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Is this a plan? HE & SEN...

(10 Posts)
potbellyroast Sat 31-Oct-15 19:28:46

We've made the decision to HE DS (15) as school has become such an issue for him and his attendance is very poor. All my energy is spent fighting CAMHS, having school meetings and phone calls with them and ed psych etc. Hopefully that energy can now be put into what DS actually needs rather than what they think he needs (i.e to go to school).

Two things though. Firstly DH works full time and I work 4 days a week (flexitime though). So plan is to start early - DS is a naturally early riser so a start at 6:30 - this is the time he gets up even weekends and school hols. That should give us a good 2 hours before we leave for work. Then I have one full day off a week so can do a mixture of academic stuff and other activities he needs to do to improve his language skills. I can finish early one other day a week and my parents can have have him at least one afternoon to do maths with my dad and veggie patch with my mum.

DH works close to our home and will return at lunchtime and can set any further works if needs be (past papers etc). DS1 is 18 and has a car so my plan would be for him to take DS2 to the gym some evenings.

Given that he is doing nothing at the moment surely this will be an improvement??

Secondly his statement review is in 2 weeks when he will transfer to EHCP. Do I wait until after the review to de-register or is there no point in waiting? School and ed psych are supportive and have tried their best but nothing has worked. They share my frustration with CAMHS. They have suggested a TAF (team around the family) so that I can have one point of contact - this is scheduled for same time as review. I was supportive of this and if he was staying in school would be happy to continue with it. However given a lot of professionals views of home ed, plus DS poor mental health I'm worried about how they will react. DS has twice attempted suicide and on both occasions said school was the reason he did this (said to professionals whilst we were not present).

We have had SS involvement before (at our request). I was desperate for help with DS but we got a pat on the head and told to get on with it. However I have been surprised since that professionals have seen SS involvement and have immediately formed opinions without knowing the facts.

I have worked for SS for a number of years so can hold my own and I'm not worried as much about what they think more than work that might come from them getting involved (defeats one of the reasons for HEding). On searching MN about TAF's have seen others with SEN children having to fight to have correct minutes of meetings, plans that have been done incorrectly etc.

So, is our 'timetable' (loosely named!) doable and should we deregister before EHCP review and TAF or wait until after (when plan will be unenforceable anyway as I understand it but the TAF would be in place).

Sorry for such a long post but wanted to give you all the facts at the beginning.

Schrodingersmum Sun 01-Nov-15 09:46:10

DD is educated at home via Interhigh, huge success and it is funded by her EHCP, she is also educated out of year to make up for lost education when she was unable to access lessons due to her condition

Not many people seem to be aware that this third option is available, reduced pressure on the child and family like home ed but access to a taught education with igces at the end

Happyminimalist Sun 01-Nov-15 09:56:47

If your dad can lead the maths, your eldest DS the sports and you/DH can be about to enable his studies, it sounds promising. Yes you could set work with maths BUT actually it might be better to consider a more child led approach with other topics. What are his real interests? What makes him excited? He can study relative gcses on line or take other courses.

Personally I would put him down for some voluntary work related to his interests.

There will be other children in your area being homeschooled and it's a good idea to link up for social reasons/expanding provision.

QueenStreaky Sun 01-Nov-15 16:08:56

I wouldn't wait for the review tbh. I'd deregister as soon as possible if it's what you, and more importantly, what your son wants to do.

Is he in mainstream or special school? Just asking because if in special school you need permission from the LA before you can go ahead and HE.

Remember that your son will probably need some deschooling time to begin with so your 'timetable' plans might be a bit much for him initially. Not sure how you'd work around that but it's something to consider.

If you haven't already, read the 2007 Guidelines for LAs on Elective Home Education here so you can be aware of rights and responsibilities on both sides.

QueenStreaky Sun 01-Nov-15 16:10:25

Also do a Facebook search on Home Education or Home Schooling and the name of your town/area, to find out what groups there are where you live. It's worth asking around for local advice on what your LA is like to work with. A bit of insider information can be very beneficial wink.

potbellyroast Sun 01-Nov-15 17:18:51

Thanks everyone. He's not in special school so I can just send in deregister letter.

The difference in him this week (half term) has been huge. Plus telling him he's going to be home schooled has seen him visibly change. It's almost like he's breathing and living again. Sounds dramatic but that's how it feels.

Thanks for the link streaky I'll have a look at that.

He will need some de- schooling I think. His language and memory problems are significant so we've already started working on those - and we can make those things fun and very un school like.

DS1 and DD have been brilliant this weekend, helping him choose all his book and pens etc. We've got a white board as his memory is so poor and that's become a fun place to write things about each other grin

Another thing we want to do is raise his reading age - end of yr 10 he had a reading age of 9 years old so along with memory and language work we may have our work sorted for the next few weeks?

I've found some Facebook pages and requested those - thank you.

I just need to get my head around what to do about exams. DS seems keen to do some but is happy to wait until 2017 or 2018 to take them.

imjustahead Sun 01-Nov-15 18:12:05

potbelly, i am just cooking tea but your post resonates with me, I have a 13yr old dd who had a breakdown in January, and we have had great support fromt he school.

Yet, school is just not working or my dd and her mental health issues.

My dd has a SEN, and an IEP, we also get DLA, all of which i don't know how they would be affected if i were to de reg.

De schooling sounds like it would benefit your son so much, i have the same with dd, that it would take the terrible stress off her.

I will be back, with prob a hundred questions, and hopefully some support for you. x

potbellyroast Sun 01-Nov-15 18:31:16

just the only thing I think right now is why didn't I do it sooner?? Why is it as mums we always beat ourselves up about something?

Anyway I'm hoping that my energies can now be put into DS rather than constant phone calls and meetings.

It feels like I've been trying to wallop a square peg into a round hole and as it didn't seem to be working I got the help of school, CAMHS and ed psych, who I see now we're just a larger hammer to wallop the square peg. Does that make sense? I'm hoping that home ed will be a square hole and a perfect (ish) fit smile

BrucieTheShark Sun 01-Nov-15 18:40:19

I always advise to hesitate before calling it home ed and de-registering, especially when you have a statement.

If school and ed psych are supportive, you could negotiate a personal budget to be specified in the EHCP which could help with things like interhigh or web based programmes or pieces of software that might be very helpful.

It needn't be huge amount of money, but to have it named is very useful if you need something in the future. Obviously you would only get the money if you actually need to spend it on something specific.

I would always opt to call it 'education otherwise' than at school if at all possible for this reason. But I appreciate that sometimes families feel this immense freedom when they can simply de-register. I would wait until after the review if you can, but don't feel you need to send him to school in the meantime.

It drives me mad that so many resources are spent trying to get children into school as if it has magic air.

QueenStreaky Sun 01-Nov-15 18:46:00

Sounds dramatic but that's how it feels

Lots of us have had similar experiences smile. School can be a very damaging place if you're the wrong shape, and sadly a lot of children are.

the only thing I think right now is why didn't I do it sooner??

You're not alone there, either! I could kick myself at times wink.

You will probably find Ed Yourself very useful. Probably everything you will need to know can be found there. Fiona is amazing.

She also has a link to exam information which is worth a look. It's not hard to do exams in home education, though you do have to fund it yourself. There's a very helpful Yahoo discussion group for exams in HE so I'd suggest you join that too. here.

Also the Exams Wiki.

(Both of these have links from Ed Yourself but I'm just giving them to you direct as you mentioned exams).

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