Friday 5 March 2010

The decisions we make

Bear with me as I write my thoughts down. It may get a bit muddled, but that reflects how I am feeling at the moment.

Luke is despondent with school. He feels bored, hasn't learned anything this year (his words), but does not want to be home-schooled as he enjoys seeing his friends at school, which is an inprovement, as in the past it has been friends that have been causing the problems! So I approached the school to see what they were going to do about it. It's SATS year and I get the feeling they are going over all the stuff that will be coming up in SATS, but as Luke is working at a level beyond what SATS will test (in some areas) it is getting very boring for him. If we stimulate him at home, that will make school even more pointless for him, but what if he loses the interest in learning? We went through this last time he did SATS in year 2. I just hope the school can rise to the challenge he presents. The ball is in their court now.

Alec, is languishing in school. Spending his time daydreaming, not being engaged with, and consequently he still has not grasped spelling. I spoke to his teacher, as they had identified spelling as a weakness way back at the beginning of year 4. But since then, he has only brought two lots of spellings home, and his teacher had not picked up on it. I feel bad that it has got this far without me taking action.

I realise children learn at different rates, and spelling may come when he is good and ready for it, but for him to be spending his time daydreaming is just not on. When he is engaged with something, his enthusiasm is all consuming, and a joy to watch. He is supposed to be going to middle school in Spetember, and I am dreading it.

I would love to pull them all out of school, and home-educate. But I wonder if I am doing that for me, and whether it is in their best interests. How can I offer the range of activites that between the lot of them they experience in the course of a day. Could I get Luke through his GCSE's? Would I have the patience, especially with Luke as we clash at times? But then I have all these ideas I would love to do with them, but after school they just want to relax and have had enough.
Ethan asks if I can teach him, Sophie will be starting school at 4 years and a few days. I can find plenty of excuses to home-school but don't want to make the wrong decision and jeopardise their future. I wish this parenting lark was a bit easier!


  1. I cannot advise, as such, I can just share my experince to add to your melting pot of thoughts. I attended school for just two terms at the start of my school career. I was a bright four year old that could read beyond her years, was confident and friendly. Within those two terms I became withdrawn, refused to read, eat, slept badly, wet the bed etc. My mother removed me from the school system. My little brother and I were home schooled from then on. I decided to return to school at age 11 when we had moved to the other end of the country and I needed to make friends. I was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. The anxiety I experienced at 4 was still there, I was just older. I believe my mother created as many problems for me as she solved. But I also believe, and this is viatally important to all decisions, that as mothers we make the right decision for the situation at that time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but is not there when you need it. So whatever you decide to do will be with your boys' best interests at heart and it will be the right choice.

    Thinking of you and your whirling heart and brain xxx

  2. It's not easy and the one good thing that I can see from your post is that your children are happy at school, that's a huge bonus, even if it doesn't solve the education side. I don't really have any answers I'm afraid. I don't think any decision you make could do irreversible damage to the children as you would see very quickly if home education wasn't working and they would be happier at school. It's probably impossible to compare how full-time home education would work as opposed to doing things with your children after school as I too can remember being shattered after a day at school and just wanting to veg in front of the telly.

    It's a hard one. It's just really good, I think, that your children enjoy school, it gives you the chance to make unbiased choices in your own time. If it's any help, I have a couple of home edding books which you are welcome to. They are very good and offer some ideas into how all subjects can be incorporated into home education. Let me know if they'd help.

  3. I really do empathise with you.

    We have just celebrated our 7 years of home-edding anniversary. The reason we looked into home-education initially was due to the change in my son. He went from being happy-go-lucky, cheerful, loving life little boy, to withdrawn and "broken". He wouldn't talk to us, wouldn't engage in conversation with anyone, and regressed in his behaviour. It was heartbreaking. I looked into "school phobia" and "bullying" and Education Otherwise kept showing in the search engines - home-education was an option, something I had never heard of before. We took him out, and had to think about our duaghter. Was she ok at school? She was muddling through. Her teachers praised her, she was very studious and academic, but there were niggles. We decided to take her out too - initially both were going to be Home-Educated as a temporary measure, say for a year or so to rebuild son's confidence and work on dd's niggles. As said, 7 years later we are still here, home-educated and loving it. Not regretted it for one moment.
    Obviously, what works for our family won't work for all, and home-ed certainly won't suit everyone. But for us it's been an amazing journey.

    I'm happy to talk to you further if you wish to, you can contact me through my website at

    I have a blog at

    Hugs, I know it's a difficult decision to make.


  4. Hi Claire - very hard thing to work through. We have decided to HE James, but I often feel very wobbly about it. Two of my children adored school and have gone on to University - my eldest is a primary teacher, and is married to a depute head! My younger daughter was unhappy and did not do so well, despite the school telling us how bright and capable she was (we knew this too). Had i known about HE then I might have taken her out, but I can't say categorically that I would have. Give yourself some respite from thinking all the time about this - don't read any HE books or blogs for a couple of days and just be with the question - see if anthing comes up. xx


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