This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
DS starting school in September(4 Posts)
DS is 5 nearly 6, for various reasons I decided not to send him to school for the last 2 years. Educationally he's been thriving with Home Ed, it suits the way his brain works. Tbh, we have both learned a huge amount together and it's been a very rewarding experience. However socially, nothing I do is enough for him. He is highly social and going to home ed meet-ups twice a week (one in our area, one in a neighbouring county), arranging afternoon activities, being in a local sports club, etc, just isn't enough. He's an only child and we don't live on an estate, so he just doesn't have enough continuity with the same children to make real, satisfying friendships. Lately he has been asking to go to school, especially when we see school tours on outings as has been happening regularly during May and June.
I've been so worried that I've made a decision for his education which is having a negative social effect so I have tried every thing possible to increase his social life. But honestly, everything I do is just enough to leave him wanting more. (This is not him being ungrateful - he is just honestly yearning for more interaction with children and spending a weekend on a multi-family camping trip, for example, means he is soooo happy on the trip but at a more of a loss than usual on Monday morning.)
So I've managed to find him a private outdoor forest school. It's a bit of a commute but not outrageous and amazingly I can volunteer in lieu of fees. (Which will actually save me petrol money). The school is great, totally play based, really tiny class (but enough kids for DS to have fun with), lovely, lovely teacher. So why am I feeling so unsure. I've gone from being up nights worried that I'm preventing him from having friends to being up nights worried that I'm doing the wrong thing by sending him to school or that the commute will exhaust us or that DS will somehow end up being the one kid in the class to not have a friend and will feel lonelier than ever.
I know I need to cop on. Logically, I know that he has an utterly amazing opportunity that is so rare and I should be feeling nothing but glee and gratitude and I do feel all of that. But I also feel like my best wasn't good enough for him and I failed him in some fundamental way and I might be continuing to fail him for years if I hadn't gotten this amazing opportunity for him. I'm consumed with guilt, which just isn't something I've ever really felt as a mother. Maybe it's all some sort of transference as ex-DH let us down so badly when DS was a newborn and it's meant that we are not living the life I thought we would have when I was pregnant. But it means that instead of focussing on the positives of the situation, which is normally how I live my life, any positive negatives flooding my thoughts and I find myself constantly having to justify what I think is the right thing for DS.
Let him go to school. You are over thinking it. I’m not sure what a forest school is but if he is missing having friendships etc then it’s not worth keeping him home.
Kids manage to go to school and make friends all the time. If he has difficulties making friends that’s normal and will pass.
Just to be clear. The decision is made and the school place has been accepted. I know it's the right decision for him. I know he is incredibly lucky to have this opportunity. I just have moments where I'm weirdly overcome with doubt about what I know is best for him. The school is play based in great outdoor setting (but with a very large room for when the weather is just too bad for being outdoors).
It sounds great! Part of the joy of home education is being able to opt in and out of amazing opportunities that present themselves. This doesn't have to be forever. You haven't failed him, you are listening to his needs, and doing everything you can to help them to be met. Good luck!