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Think I should home school but....

(7 Posts)
plotmissinginaction Tue 24-Jan-17 11:47:33

I am worried I am not cut out for it.

My son has additional support needs that are currently not being met by the school. I've been in a fourteen month long battle trying to sort it out and I think we are nearing the end of the road.

But I am not sure I can cope with him home all the time. I have CFS and often use the daytime to nap so I can cope with the kids in the evening. I also am not sure I am smart enough for it to be honest. I think I could do some things but stuff like science and maths - well he's already better than I am!

Just looking for any thoughts or experiences really. How full on is it having a child at home 24/7?

ommmward Tue 24-Jan-17 20:20:45

Things to bear in mind:

- once his needs are being met (at home), you'll find him a lot less intense and full on. You won't have that weight of anxiety. You may find it less difficult to cope with the children than you did.

- I don't know whether you'll find opportunities to nap in the day. Maybe you could get a home-help type person in a couple of times a week, to gently supervise him while you have a sleep in the next room?

Science: mystery science is lovely, and free to start with. There are tutors. There are home ed groups where those things are explored (and in return, you do cooking or art or something that's one of your strengths, but the other parents are allergic to)

It's not about being a teacher, imparting knowledge. It can totally be about finding out stuff together. Much more fun, much more realistic, and leads to self-reliant intrinsically motivated learners.

How full on is it? Hmmm. Like week 3 of the summer holidays, once you've found your groove. smile

Saracen Wed 25-Jan-17 08:00:00

Educationally it is easier than you think. Home education can be done in various ways but often doesn't involve an adult instructing a child as is done at school. You can learn alongside them, sign them up for an online programme, or have them learn independently. Some children do all their learning informally rather than by sitting down to "do maths".

I don't know what your son's needs are, so it's difficult to say whether you'd have to work hard to support his learning. Some "additional needs" are only relevant in a classroom environment and become a non-issue outside of school; others don't.

I'd agree with ommmward in suggesting that in terms of how tiring and full on it will be for you, it may feel like the school holidays. Home ed might be a little easier than school holidays: you'll only have one child at home, and the two of you will have more than six weeks to settle into some sort of routine in which he learns how to occupy himself part of the time and there is space for you to rest. (It's commonly observed that some schoolchildren bounce off the walls and complain of boredom in the holidays because they are used to having their day heavily structured and are not accustomed to filling their own time. This does ease as they get used to having more time and freedom - but it can take more than six weeks, meaning that some schooling parents never have the chance to witness this change in their own children.) And it's also true that a less-stressed child will be easier to cope with.

All the same, you may well find that your health needs mean you can't cope with caring for your son full-time without some form of respite. I imagine that most after-school activities could be more trouble than they are worth in terms of getting extra rest for you, as you'd have to transport your son there and they don't last for long, and you may not find any one activity which works for all of your children. Do you have anything in place for the holidays which could continue in term-time? Could you afford a part-time childminder?

plotmissinginaction Wed 25-Jan-17 21:43:11

He has selective mutism. He hasn't a great key worker and CAMHS are really helpful but we can't get the management to support him properly. He wets the bed, he wet himself at school at the start of the term, he is nine. He is a bright boy but hates school. Doesn't do music or PE, talks to his key worker and other kids but not his teacher. His key worker called today to say management still won't support sliding in but she's found a way to do it anyway but I'm going to be fighting that school forever as the management don't take his needs seriously. I also have a daughter who likes school. I suspect she might stop liking it if her big brother gets to stay home. Mostly I'm
Just afraid of taking such a big step. Meeting with CAMHS next Thursday so I'm going to discuss it with them.

Saracen Thu 26-Jan-17 11:02:46

He does sound like an ideal candidate for home ed. If you don't find him any more challenging than the average nine year old at home then you may be able to build some nap time into your day. Tell him 10am is time for him to watch TV for an hour and only wake you for an emergency. 1:30 pm Lego time, likewise. You don't have to be giving him attention every minute.

As far as his sister wanting to be HE also, you have to find a solution which works for the whole family. Maybe that isn't an option. There are other families who only HE the child who needs it most, even if siblings wish they could do it too. It isn't perfect, but that's how it is.

plotmissinginaction Thu 26-Jan-17 14:30:43

Thank you. I feel like it would suit him. When he wants to learn something he is almost obsessive about it. When he doesn't he's very resistant. I suppose the only other argument is that I am taking him away from social interaction which as a child with SM he probably needs to be exposed to. But right now I feel it's doing more harm than good. I have CAMHS next Thursday and a school meeting the following Monday so I will how they go and take it from there I suppose. I'm not worried about him coping with home ed, more me, I might be the one to let him down, but then I might let him down by keeping him at school too.

BertrandRussell Thu 26-Jan-17 14:37:14

Before you do anything else, find out what HE groups and support there are within striking distance of where you live.

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