Now isn’t that just the million dollar question?
If you’d told me 3 months ago that I’d be sitting typing this from our old house at Knaith Park, I’d have laughed at you. Hard.
And then laughed some more.
Because it would have been a ludicrous thought.
And I’d have told you so.And then I’d have laughed a bit more.
And probably drunk some more wine.
Yet here we are.
Nik is working on his ‘new’ van in the garage, I am on the laptop in the office, El is at school and Jake is…not.
We did get them both registered in the local school at they started back in January. Well, I say ‘they’. J never really started properly. It very quickly became apparent that just expecting him to pop right back in to an English school – ANY school – was really not going to just happen.
And so he isn’t.
In school, I mean.
Currently, he is on a 4 week study-at-home period and school have sent work home for him to do while we wait(ed) for an appointment to come through with CAMHS. Well, they sent some ridiculously long maths sheets, and a couple of other things which I can only assume are perhaps English stuff (one definitely is, one I’m not sure what subject it originated from! It’s more like Business Studies!) which he’s worked through gradually, but oh my god how DULL! To be sitting at the kitchen table for hours on end doing maths worksheets? Really?
I mean, I love maths as much as the next maths geek but even I’d get bored with it (J actually doesn’t mind), and really, what are we achieving? He’s missed term 1 of year 10. He’s missing term 2 of year 10. Even if CAMHS could work a miracle, I honestly cannot see him going back to school this year, let alone this term!
And then where are we?A teen in year 11 having done NO GCSE work in school whatsoever.
No, I’m sorry, but that won’t do. The timing is all icky and it just won’t work.
That leaves two options.
1) Assuming miracle cure from CAMHS, he starts back a year at year 10 again. This is a bad option because a) miracle cures don’t exist and b) who wants to go back a year.
2) We homeschool him. (That hyperlink probably answers a whole ton of your questions right now!)
There, I said it.
The more I research it and talk about it, the more it seems like the only option. If he were in year 9 even, it’d be less of a problem but he stands more chance of learning anything properly if we’re doing it at home than the way things are going currently.
Exams are dependent on finding a school that will allow private candidates to sit them (a lot do but we may need to look at Lincoln or Scunthorpe) but it’s doable.
I can do Maths with him. I’m fairly certain we can get through Maths GCSE (or IGCSE) between us. We’re both strong in that area and I’m confident he can do well.
For English, I will source an online GCSE course such as Catherine Mooney. Her course comes highly rated and recommended. It’s not my forte, and I would not feel at all confident judging/assessing any written work.
We might look at a combined science GCSE but we might not. I’m more keen, from an exams point of view, to concentrate on areas in which he has genuine interest. We’re looking at IT-related courses. Perhaps ECDL and following some courses based around 3D design and printing. Something that he might have actual enthusiasm about.
Makes sense, right?
Part of me is sad that my bright teenager has ended up losing the opportunity to excel in school. I know he would have done, under the right circumstances.
But these circumstances aren’t the right ones.
I honestly believe that he WILL still excel, but in his own time; on his own schedule and not in some school-timetabled-cookie-cutter-universal time-frame.
We’re having to look at ‘education’ in a whole other way, and I’m using the opportunity to create something for J that he can USE, something he can be interested in and about excited about doing each day. Whether it works or not remains to be seen, but the status quo isn’t working so why keep fighting it. The outcome could be a lot worse if we do.
Aaaaaanyway, on a chirpier note, El has settled well into school. He’s made new friends and has a few favourite subjects (Drama, PE, anything in which he can make a mess (Art, Cookery, Tech generally)) and seems OK. Some days he’s loving it. Others he’s tolerating, but I think he will be OK for now. He takes the bus to and from school each day and seems to have grown up quite a bit with the move. I need to keep reminding myself to keep a reign on him though. He’s such an independent little thing that it’s easy to forget that he’s only 11 (I forget, he forgets, it’s a group thing!)
So we are sort of settled. Business is good, and we have lots of ideas to make it better and grow. We have J’s initial appointment with CAMHS. We’ll see what they say about him. It won’t change my school decision but I will discuss it with school so they understand the problem. I can’t see them being able to accommodate him and keep him on track, even if he does find himself able to return.
If you’d told me 3 months ago that I’d be sitting typing this from our old house at Knaith Park, I’d have laughed at you.
If you’d then told me that I’d be planning to deregister Jake from school and homeschool him, I’d probably have called the men in white coats for you and helped them load you into their van!
Funny how life goes, huh?