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Advice needed!! Is taking my daughter out of school the right thing to do??

(11 Posts)
emu220 Wed 17-Oct-12 11:52:21

Hi everybody!

Over the last couple of days I have been giving serious thought to taking my 7 year old out of school to home educate her, I have read as much information as I can icluding stories from people who choose to educate their children at home. The problem I have is other peoples stories make mine seem as if I am over reacting to a situation. Perhaps I am and the best thing for her would be to leave her where she is.

The situation is this, since my daughter first started nursery I had concerns that she didnt seem to quite fit in with other children, when we were waiting outside in the morning she had little if any contact with the other children who would run around playing together, if she tried to approach them to talk or join in there seemed to be an awkwardness (not from her) or they would ignore her. I found this odd because she was a very confident well spoken child, I raised these concerns with the school on numerous occasions and they assured me there was no problem. This problem persisted and during a parents evening when my daughter was in year one the teacher expressed that she too had concerns and they extended to her ability to concentrate in school, the teacher had to keep her at her desk during class time and had to set her work seperatly because she would not take in any information unless it was one to one, however her work was to a high standard and she was well ahead of other children in her class, it didnt make sense to me so I spoke to the school nurse who put me in touch with a child psychologist, after a meeting with her she thought it was best to view my daughter at school. After this happened she contacted me to say that she was not at all concerned and there was not a problem at all in school and a couple of days later the teacher told me that there was no issue in class and that there had been no need to involve anyone?? By this time I just wrote the school off, we were moving to a new area so I just kept my fingers crossed that it would resolve.

Starting the new school was fine and for the first couple of weeks there was no problem, until problems with with twin boys in her class arose, they are horrible and very badly behaved, she has been physically hurt by them on countless occasions and the thing that they say they want to do to her are just disgraceful, I have been in contact with the school about the issue and they assure me they are dealing with the situation but its not that they are targeting her, they are doing it to everyone but the other children dont seem to be bothered by it, they just think thats how they are. To add to it the same problem of her not intergrating is again apparent, the teacher has set her a target to try and play with the other cildren at break times instead of playing by herself but my daughter tells me that the other girls tell her there are too many playing or something similar so she cant join in. The same issue occurs out of school, when we first moved in children were knocking for her all the time then it slowed down and now it has stopped altogether, one boy even told her not to knock for him anymore because he didnt like her and didnt want to play with her. I spoke about this to his mother as we are friendly and she had been wondering why they dont play together anymore so she asked him about it and her told her its because my daughter is wierd and she says wierd things so nobody likes her.

I do agree with the schooling system but obviously it doesnt work for every child. I'm concerned that her experience of school is so negative it may cause her to give up altogether when she is older, she is ahead of the children in her class in every subject, the education she is receiving is great and is not suffering due to the issues with other children so would not want to jeopordise that. I just want her to be safe and happy.

izzywizzyisbizzy Wed 17-Oct-12 11:55:51

If her schooling isn't suffering I think you need to ge tot the bottom of what's going on - home Ed isn't an alternative to socialisation.

It does sound like there is an issue of some sort - you wouldn't want her isolated from others and from those I have spoken to who do home Ed - they still meet up with other children in group settings.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 17-Oct-12 12:30:16

Hello emu.

I can't tell you what to do, but can sympathise. I wonder how they think she is weird?
Firstly, does your dd have any interests or belong to any clubs as this is a good place to start, especially as the dcs will have something in common (the interest/ hobby).
I do agree there seems to be some under lying reason for this, but it might not be a huge barrier to socialising skills, or anything that can be labelled. Hence the psychologist finding no problem.
My eldest dc was like this and my youngest dd to a lesser degree. I think if she has a lot of knock backs at school she may be unwilling or scared to keep approaching dcs to be told too many etc.
FWIW, I would ask her to nominate a school friend to come over and play. Then from a distance I would observe to see what happened.
Home ed has many positives but I agree there is even more need to make an effort for dcs to play with other dcs. Sometimes in the case of 2 of my dcs it sorts itself out given time. The other suggestion is if school don't already have one, you could suggest they operate a buddy system or a friend stop. All this does is encourage dcs to be fair and play with all dcs not leaving anyone out.
Good luck, hope it sorts out.

nortonmumoftwo Wed 17-Oct-12 12:37:23

fell for you - been there with my sisters boy.
He was slightly 'different' - only reason being he was quiet and didn't like 'boy' things. My sister changed schools but the same old problems kept creeping in. In the end as a last resort she enrolled him in Judo. Best thing she ever did. He didn't want to go to begin with but started it with a friend. best thing he ever did. The discipline at the classes is great, there is no bullying only respect for everybody. My nephew now still goes to the same secondary but doesn't care about the bullying anymore. He has learnt to fight back with smart comments and sarcasm! He would never speak before. He has filled out, got a girlfriend and has somehow managed to gain a healthy respect from his peers. He has learnt to deal with these type of people. After all - they are everywhere in life.

It may not work for yours but its worth a try. Hang in there!

emu220 Wed 17-Oct-12 12:59:25

Thank you morethanpotatoprints and izzywizzyisbizzy for the reply!!

I think the problem for me is a conflict between my head and heart!! I have had a meeting with the head teacher this morning, she literally told me they had done all they could in school, the problem is not getting better and maybe she should try a little harder to fit it, the point is shes been trying for the past 3-4 years of school!! I dont understand it myself, we have a large family and she has plenty of cousins to play with, she is just like any other kid running around playing games, creating havoc there is no issue, she loves going to see them and vice versa. I ask her about who she plays with in school and if they would like to play over sometime but she says there is no one. She goes to a theatre group and theres no problem there either!

I just feel so guilty taking her there every morning knowing that she is so unhappy.

emu220 Wed 17-Oct-12 13:02:09

Thanks nortonmumoftwo,

Thats a great idea!!! I think I will look into that!

izzywizzyisbizzy Wed 17-Oct-12 13:03:29

If it helps - my sister hated school - from day 1 - I was always being called out of class to look after her!!

There was no reason - she simply didn't like it!!!!!!

Poor DD - I really hope you can sort something.

jomidmum Wed 17-Oct-12 18:13:54

Hi,
I took my DD out of school and started home educating her 6 months ago; she was 7 like your DD. Don't feel that your reasons aren't good enough....everyone home educates for different reasons. Only you know how unhappy DD is. We got to the stage when we just said "something has to change; she can't go on like this", then we looked t our options.
It was the best decision as parents we have ever made! She is now so happy and enthusiastic! Lots of people (who don't home ed!) worry about the social side of things, but school doesn't exactly help many kids interact socially. My kids see loads of friends, new ones and old ones. We go to a couple of home ed groups but they also do Brownies, sports clubs, and get to just hang out with their friends too.
All the best with deciding what to do.

SDeuchars Wed 17-Oct-12 19:36:38

You could take her out, OP, and see how you get on. It does not have to be forever - if she decides to try school in Y4 or Y5 (etc.) then they have to find a place for her. Her "wierdness" may not be so obvious when she is older. Partially because she may learn to control what she says and partially because some others may share her "wierdness" as they get older (particularly if she is at the top of the class in everything - it could be that she is leaving them behind intellectually at the moment).

BTW, you don't need a bad school story to HE - some of us do it from the start.

ommmward Wed 17-Oct-12 21:10:41

Let me get this right.

Your daughter does fine socially with "home" friends and family.

She does fine socially at Theatre Club.

But at school she has been branded "weird" and her teachers say she needs to change to fit in? I think, by contrast, that you need to change her enrolment status at their institution, honestly, to "deregistered and (in true Douglas Adams fashion) thanks for all the fish".

macred Sun 21-Oct-12 14:25:02

Another vote for taking your daughter out of school!

Our DD has had similar problems at school, and ultimately ended up being quite badly bullied at school, a problem which was largely ignored by staff, who felt they had done all they could for her.

I think your daughter will benefit immeasurably from being educated at home. She will be able to socialise with other kids at home ed groups, but you will always be there to support her and keep things ticking along. This sort of modelling will help her to in turn manage friendships more positively. There is an excellent book by Ross Mountney, which explains in very straightforward terms the benefits of home v formal schooling, and also how you might approach it.

I think this is definitely one where instinct plays a vital role; you will probably already know what is best, but perhaps it's just too 'out there'. But once you've made the decision, you'll all get used to it v quickly. Your DD's self-confidence and love of learning will flourish too.

Best of luck to you, and let us know how you get on.

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