DD not engaging in school. Advice on home education please.

(11 Posts)
WhenTheDragonsCame Wed 26-Apr-17 15:04:14


My DD1 (15) hasn't had a great couple of years at school with multiple fixed term exclusions last year and threatened permanent exclusion. Her behaviour has improved since starting year 10 but the school have said that she is still at risk of permanent exclusion if she steps out of line again. The main problem however is that no matter what the school or I do DD1 is just not engaging in any of her lessons. She is predicted to fail all but her music and drama GCSEs (grade 1 for English).

I am considering taking her out of school and educating her at home. I have spoken to the school and though they haven't said they want me to do it they have said that they do not think formal school is the best place for her and agree that her being at home can't really be any worse than her being at school.

I am wanting her to continue with taking her GCSEs as I think she will need to do them to get onto a college course later on. I am thinking of signing her up to do 4 at the moment, probably English language, maths and dual science. I am at university myself and have a childminder I user for my other DDs who has said DD2 can go there when I am not available.

Can anybody please advise me on what is the best way around this?

I have signed up to a Yahoo group for exam support and have messaged Oxford Home Learning to find out when she would need to take the exam if I get her support through them. I do not feel confident enough to do this completely by myself.

Thank you.

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lizzyj4 Sat 29-Apr-17 11:28:16

I'd recommend joining some HE facebook groups. This one is for GCSE and alternatives - www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=home%20ed%20uk%20gcse%20exams%20%26%20alternatives - and has a really useful wiki with reviews of various course providers, etc. There are lots of options, including online school, distance learning courses, etc. You'll get a lot of useful advice and support there. smile I'm sure there are parents on there in the same situation.

If school are supporting your decision, it's possible that you may get some funding for whichever option you choose. I know several people who have got funding for InterHigh, but I'm not sure what the criteria are. I suspect it varies between area.

Astro55 Sat 29-Apr-17 11:33:42

There maybe other options

Reduced timetable for those lessons for example

There maybe other schools who are more effective at dealing with children like your daughter - you need to ask

Saracen Sun 30-Apr-17 13:28:09

"I am wanting her to continue with taking her GCSEs as I think she will need to do them to get onto a college course later on."

It's very likely your dd would need some GCSEs if she wants a particular college course and doesn't want to wait to do it. However, colleges do offer a range of options for young people who don't have GCSEs or don't have high enough results for their desired course. There will be some college courses she could do without GCSEs, and the college would help her through some GCSEs concurrently. That might be an easier and cheaper option.

So, is she in Y10 now? Another possibility is changing to college instead of school next year. Many colleges have dedicated 14-16 provision, usually vocational courses for teens who are not engaging with school. Some kids prefer this sort of thing and like the college environment better than school.

Either way, I'd suggest contacting local colleges and asking what they could do for your daughter in either Y11 or Y12 if she doesn't have GCSEs.

thethoughtfox Sun 30-Apr-17 14:28:16

Be careful: why is she not engaging? You need to get to the root of that first. If she just can't be bothered or is rebelling , how are you going to engage her in the way that lots of different subject specialists with different teaching styles, experience and all the different resources that they have aren't able to? However, if she anxious or has MH issues, HE could be perfect.

Saracen Mon 01-May-17 13:57:25

Well, but home ed can't be worse than the current situation at school, can it, fox? The idea that a parent is unlikely to find a way to engage her child where teachers have failed to do so, assumes that home ed looks a lot like school. It rarely does. There is flexibility and freedom to work in the way that suits the individual child.

For example, if music and drama are the subjects which excite her, you could focus on those for now. My teen's main interests are art, music and sport so those are the subjects she does, meaning I don't have to work to engage her. She is already functionally numerate and literate: she can write a CV and a business letter, manage finances and measure up for dressmaking, so she is fine in everyday life. Does she have the skills to write a history paper or embark on a physics A-level right now? No, but if and when she decided she wanted to do those things, she would go acquire the skills needed. Engagement would come naturally.

WhenTheDragonsCame Wed 03-May-17 09:36:41

Hi thank you for the replies.

I think the not engaging is a combination of things. She has been behind in Maths and English since early primary school and her confidence is really low. Then we moved city when she was going into year 9 and has kind of fallen out of the habit I guess.

She works fine one to one and will make an effort but a class situation doesn't seem a good fit at the moment.

The support worker at school has told DD1 that she shouldn't be home schooled as she will miss her friends. I'm going to give it until the end of the year and see if there is any improvement. In the mean time I have got some maths and English books to tutor her in the evening. We started last night with maths and she just doesn't understand. She struggles with concepts they do at a much younger age.

Thank you again for the advice.

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BarbarianMum Wed 03-May-17 14:10:42

At age 15 I think you need to talk to your d first. Nothing will be a success unless she buys into it. No matter how much you want her to carry on w GCSES it cant happen unless she engages.

And forget this "can't be worse than now". It totally can be worse if you are in close 24/7 contact with an unhappy, rebellious teen trying to force her to do something she's not wanting to do. Equally it could be a great success - if she likes the idea.

WhenTheDragonsCame Wed 03-May-17 16:33:56

Yes I agree that being with DD1 24/7 would probably not work. I am at university so if she left school she wouldn't be with me every day.

She is quite happy to sit at home doing maths and English work. She did some last night without any arguments. I think she is really behind though and getting her to the point of being able to pass her GCSEs is going to be difficult. We worked on BODMAS last night and she didn't really get it.

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BarbarianMum Wed 03-May-17 17:55:41

Well one big plus of home ed is that you don't need to stick to the usual school timetable for GCSEs. If she's happy to do the work, she can sit them in a couple of years when she is ready. She wouldn't have to sit 10 either. How will you suppirt the music and drama though - it's noticable that she's not prexicted to fail these, are they her favourites?

WhenTheDragonsCame Thu 04-May-17 17:16:46

When I say she isn't predicted to fail she is predicted a 4 for both. Not the best but better than the 1 she is predicted for English language. Also she isn't doing the acting drama route but the design one or something. Not sure but from what her teacher said I think she is the only child doing it that way.

I did some maths with her last night about solving wordy real life problems and she just didn't understand at all. I am hoping that working on it one to one will help it to all click into place but I don't think it will be easy. One of the questions was working out the change left over after somebody had bought some items and she added all of the figures up including the amount he had to start with. She also doesn't know how to tell the time. I will explain it to her but she just forgets.

I told her last night that we will do our best but if she doesn't pass next year it isn't all wasted as what we are doing now will be the foundations for her learning the year after.

I do feel guilty though as even though she was behind in her old school and had issues with friendships she was engaging in class and not struggling as much as she is now sad

OP’s posts: |

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