Wild Strawberries growing under the blueberry bush. Certainly wasn’t expecting these to grow here but with an open mind, this is such a result.

The decision to abandon mainstream schooling is in our son’s hands. It’s his life. His risks. His anxieties. His dreams. His future. So ultimately he decides. If it was my call then I’ve made my mind up. It would be homeschooling from September. That viewpoint has hardened with the last two communications from school.

The first was a summary of the schools position. Basically son is low attainment and has significant educational needs. Progress will be difficult. His educational needs are best met in the bottom set. With effort he may still be able to get a few qualifications. He is best following the normal teaching programme with no specific interventions (which would eat into tight school budgets).

Ok….

Then the next communication was his school report for the year. It painted a slightly different picture. To quote a few phrases from his individual teachers

  • Strength for creative writing,
  • Worked hard to produce some fantastic work,
  • Excellent attitude,
  • Will progress very well in subject,
  • His remote learning has been great,
  • He is a star,
  • Class work of the highest standard,
  • Superb young historian,
  • Considerable talent in the subject,
  • Very good understanding of the subject,
  • Pleasure to teach.

Ok….

Two conclusions here. One is that the report comments are standard across all the kids and so they mean nothing. Just a way to keep parents happy.

OR

The report comments are the reality and something is seriously wrong with schools overall assessment.

I strongly suspect this is a common pattern across the country. It mirrors current government thinking. If thinking is the right word to use. Basically kids with educational needs do not fit neatly into the factory production line educational approach. Minimise input costs to generate a set and limited output. Discard those items which fall out of the narrow design specification. Educational needs equate to additional teaching costs which will not be funded. Thus the best approach is to dump kids with Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, disabilities and mental health issues into the bottom set. Conveniently forget about them. If these kids then get the odd qualification out of the system then the authorities can pat themselves on the back after a job well done. Let’s not forget the important thing, all this delivered all so cost effectively.

Maybe I am being cynical but that’s the reason I am definitely falling into the homeschooling camp.

65 thoughts on “Differences

  1. It sure reads as though the school and teachers are speaking about two different children, huh? That’s cRaZy! I’d homeschool too. And I did homeschool my son for his last year of high school. He never fit into any of their molds. Today, some 20 years later, he builds tiny homes and lives on his own 2 acre off grid, solar powered property. ❤️🦋🌀☀️💦🌱

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you are in the right camp – but those positive comments, e.g. “superb young historian” suggest some appreciative knowledge. The problem is how to nurture his strengths? They seem to have no answer.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Given the way in which that first communication contradicts itself (has significant educational needs… best following the normal teaching programme with no specific interventions), I certainly can’t fault your decision.

    Best of luck, for both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My job is literally coordinating support for students like your son and I constantly feel like I’m doing it with one hand tied behind my back. The whole system is broken and every year I’m asked to do more with less. I work in a school and I’m seriously considering home-schooling for my own child. And she’s not even two. I just can’t see it getting any better under this government. Teachers just live in fear of Ofsted and I’ve never met an Ofsted inspector who didn’t equate Special Educational Needs with low ability. Which is just wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The overall school report seems to be just rubbish. The comments I think have assessed the abilities of your son better. I hope you both make the right decision. All the best Gary.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think the two reports taken together reveal a shocking level of non-communication in your sons school. Certainly take the homeschooling route. Good luck to you and your son.

    Like

  7. I don’t know how teachers comment in England, but whenever I recieved any remarks on reports it was geniune. You’re son is very bright. He deserves comments like that. You may be a bit cynical, but it’s because you want the best for your son, understandably.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Beyond chocked at that first report. It is the beyond disgraceful labeling of children with needs, across the board I’d say. The second report is the real report from people who know your son and his value. But no wonder parents like yourself now feel caught in this dilemma re the future. And yes, I can see why you are heading where you are and I don’t damn well blame you. That’s a result re the strawsers there… maybe that’s a sign.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. James commented that he is always being asked to do more with less and it sickens me because even when I was working, this was the case. People don’t seem to matter anymore, unless they are connected to someone with connections. The World is one big mess. Your son is obviously very bright. I think the two of you will do fine together. I’m sorry it’s so hard. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know you and he will make the right decision. I think they are fabulous comments from the teachers and he and you should be proud of yourselves for all you have achieved whilst in lockdown. Your son sounds like an intelligent, imaginative and individual young man. The sort of person I’d like to spend time with. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Oh please homeschool your son. From what you write he is a bright light who needs space to shine and that won’t happen in a regimented educational system. His sense of humor absolutely slays me, he is so sharp and aware, and intense. He will venture out your garden gate in his own time and oh! the places he will go!

    Liked by 4 people

  12. It seems to be a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. I think home schooling is the right decision here. Education everywhere seems to be delivered in a “one size fits all” way, and, of course, that’s just plain wrong. I am fairly confident your son will choose home schooling. At least with all the resources available online home schooling is not as huge a challenge as it once was. Wishing you both the best of luck.

    Like

  13. Son just needs a better school. I’ll bet the waiting lists are long or the tuition is high for the schools that actually care.
    I’ll also bet you are one of MANY parents considering the homeschooling option. I am SO grateful that after 4 (5?) schools, Ben is finally at a Fantastic school!

    Strawberries and blueberries?? Pie time!🥧💌💌

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That low cost gvmt approach to schooling gets as a result, streamlined, system-conform, uniform-wearing pupils which will turn out to be the same as adults. No critical thinking, no critical questions. Uniform people with the same totalitarian mindset. Just go with the program and pay your taxes!!!

    If some kids don’t fit into the scheme, good riddance to them. Maybe, if they are quiet, they won’t be beaten up by the bullies.

    Every fascist leader’s wet dream.

    I guess homeschooling it is for son. That or a special needs school … if not cancelled by gvmt. :/

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s a hard decision. Here there are three different options. Well, what they tell you, but I’ve heard that the parents who opted to keep kids at home the system has have a few things to say about it. Will see.

    Liked by 1 person

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