(I've posted this in the unschooling forum because I'm interested in unschooling-friendly thoughts, but not that I'm not interested in what others have to say).
We have a big decision schooling-wise to make with ds in the next year: secondary school. Round here its very different to the US. To get him into any secondary school (junior high?) within a reasonable distance, he has to take up a place at 11. If he doesn't take up this place next September, and later wants to try school, it is likely to be hard to get him a place anywhere less than an hour and a half bus commute away.
I'm mainly thinking about the social side. Round here it does get harder socially for HSd kids at secondary level. A lot of kids go back to school then. Activities and so on dry up a bit. He's not the most sociable of kids really, and probably prefers stuff that is quite solitary-reading, fiddling about with electronics and computing, doing solo sports where he challenges himself-to those with others. He does have social activities-music, scouts and sport stuff- and those are likely to continue, he does voluntary work and he has a strong network of family and, hopefully if there isn't too much drop off, friends, but I can very easily see how he could spend a lot of the next few years in his room. The particular school we're in the catchment area for is one that attracts quite academic, geeky kids and the local friends he has are all heading there.
I'm generally quite aware of local alternative stuff, hackerspaces, craft stuff, green stuff, skillshares. I think there are a few projects that he might be able to get involved in as he gets older, and one thing that he's totally fine atm with is working with people older than himself. All the projects tend to be very DIY, so everyone has an equal chance to prove their worth really and there are a lot of people willing to skillshare. But I guess I'm worried partly because I'm not seeing other HS'd kids already involved in these projects-although they probably know of at least some of them. My impression is that they are just not interested in doing this stuff. What's going on? Is this a teenage thing? The stuff we have locally are things like a volunteer/student run permaculture/cookery cafe, a community garden, bike workshops, projects with asylum seekers, plus a hackspace, campaigning groups, folk music groups etc...they normally have a good showing of young students but HSers don't seem interested.
There are academic considerations, partly specific to the UK system, but I think those are things that can be overcome and are worth a gamble.
He's in two minds, leaning toward wanting to go because he can always pull out, but can't do it the other way. He's tried school once, for a day. He's also aware that he will have to sort out some academic stuff first really, if he doesn't want to struggle when he's there. (he struggles a lot with writing, and this is not a school known for its pastoral care-ultimately I think we'd need to consider getting an assessment and a statement of whatever additional needs)
Any thoughts on this huge ramble very gratefully received :-)
Edited by Fillyjonk - 8/29/13 at 6:18am