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Is it possible to cover curriculum whilst homeschooling at weekends only ?

(94 Posts)
Babieseverywhere Thu 11-Dec-14 15:56:32

We have a bright 6yo DS, who is not doing well academically and the latest email from school says he is doing as well as they expect from him....which is no progress in the last two terms on phonics wise.

We will be asking school to help but doubt they will do anything as he is "fine".

DS is a brilliant child who has some social communication difficulties (not seen at school) and OT needs to overcome as he struggles with his balance/handwriting (not seen at school) and is very hard to keep him sat down and concentrating.

DH and I are looking at whether, we could teach him enough at weekends, so he could catch up at school.

How many hours a week would have to be done to cover maths, reading, spelling and phonics ?

ommmward Thu 11-Dec-14 16:51:46

Do you mean you'd want to do all the education at weekends on top of him being at school all week?

I worry slightly that he'd then never have a break from being on someone else's educational agenda (which doesn't seem to be working out brilliantly for him in the school context).

We are child-led home educators; the only time we do anything like "school" in our family is when one of the children asks to sit down and do some writing with a parent telling them what to do smile So I'm not someone to ask how many hours it takes to cover these things, because my children gradually learn maths, reading (which would include spelling and whatever phonics are useful to them) and writing in intensive bursts of interest that might last an hour or a week or a month or six months, but are led by the child and facilitated by the parents.

Sorry - that's not a very useful answer...

Babieseverywhere Thu 11-Dec-14 18:04:54

Yes, we need to teach him the weeks work at the weekend and evenings.

TantrumsAndBalloons Thu 11-Dec-14 18:07:51

I would think that even if you could do that, it is too much.
He will never get a break

Heels99 Thu 11-Dec-14 18:08:49

There is a disconnect here, you think he is brilliant and bright but he isn't doing well at school. Have you met with the SEN for the school, has he been reviewed by educational psychologist? I can't see how doing more school is going to help? When will he get down time, time for hobbies and clubs? I think your focus should be in resolving the issues or finding alternative education rather than home school on top of school.
Good luck

Babieseverywhere Thu 11-Dec-14 18:35:26

TBH there is a massive back story of us trying and failing to get help for DS.

Short story
1. School clear to everyone including doctors that our DS has no issues...All in my head.

2. All NHS professionals see subtle bit real issues which need small amount of support.

3. Ed Psych saw all my concerns but as teachers see nothing and told her he is academically fine, she said there is.nothing do to.

4. Latest school reports implies DS was very behind (2 years)
First response from school...oh no he is academically fine.
Second response well ok he is very behind but this is exactly where we expect a child like DS to be...I. E
The bright child in reception, turned to an average child in year one and into to a below average child in year two. No progress in Phonics on two terms
..We have to do something sad

5. DS needs to stay at this school as it is a good one (if this school won't help us, noone will) and small and in the village. Plus the children are more tolerant of DS'S quirks. He has some social communication difficulties, some OT needs and hyperacusis. But with some understanding and support, he would be fine.

Babieseverywhere Thu 11-Dec-14 18:37:04

Should add. No needs have been identified at school, so no help given.

Heels99 Thu 11-Dec-14 18:54:33

It isn't a good school if they can't teach your son! I would look at other options, are you really convinced that he is brilliant? Would a highly academic school suit him better?

Micah Thu 11-Dec-14 19:00:33

How do you know he's brilliant?

I agree with pp, however good the school may be its not the right fit for your son if he is failing that badly.

Why is he not progressing? Are the other children progressing? Is it the teaching not engaging him, are they ignoring him, is it his behaviour makes him difficult to teach?

"Brilliant" children with good home support usually manage to learn even in bad schools. It's the not so brilliant that struggle.

atticusclaw Thu 11-Dec-14 19:00:36

Focus on the reading. It's all that's important at this stage, the rest they can work on at school. He needs to be able to read well to be able to work on the other subjects (science, history etc) as he goes into junior school.

But really I'd be querying whether he really is brilliant and whether you're not putting undue pressure on him. If he really was brilliant in all likelihood he would have been able to read fluently and master his phonics in reception as many children can.

atticusclaw Thu 11-Dec-14 19:02:07

I don't really understand why you are separating out reading and phonics either. They are linked.

Micah Thu 11-Dec-14 19:09:25

Oh and my 6 year old can't "sit down and concentrate" for more than a minute or so.

I think you're expecting too much. Certainly school and then evening and weekend learning is way too much. Either home school or send him to school.

berceuse Thu 11-Dec-14 19:19:18

We home educated for a while - we probably did 6-7 hours of formal learning a week plus lots of socialising, drama, art, sports, music, conservation, living history days.

Progress in a year was phenomenal so I think that you could easily do what needs to be done in a weekend.

But I would absolutely not do it in addition to school - 6 year olds need to be playing and being a six year old, school takes far too much of their life up already.

If you think that your son would be better in a HE environment go for it - we had a fabulous time but I really don't feel that six year olds need to be pressured (the reason we left our prep school), fostering a love of learning is far more important that the test results or measures.

Saracen Thu 11-Dec-14 20:06:46

I have to echo what everyone else has said. Teaching a six year old everything he needs to know at weekends only is quite feasible. It happens all the time. It's likely that he'd make excellent progress.

But you cannot do that in addition to school. The problem isn't just what the school isn't doing (meeting his needs and educating him suitably). The problem is also what school is doing: occupying a huge amount of his time and energy with their unproductive attempts to teach him, while giving him the message that he's not very capable and that there's nothing which can be done about this.

If your take on the situation is right, school is not an ineffective but harmless setting where he can contentedly while away some time every day before going home to receive his proper education. Rather, what happens at school will prevent you from teaching him effectively at home.

Babieseverywhere Thu 11-Dec-14 20:19:26

I just don't know what to do sad

Micah Thu 11-Dec-14 20:22:10

Try making an appointment with the school to discuss why your brilliant child isn't learning.

That would be my first stop- finding out if it's the school's inability to teach him, or some issue with his ability to learn.

Babieseverywhere Thu 11-Dec-14 20:36:20

I have had so many meetings with the school.

They told me I am making things up, there is nothing wrong with DS (there isn't he is ace)
They told me I failed at parenting boys and should do a parenting course....Luckily I had already done one and have the certificate to prove it (I wanted to check I was parenting correctly....Short answer I am and I have two perfectly behaved daughters at the same school)

How can they not see what we see.

ommmward Thu 11-Dec-14 20:42:15

Some children are not school shaped.

woodychip Thu 11-Dec-14 20:45:03

Why do you disagree with the school? Why do you think they are wrong?

TooMuchCantBreathe Thu 11-Dec-14 20:52:06

Can I just give another pov? If you plow lots of time and effort into covering ds school work how will the school ever realise the situation and provide the support and assistance he needs?

At the moment he is within "normal" or expected bounds. Until he drops out of that they won't address the issues and your ds won't be supported to deal with them. Part of the support is learning how to function and hopefully thrive in a usual environment. He won't get that if you, effectively, hot house him. There is a lot more involved than just academic achievement.

berceuse Thu 11-Dec-14 20:54:28

At some point, if you really can't see eye to eye with the school then you need to do something about it.

You need to take responsibility, even if it means moving schools, however convenient your current school is. If you really don't think it is the right place for your son then take action, but that action cannot be him giving up his weekends to learn at home, he needs to be a 6 year old.

I am not sure what a parenting course is tbh.

HE involves quite a commitment from parents so not to be taken lightly.

Babieseverywhere Thu 11-Dec-14 20:55:02

Maybe he isn't school shaped but I have to go back to work in a year.....I can't be home another ten years sad

meandjulio Thu 11-Dec-14 20:55:51

I have to say that the school sounds like an appalling fit for your son. I know a school like this, I think. The head teacher used to be the SENCO as well, which she didn't really have time to do and wasn't brilliant at. A friend had a child and was told every day for a year 'oh he's so lovely - oh he's doing so well' and then at almost the end of the year was told 'yes he's made almost no progress at all this year and we are very concerned about him'.

Is proper home education an option for you, in the medium term at least? I think I agree with Saracen (though I'm not a home educator myself)

meandjulio Thu 11-Dec-14 20:56:23

x-post - well, what about home educating for a year and seeing how you get on?

ohmychrist Thu 11-Dec-14 20:59:58

He clearly isn't "brilliant" or particularly "bright" if you feel he can't keep up at school. Sorry, but true.

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