This is a Premium feature
Tricky one(2 Posts)
Hi before I post I'd like to clarify that I home ed myself.
This is a genuine not sure what to do post regarding a friend whose dd is now 12 and cannot read or write, at all, for several years advice has been given, support offered by our whole community but never taken up. Girl has been assessed and is not dyslexic etc Mother seems totally head buried in the sand about her dd s abilities lying outright. Her dd is becoming more and more isolated as her contemporaries my child included are beginning their GCSE s etc, Mum insists on enrolling her in the classes etc but she can't possibly keep up and so is disruptive.
I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice as to how to help or handle the situation?
In what way does the girl's mum have her head buried in the sand? You say her daughter has been assessed for "dyslexia etc", so it seems that the parents are aware that there may be a problem and they have been taking action. There are all sorts of specific learning differences which a child can have, some fairly obscure, so although (depending on the skill of the assessor) it might be possible to establish that the girl isn't dyslexic, nobody can be sure about the "etc"!
Another possibility is that the girl doesn't want to read and write yet. In a home ed environment that isn't a problem in itself, but if she is being pushed into classes where she is unhappy and disruptive then that is a problem. Do you know why she is enrolled in those classes? Is it because her mum wishes she had more interest in academics than she actually has? Or because "everybody" in the area who home educates appears to be following the route of IGCSEs in the mid-teens and the family don't realise there are alternatives? Or because the girl has a genuine interest, even though her reading and writing ability aren't as strong as those of her peers, and these classes are all that is on offer? Or because the girl enjoys the social side of it?
FWIW I'm not convinced that anyone, even a parent, can be entirely sure that a child cannot read or write at all. Many kids don't like to perform on command, and may claim not to know how when they simply don't want to be made to do so. All you really know is that you haven't observed her to read or write, which is not really the same. The parents are in a better position than you to know what their daughter can do. To say that the mum is lying about her daughter's abilities seems extreme.
So, what are your concerns? You mention the girl's isolation - aren't there some nonacademic activities in the area which you could make her aware of, which might be more suitable? Do you know other families in your area whose children aren't highly academic? If the family had more contact with others who have been down alternative paths for various reasons (because of SpLDs, or lack of interest in academics, for example) that might be helpful and encouraging for them. Perhaps you could put a general post up on your local HE list mentioning some national home ed special-needs forums, in case people aren't aware of the support which is out there. It may well be that the girl's parents don't want to discuss their daughter with you but would want to talk to others who've been in the same situation. Maybe they already are doing this.
Or, is the problem that you are annoyed because the girl is disrupting your daughter's classes? If so then that is really a matter for the tutor to handle and you should speak to them. It may be hard to establish the root of the problem: whether the girl doesn't want to be there or whether she does want to be there but finds it frustrating, and if the latter then whether there is any good solution.