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Ds2 wants to stop going to school. I don't know what to do.

(32 Posts)
Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Thu 07-Feb-13 12:34:31

In theory I'm immensely in favour of home ed but mainly because I had a hideous time at school and always wanted it for myself.

I've always been open to it with my children - we did it for a term or so with ds1, when he was 5, but since then he has loved being with his school friends and is unbothered by the darker aspects of school, as I see them - being told off, horrid teachers occasionally, hard work. He's 9.

Ds2 however has started saying he doesn't want to go any more. He's 5. Totally different child, super smart (though I say so!) and a bit of a snitch as well grin so the other children kind of annoy him a lot.

I've just had ds3 who is a month old, I think it's something to do with this - he wants to be close to me, feels neglected, etc. but he isn't unhappy at school - just wants to be at home.

I don't know what to do - if he leaves this school he probablywon't get place if he then wants to go back as it's very oversubbed.

Also I'm not sure if I'll have time to teach him things at home, with a baby to look after.

I just don't know what si best. I always thought, the scenariowhen one of thm is really miserable and begs me to take them home, I'll do it no question - but this is so moderate and I am not sure if it will live up to his expectations if I do what he suggests.

Any thoughts welcome smile

OutsideOverThere Mon 25-Feb-13 10:47:31

That's not it exactly. But yes to an extent I only know he isn't happy now, and hasn;t been for a few months - and he isn't causing hassle as such. He just doesn't want to go.

I don't have a strategy for making him do something he really doesn't want to do. Not in this context anyway.

mummytime Mon 25-Feb-13 10:55:46

I think in your circumstances you really need to find your local HE group, and other activities for him to do outside of the home with those his own age. I would also suggest you do keep a "watch" incase there are later signs that there could be an underlying SN causing his problems with school/lack of friends.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 25-Feb-13 14:32:33


Hello, I'm not sure if anybody has said this yet. I know your ds isn't happy at school and this is what you are addressing, but H.ed doesn't have to be the result of school not being right.
There are many reasons people decide to take this route and at least if your ds is at home with you there is a chance of finding out why he feels like he does.
There were comments about having time to plan and make schedules etc. Well one of the advantages of H.ed is that you don't have to plan, follow any particular curriculum and they can learn what they like, when they want to.
Please keep on the board and let us know how you are doing, there is a support thread here as well, started by Toffeewhirl.

chocolatecrispies Mon 25-Feb-13 19:12:12

I agree with morethan, you can make the decision to HE for positive reasons, it doesn't have to be because school is so terrible it's unsustainable. For support though I really would try Facebook rather than just here, there are lots of groups including local ones, and they are very supportive. They are worth joining Facebook for. And for what it's worth, I hated school when I was 5, my parents made me keep going for a term (and then moved me to Steiner school) - I still remember that term as one of the most lonely miserable times in my life and I would never make my children keep going to school if they told me repeatedly they were unhappy.

OutsideOverThere Mon 25-Feb-13 19:48:16

thankyou so much everyone. I really appreciate your replies and perspectives.

I will keep an eye on his social development. I suspect I am somewhere on the autistic spectrum, though this was never diagnosed formally. So it's possible he is too - we're quite similar and I can really understand the issues he is having - no one to play with at playtime, people copying his work, children telling him things that he does not believe, etc. He isn't like his brother who is socially adept - he just doesn't see the need for these friends, though he likes some of them. It really perplexes him, how they behave.

It's been an interesting day as we all process what's happening. me and ds had some good conversations, he did some computer stuff, he told me some things he'd figured out. We didn't annoy each other too much smile

I rang my Mum this morning expecting an earful - last time I tried to HE (with ds1, 4 years ago) she was on about social services as it seemed like neglect to her. hmm
This time she was amazingly pro - she agrees ds2 is a very different child who doesn't have the same needs, and offered to help with anything if I needed it. shock smile so I have some support, Oh yes grin that was enough to settle it in my mind tbh.

I wrote the dereg letter off UKHE site with ds3 on my lap, so it was a bit higgledy, but then I wrote a long friendly email to the HT explaining how much I like the school and all the reasons I'd decided to take him out.

I got a call from the liaison woman later (the one at school who deals with problem families etc) and she wanted a meeting, but I said can we talk on the phone as ds3 was sleeping then. she really wanted to stress that he is really happy in school and always playing with loads of friends.
I know she said similar things about another situation with ds1, a few years back - she had missed an awful lot of incidents in that case, so I don't believe she is aware of how ds2 behaves at all times. He says he is often alone at playtime.
I said to her that I know he copes really well at school but then he would, he wouldn't tell them he was finding it really hard. But he tells me.
I also told her that he's made his mind up and nothing they can do/could have done will really change that - it's not a problem they can solve, just a mismatch between ds and the environment. She seemed very happy by the end of the call and I felt I'd been clear and honest.

HT is currently away but I cc'd his class teacher in to the email and told liaison person to go and read it too.

So all well and good so far. I am sure now that at least for the moment, this is the right thing for him.
thanks so much for your support - I will look at the support thread you mention,

Chocolate - you have described in one little paragraph why I am doing this. I was miserable at school, I remember it so well and it did so much damage, I never want one of my children to feel that way.

Saracen Mon 25-Feb-13 23:57:14

Fantastic. I am really glad that you have reached a decision you're happy with, and that you have the definite support of your mum.

It sounds like you are very clear in your mind now about how things are for your son and why you've taken this decision. I imagine that is a big part of the reason why you were able to have a productive discussion with the school in which, apparently, both of you felt comfortable with the outcome.

Have fun!

OutsideOverThere Tue 26-Feb-13 07:36:57

Thankyou Saracen. Yes it does feel strangely like the right thing just crept up on us.
I always had it in my head that if they ever were really unhappy I'd not hesitate, but the thing is, it never got to 'really unhappy' for him - and it didn't with me, well excepting the early days of primary, till about y3.

because it's a gradual thing, it's very hard or a parent I think to choose the moment to say 'well actually enough is enough' rather than 'I wonder if it's the right thing, they are clearly coping'

I can see why my folks never did it now, and don't want to repeat that mistake. I think children shouldn't have to 'cope', they should be as happy as possible and so despite not having that epiphany, that massive relief after an intolerable situation has gone on for too long, it's just been a 'yes Ok let's try this' without the huge drama.

It's much easier to know what to do if things are dreadful. But thankfully they never got that bad.

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