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#1 of 6 Old 08-26-2011, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son started school when he was 5 for one term. At that time I was taken ill and was in hospital for a period. Theo suffered severe separation anxiety, never knowing if mummy was going to be at home when he finished school. He didn't settle at school and was upset every day often alone. So after a term I took him out and home schooled him for a year and a half.

 

But where we live we are socially isolated and he had only a few friends he would see once a week, often older children, he was very very happy though. He is now nearly 7. I took the decision to put him into school to see if he could fit in and get some friends to play with, he got two party invites and a playdate, he went for the last 8 weeks of summer term this year. He cried and begged and pleaded not to go. I couldn't get him dressed and some days he missed school. He got very anxious at leaving me. The school agreed he could do half days only to see if this built his  confidence, and whilst he still asked if he could be home schooled he became apathetic and went to school.

 

All summer he has asked if he can be homeschooled like before and I am torn, as I want him to have friends. It is all about the friends. If I honestly thought he would not grow up to be a boy in his teens sat at home with no friends, I would homeschool him. I just want him to be happy. Dh thinks he will settle given enough time. I don't know what to do bawling.gif


Amanda treehugger.gif , UK Mum, married to airline pilot Davesurf.gif . Mum to Emily blahblah.gif (20), Jasmine  dust.gif(11) and Theo fencing.gif(7):

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#2 of 6 Old 08-26-2011, 12:12 PM
 
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My main reason to start homeschooling was similar to yours: my eldest was very resistant to separating from home and family for any length of time. Her anxiety was more subtle (selective mutism, rathert than crying and begging not to go), but to me it was clear: going to school was very stressful for her, and she was much happier at home. 

 

She was very shy and had minimal social needs. We didn't push her. We just offered her occasional opportunities to stretch herself a bit. By age 8 she was more interested in regular one-on-one socializing and occasional small-group activities. Classroom-sized groups were still outside her comfort zone, but gradually by 10 or 11 she was okay with them. She developed a small circle of homeschooled and schooled friends whom she saw semi-regularly, maybe a couple of times a week. She continued to be homeschooled until 9th grade, when she started attending school part-time. During adolescence she began doing some travelling away from home with musical groups and friends of the family. She started branching out much more at that point.

 

She's now 17, just spent the summer living away from home amongst a group of 95 students aged 16 to 28, and absolutely loved it. She has a Facebook friends list numbering (checking ...) 281. She still doesn't need lots of social time with friends, but she has many friends and is comfortable and confident amongst them.

 

My very introverted ds, now 14, has followed a similar path. He was homeschooled from the get-go and spent several years with essentially no social life. He's now the co-organizer of a local club, has a girlfriend, is involved in a busy youth choir, is attending school part-time, busying himself up with volunteerism and part-time work.

 

My philosophy is to let my young kids be as attached as they seem to need to be, helping them build a foundation of security in home and family. Of course I gently offer them small, incremental opportunities to grow, but I don't push. I believe that if they feel firmly rooted, that's the best way to develop the confidence they'll need to venture forth when the time is right for them. Some kids need more solid foundations than others: they're like bamboo plants, taking ages to establish themselves through deep root systems and then bursting forth shoots that grow very quickly thanks to the robustness of their underground infrastructure.

 

I would pull a 6-year-old like your ds out of school in a heartbeat, and focus instead on finding opportunities for him to gradually stretch himself socially. Look for ways to entice him with a new social interest-based pursuit, family volunteerism, starting a club of some sort, "after-school" classes, whatever. You'll probably see gradual progress from year to year, and then a dramatic blossoming in mid adolescence.

 

Miranda


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#3 of 6 Old 08-26-2011, 03:34 PM
 
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I would pull a 6-year-old like your ds out of school in a heartbeat, and focus instead on finding opportunities for him to gradually stretch himself socially. Look for ways to entice him with a new social interest-based pursuit, family volunteerism, starting a club of some sort, "after-school" classes, whatever. You'll probably see gradual progress from year to year, and then a dramatic blossoming in mid adolescence.

 

Miranda


yeahthat.gif Absolutely. I'm not even sure that schools are the best place for making friends. And even if they were, you might want to read "Hold on to Your Kids" by Gordon Neufeld for an alternative perspective on early peer orientation.

 


 

 


My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#4 of 6 Old 08-26-2011, 03:57 PM
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I am not always as quick to say "pull them out" as everyone else here.  However, in this case, I agree. . . bring him back home.  It sounds like this is where he needs to be right now.  He won't go though life friendless.  Really, he won't!

 

Hugs to you momma-- I know it is hard to make these decisions sometimes.

 

Amy


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#5 of 6 Old 08-27-2011, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to pull him out I just need to persuade dh, I am hoping to post the deregistration letter to the school on Theo's 7th birthday on Friday, I think it will be his best birthday ever!


Amanda treehugger.gif , UK Mum, married to airline pilot Davesurf.gif . Mum to Emily blahblah.gif (20), Jasmine  dust.gif(11) and Theo fencing.gif(7):

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#6 of 6 Old 08-27-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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6 and 7 is young for many boys to place a huge importance on friends.  My ds wouldn't have been comfortable going to school that young.  He got much more independent at 9!  Being really attached at 6 and 7 or older doesn't mean they won't have friends as teenagers:)


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