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I think I want? Need? To home school dd

(22 Posts)
YouMakeMyDreams Tue 17-Nov-15 11:25:04

Dd is 12 started secondary in Scotland in August. Home ed is something I have looked at on and off for 9 years but for ds1 who it turns out is thriving in school.
She has dyspraxia and adhd she struggles hugely to organise herself and has been so stressed and anxious since starting secondary.
We had discussed it as an option during the transition from primary but she was keen to try big school and we agreed if she was happy we were. But now she's not. There are some aspects that she enjoys but the school isn't great and we live in the Highlands and couldn't get her into the next closest school and the others are just too far away to make it logistically possible to get her there.
I have been doing some reading this morning on the schoolhouse and it hit me. She could leave school in 3 1/2 years and tbh I feel she will struggle those years and not come out with much in the way of exam results. I feel if we do take her out of school and home ed we cam concentrate on the things she wants to learn and help her excel at them or leave her in school to be bogged down with far too much for her and come out average at best.
This is all a bit garbled sorry not even sure what I want from this apart from to say it out loud really. I am starting to seenthat this is in fact the best option for her. Her brothers live school and are happy there but she isn't and is floundering.

LemonBreeland Tue 17-Nov-15 11:34:29

Does your DD have support in place at school to help her organise herself? Can support be arranged? If not and you don't think the schoool is great then maybe HE could be best for her. Although you will need to think about how to keep up social contact with her peers.

YouMakeMyDreams Tue 17-Nov-15 11:42:40

Allegedly she gets support. Realistically what we have is a person that won't listen and hasn't during any child's plan meetings for the year previous that either makes up problems that need to be solved or ignores why her solutions to problems won't work then dd gets stressed because what I told this woman what would happen has happened and dd gets upset.
The reality is she along with far to many dc in our area just aren't getting the support they need.
I actually know a few he families in our area. She also takes part in out of school activities that she doesn't need to be in.school to participate in ao she would still attend. And there is a tutoring centre in easy travelling distance that is used by he families and also as extra tutoring for dc in school we would pay for this but they do have group lessons. Tbh she doesn't see anyone out of school apart from the people that attend her extra curricular activities anyway sadly.
The school is not great and that's not just personal opinion their inspection report this year is horrendous. If we were in England it would be the school everyone was trying to avoid. We just don't have the same choices up here.

LemonBreeland Tue 17-Nov-15 11:53:35

I'm in Scotland too, so I understand how you can't easily go to another local high school. It's just too rural.

I also am aware that additional needs budgets are being slashed, and even children with quite strong educational needs are not getting help.

I have no experience of HE, and it would not be for me at all, but knowing how the school system is going I would not push you to keep your DD in a school that you feel will fail her. I also have a cousin with Dyspraxia, quite severely, and he spent the majority of his school life in a special school because mainstream education would not have done anything for him.

YouMakeMyDreams Tue 17-Nov-15 12:04:32

Our next nearest school is 4 miles away no places even for children moving into area. Next one after that is 10 then 15 miles away neither on a reliable public transport route either.
He was always something I knew was an option and thought it might be for ds1 but only for a year or so when he was very little. This feels like it's becoming a realistic option to get dd through her last few school years. School just don't seem to actually understand what her problems are and they have been spelled out in really small words both by her primary school and me. They treat he struggling as behaviour to be punished at times rather than finding options to support her and I'm.not saying that as if she is a precious stones Flake I'm more than aware of what she is capable of and hasn't bothered to do and what she really finds herself to do.
Thank you so much for your messages Lemon. It's a big help to say it out loud and have different perspective.

LemonBreeland Tue 17-Nov-15 12:17:33

It seems the support that primaries are able to offer just disappears in secondary school, and everyone is just supposed to fit the mold. DS1 has a child in his class who had lots of learning supprt in primary and appears to have nothing in S1. This child sits through most lessons not learning anything as it is not at his level.

I hope you get some more replies that are from people who HE and can help with that.

Just realised you helped me on my parent council thread. We are helping each other today. smile

YouMakeMyDreams Tue 17-Nov-15 13:42:47

Yeah support disappearing is a big problem. It's been a big shock to her system going from her close primary to the much more adult world of the academy. The cynical part of me also says they make mountains out of mole hills at times to justify their existence in the support base as a box ticking exercise.
Dd is not learning anything at all in.some subjects for similar reasons it goes over the top of her head and she has ended up getting into trouble for not completing things.
Haha I just noticed that on the pc thread too. You have been a genuine help today though has helped me get things straight in my head a bit more about things I want to approach the school with.
If home ed becomes the final decision it wouldn't be until after easter anyway for logistical reasons so plenty time to iron out all the wrinkles.

LemonBreeland Tue 17-Nov-15 14:05:16

I'm glad I've helped you get it straight in your head. Despite really knowing nothing about home ed. Probably getting it all written down has helped.

NewLife4Me Tue 17-Nov-15 14:19:40

hello OP

I think it's a great idea and one you should look t as a viable form of education.
We H. ed for 3 years but now dd attends school.
If it is the best option for you at a particular time the rewards can be immense.
In your particular case I would look at access to exams GCSE centres as these vary in different areas and also her social life.
We researched from Easter time and dd left at the end of the school year, however there were no issues at the school so we were in no hurry to leave.
We never looked back and was the best decision.
If for any reason dd wasn't happy at current school we would pull her out and H.ed again. My dd is also y7.

nightsky010 Tue 17-Nov-15 18:04:02

Are you able to drive her to the next nearest school with places 10 miles away?

Saracen Tue 17-Nov-15 20:50:41

You've mentioned reasons why you think your daughter's school is wrong for her. What is on the other side of the balance sheet? Can you list all the positives which school offers her?

YouMakeMyDreams Tue 17-Nov-15 22:57:31

I don't even know if he school 10 miles away has places because there is no way I could get her there and even if I could as a rule I'm not talking 10 easy miles I'm in the highlands those 10 miles could be impassable in winter months.
Other side of the balance sheet? Been thinking about that and am struggling if I'm honest. And that is trying to be pretty objective. She seems to have at least 1 teacher that has really got her. The rest seem to be treating her problems as bad behaviour and just not bothering then when I speak to the support teacher she says one thing then I get minutes back and there is stuff added we haven't discussed that did doesn't need support with. And information doesn't seem to get filtered back to staff as I discovered on parents evening.
Tbh the biggest positive is Rock Challenge. She did the primary version now she's doing the bigger show this year. She doesn't have a special friend to lose either.
I'm really not trying to be negative the fact is even the building is crap. Their inspection is historically crap. Their communication is crap. Even silly things did got instrument tuition in secondary the tutor would come and get her from class. He didn't mind did it for more than her. School have now stop him doing this. She started missing lessons school said tough. She gave up the instrument. She gets really upset when she forgets things she is so bloody hard on herself for it.

nightsky010 Sun 22-Nov-15 17:56:21

Is there any provision for flexi schooling? For example, 2 days in school a week and 3 home ed? I assume you can't move house to be nearer a good school?

What exactly do the tutoring centre offer? Is it a couple of hours a day after school time or during the day too? Qualified teacher? And realistically, how often could she see friends and go to clubs / activities?

It's a hard choice.

YouMakeMyDreams Mon 23-Nov-15 12:32:28

Flexible schooling is something I am going to bring up before full removal. I'm not sure that would be a better option and it probably wouldn't be full days it would be certain subjects.
I wouldn't move even if I could tbh. Not when home schooling is an option. I appreciate your taking time to relply but I posted on the home ed board for advice on home ed not advice on keeping her in school.
The tutoring centre offers lots of subjects in lots of formats but that is an option rather than a definite really.
I'm not sure what you mean about how much she could realistically see friends and go to clubs? Every day as she can now. Not that she currently does go put after school to see friends she only sees people put of school at the activities she currently does.

nightsky010 Mon 23-Nov-15 17:34:41

Ah, I see, I thought you were asking for advice primarily on IF to home school rather than HOW to.

Well, it sounds like you potentially have reasonable resources to home ed, given she will be able to have a social life and do activities and that you can use the tutoring centre too if necessary? But I'm not sure if that answers your question or not?

YouMakeMyDreams Mon 23-Nov-15 23:18:11

If I'm honest I am not entirely sure myself what I want advice on. I apologise if I sounded snippy. I just know things can't continue the way they are.
The school aren't supporting her correctly I feel like I'm constantly repeating myself and not being listened to and I feel they don't communicate with each other either. Support staff say one thing teachers seem to have no idea. Being told she needs a couple of support aids them deciding to see how she gets on without them. Actually making things up that they have said she has expressed as a problem that she hasn't. Making up 'solutions' for problems that don't exist that end up making her life more difficult.
I'm not far off 40 and quite frankly I don't feel grown up enough to make these kind of decisions. I'm scared of screwing up whatever decision I make.

YouMakeMyDreams Mon 23-Nov-15 23:18:56

And genuine thanks for taking the time to reply it is good to get other perspectives on this. Makes me think.

nightsky010 Tue 24-Nov-15 00:00:48

You're welcome smile I do feel for you and it must be a very tough choice to make.

The school do sound terrible and I think that if you've exhausted all negotiation with them, have no other school options, can't move and feel capable of homeschooling then you should go for it! You can provide well for her social life and extra curricular and have the tutoring centre to fall back on so it seems like something you're capable of doing! I know it must be stressful but clearly you're a caring mum and I'm sure you'll make the right choice for her.

I was wondering, what will her options after GCSE be? Will you home ed her A levels or might she want something vocational?

Best wishes!

Saracen Tue 24-Nov-15 01:25:13

Would the decision feel less intimidating if you think of it as a short-term experiment? Try a year out of school and see how it goes, then assess how effective it has been and whether your daughter would be better off continuing with home ed or returning to school.

What's the worst that can happen if she has a year out of school? It might be worse than school but judging from your description of her school experience, it's hard to imagine how anything could be worse than that. If so, at least you'll have ruled home education out as an alternative. In that case, perhaps you'd recognise what was good about school and feel more committed to school when she returns. Look, there's a whole squadron of pigs in close formation overhead!

Or, it might be apparent from the first few weeks that HE is exactly right for your daughter now. Once you see how relaxed and happy she can be, and once you are freed from the constant battle to get other people to give her what she so obviously needs, perhaps your doubts will evaporate and there will be no looking back.

nightsky010 Tue 24-Nov-15 10:43:21

I agree with Saracens funny post suggesting it as a year long experiment.

YouMakeMyDreams Tue 24-Nov-15 20:18:58

Thank you both. Yes I think I would probably come at it from a see for a year angle. She is 5'7" and would physically look odd still in primary but I've always felt as secondary was approaching that she could have done another year in primary emotionally.
We have a different exam structure in Scotland but is she wanted to go on and do them it would probably be at college. That's hard to picture right now because she can leave school in 3 1/2 years and barring a miracle I can't see her coming out of exams well which is what gave me the thunder bolt moment really.

Saracen you are absolutely right about having tried it and that has been what has kept.going through my head. I could have deferred her start at primary school and regret not doing so. I'm worried I will regret it if I don't try this.

nightsky010 Fri 27-Nov-15 21:45:27

At least HEing her would take a bit of pressure off her to be more mature emotionally. I think you're right that you'd regret not trying it if she stayed at the current school and didn't come out with good exams.

When would you start HE? Next August or earlier?

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