previously home ed child at school - now what?(4 Posts)
My child had been home ed up to age 10, but has gone into year 6 to 'try' school. We live in a 'rough' area on the edge of a big town. She was previously happy home ed, had friends etc but wanted to see what school was like.
Academically wise things are ok; they tell me she her reading age is highest in year group & is in top group for English. She hates maths (enjoyed it at home) and it is making her unhappy & anxious.
Socially she has a group of girls she plays with & considers them good friends.
However she is having problems with some of the boys, particularly one who has punched her in school (delt with, though DD felt it was unjust, he lied, got away with it). Same boy is now on her case outside school gates (she walks home with friends, 5 min walk) & threatened to punch her, poke her in the eye with a sharp object, which he was holding at the time. She was off school last week with stress, but took me time to get to bottom of problem.
I know it seems obvious to just take her out but she is adamant she wants to see the year out. Her main reasons are that she loves her English class & she can't leave her friends. She would find leaving them behind really disloyal. She feels its ok for her, she has a choice but they don't. She gives one friend half her packed lunch everyday as she says she doesn't get enough to eat. These boys also harass her friends, but DD tends to get the threats etc because she tried to stick up for them.
DD has asked me to help her with the problem, to make it go away so she can enjoy going to school for the rest of the year. She then intends to go back to home ed for secondary.
WWYD? How would you handle it? She feels she has a duty to stay and help her friends, but I'd rather she was not there tbh. I intend to go into school on Monday and see her teacher or the head.
I guess it must depend how unhappy you think she is. Given her age, taking the decision out of her hands is a big deal IMO, and only to be done as a last resort if you think she is truly miserable and lacks the perspective to make the decision she needs to make.
I did know someone who took her 9yo out of school against the child's wishes in identical circumstances, but in that case the girl was actually suicidal (but still refusing to leave school for home ed as she didn't want to abandon her friend to face the bullies alone). The mum told her daughter that she must spend a while out of school - two terms I think? - and then she could go back in if she still wanted to. The girl was very relieved to have the responsibilty for "abandoning" her friend lifted from her shoulders. Less than two weeks later she declared she would never return.
Sometimes it is very hard for people to make sensible decisions when they are in the middle of a crisis. Being removed from the difficult environment for a while gives them a breather so they can think it through properly.
I really don't know what I would do if I were in your shoes.
I think year 6 is a really difficult year for trying school (not blaming you for that - just a fact). There is SATS pressure and kids are a bit stressed and unsettled about secondary school decisions, leaving friends etc. Also, this is a generalisation but my kids were in a 'rough' school and the differences in culture and attitudes really kicked in /became more problematic at the end of year 5 and particularly in year 6.
Having said that I'm glad my daughter in particular had that experience - she's now in a private school which is a world away and the girls are very sheltered. It's good to experience different types of environments and understand that not everyone is as privileged as you.
It sounds like the Maths and behaviour are the main issues. Can you help her with Maths at home to build her confidence? The school should be dealing with the behaviour issues. Have they done anything?
The school are pretty helpful and are aware of both issues. I am going to play it out for a while. I think Saracen you've hit the crux of the issue for me in that I don't want to take her out against her wishes, but there is a point, a line I guess, that I would need to take the initiative as her parent. I think abandoning the other girls would probably have a very negative affect on her. Main thing is trying to irradicate the issues first I think, then take it from there. Thanks for your input crazycrofter, I get what you're saying too, thanks.
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