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Want to home educate my 12 year old but terrified!

(19 Posts)
loobywench Tue 06-Nov-12 14:11:48

Hello I'm new on here so hi everyone!
Anyway I want to educate my ds at home but my feelings range from excitement one minute to terror in case I fail him the next. He has been bored at school for months and over the last term has become really anxious about school and having panic attacks. He has missed days off school including yesterday and today. School says just to get him there?! We have a meeting in the morning if I can get him there and then they are expecting him to stay in school - if only it was that easy.
Been thinking of HE seriously for a couple of months now and my husband is supportive but I have not mentioned it to my son. That is because if he wants to do this there is no going back for me. I am 100% positive though that his anxiety would disappear. Any advice gratefully received.

looseleaf Tue 06-Nov-12 18:01:43

I really would. You have nothing to lose it would seem and certainly seems worth seeing what your son thinks as if he agrees I'd go for it.
I am longing to home ed, Dd is 6 but at normal primary so far as DS is only 1 and still very demanding. But my husband agrees that if ever she isn't thriving at school he'll gladly support my teaching her at home and I yearn for the flexibility that would bring to her learning.

I have a best friend home ed'ing so happily in Kent and I guess it does help where you are too, to find a local family maybe doing the same?

I hope you find the right decision and if it were me I'd follow my instincts however daunting!

looseleaf Tue 06-Nov-12 18:02:48

Ps hopefully you'll find some more experienced answers too so bump!

loobywench Tue 06-Nov-12 18:11:08

Thankyou looseleaf I am going to speak to DS about it tonight!

Saracen Tue 06-Nov-12 18:50:58

Good luck, hope the discussion goes well!

Why are you saying that if your son wants to be HE then there will be no going back? The thing is, it is hard to know how home education will be for your family until you have tried it. I should think that feeling you are making a permanent commitment would be more scary than just trying it out for a year and seeing how it goes...? That's how it would feel for me, anyway, maybe it is different for you.

You won't fail him anyhow. He sounds really miserable, and anything is better than this. If you are sure that leaving school will cause his anxiety to disappear then it seems to me that that must be the right course of action. Even if you could get him to keep attending school, what would be the point of having a young man who had good academic qualifications but who was an emotional wreck? Look to his happiness first, and the rest will fall into place.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 06-Nov-12 19:19:22


I think your experience of alternating between excitement and terror is normal and to be expected. I know I feel/felt like this sometimes.
Was your statement of not being able to go back once you had committed because of giving up work/career to be able to H.ed
I ask because I have heard of several parents who work as well as H.ed, but obviously the circumstances need to leave some time.
FWIW, I agree, you certainly don't have anything to lose but your dc would probably thrive outside an environment that upsets him so much.
Good luck with your decision, whatever happens I hope there is improvement for your ds.

AMumInScotland Tue 06-Nov-12 20:05:57

It's best not to think of this as a once-and-forever decision. You could start now and consider later, say next summer, if it is still the right choice. I agree you can't say you'll do it and then pull out after you think about it, so you don't want to make the offer to your son till you are sure you can at least give it a go. But there would still be plenty of time for him to go back to school to get qualifications later, if a year or two of HE got him over the issues he is having. Or to get qualifications in other ways if school still isn't the right place for him. Or to skip that and get into college or whatever when he is older.

School just isn't the right place for some children at some times in their lives, don't feel you have to keep forcing yourselves to fit into the "norm" just because it is there. Sometimes it's ok to just say "Look, this isn't working for us at the moment, let's try something different"

loobywench Tue 06-Nov-12 20:20:29

Thanks everyone for your kind words and advice.
I have just had a discussion with my DS about him being HE and its the first time he has smiled about anything to do with education for years I think.
His reaction was "YES - does that mean I can learn anything I want?" I think that says it all!

morethanpotatoprints Tue 06-Nov-12 21:52:07


Bless him, poor lamb. It seems like he has made your mind up for you.
Please don't worry about doubts and insecurities they are natural, just look at the support thread for newbies.
I found and still find these threads so useful in terms of support and advice anything you need to know there is somebody who can help, and have been where you are.
Best wishes.

sashh Wed 07-Nov-12 06:31:54

Schools have one system of teaching, they try to fit the pupils into the school, with home ed you fit the education around the child.

Good luck.

Onamincepiebreak Wed 07-Nov-12 12:31:48

Hi, I have just started HE DD 12, similar to your situation, she was having panic attacks due to bulling when I took her out two weeks ago, she was so relived! She was a different child, happy and relaxed smile and so far, no panic attacks grin

Personally I still feel nervous and do doubt myself. I'm hoping that will not last long as I feel this is the answer for her.

Good luck x

musicposy Sat 10-Nov-12 12:43:08

Hi there!
I took my DD1 out of school aged 12 and I completely identify with the terror! I had moments when I thought I must be utterly crazy. I had many, many moments when I beat myself up thinking she would be learning/ more/ better/ being taught by people who knew what they were doing wink if she were at school. I wondered often if I had done the right thing for her and the moments of doubt happened occasionally right through.

Despite this, they were my moments of doubt, not hers. It was definitely the very best thing I did for her. She blossomed in confidence, grew into a lovely young woman, had 4 incredibly happy years doing not very much except having fun and, despite my ineptitude, managed to get a very respectable handful of good GCSEs.

By her own choice, she started A levels at college in September. She is thriving. Home education has prepared her astoundingly well for college. She is top of all her classes. She finds the work very easy compared to her peers. She's made lots of friends and is popular and happy. The teachers can't stop enthusing about her. It sounds like I am really boasting grin but there's barely a day goes by when I don't marvel at what a right choice we made and what an amazing job home ed has made of preparing her for life in the adult world.

Good luck, and be confident. You are doing a great thing. smile

julienoshoes Sat 10-Nov-12 14:39:44

I love hearing musicposy's posts now- cos I remember when she was panicking exactly as she describes here!


loobywench Sat 10-Nov-12 15:58:54

Musicposy you have made me feel so much better!
We made the decision last Tuesday to HE and sent the de-reg letter to school on Thursday. My mum and other members of my family think I am mad but its like my DS has had a personality transplant - he is so much more happy and really excited about this!

Saracen Sat 10-Nov-12 17:01:46

Congratulations!!! I am thrilled that your son is so happy at the prospect of home education.

Have fun and don't sweat the small stuff.

musicposy Sun 11-Nov-12 00:38:35

grin Julie i remember it well!

looby congratulations! Have fun on your home ed journey! Family and particularly some friends thought I had completely taken leave of my senses but they all had to change their tune in the end. smile DD2 is 13 and very happily in her 6th year of home ed (I cannot believe that - it feels like a few weeks!) and no one says a word any more grin

I still remember the feeling of a huge weight being lifted from both of mine when they came out of school. DD1's happiness improved almost overnight. DD2, however, took a long time to get school out of her system and a lot of stuff came out for months, horrible things that had happened to her at school that she'd never even told me. You may find he's keen to learn straight away, but you may also find it takes a while for him to clear his head of school. Your DS sounds as though he already feels you've all done the right thing. smile

loobywench Sun 11-Nov-12 09:51:10

musicposy you must be so proud of what you have all acheived!
If we only acheive a fraction of what you have I will be happy. I may have some questions for you in the near future though! His head is still full of school as you said. He is asking what lessons we will have, what time and for how long! He went on bitesize maths the other day and when I was explaining something to him he said "no you dont do it like that you have to do it like this". I said if you get the same answer it doesn't matter.He was a little confused!
We have decided that we will not be doing any real structured lessons till after xmas. We will have a fresh start in the new year and hopefully his head will be a little clearer!

musicposy Sun 11-Nov-12 13:21:32

We had a lot of that at the start - "at school they said we had to do it like so and so". I was constantly saying "you're not at school now. You can do it how you want." But it took a long time, particularly with maths. DD1 was really scared of doing it the wrong way for ages. It was as if she thought someone from school was going to come one day and tell her it was all wrong.

The whole confidence building thing can be a long process. When DD1 came out at 12 I was really struck by the difference in her (how much she lacked confidence/ couldn't organise her time/ procrastinated/ was bound by school ways of doing things/ needed so much input from me) compared to DD2 who was 9 and had been out of school a year by that time. It seemed for that first year together as though DD2 was light years more independent and grown up in her work. There were times when I wondered if DD1 had been in school just too long to ever be as free thinking and independent as DD2.

But you will shake the shadow of school off your backs eventually. We did!

musicposy Sun 11-Nov-12 13:27:16

I think leaving any structure until after Christmas is a good idea btw. Even then, if you have structure (we have a bit) you will find it takes you much less time to do things than at school. I think DD1 is still a bit bemused as to how she achieved those GCSEs with so little work compared to her schooled peers.

DD1 came back from college during a gap in the day last week. DD2 and I were playing Skylanders. She said "Oh yes, I'd forgotten just how much was home recreation" grin

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