I’m writing this post today to help you with the mental anguish and turmoil you’re suffering about pulling your child out of school. I did it and it’s all worked out perfectly. I was able to take my child out of school, legally and permanently, when he was 7 years old and it was one of the best things I ever did.
I had one of those babies that nobody could call easy. I loved him with all my heart, but he was never given to me to make life leisurely. He was a baby that never slept, an unstoppable toddler, and just an all-around ball of energy. My second child was the easiest baby in the world, so I know the difference.
Does he have ADD, ADHD, autism, Aspergers, dyspraxia, dyslexia? All these thoughts were going through my head. I’m sure they’re going through yours too. It’s hard being a mum. You wear your heart on the outside of your body and putting my ball of energy in the hands of strangers was torture.
Why I Pulled My 7 Year Old Out of School
There are very good reasons to take a child out of school. I pulled my 7-year-old child out of school because it wasn’t helping him, it wasn’t good for him, and it wasn’t good for me. I was also concerned for his physical safety.
Teachers don’t know your child as you do, they certainly don’t love them. Other kids can be horrifically cruel. He was happy in school, sort of. He didn’t particularly want to go, but he never cried every day. I did, when I was small.
He’s always been a very happy child, he copes with most things well and rarely gets down about anything. I had serious safety concerns. Other kids and my child had some nasty accidents in school. They’re just not supervised closely enough for me to not worry.
Does that sound like I wrap them in cotton wool? I don’t, I’m absolutely not that mother. But I knew, have always known, what level of supervision my child needs. He gets himself into scrapes. I knew that. The school wasn’t going to keep him safe.
So safety was a major concern. But on top of that, I hated taking him. I wanted him home with me and his younger brother. Why on earth should I pack him off to be cared for by strangers at 4 or 5 years old? I can’t believe now that I did it. I deeply regret it. I wish I’d never sent him.
Peer pressure made me do it. I did what everyone else did and “kept him with his friends” as they moved from playgroup to school. They weren’t his friends. They were other kids from the same town born at similar times. Never destined to be friends just children thrown together by year of birth.
Academically school wasn’t doing much for him either. I have another post on this site about my 7 year old not being able to read. It was when I found that out that I marched in there and took him out on the spot.
As far as I was concerned, he could read. He brought graded readers home from school and lists of site words. He could read them. He could only read them with one on one attention and encouragement from me. Put him in a classroom full of distractions and that ability went out the window.
He also couldn’t sit still. He’s never been able to sit still. As he got older he was able to explain that it actually hurts him to not move his body. That’s how he gets into scrapes. He’s chaotic. I am too, way too much energy and a thirst for activity. We have to be fully engaged in brain and body.
On the day I pulled him out of school there’d been a really nasty bullying incident a few days before. Luckily he doesn’t get upset about stuff like that, but it was bad. I was still pretty upset by it.
On that particular morning, I brought him to the classroom and checked his desk to make sure he had what he needed. He was always losing things. I happened to pick up his maths book. He’d barely completed a question all term and what he’d done hadn’t been marked.
“Why haven’t you done any of this maths?”
“I can’t read the questions.”
That was it. That was when I knew, for sure, to pull him out of school. There was no point at all in him being there.
What Happens Once You Take Kids Out of The School System?
We had to un-enroll him from school. There was nothing to stop us doing that and we didn’t need permission from the school or government. I just went to the school office and told them. I don’t think I required to submit a letter.
We then had to register as homeschoolers, although a lot of homeschooling parents don’t, they fly under the radar. We did register and were approved. Our local regulations required learning plans and reporting, it was very strict and restrictive but you find ways to just do you.
Then I got on with getting him reading for pleasure. So long as I was with him, he would read. There were a lot of hours spent lying in bed with Roald Dahl books. He’d read a line, I’d read a paragraph, he’d read another line. We got there and it really didn’t take long, weeks, to get him reading for pleasure.
That’s the thing, reading has to be a pleasure for some kids. Being forced to read graded readers turned him right off just as forced school sports turned me off. I still run, ski, scuba dive, cycle, and hike in the Himalayas at 55 years old, but school netball and hockey, no thanks!
I was always his external brain if you like. So long as I was with him and actively engaged in any sort of school-type workbook or worksheet, he was fine. Today he studies independently and makes notes. Writing was another thing he absolutely hated and avoided at all costs until he was about 15.
Of course, his brother never went to school either. I knew not to send him. They had amazing childhoods, mostly spent traveling and enjoying being a family.
Did my child miss his friends after we removed him from school? No, not one bit. They weren’t his friends. We didn’t miss the torture of the birthday party circuit either. I hated that with a passion! He was thrilled to be able to stay home.
There were loads of new homeschooler mistakes made, but getting him reading that way wasn’t one of them. You find your way eventually, getting homeschooling right is mostly trial and error. We went down the unschooling path a little and there was a whole bunch of worldschooling plus some wildschooling. In a nutshell, you find what works and what’s best for your kids.
Today my little ball of energy is taller than me and has some very good exam passes under his belt. We went the GCSE route, the British system. He’s now taking British A levels in subjects he’s genuinely interested in.
There are pros and cons to homeschooling and a big con for a lot of families is that one parent usually can’t work. I solved that by creating an online business. I’m a blogger and website creator. We have a post on homeschool blog ideas, if you’re interested.
We also spent a lot of money on travel and a lot on sitting those exams. Sitting exams was horrendously expensive. In his final year, we did use an online school and tutors. He had to learn how to pass exams. But really, he passed those exams on a childhood of total freedom.
You are likely a parent or guardian to a 7-year old or even a 6-year old. You came here through Google because you’re worried and don’t know what to do. You’re not sure if removing your child from school is a good idea. You’re a long way from those exams. I just want to send you a hug and share our experience. Enjoy life, enjoy your kids, try not to worry. I’ve worried, it’s completely normal. Maybe go read my post on homeschooling a 12 year old, things got much easier after 10. Did you want to buy those Roald Dahl books?