Dergistering a Teenager
But…. the main question we hear is:
‘My teenager is so unhappy in school/not achieving/not attending… but what if I fail them?’
Or similar questions.
We have just one question to ask you…
What will your child achieve if they stay in school?
Our guess is not much, they’re possibly suffering with ill health, depression, being bullied, failing lessons, struggling with the workload… it’s sad but the list is endless.
Now consider this… without school they will be happy, they will be able to rest, relax, recuperate, whatever it is they need. They will be able to go to Home Education groups and activities (look on Facebook for Home Ed teens groups as well as local groups).
Usually we would recommend families deschool, however, your child may want/need to jump straight into learning the content required for GCSEs, however….
whilst exams are still possible, and there is nothing stopping your child doing them before 16 or even after 16, in fact they’re not even compulsory, we will discuss the other options in a minute. Your child can do as many or as few as they want. If they’re wanting to go on to further education then it’s important they find out what is required, it could be 5 GCSEs….
…but if your child is not in a situation to jump straight into formal study then read up on deschooling, and consider a slightly alternative route. This could be delaying exams for a year, or going to college at 16 without GCSEs. Please do lots of research though to ensure you are not closing off any options.
Now it is worth pointing out the importance of reading our exams page, and understanding that the exam board the school uses may not be the same one you can access, though they are all similar, also remember sciences etc. have to be done via iGCSE due to the practical components.
Depending on how old your child is it might be a good idea to find out whether there are any local exam centres willing to take external candidates before finalising your decision.
It may also be worth requesting the school consider a flexischooling arrangement. The school may be inclined to agree to this if they feel the child is capable of good grades. Otherwise, unfortunately they probably won’t.
Other options include functional skills exams, college aged 14-16, college at 16 without GCSEs, Open University (though advanced education does void your right to Child Benefit unless they’re also still studying A-level or below.
What ever you decide, we suggest you chat with your teen, their happiness and health has to come first, there are ways to make Home Education work. It is vital to speak to your teen, get them involved in their education, they could research their options post 16, this could give them the incentive to do what is required for the next step.