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Help with options please. Mixed feelings about home ed, but don't want full time mainstream state school....

(14 Posts)
sunflowerblue Fri 06-Jan-17 13:40:17

Are there other options? Does it all come down to money?

We've considered home ed for a while now, dd (year 4) has been very unhappy at school. Constant petty meanness between children (and some more serious bullying last year), big class sizes so teachers are complacent, ignorant or just plain helpless. Who knows, but I suspect we have very different perspectives.

So, the short story, I just haven't sent her back this week! I'm not sure if we're going to home ed, or what we're going to do. But if I ask myself can I send her back tomorrow? The answer is no, so she's staying at home.

I'm feeling quite overwhelmed. We're having a lovely week, although I'm craving an hours silence and solitude. And now I desperately miss my son who attends a special school. I feel really guilty that we're leaving him out. There's no way I could cope long term with them both at home full time though. I'm a single parent, so there isn't another adult helping to spread the attention.

The kind of schools I've found where I think she'd thrive and be happy are all private, and obviously I've got no money! Are there other options? In an ideal world there would be a small, nurturing environment she could attend 2-3 days a week. I'm just dreaming aren't I?

MarthaSF321 Fri 06-Jan-17 14:13:29

Does your school offer flexi schooling? Some schools are more in favour than others I think.

2014newme Fri 06-Jan-17 14:16:23

Homeschooling Is more expensive than a private school as you would need to give up your job and associated salary, pension etc to do it. Plus buy all rresources.its the most expensive type of education there is!

sunflowerblue Fri 06-Jan-17 14:32:59

I'm currently home full time as my son receives dla (lone parent).

I really don't want her going back to her current school.

I think my ideal is for us to take some time out, rebuild her confidence, and find a fantastic new school before finding an equally fantastic secondary!

Saracen Fri 06-Jan-17 14:56:53

"I think my ideal is for us to take some time out, rebuild her confidence, and find a fantastic new school before finding an equally fantastic secondary!"

You can certainly take some time out from school. Home ed doesn't have to be forever. Likewise, you don't have to do the same thing with both children. Is your son as unhappy at school as your daughter is? If not, he could stay at school while she is out.

You know your daughter's current school isn't right for her, so it makes sense to take her out. You might find you get on better with home ed than you expected, and carry on with it. Or you might find another school (move house for one?) or some other arrangement. But there's nothing to lose by trying HE for a while, is there?

Can you say more about why you feel full-time home education isn't ideal for your family? Is it about you needing time away from your kids, or do you think it would also be wrong them, and if so why?

One thing is certain: you can't keep your daughter off school for long without deregistering her to home educate. While she remains registered at school she has to attend or you may be prosecuted under truancy laws. You might be facing a fine soon.

sunflowerblue Fri 06-Jan-17 15:08:33

Thanks Saracen. I've spoken to school and told them we are taking a week off to think about whether or not she's coming back. At the moment I have no intention of sending her back, I think I just needed the reassurance of seeing how much happier she is to know it's the right decision.

My son is happy at his school, I just think he feels left out because me and dd are at home together all day every day now. I've missed him so much this week! However, I would really struggle to meet both of their very needs if he was also home full time, and I think his school is actually doing a great job of supporting his development.

Long term I think I will struggle to home ed full time. It's me not dd. I'd hoped to go back to work in the next few years, I'd like to finish a college course I was studying last year, I'd planned to start with the OU this year, was really looking forward to work experience. I think ultimately, it's been a tough struggle as a lone parent, no family help, getting the right help for my asd son, and he's still not great at sleeping through the night. I'm worried about being exhausted, mentally and physically. And, perhaps selfishly, but I was really looking forward to getting to a point where I could focus on my own future, creating a career and getting back to work.

DD has put up with so much as a carer herself. I think she needs some time and attention. I worry there may not be enough of me to give. indefinetly, anyway.

Finola1step Fri 06-Jan-17 15:12:36

I have no experience of Hone Ed but the decision doesn't need to be forever. Perhaps give it until the end of June and if it is not working out, contact your LA with a view to finding a Year 5 place for September.

sunflowerblue Fri 06-Jan-17 15:19:01

That's my instinct right now finola. I think I'd like to move back to my home town too. I've had lots of health issues this year and would like to be closer to friends and the couple of relatives I do have. Too many variables and too many decisions at once!

Friendinneed2016 Fri 06-Jan-17 15:27:28

There's no reason why you can't home school your dd. Have you thought about all the aspects of it though? What sort of approach are you going to use? Have you got a way of socialising with others?

Can I ask why your Dd is also a carer?

sunflowerblue Fri 06-Jan-17 15:31:47

Siblings are essentially carers too. I am my sons carer, but you cannot separate the experience of being his sibling from his having autism. We have lots of friends with children on the spectrum, and all acknowldege the unavoidable impact it has on siblings. Lots of positives! Very caring, empathetic, sensitive individuals. But also seems to make them a bit more vulnerable too.

Whitelisbon Fri 06-Jan-17 15:46:10

I home ed my sn ds (10), my eldest dd (14) attends school, and I'm contemplating home edding the youngest 3 as well, got 18 months to decide.
I'm also halfway through an open uni module, hopefully I'll have a degree in 5-6 years.
It's hard going, and never getting a minutes peace is one of the things I really struggle with, however the difference being at home has made to ds has been amazing- it's nearly 6 years since I pulled him out of school, and I wouldn't go back for anything.
We have no firm plans for the future, we just take it term by term, although I can't see ds being able to cope with mainstream school at any point.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is, do what you feel is right for all of you for now, if that means sending one to school and keeping one at home, then so be it. These decisions aren't set in stone, and you can change your mind at any time.
Good luck.

sunflowerblue Fri 06-Jan-17 15:50:38

Thanks Whitelisbon. That is the advice I would tell myself, and what I really needed to hear.
Being a lp and having noone to sound off is probably the hardest thing. It's all ok really isn't it? Having a child with sn is a great reminder that you really just have to follow your own path and whatever makes your family happy.

Badbadbunny Mon 09-Jan-17 14:54:22

Also, don't forget that you don't need to spend all day, 5 days a week to home ed, so it shouldn't prevent you from either going back to work or college part time as long as you can find childcare for when you're doing something else, i.e. family or friends or can your OH adjust their working hours to cover some time?

With home-ed, you're not going to have to do anywhere near the same amount of time as formal school education. On a one-to-one basis, you could probably teach in 5 hours what the school teaches the class in 25 due to disruption, explaining things multiple times to other pupils, assemblies/form time,, and of course the "non teaching" activities like sports, dancing, singing, etc which you can replicate as part of family activities.

One of my friends does about 10 hours formal teaching per week, spread out according to family activities, her part time work, etc., and they're well ahead for the child's age.

Badbadbunny Mon 09-Jan-17 14:57:21

As for cost, there are loads of free resources on the internet, including downloadable worksheets, downloadable sample exam/test papers, youtube videos given by teachers etc. As an example for secondary school maths, there's an excellent free website, CorbettMaths, with videos, practice questions, etc right through to GCSE level - there are similar for virtually all subjects to all levels.

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