Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

Homeschooling a Child with Anxiety

Posted by on Oct. 27, 2011 at 1:29 PM
  • 29 Replies
1 mom liked this

We're new to homeschooling.  My son is a 6th grader who I've recently taken out of his public middle school due to his overwhelming anxiety over school - the overcrowded classrooms, bullying, difficulty in communicating with teachers (me and him) all contributed.  He doesn't have any anxiety issues related to anything else but school.  His older brother and younger sister are both doing well in their public schools but I am homeschooling him for the time being.  He's seeing a therapist and we're trying to decide what the next best step to take. 

It has been suggested to us that we need to get him back in school, little by little, using exposure therapy.  The sheer *thought* of school terrifies him.  I do not want to see him going back to this school considering the bad experience he had but am considering the possibility of a small charter or private school for him.  I'm really torn between feeling like I'm "sheltering" him from his fears and simply wanting to protect my child and give him what he, as an individual child, needs.  He's very different from his brother & sister and clearly was not thriving in a public school environment.  Any feedback or moms who have homeschooled kids with anxiety?  Or those who have homeschooled only one child in the family when all others go to ps?  I definitely need guidance.  Thank you!

Michelle

by on Oct. 27, 2011 at 1:29 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
mynameismuerte
by on Oct. 27, 2011 at 1:45 PM
5 moms liked this

My first thought is that if he is only having anxiety about school and you're comfortable with homeschooling him then why send him back at all?  If he's been bullied and having trouble communicating then his anxiety isn't going to get better until all of that is resolved as well.  Those are factors that may change from month to month, year to year or classroom to classroom.    

If he gets along with peers in an environment other than school (activities, sports, siblings, church, etc) then I honestly wouldn't worry too much about the anxiety. 

Long story short, one reason we decided to HS is that our oldest is likely to be bullied (he also has issues with communication).  People always tell me, "Put him in school, it'll toughen him up."  Wrong.  What child have you ever seen that has been bullied that has self confidence and doesn't struggle with it? Instead I'm educating him at home and eventually he will have the confidence to deal with those kinds of people appropriately.  

My point of that rant is that it sounds like your son may need a long opportunity to build his self confidence and then, MAYBE he will be ready to go back to public school if that's yours or his desire.

msmed
by on Oct. 27, 2011 at 2:58 PM
3 moms liked this

Thanks for the feedback.  That's good advice.  Our doctor was even pushing for him to go back to school but they don't know my son like I do.  Also, after seeing him in tears constantly and BEGGING me to take him out of school, I know that it's just not right for him right now.  The doctor thinks that the longer we keep him out of school, the harder it will be for him to go back and that his anxiety will just build and build over it.  I guess this is one of those situations that you go with your gut and my gut says, NO. 

Annastacialynn
by Member on Oct. 27, 2011 at 3:20 PM
2 moms liked this

I had alot of anxiety when I went to school. I cried every morning and went to the office to call my mom at lunch every day to ask her to come and get me. I remember those feelings well and it was not fun. I also have dealt with anxiety as an adult. For me, it is going to stores and libraries that gives me a hard time, so I have spent a few more minutes in the store little by little until just recently I am not so bothered anymore. What I would suggest, and it is only a suggestion :) is this: Homeschool him for a while and once a week discuss "school". Tell him that he doesn't have to go back to school if it is causing him this much anxiety, but that you do need to talk about it. He is also old enough to have a journal. Maybe writing down his concerns and talking about them in a safe environment (at home with you) will help him to understand what is wrong.

Another thing you could do would be to visit a classroom together, so that he knows there is safety with him. I know when I had my hardest times in school, it was a great comfort to know that my mom was in the library working and I could see her if I wanted to. Also, when I have recently dealt with anxiety, it was a great comfort for me to have my husband with me at the store. I think eventually he will need to be exposed to school again, even if only to see that he will be ok if put into a school environment, but I don't think pushing him to go back would help anything. I hope that I am not offending you. :) This is purely my opinion and I don't want to make you feel like I know better than you or am right! :) I hope this helps some!!!

mynameismuerte
by on Oct. 27, 2011 at 3:25 PM
3 moms liked this

So many people just cannot break their thinking about how kids "go to school" and I wonder if that's happening here with the doctor.  It can be very difficult when one chooses to do something "against the norm" (like homeschooling.)

I would spend some time de-schooling with him.  It sounds like right now he really needs to feel secure and he's looking to you to give him that comfort.  You really do know your child best and I wish you all the best of luck. 

mem82
by Platinum Member on Oct. 27, 2011 at 3:58 PM
2 moms liked this

I don't have any good advice except follow your gut. You know your son better than anyone else. Good luck!

misselphaba
by on Oct. 27, 2011 at 4:55 PM
2 moms liked this

My son has really bad anxiety and we've been giving some omega 3 supplements for the past month.  He hasn't had one SINGLE episode of anxiety since.  Not even with regards to weather and he used to have terrible panic attacks the second the sky would turn gray (even for little spring rain, no thunder). 

That being said, I always had anxiety with regards to school.  It's one of the reasons (on a list of so many more) I homeschool. 

Diggems0312
by on Oct. 27, 2011 at 7:32 PM
2 moms liked this
Those reasons are why im putting us on the tight side financially to homeschool my 11to yr old. There is no reason I could find to continue to expose him to that. Besides, college and work are NOTHING like public school. Being supported by you may boost his self-confidence enough that he can face the real world head on. Listen to your mothers instinct!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
msmed
by on Oct. 27, 2011 at 10:10 PM
2 moms liked this

Thank you all so much!  I really think I'm doing the right thing keeping him home (at least for now) and I'm sure that I'll get judged from my inlaws & neighbors but whatever.  I'll do whatever it takes for my son to feel secure and be happy.

I-Love-My-Girls
by on Oct. 28, 2011 at 12:20 AM
2 moms liked this

Michelle, I am also new to the "Home school' world =) Only you "the mom" and your child knows what is best. Deep down it sounds like you know he should stay in home schooling.. If I am correct.. don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. The saying is true.. Mom's knows best! Sounds like your child doesn't want to go back either. Keep him out. Maybe bonding with him and strengthening his confidence is what he truly needs. Good luck.

LindaClement
by on Oct. 28, 2011 at 3:04 AM
5 moms liked this

Have you read 'The Highly Sensitive Child'?

It's very clear: this personality type is not served by the school system. There is nothing you can do to stop him being able to sense 100% of the emotions experienced in a room at a time.

You can get him to shut down completely --but that's a universal experience, that can't be restricted to 'school only.'

A lot of the highly sensitive people in the world end up in institutes, drugged (self-medication is popular) or suicides. I would strongly recommend that you choose your course with care.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)