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Help! DS hates not being at school!

(41 Posts)
Piglette Fri 16-Sep-11 08:45:13

I'm looking for reassurance here. I had my 13 year old son in floods of tears last night begging to go back to school after 2 weeks of HE. We look him out because the quality of teaching at school was dreadful, he wasn't working, had achieved nothing in 2 years and his school weren't interested in helping. He says he likes learning at home but misses the whole school experience, his friends, working in a group etc.

Is this a sign that he's not suited to HE or is it just early days? Please help I'm distraught that we've made the wrong decision!

julienoshoes Fri 16-Sep-11 11:23:32

Have you found any HE groups locally to you?
I'm sure if you do, you'll be able to find other teens and hopefully they will be doing things your lad will be interested in.

I dereg three children, one of whom was a 13 year old lad. Life for teens can be hard enough anyway, without peer support it would could be even more difficult. I remember thinking that the education part I could do, but I really needed help with the social side-especially for my 13 year old lad.
I too,remember my relief on reading on Birmingham's (then) HE website, that Warhammer was one of their activities, because Warhammer =teenage boys!!
Wrong time of year right now, but we started going to home ed camps and gatherings nationally too and he found loads of friends all over the country.

Can you arrange for your son to meet with his schooled friends at evenings/weekends at all?
Are their after school activities such as cricket/swimming club/drama clubs/Explorer Scouts, that he might be interested in?

I think I'd be inclined to do a list of pros and cons of home ed, seperately and together, so you can look rationally at it.
I think I'd be inclined to get him to give it a good go-just as many formally HE parents I know say when their children choose school, and if he feels the same at Oct half term/Christmas, you'll get him a place at school.
That would give you a fair chance at finding him a social circle that he is happy to be in.

FionaJNicholson Fri 16-Sep-11 11:30:32

It's a wobble. You could tell him you'll review it at half term? What julienoshoes said about finding local home educators. My website has got map with some home ed group links and map of numbers of home ed in different areas. Basically in England you're never too far away from a group, unless your transport links are really dire.

Another thought, boys seem to like being in a group to do something, rather than just hanging out together and chatting. Are there sports/computing/hobby/music/drama groups he could join?

Betelguese Fri 16-Sep-11 13:48:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

juuule Fri 16-Sep-11 13:53:39

"in floods of tears last night begging to go back to school "

That seems very extreme. Was he okay originally with coming out of school?

If he is missing the social side of school so much (and providing it's not a detrimental social environment) maybe he could go to school as a social activity and you support his learning at home. Let him know that if he went back to school you would expect him to put as much effort into his learning as he would if he was at home.
Was he very behind with his work at school?

Betelguese Fri 16-Sep-11 14:08:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Piglette Fri 16-Sep-11 19:08:41

Thanks for the replies. He does see his school friends outside their school hours, but that just seems to endorse his feeling that he's missing out on being at school. He does swimming, drama, Explorer scouts etc. He is very behind on schoolwork, (another reason we took him out) and he's finding it difficult to work on his own.

We're going to try until half term, if he's still in a state then we'll have to re-think - but where?? I just wondered if anyone wlse had gone through this deschooling pain barrier?

Betelguese Fri 16-Sep-11 20:50:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

julienoshoes Fri 16-Sep-11 21:31:57

'deschooling'....there might be your problem.

The process of deschooling is to give children (and their parents) a chance to get school out of their heads ....
The last thing I'd suggest for a child who are new to home ed is to be 'working on his own'

Instead declare yourselves on holiday until half term.
Go out and about and have fun together....get him to write out a list of all the fun things he'd like to do whilst he has the chance.
And then go and do them. Don't worry about writing things down, or in anyway doing anything that looks remotely like 'work'
Spend time together and talk about whatever he likes, when ever he wants to.....for just as long as he wants to. Don't push anything.
Review at half term.
I'm willing to bet you'll be shocked when you look back and see how much he has learned!
You'll find he has learned masses informally

Then take time to discuss what you want to do next....and how informally or formally you want to do it.
(be aware that home ed wisdom says that children need roughly a month per year in school, to properly deschool -though it took me longer!)

We started like this (with three children). For my ds then aged 13, fun was finding out more about World War 2
-so we searched the library for books for him to look at, we watched films together, we visited aircraft musems and did an evacuee workshop on the local steam railway.
We put a world map up on the bathroom wall (brilliant resource-the kids have noticed all sorts of things, whilst brushing their teeth!) and compared the national boundaries before and after the war.

and Warhammer!
there is a mass of educational stuff involved in Warhammer.

We found deschooling became unschooling also known as autonomous education, here in the UK.
It's a really efficient way of learning-our children were happy when we deregistered them-anything was better than school!-but a 'school at home' model did not work at all well for our family, as we found to our cost.

Allowing them time to properly deschool and then become autonomous home educators worked brilliantly, they loved it and have never looked back.
They are all in higher education now! grin

I really rated Grace Llewellyn's "Teenage Liberation Handbook :How to quit school and get a real life and education for showing the freedoms that this type of education can bring. It's so liberating!
the book is meant for teenagers-so could well help your son see the benefits, but I found it so helpful myself!

I'd also try really hard to find other home educating families locally, your lad sounds as though he really needs to find other young people who believe that not going to school is normal.

Betelguese Fri 16-Sep-11 22:35:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

musicposy Fri 16-Sep-11 22:36:52

Fantastic advice from Julie. I would just say, ask him to bear with it for a bit. You can't possibly build new friends and a new social life in 2 weeks. Of course he'll be missing it if he enjoyed the social aspect; you haven't had time to replace it with anything yet.

Get out there in the day and get having some fun. Take him places he will really enjoy going but wouldn't normally have time to. See if you can find other families to hook up with. Do you know of HE groups locally to you? There is so much goes on in the day where we are you couldn't possibly miss school! But it takes time - Rome wasn't built in a day. Ask him to bear with it until, say Christmas, and then rethink if you haven't got any further. I get the impression if you go back in you will just be back to square one.

Betelguese Fri 16-Sep-11 23:04:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LastSummer Sat 17-Sep-11 07:38:15

If your son hasn't found it already, introduce him to He'll be able to complete his KS3 studies of science, English and maths in a way that is interactive and enjoyable. But let him know that you're always there to help him. To allow the boy to learn more about maths in a way that is fun and to compete against kids around the world, at the level of his choosing, buy him a subscription to Both these sites will enable your son to progress at his own pace and to feel more in charge of his education. A year from now, he'll be ready to start studying for GCSEs!

FionaJNicholson Sat 17-Sep-11 08:03:42

Piglette, when you say he finds it difficult working on his own, do you mean without other children or without anybody else there? My son is now 18 and has always wanted me to sit with him for moral support while he's working on something. It's only recently that I've been able to do my own thing at the same time as he is working, because it was never worth having to divide my attention. So I mean Being There in capital letters I suppose. If it's a new area he thinks he "ought" to know, I will read stuff out (yep, to 18 yo) and we'll puzzle over it together.

LastSummer Sat 17-Sep-11 08:14:43


I know what you mean. I'm gradually weaning her, but my 12-year-old seems to get separation anxiety if I'm not in the room with her when she's studying! At 10, she'd often insist on sitting on my lap while we did schoolwork. . .

Betelguese Sat 17-Sep-11 12:15:22

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Betelguese Sat 17-Sep-11 12:35:28

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SDeuchars Sat 17-Sep-11 13:42:00

Piglette, what is your son's aim for 'work'? I totally agree with the others who say you don't have to stress about it. My two have been EHE since birth. We never did 'schoolwork' - they started formal courses (with the Open University) around 13-14). The 19yo is now at university while the 17yo is still trying to work out what to do next.

If your DS wants to see that he is achieving, you may want to think about doing a couple of early GCSEs in subjects he likes or is good at. Science and maths is a good place to start (rather than essay subjects that need a bit of maturity). KS3 tends to be a bit repetitive of primary and GCSE in some subjects.

Betelguese Sat 17-Sep-11 14:20:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NonnoMum Sat 17-Sep-11 14:28:41

Um - didn't you think that this might happen to HE kids? That they would miss the social aspect of school?

Betelguese Sat 17-Sep-11 14:54:15

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Betelguese Sat 17-Sep-11 15:00:54

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Betelguese Sat 17-Sep-11 15:07:01

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seeker Sat 17-Sep-11 15:10:46

Presumably you discussed this before you de regged him? What did he say about it then?

LastSummer Sat 17-Sep-11 18:41:45

If the lad is being educated alone at home I can well understand how he feels. My daughter has adjusted to solitary home education but still keenly misses the daytime company of her schoolgirl peers. Sleepovers, playdates don't compensate for not being able to kick around five days a week with other kids before, during and after school.

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