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SAHM state / WOHM independent

(16 Posts)
Decisionsdecisionsdecisions Fri 07-Oct-11 16:17:10

I'm not looking for a bun fight. I'm looking for constructive reasonings to help me make a decision. Not to make a decision but to help.

I went to independent school throughout my education I have no experience of state.

I have worked all my life, and other than 6 months maternity leave have always worked.

I am in a fortunate position that my dh's wage can cover all household expenses.

I work to pay for my dc's school fees.

My dc is in year 2, and loves their school. Unfortunately they are ill, and require a lot of care during the night. It is not known yet whether they will get better, or whether this is our life now.

I am exhausted.

I feel like I am doing all things (work/parenting etc) too a substandard now, and not doing anything well. I know this is partly that I'm feeling so down and tired, I've got a negative approach to it all at the moment.

I honestly cannot decide whether to move my dc to a state school, and me stop working and be a SAHM, or whether to grit my teeth and carry on with the independent route.

My questions are:

Has anyone experience of moving their child from independent to state? Negative or positive.

If you were in my position would you try and maintain the stability of the school?

Any other opinions?


dearheart Fri 07-Oct-11 16:23:43

I have just moved my dd from a state school she was happy at (though there were some issues) to another state school. It's gone well but it has been a wrench and dd has some pain to work through about it. I think it will take a term for her to truly settle.

If your dc is ill, then that is a big thing to deal with. The disruption of moving schools is going to be one more difficulty. So I would try to maintain the status quo.

But you also need to look after yourself. I would look at going part-time and cut down expenditure massively on everything else to cover the drop in salary. It doesn't sound like money has been tight so there are probably plenty of ways you can do that - like cutting out holidays for now etc etc.

strandednomore Fri 07-Oct-11 16:27:57

what is the state school like that they will go to?
what do they think?
not knowing what sort of illness you are talking about but how will both schools cope - would you be happy with what they can both provide?
I personally would rather not work and be there for the dc's unless you absolutely LOVE your job and it defines you but whether to work or not is SUCH a personal choice.

Decisionsdecisionsdecisions Fri 07-Oct-11 16:34:44

The state school has a good ofsted rating, and is highly regarded locally.

Dc knows they may have to change school in year 3, but then talks about being at the school in year 3.

The current school are getting better with dealing with the illness, they are accommodating to a degree. I think the state school would be better than this particular independent.

I do love my job, when I'm not so tired.

strandednomore Fri 07-Oct-11 16:42:41

Personally if you are happy with the state school I would move them, then you can see if you can negotiate your hours so you are not working so much.
Life's too short to be constantly tired.
(Sorry an slightly confused, are they twins? And are they both ill?)

Decisionsdecisionsdecisions Fri 07-Oct-11 16:44:48

Sorry one child.

meditrina Fri 07-Oct-11 16:49:00

You'll need to find out if the state school you want actually has a place.

But I was wondering if you can defer the situation for a while.

We don't make our best decisions whilst we are sleep deprived wrecks.

Do you have any savings? Could you take some parental leave, get some sleep, see what life is like with you not working?

Do you know when there will be a prognosis for DC? Again, if you can stall until you are likely to know, you might make a different decision (much easier to push through if you know there's an end in prospect, than keep going into the indefinite unknown).

Haberdashery Fri 07-Oct-11 16:49:43

I would go for state at this level and reassess when you reach secondary level, according to what's happened with the illness and the options available at that time. If you are exhausted, you are much less help to your DC and for me that would be the most important thing while s/he is ill. Part-time also sounds like a good option.

Haberdashery Fri 07-Oct-11 16:50:07

Also, have you been to see the state school? That may help you make a decision.

BsshBossh Fri 07-Oct-11 20:29:02

Go to the state school, get a feel for it separate from the OFSTED etc reports, discuss your DC's illness and how they might manage it with the head teacher there. Then see if you can negotiate less hours at work/switch to new job/SAHM.

Dozer Fri 07-Oct-11 20:37:22

Without further info on the illness, I would say stay in work, even part-time, whatever you decide about schools because of financial security. it's horrible, but some men get ill, lose jobs, leave or whatever. Two incomes reduce risk.

Does your partner help with DC at night?

If there's any househild work you can get help with, eg cooking, cleaning, then perhaps spend some money on this.

scaevola Fri 07-Oct-11 21:35:58

You have to give a clear terms notice at most independent schools, so you're locked into paying now until Easter. Can you find the wherewithal to keep her there until the end of the year - which will be a more natural breakpoint, and might make it easier from her pov? Also, you might have more info about the likely progress of the condition by then, which might make the decision. Bit easier.

In the meantime, what can you do to reduce the stress on you? Can you have DH take over for the odd weekend and get some sleep? Buying in additional help round the house, if you can, sounds good. And do you have family/friends who could help out - maybe taking Dc to an afternoon activity at weekends so you can relax/sleep?

Saracen Sat 08-Oct-11 03:02:44

meditrina said, "But I was wondering if you can defer the situation for a while.

We don't make our best decisions whilst we are sleep deprived wrecks."

I think this is very important. Given that your child is happy at school and you love your job and that the situation might be temporary, you don't want to make any rash decisions. I know it is difficult, but find a way to get some rest for yourself now.

Having said that... is your child's class at the independent school full? If not then I wonder if it could be worth giving them notice that you are removing him or her, with the idea that if the illness improves you will ask for the place back after all. This is because you probably have to give a lot of notice to withdraw from the school, but not to return, providing there is a space. I should think they'd be glad to have your child back and would not be cross with you if they are fully aware of the difficult situation you are in and that you are not just playing games with them.

A few other ideas for later on:

The independent school might agree to a part-time timetable for your child, perhaps with you doing extra academic work at home. This would reduce your outgoings and also enable you to make the most of the times when your child feels well. The amount of time your child would need to spend "working" at home would be less than at school because of the one-to-one attention from you, so he or she could be better rested.

If your child's illness turns out to be long-term and requires a lot of care from you, you could consider applying for DLA and the linked Carer's Allowance benefit. Neither is means-tested, but CA is linked to the carer's personal income (not family income). This might possibly allow you to leave work or reduce your hours while still keeping your child at independent school. You can only apply once your child has been ill for three months and is expected to remain ill for at least six months more.

If you decide to leave work and remove your child from independent school, you might look into home education as another alternative. It can be more flexible than school. You don't have to make a semi-major decision each day: "Is my child well enough for school today?" Instead, life is made up of a series of little decisions: "Is she up to 20 minutes of maths or a trip to the swimming pool at the moment?" and if your child feels better or worse than expected then it's easy to change plans. The total amount of time the child spends on academic work can be a small fraction of what is required at school because it is always targeted at exactly the right level, there's individual attention from an adult, it can be done whenever the child feels well enough, and there are no classroom distractions.

IndigoBell Sat 08-Oct-11 05:44:06

I don't think working all day and caring for a sick child all night sounds sustainable.

I also think you're going to need extra energy to help your DD during the day if she is to thrive on limited sleep.

So I would be looking to quit work or go very part time.

If that means moving school than I would do that.

Because she is going to need extra help during the day, and you need to be able to give her that.

MigratingCoconuts Sat 08-Oct-11 08:54:59

It would be worth talking to the senco at the state school when you look round it to see what you think of the provision they would provide for your DD

Personally, I agree with indigo and that you would be better placed to help you DD if you are less tired (and better for you too!)

clutteredup Sun 09-Oct-11 19:07:37

Have you discussed situation with existing school they might be sympathetic esp if it means losing both you and your DC - it might be that they'll come to some P/T arrangement or sick leave while you get a better idea of how this is all going to be long term - most people are quite kind when you approach them even the most fearsome head.

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