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What would you do?

(13 Posts)
catnipkitty Wed 24-Sep-08 10:12:50

My DD is in her 4th week of reception. she's ok about it (sometimes really excited, sometimes wanting to stay at home and have a rest),the school is a really good one which I have no problems with...

However, I have always theoretically considered HE as an option for us and now the reality of DD1 being at school full time has sunk, in my thoughts are crystallising - I miss her;
I can see she's struggling with full time school;
in my opinion she doesn't get enough 'down time' to play with her sisters or chill out (and not even getting homework!);
I'm not at all comfortable with not knowing exactly what she's being taught each day, what her experiences are and how she's really coping (her teacher is lovely and very experienced but she has 29 others in the class and is head of year);
it comes across as if she is 'just one of 30 kids', quiet, intelligent and probably overlooked

Is it selfish to want to be more a part of her life? to want her to be celebrated and appreciated as the unique person she is? Is it me just struggling with the seperation from her and I should get a grip???!!

Any thoughts, comments, experiences, opinions appreciated, thanks

C x

mumtoo3 Wed 24-Sep-08 10:29:01


our dd went to school in january (reception), we decided to HE from year 5, but she just did not settle and was very upset, i missed her, her siblings missed her and she then began abusing herself, the school kept telling me this was normal, but i could not stand seeing her distroying herself, so march 3rd we dereged her and have not looked back, 2 months later it all came out that she was bullied at school! since dereging her we have not looked back

my only advise from one mother to another is trust your instincts and the decision is yours not the schools!

you could always leave her in school and see what happens, or you could dereg her and put her back into school when shes ready or remove her and go with the flow!

hope it helps

AMumInScotland Wed 24-Sep-08 10:36:45

I think you need to try to separate out which of these things are about her and which are about you. I'm in favour of HE, if people are choosing it for positive reasons, or if school really isn't the best place for them, but it's hard to tell from your post whether it's just taking her a little time to settle or if there are real reasons why HE would be the best thing for you as a family, and her as an individual.

The first term of school can be very tiring, and it does take a little while to settle to it, for all of you. But unless there's a reason to worry I'd suggest giving it a bit longer to see how you both feel, maybe by Christmas?

Until she gets over the tiredness of fulltime school there won't be much chance to "chill" in the evenings, but that will settle out when the tiredness improves.

As to not knowing exactly what she is doing, well I do think that is something which you have to gradually learn to deal with as a parent - it is important for children to have areas of their life which are not completely about your parents, and most parents who HE make sure their children get opportunities for this even though they don't automatically get it by going to school.

onwardandupward Wed 24-Sep-08 10:41:37

You could always just take her to school on the days she wants to go, and stay at home on the days she doesn't - I mean, offer it as a real choice (school has no legal leg to stand on in complaining about attendance records, because she doesn't legally have to be in full time education until the term after she becomes 5). And then just watch it for a few weeks, see how the balance is going. Is she getting up most days and saying "yay! school!" or is she getting up most days and saying "yay! a home day!"

THe glory of her being still only in reception is that you have this opportunity to truly follow her lead

catnipkitty Wed 24-Sep-08 10:44:54

Thanks for your replies . She has actually settled well in school really.only had 1 morning of upset. she has no worries as far as I can establish, teacher is happy with her, she eats her dinner... AMumInScotland, I think you are right, some of the issues are mine and I do find it hard to let go of her (for various reasons I won't bore you with now!) and I must think carefully about it all.I never really get the time to sit and think properly about it all! I wouldn't pull her out of school now. as you suggest mumtoo3 I would keep her there long enough to really establish how she's getting on once she's settled.

catnipkitty Wed 24-Sep-08 10:47:52

OnwardandUpward - I didn't realise that was an option - would i need to officially tell the school that I would keep her at home some days just because we felt it the right thing to do for her at present? Would it all need to be agreed to? Would I have to pretend she was having day off cos ill?? I would be grateful for more info please!

onwardandupward Wed 24-Sep-08 10:54:00

No, you'd just ring up and say "ah, smallcatnipkitty isn't coming to school today", or "she's too tired for school today" or whatever you feel easy with, and then don't enter into conversation about it. They might not like it (in fact, you can bet your bottom dollar they won't, because it affects their stats and lowers them in the league tables hmm )but your child doesn't legally have to be there yet.

A hundred years ago, my Mum vividly remembers the day when I'd been at school for a good 6 months and my teacher said to my Mum "do you realise, O&U has just done her first full week?" with a big smile. They were a lot more relaxed about these things in those days. The only way to make them relaxed again is to stand your ground.

SummatAnNowt Wed 24-Sep-08 11:16:27

I have all kinds of "proper" reasons for home educating, but I find that now, as I haven't sent ds to reception, all those things have faded and what I feel is that it's right and normal to remain a family unit in this way.

The fact is you don't have to have reasons anyway, home educating is a legal choice, just like school and most people don't tend to wonder whether they've got proper reasons to send their child to school.

BlessThisMess Wed 24-Sep-08 11:24:37

I'm guessing that she is still 4? I just think it is way too young to send a four-year old out of the house all day! I considered HE since my DD was 2 years old, but really wasn't sure, but in the end my decision did come down to that fact - it's just too long for her to be out of the house. When I was a child we didn't go till 5 - I still really don't understand why it's become the norm for them to go at 4. Anyway my DD is now 7.5 and still HE'd. I think instead of calling them "your reasons" for keeping her at home, you could call it "mother's instinct" that she is too young, it is too early to break up the family unit like that and it's just too long of a day. Even now, at 7, if my DD could do mornings only at school I might send her, but I still don't think she should be at school full-time.

catnipkitty Thu 25-Sep-08 10:26:33

Thanks for your reply. yes, she is not yet 4 and half. As suggested by onwardandupward I have kept her home today - she is like a different child. playing so happily with her sisters, less clingy to me. maybe I'll just give her a day off every so often - for both our sakes!

catnipkitty Thu 25-Sep-08 10:31:03

And to add to the discussion, I posted a similar post on another forum (not specifically home ed) and all replies said I should stick with full time school and she'll 'get used to it'...and that it's 'normal' for them to be so tired hmm and 1 school even had a bedroom for any tired child to sleep in if needed shock. How bizarre that I seem to be in the minority in thinking that this is just NOT ok....

AMumInScotland Thu 25-Sep-08 10:43:51

Well, to an extent it is "normal" in that it is what most people do, but you certainly have a choice if it doesn't seem to suit her! I do think the English pattern of starting when they're only just 4 is terribly early - up here they are a little older, and it does make a difference.

lilyplant Thu 25-Sep-08 14:09:59

re attendance, i had a letter last week complaining abot attendance even though not compulsory til april and was going to post on here about it

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