When moving schools is impossible are there other options?
When you are a victim of bullying you can feel trapped, as if there is no way to escape and get back to a happy life.
Some people feel able to move on and start again in a new school, but what when this is not an option? Maybe the next school is too far away to get to, or mentally you are unable to move on or have the confidence to move to a new school? It might feel hopeless, but there is another optionÖ
After being bullied at high school my self-esteem and confidence was completely gone. I became school phobic, not able to move to a new school. One of the only choices my parents had left was to take me out of school altogether. My parents decided to teach me at home.
One of the questions I frequently get asked when people find out I was home taught is "are your parents teachers?" the simple answer to that is "no" and they donít need to be either. By law parents have the right to teach their children how they wish, as long as a basic curriculum is followed and the person being taught is not just laying around doing nothing. This does mean however, a lot of hard work and motivation is needed. You really have to want to learn and get somewhere with schooling to give yourself the motivation to work and pass exams.
Here are some of the proís and conís I found when being taught at home.
I only have to work 3 and Ĺ hours a day, there is only one student, you get all the attention you need and help in the right areas to help you to develop. So a full day of teaching unnecessary.
You have the space to develop as a person and can rebuild your confidence with the help of people around you and hopefully your parents.
You donít have peer pressure to make you conform, so can be an individual and develop the way you want to. I Matured quite a lot in the three years I was home taught
You have free time to explore subjects you enjoy more thoroughly
It can make your relationship with your parents closer, although for at least the first three months even the closest parents and children will get fed up with each other. It takes time but things do get easier.
If you have been badly bullied a social life, or socialising in general, can be very hard. Being at home all the time means it'se asy to become shut off from the outside world and people your own age. Developing your own personality is great but the interaction of other people of the same age is vital. The way I got around this was to join out of school activities. I joined a local theatre/dance group and took up lessons in Drama and singing. Other people might prefer to do a sport, but whatever you like doing I would personally say it is extremely important to keep up some kind of contact with others of the same age.
You will often find that local education authorities give you a hard time, but it is always scare tactics, no one can actually stop you from being taken out of school.
In the first year it can be quite expensive, schoolbooks are not cheap and to keep up with work you need to buy the books.
Not all subjects are easy to learn at home. Chemistry for example! At school they have a lot more equipment than you have at home.
The following tips are things that helped me when I was home taught and I feel would help anyone who decides to try it.
- Get into a routine. When I was home taught I got up at 8:30 and started schoolwork at nine oíclock the same as if I was in school. This helped to build up a pattern and made it easier to get down and work.
- Treat the work you are given the same as if you are at school, donít think that because your parents set it you can get away with stretching the rules, it wonít help in the long run.
- Separate your relationship with whichever parent is teaching you. In my case it was my mum but for the mornings she was my teacher not my mum.
- Join out of school activities like sports or drama.
- Remember that in the culture we live in exams are important so you must be thinking about working towards your exams.
- There is an organisation called "education otherwise" who are there to help and advise anyone home teaching, get in touch with them and they can also put you in touch with other families home teaching in your area.
I hope this has been of some help if you are thinking about this option. If anyone would like to know any more please feel free to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try and answer any questions