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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:15 pm
Posts: 26
Feeling quite nervous posting this-perhaps im saying something unspeakable..but a thought has come into my head, and im now thinking about it very seriously.

Ive already posted long rambling posts, so ill try and keep it short and sweet. started later than planned preparation (march) for 11 plus, super-selective. no-one in ds's class, now year 6, doing this. just been fumbling along, using this forum for tips and advice etc.


now that exams are so close, first in 5 weeks, next in 10, i have found that despite lots of hard work, we really are not ready, we have simply run out of time-i guess everyone has different starting points, and for my ds, the reality is i needed at least another few months to be in with half a chance.

This isnt short and sweet, is it? Sorry. Anyway, my ds sschool is not at all supportive of 11 plus, my local comprehensive, whilst improving is still performing poorly, I can not afford to go to a private school. My thought is : Shall i withdraw my ds from school in order to gain some more time to prepare for 11 plus... I know that still wont guarantee him a place, and that's fine, if its not meant to be ,its not meant to be, and although i probably sound desperate sp?, gaining a place at grammar is really not the b all and end all for me/us... at the same time, in the scheme of things, although disruption etc will be caused if I home educate, if ds does gain a place at grammar, will it be worth it?.. His primary school is not over subscribed, so im wondering if i could reapply after tests? when i started this process i decided to give it my best shot, is withdrawing him from school really part of that best shot?!

Am i really being stupid here? I have 2 older children at state comprehensive, and ive had lots of problems, probably what got me into looking at grammar schools. I feel my children are not encouraged to reach their potential, been forced to do foundation gcses in some subjects when
they desperately wanted to do higher, and then got 100% in their paper, but could only get a C, lots of disruption in some classes,
sorry another ramble! Im really dreading having to go through this with ds now.

Apologies if i anger anyone with this post, but please any thoughts would b appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:44 am 
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I feel my ds is not ready for his exams too. I wish I had your courage to pull him out of school or even think of pulling him out till exams. Do you want him at home for the whole of 10 weeks or miss a few days in a week?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:53 am 
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You'd probably have to do what Precious is suggesting and officially leave the school, home educate for a period, and then hope to get a place back at the school if you still want it. That's the most straightforward option, in compliance with the law, and so long as you get the place back at the school, no huge pitfalls.

The other option is to ask the school if you can flexi-school for a limited period. Trouble is by the time they've made up their mind (and it could well be a no) you've lost precious time (forgive the pun). Flexi-school would mean permission to attend school part-time while you do some home-ed as well.

Your other option is unauthorised absence - not a route that will make you popular with the school, could make your child feel guilty, and might land you in trouble with the law.

The down-side to option 1 is kind of psychological possibly - the stakes are very high, the home-edding is about passing an exam which only a small percentage will get through - superselective entrance is never fair, there will be some extremely bright kids who just don't make it into the first X on the day so it's very chancey, even if your preparation was fantastic. You will be making a big change in your child's life for a period of time, and they might easily miss the mark which for you is the point of the exercise.

I'd say this to you, what would you be considering doing if you knew your child was as well-prepared as you could ever hope for? You are in that same position. You have no back-up choice you are happy with - it's superselective or something you sound very unhappy with. Is that really the case, or are there some other options you have not yet thought of?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:03 am 
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I think most people would go to extreme lengths to avoid failing schools and wanting the best for your child isn't stupid.We have no good schools in our area and it seems that the only option is to go down the independent route.I will be honest I did allow my daughter a few day off school after her sats because they were doing nothing but watching dvds in her words and she wanted to go over a few year 7 things. :oops:

You do have the right to educate your child at home and don't need permission from your local authority but you would have to notify the school in writing if that is what you want to do.It is recommended that you get a receipt for the letter and after that you are not obliged to have any further contact with the school once they have received this letter.Only you and your family can make this decision, but it may be helpful to talk to other families with experience of home education who may share the same problems and concerns.

How does your son feel about leaving?

I've also sent you a pm about other homeschool websites .

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Last edited by Thingsbehindthesun on Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:31 am 
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Location: Birmingham
If you go down this route, I would try and keep a good relationship with the school, without putting them or the teachers down or accusing them of being unsupportive of the 11 plus.

They may agree to flexi-school as it keeps the child on roll and doesn't decrease their funding for him at all. This will help keep him in his routine, doing PE and other activities, and that is important, imho.
Alternatively they may agree to 5 weeks completely off.

There is a section on the register where a child can be marked as being 'educated off premises'. If they agree to tick that for the next 5 weeks your child retains a full attendance record and no-one comes to any harm.

Funding for schools is usually based on January pupil census, but some local authorities may do this earlier. So for most areas, if you actually officially remove him but he is back by January they retain their budget for him for this year.

The budget, attendance record and the SATS are the only things that most (not all!) schools are bothered about. If they can get all of them sorted with your dc, they'll be happy :D


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:38 am
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Precious wrote:
Shall i withdraw my ds from school in order to gain some more time to prepare for 11 plus...


Are you absolutely certain that five weeks of home education will be more effective that five weeks in the school? If you haven't got to where you think you should be now, why do you think things will get better in the space of a month?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:59 am 
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My worry would be that whatever advantage you gain in terms of extra time to prepare you might cancel out by having risen the stakes so much in your son's eyes. However tactfully you approach it, he will realise that he is missing school because a) you don't think he is quite ready to pass these exams and b) that these exams must be even more important than he ever imagined for his mum to be driven to this very out of character school absence and c) if he doesn’t pass he will be worried about the comp he will be sent to because he will see it as a school that you went to great lengths to avoid.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:15 pm
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Thanks everyone for all your constructive advice/comments-I thought i might receive lots of hate-mail, or perhaps thats still to come :(
mystery wrote:
I'd say this to you, what would you be considering doing if you knew your child was as well-prepared as you could ever hope for? You are in that same position. You have no back-up choice you are happy with - it's superselective or something you sound very unhappy with. Is that really the case, or are there some other options you have not yet thought of?


Although I think to some extent everyone probably/possibly feels unprepared. I genuinely believe if i had done all I thought was possible to prepare i would not have taken ds out of school, well perhaps for a day or two prior to tests. My ds does really like school and Iknow he will not be very impressed at being taken out of school :? If he doesnt get into the grammar school,then yes he will have to go to my local comprehensive, though ive had some bad experiences from my older children i do feel a bit better equipped to deal with issues i might face. Its just not really what we wanted to have to go through again-but I will be positive, comparing to many in the world we have so much to be grateful for, getting very philosophical arent I? so we have decided we will try and make the best out of whatever school we end up with. Well ive decided that, not sure DS has a clue!!!

Just to add to my dilema, primary school has a 1 week residential trip planned for dss class, 2 weeks prior to second round of grammar tests, and as far as I am aware its about the time we get told if children have got through to second round or not. If ds does get through to second round, assuming I dont withdraw him from primary, id prefer he doesnt go on trip, it can be very exhausting, probably not the best thing to do before test, but if he doesnt get through and he doesnt go on trip, which i need to decide and pay for now, its tears all round :( :( :(

Really am thankful for your wise words, I will chew on this for a few days and have to make a decision soon.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Precious wrote:
If ds does get through to second round, assuming I dont withdraw him from primary, id prefer he doesnt go on trip, it can be very exhausting, probably not the best thing to do before test,


If it's two weeks before, where's the harm? And from his point of view, assuming that he wants to go on the residential, he's being "punished" by taken out of something that will probably shape much of the social structure of his class for the coming year, and be a shared experience for everyone. Except him.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:57 pm 
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It is easy to get a bit panicky at this stage. What makes you feel he is so unprepared? Is it scores from practice tests or how much time/how many tests he has done?

I would suggest taking a break from clubs, scouts etc and working for a hour or so in the evenings. It is not for long and would be less "full on" than withdrawing from school. Work hard on the less secure areas and do a couple of full timed tests at weekends or do a full test every other day and work on any mistakes in between. If you have done a fair bit already and he is still scoring low then I am not sure it would be a good idea to take him out. As others have said it puts the pressure very high and he might get bored and resentful with all those weeks at home. How much actual work would you do per day? It could be counter productive and make your DS more anxious. I do not see anything wrong however in having a day or even a week off if you feel certain that would help. The option would be to take a week off and really work hard then be back at school and stick to a daily routine til the tests are done or wait and do a last minute tweak of any difficult areas. Good luck and I hope it goes well for you and your DS. We are preparing too and it is definitely an anxious time. I try not to show it but I am feeling it.


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