best day ever. If it hadn't been for the easter holidays I think she would still be at school.
She has always got on well with children younger than her and "plays" well with her younger brother but whenever they try to bring frinds in the house she screams hysterically for them to get out. She thinks that they are looking at her. She is also very frightened of me being in the house without her. She thinks I will go into her bedroom and go through her stuff.
She has been to stay with grandparents who have a lot to do with her upbringing and they have often said that she could live with them for a while but would that not mean that I have failed as a parent? I think CAMHS is the answer. They provided a support worker as well as a counsellor but DD has told the Support Worker she doesn't like her or want to see her anymore.
The Support Worker was trying to get DD involved in voluntary projects, focus groups etc but she refused all of them. The school have been really supportive and have offered her somewhere to go when it all gets too much and also a reduced timetable but she does not want any of this.

I all just seems like a real shame that she cannot enjoy school just because one or two people might see her in the corridor and might say something about her she doesn't like. Chances are they won't and have forgotten that they ever said anything about her.

exoticfruits Sun 28-Aug-11 11:55:13

I would say that CAMHS was the answer. The problem isn't school-the problem is within herself-so that going anywhere or being in a situation with strangers is too much. I would imagine that the problem with the support worker was that she was trying to get her involved with something.
It is good that the school are flexible-I have found that generally they are understanding and will do a reduced timetable-but not much help if even that is too much.
How would she feel about staying with grandparents? Would she relate to them? Would they get her out-even if it was just shopping or walking etc with them? I don't think it would mean that you had failed. Maybe just for a fortnight to give everyone a break?
Perhaps something like helping with a toddler group would be a non threatening start.
I don't think HE helps the situation because it doesn't address the problems-unless she could do small group activities-but if you are working that isn't going to be possible most of the time.
Do you get chance to talk to the counsellor on your own as to the way forward?

prisonerofazkaban Sun 28-Aug-11 12:04:56

I have never spoken to the counsellor on my own. I am going to arrange an appointment to see her alone. I was thinking that hypnotherapy would help but they do not seem to offer a solution other than talking to her. She love being at her grandparents. they look after out other children after school so she has been there a few days during the holidays. She will go shopping with my mam and will seem fine but I do think that she should get out more with out adult supervision. It doesn't help that some of the people she used to be friends with drink alcohol when they are out. She is totally against drinking and does not want to be with them when they do this. Quite proud of her for that really.

exoticfruits Sun 28-Aug-11 12:15:50

That seems to be a good point. Maybe she just has the wrong friends and feels that they are growing up to quickly? I would have been scared at 14 if the norm was to drink alcohol. Although the aim is to get her out without adult supervision you might just have to settle for getting her out.
I would think it vital to see the counsellor on your own-press her for advice as to what you should do.

cory Mon 29-Aug-11 09:48:22

It sounds like you need to get her out of the school, but I personally would be very wary of any programme that involves a 14yo being alone at home for long periods of time: I think that could easily lead to depression. Have a 14yo myself who often has time off school due to health problems (partly anxiety related) and I do find that her mood is badly affected. Grandparents might be a better solution

prisonerofazkaban Mon 29-Aug-11 14:02:09

I wondered if there are any other parents who HE while working. Is it doable? I can sort out so that she will not be on her own all everyday but I'm not sure we could fit in enough work through the week. Would it be a good idea to use past exam papers to assess how she is getting on? Sorry if I am asking a lot of questions but I haven't go a clue what is involved or what to expect.

exoticfruits Mon 29-Aug-11 16:41:13

I agree with cory and would be very wary of anything that involves being home alone for long periods. I would ask her tutor for an assessment as to how she is getting on and her level.

Betelguese Sat 10-Sep-11 02:16:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

exoticfruits Sat 10-Sep-11 08:13:47

The last thing that a DC wants is being home alone with internet friends. You need to find a way to get her out and interacting with real people. Only some DCs thrive discovering themsleves alone, it wouldn't have suited me at all as a DC. One size doesn't fit all. Did you have the chat with the counsellor?

Betelguese Sat 10-Sep-11 14:32:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Betelguese Sat 10-Sep-11 15:10:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

exoticfruits Sun 11-Sep-11 17:09:02

I think that it would be very sensible to speak to the counsellor who has been seeing her DD for the last few months-to get some feed back if nothing else.
The internet is fine if you are out and about in your community and interacting with people in person-it isn't a substitute. I just can't see that leaving a young girl, who is depressed and not coping, at home on her own is a good idea-she is likely to withdraw even more into herself.
School may not be the answer-but home alone with the internet isn't either.
I wouldn't work alone-start with the back up you do have.

exoticfruits Sun 11-Sep-11 17:16:02

Seems madness to me Betelguese-I wouldn't let a counsellor work with my DC for 6 months and then not speak to them about it!

stripeybump Sun 11-Sep-11 17:23:18

Have you considered another school, to give her a fresh start? Is it an option?

I'd agree with others that it doesn't sound like a healthy thing for your DD to be alone for long periods after having social problems.

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