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home school diary - is it too much additional work for teacher/assistant?

(17 Posts)
tacal Wed 23-Apr-14 10:42:37


My ds has sn and seems to be doing ok at school with some extra support. But we have had issues with reading, anxiety and ds not understanding things the teacher has said and him being upset because he takes things literally.

I am thinking that a home school diary might help. I am fed up writing letters to the school and waiting for the teacher to phone me or come out to play ground to reply. Surely a diary would be easier for all. But I am sure if I ask for a home school dairy the school will say no because they are too busy.

Is it a lot of extra work for the school? Is it a reasonable adjustment for the school to make for ds. Or is it a lot of extra work and not worth it?

I would be grateful to hear your opinions on this.

Thank you

TeenAndTween Wed 23-Apr-14 10:56:12

Sounds to me like a reasonable adjustment for a SN child.
If they are 'too busy' to communicate with you, is it really the best school for your child?

tacal Wed 23-Apr-14 11:14:01

that's a good question teenandtween I did think it was the right school but the lack of communication is becoming a real problem.
Thank you for your reply. I think I will ask the school and see what they say.

starfishmummy Wed 23-Apr-14 11:16:11

Ds is at special school and all the kids have one so I don't see why doing just one would be too much work.
But I think you need to consider what you want it to be used for. Do you want it to be filled in every day with details about what he has done in each lesson, or just used to highlight any concerns as and when?

Martorana Wed 23-Apr-14 11:19:20

This was routine for children with statements at our primary.

But be warned, it did cause a lot of hassle with some of the other less........empathetic....parents.sadangry

redskyatnight Wed 23-Apr-14 14:33:38

I think you need to be clear what you want out of the diary. Do you want updates every day? To use it to pass on daily concerns?

The DC's school uses home/school diaries for all children and they are no more beneficial (IMO) than a system where you write the teacher letters or hope to catch them on the playground.

rocketjam Wed 23-Apr-14 14:46:34

Mixed experience. DS went to a special speech unit in a regular state school for nursery and reception, they had a system of diary and wrote about twice a week about activities, progress, etc and I wrote about any questions and special activities so that they could have a subject to discuss with him. WHen he started main stream school, I asked for the teacher to carry on with a similar system because of his speech disorder, he was on special needs list but not statemented. Initially it was ok but the teacher didn't see any 'need' for it so it dropped off. However, I could see that some children who were badly behaved in class did have a home school diary to help communications between school and child. As my DS didn't have behaviour problems, and caused no trouble in the classroom, his teacher didn't think he needed a diary. That made me quite cross, but I gave in and he has had no diary since middle of year 1. Now in year 3 he is not on special needs register anymore. My experience is that it's pretty random.

whatadrama Wed 23-Apr-14 14:51:28

We have one for Ds in Yr 1 who has SN.

It was a bit of a battle because the school were supposed to implement one as soon as he started (it was on his plan) but we finally got it sorted and its a huge help for us.

He cant tell us much about his day but once we trigger a memory about the days events he can normally add something to the conversation even if its not much!

They only write a couple of lines each day unless something big has happened so its hardly time consuming.

OneInEight Wed 23-Apr-14 16:05:37

In our experience it only worked when it was the teacher's idea. When it was passed over to the next teacher they couldn't be bothered and it lapsed. A great shame as it really helped ds1 (his SN led to behaviour issues) and reduced considerably the times we needed to speak to the teacher. It also meant home and school issues could be discussed in private rather than flagging up to the entire playground that ds1 had had a bad day.

tacal Wed 23-Apr-14 16:07:48

hi, thank you so much for your replies

whatadrama it is great to hear that it really helps you

rocketjam it is similar for us, ds has no behavioural problems so they don't see a need for extra support for him. It is not good.

redsky I would like it so the school can let me know of changes to the routine that will cause ds anxiety. eg when they are practising for a show.

martorana yes I could see that happening, maybe why the school is not keen on the dairies

starfish I just want it to highlight concerns and perhaps figure out what causes him anxiety. He gets anxious when things change and when there is a lot of noise. I would like to help him.

lots for me to think about. thank you

tacal Wed 23-Apr-14 16:15:50

hi oneineight I have been thinking there is probably no point pushing for it if the teachers don't want it. I agree with what you are saying. It is so much better than discussing things in the playground and it is easier. Why do the schools make it so difficult to communicate with them?

I would think a couple of lines in a dairy would be easier than coming out to the playground.

As I typed the above sentence I just figured out why the school is so against it. The school ds goes to puts nothing in writing. Absolutely nothing. So they are not going to write in a dairy sad Probably no point asking them.

whatadrama Wed 23-Apr-14 16:32:16

tacal dont be so defeatist, if you think it will help your Ds then push for it smile

Its a very reasonable adjustment that lots of schools manage easily once they've had a shove in the right direction to recognise the benefits of not being hounded by an anxious parent everyday!

rollonthesummer Wed 23-Apr-14 16:41:03

As a teacher, I would be happy to do it as long as if I forgot occasionally-getting 30 six year olds ready for home time with no LSA can be frantic-you were understanding!

NotCitrus Wed 23-Apr-14 17:24:47

Ds's school have brought in hardback home-school diaries for all the kids. Most of the time all that's in them is how ds did in reading each week and the odd comment from parents on reading, but about once a week the teacher or TA or I put something else in ds's (more in his first term). I imagine some children will have a lot more communication in them.

So clearly works for some schools. Possibly is an advantage as many parents have little English but could get someone else to read the notes and write a reply, whereas trying to speak in the playground would be a lot harder.

tacal Wed 23-Apr-14 18:55:48

you are right whatadrama I really should try. I know the school said no to another parent but I really should try if it will benefit ds. I hate hate having to be pushy.

Thank you rollon it is helpful to know some teachers do not mind.

Having diaries for everyone seems like the best option to me not citrus

whatadrama Wed 23-Apr-14 19:20:43

tacal if you need the confidence to learn how to deal with the school politely but productively then you need to head over to the SN board.

The support you will get is immense and you will be guided through the maze of schooling and SN and getting the correct provision from the top end which is statements down to something simple but incredibly important like a home school communication book.

Every time i have a wobble when dealing with the school i always remember that i'm the only voice Ds has got at the moment, it helps me keep my chin up and pretend i'm confident enough to know what i expect from the school on his behalf smile

tacal Wed 23-Apr-14 19:27:03

thank you whatadrama I like the sn board and will post there for some advice. Sometimes it feels difficult getting the balance right, speaking up for ds but not damaging the relationship I have with the school.

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