I'm thinking of HE DD, 12, any advice?(18 Posts)
Hi all, My DD (12) wants to be taken out of school to be HE, because of repeated bulling, I'm for HE, as I've always been anti School system for many reasons.
I worry though, that i'm making the right decision. I'm worried about her becoming isolated and also the process.
All advice welcome
I know it's easy for someone else to say, but I'd worry that you're giving her the message that the best thing for her to do is to run away, as it were, from the bullies. But, obviously, I don't know the circumstances.
Would she go to other activities involving children her age?
The only home-ed child I know lives in a rural area and doesn't seem to have many friends his own age. He goes to a residential course twice a year though and takes part in a regional festival annually.
Best thing to do with bullies in an environment where those in power aren't helping to eradicate the problem? Take power into your own hands. disengage, walk away, leave that institution.
I think about the message it sends your daughter to leave her in school. E.g. That when in an abusive situation, one should stick it out and hope things get better. That when a working environment is unpleasant and stressful, we should stay in it rather than finding a better one...
look at edyourself.org (I think that's the name) fir advice on deregistration. There are advice threads here too.
And yes, find other home edders in your area, but remember that your daughter is still allowed to socialise with schooled children :-) school holidays turn into a ridiculous social whirl for my lot - by the time the schools go back, we're ready fir a few pyjama days!
Surely the best thing to do with bullies in an environment where those in power aren't helping to eradicate the problem is to alert someone further up the power chain, threaten legal action, go to the press.
Those bullies have won, your DD has learnt that YOU are concerned/loving enough to remove her from this situation but apparently no-one else is, the bullies are still free to turn their attention to someone else and your DD has not learnt any coping strategies.
The usual thing if the bullies can't be dealt with would be to change school - it's a drastic step to remove your DD from the system altogether for this reason.
If you'd considered HE anyway, then you don't need any reason to justify your decision for your DD if you're confident you can do it as well or better than the school. How does your DD feel about HE?
Sorry, I posted too soon - I meant to ask how does your DD feel about HE for its own sake? If she didn't have the horrible problem of the bullies how would she feel about HE?
Thank you for you replies, It was DD that requested HE, She has never flourished at school tbh.
Ive told her there are things she must do IF we do go down this route, eg Youth clubs and activities where she will mix with her peers, and that is non negotiable.
The bulling has been very long running, and even though she does walk away, the bully in question has turned DD friends against her and has really got into her psyche, and she has gone from a happy social girl to self loathing depressed soul, who hides in her bedroom and begs not to be sent to school
I never thought about what message it would send to her about dealing with problems! so yet more to think about. Thank you for mentioning it, I would hate to get down the line without considering that.
Has anyone removed DC for a similar reason?
Hundreds and hundreds of people have.
I think removing her sends a fabulous message. It tells your daughter that you have her back in a way no one else does. And that's avgoodvand healthy message. The bullies don't win. They lose. They lose their victim and they also have to live with knowing, on some level, that they behaved really really badly. Karma will come around.
It also teaches your daughter a crucial life lesson about freedom of association which most people don't learn until after they've left school.
I'm disagreeing with choco all the way here, but then I'm a smug home educating bastard
What a shame for your DD.
I think how to deal best with bullies will depend on the extent and nature of the bullying and the individual who's involved.
Something to consider - given that you know your DD better than anyone else - is that a large part of parenting is helping your DCs become independent of you and able to cope with the 'outside' world (for want of a better phrase). She might get the message that she can't manage without your intervention as well as other children manage without the intervention of their parents and it could diminish her confidence in herself in the long run.
In your case, your DD's happiness and improved wellbeing after being released from her present difficult and unfortunate situation might help her to engage more with society-at-large IYSWIM, but it might make it more difficult for her to deal with systems/organisations/ etc when she's older if she hasn't had as much experience as other people her age. It might be harder for her to enjoy youth clubs etc if that's her only organised interaction with her peers. On the other hand she might decide to return to formal education for her sixth form years and waltz confidently back with increased confidence, having not had her self-esteem eroded by the rubbish she has to endure at the moment and being significantly more mature.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
Definitely take her out!
We've done this for largely the same reasons as you with our DD (10), after years of school ingnoring the situation.
I cannot see any reason for keeping on putting her through it - her self-esteem and confidence will continue to be worn away, and you need to be the one to protect her until she is of an age to protect herself. Children are so vulnerable - they cannot make themselves heard, and are powerless to take affirmative action. Standing up to bullies does not always work, and in your daughter's case, there seems little to be gained by continuing with it. Your daughter will respect you for standing up to the system, and your relationship will improve as she sees you have taken strong action to improve her life! There is no lesson for her to learn here - she should have a happy childhood, and you can make it happen! You are not running away from a situation, and she will never misconstrue your actions as that; what you are doing is taking strong, decisive action to take control of the situation.
Once you get in touch with your local home-ed groups, you'll see that socialising is not a problem. But remember that she may need to take time to recover from her experiences, so perhaps don't push her to go to social groups where she'll be mixing with kids that have been treating her unkindly. At home-ed meetings she'll have you with her for support, and we've found that kids and adults are very friendly, open and welcoming.
Google 'education otherwise' - you can download a sample de-registration letter. And you can do it immediately - this week, or first day back after half term! Can you imagine the relief for your DD, and the change in family life if you didn't have to deal with school struggles!
Best of luck - keep in touch x
If you have tried dealing with the bullying through the school, it's not working, your DD wants to be home educated and you want to home educate, then go for it! It is not an irreversible decision anyway.
I think I would only hesitate in your position if I felt your DD valued school and was only leaving because of the bullies. If there are other things about school that she doesn't enjoy and this is the catalyst for change, then it is more clear cut.
My son always found school difficult and he was unhappy and bullied towards the end of primary school. We tried going through the appropriate channels and the school tried to deal with it, but it was obvious that the bullying had become entrenched in his year group and he was seen as an easy target. He was so miserable that I felt it would be cruel to send him into that environment on a daily basis. He did try secondary school and it didn't work out, so now he is home educated and we are doing fine so far. It is not scary once you start doing it. Especially if you get in touch with other people who are doing it too.
Deregistering is easy (see the deregistration info sheet here for an example letter) and there is no need for your DD to become isolated if you work at joining home ed groups and other social settings, as you have mentioned. Does she have any friends from school that she still wants to see? My DS is still in regular contact with his best friend from school and they go on sleepovers at weekends.
By the way, I bought this book for my son after the bullying and left it casually in his room in a pile of library books (if I had handed it to him, he would have refused to read it!). He read it and said it was good (high praise from him). It might be a helpful read for your DD after what she's been through.
Best of luck with whatever you decide.
chocoluvva: IMHO, the problem with your argument is that a schoolchild is not in a position to take much action. If you were being bullied at work, you could look for another job. A child is not usually in a position to vote with their feet. Onadietcolabreak's DD is in the fortunate position of having a parent who has decided to support her in doing just that.
The message is "When you have a problem and you have tried to get the authorities to do their job and they have failed to do so, you take responsibility for yourself and do what you need in order to make yourself happy." How can that be negative? Onadietcolabreak's DD is removing unwarranted power that is being wielded over her by bullies and taking control.
chocoluvva wrote: a large part of parenting is helping your DCs become independent of you ... She might get the message that she can't manage without your intervention ... it might make it more difficult for her to deal with systems/organisations/ etc ... if she hasn't had as much experience as other people her age.
Home-educating parents do not, IME, keep their children dependent on them. You do not need 30 hours x 40 weeks x 13 years experience (especially not negative bullied experience) of school in order to deal with organisations. My 18yo DS started college in September, never having been to school. He is coping fine.
Well, OP these are very encouraging posts from HE'rs.
Good luck with making your decision.
My final advice is to be very honest with yourself about your reasons for HE as it's a big step - even though it's not irreversible.
Your DD is lucky to have a parent like you who is willing to think about all the possibilities for her and not just go with the status quo for the sake of it.
We removed our children from school, there were issues of SEN not being dealt with....and associated bullying. The combination made them dreadfully unhappy.
They are all adults now and went back into the system at FE college level. They say that removing them from school, and allowing them time to grow in confidence, was the single most important thing we did for them as parents.
The message they got from us was that we did have their back....that we listened to them, took them seriously and did something about it.
Interestingly they have learned to stand up for themselves, and for other people. They know that allowing bullying or abuse to happen to them or someone else is simply not acceptable.
And I simply wasn't prepared to risk my children becoming part of the too high statistics of bullied school children who commit suicide every year.
Oh and have a look at the "Books on HE " thread...i can't link from my phone but there is (IMO) a really good book called "The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education".
written for teens, but worth you both reading. It's what helped me realise all that home education can be.
Thanks for all your wonderful advice, it has been very helpful.
I was still in two minds this morning, but my DD came home and told me about her awful day again and that has made my mind up. I'm going to do it!
She looks as a weight as been lifted from her shoulders
Thanks for all the links, looks like a busy weekend for me
Well done - from what you have told us I really believe you have made the right decision, and that your family life will massively improve! I bet your daughter couldn't believe it - she won't sleep much tonight!! Or maybe she will, as she won't need to worry so much. (That's another thing that has improved for us - DD is able to get to sleep much more easily now).
Keep in touch!
Good luck! I think you've done the right thing.
For what it's worth I took my DD1 out at 12. She was like your DD, upset every day, being ignored and ostracised by the others, couldn't settle into secondary school at all well.
We did 4 years of HE, until age 16, and this September she started at college to do A levels, entirely of her own choice.
She is thriving. She's made friends, is getting on really well academically and socially. The teachers can't stop raving about her. She reckons she is one of the most confident 16 year olds on all her courses. She knows her own mind, is not scared to speak out like some of them, is not worried at all about looking uncool and yet thinks she is pretty popular. This seems to be a common story amongst home educators. DD1 is strong, independent, savvy, and mature - unbelievably well equipped to move on in her life. I'm very proud of her.
When she came out of school she was a scared mouse, struggling with her work and with zero confidence. What a difference 4 years of home ed has made.
Enjoy your home ed journey with your DD. She will really thank you for doing this for her and being on her side. You have some amazing years ahead.
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