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DS (11) unhappy at school

(10 Posts)
IsadoraDunking Thu 24-Sep-09 14:32:11

My ds is 11 and has been saying he's unhappy at school since last year. He is not that specific but has give a variety of reasons:

1. No best friend
2. Too strict
3. Too much work
4. Is too far away
5. Doesn't like the food

etc etc

Since last year the standard of his written work has fallen dramatically. He reads well ahead of his age but spells appallingly, is bright at maths but takes no care over laying out his work, etc, thinks up great stories but they are incomprehensible to his teacher because of his slapdash handwriting and quirky (to say the least) spelling.

How can I help him? We are considering moving schools to ease his unhappiness as he thinks we have ignored this but we need to address his academics too.

He struggles daily at the moment. He seems sad.

whippet Thu 24-Sep-09 14:38:13

No experience of this age I'm afraid, but I'm assuming he's completed one year of senior school? If so, I know a lot of friends who say that it took their DC a long time to settle into senior school, especially if their previous school life was vey different e.g. smaller, family-like environment, clsoe to home.

Have you spoke to the school at all? What do they say? Has he/you made an effort to invite friends over/ get to know other families in his class?

IsadoraDunking Thu 24-Sep-09 14:47:22

No it's still junior school, we are not in the UK. And has been unhappy since last year.

School currently concerned about academic performance which they say does not match his actual ability (I mean, I am aware a lot of parents say "but my child is so bright" - they say, he is bright, his work does not reflect this).

We do have people over from school but over the last year or so he seems to have been more disconnected. Usually I will suggest will we invite X and he is always happy for them to come - he gets on well with one boy in particular but they are not best friends.

pinkteddy Thu 24-Sep-09 14:52:27

How do you feel about the school - do you feel its the right school for him? If you changed schools would it be further away or nearer. If further its going to be even more difficult for him to see friends out of school.

Merrylegs Thu 24-Sep-09 14:59:17

From your list - I suspect that if he had no. 1, nos 2, 3, 4 and 5 wouldn't seem so bad.

Also, if he was happier at school, I guess his work would be better because he would be in a more positive frame of mind and more motivated. If he is going to miss no one when he goes and if there is another nice school nearby, why not move him?

Does he want to change schools?

How many more years does he have in his current school?

IsadoraDunking Thu 24-Sep-09 17:30:26

I think it is a good school, certainly, and they have taken an interest in his welfare and are open to meeting and so on. But after a year and a bit he is no happier. We even brought him to a counsellor for a couple of months to see if htere was something he didn't want to talk to us about, but nothing really showed up (background, we are divorced, though amicably) other than what he'd already said.

If we changed the school would be closer and easier to get to (ten mins as opposed to half an hour - or more). The new school we have in mind sends a lot of children to the senior school we think he will be going to so we thought it would be a good sort of bridge and less disruptive than changing to somewhere totally new / unconnected.

I agree that if he had 1. anything really becomes bearable, or you treat it with humour and share it and it's not so black.

He is absolutely desperate to change.

He would have the rest of this year plus one more year, if he didn't change now.

I never changed schools (nor did DH) so we don't know how disruptive it is really.


LetsEscape Thu 24-Sep-09 19:18:06

Please listen to your son.. Go and have a look at some other options with him. If he sees a school he likes - go with it. Perhaps a fresh start somewhere new is just what he needs. Good luck. School is meant to be the best years of our life

IsadoraDunking Thu 24-Sep-09 19:22:11

We have already secured a place for him at another school, for January. We are currently trying to weigh up whether it is the best thing to do. Funnily there is another thread of someone else's in chat on a very similar theme.

My instinct tells me to listen to him and to stop looking for the problem to be something in him, and realise the school - though lovely - may just not be the right fit.

IsadoraDunking Sun 25-Oct-09 11:55:50

DS is dyslexic. We never knew. We had him assessed & this is what they told us.

We had arranged for him to move school in January anyway. Now I am convinced it is the right decision as the new school has better learning support (not sometihng I've ever even looked into before & am now appreciating very much) and the current school is just not suiting him in many ways.

I feel relieved that we've made the decision, relieved that we have this new information, but a bit at sea as to what it means.

LB29 Tue 27-Oct-09 19:50:53

It's great to hear that you have got somewhere with the situation.
A few members of my family are dyslexic and tbh my spelling, well english skills as a whole are appalling. This doesn't have to hold him back at all and now it has been diagnosed he will be able to receive the help he needs (this may also be a confidence boost as he may have thought he was stupid etc before)
Good luck with the new school!

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