Advanced search

having to look at school after heart set on HE

(29 Posts)
ooharmehearties Fri 29-Apr-16 07:17:59

Hi there,
My dd is 4 and even before she was born I knew I was going to home ed. we had our struggles with her father who is a malicious narcissist and although I've been on my own with dd since she was 10 months I have worked hard to loosen his control and become a strong role model for dd.
I loved being a mum. Co slept, extended breast fed, did lots with her.
But her personality is so different to mine and I'm struggling now she is more autonomous.
She has no off switch from 5 am til 8 pm, and there is no break. She needs my complete attention . I don't have support for home ed, and I am so tired and I've lost myself.
She had two days a week at nursery and they were bliss, as an introvert it gave me the recharge time I needed.
I feel so sad that I'm not enjoying her company anymore, we used to go off on adventures but now she refuses to go anywhere and has major screaming meltdowns if I try to persuade her. I feel trapped in surburbia and drowning. We can't go to the numerous he groups as she won't go.
So with heavy heart I have accepted a school place. I am looking into if they offer flexi schooling, but it's not likely.

My parents are relieved - " ahh, cold hard reality is finally setting in" with a knowing nod.

Because all of this middle class nonsense "isn't for the likes of us. "

So I feel like a failure too. I feel like I'm letting my future dd down. But right now, I can't cope. I need respite, I'm just getting through the day.

The only upside I can see is I can always de reg at a later date.

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Fri 29-Apr-16 07:24:35

Why are you so committed to home ed? Sounds like your daughter needs more of a change of scene than you can provide. And that's fine! It's not necessary or helpful to be around each other the majority of the time.

PerspicaciaTick Fri 29-Apr-16 07:28:11

Of course you aren't letting her down. She will have a whale of a time at school and you will be better placed to give her lots of exciting experiences without feeling quite so frazzled. Hopefully you will both enjoy your time together - having an engaged and supportive mum will give her a fantastic headstart.

YouMakeMyDreams Fri 29-Apr-16 07:30:20

I agree with Vince. I am all for home ed if it suits everyone and is an option going option for my dc and a strong possibility for Dd. Always thought Ds1 would be the one I'd home ed. But actually school has been the best place for him.

You aren't letting a child down that sounds like she's not suited to being at home just now. I may be shot down for this but it sounds like you want to home ed for you rather than her and have realised that it won't work right now. It's OK to feel upset about plans not working group out how you wanted but don't beat yourself up. Better to send her to school and revisit later than to start out on the journey against your better judgment.

lucy101101 Fri 29-Apr-16 07:30:45

I think accepting that we can't always parent in exactly the same way as we had planned (especially when the child has other ideas!) is always upsetting. I would love to home-ed too but for various reasons (including health etc.) it would be too difficult at this point. However, my children seem to be thriving in their nursery and reception class and while this continues I am happy. My DS has learnt so much this year in reception, most importantly a love of learning. I think you should try and put your preconceptions of what school is to one side and see how she gets on.

juneau Fri 29-Apr-16 07:31:36

Parenting, IME, has been a series of reality checks. We all imagine what kind of parent we will be before we have an DC, we all have our ideals and our strongly held beliefs and values, but real life often doesn't always work out the way we imagine. DC can be very hard work indeed and you can't experience being a parent and being immersed in that hard work 24 hours a day until you actually do it. There is no rehearsal, so when we're faced with the cold, hard reality of parenting (especially if that includes lone parenting), I think its a shock for most of us.

Don't see this as a failure OP. As you say, just because you're starting off in the school system doesn't mean you can't switch to HE in the future, but again I would keep an open mind on that. Your DD may love school, you may love her BEING at school, and your relationship will probably be much easier when you both get a break from one another. HE can be fabulous, but its not for every parent or every DC and, in the end, the most important thing is to get your schooling choice right for the DC that's right in front of you, not the imaginary one in your head.

ShinyShinyShiny Fri 29-Apr-16 07:32:47

I think we all have ideas of what we want for our child before they are born, but then the pesky creatures are born with their own views and personalities and throw a spanner in the works.

From what you've posted it sounds like school is absolutely the right thing for your DD. It might not be what you had planned, but surely sticking rigidly to a plan that doesn't suit her would be letting her down more than flexing to meet her needs is?

Pteranodon Fri 29-Apr-16 07:33:28

We HE and love it, but it isn't the best choice for every child/family. Of course you can dereg later if you want to.

Smartiepants79 Fri 29-Apr-16 07:35:31

If you think that it's going to be best for her and you then it's not a failure. It's the right choice. For now. Maybe further down the line when she is more mature you will feel that he is now appropriate and then you can take her out and go for it. Teaching your own child can be hard I would imagine. I'm a teacher and he is appealing in many ways but I'm not sure how my DD would respond to me. She currently isn't a big fan of me trying to 'teach' her things or even just practice skills she has learnt at home.
does she really not want to go anywhere or is it just certain places?

ChilliMum Fri 29-Apr-16 07:39:12

Please don't feel as though you are letting down your daughter or are a failure the opposite is true. You have made a difficult decision but you have chosen the path you believe is best for your daughter over what you want, you are putting her needs first.
When I chose a school for my daughter I chose a lovely child centred one which would support her creative side (read away with the bloody fairies). She struggled academically but she was very happy. We then moved had no choice of school and she ended up in a highly structured, academically focused school - I hate it but she loves it and to boot is absolutely flying academically. She is still very creative too but now has the skills to realise her ideas and she is currently busy working on a graphic novel in her free time.
I guess some kids just do need structure and routine (although it pains me to admit this)
Best of luck with whatever you do and don't forget you can change your mind in the future as you and your child develop.

AlwaysDancing1234 Fri 29-Apr-16 07:41:16

I home educated DS for several months and while there were very clear benefits there were also benefits to having him in a school setting, he's certainly benefitting more from the social side of things. Also since he's been back at school the time we send together is calmer, more fun and relaxed.
You are doing the best thing for your daughter, whether that's education in a home or school setting, just do what's best for both of you.

Ditsy4 Fri 29-Apr-16 07:43:22

At school she will socialise with other children. You can have after school and weekends to spend quality time with her. I always taught my kids to spend sometime playing on there own. You need a bit of time to re-charge your batteries even if it is only 1/2 hr for a quiet cup of tea. Start now. Give her a timer if you need one. Might be worth checking your iron levels too. One child shouldn't leave you feeling that exhausted perhaps your health isn't what it should be.

We can't achieve everything we want. We can just be the best that we can and some days that means failing our expectations and taking a different path. Being a parent is a learning curve.

ooharmehearties Fri 29-Apr-16 07:54:14

Ah thanks, that's just what I need to hear.
I have many HE friends and so have been immersed in that life for a while, with it came a lot of pressure to be yummy mummy perfect and there is a tiny bit of snobbery going on too. I am not that person. You're right, it's my precious ego getting in the way.

I was looking at it all wrong.

I suppose I was mourning for something that I can't really give her, an alternate universe where she has two supportive parents and extended family.
She is a bit of a wild child and would absolutely flourish travelling and meeting new people, being free and following her intuitive interests. I felt I wasn't honouring her. But I can't honour myself either. No one's getting what they need at the moment.

Compromise. Yes.
I can be fun mummy again, interesting mummy. Not moaning snappy angry tired mummy.

Thankyou so much for your quick and sensitive responses. I've recently had a miscarriage and no one knew I was even pregnant so I've been going slightly loopy dealing with that sadness too. X

MewlingQuim Fri 29-Apr-16 08:01:48

I am also an introvert. I struggled with school and hated it, and I thought I couldn't put my child through that experience. I had also planned I would HE from pregnancy onwards. Then DD was born, and even from a few months old it was obvious that she had her own opinion about her life and I would just have to accept it grin

She loves nursery. She is far more sociable than I am and finds it easy to make friends. She is off to school in September and she can't wait smile

Of course if she has an awful time at school then I would still consider HE as an option. But TBH I think she will thrive.

MewlingQuim Fri 29-Apr-16 08:03:41

X post.

So sorry to hear about your mc sad


ooharmehearties Fri 29-Apr-16 08:13:15

Yes mewling, I too had a hard time at school as an introvert and that informed my strong feelings for he. And like you, my dd had other ideas! She is soo sociable and approaches anyone asking if they'd like to play. She is the first to spot if another child is feeling sad and goes to the rescue. She often adopts other families if we're at the park!

Thanks, it was a very wanted baby and suddenly a future with her in it suddenly wasn't. Because of my previous relationship I won't ever have a partner again. But I still really wanted to have another child, so a friend was a donor. X

AlwaysDancing1234 Fri 29-Apr-16 16:35:38

So sorry to hear of the miscarriage OP.
Your DD sounds like she will really benefit from the social side of school and if you find its not working out for you both you can always go back to Home Ed at a later date.
Be kind to yourself flowers

Mumstheword21 Fri 29-Apr-16 16:45:03

It sounds to me like there has been more going on then HE failing (which is unlikely given tyou r desire to HE rather than feeling forced into it by a failing school for example).

Firstly, I am so sorry to hear about your mc. Could it be that this has had an effect on your relationship with her? Equally, for a child who is non stop, nursery can be exhausting and overstimulaing, rather than the 'social bliss' that adults perceive a young child to be craving. If this is the case (as it was for my equally non-stop dd) then no wonder she finds it very hard to wind down or needs to let off steam when she gets home.

If her she is waking at 5am and going to bed at 8pm, then school may well not work very well either. Again, I know how you feel there, but we can taper acitivites throughout the day if need be, at school she will be expected to plough on regardless and your time after school may be even less lovely than you hope!

DITSY4 mentioned that "at school she will socialise with other children" but in my experience, socialisation within HE is far far more effective and opportunities plentiful. There is no way that my children would be able to socialise as much if they were in school, not even close!

You mentioned that you feel a little out of place within the local HE there any way that you could branch out to a near by group or find some acitivites where you are meeting different pimple within the HE community! It is SO diverse that it needn't be like you netined, there will be plenty of other families who equally don't want to attend the same old group meet ups...find those families and see if you can find a better fit for yourself.

Lastly, 4 is a tricky age (no wonder sadly, so many parents can't wait to get their kids into school...I've heard a great many of those conversations sadly) so don't be too hard on yourself. I just wanted to ensure that you had a different opinion as free-spirit/wild child personalities rarely flourish in an institutional environment - sometimes it can be hard to see the wood for the trees when you have a lot going on, but it's fine to take your time, it sounds like you are a very loving mum smile

Mumstheword21 Fri 29-Apr-16 16:46:52

Ha, didn't proof read so apologise for the ridiculous amount of typos!! Trying to do lots at

ooharmehearties Fri 29-Apr-16 20:46:55

Thanks * mumstheword*,
There are wider ranged groups we could go to which are a bit more down to earth.
That's what I've been worrying about, that I'm too frazzled to make a judgement and her beautiful feral nature will be squished just because I can't cope -at this point in time-.

The mc has had an impact, I've had a hidden pain that has taken up emotional energy that should've been spent on dd.

Saracen Sat 30-Apr-16 13:24:28

I'd been thinking how to express the same ideas as mumstheword. She put it very well.

I wouldn't discourage you from trying school if you feel it could be the right way forward either in the long run or just to help you get through a difficult patch. At the same time, I wouldn't assume it will be the answer.

Like you, I had a full-on four year old and this was a challenge given my introverted nature. She became easier gradually and things were much better by the time she was seven. Several things helped us through. I worked part-time while sending her to childminders. Both of us loved this. The fact they were also home educating was great. We also eventually found other families in similar circumstances and did a lot of long play dates and childcare swaps. Not only did I enjoy child-free time while she visited the other families, but it was actually easier on the days when the other kids were with us than when I had just dd. They played together without requiring much involvement from me. One thing I considered (but never tried) was putting dd into one of those "after school clubs" - you know, childcare based at schools where you could drop your child off from say 3-5 pm a few times a week to play and do crafts and group games. Most of these are run by external providers though they are usually on school premises, and are happy to accept any children.

So those are some other ideas you might look at if you decide to carry on with HE or if you try school and then return to HE.

Good luck, and look after yourself! I hope you can find a solution which feels right.

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 30-Apr-16 13:44:32

we used to go off on adventures but now she refuses to go anywhere and has major screaming meltdowns if I try to persuade her. I feel trapped in surburbia and drowning. We can't go to the numerous he groups as she won't go.

This bit doesn't really fit imo with the replies saying that she obviously needs plenty of social interaction and she'll have a ball at school. Why doesn't she like to go out with you? Does she like nursery?

Four year olds can be bloody awful, it's true.

I always felt it would be easier, from an inertia/joining the flow of the mainstream pov to HE and then use school if desired, rather than put my kids in school and have to make the big step of withdrawing them. Seeing people agonise about whether to deregister their child made it look horrible!

That path is complicated though if you are worried about a place being available in an acceptable school. But you can accept the place now and still change your mind anytime, before she's started or after.

Good luck with your decisions, and my sympathies for your miscarriage.

ooharmehearties Sun 01-May-16 09:25:14

Thanks, lots of food for thought.
The not going out thing is a controlling her environment thing I think, she seems to enjoy nursery, she just is oppositional to me, to assert her - separateness? Her ownership of herself? Any wY, the meltdowns are over power battles that she initiates and then struggles to contain.

RancidOldHag Sun 01-May-16 09:42:50

You can mix and match education and make the choices (in which the DC become progressively more involved themselves) that suit their current age and stage and your circumstances at that point.

Deciding to attending for nursery/Ks1 is quite different from making a commitment now that she will be going to school long term.

You can also request a part-time attendance schedule for her (at least until she reaches compulsory age, and I believe the language in the rules about that is being strengthened so that schools cannot refuse, but I'm not sure if it's at that point yet).

Once she's over 5 btw, I think there must be a difference in some providers underpinning insurance, because the number of non-school classes and workshops seems to increase a lot. That might be something to keep your eye on, so you are always planning 'what might her day look like if she wasn't going to school?' alongside 'when do I get the time I need for my well-being?' And, I hope, one day having a workable plan.

HSMMaCM Tue 03-May-16 15:30:01

You are doing the right thing for both of you at the moment. You can always change later on if you want to.

DD knew she always had the option of HE and she's now 16 and said to me the other day that she was glad she went to school.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now