School phobia – there is another way
Relentless testing and exams, online bullying through social media, peer pressure – it’s no wonder our children are feeling increased levels of anxiety. For some children this pressure is too much and can result in them feeling extremely anxious about going to school. Becoming withdrawn and tearful, refusing to participate in activities they’d previously enjoyed, distancing from friends, feeling physically ill. The effects of school phobia are extensive and impact on the whole family.
For many children with extreme anxiety, home schooling can provide an alternative method of learning away from the challenges they face in mainstream schooling. Many children who didn’t thrive in a traditional classroom setting go on to grow and flourish when they learn at home in an environment where they feel safe and comfortable.
“Removing my child from school to home schooling was very daunting, I didn’t have a clue where to start or what to do,” explains Clare, mum of Charlie. “It took us a little while to find a
routine and a way to teach that worked for both of us. We got there after many attempts and found a way to make it work for us both.
“We managed to add a couple of extra activities that Charlie enjoys doing. We do cooking or baking once a week, which he loves, and started swimming at quiet times of the day to slowly get him back into going out again and he found this very relaxing.
“I have noticed a massive difference in my child since home schooling, he has become more confident and proved to himself that he can do things. Before he was very hard on himself and put himself down a lot. He used to refer to himself as stupid but now he has a much better `have a go` positive attitude.”
It takes time to adjust, not just for the child but also the parent who’s taking on the role of educator. Home schooling allows you to create a routine that works best for your child and their needs, the flexibility to adapt their learning environment to suit them as they develop and regain their confidence.
“I found home schooling tough at first and didn’t think I could do it,” says 12-year-old Charlie. “I have enjoyed being home schooled because I can understand the work better without the distraction of a crowded classroom. I have found studying with Wolsey Hall very good. The work is challenging but not too hard and the tutors comments are very helpful.
“It is hard to find a way to learn at first because it is different from school but once you find a way that works for you it will get better. If you think something is hard when you first look at it just have a go you might be surprised how much you can really do!”
For more information about the support Wolsey Hall offers its home schooling families visit: www.wolseyhalloxford.org.uk