That’s a gnarly tree at night. It looks like how I feel…..

Finally we have some exam clarity. The exams papers will be sent out to Hawklad who will complete them at home. This is ok (this time ) as they are internal school exams. Mock exams.

After that the problems are clear.

Hawklad has not been in class for two years now. He has worked really hard at home, but let’s be honest, he is no where near returning to school. As the Psychologist working with him points out, a return might not be feasible before his final exams. If this ends up being the case school have provided the following options.

1) undertake the exams in the main exam hall with the other students,

2) sit in a separate room with two members of staff and sit the paper,

3) sit the exam at home with two members of staff watching over him,

4) resit the entire course

5) get no qualifications from the courses he has worked hard on.

He can have access to a scribe. He might be eligible for up to 5% mark consideration for exceptional circumstances, but he might lose a similar amount of marks for using the scribe.

Here’s the thing. None of those options fill me with any confidence. Fine if he gets back into the classroom in the upcoming months. But that looks unlikely and if he did, it’s going to be a huge shock to his system. He can’t even go into a shop for a couple moments so how could he get into school and stay there for an exam. Something like 10 exams. How much damage would that do to him.

The exam at home option has flaws as well. Apart from one boiler service repair visit, we have had no visitors in the house since 2019. On that boiler repair visit, Hawklad stayed in another part of the house and refused to go into the boiler room for weeks afterwards. His house is like his safe, protected area. Even family visitors are use to sitting outside in all weathers. So how will he react to two strangers being in the same room as him for hours. Maybe we could try for an outside garden exam but that’s weather dependent (this is Yorkshire).

Resitting the course. He would know no one in school at all. how daunting would that be.

Does that really leave Hawklad with the real prospect of getting no qualifications after his school days finish. He has worked so hard.

So I’m sat typing these words and I’m feeling parenting angst. What on earth do we do. I really don’t know. Unfortunately doing nothing is not an option. Deep sigh. I’ve been single parenting since 2016. I. I might have got this right. I might have done the best I could possibly have done for Hawklad, but….. Have I got this so badly wrong. Have I messed up the most important job of my life. That is a deeply unsettling feeling.

52 thoughts on “Exams or not

  1. You have been doing a remarkable job. A remarkable job. Hopefully you can enlist a professional to work with the school to find the best solution for Hawklad to sit his exams. It’s important, and you both need that support to make this happen.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You’ve done the best you could do under the circumstances. You could have forced Hawklad to school, sure… but that would have done no good when he’s in the state he’s in. The school is the one that needs to be more flexible here and accommodate the individual and not just the herd.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your angst is one so many parents, me included, feel. Especially in this time of a pandemic. My son finished school last summer and made it very clear he’s done with school. No trade training, no taking a few classes just for fun. All my dreams and plans for him stopped dead in their tracks. Although he’s expressed interest in getting a job, he’s only completed one application that went nowhere. And at the moment I’m hitting a long pause on pushing, prodding, reminding, motivating, etc. that’s been my life for nineteen years. He stays busy teaching himself things online in virtual worlds, but intense social anxiety prevents him from moving forward in the very real world. And every other day I question my parenting. As I remind myself, things will work out. You know your son and you’ll figure things out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My son is an adult now, but I can still remember all that we went through with him. His battle was not the same as Hawklad’s but it was still one that needed special treatments. All the while I wondered, am I doing right for and by him? Standing here now years later, I can see that right or wrong, it worked out. Because we never quit. I do not see you quitting, I see you standing up and doing everything you possibly can to do and be the best for your son. I believe it will work out..

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh Gary, a big (((hug))) you are in no way failing him as a parent. You are helping him the best way you know. School is sooo not everything! So much can be learned in real life. Praying that a solution can be found that you both feel good about and just know that no matter what you are an amazing dad and Hawklad is a an amazing kid!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All any of us can do is our best. This is an exceptional situation, and there is no guide book to tell you how to get through it. You have supported, guided and loved your son through it, and that’s the right course of action. Try not to give yourself such a hard time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. YOu’ve not messed anything up. You’ve played the hand in front of you in a very difficult situation. One in which you’ve been failed as opposed to being any kind of failure. So put the stick away. Beating yourself up is not the way forward when the cards are stacked against you because of these failures around you. Ones that, okay, may not change. SO I guess you have to look and hope for the change in your situation. Maybe some help will come your way, maybe Hawklad will surprise you in some way…not by going in to school… but some way where he feels a bit better equipped to maybe sit in a garden and the weather is kind that day. You prob think that I am talking rubbish but living with someone with chronic anxiety who gets knotted if there’s something socially on two nights running, my saying is always, ‘you never die the death you think you will.’ As in, last week one of these things was cancelled of its own accord. Situations are always fluid and sometimes something just comes from nowhere.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Look, yp sometimes indeed when the door shuts in yir face the window then bangs you in the gub, but equally sometimes things just take a changing course for whatever reason–life is often a series of trades and wow the trade is there–meantime we’ve dug ourselves in a hole so deep we just don’t see this. You keep your chin up.

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  8. No Gary, you have not messed up, I think you are doing a great job as parent and I so hope it is possible to find a solution. When are the exams? Could sitting somewhere outside be a solution? Of course, that depends on the weather, just a thought …

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You’ve been doing a great job, Gary! 👍 The final exams certainly sounds daunting but it looks like you have and you are exploring all the options. I have faith you will find a solution that works best for Hawklad! 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  10. No, no, no, no , no. You have not messed up. You have done a Super job at being a parent. A single parent who is doing this without enough support. But you’re doing it. Hawklad has the best Dad. You’ll both get through this and it will get sorted. You have my prayers. You’re both doing so great. ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You can hardly say that you got things wrong. On the contrary it seems you have bent over backwards to try to work with the school. Maybe you could get a marquee and rent a portion of the sheep’s field? Seriously, there has to be a compromise.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I hope that whatever option you agree to, works out well for your son. And all parents have such insecurities. My kids (?) are in their forties and there are definitely days when I wonder if I made a total hash of their parenting. (Fortunately there are other days when I think I did a great job. )

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Isn’t it our job to screw up with our kids??
    You mean we’re NOT supposed to have trouble and make mistakes? Like, ever??? 😲
    Well, dang! I guess I’ve been doing it wrong🤷🏼‍♀️ Still… my girls are both as adjusted as anyone else their age, and they’re not ax murderers… 🤷🏼‍♀️ good enough, right?!😂😂😂

    Sending Hugs!! You’ll figure it out… one way or the other. 💌💌💌💌💌💌

    Liked by 1 person

  14. No, you have done your best. One of my colleagues said she finally realised that her children were always going to be the people they were meant to be. I can see why you might feel you have somehow messed up but the choices your son faces re his exams aren’t ones you or he dreamed up, are they?

    Liked by 2 people

  15. No one’s perfect Gary, you included. Have you fucked things up? No, so stop being so dang hard on yourself. Circumstances beyond everyone’s control took place, a lot of other things that have occured that are a lot worse than this.

    Things take time and things take time to work out – something will come out from this.

    Liked by 1 person

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