Bob had started to see a psychologist by this time, who works alongside the complex respiratory team, to see if we could find out what was bothering him. After a couple of meetings, she informed me that Bob had really low self-confidence levels, and was possibly depressed, and, from the games she had played with him, and from chatting to me, she thought that it was school related, which was beginning to be obvious, even to me.
I decided at that point that enough was enough, and I had to do something. I considered moving him to a different school, but realised that that probably wouldn’t make much difference, and so I looked into home education. After a chat with the Pupil Support department at the LEA, the decision was made, and the permission to withdraw Bob from school was applied for, and subsequently granted. Bob finished the term with his classmates, and won’t return for Primary 2.
So that’s where we are just now. He seems to be starting to pick up, but I don’t think he fully grasps what’s happening yet, and probably won’t until Fifi goes out the door to school on the first day of term, and he doesn’t. We’ve chatted about it, and he knows that he won’t go to school, but will stay at home with Mummy, but will still have to do work, but he really doesn’t quite understand it all yet. We’ve been doing bits and pieces of work, but it’s been very informal, with no pressure, and he is enjoying it, and often asks to do some reading with me or Fifi, or will get his maths book out and do a couple of pages.
Currently, he will not attend school for Primary 2, but we will rethink things next year, and see how it is all going. If he is happy and managing well, and I’ve not gone completely grey(!) we will carry on, but, if either he or I are not happy with things, he will go back to school for Primary 3. Whether that will be at the same school, or a different one remains to be seen, and is a decision that will be made as and when it needs to be, but, at the moment, the decision to home-educate feels like the right one.
And, for the questions which people always ask.
1. He will attend various extra-curricular activites as well as a local home-education group. He will also still see his friends from school fairly regularly.
2. No, there is no support whatsoever from the LEA or school, we are left to our own devices. They also will not help with resources or funding.
3. We can do (almost) everything they do at school, just in our own time, at our own pace, and in our own way.
4. No, dealing with playground bullies is not an essential part of growing up, and why should it be? How to deal with conflict can be learnt without having your lunch money stolen.
5. I very much doubt that I will ruin my son’s entire education. I think that would be very difficult in a year, even if I was trying.
As you can see it has been well thought through, she has balanced up all the pros and cons, and has made a very hard decision. But plenty of people home school for a variety of reasons. Fifi was offered the choice of if she wanted home schooled as well but she wants to go back to school.
The extra curricular activities are being done with groups like swimming, gymnastic and Beavers, so there will be no eating at them so he will not be "The boy with the food allergies" he will just be Bob.
I will do periodic updates during the year to let you know how it is going.
Please feel free if you have any useful advise to leave us comments, or if you have any questions my daughter will answer them if she can.