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DS Wanted to go to school but now he isn't sure...Advice greatfully received.

(41 Posts)
Doobydoo Wed 20-Aug-08 20:16:38

Ds[nearly 9]has said he would like to go to school.We visited the school twice and he had a good time.Now he is not sure he wants to go.
He has been before,once in the Uk for 10 months,then we moved to Ireland and once in Ireland for 2 terms a couple of years ago.
He would like to make more friends...but now dp will be around more he will be able to get out and about more.I just wondered if you haveany tips on how to guide him to make a decision.School starts 1st Sept.He has been home edded for the last 2 or so years and for a year before that,between schools.Dp and I have said we will support his choice and said that he knows basically what school is like.
Hope this isn't too garbled!

julienoshoes Wed 20-Aug-08 20:33:03

If your Dp is around more now, what about you give home ed with Dp there to take him out and about, a trial until Christmas say? Set a date for say 1st week in Deceneber to have a family meeting and review the situation then?
Then he could start if he wants to, in Jan-or is it a very popular school, with limited places?

What about helping him list the pro's and cons?
If he has been to school and home ed, he'll know them well enough.

Doobydoo Wed 20-Aug-08 20:52:35

I think hat is a good idea.It is the local school and I don't think it is over subscribed.I think the list of pro's and con's is a good idea.We would rather he didn't go as we are sure he will be disappointed again,but really want to help him decide for him.Thanks julienoshoessmile

AbbeyA Thu 21-Aug-08 08:48:26

I would say that September is a much better time for him to start. Classes and teachers are new and there have most probably been changes and everyone has had a long break from each other. Even if the children have been together for years they are having to make big adjustments to a new teacher.
January will be much more difficult because the class will be established and a unit.
I would suggest that he starts in September, but let him know that it is a trail and that you will have the family meeting in December and make the list of the pros and cons ( he won't know the school pros and cons until he has been)and at that point decide whether to continue in January.
(Every school is different so he can't make pros and cons from schools that he went to in the past.)

AbbeyA Thu 21-Aug-08 08:49:10

Sorry trial not trail!

Doobydoo Thu 21-Aug-08 09:10:06

The only reason he wants to go to school is to meet some more children.He does have friends and he is a sociable child.With dp around more we will be able to take him to other home ed families and to see his schooled friends and also he can enjoy more activities.He does go swimming and to taekwondo and loves golf.He will be able to try archery and wants drum lessons.

AbbeyA Thu 21-Aug-08 09:36:09

September is a much better time to fit in with the other children than January.
If he is having cold feet then he is likely to have them in January, as it gets nearer.
I would suggest that you either sit down now with him and do pros and cons as to whether he goes at all, or he plunges in at the start of the school year- and you make sure he knows it is a trial to be reviewed in Dec.
January is just sitting on the fence and putting off the decision.

Doobydoo Thu 21-Aug-08 09:38:48

Going to sit down and list the pro's and con's todaysmile

onwardandupward Thu 21-Aug-08 09:55:45

Remember that AbbeyA is a teacher, and can be relied upon to suggest school as the best solution on the vast majority of HE threads.

Families move house and therefore schools at other times of year than September. THose who don't start a new school year at the beginning of September are not socially scarred for life.

Doobydoo Thu 21-Aug-08 10:19:56

I really don't think he will be going.The only pro was to meet some more children and as dp is around more that won't be a problemsmile

AbbeyA Thu 21-Aug-08 10:55:20

For goodness sake- I said write down the pros and cons NOW! At no point whatsoever did I say send him to school! I do wish people wouldn't write me a hidden agenda.
From the child's point of view September is much better for a child than January. There are lots of little things that are completely trivial to an adult but important to a child. For example they will all get new books together in September, in January the teacher will be scrabbling around trying to find one each lesson. You may dismiss this but they are important to a child.
The summer break is long-September is a new start. January isn't a new start. Perhaps some of you were put off school if your parents were not sensitive to the little things.
Of course people can't pick their time to move. We moved here in March, my DS went to one school on the Friday and his new one on the Monday. I had no choice.Doobydoo has the luxury of choice.
All I was saying was either do the pros and cons now and make a decision or decide to go for a trial and review the situation in December.(the second one only, because if he really wants to try it he has more idea of the pros and cons).
I think that I might be allowed as a teacher, to tell you that, given the choice, September is better than January as a start!

Doobydoo Thu 21-Aug-08 11:13:47

I appreciate your comments AbbeyA.I started a couple of schools mid term and it did make me feel out of place for a while.So I see where you are coming from.I think the idea of pro's amd con's from a couple of posters is a good one.So far we have one pro[ish]and he is thinking at the momentsmileSo thanks again all.

Blandmum Thu 21-Aug-08 11:28:31

It is somewhat easier to start school in September. Things tend to be more fluid in those few weeks. Which is not to say that irreparable damage is done if you start at another time....but if you have a choice, it is easier for a child to start when everyone else is having a fresh start. Common sense really.

And at no point did Abbey suggest that schooling was the best option, she simply gave her professional take on the best time to start.

AbbeyA Thu 21-Aug-08 11:31:21

I think the pros and cons is excellent. You can actually (possibly) do them twice.
I would do them now anyway, especially as he is having second thoughts. If it comes out as HE you don't need to go any further but if he wants to try then tell him you will do the same again in Dec or even half term.
There are people on here who have been scarred for life by the school experiece and if you are going to send your child then you need to be very supportive and be sensitive to the little things.
If you have the luxury of choice, September is by far and the best time to start. If is a whole fresh start for everyone. The whole school smells clean, everything is tidy, notice boards are empty, work trays are awaiting ownership. The child who may have been a pain in the neck to everyone may respond completely differently to a new teacher. Seating arrangements, grouping will be different. If you notice the children in the playground they will all look a bit apprehensive, they don't know how they are going to like the new class. In a way everyone is new.
Over a term classes gel it isn't always easy to fit in straight away. The teacher will know the children well, there will be class jokes. All the things that have built up gradually will have to be explained to the new child.
My son fitted in when he moved schools mid year and mid term but if I could have had the luxury of choice I would have chosen the first day of the new school year.

Blandmum Thu 21-Aug-08 11:36:29

From a teaching perspective I also think that it helps if the student has time to settle. I can see that he has done 10 months in school in the past....I don't think that a child would need that long to decide smile, but it does take a little while for things to shake down.

I've been a year 7 form tutor. We asked them at the start of the year to make posters listing how they felt about starting a new school....they could be positive and/or negative. We then asked them halfway through the second half term (in late oct early nov) to look at their posters and to concentrate on things that had worried them in September. To a child, those worries had gone away, and they had settled well into the routine.

Had we asked them after the first month, they probably would still have lingering anxieties

onwardandupward Thu 21-Aug-08 15:35:29

Mea culpa, AbbeyA. Reading this:

"I would suggest that he starts in September," coloured my interpretation of the rest of what you wrote.

I now understand that you meant to say

" the pros and cons list now, and if it comes out as pro school, then I'd recommend starting in September not in January because [14 good reasons]..."

which of course is an eminently helpful and supportive thing to have written. Yes, I guess I did read in a hidden agenda on your part. My bad.

Dooby - there was another thread here recently (it turned into one of those bananas debate threads, so look for one with at least 100 posts) where a poster's child was asking to go to school, and it turned out that the only reason the child was keen to try school was that all of the local HE groups had (as is so common) stopped meeting during the summer when everything is crowded and lots of people are taking holidays. It was missing the regular groups which was the draw rather than anything about actually going to school. You might find it helpful to read that thread. I'll bump it if I can find it.

AbbeyA Thu 21-Aug-08 16:20:03

Apology accepted onwardandupward, I really am not against HE and I don't think school suits all children. I do stick up for schools when people make prejudiced blanket statements.
I am all for talking to the child, the thread you have linked was all a complete misunderstanding! Had the person really listened, and questioned her DD, she could have solved the problem at the start. It is also a good case for talking about schools, and mixing with school children; I was very surprised that a DC of almost 7 didn't know that schools had holidays. I would have thought it should have come up even if only to comment that everywhere was crowded.You would like to think that she would have listened if the DD had a valid reason for wanting to go to school. I was pleased that it all ended happily for her.
In this case the DS is almost 9yrs and has been to school twice. It is worth exploring the school option because he is the one that mentioned it. It is understandable that he has got cold feet as it gets nearer, it is a scary thought-circumstances were such that I had to go to 3 primary schools and 3 secondary schools and I found it difficult. When I go to a new school as a supply teacher I almost feel sick with nerves!
A piece of paper with pros and cons is a great help, I always do it with choices. If he decides he wants to try it,I think the idea that it is a trial is helpful. I just think waiting until January is is putting off the decision.I always take the view that if something is going to be difficult it is best to tackle it as soon as possible-head on!

powpow Fri 22-Aug-08 21:08:39

sorry to derail but - abbeyA


i am that 'non listening' person abbeya is referring to.

but i think - the misunderstanding was yours.
you had a bee in your bonnet that i was not listening to my dd.
but any sane person can read that thread and see the truth.
you were totally NOT interested in helping me figure things out in any way. all you were interested in was pushing YOUR beliefs and YOUR agenda. You even went so far as to tell me what I 'meant' to say!

WHY should my dd know about school holidays when she doesn't attend school?
we don't sit around all day and discuss school i'm afraid. we have other, more pressing issues to discuss. places to go, people to see and all that!
she assumed children were still in school, after all - children are always in school in her eyes!

perhaps i should talk to her more abbey, as you advise.
or maybe send her to school so i have less time to talk to her.
as for mixing with school children - puhleese - she isn't able to see her schooled friends right now because they are all on holiday. the ONLY time they can take one i might add.
stop pushing your inaccurate agenda.
HE kids DO mix with schooled kids.

you really would do yourself more favors if you didn't write such tosh about what people think or do or 'mean' - how can anyone take what you spout seriously on a HE board?

you, as a 'teacher', are a shining example of why i don't want my child in school all day.

AbbeyA Fri 22-Aug-08 23:23:40

I think that is very unfair powwow. You said in the OP that your DD kept insistingthat she wanted to go to school. The only point that I made all along was that you should talk to her and listen to her. When you got around to doing it you had nothing to worry about! If you had got to the bottom of it at the time you could have set her mind at rest earlier.
I have no agenda whatsoever to send her to school, if you don't want her to and she doesn't want to -all I was saying was that if she really wanted to go then you should let her try it. I stand by that-I think if she had really wanted to try it then you should have let her-however it turned out that she didn't really want to try it and so there was no need to let her.
I am sorry that I made the suggestion that she mixed with schooled children, I just thought she didn't as they might have mentioned that they were on holiday.

powpow Sat 23-Aug-08 09:17:01

go back and read your posts.
you were making all sorts of 'points'.
funny how when they were pointed out to you as a load of crap, you ignored them.

here are some great ones -

your miraculous knowledge about how i felt about school and how my parents reacted.

"schools have got away from the straightjacket of the national curriculum"

(that's a good one).

you assumed my child was - "quiet, reasonable people don't get listened to, you only get anywhere if you kick up a huge fuss or have something on your side to force the issue.If your DD was to have tantrums etc you would be forced to take action but it is probably against her nature."

you obviously haven't met my dd.

saying i didn't include my child in decision making or talk to her over and over when it was made clear to you that i was talking to her and she wasn't sure what her reasons were behind the thought.

alluding to a conflicted relationship with my dd.

you kept saying that i should visit schools, when i had already said that i had.

"I also think you asked the wrong question. You meant 'my DC wants to go to school but I don't want her to go, how do I deal with it?'"

this was great! i felt like i was right back in english 101. thanks for that. i obviously don't know what questions are going on in my head. i need you to work it out for me.

and then telling me that i was trying to persuade you of my philosophy was really rich. i think you will find it was the other way around.

you were making this 'point' over and over and along with it, stretching and manipulating the thread to suit your agenda, or belief, or whatever it was that made you so interested in the thread.
you kept telling me that i wasn't listening to my dd, when in fact, all i do is listen to her all day long.
seems to me that you are the one who isn't listening.

sorry to derail, i'm done now.

QuintessentialShadows Sat 23-Aug-08 09:29:38

Powpow, is this a different argument? hmm

It is not really in the mumsnet spirit to hijack a thread, powpow, and bring in an argument from a different thread. I was reading the thread with interest, and abbeyA was very helpful here, until you torpedoed the thread with your grievances against her. Not good form at all.

Keep it in the thread it belongs. smile

chapstickchick Sat 23-Aug-08 09:44:19

I home ed too...... and my dh as a driver is sometimes home during the day (he usually works nights but obviously needs to sleep)and H.E is far more enjoyable when hes available because we can get out and about easier,at christmas time dh does extra shifts (no he doesnt work for santa wink)but thats when i make a much bigger effort for outside activities close to home(activities tht arent available all year)

i do think the ops son will find h.e more enjoyable with easier access to transport and activities and having his father there too will add to his education.

As much as i agree a h.e child should be listened to if they ask to go to school the reasoning behind needs to be investigated as to return to school and not find it enjoyable/pleasant would i think have a detrimental effect,and as a parent you need to be sure its 'right' -i feel qualified to say this as ds2 returned to a new school in year 7 last year(after 3 yrs of H.E) hes thriving and loves it.

AbbeyA Sat 23-Aug-08 09:54:20

You seem to be really upset with me! I didn't intend to have that effect.
I believe that children are free spirits, they may well share your ideas but they might not. You can tell them what you believe, lead by example but they make up their own minds.
A DC of avid Christians may become an atheist, a DC of atheists may become a vicar. The DC of a labour MP may become a conservative. They may marry people that you don't like. Those who were sent to boarding school may think it was wonderful and put their DCs name down at birth-others may say'over my dead body'. You may be longing to be a grandmother and your DC is adamant they are not having DCs.They may emigrate to the other side of the world.You may want want them to be a doctor, they may want to be an actor. (by 'you' I mean people in general)
It all makes for the rich tapestry of life and the important thing is to keep the lines of communication open.
If you had said that my DD mentions sometimes that she would like to go to school then I wouldn't have taken such a strong line, but you used very strong language as in keeps insisting. I was not alluding or guessing at your relationship, I was just saying that if people keep telling you things in a quiet manner then you should take notice.
I don't apologise for saying that schools have gone away from the straight jacket of the national curriculum, that is true in my LEA. It is a fact.
I gave lots of examples of good schools. I get fed up of all the usual things trotted out about bullying. Yes, there is bullying in schools, there is in all walks of life but they are dealing with it. Good schools have friendship schemes and peer mediators. Things move on in schools!
The thing that seems to have upset you the most was me saying that you had asked the wrong question. I still think that if it hadn't all been a silly misunderstanding then you should at least have given her a timescale of when you would look at schools if she was still in the same mind at that time.
I would have expected her to know that schools have holidays because her schooled friends would be available for playdates, in a way that they aren't in term time.
I am not against HE, I am for children having a choice.I have quite a few friends who HE and they have let the DC decide.
My best friends had 2 DS in school and took them out aged 6 and 8. The third never went. The eldest went into flexi schooling for GCSE, a big comrehensive,and is now full time in the 6th form, the middle one is going in for just the subjects he wants to take at GCSE and the youngest is at home full time-he may follow the pattern of the other two or he may not. The parents didn't decide any of it -the DSs did and that is the way it should be IMO. (the initial decision to come out of school was taken by the DSs).

AbbeyA Sat 23-Aug-08 09:59:14

Sorry-comprehensive. It is what you might call a 'bog standard' one but they were enlightened enough to allow flexi schooling and my friends son actually gets paid in what I think is called a 'partnership scheme' and he mediates for younger children who are having problems in school. Schools are not all bad!

Doobydoo Sat 23-Aug-08 10:26:09

Chapstickchick...I think you are rightsmileIt will make a huge difference having dp around more.You have hit the nail on the head.At the moment ds is undecided.We shall prob see where he is at tomorrow.

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