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Considering Home Educating 12yr old son with mild ASD & dyspraxia(9 Posts)
My year 8 son is keen to learn, managed state primary well & moved to a large outstanding state secondary last year. He coped with the first 2 terms, but fell apart in the summer term and was desperately unhappy, frequently school refusing.
There doesn't seem to be a bullying issue, but he is sensitive and with classes of 30 pupils, teachers can't be sensitive to everyone's needs. He's rejected all his LSA support as he wants to appear to be like everyone else , he goes the whole day without eating anything at all and is just not his old self. I've completely exhausted all the options in terms of other schools and am now seriously considering home schooling. However, whilst I am happy to support him at home, I've no idea where to start with the academics. My maths is dreadful and with 2 older boys, I know the curriculum is much more demanding than when I was at school - I just don't know where to start.
I'm also concerned about his social development - he has a number of friends and enjoys socialising with them, but I don't know how long that would be sustained without the regular contact at school.
Any advice would be so much appreciated as we have just about reached rock bottom...
I do sympathise. It's very upsetting...but it's not the end of the world when a child doesn't fit in easily and you're obviously a great advocate for him.
What about interhigh? interhigh.co.uk/about-interhigh/
You wouldn't need to teach him then?
Re socialising there are lots of resources to help homeschooled kids meet up...but he could keep his friends anyway. Do they stay in touch by mobile phone?
Thanks AjasLipstick - Interhigh sounds really interesting - I've not heard of them before and will definitely go away and research! Yes, he has a mobile now he's at secondary so he's able to keep in touch, and there is a local youth group he can attend once a week....do you have any personal experience of homeschooling?
In our area there are lots of people home educating teens.
It's a mix. Some are at the stage where they really manage their own social lives. Others would be if they knew enough people, and for them there are teen-specific meet ups where they can be a bit independent and get to know each other (like, film trips and bowling and discussion groups and joint study groups, that sort of thing).
Other teens aren't at that stage yet. They either join in with all-age meets (although they can have a bit of a toddler-group chaotic edge to them), or there's a lot of small group home ed classes people go to (languages, art, pottery, science, all sorts), or forest school can be a big thing for some people, or there can be smaller bespoke special needs meet ups in some areas, too (they tend to be invite only, to keep it a positive experience for the existing members).
Get yourself onto facebook. Search for home education with your nearest big city or your county name etc. Our nearest big city home ed facebook group has over 1000 members...
Academics: take a break. Let him (and you) recover from school. One month per year of school recovery is the rule of thumb, and it can take longer if there has been trauma. During that time, suck the marrow out of whatever it is he's into: zoo/local attractions/national trust/museums/art galleries/walking in the woods/ whatever it is. Do some exercise - long walks, bike rides.
You'll find that he's beginning to ask you questions again, like in the toddler years. And now, either you can answer it, or you look it up together on the internet, or you find people who know the answers and can help. there's a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the home ed community (there are skills I am teaching my friends' children, and skills they are teaching mine, that we simply couldn't do ourselves).
And gradually, as you and he feel ready, you can start talking about the future - who he wants to be when he is 25, and what the steps are from here to there. That will make the path through the next few years become more clear as the months go by.
It's really difficult to tell what's for the best, I have two sons like your DS ( out of three) one struggled on through high school because he really wanted to fit in and was good at one thing, rugby! His problems with concentration and organising himself mean he left with next to no qualifications, he's average intelligence so should have done better. DS2 found it very difficult to cope with classroom disruption and the teenage social milieu but focussed in on academics, ignoring all peer pressure good and bad, he is now at our countries top uni.
DS with no qualifications tried a couple of FE courses but they didn't work out either and in the end I ended up home educating him at 19, he has just achieved his first ever A at GCSE Maths equivalent. He said to me today that he thinks about all the exams he might have passed by now if he'd been taught at home, which is a bit sad, however, there is no way I'd have coped with him at home full time when he was younger, he was very hard to handle and not ready to learn or confident about his abilities and he does have friends from school that he values.
He may try OU Access courses next but he has a job so it's hard to fit in, a big step to take as he would still need me to help him keep on task.
Amelie I live in Australia where it's more common and I did research it when I lived in the UK. It's growing as more understanding is had of mental health issues plus things like Aspergers. Not all children suit school.
my daughter has autism and is getting on really well with online schooling. We use myonlineschooling.co.uk and theyve been really supportive so far. She is doing 4 mornings a week and gets to do maths, english, science, geography, history, computer science, french, spanish, latin and PSHE. She actually loves all of her lessons, which is incredible as she was a school refuser before. Only complaint we get is about homework. It works out about £2.5k a year, but its paid monthly. Expensive, but her DLA covers it and its just improved all our lives
Thanks so much for all your responses - some really encouraging points in there, very much needed after another draining evening of building anxiety about school tomorrow. Definitely can’t continue like this....