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Considering HE

(15 Posts)
Flobbadobs Fri 17-May-13 09:49:35

Wrote a huge post and lost it!
Anyway, Ds is 12 and is deeply, deeply unhappy in school. He has changed for the worse, is on report and getting a reputation as a naughty child in school. It's a good school in many ways but they seem to have written him off half way through year 7..
It's been a niggling feeling for a couple of years that he doesn't fit into the school system. He's bright but lacks concentration, can't process hours and hours of information at once but is capable of studying one or two subjects at a time in depth.
I think I have found a system that will work. DH will be a problem, I'll have to present him with a workable idea and solutions to potential problems. At the moment he thinks that Ds should just 'knuckle down' and behave. I think it's deeper than that, he is fundamentally unhappy and it shows in everything he does.
I know we could do this but am I having a kneejerk reaction to a shitty week? If you took your child out of high school at this age how long did you give them before deregistering? I spent last night reading and it seems to be quite common for the change to be made in year 7 but am I just overreacting?

ommmward Fri 17-May-13 13:24:51

No drect experience, just sending you support :-)

Flobbadobs Fri 17-May-13 14:23:02

Thanks smile
It's little scary about it in a way...

Flobbadobs Fri 17-May-13 14:23:19

Thinking about it...

MaddestMother Sat 18-May-13 04:04:11

I have recently deregistered my dd in year 7. She was at the stage where she was refusing to go to school and after a lot of thought I decided we both needed a break from the situation. That was just before easter & already she is much more like her old self!
I work part time so was finding it difficult to find ways of ensuring she was getting what she needed academically so I have enrolled her in one of the internet schools which she is really enjoying and working at a good level despite only spending 2 hours per day in 'school'.
we may look at getting her back to school in the future if that's what she wants to do but at the moment we're just enjoying being able to escape the stress and she can do more of what she enjoys without feeling depressed & tired all the time!

SDeuchars Sat 18-May-13 09:55:35

Flobbadobs, what do you mean by If you took your child out of high school at this age how long did you give them before deregistering? - it sounds rather as if you are considering HE as a punishment (e.g. if you don't buck up your behaviour, we'll deregister you).

I'd suggest that you should probably listen to the niggling feeling. You could deregister him now and say that you'll see how it goes for Y8 - this time next year you can consider if he wants to go back into school again (or to go back for GCSE years or whatever). It often helps people not to think that this is a permanent decision.

Flobbadobs Sat 18-May-13 18:28:26

Sorry I've been out all day!
I don't mean it as a punishment at all, just wondering if people in my position would see the school year out or deregister sooner and give him until September when his sister goes back to school to get high school out of his system.

SDeuchars Sat 18-May-13 18:59:25

If he is that unhappy, I'd take him out now and not worry about doing anything formal until September - give him time to get it out of his system.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 18-May-13 21:32:55

I deregistered my DS1 when he was 12. He tried really hard to integrate into secondary, but it was overwhelming for him and made him ill. Deregistering gave him the time to recover and gave us, as a family, time to get over the stress of his experience at school.

It's a really scary thing to do, so I sympathise with how you are feeling now. However, once you have done it, you feel such relief. We deregistered DS before the summer holidays, so he had a long time just relaxing and not even thinking about schoolwork.

Nine months later, to my astonishment, he is thinking about going back to school, although it will be a very different school to the last one. This time off has done him so much good. I have made sure he kept up with basic subjects, such as English, Maths and Science, and we have also been able to concentrate on all sorts of other things that were important to him.

I deregistered DS1 in July. I felt as if the sky would fall in, but in fact I had really lovely emails from his teachers at school, wishing us all the best.

Just follow your gut instinct, op. If you feel it's the right thing to do, just do it. Don't wait until September.

Flobbadobs Wed 22-May-13 13:11:23

Sorry its been a few days, have been processing things in my head...
He's on tutor report at the moment, had some really good days, getting excellent reports, he goes to school with a head full of promise and determined to get a good report and then it goes downhill again! 3 detentions in a week for not working in class.
This isn't working, am going to speak to DH tonight and discuss my plan. I feel guilty really, when we went to look at the school last year I was very impressed but still had this niggly feeling that it wasn't right, I should have acted on it before we registered him really but as we can't go back we have to go forward.
So a couple of questions if you don't mind:

My plan is to study 1 or 2 subjects in depth with him with the aim to sit the iGCSE in the subject using the Cambridge syllabus, gaining just a couple of qualifications a year, plus using the time to let him develop his own interests more (photography for one). Does this sound doable and sensible? Child led really does not sound like the way to go at the moment unless Xbox start doing tutorials...

Some of the subjects he wants to study in school are subjects that I have no experience of. For example although he's doing French atm he actually wants to learn Spanish. Now I have never done a Spanish class in my life so we would, if he chose to study it, be learning together. A mad idea or have other people done the same?

It's encouraging to know that others have done the same at this age, the sticky point is DH, I've accepted that formal school education is not always the best option but we are from very different backgrounds. Going against the grain in anything makes him uncomfortable!
Thanks for all your help so far x

ToffeeWhirl Wed 22-May-13 14:07:28

Don't feel guilty, op, you chose the school you thought was best at the time and it might have worked out. I did the same. DS1's secondary was rated outstanding and it was very impressive. Even DS1 fell for it, but it didn't suit him at all.

I didn't go the child-led route either, and smiled at your X-Box comment. DS1 is exactly the same. I'm sorry to say he doesn't really have any passionate subject interests at the moment, but DH tells me this is normal for a 13-year old (he was obsessed with comics at that age, so he says).

There is someone on this board <racking my brains for the name> who helped her DD get a Biology iGCSE in her first year of home ed, at about your DS's age. She said she realised that KS3 work is just waiting time before the GCSEs, so decided to scrap this and work on getting DD her first qualification. I haven't gone this route because I know DS1 is not ready, but it's perfectly possible.

Parents and children do learn new subjects together, so learning Spanish together is perfectly possible. Would you be able to hire a tutor or send DS to a class if you find it hard going? That's what I do for Maths (my weakest subject). There have been threads on here about good websites / language courses to learn Spanish - I'll have a hunt for you.

With your DH, it might be worth presenting this as a 'let's see how it goes' option. Home ed doesn't have to be forever. Some home educated children go back to secondary just to sit GCSEs in the last couple of years.

What does your DS think about your plans?

ToffeeWhirl Wed 22-May-13 14:12:02

There's a thread here.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 22-May-13 14:19:12

And here. I notice Galore Park Spanish is mentioned on a few threads on languages.

Flobbadobs Wed 22-May-13 16:26:48

Haven't discussed it in full yet but he has a head full of long hot days lying in the grass as far as I can tell! grin
He is desperate to get out of school everyday except Friday which appears to have every favourite subject in it so after I have discussed it with DH we are going to sit down and talk to him about it in full.
I do know a tutor but not for languages, she tends to teach English as far as I know which will be useful I think. DH is better at Maths than I am and I have my own strong subjects, I'm quite willing to learn alongside him though!
I'm thinking of retracting the Xbox thing actually, he's just called me to have a look at his latest Minecraft project - a fully working railway complete with running engines smile apparently Minecraft is used in some European curriculums (Finland I think), I can see why!

ToffeeWhirl Wed 22-May-13 17:15:26

My DS1 loves Minecraft too and I did think of using it to teach him, but it's beyond me and he could probably teach me more than I could him! There's a website here about how it's used to teach in schools.

I have a strict time limit on XBox during the week and actually hide the lead from DS1 after his time's up, otherwise he'd be on it all the time. I don't really like it, but he uses it to chat to his friends, so I know it's important to him.

Your DS can spend long hot days lying in the grass - he'll just have to take his work with him!

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