Anyone's child been unhappy at school but refused to home ed?(7 Posts)
I had some great advice here 18 months ago when I withdrew my dd1 from school.
I have a 7yo and 5yo currently at school and I'm very worried about the 7yo. she always loved school and she is very academic but lately she is becoming more and more withdrawn. Her teacher has also noticed that she spends a lot of time on her own and she doesn't seem to fit into any of the friendship groups at school
when she comes home she seems withdrawn and not her usual happy go lucky self. if you ask her if she's ok, she plasters a big fake smile on her face and says she's fine. she obviously isn't!
I would take her out of school in a heart beat but she is adamant that she wants to stay at school! I don't know what to do for the best, go against her wishes for her own sake?
I can't stop thinking about it and I'm feeling very stressed. I want her home with me and dd1
Slightly different here because home ed would be difficult for us but I too have a 7 year old who has struggled for a long time with friendship groups, is a bit of a loner and has had a bad start to this term with some bullying too.
I have spoken to the teacher regularly. She is working at the school end on looking out for him and asking other kids to as well. Obviously, I'm giving him lots of love and support at home and we see non school friends at weekends but have also been trying to meet up with class mates in non pressured ways (cafe, park) and set up a few play dates. I've made other parents aware of the issue too. It does seem to be helping. He'll never be the centre of the friendship groups but he does need that extra bit of adult help to make it work.
Is there anything you can do around that, to make the school peer situation more positive for her?
Does she have friends outside school? Is there a marked difference between what she is like at home compared with at school?
It could just be that she doesn't have particular friends at school at the moment (is the teacher sure there is no bullying going on? They don't always know if it's going on in the playground).
If the teacher notices your DD by herself a lot, they could perhaps engineer for her to partner various nice girls for activities - to try and promote friendship? I would be having a word with school to help out before assuming that home ed is the best answer.
When did this start? It couldn't be linked to you starting home ed with DD1 could it? (ie. DD1 getting more of your time?)
Thank you for your replies, the teacher has been pairing her up with other girls and she said dd1 is always happy to work with anyone if directed to. It's when it's free choice that she seems to be excluded. I don't think it's malicious, it's a small rural school and the friendship pool is limited. I think this issue became apparent when her best friend moved abroad last year...the gap hasn't been filled despite new children joining the school.
She does several out of school activities but none have produced meaningful friendships, but she loves attending them and is always happy to do so.
Are there spare places at the school? If you took her out, would she be able to return?
If you think it is likely that she would be happier out of school, you might consider removing her for a fixed period of time (a couple of terms, maybe) while reassuring her that if she wants to go back to school after that you would let her do so. Once she has had some time out of school she would be in a better position to make an informed decision. She'll know then whether there are things about school which she misses, and whether those outweigh the unhappiness which the school situation causes her.
Thank you Saracen,
I was wondering if that would be possible, I think I will sell it to dd as trying it out so that she can choose which she would like to continue. She used to be so happy, it's breaking my heart to see her so glum.
I'm pretty sure she would be able to get her place back as it's a very small school. There is also the neighbouring village school where she knows some children from going to rainbows, so I would be tempted to send her there if she did choose school.
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