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Considering home ed for terribly stressed DD

(59 Posts)
oldschooloon Fri 25-Nov-16 21:53:21

She's an introverted , gifted year 7, feeling suicidal ... Any tips on deregistering and going home ed ?

MistyMeena Fri 25-Nov-16 22:06:04

sad that sounds tough. Are you in England? It's really very easy to deregister and it sounds as though it needs doing soon.

You can email the head tomorrow morning stating your intention to home ed and she need not even go in tomorrow. There is s template letter on the Education Otherwise website.

There are loads of facebook groups dedicated to home ed, you will find one local to you.

Something I found out the hard way....don't rush in with workbooks panicking that she isn't 'working'. If she is bright a few weeks or even a few months break from doing any 'schoolwork'really will not hurt. She sounds like she needs time to recover so just follow her lead.

oldschooloon Fri 25-Nov-16 22:29:52

Yeah , we're in England , I've thought about it a few times , as she's never settled into school , the chaos and pressure literally make her ill. She was in pieces earlier and she's exhausted . All the time

Waitingfordolly Fri 25-Nov-16 22:41:57

We de registered a few months ago, DD was being bullied and v anxious. It's been great for us, though also hard work. She's less receptive to me helping her with things than I hoped and I've spent quite a bit of money in resources and activities but she's so much happier and confident and I'm less stressed from constant school related hassles.

Saracen Sat 26-Nov-16 12:39:59

Yes, most home ed parents recommend a good break from all enforced academic "work" to start with, especially in the case of a child who has had a rough time at school. Let your daughter do things which make her happy: drawing, playing games, walks, whatever helps her to feel good about herself.

That also gives you some time to do research and think about how you want to proceed with the home education. There is no rush. Try things, see what works, explore and adapt. There are many options and it will take time to find your feet. This is quite fine and normal. It isn't like school. She cannot"fall behind" in a class of one!

Saracen Sat 26-Nov-16 12:42:06

Take her out immediately and figure out the details as you go along. If she is suicidal then her mental health is top priority. If you think home is a better environment for her then there's no need to delay.

Spottytop1 Sat 26-Nov-16 12:44:21

When I home ed we did it based on topics that interested them - one son was very interested in volcanoes so we did a whole project on that & linked in English, maths, geography, science, DT & ict ( using the curriculum for objectives & skills)

Another loved dinosaurs so we included a trip to the museum etc..

Kids were really motivated & they completed excellent work...

But it didn't suit one of my children, he wasn't responsive and wouldn't do his work ... very difficult! So doesn't suit everyone

knittingwithnettles Sat 26-Nov-16 12:57:08

I think you have a gifted and introverted child and she has been in school for a LOONNG time, you might consider a period of detoxing from academic pressures and formal learning.

I don't think you need to give her "work" at this stage, but build up her confidence in herself, which means letting her start to find things she can do which give her intrinsic satisfaction. That could be reading, craft, writing creatively, documentaries, cooking. Trying to please people is part of the school day, it can become very exhausting. Home can be a place where you please yourself, and in due course, you make others happy because you are yourself happy.

Son went through a stage of feeling very uncomfortable being "off" school and feeling as if he was playing truant or on the run from the police/authorities. School can have that effect on you. This morphed into the glorious feeling that he was free and didn' t have to feel guilty or anxious. He has retained that feeling of confidence, touch wood, even though he eventually returned to a more appropriate school 2 years later.

PurpleAquilegia Sat 26-Nov-16 13:07:44

Have you looked at Interhigh? That, coupled with attending social groups/activities on your local home ed scene, might suit her better? Am happy to answer any questions about it if it appeals to you/your DD. smile

oldschooloon Sat 26-Nov-16 20:39:39

Thanks all ! Alot of food for thought ! Inter high looks amazing , except for the fees involved ... Looking at all options and considering the best way forward . Her primary teacher admitted she's " just not school shaped " really appreciate everyone's input smile

oldschooloon Sat 26-Nov-16 20:44:14

It's a huge shift in thinking and planning , I'm a working mum , and while I can shift things about , I also worry about losing tax credits ultimately and having to work full time somehow ...

Spottytop1 Sun 27-Nov-16 09:04:33

Do you have family that can help
With the home education?

I worked too - but planned the activities/trips and a family member helped with them whilst I was at work...

oldschooloon Sun 27-Nov-16 12:12:23

Not really , not reliably ... But I have friends who have offered ... Just not sure what's best , I'm scared of ruining her education , but I strongly feel that school is doing that for her anyway ...

SimonNeilshair Sun 27-Nov-16 12:21:15

We deregisterd dd12 just over a year ago due to horrendous, debilitating anxiety. It was the best thing we could have done! she's a different child now, happy, fairly confident and eager to learn (the things that she's interested in, not what the DoE think she needs to learn)

I found the most difficult thing was making the decision, once that was made, it made life easier. Now is a good time to deregister with Christmas coming up and all the festive activities on offer. Let her relax for a while and learn to love life again before worrying about work.

Good luck

Waitingfordolly Sun 27-Nov-16 17:52:03

Yeah I agree making the decision is hard and then it starts to fall into place eventually, and some of the things that seemed important when she was at school just didn't matter at all anymore. I am a single parent who works and juggling things isn't ideal, but it's better than having to constantly deal with DD's mental health issues.

oldschooloon Sun 27-Nov-16 21:45:54

Thanks , r ally helpful to hear of your experiences , I've decided to discuss the whole thing with school and see what they come back with in terms of support in the here and now , I need all the facts before I pitch it to her father who was against the idea when I've brought it up before ... I'm sending off for all sorts of info

knittingwithnettles Mon 28-Nov-16 21:32:24

Dh was not in favour of home education. He is now since he has seen the change in ds2. It does need to be a joint venture though. Is there any way that he is affected by her current difficulties - is there extra stuff he has to do with her or deal with, that could remind him that the extra responsibility of home education might be an easier and more fruitful option for him as well?

Often it helps to be do a big list of pros and cons for you as parents. I put on the pro side: not having to persuade ds2 to go to school when he was anxious about something, not having to worry about homework and school deadlines not having to attend parent meetings and school meetings, having time to chat and relax together, just seeing him happy!!! [sob] Cons were: worrying about keeping up with curriculum, less free time for adults, having to organise stuff and activities for him, losing school community and being part of parent body at school, taking risk, off tried and tested path.

I said to dh, let me try for one year, and then I will send him back to school if that is what you think best. This morphed into 2 years with no issues (apart from getting the dreaded EHCP but that is another story)

knittingwithnettles Mon 28-Nov-16 21:37:42

Actually if she is feeling suicidal I wouldn't think your dh has much of an argument in favour of school - it obviously has not worked so far if she is feeling so desperate sad I would be expecting the school to be very very supportive now if they are to convince you that they can make it work for her - however you have to remember they are never ever going to suggest home education as a solution to her anxiety so you have to take what they say with a pinch of salt

oldschooloon Tue 29-Nov-16 08:33:44

Feeling awful , just driven her in, tight lipped , pale and too nauseous to eat . I have to work today , but not Tomos . Left a message for pastoral that she's really struggling , I've been promised urgent support and made an appt with Gp for a .1 referral ... This feels terrible for both of us ...

oldschooloon Tue 29-Nov-16 08:35:24

Her pastoral lady was lovely on the phone , she's pulling out all the stops she can to support , she can go to nurture if she's struggling too much , she said herself they're seeing a huge rise in these issues

oldschooloon Tue 29-Nov-16 09:16:40

She hid in the toilets and texted me hysterical , I've just gone back in and they've put her in nurture with one to one for the rest of the day . I'm in the car in tears outside

MistyMeena Tue 29-Nov-16 09:34:16

Gosh poor you, it's awful when they struggle so much.

As an ex-teacher, I'm not in the least bit surprised that school anxiety is on the rise - secondary schools (and primary for that matter) are under so much pressure to 'perform' and inevitably this filters down to pupils. Makes me angry

If you can get the GP to sign her off for a week or two with anxiety then use the time to look in to other options for her. Education is important, yes. But not at the expense of your child's mental health. And school is only one way to educate. It doesn't work for everyone. As another poster rightly said, school will never recommend removing her.

There are some very supportive Facebook groups that can help you to realise you are not alone in this! Search for school anxiety/school refusal.

Waitingfordolly Tue 29-Nov-16 10:00:08

Been there, it's tough. We tried lots of things and finally got to the point where school was so bad that I didn't think home ed could possibly be worse. My DD was year 8 so I thought it gave us some time to have a breathing space before thinking about GCSEs. If your DD is bright she should be able to catch up. Home ed is quite a bit of work for us though, and I am personally glad to have a bit of money to pay for things, that seems more important for teens than younger kids. I think you'll know though when what you're doing is intolerable and you need to find something else.

Showmetheminstrels Tue 29-Nov-16 12:15:11

Honestly, if there is any possible way you can take her out I would just do it.

MistyMeena Tue 29-Nov-16 12:59:18

I agree. Nothing is forever. Get her out, give her time to get back on track. Then think about education when she's in a better place.

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